Cod Liver Oil

Can I Eat Chocolate on The Body Ecology Diet?

As a Holistic Nutritionist for those on The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.), this is by far the most common question I get. Most people I meet are women and won’t consider not eating chocolate, no matter what kind of health they are in. I can understand that. I am a woman myself and a big time chocolate lover 💃

Here’s what I tell people …. once you have removed the ‘biggies’ (i.e. gluten, pasteurized dairy, sugar, etc.) and put B.E.D. principles into place, your health habits will naturally transform.

This alone is often enough for most people as these are habits that reduce the trigger load on the immune/digestive system. If you’re such a person, then eating small amounts of chocolate, sweetened with stevia or lakanto (sugars that don’t feed excess yeast, bacteria, or viruses), should be fine. 

If you have a chronic health issue and feel debilitated, then best to stay on stage 1 for minimum of 3 months and hit the bulls-eye daily; without chocolate. This is an example of finding your unique balance in choices made each day.  

Are you sensitive to coffee? 

Like coffee, chocolate contains caffeine and that is something worth mentioning…many people on B.E.D. have a weak digestive tract and as a result have a tough time breaking down (metabolizing) caffeine. Many of these people would describe themselves as having a “caffeine sensitivity”. If caffeine is not broken down properly it can over-stimulate the adrenals and cause them to burn-out. To give you a sense about the caffeine content in chocolate; 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder contains 12mg of caffeine in comparison to one cup of green tea, which has about 35 mg.

How about gluten?

Gluten intolerance is another thing. People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease sometimes react to chocolate. One reason is due to a reaction caused by cross-reactivity because chocolate contains a protein that is similar in structure to gluten. This means the immune system will mistake chocolate for gluten.

A word about oxalates…

Oxalates are naturally produced chemicals in many plant foods, including cacao, spinach, broccoli, and almonds. Donna Gates, founder of Body Ecology, likes to say that she “counts oxalates, not calories”. Though they are typically excreted through the urine, when a person has oxalate sensitivity, then the oxalates can accumulate in the body and form sharp crystals that result in joint pain, kidney stones, and brain issues to name a few.

Strengthening the gut with a probiotic supplement or unsalted, probiotic food (cultured vegetables, young coconut kefir) is one of the best ways to reduce oxalate buildup; along with reducing how many oxalate-rich foods you eat.

What I did…

Only you know what’s right for you. Personally, when I started the diet I was in a bad place physically that I didn’t eat chocolate for 3 years. This is what worked for me, though it is hard to believe I once did such a thing. Mind over matter for a bit becomes a habit that you just fall into. Like saying no to gluten. You just do it. You don’t think about it. I remember smelling a piece of chocolate when I was in the throes of my healing and knew on a gut level that I wasn’t ready to eat it. Once I felt better, you bet your boots that I created a raw chocolate recipe

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