Tag Archives: sugar

A Speech About Candida

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So, I’m back in college.  Wow.  That is so awesome!!  I’m going to school again!  I get to let someone ELSE teach ME!!  I love it!!  I’m almost done with my first quarter back in school and I compulsively check the website that lists my grades.  I’m doing pretty well!  But between homework and the kids, it doesn’t leave me as much time to write.  However, I was able to use my candida cleanse as a topic for a speech I gave.  It was frustrating though, because there was so much I wanted to say, but I only had 7 minutes, so I had to keep cutting things out!  And even so I went about a minute over.  But here’s a copy of the text of my speech. And here’s a link to the YouTube video of me giving it.

Candida
You get into your car in the morning, put the key in the ignition and turn it and you get sputter, sputter, petewee. Or you accelerate and your car hesitates. Or worse, you’re driving down the highway and your engine just dies!! Something is wrong with your fuel or something is keeping your fuel from getting where it needs to go. This is very similar to what can happen to us. If the food we consume isn’t properly digested it can’t fuel our bodies. Candida overgrowth interferes with this process. Bodyecology.com says that at least 70% of Americans have a candida overgrowth and most don’t even know it. A little over a year ago I discovered that I had a candida overgrowth. I worked hard to diagnose and then heal this problem. Luckily, candida overgrowth is a condition that can be easily remedied without any medications or medical procedures.
First I’d like to explain what candida overgrowth really is.
I. Candida overgrowth can affect many areas of your health and it can be caused by different things but it is relatively easy to diagnose.
A. Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions explains that Candida is a naturally occurring fungi in your intestines that helps to break down foods, but it can grow out of control and cause perforations in the intestinal wall that allow undigested food to enter your bloodstream. This is very bad. Food does not belong in your blood stream and it causes your immune system to go into overdrive. This overtaxes your immune system which can result in any number of auto-immune issues.
B. Candida overgrowth can be caused by many factors. Candida lives on sugar. Eating too much sugar or foods that metabolize as sugar will cause an overgrowth. In America today, sugar comes in many forms, so you really have to be careful in your label reading. For our purposes, sugar includes agave, anything with “malt” in it, anything with “syrup” in it, anything with “cane” in it, dextrin, anything with “ose” in it, fruit juice concentrate, honey, maple syrup, molasses, treacle or xylose. In addition to sugars, foods that metabolize as sugar, like wheat and alcohol will feed the candida. Lastly, anti-biotics kill both the good and the bad bacteria in your gut, throwing everything out of whack.
C. So how do you know if your candida has gotten out of hand? It can present in several different ways, depending on how bad it has gotten, your overall health and how your particular body reacts to it. Candidamd.com gives this list of symptoms to look for (slide 1). As you can see the symptoms can have quite a range. When I first went through a candida cleanse I was suffering from frequent migraines, depression, irritability, acid reflux, major sugar cravings (I actually used to plan ahead when I was out to make sure I always had sugar available, like an addict), and I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. The thing that made me look for answers, though, was when I suddenly got severe asthma that put my lung function at 52%!
Transition: Next I’d like to explain how to do a candida cleanse.
II. The first step in getting your candida under control is the hardest.
A. You need to go on a candida cleanse. Doctor’s disagree on exactly how long and which foods are most important to avoid (slide 2), but Fred Pescatore recommends cutting out all sugar, grains (including wheat, rye oats and barley), white rice and white potatoes, fruit, yeast, dairy, preservatives and artificial colors. And you can’t cheat your sweet tooth with aspartame as it weakens your immune system in general. You do need to be very careful cutting out every single form of sugar as it can cause adrenal failure. I recommend having about half a piece of actual fruit each day, to help prevent this.
B. Just because you have cut out most of the foods you are used to enjoying doesn’t mean that you don’t get anything fun to eat. For instance, candidadiet.com has some wonderful recipes. My kids still ask for avocado omelets as one of their favorite breakfasts! You can eat most nuts, meat, fish, and all kinds of vegetables. Some experts even suggest a serving of live culture yogurt or kefir each day to help rebuild the good bacteria in your gut. But be careful with this because the lactose in milk is essentially sugar. You can also eat buckwheat, millet, oat bran and quinoa. My family had a lot of fun experimenting with these almost-grains.
C. Another thing to consider during your cleanse is nutritional supplements. There are lots of supplements to choose from and it can be a bit overwhelming. When it comes to candida, there are 3 important categories; probiotics, omegas and anti-fungals,. Probiotics like L. Acidophilus and B. Bifidum help build up the good bacteria in your gut that the candida has pushed out. A good omega like cod liver oil or flax seed is a wonderful anti-inflammatory for your whole body. It can help your body just “calm down” from all the stress of its immune system battles. Anti-fungals like oregano oil and garlic help kill the candida. However, using anti-fungals can kill off the candida too quickly and you may start experiencing headaches, fatigue, gas, joint pain or other negative symptoms as the bacteria recedes. But this is only temporary.
Transition: Last I’d like to share how you can maintain the good gut health that you’ve worked so hard for.
III. Once you’re done with your cleanse, there are a couple of things you can do to maintain the balance in your gut and several things you should see as a result of all your work.
A. Once you feel like you’ve fought back the candida you need to re-introduce foods one at a time (slide 3). Choose a food that you’re missing and eat it once a day for a week. If you don’t notice any reactions from your body then continue to add other foods, one at a time, remembering that moderation is key. Good foods to add back in are beans, honey, maple syrup and non-homogenized dairy. You still want to avoid conventional dairy as the homogenizing process severely alters the milk’s molecules making it nearly impossible to digest.
B. There are a lot of foods you can add back into your diet once you’ve tamed the candida but if you want to maintain optimal gut health there are some “foods” that you want to avoid permanently. This doesn’t mean that you can never eat these things again, but you need to make them a rare addition to your diet. These things include processed foods, artificial preservatives and dyes and white sugar (try turbinado if you need sugar). Look for new foods to try, visit your local farmer’s market, experience all the whole foods that are out there, experiment in your kitchen and make your own amazing recipes.
C. Different people will experience different results of course, but if nothing else you will feel much better in general. Many people experience healthy weight loss and renewed energy. My asthma has been completely healed, I’ve noticed major behavior improvements in my son and his seasonal allergies have disappeared. You will find that your immune system is stronger. You won’t get sick as often and when you do catch something you’ll notice that your body fights it off much more efficiently. This past winter my family was sick maybe twice. Once with a cold which lasted for about 24 hours and once with a stomach bug that lasted for 72 hours. That’s pretty phenomenal for a household with 4 kids in it.
Transition: So as negative as candida overgrowth can be, you can fix it.
Conclusion:
Today I hope you’ve learned why candida overgrowth is bad, how you can overcome it and how you can maintain good gut health. Discovering that I had a candida overgrowth and then working so hard to correct it literally changed my life. It’s so amazing to me that something going on in my gut can have such a profound impact on the rest of my health! Thank you very much for your time.

