Finding Hope During The Candida Crisis

When I first embarked on this health journey, I naively thought this was temporary. Once I was healed from Candida, I was going to go back to my old life. If I worked hard enough, I could manage this.

I was listening to a message at church a couple of weeks ago, I was overwhelmed at what I heard. “This life is preparation for eternity.” What does it look like to live this life in preparation for eternity? Living my life in light of eternity reminds me that this is only temporary. I saw an illustration of a really long rope on a spool, being uncoiled down the aisle. The very end of the rope, maybe 2 inches, was wrapped in tape that the minister was holding onto. The taped part represented our time here on Earth and all the rest of the rope represented our time in eternity. Then he shook the rope from the taped part signifying that each action on the taped part ripples through eternity. Each action will lead to reward or regret in eternity. “The only suffering I will have to go through happens on the short, taped part of the rope.”

You can listen to the message if you would like: http://desertwindscc.org/filerequest/2725.mp3

I have been so wrapped up in my “defeat” or regression. It happens, but I have to remember that I have been called for a purpose. Without this illness, I would not have been able to help many people. I need to remember to rejoice in my suffering. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Rom 8:18

I was driving to work three weeks ago, praying “Lord, please heal me.” In my desperation, that’s all I could repeat. In the silence, I heard “in your weakness, I am strong.” I kept thinking what does this mean for me? Am I always going to struggle with this affliction?  I looked up scripture that coincides with this. The apostle Paul repeatedly asked the Lord to heal him. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

This is painful, but also hopeful. Facing sickness and not knowing the end time is difficult. Remembering that I was created for eternity where there will be no sickness or pain is an encouragement. Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”—that’s where I want to be! That is where you can be too.

I hope today, we can look beyond the pain. We can look towards eternity. I will continue to teach or share as much as I can through this blog, but in essence, this is all fluff compared to His glory. It is important for me to do my part, but His part is where the magic enters my story. The healing is in His hands and for His purposes.

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Lower Your Toxic Load With 6 HBA Recipes

Imagine your skin as a sponge, soaking up what you touch, to some extent.  Now imagine the harsh chemicals absorbing into your body. When we use harsh chemicals repeatedly, there are consequences whether or not they are apparent today or several years from now.

When I was growing up, I remember the concern about aluminum in deodorant. I also didn’t like the idea of plugging up my body with antiperspirants, but there didn’t seem to be an alternative for women. As I got older, I used All-Spice deodorant because it didn’t have aluminum. It didn’t have a female fragrance, but I considered it a trade-off for a better alternative.

After suffering from Candida, I have been researching more items to make at home that will eliminate or lower my toxic load. This is important to contribute to better health and sickness prevention overall.

I was skeptical about homemade deodorant, but it does work. I used lemon essential oil for its mood-boosting properties. I also love lemon. It was like “icing my armpits” with lemon frosting. Not as much pressure is needed to apply. I put it in old deodorant containers after making a batch. It “melts” into my skin as I apply it. The only downside is I sometimes get white powder on my shirt when I get dressed. It can be wiped off with a damp cloth. With the use of this new deodorant, I have noticed that my armpits aren’t as sensitive or itchy as they used to be.

Homemade Deodorant:

https://draxe.com/homemade-deodorant/

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 30-90

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 40-60 drops essential oils – Choice of Scents
  • [Scent recommendations: Female oils scents (lavender, lemon, and sage) Male oils scents (cypress, rosemary, and bergamot)]
  • Empty deodorant containers

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put coconut oil in bowl
  2. Mix in baking soda
  3. Add in essential oils
  4. Store in a deodorant container or in a glass jar

I have also been researching essential oils and their benefits. Not only can essential oils be applied to the body when mixed with a carrier oil, but they can also replace bathroom sprays. It is important to buy quality organic essential oils. Purchase dark glass spray bottles for air fresheners. They preserve the oils the best. I keep one in the car as well. Here is the basic recipe I use.

DIY Air Freshener Spray:

http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/06/homemade-air-fresheners.html

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup water(I use tap water, but distilled is fine too)
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, rubbing alcohol, or real vanilla extract
  • essential oil combinations (5-10 drops of each oil, depending on preference)

Combine in an 8oz spray bottle or break it up into several smaller spray bottles, shake well, and spray as needed.

