Kicking Candida’s Butt Phase 2: The Diet

Click image for source: Vivienne McMaster

Click image for source: Vivienne McMaster

So it is Day 15 of my Candida Cleanse and boy-oh-boy a lot has happened since I last wrote to you on Day 3. In fact so much as happened that I needed to take a little blog siesta just to concentrate on my health. There have been revelations, epiphanies and breakdowns. Jubilation and desperation. Leaps forward and stumbles back.

Where We Left Off…

So in my last post (here) I spelled out exactly what you need to do on the cleansing period. I was warned that in the cleansing period I would experience some pretty nasty detox side-effects (attractively termed ‘Die-Off’). Day 3 came and went and I felt pretty damn smug that I had not experienced anything. However from Day 4 through to the next week I was hit hard. As you may have seen on my Facebook page or Instagram I had a rather puzzling symptom. At 10:30pm on the dot every night I got a massive, itchy rash all over my body. It was red and welted and stung like hell and kept me awake until about 2am which gave me approximately 59 minutes of sleep before my darling daughters’ 3am maddy-hour! You should have seen me that week. I was a delight.

**Thanks to my amazing social media friends for all their support, suggestions and shared horror. Turns out it was all part of the detox and the healthier I got it slowly stopped happening.

But, my fellow Candida sufferers, there was light at the end of the tunnel! On Day 9 I felt AMAZING. I woke up feeling clearer and lighter than I had in a long time. My stomach looked slimmer and I had so much energy. Mood swings stopped, I wasn’t having my 5pm dip where I would feel completely exasperated by the day and my husband and I stopped bickering entirely. To make matters better I lost 4kgs which put me under a weight threshold that I have been stuck above for 3 years. I felt like I had found my answer.

Anyway… back to the diet!

Your Candida recovery comes down to three main elements.

  1. Diet
  2. Probiotics
  3. Antifungals

Even though it is reasonably restrictive the diet is also very, very doable. Rather than listing off exactly what you can’t have… lets focus on all the awesome, nourishing foods that you can!

What to eat!

As with the cleanse period you are only allowed select vegetables of the non-starchy variety – again no carrot, parsnip, pumpkin (squash), sweet potato (yam/kumara), beetroots, peas or potato. If humanly possible source organic produce – you want to help your liver/digestive system as much as possible which means lightening the toxic load where you can. You are also allowed to add in certain meats, fish, non-glutinous grains, probiotic dairy products, nuts, seeds and seasonings. You then must have a heavy dose of probiotics and antifungals throughout the day (more on that later).

Meat

It is essential that you source organic meat. The reason being animals that are grown in conventional meat and dairy industries are fed antibiotics to combat the stress of their living conditions, over-crowding and their unnatural (grain-based) diets. Cows are also fed growth-hormones to keep up an unnatural year-round supply of milk. The bacteria in your gut is already haywire and antibiotics are only going to make it worse. In fact, antibiotics are one of the most common causes of candida overgrowth. It is more expensive but you are investing in your health – not to mention a far more ethical and environmental way of eating. (I will be posting in coming weeks how to balance your money and ethics while consuming meat – I am passionate about animal rights and this new diet as been a struggle. But I have found ways!).

Meat must be unprocessed and whole – this means nothing cured (bacon, salami etc). No pork. No luncheon style deli meats.

Fish

Same goes with fish. You need wild-caught fish as opposed to farmed. Fish are also fed medicated food. (If you haven’t looked into fish farming I sincerely recommend you do – it is eye-opening and jaw-dropping and basically, a little terrifying). Aim for small fish like anchovies, sardines and herring which are lower in the food chain and have therefore have not bioaccumulated as many contaminants. They are also far more sustainable – DOUBLE WIN! If you eat salmon it must be wild caught.

Probiotic Dairy

Proper organic probiotic yoghurt and kefir (a grain that you ferment) are also allowed. The reasons doctors tell you to consume lots of yoghurt when you are on antibiotics is because the live cultures help kill the Candida yeast and balance your system! I have cut dairy completely and have been feeling great for it but lots of people I have spoken to recommend it.

