Q&A with The Body Ecology author Donna Gates and autism

Katherine Olson

Q: In the years since The Body Ecology Diet hit bookshelves, have there been any specific breakthroughs in the study of candida and its effects on human ecology? What research are you most excited about?

A: I began this work over 20 years ago and at that time the medical and pharmaceutical world wouldn’t even admit that a systemic candida overgrowth existed. There is great acceptance now. In fact, when I attended my first Defeat Autism Now conference eight years ago I heard Dr. Jeff Bradstreet mention that children with autism had yeast infections. So acceptance seems like an important breakthrough to me. If you don’t acknowledge something exists, how can you conquer it?

Q: Can you summarize the greatest benefits of following the B.E.D. for autism?

A: Fermented foods are especially cleansing foods. The microflora in these foods protects us from parasites, and helps negate poisons that might enter through the digestive tract. Mercury in fish is an example. One of the reasons autism occurs is that a child’s detoxification pathways are “stuck.” You must open them. Secondly, your child will have much better digestion. When he eats a meal the nutrients will be better absorbed and metabolized. Therefore, the deficiencies in amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals will begin to disappear.

Q: Can you offer some tips or resources for parents who would like to implement the diet, but are inhibited by time, money or their children’s unwillingness to try new foods?

A: Bribing works well with all children. Turn off their favorite TV show until they drink their glass of fermented coconut kefir juice. It will start to correct digestion, cleanse toxins, and the next thing you know they will actually be opening the refrigerator asking for another glass. And start by eating this way yourself. Become a model of what to eat. You may not realize the extent that your child’s brain is programmed to copy what you do. Add one fermented food to your child’s diet. Cultured veggies are not expensive to make and the benefits they bring are enormous. If your child does not like the sour taste, then add a little bit of mayonnaise or extra virgin olive oil and a drop of stevia or a bit of Celtic sea salt. Kids often like to use the cultured veggies as a dip so put them in a little bowl and surround them with organic blue corn chips.

Five Fun Facts:

1) If I weren’t doing the work I do now, I would be designing and building houses. My next project would be an eco-village.

2) Cooking then inoculating soybeans with a natto bacillus starter culture creates a food with long sticky threads that stretch when you lift natto from the bowl. These long glossy strands of biofilm can stretch out several feet in length. Natto is available in Asian markets.

3) Recently I adopted the most amazing little puppy. Chloe is a rare breed called a Mi-Ki, and she looks like a tiny Ewok.

4) I’m very grateful that I was allowed to have one last baby when I was 44. Taylor, who is now 19, came into my life at a time when I was wiser and really appreciated the miracle of creating a new life. If he hadn’t come I don’t think I would really know joy.

5) My secret wish is that a very talented chef and restaurateur asks me to help them open a Body Ecology restaurant in Los Angeles.

Courtesy of Spectrum Publications

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