Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 42- This week shouldn't count

This week has not been the ideal environment for healing. Due to external circumstances, I have not been able to take care of myself like I need to. My dog is very ill and I have been on 24 hour nursing care and observation. I haven't been sleeping so I have very little energy to get through the day, let alone have time to cook healthy balanced meals. My gut pain is constant but I am very sensitive to stress and sadness so I've just tried to eat when I can to maintain calories and not worry too much about it. He is making improvements so I'm hopeful I can get back into some sort of routine again and try to end the diet experience on a positive note.

Food Journal Day 39 Friday
Breakfast: fritatta w/egg, spinach, garlic, onion, avocado, small protein shake
Lunch: spaghetti squash with shrimp and broccoli, kombucha
Dinner: baked salmon, garlic over greens (watercress, spinach, arugula) lemon olive oil dressing

Food Journal Day 40 Saturday
Breakfast: small protein shake
Lunch: tuna melt on GF bread (some ingredients not allowed)
Snack: 1/2 T. sunflower seed butter, GF crackers
Dinner: coconut ginger basa, sauteed ginger chard

Day 41 Sunday
Breakfast: protein shake w/ ClearVite, acai packet, carrot juice, cultured coconut milk, spinach, broccoli stems
Lunch: leftover spaghetti squash and broccoli, leftover salmon and greens, GF crackers, sunflower seed butter

Snack: beet chips, avocado, kombucha

Dinner: sun burger (brown rice, sunflower seeds, veggies) over greens, asparagus, avocado, leftover red snapper

Day 42 Monday
Breakfast: protein shake
Lunch: leftover salmon, asparagus, kombucha
Snack: tea, 3 sunballs over 2 hours
Dinner: sweet potato, avocado, raw massaged kale salad

Sunballs- Mary's Gone Crackers Sticks and Twigs crushed with sunflower seed butter, quinoa, hemp seed, chia seed, cinnamon and rolled in sesame seeds. I like bite size so I roll marble size. These are not sweet, I should have used some stevia.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 37- Finally some needed changes

I am happy to report that I am making some needed adjustments to my regimen. After discussing with my acupuncturist, his advised me to back off a little. He thought my symptoms sounded like my body was unhappy with the changes and obviously holding me back from recovering. So, as of now I am officially adding whole grains back into my diet. I had tried replacing quinoa for fruit in small amounts but not everyday.  I am also going to replace the Repair Vite with Clear Vite to get more nutrients and take the GI synergy only once a day instead of twice a day.  I have tried adding in eggs but the jury is still out if they are affecting me. The diet is still strict but just easing up a tiny bit gives me the most unexpected joy. I no longer feel like any mistake I make is detrimental to my recovery and that I am in a constant state of panic with life or death decisions.  It is a fluid process of what works for me and it's ok for me to experiment a little.

Just 3 days into backing off a little and I'm already noticing some positive changes. I feel less dizzy on an average, less disoriented, and my mood has greatly improved.  I have less feelings of hopelessness and depravity. I still get dizzy spells, forget to put protein powder in my protein shake, and forget nouns and adjectives but it's not so bad. The only changes I've really made are reducing the GI synergy to once a day, eating bigger portions, eating more quinoa and allowing myself a treat like crackers or frozen cultured coconut milk. I also found some cacao nibs that have very little sugar so as a special treat I eat one or two and savor it, and feel much happier as a result.  I'm not sure what this means for killing Candida but it does feel like a better environment to heal in. I suppose I will deal with the Candida later when my gut has healed a bit longer.

Day 36 Tuesday
Breakfast: protein shake with carrot juice, c.c. milk, fresh ginger, stevia
Lunch: baked salmon, arugula, lettuce, lemon olive oil dressing
Snack: can't remember but think I ate something

Dinner: salmon, brown rice, broccoli

Day 37 Wednesday
Breakfast: fried egg with leftover salmon, cream of rice cereal (11am)
Snack: GF crackers, beet chips
Dinner: shrimp with lemon and garlic, quinoa, broccoli
Dessert: frozen cultured coconut milk (3g sugar) with cinnamon and stevia

Day 38 Thursday
Breakfast: egg with wilted spinach on GF english muffin
Lunch: quinoa and broccoli
Snack: GF crackers (Sticks and Twigs by Mary gone crackers, and yes they taste similar)

Dinner: lemon shrimp, broccoli, spaghetti squash

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 34- I'm not gonna lie, this is hard.

This has been the toughest week thus far.  I didn't think it would get worse but it has.  Because of my severely decreased intake of sugar, my body is going through some drastic changes. The most noticeable is the bloating. Every day now I am bloated, when I wake up to when I go to bed.  It gets worse after each meal. The fatigue is life-altering, and I haven't seen an energy boost even after forcing myself to exercise 3 times a week. The dizziness and vertigo occur randomly throughout the day.  The brain fog is incredible, it's no wonder I can't write everyday. I can't make a clear sentence to save my life or just try to communicate with the outside world for that matter. On top of all that, I have been extremely emotional and the depression is a real, palpable feeling, like a heavy jacket I can't take off.

