Friday, September 23, 2011

The Autumn Moon Lights My Way......

Khalil Gibran wrote,

"In the autumn I gathered all my sorrows
And buried them in my garden.
And when April returned
And spring came to wed the earth,
There grew in my garden beautiful flowers
Unlike all other flowers.
And my neighbors came to behold them,
And they all said to me,
"When autumn comes again, at seeding time,
Will you not give us of the seeds of these flowers
That we may have them in our gardens"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Late Summer Cleansing

Well I went a little wild with my diet over the Summer! 8-) It's been awesome. And I've still done better than any previous Summer! I've avoided wheat now (about 99%) since January! I can practically name the 3-4 times I've had a little bit of wheat through the year..... not anywhere near enough to be a problem!!! Not even a whole slice of pizza's worth.

Moving into September and I find myself wanting to cleanse a bit again... so I took the relaxing day off of work today to drink tons of water and eat way lighter than I've been. (I've been delving into a lot of goat milk products and eggs lately, so I just thought I'd take a vegan day again and do a little cleanse.

Here's what I've noticed:
Past times that I've done a "24 hour cleanse" I've always gotten, even if only slightly, a headache or a dull similar pain in my head.... Today I chose not to cut out fruits or juices, and I had a small bit of coconut juice through the day, an apple, and most of a grapefruit. On top of that all I had was a salad for brunch with a teaspoon of dressing (hardly any) and some super fresh cherry tomatoes, and maybe a tablespoon or more of hemp seeds. For a late dinner, I had 1/2 cup cooked brown rice and 1 cup steamed baby broccoli. That's it! Making a cup of Yogi Detox Tea now and have been sipping down a big bottle of water all day.... no headaches! No nausea, no severe cravings... no problem. It reminded me of my astonishing January - May candida diet :-)

Another change is that I didn't try to analyze it too much through the day (waited to write about it til now... focused on meditating through it more and just being present), and I didn't try to do a 60 minute yoga/cardio workout hahahahah I realize I try to overdo these cleanses..... so now I've made it through and feel amazing... though maybe too much energy for getting to bed early :-P

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Candida Diet Into the Summer!

Alright it's getting HOT already! And the "you-pick" farms down this way are already bursting with fresh blueberries!

So maybe it's a sign of the times, but this weather has brought on more than an average craving for some fruit in my life again! Sooo! I'm back to some granny smith apples, and I've even had one of those little half-pint (or so) size containers of local organic blueberries :-)

And I even found Deland's gluten-free bread down here, so I've "splurged" and bought a loaf of it and have been enjoying some super tasty HLTs (hummus, lettuce, tomatoooo!)

I guess these "summer" vibes are just attacking on all sides! I was in the French Broad Food Co-Op and found these amazing small little packages of raw macaroons, that only have 5 grams of sugars per macaroon! And the ingredients are clean and good: shredded coconut, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, vanilla bean, and agave nectar. So I've had two of them thus far!

So lots of little re-additions to the diet there, and I think just keeping a healthier attitude about treats (ie not eating an entire package of Pamela's gluten-free cookies or a half pan of gluten-free brownies, etc.....or worse yet, wheat desserts!!) is the way to go right now. I don't even want to get into the chocolate bars that have 20+ grams of sugar, or the juice drinks with 30+ grams of sugar... I'm good right now with a nice small treat here and there, no reason to go to the moon with it all :-)

I still haven't had any dairy in awhile, and my sinuses are thanking me... I thought raw goat milk products would be a bit easier to find down here, but I'm still working on that one!

It's definitely a forever project, and I still feel good about how it's unfolding for me... though I'm in dire need of a 24-48 hour fast if I can grasp enough time! 24 hour fasts are great, but I find they really just tend to give you the weird fast feelings then you're done... I feel like the extra day takes it a step up!

So we'll see..... that's about it for now I think! Hopefully I will write a bit more sooner than later! Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Turnip & Ramp French Fries!

Holy smokes, I just made these and ate them faster than lightning! They are SO GOOD! They are a great potato substitute, with only 4.4 grams (loosely) of carbs, vs. potatoes' 19 grams (per 3.5 oz. serving of each)

So I'm starving and didn't have the patience to bake or broil them, I just heated some olive oil in my steel frying pan and sliced half of a big turnip root into thin french fry-like slivers, and put the lid on for about 5 mins or so. Then I chopped up about 4-5 little ramp 'bulbs' and mixed them into the turnip slices, and simmered for another 5-6 minutes....

When it was all said and done, I added a pinch of sea salt for the real "french fry" effect, and I'll be damned if I'm not about to go make the rest of that turnip root!!

Ramps are so cool, I wish I could have found some in the wild--I know of a great patch of them on the trails by my house back home :-) But the co-op has them in fresh, and they are possibly my favorite "bulb" for cooking!

Needless to say, I'll be buying many more turnips to mix in with my stir-fries soon!! A great potato substitute!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Awesome Candida-Safe Coconut Vanilla "Kheer" Recipe!

I just had to pop on for a late post about this delicious and super-easy "Kheer" (Rice Pudding) recipe that I whipped up yesterday!

I had a recipe from the Candida Diet website, but it was basically just brown rice and coconut oil and maybe some nutmeg or cinnamon..... that was kind of rough....

So, real quick, here goes:

-cooked brown rice
-as much unsweetened almond milk as you'd like the pudding consistency to be
-1 tbsp coconut oil
-vanilla extract to your taste preference
-cardamom seed (whole or ground, to your liking)
-pinch of stevia

+any other spices or chopped nuts you might like to add! I omit the raisins, candida diet-style, but this makes suuuuuch a good treat.... especially when you haven't had anything sweet including fruit in awhile! I used a few raw macadamia nuts in mine tonight.....nom......

And it's good cold or hot :-D

Tomorrow or Saturday's experiment includes....... khichri! Lentils & rice soup mildly spiced with Indian spices..... I'm already drooooolinggggg.....

A shot of some kheer!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Candida Diet Week 15! Oxalate Breakdown!

Ever notice how long it takes some things in the body to heal? I've had 2 marks on my face (not that noticeable, thankfully) for awhile now. One since '06! One since just this past December/January..... or consider broken bones or injured nerves...

The body can sometimes take awhile to heal. I plan on following the general candida routine for awhile. With slight variations as I go, but it's such a healthy diet. I've gone all of today without yogurt (which has been the only dairy I've consumed since January) But every now and then I feel it's best to even go without yogurt, and when I'm done with the yogurt I have in my fridge, I'll likely not get any more for at least a week or more.

Also starting tomorrow I'll be not devouring almond butter :-X I'm going to aim for a week without almond butter, and see where I go from there. I feel like it's been too much of a fixation, and I'll be trying to add more beans & legumes into the mix to get the protein. It's gotten so much easier as time's gone by. I know so many more quick and easy recipes and have gained a good knack for how long things take to make and when to prepare them so I'll have them through a long day away from home. Quinoa has been such a great find. I still believe the best philosophy is "Everything in moderation (including moderation!)" A quick read-up on quinoa has the following:

"Quinoa is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of purines. However, like all members of the Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae plant family, quinoa does contain oxalates. The oxalate content of quinoa ranges widely, but even the lower end of the oxalate range puts quinoa on the caution or avoidance list for an oxalate-restricted diet. "

So what are oxalates, exactly? Trusty wikipedia explains:

Basically oxalates in food can bind with things like calcium and cause things like kidney stones.