You will find other fragrance combinations here: http://calmfulliving.com/project/make-your-own-aromatherapy-room-spray/

I found a great body wash from Dr. Axe. I use a BPA free plastic foaming container.

Homemade Body Wash:

Total Time: 2 minutes

Serves: 30

https://draxe.com/homemade-body-wash/

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup liquid Castille soap
  • 30 drops lavender oil, chamomile or geranium essential oils
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E
  • 2 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • BPA free plastic lotion dispenser or glass bottle with dispenser

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix ingredients until smooth and store in 8 oz plastic bottle.

This homemade body lotion seems more like a body butter. It has done wonders for my dry feet that used to be cracked, dry elbows, flaky stomach, and overall dry skin. I sometimes use different essential oils like peppermint to improve the scent. It is best to be patient and allow the beeswax to melt completely. After solidifying in the refrigerator, it is beneficial to whip it thoroughly in order to enjoy a lighter product. Use conservatively when applying as a little goes a long way.

Homemade Frankincense and Myrrh Lotion:

https://draxe.com/homemade-frankincense-myrrh-lotion/

Total Time: 90 minutes

Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tbsp vitamin E
  • 20 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 20 drops myrrh essential oil
  • BPA free plastic lotion dispenser bottles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter in a glass bowl then place that bowl in a saucepan with water.
  2. Heat stove to medium and mix ingredients together.
  3. Once mixed put in refrigerator for an hour until solid.
  4. With a regular mixer or hand mixer beat the mixture until it is whipped and fluffy. Then add essential oils and vitamin E and mix.
  5. Fill container and store in cool place.

Homemade Hand Soap:

https://draxe.com/homemade-hand-soap/

Total Time: 2 minutes

Serves: 30-60

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix soap and water. Add in oils and mix.
  2. Pour into the dispenser.

Hand Soap 2:

https://draxe.com/castile-soap/

Another option is to fill a foaming soap dispenser with 3/4 boiled or distilled water and ¼ liquid Castile soap. You can add 5 drops of tea tree essential oil for its antibacterial properties and lavender oil for its fragrant and relaxing scent. I like putting this one in a BPA free plastic foaming dispenser as well.

My goal is to always encourage the good bacteria in my body while maintaining cleanliness. Most hand soap today has become anti-bacterial. This kills the good bacteria on our hands along with the bad bacteria. When it comes to gut health, I want to make sure my HBA decisions are affecting it in a positive way. Lowering my toxic load by making my own products is a great way to do that. I hope this gives you lots of healthy alternatives.

 

Riding The Candida Wave

This was my journal entry I started Monday morning: “After a few weeks of tightening up on the Candida diet, increasing supplements, and a stress decrease, I have made progress. I realized this morning I have not been waking up with a sore throat the past few days. I also realized the pain in my right wrist is gone. Sometimes, I don’t realize the progress I have made right away. It’s usually the absence of pain/inflammation somewhere in the body that reminds me of how well I am doing. Candida can look like arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, back problems, fibromyalgia, or sinus problems. It just kicks up inflammation in multiple spots of the body. If you are unaware that you have Candida overgrowth, you will be chasing after all these symptoms, trying to ‘put out the fires’ in your body. No treatment will be effective until properly diagnosed and treated holistically.”

By Tuesday night, my body started to take a turn. After getting home from taking my kids to robotics class and running errands, I cleaned our bathrooms. When I went into the kitchen and saw the pile of dishes and messy state, I was overwhelmed. The question of “what’s for dinner?” from family members was especially frustrating. I started saying, “I can’t do this.” My daughter immediately said, “I will clean the kitchen.” I marveled at how soon she responded. I told her that that was great, but I also didn’t know how I was going to cook. I was so tired. I felt like I could fall asleep as I was standing there. She offered to cook too. I was thinking it over. I felt bad for her to do it all, so I offered to order and pick up Mexican food down the street.

After I got to the restaurant and ordered my food to-go, I had time to sit there and think. I just wanted to cry. I recognized my fragile mental state was Candida-related, but I was still overwhelmed. I was not only overwhelmed with my current list of things to do, but also with my body’s health state. How did things change for the worse? I was getting better. I couldn’t pinpoint any stressful event or anything I ate that would have triggered a negative response. That made me even more upset.

