Frequently Asked Questions

Young coconut kefir is the star healing drink of the Body Ecology Diet; many children drink only YCK once they start healing. Stevia sweetened homemade lemonade, pure cranberry juice sweetened with stevia, and filtered water are all good choices.
You can put the YCK in the juice they currently drink. Gradually increase the amount of YCK while decreasing the juice. Over time, they will come to crave the YCK, and it will be easier to completely remove juice as you do it slowly.

Alternatively, many parents work on getting the child used to the sweetness of stevia by making homemade lemonade from fresh squeezed lemons and good water. Gradually adding the lemonade to the current drink of choice and slowly increasing the amount of lemonade while decreasing the juice has been very successful at removing sugar laden juice from the diet. After the child enjoys the sweetness of the stevia, adding the YCK to the lemonade is the next step and usually goes very smoothly.

Although the water from the fresh young Thai coconut is best, there are now several alternatives for those who simply can’t use the fresh ones. Frozen organic coconut water is available at many health food stores and is now available to be shipped to your door if you live in the US.

Alternatively, packaged coconut waters are available for purchase online and in many retail stores, and though the packaged water isn’t as healing or tasty, it is an acceptable alternative. Try adding one fresh coconut to each batch to improve flavor and enzyme content.

There are a couple of options. Bribery is always an acceptable method to try. You can also blend the CVs up, put it in a syringe, and shoot it in the mouth like medicine or feed it like you would applesauce.

You can require that they take a bite before they get their regular meals. The point is to get CVs in their bodies so they can begin healing; the method you use to get it in can vary according to the child and/or parent.

CVs require probiotics, water, and darkness to grow well. A variety of things can cause a batch to be off, but the most common are:

  • Using wild fermentation. You want to know what strains of bacteria you are using to ferment your veggies, especially when trying to heal an acutely ill body. Catching bacteria from the air or relying on the bacteria on the vegetables is not the best way to go about that. The culture starters from BE are formulated specifically for healing the gut and not using them can cause the balance of bacteria in the CVs to be off.
  • Not making sure they are covered with brine. Air should be pushed out during the packing process, but brine still needs to cover all of the vegetables in the jar. If this is not done, they can mold.
  • Contamination is also possible when the jars or utensils used are not clean. Please run your jars and utensils under very hot water before using them for any fermentation process.
At first, you will have to be the child’s guide in how much YCK they should drink. We recommend starting very slowly at about 1 teaspoon a day (sometimes less for the very sensitive) and gradually work up to a therapeutic dose, making sure that die-off from bad bacteria in the gut is tolerable.

As the child’s body becomes alkaline and begins to heal, it’s best to let the child determine how much they need. From experience, we have seen a trend that the therapeutic, healing dose is 1 ½ qt. a day. It may take your child a few months to work up to that dosage.

Smoothies and veggie juices are always a great, alkalinizing way to start the day. Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, be sure to make it a powerful one. Protein in the form of Vitality SuperGreen or Potent Proteins can be added to smoothies or juices. Fats from avocadoes, eggs, and oils are helpful to start the day as well.

Your goal with breakfast should be to nourish the body and brain. This is not the way typical Americans start their day, so your breakfast will look different than what most others are eating, but this is not a bad thing. Some of us rare birds even enjoy soup for breakfast!

If your child is eating fruit, it must be eaten on an empty stomach, which makes breakfast the perfect time. A piece of sour fruit along with some YCK is a nice ‘first’ breakfast, which later can be followed by a more substantial meal. Make sure there is enough time for the fruit to digest before the ‘second’ breakfast is eaten; 2 hours is a good rule of thumb with a child.

Quinoa flakes are a protein-rich, delicious way to start your day as well. Even better, you can steam some soaked BE grain-like seeds for a hearty meal. Any of the BE grain like seeds make a nice porridge for a child. You can add Lakanto, xylitol, or stevia and cinnamon if your child does best with a sweet morning start.

Anything the child eats at home can be sent in a lunch. A thermos is a great way to pack leftovers from dinner the previous night. Some parents have found Bento boxes to be a huge help, and the small containers can even be used for cultured vegetables. We have had moms use recycled baby food jars to send cultured vegetables in as well. We have many ideas on the forum, so feel free to search ‘school lunch’.

One important thing to mention is a child’s IEP. Having the IEP read that the child can only eat what comes from home is an easy way to get teachers and school staff on board with your child’s dietary needs.

This is a very hard thing for a child who is aware of what others are eating. It is hard to be different; autism makes them different, and the diet is just another way of not fitting in. As parents, we know how hard it is to help a child in this situation. That being said, there are many BED foods that can be party foods, though they will still be different from what other people are eating.

