Friends, I realize it’s been a while since I last posted, but I have been busy the last few weeks.
My littles started school again, most of our extra curriculars are well underway and I’ve delved into a new approach to some non life-threatening, but annoying health issues.
In an attempt to share what I’ve learned and provide myself a little “written word” therapy, I’ve decided to share this journey with readers. I realize it’s not really fashion related, but it is definitely lifestyle related.
So to jump in… My youngest son just turned two this summer. When he was six months old, I was still nursing him and sadly, he developed thrush – a yeast infection in his mouth. And I developed Mastitis. If you aren’t familiar with Mastitis, it’s a fairly common yeast infection nursing mothers get on their breasts. It’s painful for mom and uncomfortable at best for baby. It was awful and hard to get rid of.
Fast forward a few months and I began suffering from terrible sinus colds, migraines, mood swings, yeast infections and I also got strep throat two times in less than a year – something I hadn’t had in my entire life. I was the girl that called in sick once to work in three years! What was going on with me?
I had a battery of tests done with my OB/GYN that revealed nothing out of the ordinary. She did urge me to eat less sugar, cut back on alcohol consumption and make sure to change out of my gym clothes right after working out. The changing clothes was the easiest part of this prescription. I wasn’t drinking much anymore because generally after one drink, I had a splitting headache – it was almost like a had a hangover before even going home for the night!
Cut out sugar in my diet? That was something I wasn’t good at – or did much of anyway. I used to be one of those people that preferred salt over sugar any day. Potato chips, french fries, peanuts, popcorn – those were my downfalls. Then I got pregnant. All I wanted were chocolate chip cookies and ice cream! Fast forward nine years, three babies and a host of awful symptoms and I realized virtually everything I ate had either a lot or a little sugar in it – mostly the latter.
One day I “Googled” (still makes me laugh that this is a verb!) “Are yeast infections and sinus infections related?” Only about 1.2 million results popped up. So I’m on to something then? In seconds I stumbled upon a quiz that would predict what I was almost sure of by this point. Zero to three points said, “Not likely.” A score of three to six points said, “It’s possible.” A score of six to nine points said, “Infection likely.” My score was 15.
I am now 99.9% sure that I have a serious Candida overgrowth in my body causing chronic sinusitis and yeast infections. What’s worse? I have a hunch that the overgrowth of Candida (yeast) is damaging the walls of my stomach causing “Leaky Gut” syndrome. All the toxins that are getting through the walls of my stomach are likely causing other issues like anxiety, mild depression and G.I. irregularity – all symptoms I have been blaming on age and crazy hormones for years.
So now what?
I stumbled upon an eBook written by Lisa Richards (she has a host of credentials I won’t go into, but you can look her up here) called the “Ultimate Candida Diet Program.” I chose and purchased this particular book and received a recipe guide, herbal supplement guide and shopping list because I thought it would make the giving-up-the-sugar process easier.
I knew when I was reading the book that this wasn’t going to be easy, but that I couldn’t keep waking up with dabilitating headaches or treating chronic sinus infections with antibiotics that were actually making the overgrowth worse anyway creating a vicious cycle.
The only way to really get to the bottom of this was to try to get rid of the overgrowth of yeast and see if my health and ailments would improve.
To date, I have been on the Candida Diet for 7 days. I’ll be totally honest when I say that it sucks. I am lazy when it comes to preparing meals. I hate preparing meals and that’s pretty much all I’ve done for the last week – that and all the cleanup!
I grocery shop like I’m Europen because you always need fresh, organic produce on hand. Distilled water and mounds of lemons are also necessary for the first week, which is the “detox” week or Phase 1. There is no greater hell, if you ask me.
Richards recommends a seven-day detox consisting of a water, lemon, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper drink three times per day and nothing but green vegetables and two eggs per day. She also says that only one meal per day should be cooked. So raw or steamed green veggies are the options.
I’ve never in my life thought about white birthday cake with inches of buttercream frosting or Smashburgers more! “How can I do this for seven days?” I thought. Every. Waking. Minute.
But here I am, seven days later and 6.8 lbs lighter. I won’t say that I was perfect this week. I ate a teeny bite of my son’s toasted waffle with cinnamon and sugar on it one morning. I also had a longtime lunch date with a girlfriend and had to choose the closest possible thing on the menu to my regimen – which after much research turned out not to be the best thing.
The actual Phase 1 part of the diet was just too restrictive for me to stick to for seven days so I proceeded with a few ingredients from the Phase 2. It turns out the detox is not absolutely necessary, but recommended for faster eradication of the yeast. It made me feel a little better that I actually managed it for three whole days (a lifetime!)
I can’t say I feel altogether fabulous like one would think when you’re eating all green veggies and detoxifying “water.” Apparently, I’m likely suffering from something called “Candida Die Off” – I can only describe it as having the aches, pains and same general lethargy as having the flu but without the vomiting – although a little nausea has been an issue a few mornings. However, this was all explained in the book and there are herbal supplements that can help with the intensity of those symptoms.
I’m hoping over the next week or so, I’ll start feeling the real effects of my new clean eating/no sugar approach. We all know that clean eating can be highly beneficial – and virtually impossible in our world of fast food and pre-packaged everything. But I’ll keep you updated on my progress in much shorter posts, hopefully, moving forward.
Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments you may have. I’m certainly not a doctor, a nutritionist or a healthcare expert by any means, but I can share with you my opinions on what I’ve learned or tried personally.
And if you hate this post, sorry. I’ll be back to more fashion and pretty lifestyle posts once my littlest starts preschool next week.
Ciao for now!