By Thursday afternoon, I was experiencing pre-yeast infection symptoms. I started my bath treatments. ¼ C. raw apple cider vinegar with the mother and warm water. I began to think of the recurring cycle. Did it follow any patterns? Sometimes I have ignored the beginning symptoms, hoping it would not amount to anything. It seemed like the last couple of times I relapsed, it started with brain fog and an unstable emotional state followed exhaustion. Then came the pre-yeast infection symptoms followed by pain or inflammation in the body.

Now I recognize the cycle. What’s next? I am honestly not sure. I am grateful to have an appointment with my chiropractor/nutritionist this week to see what advice she has for me. For now, I have to continue doing what I know is best. My no carb, no sugar, no caffeine, no dairy diet with increased probiotics and herbal antifungals is the way to encourage healing. I also think I have to be careful to have variety. It is easy to eat the same kind of food over and over, but I am sure it is best to have variety.  My go-to is nuts. I love cashews and almonds, but I can easily overdo it and miss out on the nutrients I could be getting from organic vegetables. Balancing my diet is key to success. I also delegated more at work this week to lighten my stress load.

I found a new recipe this week. This was a delicious surprise. I am adding this in closing to cheer myself up. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Chocolate Coconut Muffins:

https://paleobreakfast.com/recipe/chocolate-coconut-muffins/

Ingredients

Instructions

(I did not let the ingredients stand as the recipe states. I added a little almond milk as the recipe seemed a little dry. I patted them gently into “hamburger patty” shapes as this helps them hold together. I placed these in a ceramic muffin tin greased with unrefined coconut oil and baked them right away. I omitted the coconut sugar. It makes 6 muffins.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flours with the cocoa, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut oil with the honey and eggs until well combined.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and let stand for 5 minutes. Scoop the batter into a greased muffin tin or use paper liners.
  4. Sprinkle with the coconut sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Working Through Gluten-Free/No Carb

I always thought the villainization of carbs was overdramatic. When I read Flat Belly Diabetes Diet a few years ago, it seemed like a good balance. I still think it’s a great diet. I actually lost weight and felt really energized. It taught me a lot about the psychology of eating. The only downside to it was the recommended processed foods, but I always substituted processed foods for homemade. It brought my calorie count down, bad fats down, and my husband’s cholesterol down. The whole family was actually on this diet, or style of eating until I learned I had Candida.

After learning I had Candida overgrowth, it felt like the world was caving in. I had so much new information, not only on the details of my condition, but also on the new diet I was supposed to be on. Much of the information I had discovered about “healthy eating” was about to change. I had to cut carbs completely. At first, the changes were overwhelming. Honestly, any diet change can be. I’ve been through this a couple of times. Making those changes are emotional and stressful. The first phase of the ultimate candida diet is detoxing. You can find the diet here: https://www.thecandidadiet.com/ultimate-candida-diet/  There are many candida diets. Choose one that works for you and stick to it. The detoxing phase was challenging because I could only eat a list of primarily greens, a few other vegetables, and eggs. I felt positive physical results within a couple of days. Even though I struggled to stick to it, I could see the benefits.

After the detoxing, you go on to the next phase of the diet. This includes a lot more choices. It got easier over time, not only because there were more choices, but also because my brain started to adapt to the whole concept. I also learned what foods personally affected my health in a negative way and others that benefitted me.

In general, cooking gluten-free was a challenge for me. I used to enjoy whole wheat muffins, banana bread, open-faced sandwiches, or whole wheat pancakes with fruit and nuts. At first, I tried to “replace” my tried and true recipes with gluten-free alternatives. When I had that mindset, it was harder to enjoy those things. They taste nothing like the gluten alternative. My kids didn’t like it either.

Now, I have learned that I don’t always need a replacement. Eating vegetables and nuts or well-seasoned meat is more enjoyable than eating a coconut bread sandwich with chicken salad on it. Instead of replacing muffins I used to make, exploring new recipes were better. There was no expectation when I never had it before. This worked so much better.

