Sugar – A Sugar By Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet…

April 24, 2012, Day 24: Okay, so you know how I mentioned that “21 days to adopt a new habit”  thing, right? Well, let’s just say, this no longer feels like a “cleanse” or “diet”  and feels more like a new way of life. I have easily (well, maybe somewhat challenging at first) taken to omitting yeast, gluten, sugar and corn. I feel lighter, have never had a flatter belly and feel much more clear headed and driven. I admit, I am not perfect, but I am doing the very best that I know how to do and that seems to be working for me.

This week has been a very “connected” week so far and a lot of “divine intervention” type things have happened. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say, I was a reassured that I am in the right place and that I am reaching people who need to be reached. This experience is obviously for my health first and foremost, but I share it with all of you so that you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and anyone who wants to commit to changing their food choices, can and will feel and live better. That, I guarantee.

I still miss my bananas, but I am telling you Stevita makes all my sweet dreams come true! I feel like I can make anything now and won’t feel deprived. I have to admit, my tastes have changed though. I don’t crave sweet as much. I love that! It’s like escaping from prison (not that I would know what that would feel like)!! It’s like I have broken a cycle and have said to sugar (pardon the expression, but), “Sugar, I am no longer your b*tch!”. Feels pretty darned empowering! 🙂

So I ask you, do you think that omitting sugar from your diet is even remotely possible? First off, do you even know how to find it in your foods? For those of you who don’t know, sugar has many different names:

  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diatase
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panocha
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Can you find any of these hiding in your ingredient list? Or the better question is, why are you eating things with ingredient lists? When you buy whole foods, you don’t have to worry about deciphering which things are sugar, artificial colors, MSG (which also has many names) or try to learn an entirely different language trying to pronounce any of the things listed.

Sugar, whether it is fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, caramel, or date sugar is still sugar. True, not all sugars are created equally and obviously, natural sugar from fruit or honey is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. My advice to you, even if you don’t have Candida is to stay as natural as possible and avoid processed foods. This is not breaking news; it’s just a reminder. We are so inundated with information these days (especially nutrition information) that we tend to lose sight of those gems that are really the tips to saving our health. Trying to lessen your REFINED sugar intake is one of those gems. If you do nothing else, I can bet that that will help you with whatever you are struggling with, whether it’s obesity, skin issues, IBS, Candida or depression.

Sugar is 100% addictive and for those that disagree, just try to go off of it and see how it makes you feel. I recently saw an excellent documentary called “Hungry for Change“, which I encourage you all to watch. Again, most of us (especially conscious readers like you), are probably familiar with a lot of the information presented, but even for a professional like me, it’s an excellent reminder. 

For anyone interested in breaking the cycle, I can help by showing you the many other wonderful things you can be feeding yourself; foods that will make you look and feel your best! What are you waiting for? 

Candida Cleanse Journal Entry #15 – Colon Hydrotherapy

April 20, 2012, Day 20: Greetings friends! So, 20 days into this thing! Time certainly flies when you’re eating spirlina. Isn’t that how that saying goes? 😉

Today I went in for a colon hydrotherapy session. Colonics are used as part of the cleansing / healing process to remove debris and impacted matter (i.e. feces) from the large intestine (colon). I was probably abnormally excited about it, but people who “know” will get it and understand just how exciting the process can be. For those of you who are not familiar with what colon hydrotherapy is, I will try to explain it in the cleanest way possible. 🙂

During a colonic, the colon is basically flushed with pure, warm water via a tube that is inserted into your rectum. As you “fill up” with water you start to feel pressure on your belly and experience a very “full” feeling. The more you can take, the better and more effective the treatment is, but it is slightly uncomfortable and feels as though your belly may burst, lol! Don’t worry–it won’t! Once the flow of water stops, things should start to move out of the body.

