Friday, May 24, 2013

Anti-Candida Diet

I've spent the last 3 years with some sort of an excuse as to why I can't detox.  "I've got a heavy training load", "I'm pregnant", "I'm nursing", etc.  All good excuses, but I am finally fed up with my daily symptoms and am ready and willing to take action.  While I am still nursing Tessa, she is old enough that I'm not worried about my slight change in diet effecting her.  When it comes down to it, the restrictions are really not that dissimilar to my normal diet; it's the damn sugar!!  (fruit, sweet potato, brown rice, chocolate, ugh)

So let's go back a minute.  We already know that I have multiple food allergies and sensitivities: dairy, gluten, soy, amaranth, quinoa, and tapioca.  These were discovered 3 years ago, and for the most part have been strictly eliminated with the occasional "cheat" if you will.  Last month I was tested on a more broad spectrum food allergy test as my digestive and energy symptoms were getting the best of me.  I was missing something.  What came back?  Allergy to almonds and flaxseeds, and moderate Candida overgrowth!!  I have spent the last 3 years substituting flaxseeds for eggs in my baking recipes, and doing A LOT of almond flour baking, not to mention almond butter, and almond milk.  You should learn from my experience that too much of a good thing can be bad.  Just because almonds are healthy doesn't make you immune to developing an allergy to them, especially in the perfect storm of a compromised digestive system.  Very telling, and glad I had some explanation, but was reluctant to begin an Anti-Candida Diet.  It took me a month to get to finally commit to doing this! 

Candida albicans is naturally found in small non-harmful amounts among your digestive flora; but should you have an overgrowth of this "bad" bacteria it can cause a myriad of unpleasant symptoms as well as increased food sensitivities.  Candida, like all bacteria, feed on sugar.  Thus, treating and balancing candida in your gut involves a VERY strict diet, with the main no-no being sugar of any kind.

There are multiple web resources available, and they are all slightly different as far as what you can and can't have.  Like some include corn and carrots, others do not.  But what you're looking at is non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, small amounts of healthy fat, fermented veggies, sea veggies, and small amounts of a few select grains (which I have mixed feelings about).  Sounds pretty simple and straight forward right?

Here's an example of what my daily intake has looked like:
6am: 16 oz water
          3g fish oil
          6,000IU vit D
          Proglyco (B vitamins-blood sugar stabilizer)
7am: Kale sauteed in 1 tsp coconut oil, 3 slices deli turkey w sauerkraut
         Dandelion tea
11am: 1/2 an avocado w sea salt
1pm: Raw salad of chard, celery, carrots, cilantro, ginger, & wakame
         small serving of salmon
         cup of mint tea
3:3pm: more raw salad w sauerkraut
            small serving of millet
6pm: Broccoli sauteed in ghee, grilled chicken breast, & half corn on the cob
         Water, water, water!
8pm: 1 scoop coconut butter
         cup of cinnamon tea

It doesn't sound that bad, but for a nursing, working, mom/athlete, it's quite a bit less than I'm used to!  I'm on day 3 and I'm definitely having detox symptoms; but I know it's worth it, and I know I need it.  I'm lethargic, have a slight headache, very weak & tired, and definitely can not exercise.  But I've committed to it, and will be going strong for the next 3 weeks.  Wish me luck! 

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