Nuts and seeds

You want to include nuts and seeds that have low mold content. So you are going to focus on almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, flax seed, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds. Sadly cashews, peanuts and pistachios are off the menu.

Almond milk is allowed too! See my recipe here.

Non-Glutinous Grains

Buckwheat, millet, oat  bran and quinoa are all on the menu.

All these grains are not actually grains, they are grain-like seeds. They are also full of fiber which is essential for keeping that digestive system cranking.

Seasonings, herbs and spices

Woohoo – here is the fun bit. You are allowed SO many yummy flavourings.

  • Coconut oil (virgin, cold-pressed) is encouraged as it is a natural antifungal. I have a teaspoon in my lemon water every morning. I cook with it. I rub it on my body. Actually… interesting story. When I was having my 10:30 rash-athon I rubbed coconut oil over myself and the rash went away. Magic. Powers.
  • Olive, sesame and flax oils are all okay.
  • Cayenne, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, paprika and rosemary all have antifungal properties which means – load ‘em up baby!
  • Apple cider vinegar – as always – is good for you!
  • Coconut aminos are a great alternative if you are a bit soy/tamari obsessed like a certain candida-cleansing blogger that shall remain unnamed.

Sweeteners

Stevia and Xylitol are both natural plant-based sweeteners that are allowed on the cleanse (stevia is great for hot beverages; xylitol for baking).

Personally I choose not to use them. The jury is out on the long term effects of it. There are massive fans (like here) and not (like here) and fence-sitters (like here). You make the call.

Not on the menu

So now that I have told you all the yummy bits you can eat if you do want to see a list of what you can’t then look at this one here. Basically no fruit, sugar of any type, starch, beans, mold containing nuts, processed anything, soda.

Alcohol?

You know that stumble I mentioned in the introduction. Yeah. Day 12. I read somewhere that alcohol is not technically the worst thing in the world for your Candida Cleanse because there is actually very little sugar in alcohol. But basically I think I found an article that facilitated some sort of faux loophole in the diet. I had a dinner party on Friday and one wine turned into many. I had felt on top of the world yet 3 days later I am still feeling the effects – my rash came back, I feel hot and clammy and I am bloated. So from now on I am going to avoid alcohol as much as I can. It does not serve me.

We are humans and not robots. We are making a massive life changes and habits are hard to break. So try as hard as you can and if you fall off then get back on (read how to here). Perfect example of this attitude is this incredibly brave article from Sarah Wilson. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back you are still moving in the right direction!

P.s. Beer is a total no-no (yeast!). Wine has the highest of alcohol sugar contents. Whoops! Best option? Vodka with a little squeeze of citrus.

Probiotics

Your Candida diet without probiotics does not work. The probiotics are essential in your recovery (and in daily candida-free life as well!). They help your digestion and create a healthy balance of your gut flora in your digestive tract.

I have bought a probiotic supplement called Ultrabiotics45 which has 45 million friendly bugs from 9 different probiotic strains. This cost around $50 for 30 pills. For the first 2 weeks I took 2 a day (one with breakfast and one with dinner). This meant that I used the entire bottle in the first fortnight which means the first month is reasonably expensive. But after that you can drop back to 1 a day.

In addition to this I have been consuming natural sources of probiotic like raw sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), probiotic yoghurt and kefir. You can order kefir online here and you can make your own sauerkraut reasonably cheaply at home – here is an awesome recipe.

Antifungals

Antifungals and probiotics are partners in crime. Antifungals kill the yeast and probiotics then build up the good bacteria.  So, in addition to those yummy spicy antifungals mentioned above you may also want to introduce some supplements or other natural sources.

Oil of Oregano

You can get this from most health food stores. It costs around $30 and you can add it to water, drop it under your tongue or add 3 drops to your oil-pulling ritual.