My research has led me to believe some of my symptoms are common with Candida die off.  What  I understand is that Candida releases toxins into the blood stream, whether they are multiplying or dying.  They end up in the liver to be filtered,  causing the liver to work overtime trying to filter out all of these poisons.  This causes the body to suffer in many ways. A common toxin is acetaldehyde, which is broken down to alcohol. The drunk feeling is a real symptom, I was starting to feel crazy and thought I had begun imagining new symptoms. There have been a handful of times now that I felt like I had a really nice buzz after two martinis. Since I hadn't drank any martinis, I was alarmed and thought I was going to be sick. The other night after dinner while driving home, it occurred to me that I was swerving and felt drunk. Amazingly, I've read about people getting DUI's and testing high for blood alcohol that have not been drinking and were undergoing similar detox and cleanses. So the brain fog and hangover feelings may be directly related to how much Candida is in my body.

There is a probable history and direction now that seems to be getting clearer.  Two years ago I took a hefty dose of antibiotics for a month long GI upset. Then some months later I began to have random bloating which progressed to daily pain and digestive problems. Add a high stress job with emotions  I hadn't learned to cope with yet and the ball was rolling.  I ate a high carb, high sugar, highly processed vegetarian diet.  I had been on oral contraceptives for 10+ years of my life. All these things contributed to a Candida overgrowth which led to Leaky Gut syndrome.  Through a process of elimination with medical doctors and natural healers, I've been led to this. Now of course I don't know if this is the case but I'd like to think I had an answer, it would make me feel better.  I am looking for some more concrete answers at this point because I find it unbearable to live between the Leaky Guy diet and a Candida diet. It needs to be one or the other. I understand I need to heal my gut before any real transformation happens but I am looking for guidance on how to do that. Any thoughts?

Food Journal Day 32 Friday
Breakfast: protein shake w/carrot juice, c.c. milk, kombucha, spinach, fresh ginger
Lunch: leftover pesto'd basa and spaghetti squash 
Snack: beet chips, avocado 
Dinner: sashimi, half roll (rice), collar (grilled), daikon, ginger, green tea

Day 33 Saturday
Breakfast: protein shake w/carrot juice, c.c.milk, kombucha, spinach, stevia 
Snack: beet chips 
Lunch: mahi mahi, quinoa, spinach 
Dinner: shrimp, salmon, spinach, broccoli

Day 34 Sunday
Breakfast: protein shake w/carrot juice, c.c. milk, kombucha, spinach, kale, fresh ginger, stevia
Lunch: leftover mahi mahi, quinoa, spinach, beet chips 
Snack: quinoa (1/4 cup) 
Dinner: sauteed lemon shrimp and raw kale salad
Dessert: frozen cultured coconut milk and cinnamon (2g sugar) 

Day 35 Monday
Breakfast: protein shake w/ c.c. milk, repairvite, kombucha, arugula, ginger, cinnamon, stevia
Lunch: tuna salad with leftover kale salad, kombucha
Dinner: roasted butternut squash, sauteed red chard

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 31- Disappointment rears its ugly head

So I feel like I should be excited that I've finished a month of the RepairVite program for Leaky Gut Syndrome but I'm not.  I wanted to feel a little improvement after 30 days of torture. I am still having generalized abdominal pain, bloated, gassy, tired, depressed and now also really frustrated and hungry. The alterations I've made to this diet so far are cutting out fruit and adding quinoa and eggs. Since my symptoms look like a Candida overgrowth, I have reduced my sugar intake to the minimum. In order to survive, it was suggested I could replace a small amount of grains (GF of course) since they are less liked by Candida than fruit. I know I am not eating enough because I am hungry all of the time. It's not that I don't want to eat, it's that I spend so much time trying to come up with an idea of what to eat that I feel like I spend my entire day planning, cooking, eating and cleaning up.  My kitchen is in a constant state of disaster, yet I'm still hungry. So struggling with getting enough food, I have lost more weight. I am at the lowest weight I've been in my adult life, but sadly I don't feel skinny because my belly is always distended. So at this point I am experimenting with adding a new protein- eggs. I had eliminated eggs in a previous elimination diet. I had suspicious but not definitive results so I just avoided them. I have toyed with the idea of adding in some animal protein but after thinking about it for weeks, I still feel uncomfortable and the mental aspect would most likely overcome any physical benefits. I am hoping to not have any obvious results as it is difficult to add something new in when I am already bloated everyday. But here's hoping...

