The road back to better health (and the details of my diet)

Thank you to all of those who have left such kind comments about my health and this new diet. 🙂

I saw the Naturopath on Friday, and here is the basic verdict:
A score of 9/10 on the Candida yeast scale,
Some parasites competing with me for my nutrients,
And adrenal glands that are pretty exhausted

She’s going to get me in for a full screen, including blood work, kidney and liver function, etc. within the next month or two as well.

I must say, there was actually a lot of relief for me in going and being able to discuss things with her. She asked me one question that was very revealing for me, and that was to rate my energy level on a scale of 1-10. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been asked anything like that.

Ever since my husband Ryan was sick this past spring (starting last February, he had surgery, and was then diagnosed with cancer, and spent the late spring and summer in chemotherapy treatments, and has been slowly recovering and getting back to work since fall), life has been rather hectic and tiring, in one way or another. In order to care for everyone this summer, I felt as though I just had to live on adrenaline (and sometimes coffee), just to get through the day. There was basically no time to recover from childbirth, and I’ve struggled with my milk supply greatly this time around, between the stress and forgetting to eat and drink enough. Life has settled down and I spent the fall/winter months before Christmas trying to just get my home back in order, focus on my children’s needs, and recuperate emotionally.

But now, I am realizing that my physical body is drained as well. The baby still isn’t sleeping through the night, and since he is basically solely breastfed, that is requiring a lot of my body as well. I’ve had the Candida and parasite issues for a long time, I’m pretty sure, which often go along with fatigue and poor digestion (and therefore poor absorption of nutrients). Since we’ve moved, I haven’t taken the kids out for walks much, because there’s no where to really walk to, and it’s not particularly enticing in the West coast grey and rain to go for a walk "just because". I’m sure my body is missing our on regular exercise as well.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this tired mommy, who is often encouraging others to pay attention to what their body is trying to tell them, just hasn’t been paying enough attention to her own body’s needs and is now paying the price. I don’t say any of this to complain about the events of this past year, as I know that many others have gone or are going through very difficult situations as well. Quite frankly, I have felt the peace and provision of God more strongly than ever through all of this, and am thankful for what He has brought us through (but that is another story, really, that could be an entire series of posts in and of itself).

So even though this new diet is extensive (I’ll give the complete list of my restrictions in a minute), I’m actually so relieved to be doing this. I want to regain my health and energy so that I can better care for my family, pour more into my other relationships, and also just so that I can feel better again. It’s really not about me, and God has already done so much more for me than I deserve, but if it’s possible, I would really love to feel my energetic self again.

In all of it’s restrictive glory, here is my list of food sensitivities that I will be avoiding for the next couple of months, and possibly a little longer:
Barley, oats, rice (I can have it occasionally, but not often), wheat, all cow’s milk products except; butter, eggs, grapefruit, lemon, orange, avocado, cabbage, cucumber, green peas, mushrooms, white potato (again, only occasionally), tomato, coconut (occasionally), peanuts, beef, crab, lobster, shrimp (actually, I never eat shellfish anyways, so it’s not a loss), alcohol, yeast of any kind, chocolate, coffee, fructose, honey, sugar, black tea, vinegar, and any chemicals, dyes, and food additives (which I usually avoid anyways).

In addition, I will be taking an anti-yeast homeopathic remedy, as well as l-Glutamine (which helps to heal the gut when there are food sensitivities) and a high quality pro-biotic (to re-establish good intestinal bacteria, which are attacked by Candida). I will continue to take Cod Liver Oil, because I do not digest or absorb fats well, and need the extra Omega 3 fatty acids (and my Naturopath believes that I will do better on an animal rather than plant source, which I have found to be true in my experience with supplementing fatty acids). I will also be juicing as much as possible, for the increased nutrients.

And I think that’s about it- it will be an adventure, right? I’ve helped my husband and daughter with a Candida diet like this, and have done the Maker’s Diet several times, which is quite restrictive for the first month, so I have at least an idea of what to prepare. I’ve been scouring my Candida, cleanse/restrictive diet and vegan cookbooks for ideas of what I can eat so that I can plan for it. In my experience, detailed meal (and even snack) planning is so helpful in order to make a diet like this successful.

Has anyone else done a restrictive diet like this? Or are you on one right now? I’d love to hear how it’s going for you, what your restrictions are, and any great books or online resources you’ve found for recipe ideas! I will be sharing what I am using, as well!

