Adventures in Candi Land


Zombies, Cheaters, and Children…Oh My! by Muppet

People fill many roles in their lives; we are employees, students, children, parents, weekend warriors, weekday go-getters, significant others, friends….the list goes on. What also goes on is “life on life’s terms.” Eggie and I have learned a valuable lesson in the last weekish…Candida waits for no one. Recently, life on life’s terms has meant we have filled the role of….cue ominous music here…cheaters. No, not on each other; we are love giants, and love giants love to love other love giants. Rather, we have cheated…repeatedly…on our anti-candida diet. Life said, “Hey, we have all of this fun stuff for you to do, but you can’t do it if you’re only eating healthy food!” and we said “Screw candida! Sign us up for two tickets to fun land!” Turns out, it’s a lot like drugs….once you quit, starting back again is never as much fun as you remember.  

On the 28th, Eggie and I attended the Memphis Zombie Massacre; aside from being the most wicked sexy zombies on Beale street, we discovered something disheartening- zombie blood is basically candida food. It’s made of “devil juice” (more commonly known as corn syrup), but you can’t be a zombie without drooling some hemoglobin from your face holes! So we filled our mouths with the sweetest stuff we’d had in weeks….other people thought it was very realistic how we were licking blood from our lips all night, but, really, we were just on a sugar buzz.  

The following day I surprised Eggie with a “Fun in the Sun Day.” This involved lunch at a swanky restaurant downtown. But you can’t fully enjoy a swanky restaurant if all you’re going to eat is lettuce and beans. So we cheated….hard. We had salads with cheese (forbidden!) and sugary/dairy laden dressings (forbidden!), shrimp (discouraged) with grits (forbidden!) and collard greens (good!) cooked in sugar (forbidden!), and washed it all down with a strawberry bread pudding in a mandarin orange/sugar reduction (triple forbidden!!!). “If you’re gonna cheat, cheat right” we said. These early sins made it that much easier to cheat later when, seeking refuge from a short rain, we sat in the Peabody lounge and had sugar-fest girly drinks (hers basically tasted like sunscreen flavored molasses, while I had a strawberry daiquiri). At least they were virgin so we can say we didn’t commit the sin of alcohol on top of everything else (rationalizing is fun!). For dinner we had a picnic of approved, healthy foods while we watched an amazing fireworks show and marvelled at the boldest fox we had ever seen (he came within inches of eating my toes off cause Eggie kept throwing toe-shaped baby carrots at her new pet). It’s just one weekend, you might say. Well, as they say in NA “one is too many and a thousand is never enough.” Let’s emphasize that first part. The next day we were both pretty lethargic and couldn’t seem to find much motivation to move from the bed. Also, I weighed myself and discovered over a pound of gain in just one day. Yeah, that did wonders for my self-esteem. So we spent the week correcting for the bad behavior; you think we would have learned our lesson but nooooooo. Life showed up again this weekend, and again, we answered it’s call….and paid…dearly.  

This past weekend Eggie’s mother and godmother came into town from Montgomery. It was my first meeting with her family, and clearly cause for celebration! And how do Southerners celebrate? That’s right! With fooood! We started our fun-filled weekend with blue chips and the best homemade salsa on earth, courtesy of the Fairy Godmother. Then it was off to Mexican food for more discouraged underwater sea bugs via shrimp fajitas. Not too terribly terrible, but it gets worse. The next day we took them to Shoney’s, where we ate certainly non-organic eggs; I topped mine with ketchup of evil, and Eggie topped hers with coffee and Splenda, grits, and a big bite of bacon. For lunch we took them downtown where we had salads (the cheesy, Caesar-y kind) and more drinks of sugary goodness at the Peabody. Dinner rolled around and it was time to introduce the in-laws over copious amounts of Memphis bar-b-que. However, Eggie’s stomach had other ideas. Rather than enjoying her veggies cooked in fat-back and sugar, Eggie spent the meeting in the bathroom, her intestines reenacting the Battle of Gettysburg. I, on the other hand, gleefully devoured my BBQ portabella salad, complete with sweet BBQ sauce dressing and tortilla shell bowl, as my parents and hers bantered about their wonderful, crazy children. Fast forward to the next day where we say goodbye to her folks via a final meal of I-HOP. Eggie ate wheat toast, for fear of continuing the raging warfare in her gut. I had pancakes. Final results of our second cheater weekend in a row…I gained 4 pounds, Eggie experienced a whole new appreciation for my insistence on high quality toilet paper, and we realized that cheating is just not worth it. On the sweeter side (but not the cheating kind of sweet), Eggie’s peeps are fabulous….but they would have to be to produce such an amazing woman. My love and my candida grew exponentially this weekend.  