Caprylic Acid

A very common supplement is Caprylic Acid which comes in a capsule however I try and take the wholefood option where possible. Guess what has lots of caprylic acid? Coconut oil! Every morning I have a super-duper fungal killing beverage made up of the juice of ½ a lemon, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, some grated ginger and a sprinkle of turmeric. YUM.

Olive Leaf Extract

I add a teaspoon of this to my green smoothie in the morning. I made a massive mistake by trying to drink it straight the first time. Vile. Approach with caution. I would advise to dilute in smoothie, juice or at least water.

Pau D’arco

Why is it that all superfoods are from South America? Pau D’arco is made from the bark of a very strong tree and I will go on record as saying that it will be the next big thing in the health food world. There are some amazing studies being done on the effect of Pau D’arco  on all sorts of diseases like arthritis and cancer.

I take a supplement that cost $33 from a health food store. Similar to the probiotics I took 2 a day for the first day then 1 a day forward from there. You can also buy it as a tea. You should not take this if you are pregnant, breast-feed or have any sort of blood disorder.

You Ready?

So safe to say that this diet is not for the faint-hearted and that it is a bit of an investment. My husband and I have cringed at the cost of all these new ingredients and supplements. The price has also gone up because where we would usually pad our meals out with a bit of a starchy vegetable we are now literally on protein and green vegetable.  BUT we are both feeling the effects and know that if we just stick at this for a month or two then are lives are going to be entirely different.

In the coming weeks (perhaps months) I will be sharing recipes that I have been creating, tips on how to keep your budget down and ways to curb those cravings that hit you like a freight train at 3pm.

Yeah… you’re ready. Lets do it!!!

 

Raw Cross Buns

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free – Refined Sugar Free – Raw – Vegan – Paleo

IMG_5157

My husband looks forward to Easter for one reason and one reason only; Hot Cross Buns! He lives for them. So considering we are both gluten intolerant now the prognosis of his HCB addiction hit him hard. I had to really talk him down from the bakery ledge the other day as he was going to throw bloatedness, itchiness and general discomfort to the wind for the sake of some gluten goodness. They say grief goes through 12 stages right? Poor soul. So I have been keeping my eye out for a gluten free recipe to try and ease his pain. And as soon as I saw this recipe on fab raw food blog Rawified I knew I had to give it a crack of my own version… and i’m pretty stoked with the result.

These little bun bites are delicious! They taste identical to hot cross buns which is slightly confusing as they are an entirely different texture (obviously they are not going to have that glorious fluffiness that only refined white bread has!). While I would have easily downed 3 hot cross buns in my past life these are so rich and nutrient dense that you only need one before you are totally satisfied. Plus they are full of Omega’s, protein, fiber and deliciousness. Enjoy!

IMG_5162

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups raw almonds 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cashew pulp (made from cashew milk… see recipe here) OR 1 cup cashews if you haven’t made milk **see note
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (agave, raw honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed (aka linseed)
  • 3 large dates
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

** If you have prior notice to making these then I would urge you to try the milk! You are going to use the same amount of cashews in the recipe anyway and if you just soak them 6 hours before (preferably the night before) you can get a good litre of non-dairy milk as a bonus!

Icing

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice – i used maple YUM (agave, raw honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (if you don’t have that table salt is fine)

Method

Dough

  1. Using a food processor grind up your almonds to a fine powder (and if you are using whole cashews instead of cashew pulp add these too)
  2. Add all other ingredients except the raisins. Pulse your food processor until the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Add the raisins and pulse so that they are mixed but not purified.
  4. Shape your dough into balls slightly smaller than golf balls. Flatten them with the back of a spoon. Get a butter knife and carve in a cross shape. As you press the knife in wiggle it side to side so the groove of the cross is opened.
  5. Set aside while you make the icing.

