Last week, I wrote about why I decided to change my eating in order to help my bipolar symptoms. My husband David, a cancer survivor, wants to eat better in order to lessen the likelihood of a relapse. We began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and are modifying the Body Ecology Diet to suit our needs, with the goal of launching a BED cleanse in the near future.
I explained SCD in my last post. What is BED, and why might it work?
According to author Donna Gates’ website, bodyecology.com, the Body Ecology Diet is based on “the fact that our digestive systems are intimately linked to our immune, endocrine, circulatory and central nervous systems. Profoundly affecting all these interlocking systems is an amazing world of benevolent bacteria: the microscopic “good guys” that must be present in your intestines for you to be healthy.”
While BED is complex, it centers on “three simple dietary transitions that can have a profound impact on how you feel:
- The addition of cultured foods to your diet
- Changing the quality of fats and oils you consume
- Drastically reducing your intake of carbohydrates and sugars”.
We are incorporating these and other BED principles into our lives in the hopes of greater quality of life for both of us. Here’s how:
1. Cultured foods: We’ve known about the benefits of natural probiotics for gut health. We make our own organic yogurt and buy kombucha as a treat or when we’re sick. BED takes it to the next level with fermented vegetables and coconut water kefir. We’ll be learning how to culture vegetables from our friends who introduced bipolar nutrition to us. We’re also in the process of making our own kombucha.
2. Better fats and oils: We have long used olive oil and pastured butter for cooking. Coconut oil has evolved from occasional baking and Asian cuisine tool to our go-to kitchen oil. We fry our eggs in it every morning, and David takes a tablespoon a day for its gut health benefits. (I take 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar daily for the same purpose.)
3. Reducing carbs and sugars: Like SCD, BED recognizes the intestinal distress often caused by undigested carbs and sugars. I gave up sugar beginning in the New Year because I knew it was a trigger for mood swings. We are now both off gluten, sugar and complex carbs as part of SCD. It’s been two weeks off the carbs, and I have noticed a lift in my energy and mood.
As I learn to plan meals the new way, we are also implementing the BED principle of 80/20. 80% of your plate is land or ocean vegetables, 20% is either a protein or a starchy vegetable/grain. (Fruits are best digested alone on an empty stomach.) You eat until you are 80% full, leaving 20% for digestion.
We are already benefitting from BED. The BED cleanse, which is intense, will be difficult, but we stand to benefit even more. More on this as it develops.
Are any of you on specific nutrition for your health? Why did you choose it, and what has been your experience?