I recently discovered I have an overgrowth of Candida and it has lead to lot's of nagging health problems, from fatigue to severe allergies. One of the best resources I've found for dealing with Candida is the site "The Candida Diet" and it has directions for taking the "spittle test" to quickly determine if you may have a candida overgrowth creating an imbalance in your system, go Here to follow the test. I clearly tested positive when taking this test and have so many symptoms, including a non-tolerance for sugar. As long as I can remember, me and sugar have NOT gotten along!! One of the first symptoms after consuming sugar is a horrible headache, so I routinely avoid sugar in it's most obvious forms, candies, cookies, and other sweets. But, over time I've noticed even natural sugars can wreak havoc with my system, and now that I understand the relationship between candida and sugar, it makes perfect sense! Candida thrives off sugar, it's the main source of fuel.
So, for the past couple of weeks I've been on a completely sugar free diet, no fruits, no breads, no rice, minimal grains, I have a popcorn addiction so can't completely go cold turkey with that, just minimize it. And I'm trying to watch my intake of processed foods, which for the most part just leaves me with lot's of vegetables and chicken, as I don't really like any other meat; I would actually go vegetarian if I could, but I need a good source of protein as I mountain bike a lot which requires considerable muscle engagement. And I normally don't eat a lot of dairy, but have started eating organic, natural yogurt with live cultures, and I have butter on occasion.
I've found it's really not that difficult at all to cut out all sugar!! I am already a gluten free person for the most part, so that helped, and then I started eating quinoa and love it, even my husband is preferring it over rice, so YaY for that!! I use it in place of rice or potatoes, for breakfast cereal, and just purchased some quinoa pasta, will have to see how that turns out.
One thing that really surprised me is I have NO sugar cravings, none, nada, nope! And what a relief that is, I actually crave saltier foods more than anything. And the other day my husband had a box of Wheat Thins and I snacked on a couple, bad I know, but discovered something very interesting, I couldn't eat them! They actually tasted like chemicals and were just gross, I guess my body is cleansing itself and likes the clean eating and will rebel at the bad food, which makes it that much easier not to eat the garbage.
I also try to purchase organic everything, it's more expensive, but nothing can replace your health. When I don't feel good physically it affects me emotionally and mentally and I don't feel like doing anything, including painting and creating. And I just can't deal with that, I need to create, and I love to mountain bike which requires an enormous amount of energy, so healthy eating it is! And I feel the difference already, and don't have any issues with bloating and have even lost a couple of pounds, bonus!! I'm on a goal to lose another 15-20 and this lifestyle diet will help me achieve that goal in a healthy manner.
Here is a yummie, nutty recipe for your morning to provide you a nutritious and energizing breakfast, gluten free and sugar free! It's what I had this morning and feel like I could paint all day or ride the trails all day!!
Paleo Hot Cereal
Nutiva Chia Seeds - I add about a Tablespoon
Milled Flax Seeds - I like these because they come in easy, one serving packets
Almond Milk - I buy the Silk brand, unsweetened 30 calorie version, main reason is it doesn't have the nasty chemical Carageenan, which causes a host of problems on it's own, watch out for it in dairy!
I usually get most of these ingredients at a nearby health food store or local Publix grocery, but they can all be purchased on Amazon if you don't have access locally.
Follow instructions on the cereal packages to determine how much almond milk, or water, to add depending on how many servings required, and how long to cook.
I also like to add a little Amish, or organic butter to add some extra creamy taste. And if you can have fruits add some banana, blueberries or strawberries for a natural sweet taste. This is a great way to start your day knowing you are feeding your body and mind to be at peak performance. Now I'm ready to get out from in front of this computer and go paint!