Icing

  1. Using a food processor grind up your cashews to a fine, even powder. This is your icing so you do not want it to be lumpy and bumpy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine until they are a smooth caramel coloured paste.
  3. If you have a piping bag use this to pipe your crosses. Otherwise I just used two butter knifes. I got a bit of icing onto the blade of one knife and then just scraped it into the cross grooves.
  4. Serve with a big smile.

Have a happy healthy Easter!!!

IMG_5156

Teacup Cake

Gluten Free – Grain Free – Refined Sugar Free – Dairy Free – Paleo

Cooking time – 3 minutes, Serves 1

So is it a Teacup Cake or a Tea Cupcake?

A Mud Cake or a Mug Cake?

Scrumdiddiliumptious or Yumskiddilidumptious?

Some of life’s great questions. All I know is that I played around with a few healthy ingredients and ended up with the most gorgeous little cake-for-one recipe. This is perfect for when you have a sweet craving but cannot be trusted with the whole cake. This being said, it is a healthy (read; gluten free, sugar free, grain free, dairy free) recipe so even if you don’t limit yourself to just one cup you are doing okay!

I have to apologise for the photo quality… I didn’t expect to be successful so I was just playing around on my phone before putting it up on Instagram (come follow me! My user name is @oliveonblonde). Don’t worry, the photo quality is not representative of the taste. It is Delicious with a capital D.

849e6344744611e285b022000a9f15de_7

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoons Almond Meal
  • 1.5 tablespoons Organic Raw Cacao
  • 1 tablespoon Raw Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Butter
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt (try go for an unprocessed one like Pink Himalayan)
  • 1 Egg

Optional

I topped mine with some Cashew Cream I had already made and some Cacao Nibs.

To make Cashew Cream you need raw cashews, non-dairy milk, natural sweetener and a vanilla pod. I swear by Vegan Sparkles (one of my fave bloggers and friends) fail-safe recipe – see it here. (This will mean recipe takes about 10 minutes instead of 3)

It is perfect by itself but if you want something extra but don’t want to make the cashew cream get creative… berries, nut butter and honey. Get creative!

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a teacup.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Optional: Top with Cashew Cream and Cacao nibs.
  4. That is it. Seriously.

NOTE: If you want to make a bigger cake, double the ingredients, put in a mug and microwave for two minutes!

Great for kids!!! (My husband wanted to add that he is proof that it is child friendly – even he managed to cook one!)

Raw Coconut Macaroons (Paleo, Raw, Vegan)

Paleo – Raw – Vegan – Gluten Free – Refined Sugar Free

Preparation Time – 10 minutes; Fridge Time – 40 minutes 

 

What a sweet little treat!

What a sweet little treat!

I have been completely embracing a new way of life lately – a life where I actually value the body I am trudging around in! This means I have forgone grains, refined sugar, dairy and opted instead for loads of vegetables, fruit and lean proteins. Not only am I aiming for a slightly lighter existence (post baby bod blues) but I have added motivation now. Since having my baby I seem to have developed allergies – itchy red rashy allergies! Strange but true. As you can see here The New York Times reported that due to weakened immune function, it’s not uncommon for women to develop allergies after giving birth. So with that in mind I am not only on a mission to discover what I am newly allergic to but I am also trying to balance that with breast-feeding cravings. Enter Sir Macaroon!

Strawberry optional... but was tasty I can assure you!

Strawberry optional… but was tasty I can assure you!

This fluffy, gooey ball of love was oh so simple to whip up. They are very sweet and moist and the perfect afternoon snack for that 3pm pang of sweetness. Next time I will dip them in raw chocolate and drizzle it over the top as well. (If you want to try this the raw chocolate recipe that I would use is the Ganache Icing from my Superfood Slice – see that here). Could be the makings of an indulgent raw dessert in there somewhere?

