Clean Eating Continued…

Hi friends! Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I started this new “diet.” I know you’re supposed to call it “a way of life,” but who are we kidding? Restricted food choices always mean diet to me.

With that said, I did a ton of reading, watching and discussing the situation with friends. Once I posted the last blog, so many people responded to offer support or to share that they’d had some of the same struggles. One friend PM’d to say that she’d been experiencing exactly what I was going through. Her message came at the perfect time too, because I was in the throes of the “die off” portion of the detox and felt like I got hit by a truck. I kept thinking, “How can I keep doing this?” And then, “How can I not?”

She let me know that she had found a great supplement for cleansing your gut and also a probiotic to keep all the good flora good. (If you want more info on  that, let me know in the comments.) Anyway, I promptly ordered the supplement and started taking it – still am. Because she is seemingly on the other side of it, it gave me the boost of hope that I needed to get through the next few days of ass-dragging torture.

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And by total accident, I stumbled across the documentary by and about Joe Cross. It’s called “Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead.” I would highly recommend you give it a watch (it’s on Netflix.) I ended up watching it once by accident and again that afternoon on purpose. Joe shared how his lifestyle of excess had left him with too much extra weight, an autoimmune condition and an insane daily pharmaceutical regimen.

I decided after watching the movie to invest in a blender/juicer that would make eating nothing but veggies a lot more tolerable and as luck would have it, a lot more delicious. I also created a Pinterest board with recipes for tasty clean eating that is Candida-diet friendly – take a look!

And then last Thursday I woke up at 1:20am with a seriously awful case of the stomach flu. I couldn’t sleep, eat OR stay out of the bathroom! As luck would have it, I was supposed to leave for a trip home to Southern California and felt awful. I slept most of the day and had to break the diet to get some saltine crackers into my system so that I could also take a migraine med because I had a splitting headache to top it off!

Fast forward about 12 hours and I woke up early for my 6:45am flight feeling UH-MAZING! No headaches, no nausea and better yet, a totally clear head. I bounced out of bed at 5:00 (I refuse to get up in the 5’s for any other reason than a flight!) and headed for the airport.

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Now I’m not sure if it was being alone with my adorable husband for the weekend, not having any responsibilities for 72 hours, the fact that we were breathing in the salt air of Laguna Beach where I spent many of my younger days or the fact that I cut sugar and yeast out of my diet, but I felt great all weekend.

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I’m back to clean eating this week – hoping my weekend doesn’t contribute to any backslides with my health issues. But if it does, it does. All I know is I’m sleeping better, I’ve lost another 3.8 lbs, my head is clearer, I don’t have the sugar-induced crashes or cravings and I feel good about what I’m putting in my body.

Despite the fact that I had a few cocktails and normal meals that included an ahi poke with won ton chips, stuffed jalapeños and Eggs Benedict over the weekend, I’m still feeling pretty damn good. What more can I ask for?

Stay tuned…

Ciao for now!

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Candida, Clean Eating and Catharsis

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.

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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!