Most of us (even the healthiest of eaters, and work out fanatics) are not truly clean on the inside. Stuff gets built up over time, just as plaque on your teeth does, and becomes hard, impacted and fermented. The colon is approximately 5 ft (yes, that’s right) in length, all bundled up inside your body, so it’s no surprise things don’t always make it out and flow peacefully.

During the process, you can see everything that is flowing out of you via a see-through window where everything goes to be disposed. If the colonic is going well and doing it’s job, the water is usually brown in color and you should see particles of feces making their way OUT of your body (yay!). There is no smell, and it is a 100% professional atmosphere. Colon hydro-therapists are licensed and the one I worked with today has been doing her job for 11 years!

So, get this: I actually SAW CANDIDA!! Yes! The therapist pointed it out to me. She said it looked like it had been sitting in my gut for a while. There wasn’t much, but then again, this was only 1 session. It’s recommended that you go once/week for 4 weeks. The sessions are typically between $75-90/session, but they usually have some sort of package for a series of colonics. Insurance does  not usually cover colon hydrotherapy. And yes, there are at-home enema kits, but none will probably be as effective (or be able to fill up the entire colon) as effectively as an actual professional colonic session.

It is IMPERATIVE that you take a high grade probiotic after a colonic session because you run the risk of wiping out not just the bad bacteria, but the good as well. You better believe I brought my Dr. Ohhira’s with me!

After a colonic, you can expect to feel lighter and less bloated. Check and check. You have to keep your food light for the rest of the day in order to not put too much stress back on the colon.

Colonics can also help with food allergies, mood swings, constipation, IBS, food cravings, and skin problems. Remember, 2/3 of your immune system resides in your gut and if your gut is in bad shape, it can’t function as well as it should and this could leave you feeling pretty crappy (tee hee).

Some things to think about…

  • It is estimated that 100 million people in the United States suffer from constipation and that these people spend $700 million on products to relieve constipation each year.  It seems a shame, when constipation is easily avoided through diet and cleansing.
  • “Infirmity and sickness, at any age, is the direct result of loading up the body with food which contains no vitality, and at the same time allowing the intestines to remain loaded with waste matter.”  – Dr. Norman Walker
  • Each year over l00,000 people undergo a colostomy due to a functional breakdown of the colon.
  • Coronary artery blockage and strokes, cancer, neurological diseases, dementia, depression, are initially caused by the retention and accumulation of poisons and toxins in the body. Most often this retention and accumulation is caused by a sluggish colon that just doesn’t properly remove the waste from our body. – Dr Richard Schultze
  • Jesus, according to “The Essene Gospel of Peace” emphasized internal cleansing: “Think not that it is sufficient that the angel of water embrace you outwards only. I tell you truly, the uncleanness within is greater by much than the uncleanness without. An he who cleanses himself without, but within remains unclean, is like to tombs that outwards are painted fair, but are within full of all manner of horrible uncleanness’ and abominations.”

Colon health is nothing to take lightly, especially with colon cancer being the third most common cancer in this country. Sadly, I lost my grandmother to colon cancer. This actually helped catapult me into a life of nutrition education (love you grandma). Friends,  colon cancer is fully preventable with FOOD and CLEANSING. Think about it…

If you need more information on how to keep your colon healthy, just ask!

Question of the day:

Would you ever get a colonic? 

Candida Cleanse Journal Entry #10 – Experiencing Die-Off

April 12, 2012, Day 12: My body is definitely going through a bit of a healing crisis, so to speak. The Candida are dying off and I am experiencing the typical symptoms you can find if you do a search for what to expect; fatigue, stomach discomfort, body itching and feeling super cold (in MIAMI). All morning, I felt like I was moving in slow motion and I did not know how I would make through the rest of the day. I especially didn’t know how I would have energy to teach my cooking class today. I read that water and vitamin C were recommended (among other things). I took 1,000 mg of vitamin C on my lunch break and it seemed to give me the boost of energy I needed to go be with children today. I was so glad! I also read that dry skin brushing helps rid the body of toxins, so I bought a pretty new brush. This should probably help a lot considering our skin is our largest organ and next to the colon, it is also an important waste management system. Dry skin brushing basically removes a layer of gunk so you can essentially sweat out more toxins. I’m excited to add this in as a bathroom ritual. A plus for dry skin brushing is that it also helps get rid of cellulite and what woman doesn’t like the sound of that?!?

