Monday, November 14, 2011

Health Update: What Getting Glutened, Candida, and a Grain-Free Bento Box Snapshot Have in Common

I can happily announce that I am once again among the living! Last week was the week of being voiceless, glutened*, in pain, hungry, and sleeping throughout the day. Maybe it was getting glutened that completely destroyed what was left of my stomach flora, all of that wonderful natural bacteria and enzymes that broke down nutrients and gave my body what it wanted, but I felt something was amiss.

Grain-Free Red Quinoa & Carrot "Pancake"

I’m used to getting sick around and on my birthday, but it had never been this bad. (Except the year around my seventh birthday when I had lice and I couldn’t play with any of my toys because they were in plastic trash bags for over a month). Just getting out of bed to feed myself was a chore, and don’t get me started going up and down the stairs or using the bathroom. What was even more interesting was the craving for fruits, lots of rice, and additional honey in my tea. I didn’t want to take medicine and it hurt to be touched, and after a week and a half of this my family started to get worried. Would I have to go to the doctor’s? Was it serious? Was my sore throat somehow affecting my lungs? 

On Sunday I was doubled over in pain and in tears, right around the top of the small intestines. I was immediately given two packets of FiveLac Probiotic and after twenty minutes it was as if I hadn’t been sick at all. I’m not a big fan of the taste, but if it works and makes me feel better I can’t complain (It tastes a lot better going down with lemon water).

I had many of the symptoms of flora imbalance, but especially:
  •     Abdominal gas and bloating
  •     Headaches
  •     Migraines
  •     Excessive fatigue
  •     Anxiety
  •     Cravings for sweets
  •     Inability to think clearly or concentrate
  •     Mood swings
  •     Constipation
  •     Itching
  •     Eczema (particularly on my hands and elbows)
  •     Depression
  •     Sinus inflammation
  •     Pre-menstrual symptoms
  •     Dizziness
  •     Poor memory
  •     Persistent cough
  •     Muscle weakness
  •     Irritability
  •     Learning difficulties
  •     Sensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals
  •     Cognitive impairment
  •     Thrush
  •     Sore throat
  •     Indigestion
  •     Acid reflux
  •     Chronic pain

Sadly, I’ve been experiencing many of these symptoms for a while and it had never occurred to me that I may have Candida overgrowth.


As of now, it’s Day 2 of taking FiveLac three times daily before meals, and I’m feeling better than I have been for a while. To make it easier, I’ve gone “grain-free” and “white carbohydrate-free" (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, beans, and sweet potatoes are okay) and have limited my fruit intake to one per day. Sweeteners such as honey, agave, and maple syrup will be removed from daily consumption (you know, the huge amount of half to one tablespoon) until I can eat brown rice without my stomach growling at me. The other immediate change I’ve noticed is that I’m not ravenously hungry as I once was and I can do cognitive tasks such as studying on an empty stomach.

Going “grain” and “white carb” –free for the time being (and just in time for my birthday) has been a little difficult, especially for breakfast and dinner. I have had success with egg “crepes”, and I’ve been thinking about using soaked buckwheat for parfaits, but I’m finding that replacing grains means the loss of calorie intake, and I do want to nourish my body correctly. That, and I don't want orthorexia nervosa rearing its obsessive head.

I did have success with making a grain-free Bento Box Snapshot, however, made with chicken, peas, Iris’ recipe of perfectly cooked onions, and plain ol’ buckwheat groats. But I do need some inspiration for other meals, and any advice or recipes would be greatly appreciated.

As for going full throttle into the Anti-Candida Diet, I’m not sure. If that is that case, particularly when I talk to Cheryl about it, I’ll be looking to Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs for inspiration.

* I found out what did me in: Ultra Greens.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you liked the onions! Delicious, right? Can you do butternut squash? Coconut? I'm posting a stevia butternut squash pie later that's grain-free. I've heard a lot about this FiveLac Probiotic, but never taken it. You felt a lot better just from that?