So wow... here's news to my ears too! The more I'm reading, I see a lot of my favorite candida diet foods are pretty high in oxalates! Hahah c'est la vie.... ya just can't win 'em all can you.

Well that's helpful knowledge though, and much more ammo to steer clear from so much almond butter! Apparently almonds, beans, and kale are on the "high oxalate" list. Pardon me while I make a cup of magnesium tea :-X Here is a .pdf describing oxalate foods, if I haven't scared you away already!

Looks like avocado, yogurt, eggs, and lentils are still on the safe side! I've been kicking around the idea of reintroducing some fish into my life, and this seems to send me another step in that direction, as fish has no (or minute) amounts of oxalates, but a great amount of protein.... hmmmm.... we'll seeeee........

But anywho, "everything in moderation" really just can't be stressed enough. These foods high in oxalates certainly offer plenty of other nutritional benefits. If I could work out some type of fast once a month, I think my body would be pretty content.

Here's to my non-planned-yet-Easter-themed Resurrection! Here's to no almond butter all week and another new way of life, as each day is the first day..........

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Power Breakfast

So here's a quick shot of the power breakfast I just mentioned in the last post.... I added clover sprouts to it this morning, and edible violet flowers for aesthetics :-)

I also love to have a couple brown rice snaps with almond butter on them to top things off with the protein ;-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Candida Diet: Week 12 and Onward!

Well then!! Guess it's been a little while, but I'm still plugging away and feeling GREAT and learning more and more and trying newer and newer things with foods!

I've been practicing yoga every morning when I wake up, and walking/jogging afterward! Couple nights I didn't get to sleep til later, and it was a little harder to rouse myself the next morning.... but it feels much too good to not start the day off with a little movement! Even if I don't have much time, I still at least do some yoga... and a quick jog wakes me up like
nothing else!

A typical day-et (my diet through the day) starts off with a power breakfast, after the yoga and/or jogging. This usually consists of the following!:

-1 cup cooked quinoa (protein party!)
-curry seasonings, focusing on that turmeric! (strong anti-cancer)
-1-2 fresh whole garlic cloves crushed and mixed in (SO good for you in many ways)
-1 cup fresh steamed kale (calcium, lutein/vit. A (EYES) )
**Sweet page on Kale**
-1/2 to 3/4 cup steamed broccoli OR asparagus (CALCIUM, alkalizing to the blood)
**Broccoli Page** **Asparagus Page**
-kelp seasoning for iodine (THYROID REGULATOR!)
-3-5 tablespoons shelled hempseeds (protein party #2! +amino acids, calcium, and more)
-2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (B VITAMIN + AMINO ACID CENTRAL!!!)
-as much avocado as I'm craving! (protein AND lutein for the eyes)

And depending on how I'm feeling, I'll often throw a hard-boiled egg in the mix. That provides lots of essential things, including lutein again.

I've also been tossing in fresh weeds from my yard! Day-lily root/leaves (sweet & crunchy!), purple deadnettle, chickweed, or speedwell! And though not from my yard, sometimes I use fresh shredded ginger....

Purple Deadnettle:


I love experimenting with new breakfast ideas for this mix! I'll take a picture of it sometime too, it's really a beautiful meal! :-P It's tonnns of protein (comPLETE protein, that is), but enough other nutrients that help process the protein, and lots of fiber... The broccoli AND the kale are very high in calcium. For those of you reading this who know me, this next statement is a bold, bold statement! I actually find after eating this that I can go well into the afternoon before eating again or just being hungry. And that's after a full morning of gardening and landscaping! I don't usually eat the meal until after my yoga and morning jog are done, so it helps recharge me after the initial morning energy burn, and I like to think that the nice protein party helps keep things smooth for my muscles after a long walk/jog combo. It's also helpful to not eat before doing yoga OR jogging, just way easier on the stomach.

One more fine recipe I've been concocting is a very gluten-free Tabbouleh recipe! It's so easy it almost hurts!

-1 cup cooked quinoa
-1/2 cucumber
-1/4 - 1/3 tomato
-as much parsley as you can take!
-as many hemp seeds as will mix in!
-any seasonings you'd like! Black pepper goes good, maybe a touch of real sea salt.. maybe even a pinch of minced green onion would be good! OH and some fresh MINT!!! Lots of room to create!

Chop up the cuke and the tomato, break up the parsley, and mix it all together in a bowl and enjoy! No further heating involved! I make 1-2 huge batches of quinoa per week these days, so a recipe like this is further made easy... saves a step to cook the quinoa beforehand. It is SUCH a good cold summer 'salad,' and gives you another protein boost mid-day if you need it!

This recipe holds nicely for at least a few days in the fridge! And it's suuuuper carry-along-able! I'm gonna take some pics of these things soon (the power breakfast and the tabbouleh!) They both look like art!!

But as for the diet, I'd like to share that it will be the 3 month mark soon (started Jan. 4, and by April 4, I'll be rolling into the fourth month!) and I've successfully not had a single piece of chocolate (or cheese!!!!) I've had a minimal amount of rice noodles, and 4 slices of bread when I decided to use up the last bit of Sami's bread that I had in my freezer. I've had no fruits or fruit juices, but lots of veggies and veggie juices!

I realize it sounds strict, but I really do feel that my body is happy for the break in carbs and sweets, and it could use the better part of a year to cleanse itself of a diet that I've had for 25 years. Not that my diet has been poor for 25 years, but it's been a lot of the same stuff.... If I wasn't feeling so good or losing drastic amounts of weight or my skin was turning pale or I had any negative symptoms, I'd gladly reintroduce some of these avoided foods... but a scale I just recently looked at was reading 120 last time I saw it, and my face is still embarrassingly pink much of the time! :-P I also wake up with so much energy... I breathe deep and 'wake up' for about 5-10 minutes... dream processing, mapping my morning out... maybe check my planner.... but then once I've settled on a morning gameplan, I explode into the day (WHAM!!) Hahah feelin' great. Haven't had any of these allergies people keep talking about here in the Appalachias... or any other ailments for that matter!

So that's the scoop through to week 12 and a little beyond! Hope this is still posing as a helpful resource for people, and I still encourage any questions or comments! Check back soon for recipe pictures!

Thanks as always for reading!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dalai Quote

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
..................................... Dalai Lama

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rainy Day Black Beans 12 & 35

Had to throw a little Dylan play on words with the title there :-X

But get this... I just made a black bean soup so fast and so easy that I've already eaten my share of it and am left wondering what I might've done incorrectly. That was WAY too easy. I'm missing my Mad Mex fixes from the 'burgh, but this recipe brings things home for me in a real big way. It's super rainy, so I wanted a nice hot creamy soup, and I didn't want to leave the apartment again if I can help it.... so using 4-5 things that I already had, I whipped this dish up in 10 minutes flat, if even that.