So now it’s back to behaving. I’ve lost the weight again, and Eggie’s gut is beginning Reconstruction…although in her version, the South won. Hehehe…eewww. We had a healthy picnic in the park today, and I left feeling better about our committment to this lifestyle change. As for our amore….picnics in the park are just made for lovers, now aren’t they.  

-Cheers, 

Muppet 

Sweet and Spicy, indeed.

 

Our Fun in the Sun Day...feel the love.



Why do I feel like crap? by eggiehead1
June 4, 2010, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Candida, Eggie's Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

You might ask this question when you are doing a cleanse of any kind. I promise you, it will get better. It’ll suck for awhile though. Hang tight! In the meantime, this crap feeling has a name…and its name is Die-Off Symptom….Bwahahahahahaha!

When we cleanse the body with supplements and starve Candida through diet changes, the Candida give off toxins through decomposition (we’ve talked about toxins, please don’t make me repeat myself because I have die-off symptoms, and I’m currently swatting a purple unicorns in technicolor dream-coats out of my face….did I ingest Acid somehow?). Anyway, these toxins are being emitted at a faster rate than what our body can process and eliminate so for a couple of days to several weeks (depending on your Candida level) you will feel like some level of crap on the crap continuum. These crap symptoms are called ‘die-off symptoms’ or the Herxheimer Reaction. Because die-off symptoms are common with cleansing lifestyles, most professional recommendations emphasize a ‘nourishing’ element to your treatment. There is nourishing and replenishing support in the cleansing supplements that Muppet and I are taking. Professional resources also recommend supportive fruits and veggies to ingest as integrative assistance with your cleansing diet.

The primary cleansing herbs found in the cleanse we chose to use (Rainbow Light Candida Cleanse) are Pau D’Arco (a favorite for naturopathic professionals as it is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It also used to be my favorite herb to recommend to customers when I managed the Alternative Health Center in Montgomery); Black Walnut (also a favorite for naturopathics and best documented medicinal herb used in North American cultures); Garlic (also great for immune support and contending with Vampires); and Indian Barberry (used because it contains berberine which controls fungal growth).

In addition to all these front line Candida fighters are an assortment of nourishing cohorts: Probiotics like Lactobacillis; Digestive support like Protease, Lipase and Cellulase; and soothing herbal support like Ginger, Cinnamon, Fennel, Nettle, Marshmallow and Spirulina.  I could talk for days about the qualities of all of these with almost comparable vigor and nerdy glee with which I adorn my sweet Muppet, but I will simmer down for now and talk about what you might expect to feel with die-off symptoms….

What do die-off symptoms look like? Kinda like symptomatic aspects of Candida overgrowth actually…

As your body is doing what it needs to do to eliminate the Candida’s decomposing waste, you might experience specific symptoms such as:

dizziness

headache

“foggy” headedness

eye floaters

depression

anxiety

heightened anger reactions

gas & bloating

flatulence

diarrhea

constipation

joint pain

muscle pain

body aches

sore throat

general malaise

exhaustion

need for more sleep

sweating

chills

nausea

skin breakouts

It’ll be important to nourish your body and reward your system with foods and Candida friendly treats while you cleanse to help maintain motivation and that overall crap feeling.

The first week was hard for both Muppet and I. I didn’t take the cleansers for a week because my nausea was so bad. I couldn’t figure out if it was my love bug or my fungus. I’m back on it and did experience some serious die-off symptoms that kept me near the potty. Justsayin’. My newest friends are hot Spearmint tea and carrots.

Off to sip some Naked juice and hot Spearmint tea. Also, also….I get to see Muppet in 6 hours. She’s the kind of sugar that I’m dying for!!!!!!!! Nom, nom.



Everyone poops… by eggiehead1
May 27, 2010, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Candida, Eggie's Adventures

Now that we know the major causes of Candida overgrowth and ways to approach treatment, we should probably talk shit….feces, poop, ca-ca, doo-doo, the big BM.

The reason we can handle Candida in our body in the first place is because of evolution. If you are allergic to knowledge, please stop reading now. I can close with a Bible verse if it makes you feel better, but you’ll have have to scroll to the end in order to get it. Our ancient, evolved bodies were meant to enjoy the symbiotic relationship between friendly bacteria and the small quantities of Candida on which it feeds. Bad diet, high stress, over-consumption of antibiotics or yeasty processed foods will offset this balance. Because Candida is alive, eats SUGAR for a living and reproduces, you betta’ believe it poops. Things that are alive and well produce waste. You learn this in Botany, Chemistry, Anatomy, Astronomy and going to Bonnaroo and dealing with the port-a-lets.