I don’t know if I mentioned that I was (am) a big gum chewer. I know, I know. But I have just always liked gum and since I started this diet, gum was pretty much out unless I could find gum with xylitol (sans a bunch of artificial crap), and today I did! I found Spry! So, here are my new 2 favorite things I got today! Random, I know…but both make me really happy! 🙂

I also received my E3 Live Renew Me, which is a “blend of nutritional plant-derived MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane), spirulina, E3AFA™, certified organic cayenne pepper, wild-crafted South American camu-camu, E3 AFAMend™, E3 Phenalmin™, tocotrienol & tocopherol (Vitamin E complex), and crystalloid electrolyte sea minerals. These exceptional foods have been shown to boost the immune system and help your body eliminate toxins.” It’s in powder form, so I will just add it to my smoothie along with the 500 other things I drink! Here is the E3 Live Renew Me and I cannot wait to start taking this tomorrow! It’s supposed to really help with Candida! I have very high hopes!

I had that raw buckwheat cereal for breakfast again today. I absolutely love it and it’s so filling! For snack, I had a smoothie: almond milk, blueberries, Amazing Grass, chia seeds, diatomaceous earth and liquid stevia.

Lunch was this awesome kelp noodle salad with cucumber, red pepper, purple cabbage, green onion, avocado and raw sesame seeds with my favorite sesame dressing.

Dinner was AWESOME! I was actually kinda impressed with myself as it was getting late and I am a little less creative lately. I do admit, it takes a bit longer to get into my “groove” preparing meals. Let’s just say, never underestimate the power of SOUP. I threw together this super tasty black bean and quinoa soup with celery, onions, carrots (I haven’t been consuming many carrots), garlic, tomato, and it was seasoned with paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, sea salt and pepper and then topped with fresh cilantro. Man oh man, was it a winner! I will definitely be making that again. Sorry no pic.

So, with regards to the die-off, I think the symptoms are way worse in the morning. I have been taking my super high-grade probiotic right before bed (guarantees an empty stomach) and then again right when I wake up, so perhaps that is why. I have read though that the probiotics are not as intense as the antifungals, so I am not sure exactly what it is. All I know is, I think it’s working! 🙂

I can’t believe how quickly the time is going by as well. I am already 12 days into this thing and I can easily see myself not having much of a problem finding things to eat and lasting as long as I need to until I see changes and feel better. I just have to tell myself that it is okay to miss certain foods (like chocolate, honey and nutritional yeast) and that maybe one day I can enjoy them again. But right now, they are not serving me and I respect my body enough to do what serves it best; no matter how challenging that may seem!

 

Candida Cleanse Journal Entry #8 – I Kinda Messed Up

April 9, 2012, Day 9: The cravings have been getting worse. They happen mostly at night, but I just try to ignore them. Funny thing is though, I don’t even know really what I would want to eat if I could eat anything. I just want SUGAR. It’s intense, man.

So, I kinda may have sorta messed. Okay, so even though people told me brown rice was not a good idea, I “cheated” and had it anyway. It’s frustrating for me to think about having only quinoa. I was eating brown rice cakes and even had a few crackers. I think these are going to have to be a no-no, just like my friend Nicole (and a few others) had told me they would be. Also last night, we went out with friends, and I tried to eat as “clean” as I possibly could and I had some sauteed broccoli and black bean soup, but that was a no-no as well. I believe the food may have been cross contaminated because even though this particular restaurant serves many vegan dishes, they also serve non-vegan ones as well. Going out to eat will most definitely have to be put on hold for a long while.