Cooking gluten-free has other challenges. Sometimes the texture is off. Having Candida, I can’t be adding sugar either. It is double challenging finding gluten-free, sugar-free recipes. I have stumbled across a couple ideas to improve my recipes. One thing I learned was when I kept the mixed dry ingredients in one bowl and kept the mixed wet ingredients in another bowl until the very last minute, the recipe had a softer texture. I made sure the glass or ceramic baking pan was well-greased with coconut oil. Then I mixed wet and dry ingredients together, put it in the pan right away, and baked it. I think the gluten-free flours suck up all the moisture otherwise which led to a drier denser product. I also learned that “sifting” the almond flour takes away some density from your finished product as well. I rub my homemade almond flour through a mesh strainer into the dry ingredients bowl. Even though I buy my coconut flour, and flax meal, I try to make most of my other flours. I also avoid gluten-free processed foods because there’s usually a lot of sugar or unidentifiable ingredients in those. On a side note, I happened to read an article about mercury and arsenic levels being linked to gluten-free diets. The findings were based on people eating a lot of processed rice products. Since rice pulls mercury and arsenic out of the soil, people eating large amounts were having high levels of mercury and arsenic in their urine or blood. It just further proves that staying away from processed foods is best. Then it is easier to regulate how much rice or other foods you are getting and be able to identify your ingredients.

IMG_20170228_073024[1] “sifting” almond flour

I’d like to close with a delicious gluten-free recipe I have been enjoying. I use the gluten tips I just mentioned.

Lemon Berry Coconut Muffins:

http://myheartbeets.com/lemon-berry-coconut-flour-muffins/

Author: Ashley Thomas

Serves: 14 muffins (I get 12 out of this)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk (coconut milk or almond milk will work)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or melted ghee (I use organic butter)
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (raw, local honey is always a great alternative)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries, pureed (I use fresh pureed blackberries or blueberries)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add the coconut flour and baking soda to a bowl and mix well. (Remember, I keep wet and dry ingredients separate until ready to bake. It comes out totally different.)
  3. Add the non-dairy milk, eggs, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, and oil to the bowl and using a hand mixer, mix until well combined and smooth. As you continue to mix, the batter will thicken.
  4. Pour the batter into silicone baking cups. (I use a greased ceramic muffin pan)
  5. Drop a teaspoon of the berry puree on top of each muffin. Using a knife, make a twirly design.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack. Once completely cool, serve.

 

This Is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Candida. Any Questions?

I have been stuck in the Candida cycle the last couple of weeks. I had made a lot of progress, feeling better overall after tightening up the Candida diet and increasing supplements. On the other hand, I have had additional physical and emotional stress during that time. I think that is what is keeping me in the cycle at this point. I have been feeling achy, really tired, and mentally foggy.

Work and home have provided additional stress over the past couple of weeks. When additional issues pop up in the middle of the recovery process, it slows things down and sometimes makes me go backward. My job is very physical most of the time and when it gets super busy, there can be a lot of emotional stress. Some people may scoff at the wages wait staff can potentially make, but there’s a physical/ emotional cost that comes with the job. Not to mention, all the nights and weekends you miss with your family and friends can be taxing. When I want to take a day off, there is no pay.

After one tumultuous night at work last week, I was driving home around 1 a.m. I was so tired. I was a mile away from my home when I reached for my phone to help stay awake. I was going to call someone. At that moment, I felt the car pull to the right. In an instant, I was off the right shoulder. I corrected to the left and literally felt like I got flung across the road. I was in the dirt off the other side of the road, heading towards a telephone pole. I didn’t think I was going to stop in time. All of a sudden, the back of the car flung around counterclockwise and the car stalled out. I was facing the opposite direction. I was shaken up, confused, and exhausted. I started the car and tested whether it was drivable. It wasn’t and I couldn’t get in touch with anyone because it was so late. My husband called me after a few minutes, and he was able to pick me up. The next day, I was finally able to put it together when we saw the flat passenger front tire. It wasn’t something I did. The tire blew, pulled me to the right and got caught on the shoulder. When I pulled the wheel to the left, it flung me across the road.