As part of sugar withdrawals (I am guessing), I am having some terrible mood swings, headaches, more abdominal pain and tenderness and noticeably increased lethargy.  I wish I knew that it was the sugar deprivation and that when I get over this I will feel better. I am uncertain if it's part of the detox, a reaction to the eggs, sugar withdrawal or something else.  Either way, it's a lot worse than I had expected and I feel worse than before I started the program. So I'm either doing a good thing and my body is releasing toxins or I am doing a bad thing and making my body worse. Hmmm....

Food Journal Day 30 Wednesday
Breakfast: protein shake with carrot juice, cultured coconut milk, spinach, fresh ginger, stevia 
Snack: hard boiled egg 
Lunch: quinoa with broccoli, tilapia and avocado 
Snack: beet chips, kombucha 
Dinner: egg scramble with salmon, spinach, avocado and onion

Food Journal Day 31 Thursday
Breakfast: protein shake with carrot juice, c.c. milk, spinach, kombucha and stevia
Snack: hard boiled egg, kombucha
Lunch: vegetable broth soup with spinach and leftover tilapia
Dinner: basa fillet in cilantro pesto over spaghetti squash

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Last 3 Food journals

Baked tilapia and broccoli
my fave carrot juice- 4g sugar
Food Journal Day 27 Sunday
Breakfast: protein shake with carrot juice, cultured coconut milk, spinach, frozen acai (protein=20g, sugar=8g)
Lunch: coconut lime basa, wilted spinach, kombucha
Snack: kombucha
Dinner:garlic and onion baked tilapia, steamed broccoli

Food Journal Day 28 Monday
Breakfast: protein shake w/carrot juice, c.c.milk, spinach, frozen acai, fresh ginger, stevia
Lunch: quinoa, broccoli, avocado, mini pickles
Snack: sweet potato fries, salad with hard boiled egg, lemon oil dressing
Dinner: lime coconut shrimp and chard

Food Journal Day 29 Tuesday
Breakfast: protein shake w/carrot juice, c.c.milk, spinach, frozen acai, stevia
Lunch: leftover tilapia, quinoa, broccoli, avocado, ginger tea w/stevia
Snack: avocado with beet chips, quinoa with cinnamon and coconut milk  
Dinner: scallops with scrambled eggs and spinach

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Candida thoughts

I always have the best of intentions when I wake up then as the day progresses I can't follow through with my positive ideas. Like today for example, I thought to myself, try not to eat any fruit until later today. Then I saw the other half of a grapefruit and planned to eat it after breakfast. I am my own worst enemy.
I am going to give away the rest of my fresh fruit and stick with frozen acai for my morning smoothie in place of fresh fruit. It only has 3g sugar as do the coconut yogurt and carrot juice so my entire breakfast is less than 8g of sugar. I think that should be acceptable.
From the research I've done on Candida at this point, I am really hoping that is what's wrong with me because it fits. I've gone through needing a diagnosis to accepting it may never happen back to wanting a diagnosis. There are a few tests that seem to help determine if I have a yeast overgrowth but I don't have any professional opinions about them yet.
First, a spit test. I failed this one. I've also been told since it is part of the normal flora, it will always show positive signs. Jury is out.
Second, a blood test to measure the response of your immune system to Candida (antibody levels).
Third, a stool test looking for evidence of dysbiosis, an unbalanced flora.
Finally, a urine test measuring the waste product of yeast.
Reference web site
So I am interested in finding out some opinions about getting these tests performed, why are they beneficial, what are their drawbacks and is it worth it?
I feel as though it would be easier for me to follow a no sugar diet if I knew I was on the right path, not just another experiment that led me to another dead-end. It seems crazy to say out-loud but the Candida diet looks way easier than the one I am on right now.
Here is a website that I learned a lot from -Candida info

I made a very unsuccessful attempt at grain free crackers. I was inspired by some pictures of a few blogs I follow but not being able to use flour, they never made it to a cracker existence. I used seeds- pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and hemp, herbs and tried to bind it with olive oil and hemp butter. I rolled it out 1/4 inch thick on parchment paper then baked for 25 minutes at 350F.  It never found solid form and exists as burnt crumbs. Hmmmm, I'm not very good at this stuff but it is fun to experiment.  Any ideas?

Food Journal Day 25 Friday
My disgusting breakfast today
The best fish I've made yet
Breakfast: protein shake with new pea protein, carrot juice, cultured coconut milk, spinach, banana, stevia (this is fairly disgusting, had to chase each sip with kombucha, need to work on recipe) (28g protein)
Snack: plain coconut yogurt, blueberries, flax meal, hemp seeds
Lunch: quinoa, sweet potato, wilted spinach, kombucha, grapefruit (hour later)
Snack: coconut leather
Dinner: coconut ginger lime marinated Basa fillet, gingered chard

Food Journal Day 26 Saturday
Breakfast: hot quinoa cereal with coconut milk, hemp butter, hemp seeds, sesame seed, kombucha (protein=10g) 11a
Snack: grapefruit 2p
Dinner: sesame crusted ahi tuna salad, lemon basil dressing, tea 5p
Snack: artichoke, avocado lemon oil, kombucha (10p)
Snack: applesauce (just enough to take with pills)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 24- Candida, I hate you.