Works Cited
Bodyecology.com. December 1, 2006. May 15, 2014. Web.
Candidamd.com. January 12, 2011. May 12, 2014. Web.
Fallon, Sally. “Nourishing Traditions.” NewTrends Publishing, Inc; Washington, DC. 2001. Print.
Pescatore, Dr. Fred. “The Allergy and Asthma Cure.” Wiley Publishing; Hoboken, NJ. 2008. Print.
Richards, Lisa. Thecandidadiet.com. 2014. May 12, 2014. Web.

 

The Sugar Monster

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You may be wondering what an elimination diet is.  The point of an elimination diet is to eliminate one food or category of food from your diet.  Sometimes people do this permanently, like if they’ve become allergic to gluten they want to get all the gluten out of their diet.  But my elimination diets were to see which foods I was sensitive to, which foods were irritating my system.  The first food I eliminated was dairy.  This means no ice cream, butter, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.  So, no milk for granola for breakfast, no yogurt snacks, no cheese sticks (one of my kids’ favorites), no milk in the gravy, no pancakes, almost no baking because it nearly all has some form of dairy in it.  This started me on a great obsession of reading ingredient lists.  Wow.  You will be amazed at what you’ll find.  I found corn syrup in my vanilla!!  WHAT??  Why in the world do you need corn syrup in your vanilla?!  And there is some form of sweetener in everything that comes in a package or a box.  Seriously.  So don’t start reading labels unless you’re prepared to make some changes.

Anyway, back to my diet.  I eliminated dairy for 30 days and at first I was really craving it!!  I’m not someone who drinks a lot of milk.  I’d have it on my cereal in the morning and then maybe once a week I’d have a glass of milk, but now I was jonesing for a tall cold glass of milk!  This was a warning sign that milk was a problem for me.  And at the beginning of my fast off dairy I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom.  But by the end of it, my digestion was better than it had been in recent memory.  Ok, so milk was an issue.

Next I did a fast off chocolate and caffeine.  I didn’t notice much, if any difference.  I stopped this one after 2 weeks and moved on.

I combined Dr. Pescatore’s wheat and corn eliminations.  Because I was pretty sure I’d have issue with both of these as I’ve had severe cravings for both.  So, for 30 days there was no bread, no oatmeal, no granola, no tortillas, no flour (I did start experimenting with coconut and almond flour at this point), no hotdog or hamburger buns, no cookies, no pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits, nothing.  This was by far the hardest of the eliminations.  But not only did I discover some sensitivities, but I discovered that my middle son (who is 6) also had some sensitivity.  His showed up as behavior problems.  After several weeks with no grains, he went to grandma’s house and had cheerios for breakfast and a hotdog in a bun for lunch and when he came home he was so disobedient and defiant he ended up being sent to his room within an hour.  Wow.  Way out of character for him!  I tested this again about a week later with the same result.  And once again, at the beginning, I was spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom, and had serious cravings.