-1 can organic black beans
-1/2 packet Bearitos "Mexican Rice Seasoning" (I've been WONDERING what to do with this stuff, for like a year or more hahah)
-several pinches of cumin
-several pinches of cayenne pepper
-several twists of the ol' black pepper mill
-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
-1 green onion 'stalk' (optional!)
-1,2,3,4 dollops of thick Greek yogurt to top the dish off!

I just opened the can of beans.... poured the entire can into a pot without draining them. I'm stranded without a blender or food processor...not even a potato masher... so maybe that was a blessing; I just used the bottom of a glass, and I smashed down some of the black beans, giving it a creamier, beanier consistency. Spellcheck don't tell me beanier isn't a word!!! I'm not listening! So the cup is actually much easier to clean up than the whole blender/food processor operation.

From here, I added about 1/4 or 1/3 of the Bearitos Rice Seasoning packet... tasted the results, and it already tasted creamy and good... but I tossed in some cumin, cayenne, and black pepper, and WHAM, it zipped up a notch!

Then I chopped up one green onion stalk, which took all of 45 seconds.... and tossed that into the brew!

Just for kicks (and/or B vitamins & amino acids!) I chucked in 2 TBS of nutritional yeast! It doesn't affect the flavor, for worse OR for better! It just gives you a bit of more nutrients... iron, B vits, amino acids, minerals, etc.....

So the soup was perfect at this point... so I served it up in a cozy little bowl. And Mad Mex always plops a dollop of sour cream on top of theirs when they serve it.... but a slightly healthier variation I decided to try was a dollop of Fage Greek yogurt!! WOWWWW..... not sure how to describe it.... but I think I'm going to go get some more!

Yum, just finished my second bowl.... truly delicious.... easier than easy.... here's some lil pics for reference!

I highly suggest you give it a whirl! Personalize it! Add a jar of salsa instead of seasoning mix if that's what you have!! I didn't have any salsa... and the Muir Glen plain tomato sauces and tomato pastes I have, have citric acid in them..... supposedly not recommended for Une Candida Diet.... I was a little nervous not having the tomato element in the mix, but it turned out PERFECT regardless! WooHoo!!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Robin Pecknold Solo Songs

Beautiful and haunting, the main singer of the Fleet Foxes shares three songs that he had nothing else to do with but to share!

He performs with Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, on a tune called "I'm Losing Myself," covers a Chris Thompson song entitled, "Where is My Wild Rose," and a solo tune named "Derwentwater Stones."

Have a listen, pretty please

02 Derwentwater Stones by

01 I'm Losing Myself (Feat. Ed Droste) by

03 Where Is My Wild Rose by geraldinewaters

And you can download them for yourself, if you like! Just click here!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Candida Diet, Rolling Into Week 10 Like a Freight Train!

Tomorrow marks Week #10 that I've upheld my extremist ways :-P

I'm back again to share this amazingly simple + delicious recipe I just whipped up on a whim today! My recipes keep coming to me that way, just 'aha' moments where either things in my pantry come together in a new way, or I'm in the store and run amok grabbing a few new choices.

Let me tell you......

THIS little baby packs a remarkable flavorful punch!! It will only be as 'hot' as you make it (ie. adding a teaspoon or adding a tablespoon, etc) And add this coconut milk or a coconut milk of your choice..... heat the two together in a skillet...... pour over steamed vegetables. DINE ON A GOURMET THAI MEAL. THE END!!!

That's literally all that I did tonight. The curry paste lists a nice little recipe on the back, calling for brown sugar and anchovy paste, etc, etc...... sure that might be great! But I say, plain was absolutely outstanding. I didn't even use any rice along with it... more veggies to fill up on!! And I actually used a tiny 4 ounce can of coconut milk for my meal tonight, and I was slightly nervous about how much curry paste to add. So I started off with maybe a half teaspoon or so? ....well, I wound up using at least a tablespoon. It actually tasted JUST LIKE THE GREEN CURRIED VEGETABLES I GOT AT ANGKOR LAST WEEK!!! That's a delicious Thai place in Pittsburgh, fyi. If you're in Pitt, GO THERE!!!

But yes, I now have a new toy.... I also bought their "red curry paste." :-X You'll have to drag me out of the kitchen.

I've also started my gardening work today--- I've prepped a 5 gallon bucket with 20 or so holes in the bottom and sides for my composting needs..... And I've bought lots of organic seeds and a starter tray. And organic soil of course... extremely stoked to get this started up!

The seeds I bought were: THYME (of course!), chives (common), Pepper (sweet Yolo Wonder, green/red), Green onion (White Lisbon), swiss chard (Five Color Silverbeet... a rainbow of chard!!), fennel, tomato (Roma, bush variety), KALE (dwarf blue curled), oregano (greek), basil (Italian Genovese and Thai Siam Queen), bush green beans..... and catnip for the neighbor's kitteh :-P Oops I done forgot lettuce hahah oh well, all the health stores have seeds now, I'm sure I'll get some this week... got my hands full already! I'm counting on the massive amount of farmers' markets down here for other foods too!

Well I better start getting ready for bed here and finish my tea! Thanks as usual for readin'


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Candida Diet, Week 9

Well then! My routine has been slightly changed up as I relocate my life hundreds of miles from home..... But! I've stayed strong making big healthy, hearty breakfasts! About a cup or so of cooked quinoa, mixed with some type of curry powder (turmeric being exCEPTIONALLY healthy, anti-cancer, detoxing, etc.... I try to get some in everyday.) In the curried quinoa, I toss in some steamed kale and steamed broccoli, sometimes steamed dandelion greens..... and as much hemp seed as I can fit in the bowl! I usually top it all off with a hard-boiled egg and a little ground black pepper! And kelp powder sprinkled throughout when I think of it! And for "breakfast dessert," I have usually a half cup or so of greek yogurt to boot! Talk about protein!

I've also maintained my daily morning glass of Just Barley juice :-)

The past few days, since I've moved, I've been out through the afternoon, so I've missed my usual raw salads, but the food choices around here are so healthy that I've since temporarily replaced the salads with miso soup with seaweed salad, one afternoon was mostly raw sunflower & pumpkin seeds with cashews, and another afternoon I mostly gorged on the seed snacks I mentioned in a previous post... "Sticks and Twigs" with a really good tomato basil hummus I found! So... maybe not as beneficial as a sweet raw salad, but at least I haven't binged on carby foods or any other of the gamut of scrumptious options that would set me back on the candida diet.

It's tough cause even good friends don't quite understand the extent of the strictness, but they just go along with it, and I've gotten quite good at finding my way around a menu!!! At Mad Mex just last week, I ordered their veggie burrito without the tortilla around it.... essentially just a plate of cooked, awesomely-seasoned veggies, and pico de gallo to top it off! It was friggin better than the regular burrito!! It was so good the manager came over to the table my brother and I had and commented that it looked so good in the kitchen that he made the exact thing for himself!!!! That was super awesome! I can still picture it, and it makes me drool!

I've also re-started the Renew Life CandiGone cleanse, just to go the extra mile again.... and I take probiotics everyday.

I'm coveting my Brad's Raw chips and considering ordering them online as the days go by.... but I'm trying not to use credit too much while job-searching! Finally landing a job this week, no ifs, ands, or buts! So that shall help!!