Image from art.com;

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  1. I am taking l-Glutamin as well as cod liver oil myself. 🙂

    So, are the foods you are avoiding the ones that are bad for yeasts (because that’s what they seemed like to me) or are they more like food allergies?

    I am so sorry to hear about your health issues. I also have adrenal issues, and a “baby” -a 16 month old daughter who isn’t sleeping through the night. I am also having to get my health up a lot.

    We should share what helps us. Maybe we can help each other out:-)

  2. You might check in with celiac websites/recipes.

    We follow a no food dyes/food additives diet. No BHT/BHS/TBHQ. No MSG. It’s in a LOT of stuff!

    I am allergic to lemon, but lemongrass is a completely different plant and will give you the flavor. Also lime juice is a good substitute on fish, etc. if you can have that.

    Check with the naturopath on the dairy – can you have yogurt with active cultures? This will help kill the yeastie beasties AND you can do a lot with it in the kitchen.

    I see honey is a no-no, but molasses is not on the list? Ask your naturopath if you can have raw honey. Stevia is a good substitute though.

    Also, I don’t know if they told you this, but while you are in the middle of Candida treatment, you will feel bad. As the yeast dies, they let off toxins. Bad in the short term, good in the long term. So if you don’t feel great immediately, don’t stop doing it!

    HTH! If you have any questions about the additive free diet, drop me a line – we’ve been doing it for my son for two years now.

  3. This is something I have been interested in for a long time. I took an online question and answer test a few years ago to see what the likelihood of me having yeast issues was…it was high. I also suspect my daughter has a problem with this.

    I am looking forward to reading about what you are eating and how it is working for you. It can certainly seem like daunting task.

    You have had a hard year! I hope and pray that your energy returns and you start to feel good soon.


  4. I was thinking a little more about this and wondered if you heard of welltellme.com ?

    They have some great discussion threads going. If you go to the website and search for Candida or yeast you will come up with all kinds of information.

    One of the ladies on there did a diet like yours and she said she feels like a new woman.

    Thought you might like to check it out.

  5. I don’t have allergies to any foods, but during my pregnancy I was introduced to the teachings of Dr. Joel Fuhrman (www.drfuhrman.com) and Dr. John McDougall (www.drmcdougall.com). Both of these doctors teach people the relationship between diet and disease. Dr. Furhman has two books, “Eat to Live” and “Disease Proof your Child.” I’ve read the latter, and it is full of evidence that a vegan diet that’s also free of any processed foods is absolutely necessary to protect from sickness and disease. Both of these books include recipes made from fruits, veggies, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds. Dr. McDougall has lectures on DVD exposing the health risks from a diet that includes animal products, especially milk. Neither of these two doctors include the restrictions from fruits and veggies that you must follow. Dr. McDougall actually promotes a starch-based diet, which of course wouldn’t be what you need. Dr. Fuhrman also says that a few ounces of meat a week is okay. On Dr. McDougall’s website you can find recipes. I believe that you must pay to become a member of Dr. Fuhrman’s to access the recipes. Additionally, Dr. Fuhrman sells products like seasonings and healthy snacks on his websites.

    I followed a number of the principles from this diet during my pregnancy last year. I kept my weight gain under 30 pounds, and I still delivered a healthy 8 lb 11 oz baby! After my daughter’s birth, I continued it for the most part and had lost all of my pregnancy weight plus 5 pounds three months after delivery. I have breastfed from the beginning and am doing it still nine months later. I love making all my food from scratch, which was a new concept to me at the time. I have not completely eliminated animal products from our diet, but they have been significanlty reduced in my diet, especially milk products. I love how I feel!

    Are the restrictions to your fruits and veggies permanent? Or are they ones you must eliminate while undergoing detox? I hope the detox process is not too difficult and that you get to feeling better soon!

  6. Kimi, the diet is primarily for yeast. Some of the sensitivities have devloped as a result of the yeast and poor digestion, but most of them will go away after the yeast is gone and my body is functioning better. I agree- let’s help each other in this!

    Milehimama, I’m going to ask if I can have lime- I think I might be able to, which would be helpful. I can’t have any molasses or anything, but stevia is allowed, and I am already use it, so that’s easy. Yogurt is out, but she has me on an excellent probiotic supplement instead. And thanks for the encouragement!

    Thanks Stacy. It’s worth finding out if you have yeast issues- they can affect so many other areas of health! I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing with the diet!

    Thanks for the info, Risha. Glad to hear you’re feeling so well! And no, the fruit and veggie restrictions aren’t permanent- they’re just for the cleanse, thankfully!