If your body has an overgrowth of Candida and the Candida poops all the live long day, our bodies (host) has to figure out a way to manage and deal with the abundance of fungus shit that is floating around. The good news is that we have a way of breaking down the fungus ca-ca. The worst news is that we can have an allergic reaction to this massive waste if it is not broken down or produced at high levels. These allergic reactions manifest in different ways (i.e. brain fog, skin problems, digestive issues, achy joints). Go figure, Candida produces up to 80 different types of waste into our bodies. The reason many people react differently to Candida (I might have brain fog and lethargy while Muppet has digestive problems) is because there are many different types of Candida waste to which we react.

Candida’s most-est favorite-est waste product (and most researched) waste product is  acetaldehyde. Like I mentioned before, it’s a pretty normal waste product for our body to handle but when an army of fungi poops artillery, you might have to call for back up. Acetaldehyde can affect your nervous system, digestive system and pretty much any cell in your body. You end up feeling ‘bad all over’; which is a common complaint of suffers.

Acetaldehyde is produced synthetically and used in fragrances, dyes, rubber, plastics and is present in fermented foods and plants express this as a waste product as well.

When you drink alcohol the ‘hangover’ that you feel the next day is actually the acetaldehyde. So I guess ‘feeling bad all over’ is like a chronic hangover…which might feel like fibromyalgia. Hmmm. That sucks.

Now that we know that we walking around infested with fungus and apparently drunk, the best way to manage the overgrowth of Candida and the waste they produce is consume foods that starve out Candida and consume supplements that help us break down Acetaldehyde. Resources recommend glutamine, selenium, niacin, folic acid, B6, B12, iron, and molybdenum which aids in the metabolism of aldehydes  into acetic acid, which can be excreted, or converted further into acetyl coenzyme A (for carb and fat metabolism).

AND NOW FOR THE BIBLE VERSE!

John 6:48: I am the bread of life.



I’m a grown ass woman, mama by eggiehead1
May 27, 2010, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Eggie's Adventures

The hardest part about being on the anti-candida diet, is being told what to do. Not so much fighting the microscopic demands of the rampant fungi that grows in me which partners with my emotional eating to annihilate coconut cake, fuck coffee or roll nude in Doritos. “I’m a grown ass woman, mama. I do what I want.”  I guess part of this new lifestyle is learning more so that I can continue to do what I want but be  subconsciously connected to the value of consuming healthy foods. It’s really what I want, especially when it means I can be around longer with my sweet, cosmic Muppet. Sharing fresh foods with her is the most romantic thing I have ever experienced. Giggle.

So, I’ll change the way I think about food so I can change the way I feel about food….or is it change the way I feel about food so I can change the way I think about food. Whatever, mainstream Capitalism promotes the consumption of crap foods and the food pyramid is a historical marketing ploy of the USDA. I’m good with disobeying the government, and it’s silly recommendations for foods so I’m cool with learning a new lifestyle that helps feed my defiant side. Yay!

I was researching through a few websites and scrolled over some really great points. #3 Don’t eat egg beaters and margarine, because they aren’t real #7 Don’t consume large amounts of coffee, because it is rough on your kidneys….and then I get to #9  Don’t eat anything that you usually eat regularly currently. Well if two adverbs side by side doesn’t piss me off, it’s being told I can’t do anything that I’m currently doing. Then I thought about it “what DO I currently do that is unhealthy”.

I made a list of the things I was doing (for whatever reason, emotional or accessible). It’s what nutritionists and that scary trainer from Biggest Loser does to help people realize what is going on so you can make healthy changes. Here I go…

I drank 2-4 cups of coffee a day. Throughout the day. This was rough on my organs as caffeine stimulated my gastrointestinal tract and increased the acidity of my body’s pH. Candida loves an acidic environment. I toned down the coffee and substituted spearmint tea and started using Ganoderma coffee when I really need a *twitch* fix. It has mushrooms in it so it’s not THAT Candida friendly.

I didn’t eat breakfast. This isn’t specific to the Anti-Candida diet, but it really did a number on my metabolism. Plus I was a coffee vacuum and for realsy just cared about my steaming hot cup of Joe in the mornings. I grab some fruit or whole grain oatmeal with flax.

