Wednesday, July 20, 2011
So, after doing a bunch of research on some symptoms I've been having, and then further researching the diagnosis (and reading several people's personal experiences), I've come to conclude that I have Candida overgrowth.
Candida is a type of yeast found in everybody's gut, and it aids in digestion. However, for a lot of people, depending on their diet and health, they can suffer Candida overgrowth. When candida overgrows, the environment in your gut becomes unbalanced. You can get leaky gut syndrome (from when the candida perforates your intestines), as well as psoriasis, itchy skin, irritability and mood swings, intense sugar cravings, headaches and shaking and/or cold sweats when hungry, dizzyness, and a whole bunch of other things.
There's no easy pill (but to be honest, no pill is easy--or even healthy) or medicine for this. Candida overgrowth (also known as Candidiasis) is a condition that can only be fixed with a combination of healthy lifestyle practices, lowering stress levels, and a drastic change in diet.
And boy do I mean drastic.
There are 3 main stages (or phases) of what's called an Anti-Candida Diet. In stage 1, you pretty much avoid anything that can compromise the sanctity of your gut and, in essence, your immune system. And, in order to starve the Candida, you don't put anything in your body that it will feed on. This means pretty much none of any of these: dairy, grains, fruits, sugar, molds, fungus, vinegar. And I've heard mixed reports on whether or not carrots or fermented foods are okay.
You're pretty much left with most vegetables (except potatoes and certain root vegetables), SOME nuts (they are high in mold, but there are methods to reduce the mold, like soaking nuts), lean meats and poultry, fish, and (my recent palate saver) STEVIA. The candida can't/don't feed off of stevia. Yay! Also alternative flours like coconut flour... some people say that certain grains like buckwheat, quinoa, and brown rice are okay in severe moderation. Others say just simple moderation.
Basically, meals are comprised of MOSTLY vegetables, followed by lean meats, fish, and poultry.
So, that's how I've been eating for the past few weeks or so. Except, at first, I wasn't eating any meat either, because I was trying to do the Anti-Candida combined with the Type A Blood Type Diet... which says no red meat, and barely any poultry. So I was eating a whole bunch of veggies and tofu... and that's pretty much it. But eating that much tofu isn't good for you either. And although the Blood Type Diet is a great guide (most of the things it says I can't eat follow right in line with the Anti-Candida diet--like not eating wheat) I really had to incorporate more protein sources in my diet.
Along with the drastic change in my daily diet, I'm also being more aggressive with my daily vitamin, and making sure I don't forget it, along with a fish oil capsule, and a grapefruit seed extract pill (it's a great antiseptic and antifungal). These three things I take every morning along with a probiotic and some green juice (or a green smoothie, depending on my mood) before my morning workout, which is followed by breakfast. After dinner, I take another grapefruit seed extract pill, vitamin C (which is not only a great little healer, but also good for combating sugar cravings, because the molecular structure is similar to that of sugar--or so says my internet research), a calcium/magnesium/zinc pill, and a garlic oil pill (because garlic is another great natural antiseptic).
I'm also making sure to exercise every day, even if I only have time for 10 minutes, I do it, and make those 10 minutes count. Although I have to admit that I do feel discouraged if I do anything less than an hour. But I have to remind myself that it's the quality that counts, not the quantity! And also that the more stress I have, exercise won't help anyway. I also make sure to do some type of yoga and meditation to center and calm myself, because I'm always stressed out.
Also, I pretty much have to make all of my food myself, along with special condiments (like "liquid aminos" instead of soy sauce; "stevia" instead of... pretty much any other sweetener, because ALL of the other ones feed the candida, including splenda, honeys, and agave nectar; and even creating my own homemade mayonnaise the other day for deviled eggs.
But I really like the fact that I'm in the kitchen cooking more. It's a great challenge, and something hands-on for me to do, and it even relieves stress--well, after I get past the "OMG why didn't anybody clean up their mess in here?! WTF is this and that and this so hard to find in the over-stuffed fridge?!?! And WHY didn't anybody wash the pans after they used them??" moments. Then it's all good after I clear everything up, and really start getting into preparing the dish.
I also find myself eating new things--like turnips! The other day I make herbed turkey meatballs (curtesy of a recipe from Affairsofliving.com), with baked asparagus spears (also from Affairsofliving.com) and mashed turnips (from TheCandidaDiet.com).
So, basically (GOSH I've talked long! If you've read this far... thank you, and sorry!) I'm on a road to health. :3 Eating healthy, repairing my immune system and digestive system, staying away from foods that will make me sick, and losing weight! I'm also hoping to clear up a lot of issues I have, like scalp psoriasis, asthma, and vertigo.
OH! And I forgot to mention... that I've already lost 10 pounds in a week. :D
Probably since my gut is healing, my body is actually getting the nutrients and vitamins I put into it now, and doesn't feel the need to stress, freak out, and hold on to fat to supplement.
Well, will post again~