I think that's about all for now, but I'll add more if I've forgotten to mention anything!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Candida Diet, Week 8!

First of all, I have to say... this candida diet has me exploring more new recipes than any other "diet" ever has! Getting so creative and really starting to value a wholesome meal. My body knows what it needs, and my cravings have changed so much.

On a side note, I HAVE to share about this AMAZING store I've been hearing about for almost a year and just finally visited! It's in Mt. Lebanon, just outside of Pittsburgh, and it's called "Eden's Market." I thought they specialized in gluten free foods, ie they had a great selection. But I was wrong! THEY ONLY SELL GLUTEN-FREE FOODS!! The whole store!! It was phenomenal!

It's all gluten-free, but it's obviously not all based on candida too. But a few gems that I am officially including in my diet from here on out are the following:

Brad's Raw Chips:

There are several flavors, my favorite so far being "Vampire Killer," which is garlicky. (But not so much that I'd say it would kill a vamp!) This particular flavor includes nutritional yeast (way different than the negative yeast the candida diet focuses on eliminating!), red bell pepper, garlic of course, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, scallions, Himalayan sea salt, and that's it! The ingredients appear to all be blended together and basted onto the kale before the leaves are dehydrated, leaving an even coating that sticks to every leaf! They are DIVINE. I'M GOING TO MAKE THEM WHEN I GET A FOOD DEHYDRATOR. They have a super-light crunch, and the enzymes and nutrients are preserved in the light dehydrating process (versus baking or frying, which kills the nutrients.)

Just one serving (about half of the container) will give you 6 grams of protein, 139% vitamin A, 129% vitamin C, 8% calcium, and 11% Iron!!! Only around 140 calories. Did I say YUM? The other flavors look amazing too; I've already tried the red pepper chips! (also delish!!) And the "Indian" flavor ones are divine, I'm sure........

Next up on my list....

Mary's Gone Crackers! (Chipotle Tomato)

This brand has been around for a little while now, but I always ran into their products that have wheat-free tamari in them... So it's wheat-and-gluten-free... but there's a small amount of 'alcohol' in the tamari, and I'm candida diet nazi so I skip out on these snacks. BUT! The chipotle tomato flavor, as it turns out, is tamari-free too! So now each bite is full of whole quinoa, RED quinoa, brown rice, flax seeds, brown sesame seeds, amaranth, millet, chia seeds, tomato powder, chipotle chili, and sea salt. How's that for an entire meal of seeds that is actually delicious, wholesome, and filling!! All ingredients are also organic, I might add! Now let's just whip up some roasted tomato or red pepper hummus to go right along with these babies... wheeeewwww..... being healthy without even TRYING sometimes!

So in any case, I *HIGHLY* recommend visiting Eden's Market when you get the chance! He's on the same side of Washington Road as the Sesame Inn.... here's his info!

Under le Construction

Well, re-working the format of this baby.... pardon the mess!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Candida Diet, Weeks 6 & 7!

Already onto Week 8 of the Candida Diet!

Went out to eat quite a bit this week, but made some really great choices while out! Got Indian food a few times, eating just the veggies in their glorious spices (no rice or naan or mango lassi!) (miss the lassi......will have it again sometime though!) Then also got some Thai food for lunch the other day, with just a huge amount of broccoli and some other veggies (bok choy?) and lemongrass chili soup that was diviiiiine!

Feelin' good I must say! Having a little routine has really been a sweet change of pace for me... usually waking up around 8 or 9am and getting to sleep usually between 12 and 1. Feels good to have a little rhythm! I'd love to wake up around 6am someday if I can do it; I really really love mornings!

Still doing the Candi-Zyme enzyme a few times here and there as I remember to take it..... kind of saving it for when I do another RenewLife Candida Cleanse again though (probably soon!)

I haven't really been taking much oregano oil lately, but I've still been getting in lots of garlic everyday! And a huge salad everyday to boot!

Had an amazing 65-degree morning last week, and I walked up a storm before work! The warm weather calls me out to get moving-- the winter weather just doesn't do it for me, though I love winter hiking, when you just don't ever seem to overheat while climbing up huge hills with a big backpack on!

For the ladies: I've been meaning to link this article that I found on cycle regulation with omega oils! It's a pretty short article, but it's easy to follow, and I'm experimenting with it! (*Note~ It's another Blogger page!! Called "Life is Recipes")

Great info for such a small article, it's just what I was looking for. I usually try to aim for a decent amount of omega 3's throughout every day & week, but I add more hemp after ovulation just for experiment... I use Hemp Hearts, which are just organic hemp seeds that taste great and go on my daily salad (after ovulation) An easy diet addition with lots of healthy nutritional content! You know what, here's a sweet link to the Hemp Hearts too. It's super descriptive!

They don't have a strong flavor, and they're real soft, not crunchy..... so good for you!!

I'm in now, boy! This diet hasn't very much changed my physical sense of well-being (I like to think I've been a pretty healthy person for at least the last few years or so...) But it's been great for my mental well-being. And hopefully I'll see some nice changes physically down the road too :-)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kale Thyme

So I finally scoped out some kale recipes! I already found about 5 that I really want to try soon as possible.....

I found them here:

So today I went the whole day with no almond butter or cashew butter. It truly is possible..... And I made a killer stir-fry with these Indian spice packs that I've used for a few years now.... HIGHLY RECOMMEND! They make any veggies taste fantastic!

They're awesome.

Well, pretty tired now, so off I go........

Signing off!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Candida Diet, Week 5 Progressssss

Alright! Another quick late-night post..... I can't help but to share how delectable this batch of tomato basil soup is that I made tonight! SO GOOD! And so easy..... here's a link to the recipe I used!

Eating too much almond butter :-\ It's so friggin' delicious I can't handle it.

Getting in a full cup (or sometimes more) of steamed kale or chard about 5 days out of a week, and still on the seaweed marathon! Feeling great, haven't had any headaches!

Started taking Renew Life's CandiZyme, an enzyme blend designed to break down candida cells overnight (taking them before bed) and helps the body's defenses by weakening the candida's tough exterior. Such a potent enzyme, also good for breaking down any excess things in the bloodstream.

One huge salad per day! What did I do special today.... OH! I cooked some of the fire-roasted portobellos from my job and mixed it all through the salad, with avocado.... that was divine. I still use 1-2 cloves of garlic in each salad, and pumpkin seeds. And flax or hemp seeds too! As I said in an earlier post, it's likely not ideal to eat mushrooms much (if at all...) while majorly cleansing on the candida diet, but one portobello cap here or there isn't necessarily going to break you.

Yeah when I get strict, I can get
strict. I often blame it on my German descent (My father was born in Germany) :-X So there's a bit of a disciplinary mindset I can get on sometimes, depending on certain things...

I'd say so far I've gotten on such a great routine with myself that things are becoming more and more second nature. I craved sweets pretty strong tonight, but even when that happens I don't cave too hard (I just nibble on a little more almond butter here and there, or cashews and rice snaps.....) And I'll pour a tall glass of water and squeeze some lemon in to cut the sweet craving a little and help create a little alkalinity!