We do not recommend you spend your day trying to replicate the Standard American Diet foods so your children feel less weird. It usually doesn’t work as the kids won’t eat it, especially with friends watching. We have found many BED party foods, but we advocate get-togethers that revolve around human relationships, not necessarily around food. After the healing stage of the diet, a not-so-perfect food choice can be made without much ill effect if it is eaten with something cultured like cultured vegetables or YCK. Also, there are a few Stage 1 recipes in the recipe section of the forum that will help

Many children use an organic blue corn chip as a crunchy snack when first transitioning to the diet. They are perfect to dip into a cultured vegetable salsa. Most do well with the blue corn chips, but on occasion, the children become seemingly addicted to them, and at that time, we recommend removing them from the diet for a time.
On stage 1, fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach. However, it is not uncommon for those beginning healing to have blood sugar imbalances and therefore not tolerate fruit alone. The options are to either cut fruit completely out for a time while the body heals, or to embrace the principle of uniqueness and try it with a small amount of protein. If the body appears to be unable to process or digest fruit with protein, it is best to cut fruit from the diet for a time.
The best choice is to use the soaked grain-like seeds in whole form or to grind soaked and dehydrated seeds into flour yourself. But, for convenience sake and sanity, many do use pre-made flours and have found ways to soak the flours and then use them in a recipe to help with digestibility.
In a glass jar or bowl, measure out the desired amount of grain and then cover with filtered water and seal with a lid. Letting them sit overnight is a good rule, but anywhere from 8 to 24 hours can be used. If soaking longer than 12 hours, rinsing and adding fresh water is advised. Make sure to rinse them in a fine mesh strainer under running water before cooking.
Exploding cultured food is a common problem when not enough room has been left in the jar for expansion. Live cultured foods expand and grow, so make sure to leave a few inches at the top of the jar before you ferment.
Seeping cultured food is a common problem when not enough room has been left in the jar for expansion. Live cultured foods expand and grow, so make sure to leave a few inches at the top of the jar before you ferment. If most of the liquid has seeped out of the jar, it should still be okay if the jar has not been opened. Next time, try to leave at least two inches at the top of the jar for expansion; using a cabbage leaf or a smooth, clean stone to hold the vegetables under the brine may also help.
When you are trying to heal an ill body, you want to know exactly what you are putting in it. The Body Ecology starters are specially formulated to contain gut-healing and colonizing bacteria.
A small amount of Celtic Sea Salt added when making cultured vegetables is acceptable. The most important addition is the Body Ecology Starter.
Celtic Sea Salt, organic gluten-free herbs and spices, organic Tamari, Herbimare.
Bone broths are advocated immediately when starting the diet. They are a powerhouse of nutrition for a body not able to digest food properly. All you need is a meaty bone, preferable from an organic source or a whole chicken; cover with good filtered water and simmer for several hours, up to 24.

Crock-pots are an easy way to make broths. Adding Celtic Sea Salt, celery, carrots, garlic, and onion will add to the mineral content and heartiness of the broth. Simply strain the broth through a stainless steel mesh colander and store in mason jars in the refrigerator or freezer.

Although we advocate healthy animal fats and protein, which are nutrient dense, it is possible to heal with BED on a vegetarian or vegan diet. It will be especially important to include enough fats and proteins to make sure the child can maintain their weight. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and protein-rich grains will be especially important to include in the daily diet.
Yes, we have had several parents of Indian descent that have developed BED friendly versions of dosas, idli, etc., and they are shared on the forum.
When they are no longer experiencing die-off. Many children will start to crave them, and unless the die-off is unbearable, letting them take the lead on the amounts of healing food you allow is best.
It is best to focus heavily on giving diet the best chance possible before exploring other options. Although some children have seen full recovery from diet alone, many children will need further intervention. Having a healing diet in place while pursuing other avenues of recovery is the best recipe for successful healing of a child. The body and brain cannot heal properly if they are not being fed a highly nutritious diet.

After being on the Body Ecology Diet for a while, you will have learned how to listen to your instincts, and you will know when the time is right to seek further intervention. Diet is the base of the pyramid of interventions. Make sure the base is firmly in place before adding more to it.

Journaling is the best way to keep track of this. It is very hard to tell the difference in the beginning, but die-off should not cause breathing problems. If your child experiences breathing problems, use the emergency protocol you and your child’s doctor have worked out.

All other reactions, such as rashes, lethargy, gastrointestinal upset, low grade fever, aches, and pains, all are very common and most likely die-off. They will subside over time. Remember to increase healing foods slowly to make your life and your child’s life manageable.

Yes. The most important rule to remember when serving CVs is that they need to be cold or room temperature to be eaten, never heated. Heating will kill the probiotics and enzymes. Otherwise, however you can get them in your child is fine.