We have also been dealing with a lump on my daughter’s neck. We had initially gotten advice from my chiropractor/nutritionist while at my appointment who said, “it looks like an inflamed lymph node, due to a virus. If it gets bigger, you should get it checked.” Two days after that, my daughter passed out in the shower. We have been in and out of doctor’s and labs all week. Obviously, this has been an additional stress.

The “Candida state of mind” is an interesting state of mind to be in. There is never a dull moment. Trying to stay on top of it all nutritionally and making health assessments as it fluctuates is challenging. I have a few tell-tale mental signs that prompt me to assess more closely. My tolerance for unpleasant circumstances goes down. I have less perseverance power. My mind becomes overtaxed most of the time, which makes it difficult to focus, and multi-tasking becomes extremely difficult. I tend to blurt things out that I wouldn’t normally say. I lose control over my “inner filter” whether it is out of lack of patience or forgetfulness. I also may stutter or blurt out nonsense words that are all jumbled together. Sometimes I have an inability to recall words for things or become forgetful in general. This is especially embarrassing when waiting on tables. I have gotten used to it. Sometimes I make a joke out of it because I can’t control it. My kids will point out these “words”  sometimes and laugh. I guess I should laugh too and most of the time will. Other times, it makes me frustrated, and I feel that other people will think I am not very intelligent. Most of these issues would fall under the category of “brain fog”. The chiropractor/nutritionist I see recommended Omega-3 EPA-DHA. It works, but sometimes, I still struggle with brain fog when having a Candida relapse.

I am tired right now of fighting this battle. I started to give in a little on the Candida diet last week thinking, “I’m not pulling out of it, why try?” My family continues to encourage me to stay the course. I have for the most part. I’m trying to deal with my personal discouragement at this point and push through it. Every day, I stare down the coffee pot before having my Pau d’arco, antifungal tea. Sometimes I hear “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” theme song as I fight off the desire to have coffee. Why does Candida have to like caffeine? Candida is so unforgiving.

I also keep thinking of my cat. She has been fighting a parasite for the past 3 years. She was taking medicine prescribed by a vet that could potentially give her neurological problems. We tried a couple of courses of this, but it is not recommended for long-term use. She would improve while she was on the medicine and regress when taken off. Parasites are tricky. They go dormant for a while if they are threatened. It’s hard to kill the adults and all the eggs. We have also tried homeopathic parasite medicine prescribed by my chiropractor/nutritionist. The good news is that this medicine will not hurt her. We are now trying the 3rd course of this with modifications to see if we can finally kill everything.

It’s weird, but I feel a kinship with my cat. If she could talk, she’d probably be telling me how tired she is of fighting her battle too. Between her situation and mine, I have to quote my Papou (grandfather), “a bullet’s cheaper.” Once things go awry in the gut, it takes so much effort to straighten it out. I just keep running the race before me, hoping to finish well. My advice to anyone not suffering from gut imbalances would be to keep sugar low to no, keep processed foods out as much as possible, get 3 different probiotics in per day, eat lots of fresh organic vegetables, eliminate toxic chemicals as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to get dirty. It’s healthy to take in dirt. It improves our immune system. Oversanitizing and over antibiotic use are killing our gut health too. For more information, I highly recommend Dr. Josh Axe’s book called Eat Dirt. Do as much as possible to steer clear of this journey. If you are on this journey, God bless you and give you the strength to endure. May He turn “your ashes” into something beautiful so that your struggle has a great purpose.

For now, I am caught in the “Candida hills”. Going up and down until my body can get back up to the top. I will continue with increased supplements and a tighter diet. If I did it before, I can do it again. With God’s help, I can press on toward the goal to which He has called me. I have had it much worse than this, and I have to remember that.

Recipes For The Candida Railway

I felt terrible about last week’s blog. I didn’t really want to post, but the content was honest. I was feeling overwhelmed and not really excited about it. I was scrambling to do all I could to pull myself back out of the mud. Thank God for a new week!

After undergoing more homeopathic treatments and being very careful about my diet, I have come around the corner. My mind is in a better place. I am not quite so stressed or overwhelmed. I physically feel better for the most part. I have been having lots of stomach cramping the last few days, and I’m not sure if that is linked to anything. For now, I will stick to easily digestible foods, like cooked veggies instead of raw and soups.