Now, I know some of you reading are probably shaking your heads thinking, “Well, shouldn’t she know all this?” but the truth is, I am learning as I go and I have made an agreement with myself to love myself through this entire process. This diet takes a lot of time to get used to and it’s flippin’ HARD. I may not be perfect off the bat. I think the main lesson I have learned is to keep it as simple as possible, no matter how boring, lol.

On a higher note, my Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics arrived today so I look forward to starting them! I am also getting my E3 Live this week as well from my co-worker, so I know that all that stuff will help.

I am going to start incorporating some buckwheat for breakfast. I have a really yummy recipe for buckwheat groats blended with strawberries, but I will probably sub with another berry such as blueberries. Everything I read says berries are okay. I am a little “iffy”, and honestly probably won’t consume them too often, but maybe in a smoothie or with the groats once in a while.  My friend some of you know as Baking Fairy turned me on to a pretty tasty looking website called choosingraw.com and I want to make these delicious looking buckwheat and quinoa pancakes with pumpkin cream (drool)!!

I must also share this video that my new Facebook friend James posted on my wall today for an awesome 70’s song by Tony Orlando called none other than “Candida!!” Check it out and here have a laugh. It’s pretty rad! Thanks, James!

I will keep you posted on my adventures with quinoa and buckwheat as well as the probiotics! If you’d like more info on what I am taking or what might be best for you, you can always contact me!

Thanks as always, for reading!

Candida Cleanse Journal Entry #5

April 5, 2012, Day 5: I kept saying to people that the best way to describe how I felt today was “I feel good and bad at the same time.” When I woke up this morning, I felt like I had the best sleep I have had in a long while. I had also felt like I got hit by a Mack truck. My head was clogged and my sinuses felt all congested. I also um, had to go to the bathroom a lot (TMI?). My body is definitely detoxing, I can tell you that much. 😉

I was at work and my awesome friend came in and brought me a sample of E3 Live and some food grade diatomaceous earth. You can read all about E3 if you click the link, as I wrote about it a while back. I took the E3 at work right away and I think it actually made a huge difference because I felt much better all day long.

I am anxious to try the “D.E.” (diatomaceous earth)!! It sounds AMAZING! It is said to be beneficial because it is made up of mostly silica. It’s really good for removing bacteria, fungi, viruses, pesticides, etc. from the gut. It can also dramatically help with skin issues, lower blood pressure, help make you regular (no problems there), stimulates metabolism and keeps hair and nails lookin’ good! My friend suggested I put it in my tea or a smoothie.

I feel like I had cabbage all day today! At lunch I had this tasty cabbage and hijiki (seaweed) salad with green onions, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds. I made a sesame dressing (which used to be my favorite) of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, 1 drop liquid stevia and red pepper flakes.

I had an AWESOME dinner (sorry, no pic)! I created a “peanut sauce” out of 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter, 2 tbsp coconut aminos, 1 drop liquid stevia, 1/4 cup water and cayenne pepper. I then sauteed some kale, red pepper and purple cabbage (told ya!) in coconut oil (also had a teaspoon of coconut oil this morning raw–it’s an amazing anti-fungal) with shallots and garlic. I threw the sunbutter sauce on the veggies and had it over 1/4 cup brown rice. Joey (my bf) and I both really liked it! I think I am going to have to stock up on that sunflower seed butter and those coconut aminos since I see a ton of them in my future.

I am however, a little frustrated because there is so much conflicting info about killing Candida. Books, websites and friends all tell you different things about what you should and shouldn’t eat, what supplements to buy and how you can expect to feel. I have to admit, I was never “diagnosed” with having Candida. I am just listening to my body and for a really long time, I have known that sugar (and gluten) were not serving me. This is the best way to weed them out and although it is challenging, I sense the results will be worth every cupcake I have to turn away and every drop of agave I had to replace with liquid stevia.