It’s a condom, it’s a mint….it’s a condiment! I put ketchup, dressing, mustard, relish, sauce, gravy in and on everything. I’m also a candy hound. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little flava’ and some candy, but there are tons of hidden sugars, salts, hydrogenated oils and preservatives. Most recipes, even made at home, require a great deal of sugar. Since starting this diet and following through some of the recommendations of the Candida Bible, I have found really tasty alternatives to the sauces I adore. I’ve been using lemon juice and olive oil recently. I throw garlic in there and so far…so good.

Late night eating. I like watching movies at night. Especially scary ones with zombies. Unfortunately, I heart snacking at that time too. It’s a lousy and inconsiderate move on my part. It’s not fair to stick foods into my digestive tract and metabolism while it’s trying to get ready for bed. It’s bad for your teeth too….brush!

Those are just a few of the things I did that I have changed that have really helped me a great deal. I would like to close with a picture of my first baby-doll, hard-headed Ornery and her painfully optimistic sidekick Annie. Both defiant in their own special ways.



The Fruit of the Forbidden Tree by Muppet
May 26, 2010, 4:52 am
Filed under: Candida, Muppet's Adventures | Tags: , , , , , ,

Having been raised in the South, I have been fed a steady diet of fear and myth my entire life. In the South, the devil is a very real thing and is known to spend much of his time tempting poor defenseless Christian souls into sin through any available channel. As a child it was sneaking peaks at my uncle’s porn, and as a teen it was that time I skipped school or potentially giving into the ever-present threat of the scourge know as the teenage boy (luckily I was a homo and therefore naturally immune to that particular hell-born entity). But today an even bigger temptation threatens me…restaurant work.

Ok, so it’s not my Christian soul that is in danger- mostly because I’m spiritual, but not Christian. Rather, it is the success of my anti-candida diet that is gravely in jeopardy. How about a little background for you, dear reader? I work at a fine dining establishment in East Memphis. The food is…well, it’s fabulous…all of it. Everything is sauced or au jused, seared or salteed, perfectly plated and served to a typically grateful crowd of richie riches  of the mover/shaker variety. Did I mention that my work station is directly beside the pastry chef? Did I mention that said pastry chef likes me, and therefore, whenever he has a new desert that has sprung from his talented little head, I am the first to whom he offers it? Made from scratch bread puddings, panna cottas, chocolate lava cakes, creme brulees- and all of it mine for the sampling. Did I also mention that one of the major components to my job is cutting bread? Gourmet bread? And that when one is starving, the most readily available thing to devour on the fly is said gourmet bread? It’s like candida mecca up in my place of business!

I have worked 5ish shifts since we started this thing 11 days ago. I have been sooo good about not eating anything at work…until tonight. I totally cheated. The kitchen had several dishes that they gave the servers: triple tail fish with al gratin artichoke/potato cakes in a cream sauce, pan seared tuna with avocado puree, two chocolate cakes, our fancy schmancy mac-n-cheese, salmon balls, a veggie plate, and lamb quesadillas. Yeah. I ate several bites of tuna and triple tail, some carrots, a bite of kale, and a salmon ball. All of these are approved, anti-candida foods…except that our restaurant believes in glazing their carrots, salteeing their kale in butter, rolling their salmon balls in bread crumbs, and covering their triple tail in a rich, creamy sauce. So I ate dairy and sugar and bread crumbs tonight though, granted, in small quantities. Just call me Eve, and clearly, my chefs are snakes disguised in white jackets!

I joke, but I know that if I have a weakness in this little experiment it is the full access to a lot of really delicious, really candida fueling foods. Although I did not straight up eat chocolate cake or munch on pieces of bread all night, I cannot kid myself into thinking that occasional bites of saucy fish are ok. Vigilance is the key, my friends…when dealing with the devil and candida!

-Yours,

Muppet



Not so much of a recipe, but definitely helpful tips by eggiehead1
May 24, 2010, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Eggie's Adventures, Recipes

So….some basic points for nutritional treatment of Candida.

No matter where I go to research or who I talk to…the foundational point is always made EAT ORGANIC. So do it already. Whether you eat meat, avoid dairy, eat cheese, don’t consume veggies, eat flamingos or children, whatever….eat orrrrrganic.