From here I'm envisioning it being easier to fast. I'd love to go as long as I comfortably can with just veggies and greens and beans/lentils, etc. I could make a big batch of lentil soup and then focus on all the veggies and greens around it.

Two things:
I'm in need of a couple more kale recipes. I know they're online EVERYWHERE, but I'd like to do a little more with kale to get more of it.

Secondly, I would like to find some sound advice on raw vs. cooked foods. Susan Weed (the herbalist I've mentioned throughout my blog) seems to find truth in the fact that cooking many veggies and greens (even just a little, braising, steaming lightly, etc) helps to break down the plant cells for much easier digestion. I don't know what the fine line is between breaking down the plant cells for digestion and cooking things too much and potentially killing the beneficial enzymes & nutrients.

Something tells me that might be a scientific study all to itself...... In the health food store I work at, we have a little library of health-related books, a couple of which are raw food based. And I keep trying to read into what "professional" people say about raw foods.... there are so many raw foodists who swear by it. I just don't know quite what to make of it! So for me, kale and chard and broccoli taste way better steamed for a short while..... so that's what I do. :-P

As for my studies on how candida diet affects the menstrual cycle, well I haven't quite been participating in the diet long enough for any kind of "results," but I do notice that the days right around the very middle of my cycle (right around ovulation) I become the most social during, compared to most other days through the cycle. That's pretty common, it's a special time for gals :-) I feel I've noticed the same thing in the past, too. I guess my main goal, as someone with a very abnormal cycle, is to see if things become any more regular... my cycles can be pretty off-the-wall sometimes, jumping from the shortest cycle I ever had (around 14 days!) to the longest one (36!) I know some women who go for months without a period.... at least mine is a semi-monthly event still, but it's just interesting how bodies are so different...

Well I guess I oughta head to bed now, thanks again for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment (or two!) sometime! I'd love to share stories, ideas, or info!


Monday, January 31, 2011

Candida Diet Weeks 3-4 Progress....

Well I'm already on Week 5 here! So talk about a chocolate addict.... I feel like one when I can count the days since my last chocolate consumption! Ta daaaaa, it's been exactly one month!!! *crowd goes wild* Hahah and what a day to celebrate such a feat... you see, it's absolutely a perk to work at a health food store for the easy access to such wholesome foods... But on the flip-side of the matter, we got in 3 BOXES OF ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE TODAY!!! And I priced them all by hand individually. HAHA cruel and unusual... but I'm quite proud of my progress and I didn't want to cave, so I'll be keeping away from that stuff for a little while longer yet, perhaps until I feel more rebalanced.

Weeks 3 and 4 were quite good weeks, as I learned a nice way to make miso soup, and I've been on a seaweed rampage adding it to as many things as I can! (It's not a strong flavor, I use these!)

They're wonderful and they don't have a very strong flavor, so I add them to a lot of things nowadays!

I've been keeping to at least one large salad a day, with avocado, pumpkin seeds, and either flax seeds/oil, or hemp seeds, and if I roast some red peppers in the oven, I'll chop up some of those to go in too! I've also used 1-4 cloves of garlic everyday in some form or another (usually 1-2 in the salad) And I've been making hummus at least once a week or so too, trying to get the best flavor (which has been a little challenging!) But I've been making roasted red pepper hummus, and it's pretty good!

I haven't had ANY fruit for at least 3 weeks. And my weakness remains brown rice snaps and raw almond butter a couple times a day! The rice snaps ingredients: "Brown rice, sesame seeds." The end. I don't feel too guilty about them! And I figure I eat enough almond butter that would be equivalent to about a handful or so of almonds per day... except creamy and rich!

Yogurt has been a semi-regular protein/calcium source through all weeks so far as well. I either go for the Redwood Hill Farm Goat Yogurt or the FAGE Greek yogurt. The goat yogurt is delicious and comes from a really conscientious farm, but I'm kind of yearning for organic raw goat yogurt... the real deal. The Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse, so that gets me through busy days or long between-times of meals. Sometimes I throw a small handful of cashews in with the yogurt if I really need a pick-me-up at work, but something tells me that's not the best food combining....

Before a double-job day or a long hike day, I'll start the morning off with an over-hard egg with steamed kale or chard or just raw spinach tossed in, with a little green onion to boot (and now kelp flakes!!)

And stir fry has been quite a delicious staple. I don't actually "fry" very much, except for the diced onion and sometimes zucchini or peppers. I take to steaming most things that go in the stir-fry though, like the broccoli or the kale or chard... and I've been keeping away from mushrooms for the time being too, as I read that candida/fungus would (perhaps obviously) like to feed on such things. Once everything's in the stir-fry pan, I sprinkle some dried miso from my miso soup packets on top, for a pleasant gluten-free + fermented soy flavoring. Haven't been using any carrot! And trying my whole self best to use lots of broccoli and leafy greens. I also have thrown in a small bit of fresh grated ginger too, dee-lish!

I made my first nettle infusion the other night! It turned out very brown in color though, compared to the bright green variations I've read about.... but I also read that since it isn't fresh-harvested nettle, and depending on the source of the dried nettle, it may turn out brown. Not sure what effect that has on the nutritional value of the infusion, but it does taste pretty good!

And still plugging away with a tall glass of Just Barley drink every morning.

I've somehow taken to doing some gentle nighttime yoga postures and some 'muscle toning' exercises too. Nothing very aerobic (since it's nighttime,) but it feels wonderful to stretch after the long day! I also like to stretch a bit in the morning now too... suppose I'm slowly adding the yoga element in now, too! I like elevating my feet for 5 or so minutes once or twice a day too, as I think I need to pay more attention to my legs/circulation, etc.

Really trying to build a healthy foundation that will just feel too good to stray from in the future!! So far I'd say it's working quite well!!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Candida Diet Weeks 3-4

Today I made my own miso soup, with Miso Master red miso paste, wakame seaweed, and a little chopped up green onion (though the recipe calls for scallion, but I do not have....)

It turned out great! I'm super excited about the more "genuine" batch than the packet type, though the packet type will do lovely for camping trips!

The deal with miso soup is that the soy used is fermented. Being fermented means it contains cultures (like yogurt or sauerkraut, etc) And they will help to replenish the gut flora.

I'm also learning more and more about minerals and sources of healthy minerals. Herbal infusions seem to offer some of the most potent amounts of minerals. Susan Weed (as I mentioned in the previous post) boasts quite a bit about the herb nettle. Also known as STINGING nettle. But, when the leaves are dried and prepared as a tea INFUSION (not just a hot tea, but set up to steep for at least 4 hours in a jar of boiled water) 8 oz. of such a concoction is said to have 500mg of calcium available for your body! So far I've only really been able to find information about that on Susan's site, which is fantastic! But I'd like to see if that's been mentioned elsewhere! I don't doubt that it is, at the very least, a terrific source of calcium. And I can't wait to get out to the co-op and pick up some dried nettle and have a go!