  7. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to drop by and I am on a similar food journey. So I’thought I’d try to leave a note!
    First, I think that we have very similar convictions about nutrition – namely that we are stewards of these bodies and of our family’s health also. My journey started with PRISM weightloss program last year, where I learned how to skip sugar/white flour and eat whole foods. Then God led me to ‘The Maker’s Diet’, ‘Nourishing Traditions’ (my favorite!), and a nutritionist. Had He not lead me thru these changes for our family, I would not have been prepared to deal with my kids’ food allergies (sensitities), diagnosed a few months ago. Your blog entries say everything that has been on my mind this past year and wish that had time to blog about! I so want to talk more since you have a good handle on this stuff!
    A few questions for you. What is L. glutamine and how do I know if I or my kids have candida issues (Rae is allergic to yeast)? I LOVE the ideaology of Weston Price and we were a house full of raw dairy and fermented products (although I struggle to afford good meat). However, my kids were just found to be allergic to dairy and wheat (and many other foods) and I am whoa to give uo these life-giving foods! I don’t know how to replace these good calories and am just trying to rmember the cod liver oil daily. We will be seein a naturopath soon to to get some probiotics for all and make sure everyone’s gut flora are ok. Would you have time to check out my blog post ‘The Food We Eat’ (http://heritage-academy.blogspot.com/2008/02/food-we-eat.html)? I would value any suggestions you have!
    How long do you have to change your diet? What supplements are you taking w/ the cod liver oil? What are you doing about raw dairy if youa re allergic?

    Thanks sooooo much for these posts! It’s nice to find like-minded people out there! Have you visited welltellme.com yet? Are you familiar with nogreaterjoy.com? Their training materials for kids are wonderful!

    Andrea (sorry so long winded – I’m just passionate about nutrition and child-training!)

  8. I did the Body Ecology Diet my Donna Gates. I had been struggling for 1 year with terrible sinus issues. After doing the diet for 6 months I was 100% healed. The one problem is that i ended up loosing too much body weight. I did not have enough of the good oils and allowed grains, otherwise I would have been fine. I pray you find your answers, I know how overwhelming it can be esp with children. Thank you for your blog.

  9. The diet I’m following is similiar to the Body Ecology and it’s called GAPS. (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). Not a very catchy name, but it is working wonders for me and my family. I’m 27 and my daughter (with autism) is 4, and my son is 2. My husband is not doing it, but my kids are doing great despite his standard american diet influence. (Not cheating or whining about it.) We are off all grains even alternative grains, and eat alot of animal fats (organic, pastured, grass-fed animals) liver, healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, and butter when tolerated. Some of our staples are bone broth, vegetables, vegetable juices, and homemade kefir or yogurt cultured for 24 hours. Closest to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet but is tweaked some. Also GAPS has an intro diet recommended on gapsdiet.com which goes without honey, and fruit for awhile. That has been found to be crucial for some people to avoid fruit and honey for one or more years in addition to adhering to the diet limitations due to candida. At first it was really hard for us but after getting the hang of the recipes and cooking style it was much easier. And our cravings subsided very quickly. We cut out the honey and fruit gradually too. Not too much die-off until I added an herbal anti-candida remedy. Wow! That was rough the first few days, but then it got much better and I could double the dose with less problems than initially. Anyways, the gapshelp yahoo group has been so helpful and encouraging to me along the way. I highly recomend them if anyone wants to learn more.

  10. I don’t know if you are still answering questions from this long ago but how much L-glutamine do you take daily to help heal the gut? I also am taking it but wonder if I am taking enough. Thank you for your time

  11. What is the cleanse you are doing, are there supplements you can take to get rid of the yeast and parasites? We have BAD yeast issues! Our family is on GAPS, but have not done intro just yet. We have to wait until the kids are not in school. Thanks!

  12. Hi!. I am also doing a restirctive candida/yeast killing cleanse per my naturopaths recommendation. She said to combine it withthe Maker’s diet and dothe maker’s diet minus the food sensitivities. Thank you God that I can eat eggs and vinegar. I am having problems with butter so I will cut that out. It is difficult but when my husband and I plan days together I do better. For breakfast today I had a natural hotdog and egg omelet and a berry drink with greens and hemp seed. For snack I had sugar snap peas and almonds and for lunch a rosemary bacon beef burger and salad. I am having a real problem with salad dressings. If anyone can help with an idea for a creamy dressing that doesn’t taste like bland mayo I would love that! happy New Year to you all!

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