When I talk about Candida overgrowth in this blog, I am referring to Candida Albicans. An overgrowth of yeast can occur in the large intestine. As it flourishes, it becomes parasitic. It leads to inflammation throughout the body causing aches and pains. There are many symptoms including thrush, vaginal yeast infections, exhaustion, and depression. The causes of this overgrowth are stress, a high-sugar diet, or lots of antibiotic use. I have talked about this in my early blog posts.
Being on this relatively new Candida journey presents new challenges to my life. Being born with an allergy or affliction obviously is different from developing it later in life. I’m in no way saying one is better than the other. I feel that I am still “new” to this process. I am hoping that my learning curve benefits others by exposing this condition, building support, and demonstrating the necessity of ongoing self-educating.
With any new challenge in life, comes fear, anxiety, maybe even excitement at times. Looking back, I had so much fear at the beginning. It is cyclical. The more anxiety I had, the more cortisol (sugar) my body produced, insulin production went down, and Candida thrived off that “sugar stress.” As time went on, learning to navigate Candida within my own body, became easier. My stress levels have come down, not only dealing with Candida but also in general. I have made decisions to cut some stressful situations out of my life. My husband and I were also able to pay off our business debt in April. Thank God for that because that had been a huge stress in my life. Debt is bondage. It robbed my spirit of joy and left me with a sense of hopelessness. I recommend strongly to get out of debt and seek Dave Ramsey’s resources like Financial Peace for financial counseling. Click here for more info: https://www.daveramsey.com/ I am so thankful that my stress level has lowered tremendously. It makes a huge difference when battling Candida.
There are so many layers to this journey. Getting on a good diet is #1. The diet I started with was The Ultimate Candida Diet. For more information, you can click here: https://www.thecandidadiet.com/ultimate-candida-diet/ Finding a functional medicine doctor to guide you on this journey, and minimizing stress in your life are the other pieces to the puzzle. Doing all three will ensure your success. These are the beginning steps. It also takes time. Success occurs with consistency over time. In the beginning, I thought Candida overgrowth happened to me overnight. I suddenly got sick. Nothing could be further from the truth. I let myself go down this path for a long time until it smacked me in the face and beat me down. I had no choice but face it at that point. That being said, recovery is not going to just happen overnight. It will take practicing good health choices for months or even longer to get strength and good health back. It is achievable.
Once I got these steps down, I became healthy enough to start experimenting more with diet. Many Paleo recipes are suitable for Candida overgrowth. Just watch for added sugar or dairy and make adjustments. There’s a lot of recipes online that are very beneficial and easy to access. Dr. Axe has a lot of great recipes online and I highly recommend his books. I also went to the library this past week and got a lot of amazing cookbooks. The Wellness Mama cookbook by Katie Wells and Against All Grain by Danielle Walker are among my favorites. Since my kitchen was well-stocked with the Candida diet ingredients, it was an easy transition to pick up these cookbooks and start cooking.
If you want to prepare your own kitchen with Candida health ingredients, here are some great gluten-free, low-carb, low sugar staples. I choose organic whenever possible to keep toxic intake down.
Pure stevia powder (Be on the lookout for anything added to ingredients, like maltodextrin =sugar. Get the pure stevia only)
Arrowroot flour (thickener)
Full-fat coconut milk in a can (The carton coconut or almond milk has a lot of unidentifiable ingredients)
Unsweetened shredded coconut (gives sweet taste without sugar)
Free range eggs
Cinnamon (gives sweet taste without sugar and has health benefits)
Many fresh and dried herbs to create diverse flavors
Unrefined coconut oil
Virgin olive oil
Local raw honey
Coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
Himalayan pink salt
Cashews and almonds to grind into flour, make into milk, blend into nut butter or use whole (store nuts in freezer to avoid mold and nut butter in refrigerator)
Fresh lemons or limes to season with juice or use zest
Unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar with the mother
Pure vanilla extract (adds sweet taste)
I hope this encourages you today to fight the good fight. The war is won by all the little battles we fight and all the good choices we make. We may fall down from time to time, but we are not out. Keep fighting! I will end this post with a great gluten-free pizza crust I found. http://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-pizza-crust-grain-free-dairy-free/
QUICK AND EASY PALEO PIZZA CRUST
Serves: 10-12 inch crust
- ½ cup fine blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup tapioca flour(or arrowroot starch) plus 2-3 tbsp more for spreading/kneading dough
- 6-7 tbsp coconut flour, divided into 3 (first) and 3-4 (after adding egg – I used 6 and ¼ Tbsp, total)
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- ¾ tsp fine grain sea salt
- ⅓ cup warm water
- ⅓ cup light flavored olive oil
- 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg, room temp, whisked
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet(round if you prefer) with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot, 3 Tbsp of the coconut flour, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir well to fully combine.
- In a measuring cup, combine the water, oil, and vinegar, then pour into the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
- Now stir in the whisked egg to combine well. Once you have a sticky mixture, you will slowly add the remaining coconut flour. I recommend adding a Tbsp at a time and mixing well until you have a dough that’s still a bit sticky yet able to be spread out. Don’t add more than 3-4 additional Tbsp of coconut flour in this step.
- Sprinkle extra tapioca or arrowroot on your parchment lined baking sheet, transfer the dough to the sheet and sprinkle with more tapioca/arrowroot. Work the dough into a 9-10 inch circle (12 for a very thin crust), then bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how crispy you want the crust. I baked mine for about 12 minutes before adding my toppings, and baking again. Bake time will depend on the toppings you plan to add, how crispy you want the crust, and how thin you spread it out.
- Top your crust however you like! Enjoy!