Candida hearts sugar and although Me and Muppet’s love is painfully sweet, Candida does not grow on it. Fungus loves sugar, especially milk sugar lactose. Some folks have natural allergies to dairy products (we are the only mammals on the planet that consume milk post-infancy btw). Avoid foods high in sugar like fruit juice; fermented foods like beer and wine; aged foods like cheese; hormone fed animals; pork, red meat and products with animals fat; nuts like cashews, peanuts, pistachios and dried coconut; and refined foods. Avoid exotic fruits like pineapple, papaya and starfruit. Avoid white products like fuel efficient cars with liberal bumper stickers, vintage movie posters, scarves, sweaters with cats and other products you would find on Stuff White People Like. No, seriously, avoid white breads,rice, spring roll wrappers, white beans, white noodles, white pasta and processed sugar. If it’s white, just hate on it. Avoid left overs and tobacco products. Avoid coffee. So sad.

Oh sad news! Eliminate mushrooms because they feed fungal populations in your belly hole.

What does that leave you with? Children? Yes, just make sure they are free range. Focus on consuming more fish (I can provide a list of ecologically friendly fish selections later but the general rule is to choose ocean fish first like salmon, trout, sole). If you don’t dig fish and burping fish oils bothers you, get some flax-seed oil. Choose from garlic, onions, herbs, olive oil, dark leafy greens, soy products like tofu, squashes, yogurt, berries, lemons, sea vegetables, well cooked eggs, quinoa….lots and lots of quinoa, whole grains and legumes. Depending on your estimated level of Candida or level at which you wish to start this journey, the “Bible” gives you several phases on which to base your meal plans which includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinners, drinks and deserts. I can link a few of these recipes, recommendations and specific Superfoods later. But…for now, I’m going to eat pears with almond butter and drool a little….over Muppet.



A muppet hello… by Muppet
May 24, 2010, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Candida, Muppet's Adventures

Well, now that Eggie has run over the basics of what is candida and why is it bad (see previous post), let me state some preliminaries that you, dear reader, might need to know.

1) Eggie knows way more about this that I do. I am essentially candi-tarded.

2) We have a very good book as our guide- here after referred to as “The Bible.” This is to help Eggie expand her knowledge, and help me to, hopefully, be less candi-tarded.

3) We are not following a super strict anti-candida diet…at least not at first. It’s more of an easing in, really.

4) We are in a relationship, but we do not live together; therefore, our day-to-day food choices will vary considerably.

5) We are the kind of in love, cosmically connected split-aparts that generally result in people vomiting rainbows and glittery kittens whenever they are in our presence; consider yourself warned.

That said, here is a basic run down of my experience since we began this crazy adventure. We began taking candida cleanse supplements 10 days ago. They have lots of good for you things that basically act like European settlers vs native populations; the “natives” (i.e. candida) get starved out of their habitat to make room for the “white man” (i.e. grapefruit seed, fennel, etc). At that point, we began eating with more conscious awareness, selecting foods that are lower in carbs and sugars and higher in proteins. After a couple of day, we began in earnest; no more flours, yeasty things, caffeine, diary, or sugars. Eggie can give a more extensive list of what foods you can (and cannot) eat when trying to starve your fungi friends, but, basically,  for the last 10 days I have eaten spinach (raw in salad form), carrots, tofu/fake meat products, some brown rice, broccoli, almond butter, pears, berries, soy yogurt, soy milk, and quinoa….lots and lots of quinoa.  My first grocery shopping experience was actually quite funny. I panicked in the fruit section and called Eggie, who patiently walked me through some staples to get me through the week.

So what changes have I noticed in the last 10 days?

1) For the first week, I lived with almost constant hunger pangs and an almost constant dull headache. Today is the first day that I haven’t felt hungry all day and the second day of no headache.

2) I’ve lost 8 pounds (though I’m hoping the rate of loss with slow down a bit as my body adjusts).

3) I’m not having as many cravings as Eggie; a lot of this has to do with me having given up caffeine several years ago so I am not going through coffee withdrawals like she is.

4) I have more energy and seem to be requiring less sleep/sleeping better.

5) (THIS MIGHT BE TMI…just a warning) What happens in the bathroom is a softer, gentler experience, if you catch my not so subtle drift.

All and all, it’s been relatively smooth sailing thus far. We’ve had some hella happy bonding time cooking together and putting together this blog, we’re both seeing some body changes, and our googly eyes are more googly than ever (for each other, of course). Upcoming challenges? I see the looming PMS season as a potential problem. We both have endometriosis and we both have insane cravings for sugar and carbs during PMS season. Can our will power win out over our hormones? Find out on our next episode of…ADVENTURES IN CANDI LAND! (ok, not really the next next episode, but definitely coming soon).

Kisses!

-Muppet




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