Besides taking probiotics and herbal antifungals, I find certain foods also help me to navigate Candida. I notice when I saute many different vegetables in coconut oil, I have more energy and feel better overall. I use coconut oil because it is an antifungal. Make sure to get unrefined organic as refined coconut oil is bleached. I use carrots, broccoli or cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, onions, peppers, and sunflower seeds. I love using turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefits. You can read more about turmeric here: https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/ I also use seasonings like garlic, Himalayan pink salt, ground pepper, oregano, paprika, and sometimes cayenne. Organic coco aminos can also add a “soy sauce” flavor. This is a great lunch dish. I usually feel refreshed after eating.

I found a few great breakfast recipes as breakfast seems to be the most challenging for me to make low to no carb dishes for the whole family. It is especially hard to find a good gluten-free pancake, so I included that recipe below. Some of these recipes have moderate amounts of honey, so depending on where you are on the Candida journey, these may be acceptable or not.

Last but not least, all I can say is, occasionally, a girl has to have a donut. I included that recipe at the end. Apparently, some paleo people get fired up about whether it’s appropriate to consider this an option. From my perspective, if this keeps me from going to get donuts, I have benefitted immensely from this recipe. Will I make it every day? Of course not! This would be too many carbs and too much local honey (sugar) for a regular event. If I have it once or twice a month, it is safe and curbs the desire for the dangerous alternative. On a side note, I actually tasted a real donut recently and noticed my tastes have changed. I do not enjoy them as much because they have way too much sugar and have a chemical taste. I guess another benefit of this Candida diet is that over time, my taste changed so I don’t want some of the “danger” foods. I would rather have my homemade donuts now. I bought a cheap donut maker at the thrift store. Someone there gawked at the idea, but it was my answer to a gluten-free, healthier alternative. I topped my donuts with cinnamon and organic stevia instead of this recipe’s topping.

ALMOND COCONUT BARS

http://www.eatgood4life.com/almond-coconut-bars/

Miryam’s original recipe

YIELD: 12 BARS

TOTAL TIME: 10 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

Line a 9x 5 inch loaf baking pan with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

In a food processor place all the ingredients except the water. Pulse. If the mixture doesn’t come together add 1 tablespoon of water at a time pulsing the food processor in between. If needed, add more water until the mixture comes together.

Place the mixture in the prepared baking pan and with a spatula press until it is uniform on all sides. Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Cut into squares and keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

Paleo Chewy Granola Bars

https://www.goldenbarrel.com/recipe/paleo-chewy-granola-bars/ 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine nuts, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and almond flour.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together coconut oil, honey, and almond butter. Microwave for 10-20 seconds if needed to get smooth.
  4. Pour coconut oil mixture on the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Add the egg and stir again.
  5. Dump mixture into the prepared pan and press down to make very firm, as evenly as possible. This is an important step to get them to hold together.
  6. Bake for 30-32 minutes, the edges will be slightly brown.
  7. Once removed from the oven, press down again using a spatula.
  8. Once cool, cut into 10 bars.Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 10-second intervals until smooth and drizzle over bars if desired.
  9. Store covered at room temperature.

 

Paleo Banana Pancakes

http://paleospirit.com/2013/paleo-banana-pancakes/

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)
  • coconut oil, ghee or butter for frying
  • maple syrup and fruit for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  2. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the coconut milk, mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.
  4. Preheat a pan or griddle on medium heat and coat with a layer of coconut oil, ghee or butter.
  5. Pour, or spoon out about two tablespoons of batter to make small pancakes. (They are much easier to manage if you keep them small – You can use your spoon to spread them out a bit.)
  6. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side. (I usually end up cooking them longer on the first side than the second.)