I am ordering the E3 Live because I believe in its benefits and I also ordered a very high grade pro-biotic another friend swears by called Dr. Ohhira’s as this is vegan and it resonates with me. I will let you know how all that supplement stuff goes.

For now, I am looking for anyone who has gone on an elimination / Candida diet before and who has done so as a vegan. I’d love to hear about your experiences, what you ate, how quickly you got rid of the Candida, etc. Please leave your comments below and again, thanks so much for reading!

 

Candida Diet – My Cleanse for Candida Treatment

What is Candida? How do I cure Candida?

We all have Candida. Every single one of us. Yep, that means you, too. Candida Albicans is a very pesky fungus (or yeast) that can cause many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue, joint pain, headaches, memory loss, gas/bloating, weight gain, acne, eczema, bleeding gums, hair loss, athlete’s foot, halitosis,  you name it; it’s probably a result of Candida overgrowth. The range is broad and so you can imagine it’s extremely difficult to diagnose and most people have to self-diagnose themselves because it is way too often mistaken for something else. It can mask itself as IBS, Crohn’s, athlete’s foot, arthritis or even chronic fatigue syndrome.

In order for us to remain healthy, it’s imperative that we have a greater colony of “good” intestinal bacteria (or flora) vs. “bad” intestinal bacteria. Can you guess which kind Candida Albicans is? Our beneficial bacteria can be wiped out whenever we are forced to take antibiotics for one reason or another, we are under a lot of stress, we take birth control (ladies) or we eat SAD (Standard American Diet), which includes consuming tons of refined white sugar, flours, processed foods, soda, etc.  Hmm,  think this would apply to anyone you know?  😉 Yep, as I said, it’s pretty much well assumed that we all have Candida. And a normal amount of “bad” bacteria is not so terrible; it’s when we have an overgrowth that there can start to be major problems.

So, how do you know if you have candida? Well, as I said it’s hard to tell. The best way is to do some research and perhaps log your symptoms. No offense to Western med, but if you see your primary, it’s most likely they will not be able to give you a clear and honest diagnosis. It’s best to see a Nutrition Coach (such as myself) or an N.D. (naturopathic doctor).

If you do think you have a Candida overgrowth, not to worry. You can kill off the bacteria, but it does take a lot of work. This is where diet truly comes into play. Most literature/websites that are devoted to educating people about Candida recommend you get rid of Candida in stages; a cleanse, an elimination diet (or the Candida Diet) and then a reintroduction of certain foods.

Let’s face it, we all know we should not be consuming a diet rich in refined anything, processed junk or be taking globs of antibiotics right? Also, we can all stand to keep our stress levels regulated by having some healthy outlets such as yoga, meditation, other exercise, massage, painting…whatever it is that helps you become more centered and calm.

I write this post today because I myself am dealing with an overgrowth of Candida. I have known it for years, and have basically been in denial. For those of you who follow my posts on Facebook, you know that I have a slight obsession with Bunnies Cakes (these adorable and super tasty mini vegan cupcakes) or I am always making something chocolate. 😉 I admit it. I LOVE sweets, but you know what? My body doesn’t, and it’s screaming at me at this point to STOP. So, I have to listen because I have to honor what is best for me.

On April 1, 2012, I will begin my journey through the Candida Diet and this is probably going to be one of the biggest challenges I have ever gone through since I love food so much and the diet is extremely limited. The entire process will probably take about 2 months (or longer; remember, I mentioned Candida is pesky) to kill off the bad bacteria. On the one hand though, I am really excited to finally walk this path and go through this experience because I know it’s time. It will also give me perspective to be able to service my clients better. All I can say though, is thank goodness I can still eat avocados on this diet! I don’t think I would be on board otherwise! 🙂

I plan on documenting the process either with videos or written blog updates to keep you posted and share my experience with you. Please leave me comments on anything related; if you’ve done the diet, if you think you may have Candida overgrowth, if you have any words of wisdom, I’d love to read them.