I went to see my acupuncturist on Thursday for a checkup and the second round of supplements.  I described to him that I initially felt better but have noticed the bloating getting worse and now it is back to a daily symptom.  When I take out everything that it delicious and I am still bloated, it really makes me question if it's the food at all.  What is the worst thing he could say to me at this point, really? Well, he said it.
No more sugar.
Aaaacccckkkk, what??? I thought I was barely surviving trading in cookies for fruit and now no fruit either? It turns out sugar has always been my common denominator.  From the previous elimination diets to the daily gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle, I've always maintained sugar as a constant ingredient.  I have been conscious of my choices however,  I pretty much always ate homemade treats that were sweetened with fruit, dates, honey, agave, or raw unrefined sugars. I thought using flours like quinoa, buckwheat, garbanzo and almond flours were a better choice than the bleached refined white flours everyone else eats and enjoys in this society. I remember my first elimination diet allowed brown rice syrup and molasses. That was easy.  Even when I was told in the beginning to rid my life of bread and cheese, my most common meal in many forms, I thought "at least they aren't telling me to stop eating cookies, I would have no reason to live." I am so sick of people saying to me they don't know how I do it,  they would just die if they couldn't eat (insert anything). If constant pain was their motivating factor and a life less than desired, it wouldn't be so hard.  Sorry, sometimes I let out that  negativity monster I try so hard not to share with others.
So back to Candida, I hate you. You make my life miserable, I want to rid my body of you. This is my new mantra and I will be using it to get myself through the next month of what I imagine to be the hardest yet.  Since I have never fully eliminating sugar from my diet, this is the next step.  It seems likely that I continue to feed the yeast with the sugars I am ingesting, therefore it continues to thrive. Even with the supplements that are trying to kill the yeast, any "die-off" can also cause bloating, and any that remain are feeding off my sugar addiction (that they started, I'm sure).  So I am on a new research path for now, candida and how I can kill it. I like researching and learning even more so I'm trying to look at it as a positive learning experience.

Since my acupuncturists widely agrees that I am human and starving myself of carbs can cause other harmful effects (mostly making one feel crazy), he has agreed to a compromise. There is a scale that describes what foods are best and worst for yeast inhibition so as an experiment he said I can add in whole grains in place of fruit (grains are lower on the list than fruit). This is not to say that every meal can be a giant bowl of rice but instead of snacking on fruit, replace it with quinoa or rice.  I was already separating my fruit from meals for the last week, as I had done this before the detox hoping food combining was the answer.  In small portions even added to meals, it is thought I will feel more full therefore feeling less like a sugary snack as often as I do. I will try this for 2 weeks and see how I feel. Obviously if I can work up to no grains, that is the goal.  I will share with you more research as I learn other interesting tidbits.
Since I don't believe in wasting, I am going to expeditiously eat the remainder of fruit I have and rid myself of any other items that I can not hide or freeze indefinitely.  It shouldn't take more than a few days. I have to finish this program strong and disciplined with gusto and perseverance. Its all I can do before giving up, especially when I am told it is extremely optimistic to think I will be healed in 4 weeks when this is over.  Also, if I feel 80% better, than I am on the right track. If not, I need to find a new path. Not very inspiring words to look forward to.

Coconut fruit leather-  allowed?

Food Journal Day 23 Wednesday
Breakfast: protein shake with spinach, carrot juice, cultured coconut milk, blueberries, banana
Snack: coconut bites

Lunch: tuna salad w/avocado, artichoke, cucumber, carrrot, sunflower seed, lemon juice in lettuce wraps, kombucha

Dinner: sweet potato w/ avocado and broccoli, olive oil & salt
Dessert: applesauce (for pills) and coconut fruit leather

Coconut fruit leather:  mixed dried unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder and flax meal with simmered raspberries and cherries and then a small amount of coconut milk to desired consistency. Spread thin (1/4-1/2 in.) on parchment paper over baking sheet and bake at 350F for 25 min. I tore apart into small bite size pieces and moved outside pieces to middle after 15 min to get consistent crusty edges. The final product is very thin but holds together well in small pieces,  it's also tart and tastes too good to be allowed on this diet.

Food Journal Day 24 Thursday
Breakfast: protein shake with normal stuff

Lunch: salad with roasted beets and crab meat, herbal tea
Snack: coconut fruit leather
Snack: frozen coconut mango

Dinner: cedar plank salmon, grilled asparagus, spinach