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Christmas Schmistmas

I am a big old Bah-Humbuggy Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. I see it as a pagan holiday, a time to spend too much money, eat too much rich, sweet food, and feel guilty about – oh, everything.

This year, because I am feeling so great, I think it will be better. My mood is 100% improved and my willpower is phenomenal. So even though we will be having our traditional, delicious Christmess Pudding, I will abstain. It’s just three days of parties, and then another party. I can easily stick to healthy food for that long, and it will be SO worth it!

I have 1kg to go to reach my Level 1 Goal Weight, 58kg. I WILL achieve it!

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How I’m doing it.

I must admit that I’m not following the Candida Diet to the letter. I was, but I felt so terrible that I knew changes were necessary. For starters, I switched on day 3 from the broth version of the diet to the green salad and veggies version. Much better. I also allow myself brown rice to help slow down the Candida die off and manage blood sugar.

GNLD. Supplements for LIFE.

GNLD. Supplements for LIFE.

Instead of whole garlic, I’m taking GNLD’s Garlic Allium Complex. Instead of psyllium husk and bentonite clay, I’m taking GNLD’s GR2 Programme Appetite Reducer, a very gentle yet effective fibre source, and I use Stage 6 to help with elminiation. This is great for getting and staying regular, and taking the “gunk” out of your system. I use GNLD’s Carotenoid Complex (great for immunity), Tre En En (AWESOME for energy) and Omega 3. I’ve been taking a lot of high potency Vitamin C, as well, which also boosts immunity and helps with skin conditions. I’m taking Vitamin B for stress, and it’s the one Vitamin B people on a Candida diet can take safely. Last but very far from least, I’m having a lot of Acidophilus Plus. Awesome for gut health.

For food, I’ve pretty much been sticking to spinach, courgettes, celery and sunflower seeds.

Every morning I do Pilates with my girls, which is doing wonders for my back, joints, and flat abs. This week I started Body for Life as well. I feel a little bit of new-workout-routine tenderness, but nothing seriousness.

This week I have also reintroduced coffee, which is ill-advised (apparently), but very very nice.

It’s been four weeks, and I feel great. I’ve gone from 68kg to 62kg, and my stomach is really flat now. I have energy, my joints are less painful (significantly less).  Christmas is looming and I hope I can stay strong, but I think it should be okay.

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Die off

The Candida Diet website discusses the results of die off, and I expected it to be pretty dire. They say:

When yeast cells are killed rapidly, they release toxic products into your bloodstream. In the case of the Candida Albicans yeast, this means 79 different toxic substances, including acetaldehyde and ethanol. These can cause symptoms ranging from headaches to fever.

Granted, it helps that I have had time to sleep, take hot baths, and generally not get stressed. Even so, I was relieved that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d anticipated. I had headaches, itching, sore throats and dry eyes. I was tired and my skin broke our somewhat. But I was already more energetic than I’d been before, and I think this helped a lot with the die off effects.

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Candida?

In 2005 I was preparing for my second maternity leave. The company I worked for hired a temp to replace me while I was away, and my job was to train her. A talented and likable lady, she soon found her niche with us. She was on a very strict diet when she started, and explained it was  because of her Candida problem. I learned that Candida has many symptoms besides the obvious, embarrassing ones. Symptoms such as:

  • exhaustion;
  • joint pain;
  • bad breath;
  • body odor;
  • skin problems;
  • foggy brain;
  • depression and more.

I was curious, but, heavily pregnant, I didn’t pursue it at that stage.

Now, 6 years later, with the same symptoms, I thought I’d give it a try. Everything I’ve ever found online about Candida diets has been conflicting. Finally, this month, I found this site: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/. I’ve just started on stage 1, and for these first few days I’ve had a headache, but I already have more energy and a flatter stomach.

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Short(ish) history

In high school, ongoing cramps, skin break outs and head aches caused my parents to cut wheat and dairy out of my diet. My mom had been diagnosed with these allergies, so it seemed a good candidate. Towards the end of high school my doctor prescribed the Pill for my irregular periods and bad skin. I’d been on antibiotics many times in my life for colds, ‘flu, tummy bugs and more. I was also put on Prozac for depression. Once I cut out wheat and dairy, my cramps and headaches improved, and so did my moods (although at that time I didn’t connect the mood swings with my diet). For many years I lived only on salad and fruit, and I felt fantastic. My school marks improved, and I had energy.

I lost a lot of weight, which wasn’t really a good thing, but it was a natural side effect of my strict diet. And nothing cured my chocoholism!

When I met my future husband in 1995, things changed. He loved pizza,  pies, pasta, coke and coffee. We shared red wine and Italian dinners and a lot of fun. I was young and in love, and felt as if things couldn’t be better.

Gradually, my brain grew foggier and foggier. My waist line expanded, and my face got puffy. I started feeling tired and lethargic. Slowly, I noticed that I was feeling less motivated and more “down in the dumps”. With a personal and family history of mild depression, I didn’t think much of it. I kept fuelling my lifestyle with coffee and chocolate and, having decided that I’d never been truly allergic since I’d never been properly diagnosed, I was merrily consuming every pastry, pasta, bread and cheese known to man.

By the end of 2000 I was regularly bedridden with killer migraines. My lower abdomen looked permanently 6 months pregnant. My husband and I tried to fall pregnant. Coming off the pill had only two effects: irregular periods and severe pain in my lower abdomen. Eventually it was so bad I could hardly walk.

A trip to the doctor led to minor surgery to deal with a lesion on my uterus, the result of either endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, or something else. We were told we’d never fall pregnant, so we stopped trying. Needless to say, a year later we had a gorgeous, completely healthy little girl.

I was exhausted. I could hardly get out of bed, and felt a constant need to sleep. My baby had been sleeping for up to 12 hours a night from a very early age, yet I felt as if I’d been hit by a truck. That’s when I went to a nutritional specialist. She “officially” diagnosed lactose and gluten allergies and advised that I avoid all sugar.

I heard and obeyed. Within two weeks, I had energy, I was upbeat, I could think, and things looked better than ever. Since then, we’ve had another child, and I’ve stayed pretty much gluten-free. However, I remain firmly addicted to chocolate, I battle with migraines, and my skin isn’t very good. So I’ve decided to do something about it, and this is where I’m keeping track of it.