As I update, I will fill you in more about the foods I am going to be consuming. Believe me, there are tons of things I can’t eat, so I am choosing to focus on the delicious things I can, for instance TONS of veggies, hemp seeds, flax, almonds, pecans, brown rice and quinoa! I will also be taking in some antifungals such as coconut oil and grapefruit seed extract. I will be more than fine, but I do admit I am a bit nervous. Quitting sugar is like quitting any other drug. I posted a quote on my Facebook page recently that said, “If you don’t think sugar is a drug, just try to quit” and I couldn’t agree with this more. Just the thought of losing my Bunnies Cakes makes me die a little inside, but some things in life are worth letting go of, especially if you want to feel good!

Please stay tuned and wish me luck… I will need all of your love, help and support to get through this challenge. Also, if you are interested in combating your own struggle with Candida, you can always contact me for support and coaching.

So for now, it’s sayonara sugar and vamanos veggies!

 

Healing Fit for a Queen (or King!)

Hello my regal friends,

I know you have heard me speak about my dear friend Renee Heidtman, of Center for Peaceful Healing as she is going through stage 4 breast cancer and I post a great deal about her, her treatment and her progress on Facebook, mostly. I wanted to touch on something she inspired me to write about. She is about finished with her treatment at the Gerson Institute in Tijuana, Mexico. Tomorrow she goes back to San Francisco and I know she is excited to get back home and start her new life in post treatment, which will be about a 2 year process.  At Gerson, she had to stick to a pretty strict regimen of juicing (13 glasses per day!), coffee enemas, which she learned how to administer herself (fun!), mostly vegan, raw and bland foods. Spices are a no-no. Continue reading Healing Fit for a Queen (or King!)

Feed Your Cells!

When you think about algae, what comes to mind? Green? Slimy? Alive? Well, algae is one of the BEST and most nutritive things you can consume. Most contain over 60%  COMPLETE plant protein and this is important for vegans and vegetarians since they especially need complete protein. Even if you are not veggie, it’s still important to eat foods that reach your cells. Why? Because if your cells are starving, your body cannot function at optimal levels and support you and your every day activities.

I have been hearing a lot about a product called E3-Live lately. Let me first say that I am NOT selling it. I am just speaking about it. I haven’t even taken it too many times but I have been gathering information (as this is what I do, so I can report back to YOU!) about it because I think it is a superlicious miracle food! Continue reading Feed Your Cells!

A Powerful Combo: Honey & Cinnamon

Greetings healthy honeys!

I apologize for my laps in checking in with you on the site! I know a lot of you are connected to HTF via Facebook  and Twitter and I have gotten a tad lazy since it’s easy to just do a quick little blurb there! But I also know lots of you like the substance, so I am sorry to disappoint and leave you hanging without something more meaty (or veggie 🙂 ) to read. Continue reading A Powerful Combo: Honey & Cinnamon

Juice Cleanses

Over time, our bodies accumulate toxic waste through our dietary choices, the environment or even negative emotions.  These toxins sit in our cells and create an extremely acidic body environment. Our goal is to be alkaline, versus acidic because dis-ease and discomfort cannot thrive in an alkaline body state. Toxins are also stored in the body as FAT, so it’s a good idea to cleanse once in a while.  Juice cleansing is an effective way for you to bring balance back into your body. My recommendation is at least twice per year to do a juice cleanse;  once in the spring, for sure, as this is a time to get rid of fats accumulated during the winter and then perhaps once again in the fall, as you will be needing to make room and have a clear space for heavier winter foods. 1 week is a nice challenge, but if this seems too intimidating, try 3 days to start and see how you feel. It’s best to stick to more vegetable based green juices vs. fruit to reduce the sugar content and utilize all those amazing enzymes in those green leafy veggies! A good juice recipe book is The Big Book of Juices by Natalie Savona. Note, apples combine well with veggie juices and carrots combine well with fruit juices. Continue reading Juice Cleanses