Ingredients

½ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Coconut Butter (Buy this at health food store or make your own see here)
1 ½ – 2 Cups unsweetend shredded coconut
3-4 tablespoon of sweetener of choice (maple syrup, raw honey or agave)

Method

  1. Soften the coconut oil and coconut butter by heating in a small saucepan or by placing inside the oven at low heat
  2. Once melted to liquid remove from heat.
  3. Add your sweetener and combine.
  4. Add the shredded coconut bit by bit until you get the consistency you want. The mix won’t stick together like a traditional doughy mixture but it will cool down and harden into a solid form.
  5. Form the mix into whatever macaroon shape blows your hair back – little domes are tradition. You may have some liquid leftover at the bottom of the bowl… I poured these over the the mounds for extra richness. They will cool to be solid!
  6. Put in fridge to cool down.
  7. EAT THEM!
Snowy Stack!

Snowy Stack!

Spectacular Superfood Slice (Paleo, Vegan, Raw)

PALEO – VEGAN – RAW – GLUTEN FREE

Preparation Time – 20 minutes; Fridge Time – 1 hour

Oh my!

Oh my!

Now I don’t want to blow my own trumpet here… actually screw that! – get me my trumpet, my trombone and even my flugelhorn god-dammit because this is my most successful clean living recipe yet!!! It is vegan, paleo and raw not to mention being chockablock full of superfoods. And while I am sure there are many recipes that boast the same credentials this one is so unbelievably tasty that you would never believe it was good for you! I would gladly serve this as a dessert option to the most devoted of junk food eating, sweet tooths. It is a perfect healthy alternative for the 3pm sugar rush or as an after-dinner treat. It is so indulgent that you only need the tiniest amount to satisfy yourself.

It's sweet.... its salty... its spectacular!

It’s sweet…. its salty… its spectacular!

Can you tell i’m proud of this one? I sound like i’m on an infomercial! “And if you make one slice today… i’ll send you these 3 attachments FREE!” So, while i’m selling it, here are the superfoods you’ll find within its chocolatey walls:

Goji Berries – filled with powerful antioxidants and other compounds that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses including heart disease. Also boosts the immune system and lowers cholesterol.

Raw Cacao – filled with iron, dietary fiber, calcium, zinc, potassium and antioxidants. Helps oxygenate the blood. A rich source of magnesium, which helps in balancing brain chemistry. It is also rich in sulfur, which builds strong nails and hair, and promotes beautiful skin.

Cacao Nibs – Refer to raw cacao benefits above.

Raw Cashews – decrease risk of heart disease, full of dietary fiber, good source of protein anf full of magnesium which promotes burly bones, nerve functioning and a natural heart rhythm!

Coconut Oil – contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid and has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties. Therefore helps to maintain cholesterol levels, aids weight loss, increases immunity, helps proper digestion and metabolism and  provides relief for a host of diseases (including kidney problems and heart disease).

Himalayan Pink Salt – Other than being pretty this salt is a natural, chemical free alternative to table salt containing 84 essential minerals. Himalayan salt has no additives and can alleviate the symptoms of a variety of conditions

If you need any more convincing than that I give up!

The perfect amount of gooeyness and crunch

The perfect amount of gooeyness and crunch

Ingredients

(Aim for as many organic ingredients as possible and try get cold-pressed coconut oil)

Fudgy base

    • 2 cups raw cashews
    • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 260g medjool dates (pitted)
    • 100g goji berries
    • 1 cup raw cacao powder
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • ½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt (I used a whole teaspoon because I love the combination of salt and chocolate but if you are trepidatious add it bit by bit and taste the mix as you do. Remember, the ganache icing will be sweet so it will balance that out!)

Ganache Icing

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (try get cold pressed for ultimate health benefits)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • Generouse pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Toppings

  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Goji Berries

Method

Fudgy base

  1. Place cashews in the bowl of food processor and grind until very finely ground (be careful to not over process the nuts into butter
  2. Add the shredded coconut and process until well combined and fine in texture.
  3. Add the pitted dates and goji berries and process until a soft paste forms.
  4. Add the cacao powder – process again.
  5. Finally add the maple syrup and the salt and process to combine until you have a nice creamy texture!
  6. Press firmly into a dish lined with baking paper.
  7. Place in fridge while making the ganache topping.

