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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 asked, “will chocolate feed my candida?”. Most people that I meet are women and most do not want to consider letting go of chocolate, no matter what kind of health they are in. I can understand that. I am a woman myself and big time lover of chocolate.

Here is what I tell people…when other biggies are eliminated (i.e. gluten, pasteurized dairy, sugar, etc.) and you actively put the B.E.D. principles into place you transform your health with habits that tend to be enough for “most” people. Habits that tend to reduce the trigger load on the immune/digestive system and make you feel a lot better. If you are one of these people then eating a piece of chocolate, sweetened with stevia or lakanto (sugars that do not feed excess yeast, bacteria, or viruses), should be fine on a special occasion. 

That said, if you have a deeper and more chronic health issue going on and feel debilitated in any way, then you might want to stay on stage 1 for a minimum of 3 months and hit the bulls-eye every day; without eating chocolate. This is an example of finding your own unique balance in the choices that you make 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 a gluten intolerance or celiac disease sometimes react to chocolate. One reason why is due to a reaction caused by cross-reactivity which is because chocolate contains a protein that is similar in structure. This means that the immune system sometimes mistakes 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 is right for you. Personally, when I started the diet I was in such a bad place physically that I didn’t eat chocolate for almost 3 years. For me, that is what worked. I remember smelling a piece of chocolate and knowing that I was not ready for that. Once I felt better, you bet your booty that I created a raw chocolate recipe

Chocolate Mousse

Will Chocolate Feed Candida?

Body Ecology Support with Tara (via phone or Skype)

May all bellies be happy!

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