Last week I self diagnosed myself with a yeast imbalance. While this is a personal issue for me, its also an issue for almost everyone at some point. I figured I'd share what I am doing to combat the infection and restore healthy flora. In fact you may be dealing with a yeast imbalance right now and not even realize it. When yeast or flora or bacteria, whatever you prefer to call it, gets infected it displays its unhappiness in many ways. Reoccurring acne, constant itchiness (ladies especially in the vaginal area) in various places on the body, bodily discharges, rashes, foggy thoughts, inability to concentrate, depression, and lethargy can all be symptoms of yeast imbalances and infections.
There are various routes you can take to remedy the situation. First things first, you have to know that yeast are living bacteria, and living things have to eat to live. Seems like a pretty simplistic concept, right. Here's the part that isn't so easy for a lot of us, yeast eat sugar. I've discussed this several times on my blog before because of how important I believe that gut health really is to our over all health and well being. Inside our intestines are billions of little buggies roaming around, its just how we were made.
When some of strains of yeast get infected, there's only one real way to stop them, and that is to starve them. The most common strain to give trouble is candida albicans, which is why most people with yeast infections say they have candida. Well, the yeast eat the sugar we feed them, hence they eat the sugar from our food. That means no sugar for me. I've decided to go sugar free for the next two weeks, and as you can see I am on day 6 today. The clarification has to be made what no sugar means. No sugar doesn't just mean table sugar or sweet things like chocolate, candy, cupcakes, and gum. It also means healthy forms of sugar like raw honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, and agave.
Honestly, I shutter to put agave in the healthy category, because it's not, but that's a whole other story. Nonetheless, it has fructose, so don't eat it. Speaking of fructose that knocks fruit out the daily diet, as well as most grains like rice, even if its brown (although brown is "allowed" on the candida diet I'm not chancing it), wheat (I don't eat this anyway). Anything with gluten you want to stay away from while dealing with candida. Don't even entertain the idea of bread right now. Some people are sensitive to quinoa, which is a seed, not a grain. Forget even looking at yogurt unless it is unsweetened, the vanilla and other flavored ones are loaded with sugar.
The most difficult part for me has been not putting that banana in my green smoothie or reaching for an apple in the afternoon to munch on for snack. I really love fruit. The only sweetener that can be used as far as I can tell is stevia. For my smoothie in the morning I've been using Vega protein powder, which is sweetened with stevia, 3 handfuls of spinach, a scoop of Raw Reserve Superfood Green Powder, raw almond milk I made, and some ice. Its working quite nicely for me. It just occurred to me that there's brown rice protein in the Vega Protein Powder, but I think I'm okay. I'll switch to hemp seeds for protein and get stevia drops if need be in that case. I'll let ya know if I have issues.
As for other food I've been eating organic free range eggs from my favorite local farmer, lots of greens, tomatoes, plain goat milk yogurt sprinkled with ceylon cinnamon, quinoa, veggie stir fry using coconut oil because it has great antibacterial qualities, plain homemade buckwheat pancakes, wild mahi mahi and salmon, lots of avocados; the healthy fat from nuts, coconut oil, and avocados is imperative in the repairing process of the body. I'm drinking plenty of water, some with raw apple cider vinegar in it, and herbal teas. I've been following the candida diet pretty closely here. I have also been following my friend and fellow health counselor, Amy's blog. She features great recipes! Really its not that different than my regular diet, just no fruit. I did sneak some carrots and sweet potatoes in yesterday, which was very naughty. If you aren't dealing with a candida outbreak, small amounts here and there are fine. Unfortunately, I am :(
As for the medicinal route I am taking two drops of wild crafted oregano oil under my tongue, its super powerful for fighting bacterial infections, I'm applying yogurt to the area like a cream, I've also been applying extra virgin coconut oil to the area, I'm also tripling my probiotic supplement, and taking Health Force Nutritionals Truly Vitamin C powder. I'm going to add taking a bath with tee tree oil in the water.
As the infection leaves the body there will be detox symptoms to be expected, in some are headaches, itchiness, and nausea. A liver cleanse is also suggested which I haven't begun, but will on Friday once I go back to work at The Vine Health Shoppe in Fuquay-Varina, NC to pick up a milk thistle tincture. That's also where I get my green powder, protein powder, tea tree oil, and oregano oil.
Herbal Tea Recipe
It occurred to me that I promised my Facebook fans an herbal tea recipe, and since I've been drinking quite a bit of cinnamon tea, here ya go. Cinnamon is a wonderful way to control blood sugar! Really people it couldn't be any more simple than this:
Grab a half gallon glass container or pitcher, that's 64oz folks. Fill it with spring or filtered water. Pour it into a stainless steel pot along with 8-10 organic ceylon cinnamon sticks, I buy mine at The Vine Health Shoppe as well, and set on the stove top to boil. After it comes to a good boil, turn off the heat, and let it steep and cool. Then you may have to strain it into the pitcher because of the little cinnamon bark floaties. Put it into the fridge, let cool some more, and drink it like iced tea. It doesn't require any sweetener at all, its lovely. Option-I leave 1-2 cinnamon bark rolls still in the pitcher to intensify flavor.