Ganache Icing

  1. In the food processor, blend together maple syrup and coconut oil until well combined.
  2. Add in cacao powder and a pinch of salt and process until smooth.
  3. Pour over fudge base and spread out evenly over the top.
  4. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and goji’s and return to fridge to set and firm for at least one hour.
  5. Cut into squares and serve the fudge cold. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

These will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months (though I doubt they will remain uneaten that long!) and you can also freeze them if needed.

ENJOY!

Perfect healthy snack food for kids!

Perfect healthy snack food for kids!

Fudgy Banana Brownie (Paleo, Vegan)

Paleo – Grain Free – Vegan 

Preparation Time – 15 minutes; Cooking time – 15 minutes; Fridge time – 1 hour

Everyone loves a brownie!

Everyone loves a brownie!

When I was pregnant everyone always used to warn me about any expectations associated with my post baby bod. They all said – “your body won’t just bounce back straight away”. I nodded politely but internally I was thinking… “Pfft – I haven’t gone mad with food during the pregnancy, I’ll snap back like an elastic band dammit”. Unfortunately majority won and I have been left with a little bit of a shock. I guess cultivating a human for 9 months does slightly affect you – who woulda thunk it! As such I have committed to giving the Paleo diet a go. This diet hinges on a high protein intake, lots of leafy greens, no processed foods and – the most important part – no grains whatsoever! One could be fooled into thinking this diet makes coffee and cake with friends impossible never fear – baked goods are actually surprisingly easy to Paleo-ise.

Almond Meal is a Paleo Bakers friend! Almond Meal is made from ground almonds and therefore is sometimes referred to as almond flour. It lends a moistness to any dish you use and is a high protein alternative to your standard nasty white flours. And the kicker… it partners especially well with chocolate! Zing zing zing! If you would like to make your own Almond Meal the Delighted Momma provides a fantastic tutorial here. (note: she specifies almonds without skin, but using ones with their skin on is completely fine!). Here is the recipe for my incredibly well-received Fudgy Banana Brownie. YUM.

Served with organic strawberries and an Alessi spoon = perfection!

Served with organic strawberries and an Alessi spoon = perfection!

Ingredients

*note – if you don’t like banana substitute the 2 mashed banana’s for 1 free range egg. This will obviously mean the brownie is no longer vegan though! 

Brownie Base

½ cup coconut oil (solid)
½ cup organic raw cocao powder (this is different to cocoa in that it is a superfood but you can substitute if need be)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup (can use honey or agave nectar)
2 mashed ripe bananas (I always keep a stash of frozen ripe bananas in the freezer… cut into chunks)
1 cup almond meal

Raw Ganache Icing

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

Brownie Base

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160° Celsius (325° Fahrenheit)
  2. Mix the coconut oil, cocao powder and cinnamon in a bowl and combine well.
  3. Add the coconut milk, maple syrup and almond meal and mix until combined.
  4. Mash in banana (if using frozen I microwave it until it is mostly defrosted. This works really well and means you will have amazing delicious banana chunks in your brownie!)
  5. Line a small brownie tin with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface of the mix.
  6. Place in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Insert a chopstick/skewer to check – the stick should come out with a bit of the mix on it. This means extra fudginess once it has cooled! Remove and allow to cool to room temperature (if you can resist digging in straight away!).

Raw Ganache Icing

  1. Remove 2 teaspoons of your coconut sugar and keep aside (this will dust the brownie!).
  2. Combine remaining coconut sugar with cinnamon.
  3. Whisk the cacao powder and coconut oil together until smooth .
  4. Add cinnamon coconut sugar mix and mix well.
  5. Pour on top of the brownie and refrigerate immediately.
  6. After 10 minutes remove from fridge and sprinkle on remaining coconut sugar. This will give a beautiful caramel fairy dust effect!
  7. Serve with strawberries!!!