So I'm on Week 4, and can you believe I haven't had a pinch of chocolate, ice cream, cookies, or any kind of sweets! The closest I've had to a sweet is a small serving of rice pudding I got at India Garden with my mom the other day :-) (and it should be noted that for once I didn't even heap the pudding into 5 bowls and gulp it down like my life depended on it!!) I'm feeling pretty strong! And I feel like I have much less of a craving for sweets now, though the dark chocolate bars at my job still yell at me more often than I'd like! But I'm gonna go as long as I can, paying much attention to my body and what it says. Almond butter has been my "sweet," and all I use is raw almond butter, nothing added... just pure almonds ground into smooth amazingness :-)

Weight fluctuates through each day... usually weigh in around 121-122 in the morning and about 126 in the evening... I'm excited to see what changes when I start jogging again in the spring!

Would like to focus more on yoga. I've been doing several postures every other day or so, but I'd like to really work on a routine.

Well it's late and I should get to bed, but that's a quick update for ya! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seaweed for Health

So the Candida diet is still goin' strong... I'd like to still add more about the first couple weeks, but I'm on Week 4 as I type, and getting more creative and feeling good in many ways.

My latest ventures: miso soup & seaweed. There's Wakame seaweed IN the miso soup I've been making, and it got my wheels turning... check out this article from Susan Weed, a renowned herbalist (who I *WILL* someday study under!)

And here:


Excerpted from the text
“Healing Wise - A Wise Woman’s Herbal”

by Susun Weed


Seaweed is an everyday miracle. The benefits of including seaweed’s optimum nourishment into your daily diet are extensive: increased longevity, enhanced immune functioning, revitalization of the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, and nervous systems, and relief from minor aches and pains. No wonder seaweed has been part of the traditional diet of all coastal cultures, including the people of Japan, Korea, China, Iceland, Denmark, Wales, Scotland, Hawaii, and the South Pacific Islands, and all the people who had trading contacts with the coastal cultures.

All seaweeds are high in fiber. Those in the brown family supply large amounts of algin as well. Each seaweed contains a wide range of essential nutrients, including enzymes, nucleic acids, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, and A, B, C, D, E, and K vitamin complexes. Seaweeds offer us zest for life and the perfect medium for electrical nerve flow.

Benefits from a wise woman alliance with seaweed - glossier hair, more luminous skin, less digestive distress, renewed energy and stamina, rekindled sexual desires, and reawakened delight in life - will be noticeable in about 13 weeks.


Seaweed is an ally with lots of heart. Dancing, singing seaweed strengthens circulation, balances blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, builds healthy blood, increases the veins and hearts contractile force, restores and increases cardiac efficiency, nourishes and prolongs the life of the heart muscle, and encourages rhythmical working of the heart in all its aspects: physical, emotional, and inspirational.

How can weeds with so much sodium (we all know salt raises blood pressure) be good for the heart and even hypotensive - that is, capable of lowering blood pressure~


Sodium is not to blame for high blood pressure. Sodium chloride may be. Table salt may be. But table salt contains sugar, aluminum salts, and several other agents as well as sodium chloride. This is an unnatural salt solution and one that creates cardiovascular stress. The naturally occurring sodium in seaweeds (and garden weeds) bathes the inner being with rich salty nourishment, like the amniotic fluid of our original home. This sodium relieves tension in blood vessels made brittle by immersion in the wrong saline solution, table salt. (Note that commercial sea salt is usually as full of free flowing agents and other addenda as commercial table salt. Real evaporated seawater salt is pinkish in color. As usual, if it’s white, you can’t trust it.)

Seaweed is a wonderful green ally to use with other Wise Woman ways when healing those with problems of the heart and circulation including atherosclerosis, hypertension, chilly extremities, varicosities, heart infections, repressed feelings, and self blame.


Daily use of seaweed provides optimum nourishment for the hormonal, lymphatic, urinary, and nervous systems. The hormonal system uses minerals and trace elements so richly available from seaweed to repair tissue, build new cells, and create hormones responsible for regulating blood pressure, metabolism, fertility, sexuality, and reaction to allergens, to name but a few.

The lymphatic and immune systems are avid partakers of seaweed’s splendid feast of nutrients. Combined with this optimum nourishment, the communication enhancing effects of seaweed further enhance response time and strength in the immune system. This reduces opportunist bacterial and viral infections and helps prolong youth and vitality, not to mention joy and ease in life.

The urinary system gets a special boost from seaweed’s seeming excess of potassium and sodium. Those with cystitis, kidney weakness, gout diabetic kidney ills, and bladder weakness find health / wholeness / holiness with seaweed and Wise Woman Ways.

The nervous system relaxes in the presence of seaweed’s mineral abundance. Seaweed creates an inner environment where nerve signals flow more smoothly and where brain chemicals are produced as needed: to maintain alertness, increase memory, reduce pain, and provide a sense of buoyant bliss. (Envision the head sized floats of kelp bobbing on a gently undulating sea.)


Seaweed provides a multitude of gifts to the digestive system: soothing, disinfecting, and nourishing distressed surfaces, helping out with the metabolism of lipids, and maintaining a healthy balance of digestive yeasts and bacteria in the intestines.

Seaweed is an exceptional ally to the wise woman healing those with gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, ulcerated colon, colitis, constipation, watery stools, and other intestinal ills, thanks to its bio-available nourishment, high algin content, mucilaginous fiber, and rhythmical resonation.


Seaweed flows and shifts like the energy of a woman. Saline solutions of ocean and uterus rock in rhythm. Pulses of tide, menstruation, heartbeat, and fertility join seaweeds and wombs. Nourishing breast milk merges with waves of green fronds.

Seaweed eaten daily is a powerful ally to a wise woman for, prevention and healing herself or others with osteoporosis, breast cancer, mastitis, uterine cancer, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cancer, fibroids, ovarian cysts, infertility, fibro-cystic breast distress, and pre-menstrual / menopausal problems such as water retention, emotional freak-outs, chills and hot flashes, fatigue, lack of lubrication, loss of calcium and general irritability.


By providing optimum nourishment to the thyroid, helping to regulate metabolism, and increasing the effectiveness of the digestive system, seaweed helps you get in shape and stay that way.


~ Protective - anti-radiation, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-toxic, anti-rheumatic, antibiotic, antibacterial, alterative.

~ Nutritive - trace mineral supplement, cardio-tonic, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac.

~ Mucilaginous - Emollient, demulcent, aperient, anti-constipative, diuretic.

~ Anti-stress- Analgesic, calmative, anti-pyretic.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Candida Diet, Weeks 1-2

For anyone catching up, my previous post explains candida and the candida diet. I would also like to re-plug for it's exceptional library of information and protocols. It's given me the biggest shove to do this thing!

Tomorrow marks the end of Week 2!

I should say, the candida diet.... it's not 100% only for people struggling with candida. It truly is a very, very healthy regimen to follow, regardless of health issues, and may even prove beneficial to
preventing major health issues in the future. It's about the most well-rounded "diet" that I've heard of, and you don't have to be vegan or vegetarian or any-which-way to use it as a general guideline for staying healthy. It mostly just eliminates excess carbs, unhealthy fats, and unhealthy food in general.

It reintroduces LIVE enzymes that do numerous positive things for your systems, and can shed dangerous toxins from your organs and bloodstream, like heavy metals (ie mercury fillings, cadmium from cigarette smoke, etc..), free radicals... and it can give you back energy you may have thought was lost for good.