Serves 4-6

Maple Cinnamon Paleo Donuts

https://paleoporn.com/paleo-donuts/

Yield: Makes 10-12 donuts

Ingredients

  • dates, pitted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Note: The frosting for these donuts are optional but taste best when prepared a day ahead.Add the dates to a medium bowl filled with water and soak for 10-15 minutes, or longer. Add dates, coconut oil and cocoa powder to a food processor and process until dates are no longer lumpy. Continue to mash the mixture with a spoon to smooth. Add to a 1 cup glass dish and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
  2. When it’s time to prepare the donuts, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine coconut flour, almond meal, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Add eggs, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine well with a hand mixer until mixture is smooth, no lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into a donut pan. Remember the donuts will rise while baking so you don’t want to fill beyond the center piece.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, flip over to remove the donuts and transfer to a drying rack.
  9. Fill the donut pan with the second round of batter, bake for 20 minutes and repeat step 8.
  10. Cool donuts for 1-3 minutes and serve immediately. Use a knife to spread the pre-made frosting on the donuts and serve.
  11. Enjoy! 🙂

I hope this has given you some great ideas and encourages you to achieve your health goals. We are a work in process. Keep up the fight for better health. It is well worth the effort.

 

 

Groundhog Day Or Candida Assessment Day?

Is this really groundhog day? That is a question that seems to come up from time to time. The Candida sufferer is always looking for the monster around the corner because one never knows if they are fully recovered. A symptom may pop up that makes it look like Candida is on the prowl, but maybe my iron was low or my neck was out of place. Any of these problems could cause lethargy or headaches or other pain.

Early last week was a little different. I started the week with pre-vaginal infection symptoms. Being mildly concerned, I took a vinegar water bath. If you have been reading my blog, you will know that this is simply ¼ to ½ C. unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and the rest is water. This is an excellent way to kill unwanted bacteria or yeast. In fact, this may help avoid an infection if treated early enough over a couple of days.  It seemed to be under control until I started driving to work on Friday and found myself in tears. My forgetfulness and brain fog seemed to be increasing as well. What was happening? I couldn’t put my finger on it until I remembered glimpses of events from the week.

I recently helped my husband move from his store front location to another location before I had to go to work. It was a lot of physical labor. I was so glad we had other people helping that day. For lunch, I ordered pizza for them and a gluten-free pizza for me. When I went to pick-up the pizza, they told me they were out of gluten-free crusts. I just ate the regular pizza. Let’s add this up so far: we have dairy, gluten, and tiring physical labor. I went to work that night and closed. I didn’t get much sleep that night.

My husband and I unloaded the truck the next day. We were doing pretty well until faced with the last two items. While unloading the large wooden cabinets, one slipped and pushed me back. I fought hard until it pushed me into a table and hit my knees. My kids and husband were upset, waiting to see what was going to happen next. I went inside to ice the knee that took most of the force. After seeing everyone emotional, I said, “Who wants to go for ice cream? We need to get out of here and have some fun.” I enjoyed a lot of ice cream, thinking the old way, “I did a lot of physical work, I can have ice cream.” I think I was thinking about calories. What I should have been thinking about was the toxic load on my body. The total I was up to was dairy, gluten, lack of sleep, tiring physical labor, and now sugar, more labor, an injury, and more dairy.

For the first time in several months, I felt like I was slipping back into the clutches of Candida. I felt overwhelmed as I was sinking back into the pit. Looking back, my interactions with my kids were short again. I was losing ground and felt helpless. I had to get back into the “war” mindset. In between the tears, I thought, “I have to fight before it’s too late. I know how to do this. Ready or not.” I was already armed with information. I would have to force myself to cut out any small amount of carbs I had added back into my diet and up my supplements.

It’s interesting how the emotional side of it took a while to take root, but once it did, it took hold of me deeply. The anxiety multiplied quickly whether there were tangible reasons or not. Every stress was amplified, making me emotional. I started to question whether I was doing anything right…homeschooling, mothering, working.

The battle that raged and still rages in my mind is the most challenging part of the process, but it also got me to reevaluate my health again. What next? I have to go back to the mechanics of it. As much as I can, I have to breathe through the emotions and dispel them. I have to increase my antifungals, taking 2-3 grapefruit seed extract tablets per day and drink pau d’arco tea two times per day. Increasing my probiotic tablets to 2 per day, and my kombucha (fermented tea) to 3-16oz bottles per day is necessary. Remembering to take antifungals and probiotics an hour apart from each other is key in order to get the most effectiveness out of the probiotics.

Whether you are here again or doing well, take heart, because we know how to fight. It was much harder before, especially when undiagnosed. The information we have is priceless. Engage the battle so you can win.