If stress was the primary cause of Candida overgrowth in your life, we probably have a lot in common. Being a people pleaser, overcommiter, worry wart, empathizer, a determined to get things right person, has definitely contributed to my sickness. Because these elements are so deep in my personality, it takes a reworking of thoughts and behavior patterns. Just as much as the Candida diet takes reworking, behavior and thoughts are no different. This is a lifestyle change all around. That’s why the beginnings of this journey seem so difficult, but I pray that others will see there is hope. Taking one step at a time and reaching small goals makes life after Candida a little easier.
Looking at my personality defects or strengths, however I want to judge them, I can see there is a need to step back and relax or refresh. Of course, I am not good at taking time off or relaxing. There’s always dishes to be done, homeschool field trips to orchestrate, or income to be earned in order to propel us forward. Sometimes, I just have to “run away” and do it. Getting away from the house may be what it takes in order to get that much-needed rest or reconnection with family.
Candida affects the brain. It not only makes you crave foods to feed the Candida, but it also creates symptoms of depression. I tended to isolate myself when I went through harder bouts of it which further pushed me into those depressing thoughts. I had to consciously push myself out of my feelings and just do it.
Going away can cause additional stress, especially after embarking on this journey of whole, organic, home-cooked meals. It’s almost counter intuitive if you have been practicing great health choices at home. Preparing ahead of time will relieve stress.
My family had a great opportunity to go to Catalina Island on a ship out of San Pedro, California. It was a family science camp that the homeschool was sponsoring. The trip was through Mountain and Sea Adventures. I hadn’t been on a ship since my teenage years. I am prone to motion sickness. I bought the motion sickness bracelets for the whole family because I thought it was the best option. I try not to take meds even over the counter options because of the effects on the body. Having Candida has made me painfully aware of the negative effects of ingesting anything less than nutrient dense food or herbs. My friend also recommended taking Saltine crackers and club soda. I took these for the rest of the family as I shouldn’t have Saltines.
The galley on the ship was providing food on the trip, and I submitted my special diet, but I wasn’t sure if I would get enough veggies. It’s so hard to explain the Candida diet to people who aren’t familiar. People tend to understand allergies or gluten-free diets, but it’s harder for them to understand no carb, no dairy, gluten-free, no sugar. “No, I’m not allergic, but I have other issues.” Sometimes it is embarrassing because I think people may judge me…”Why is this thin person such a pain? Like a carb would kill her.”
As I prepared for the trip, I had additional limitations I had to face. There would be limited refrigerator space. We were also informed that anything we brought had to be “nut” free because of an extreme nut allergy. My original plans of taking nuts or almond flour muffins had to change. I packed a few fresh vegetables like organic grape tomatoes, carrots, and snap peas. I also packed hard-boiled eggs. I bought a few canned organic vegetables, including refried beans I could eat out of the can. I bought some dried vegetables that Trader Joes sells in foil packages like okra, and inner peas. I also took thick coconut flakes. Of course, I checked all the ingredients to make sure no added sugar or GMO oils were added. The great thing about Trader Joes is anything with their label on it, is non-GMO.
I’m sure I overly-prepared, but it made me feel better knowing I would have what I needed. I was nervous that I would be out of my comfort zone, out of my diet, and physically exerting myself. All three of these things together could bring on symptoms. I made sure to take all my supplements, but I wasn’t able to take my Kombucha. Kombucha has been so powerful in my recovery that I wasn’t looking forward to being without.
I did get seasick on the way out to Catalina. The crew said it was best to lay on the bow of the boat stomach against the deck to exert pressure. I lay there most of the way out. My husband brought me the Saltines and club soda, and it was working, but I was worried about the carbs. I stopped eating those and just lay there. Another person gave me ginger supplements later to take. It seemed to help, but I had been sick for at least three hours, so I decided to take Bonine the next morning. I don’t recommend this normally, but I felt desperate.
The whole rest of the trip was amazing. We got to snorkel, kayak, explore tide pools, mud flats, dissect quid, and jump off the ship and swim in the ocean. The crew was wonderful at working with in my diet, and to my surprise, there were many others that were gluten-free or had other allergies. I snacked in between meals with all the food I brought.
It was an amazing time to connect with family and enjoy nature. I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. The kids loved this trip and will talk about it for years to come. I didn’t suffer any symptoms, and actually felt invigorated. I took naps in between activities, while the kids played with other kids onboard. I think there were 9 families total. It was a great dynamic on board with the wonderful staff and beautiful families.
It’s important to step away from daily stress whenever possible and go play somewhere. Don’t let your illness keep you captive. Make it a priority because work and stress will always be waiting for you. Time with family is limited.