So anyhow, I suppose this is my first post of my own personal experience with this beast!

First thing's first: I AM TAKING THINGS SLOWLY. One thing I have learned about many of Life's rewards is this one key ingredient. You guessed it! THYME THYME AND MORE THYME! Going slowly allows me to adjust and has TOTALLY kept me from giving in and binging on sweets and carbs like I may or may not have been known to do in past trials :-X You always read that you can't lose very much weight very quickly, as it's mostly water anyway; and (for me, at least) I'm more likely to quickly revert back to old diet habits and patterns. But with a little fitness finesse (including copious amounts of thyme!), you really really can build-your-own healthy lifestyle, minus abrupt binges, mood swings, self-criticism, and discomfort. Of course weight loss is a part of my goal too, but I know that it will happen naturally as I slowly maintain a snail's pace of not eating such huge portions, and not eating anything INXS! For now, I find contentment in the 3-5 pounds that don't show up on the scale during the times when I hop on :-) Little by little....

This isn't going to be a day-by-day potentially boring account of my experience, but I *will* begin the writings with my very first day. The first day (or two) of a serious cleanse, you really should try to have the day off from strenuous or stressful activities (ie work or other challenging activities) And things like yoga and meditation can be invaluable.

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, I started my morning with a tall glass of distilled water with a powdered raw green juice mix called Just Barley..... it's barley that's been freeze-dried (or somehow formulated) into a powder, without using any heat to do so, thereby keeping it RAW. Raw barley is EXTREMELY comparable nutritionally to wheatgrass juice, if you're familiar. Wheatgrass is usually offered at most places that make fresh smoothies (a "wheatgrass shot").

Here is the Just Barley website that gives a lovely description:

And here is a third-party semi nutritional analysis of the nutrients that Just Barley delivers. I say "semi," because it's not a full breakdown of just how much of each vitamin/mineral/enzyme is actually in a serving. But man it mentions a study of barley inhibiting cancer growth, amongst lots of other helpful info. It's not long either, just a few paragraphs... go!!!

Several hours after my morning barley beverage, I went for a salad of organic baby lettuces, some carrot, raw pumpkin seeds, avocado, slices of granny smith apple, and maybe a tablespoon of garlic olive oil. (*all ingredients organic, except the avocado, which is generally known to test negative for pesticide residues.) There is some substance in pumpkin seeds known to kill off any parasites in the intestines. And garlic kills yeast AND parasites. The granny smith apple isn't technically supposed to be in the first stage of the diet, but that's what going slow is all about! They are, however, recommended for the second stage and beyond as one of the less-sugary fruits you can reintroduce into your diet. (I"ve since weaned myself off of the granny smith apples... didn't want to waste 'em!) The pumpkin seeds, avocado, and olive oil can all be beneficial fats. I say "can be" because they're best if they are raw. Not roasted and/or salted seeds, and olive oil doesn't have the highest heat tolerance before it starts breaking down and really shouldn't be used for hot cooking. It's great for you right out of the bottle though! (not that I'd recommend chugging it!) Key point being: these are not fats to be afraid of. Your body is going to tear into them and use them to build healthy brain, heart, and other tissue. They're not hydrogenated, so they won't morph your cells into unknown shapes and sizes.

I was hoping I could get away with the barley and the salad, but come evening my stomach was rumbling, and I had indeed developed a mild headache. I absolutely have to add that this was the mildest headache I ever experienced on any type of fast I've ever done. I did one last winter and actually threw up the following morning and had a pretty rough headache the night before. The body has toxins in it... it just does.... But that was last year. It's another reason I decided to ease into it this time around. I did begin to actually have a couple dizzy spells this time, which kind of freaked me out. So for easiness sake, come suppertime this year, I made a frozen organic Cascadian Farm broccoli & carrot meal heated on the stove, which has a light spiced sauce on it. That helped settle the stomach. But I was still a tad dizzy, and I didn't want to play too rough with my blood sugar, so I opted for a half of a container of Fage greek yogurt (just plain), packing some serious protein heat, guaranteed to slow the blood sugar down if that were the issue. I also layed down to allow the bloodflow a bit more ease to my head. That did indeed resolve things. Oh and lots of water!

So that was day 1, and I had a bit of a tough time sleeping very well through the night. I've narrowed down the cause for that though, and it's mainly that I haven't yet mastered my mind and shutting it off when it's not needed. When I don't shut it off, it tends to lean toward hypochondriac mode from time to time and will get carried away with thoughts of health and concerns..... Mantra mantra mantra! I wouldn't doubt that my body was also in an un-easy state, as all of the raw foods I'd consumed through the day and the barley juice all detox the body's organs. That's one of the causes of headaches and vomiting and nausea the first day or so of a cleanse. It's kind of a catch-22, or a "necessary evil," as far as I know. So these detoxing substances go into your body and they start detaching stored-up toxins in your organs and bloodstream. These toxins are now "freed up" from their stored positions, and if they're not already in the bloodstream, they make their way into it (or into the other elimination routes...) And so you're basically just "shaking things up" a bit! Add to that action the fact that you're not eating a huge breakfast or lunch or dinner like you're used to, you're trying to stay focused on your goal for health, and you've got a recipe for a bit of a "shocked" feeling, for sure.

A huge part of this process is drinking enough water and ridding your body of these toxins. It's great that you're loosening up the bad stuff in your system, but it's equally as important to clear them out as soon as is possible so they're not free-floating around... Lots of fiber is extremely important now. And fiber will not work if you don't follow it up with sufficient amounts of water. Water allows it to do what it does, and without enough water, any fiber you take will likely just "bulk up" and not go anywhere at all! It's another reason healthy oils are important, as they help the fiber and wastes, you know, get moving. If you're having any trouble "eliminating," there are a number of inexpensive herbal laxatives on the market. I always thought flaxseed was the best fiber known to man, but it wasn't doing a thing for me this time.
You would think more vegetables and water would naturally = regularity, ftw? But all I can think is that my body is used to much larger amounts of food moving through my system, so I don't think it's triggered to take action with the much lesser amount of food I've been consuming.... If you find any similar issues, I recommend Renew Life's "CleanseMore" caps, taken before bed. Or a product called "Swiss Kriss," or an Ayurvedic herbal blend called "triphala." (Might sound weird, but it's quite popular in health circles.) Still need lots of water. Ah, health food talk.....

Well, you can definitely take cleansing even slower than all that, if it's going to put you at a pace for success. Start with one huge salad a day, with the rest of your meals about the same as usual. And you can go through the process step by step... I'm going slower this time, but I still had to bite the bullet on the first day to set my pace.

I suppose I will leave off here, before I write myself a book, but these posts may be pouring out more often than weekly or bi-weekly! I will likely write more tomorrow!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Candida Diet Explained

So.... what is "candida" anyway? Do you mean Canadia? The candida diet isn't all that popular (even in the world of a health food store and its vast number of visitors!) I'm going to sum its unpopularity up as having one main reason: it's a really strict diet and requires some lifestyle changes. Then there are sub-causes, like the overwhelming unavailability of proper foods to eat publicly while on it (though I'm sure learning and finding more as I go!) A second sub-cause is that people are very unaware of it. And I'll even branch out to say a third cause is people (like myself) who are fully aware of it and are well-equipped (knowledgeably) to carry it out........... but don't... because it's hard.
(Sub-cause #4 is that alcohol feeds the fungus, and haulting drinking isn't at the top of most peoples' agendas....) I WOULD LIKE TO ADD: You do not have to become vegetarian to follow the candida diet. As a matter of fact, it's much easier if you aren't. That being said, I give you.......*drum roll*..... Candida Albicans Unmasked:

Candida Albicans is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that is the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, to joint pain and gas.