The last thing that Dr. Pescatore suggests eliminating is salicylates.  These are found in aspirin and many preservatives, artificial flavorings and colorings, etc.  We had already decided that we didn’t want these kinds of things in our diets, so I didn’t have to worry about them.

So, other than the chocolate/caffeine category, I was sensitive to everything!!  That seemed awfully strange to me.  I mean, I’d never had any problems before and trust me, I never ate what anyone could call healthy since I was an adult.  How could I be sensitive to all these things?!  But my breathing was so bad, I was ready to try anything.  By this point the doctor had basically given up on me.  Nothing he had tried had made any difference except an unbelievably strong steroid that was not safe to use long term.  However, through a friend, I had discovered an essential oil that worked BETTER than any of the rescue inhalers he’d given me to stop attacks and regular old Ricola lozenges seemed to control the throat tickle coughing I’d get in the mornings from nasal drainage.  I figured what the heck, it couldn’t hurt and it would be cheap.  After all, it was a list of foods NOT to eat!!

In addition to the foods I was sensitive to I had to stop all forms of sugar, including fruit so I could stop feeding my candida overgrowth.  Wow.  Back to that label obsession??  You would not believe how difficult it is to find anything with more than about 4 ingredients that doesn’t contain some sort of sugar!!  Sugar can be called: sugar, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, corn syrup (basically anything with “syrup” in it), honey, cane juice (and anything with “cane” in it), dextrin, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose (yep, lactose is the sugar part of the milk), maltose, saccharose (basically anything with “ose” in it), maltodextrin, molasses, sorghum, treacle and xylose.  I dare you.  The very next box or package of food or drink you pick up, check the ingredients.  You will be amazed.  When I was growing up, we decided which breakfast cereal to eat by how far down the ingredient list the sugar was since the ingredients are listed from most to least.  If sugar was the first or second ingredient, then it was only for a treat, not for eating every day.  But these days, the manufacturers get around that by using 3 or 4 different types of sugar so they use less of each type and therefore they can be further down the list.  So the first thing  I had to do was find enough foods without all these ingredients to feed myself and my family!  We mostly did this by cooking for ourselves and not buying any prepackaged food.

After about 3 days without any sugar I was jonesing BAD.  That candida in my body was screaming, “Feed me, NOW!!”  And my brain was screaming, “I need it, I need it.  I don’t know how to feel good without it!”  I have a history with drug addiction.  I have been addicted to both heroin and cocaine, and I’ve been told that these are about the hardest substances to detox from so I’m not exactly new to cravings, detox and addiction.  Now, physically, sugar was not as severe as other detoxes I’ve gone through.  There was no vomiting and night sweats, but mentally it was almost exactly the same!!  There was that itchy brain, I-need-something-I-gotta-have-something-or-I’m-gonna-burst feeling.  It was TERRIBLE!  I had started out by packing up everything with sugar in it into some bins but I was digging through the bins by that 3rd day so I finally gave away all that food.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  And when you’re used to rewarding yourself with a treat, it’s hard not to do that for yourself.

I had heard about stevia and we did use stevia some to have some sweetness during that time, but I have since stopped using stevia for anything except sweetening our homemade toothpaste.  There’s a couple of reasons for this decision.  First off, stevia is MUCH sweeter than sugar, so most companies add something to it so that the volume can be used straight across, cup for cup like sugar.  And usually what they add is dextrose.  Which is sugar!!  No good.  The other problem is that stevia may taste sweet, but because it doesn’t have any actual sugar in it it doesn’t help a sugar craving.  You see, sugar is essentially a drug in the way it works on your brain.  Take a look at this article about sugar and your brain: Sugar is a Drug

So you can see there are some more good reasons to get the sugar out of your diet.  But more importantly, when your mouth tastes sweet it sends a message to your brain to release more insulin to take up the sugar that it’s anticipating is about to enter your system.  Then, when no sugar is there it has to draw sugar from your organs to make up the deficit.  This is not good.  This happens any time you taste sweet without consuming sugar like when you use any artificial sweeteners or chew gum.

So you can see how sugar can become a slave master.  It works on your brain just like a drug, making you feel great and setting you up to want more and more.  And it feeds the candida and other yeasts in your system making everything get way out of whack.  When your digestion isn’t running smoothly, nothing else can work right.  Your digestion is like your gas tank, if you can’t get the nutrition out of your food it’s like your gas line is clogged.  Your body just can’t function the way it was meant to function.

It makes me think of 1 Corinthians 6:19 that says that our body is temple.  My temple was a mess.  I felt like King Josiah in the old testament when he had the temple cleaned out and they found the Bible in there and read it and went, “Wow, no wonder our lives are such a mess!!  We’ve been doing it all wrong!”  So now it was time to make it right.  Time to get my temple cleaned up!!