The Candida yeast is a part of the gut flora, a group of microorganisms that live in your mouth and intestine. When the Candida population starts getting out of control it weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating through into the bloodstream and spreading throughout the body.

As it spreads it produces toxic by-products that cause damage to your body tissues and organs, wreaking havoc on your immune system. The major waste product of yeast cell activity is Acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Acetaldehyde is also converted by the liver into ethanol (drinking alcohol). Some people even report feeling a drunk or hungover feeling along with debilitating fatigue from the high amounts of ethanol is their system.

Do You Have Candida?

Everyone has Candida, and a significant proportion of us may have Candidiasis, or an overgrowth of Candida. Candida starts to cause trouble when there is some change in your body that allows it to overgrow. This change could be anything from a few courses of antibiotics, a prolonged diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar, or even something as common as a lengthy period of stress at work.

So it's a tough call. The symptoms are so wide-ranging that Candidiasis can be misdiagnosed easier than it can even be diagnosed! How do you know if you have Candidiasis? Well, there are tests you can take (at-home), or there's always monitoring your body. Here's a little list of common symptoms, though note that these aren't always caused by Candida alone. There may be underlying issues.


-mood swings/depression


-arthritis/joint pain

-recurring illness (colds, flu, stomach bugs...)


-troubled skin/hair/nails (including inexplainable rashes/spots/blotches on the skin that can be pink, red/brown, or white)

-nail fungus


-yeast infections

And that's the short list!!! It's common that most people might only think that females get it, as a yeast infection is the most well-known form of Candidiasis. But it can take many other forms in men, too. But to the ladies, I will say, by committing to the proper diet and treating the overgrowth, you will never have another yeast infection again! (unless you let things get out of hand in the future.....) I'm also experimenting on its effect on period regularity.

So now that we've covered a bit of what candida is, I'll explain the diet a bit.

*Disclaimer: This diet should preferably be a firmly-rooted commitment. This may become a total lifestyle change, if you find success. It is best to take your time, and that can mean you may even want to stick things out for the better part of one year.

I hope that doesn't make you stop reading. It's taken me several years to finally arrive at the point in my life when I'm ready for the "real deal." I've done 3-4 "candida cleanses" over the span of the last 5 years, and they were a month long each. I used the brand Renew Life's "Candida Cleanse" kit each time, and adjusted my diet to their guidelines. These work great, I felt wonderful, I noticed beneficial changes.... but I never committed to maintaining the routine. But each time I cleansed, I learned something new, whether it was a new recipe, a new mental approach, or a new fact as to why it was beneficial. I would strongly suggest a month-long cleanse of some sort to anyone approaching this diet. It will give you a window with which to view the basic scheme of things.

Step 1 is detoxing & killing the overgrowth. Step 1 can be a very difficult (but extremely rewarding) rite-of-passage into the success of healing your body. It's the step that will actually starve the yeast/fungus of all that it feeds on. This does not mean you have to starve your body! And there are many ways to achieve this step successfully. Want to know an easy way? Do a yeast cleanse like I mentioned above for one month, following it as strictly as you can. It gets a little grey in step 1, as there are so many approaches. Some websites & practitioners go so far as to recommend colonics (colon cleansing). My opinion? I wouldn't think someone would need to go that far unless they were a.)diagnosed with any severe disease(s), b.)severely overweight (a lot of "weight" is stored in the colon as broken-down matter from things you digest, or c.)if you are very regulary irregular (hahah sorry I love word-play) In other words, if constipation is a common issue in your life. If you already have a severe digestive disorder, colonics may not be for you. Your doctor should very likely be able to make that call, and if he/she can't, I think the colonic practitioners know enough about it to inform you.

The toughest part about Step 1 is creating new food habits. I give a link further down that offers FULLY-LOADED lists of foods to avoid and foods to consume. The second-toughest part is going through the "detox" bit. It, to me, seems to have many similarities to what people might go through when quitting smoking or actual drug detox. Thankfully, most of these symptoms seem to only hang around the first 24 hours or so. If they stick around for longer, it generally just means your body really needed the purge. Of course if you're on medications or really struggling, you'll want to be careful. Don't hurt yourself! But "hurt" is a different threshold for many, and many people are quickly defeated. I personally generally suffer a headache through the first day that subsides by the next day. More on that in my future posts of my experiences. You may get cravings for the things you are avoiding, you may be moody, you may be tired, you may become nauseous, etc. I can't stress enough that these are very common reactions. Our diets are poor. We don't eat enough fresh foods, and we drink, smoke, or eat fast foods far too often.

Step 2 is repopulating the good bacteria in your gut. You'd be staying on the strict diet here, but you can opt to reintroduce some foods that you avoided in Step 1. Another word for "good bacteria" is "probiotics." You've all likely heard of "ANTI-biotics." These save lives. They wipe out disease in ways we've never experienced before.... but they take all the "good guys" too! "Anti-Biotic" litereally means "anti-life." That's great when it means "anti-life of deathly diseases in my body," but it's horrible when it means "oops now all of my good bacteria was taken down too, and I have no immune system!!" Sad but true. So, yogurt is likely the first thing that comes to mind here. You know how some doctors tell you to eat yogurt when taking antibiotics? ....did they ever explain why? Yogurt is known to have "cultures" (probiotics) in it, naturally. And that's a good start. But the amount of probiotics in yogurt is tiny, compared to the amounts supplied in capsules that you can buy. You can take probiotics in Step 1 also, they really can't hurt you. If you're lactose-intolerant, you may want to watch that the probiotics you go to purchase are totally free of dairy. Oh and just a suggestion, you might not want to go to a GNC or Walgreens. You can get the real deal at a health food store.

Step 3 is just keeping up with the general rif-raf of the whole thing. Keep avoiding bad foods, eat lots of better-quality foods, and you can even continue taking probiotics just to keep things in check (esp. if you "cheat" a bit later on down the road and eat something really unhealthy.

For a way more in-depth description, check out this wicked site that I recently found: It explains just about EVERYTHING!

You'll notice I changed the Steps 1, 2, & 3 around to my liking, because their "1" and "2" are basically the same thing.

Well! I think I've covered most of the basic explanations. It's really easy for me to "over-explain" things; I don't like to leave people guessing, and communication is important to me. If you find yourself reading this and have ANY QUESTIONS, please leave a comment that you've got a question (or more!), and I will contact you right away to help out!!

I will now be posting a weekly or bi-weekly blog charting and tracking my progress with the chosen course of following this diet! I'm excited about this and hope that it will even help my personal progress as something to keep me on track. Thanks so much for reading! I really truly hope it helps, even if only in educating people about their health.