Sunday, June 29, 2014

Let's Talk About ... Candida

If you Google Candida, you will be bombarded with images of yeasty overgrowth in the girly or manly parts.  I want to stress that, although it can certainly manifest this way, this is NOT what I'm writing about today.
"What, on earth, is Candida?"

Candida, or Candidiasis, is a fungus.  It is a form of yeast and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines.  Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption.  When we die, it helps the body with decomposition.  However, when overproduced, Candida produces very long root-like structures that penetrate intestinal walls leaving microscopic holes which allows toxins, undigested food particles, bacteria and yeast to enter the bloodstream.  This condition is known as “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which can cause food allergies and many health problems.  These root-like structures also cause considerable damage to the walls of the intestines resulting in malabsorption of nutrients.

"Yuck, that sounds terrible!  What are the symptoms??"

The top 10 most common symptoms are:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections. 
  • Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
  • Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  • Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  • Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

"ACK!  I have many of these symptoms.  How does this happen??"

The healthy bacteria in your gut typically keeps your Candida levels in check.  However, several factors can cause the Candida population to run amok: 

  • Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast)
  • Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles
  • Drinking alcohol 
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Living a high-stress lifestyle
  • Taking antibiotics that kill too many of those friendly bacteria

"How can I test for it to see if I have it?"

Your doctor can order a blood test, stool test or a Urine Organix Dysbiosis test (a fancy name for checking for candida waste product).  You could also drink a glass of red wine at night just before you go to bed. The next morning, when you wake up, go look at your tongue in the mirror. If your tongue is white then there is a very high chance that you have Candida.

OR you can do the Spit Test.
The Spit Test:
Put a clear glass of water by your bed the night you want to do the test.
When you wake up in the morning, before doing ANYTHING else, collect some saliva in your mouth and spit into the glass of water.  Make certain to spit out saliva only, not mucus.  Watch the water for a a few minutes and see if the following starts to occur.

 Look for:
  1. Strings or legs hanging down from the saliva.
  2. Heavy looking saliva at the bottom of the glass.
  3. Gloomy specks suspended in the water.
If, within 3 minutes after spitting into the water, you see “strings” hanging down sorta looking like an octopus with its tentacles or “particles” sinking to the bottom, you most likely have an overgrowth

"HELP!  I have it!!  What do I do?"

You can adapt your diet. This involves changing to a low carbohydrate diet and eliminating as much sugar as possible. Sugar is Crack to Candida. It seriously goes into withdrawals when it doesn't get it. You will start to have severe cravings for refined carbohydrates like candy, desserts, alcohol and breads. Other names for sugar are:
Aspartame, carob powder, corn starch, crystalline carbohydrate dextrin, dextrose, disaccharides, galactose, glucose, levulose, malts of any kind, maltitol, maltodextrin, maltose (malt sugar), manitol, mannitol, mono-saccharides, sucrose, Nutrasweet, polydextrose, polysaccharides, ribose, saccharin, sorghum, suamiel, succanat, xylitol.  
Candida doesn't care.  It sees them all as FOOD.    

Using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. Taking a probiotic will help speed this along.  

"Great!  I want to start right away!!!"

A note of caution:
While Candida is dying off, you may experience "die-off" symptoms.  Die-off symptoms are caused by high numbers of yeast being killed off, which releases a high number toxins into the system.  This is also know as the Herxheimer’s reaction, or yeast die-off phenomenon.  Die-off symptoms resemble the flu and can be very uncomfortable.  If the symptoms become too much to bear, it can be temporarily alleviated by taking an Epsom salts bath.  Epsom salts draws toxins out through the skin and helps minimized die-off symptom.
(add two cups, or 500 grams, of Epsom salts to warm bath water)

There are many sites on the Internet to help you with your lifestyle change.  My favorites are:

For more information on Candida, watch:

Articles sources:

Patra Philips,
Live Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy!
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Top 5 Crock Pot Recipes

Five Most Shared Crock Pot Recipes from my Business Page:
(no particular order)

1. Clean Eating Crockpot Chicken Tacos


1 lb (or about four 4 oz) Chicken breasts
1 cup (8 oz) Salsa (I used one with corn and black beans)
1/2 cup (half of a 10 oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies

Optional: 1 tbs taco seasoning 
Optional Taco/Salad Fixings: Low carb/whole grain tortillas, shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro, black olives, avocado, corn, black beans, plain low fat greek yogurt.
The estimated total time to make this recipe is 4-8 Hours.


Put all of the ingredients (except for toppings) in crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred. Add chicken back to the crockpot and stir to combine everything. Serve over lettuce or on low carb tortillas, and top with veggies and/or suggested toppings. 

2. Slow Cooker Pineapple Beef Teriyaki


1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice (no need to drain)
1 large onion, chopped
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets
2 and ½ pounds cubed beef chuck stew meat
¾ cup teriyaki sauce
¾ teaspoon ground ginger


Combine all ingredients in the crock pot.
Set to low and cook for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice.

3. Crockpot Cashew Chicken:
(this one got the most Shares and Likes)


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews


Combine flour and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.
If you want like sauce and want to have some to pour over the chicken and the rice, double the sauce ingredients.

4. Chicken Casserole:

Switch up your traditional casserole recipe with a powerful mix of flax, almond milk and cauliflower. These nutritious ingredients will give this meal a hearty and wholesome flavor that will leave you feeling satisfied.


2 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 tbsp ground flax
1 to 2 cups broccoli, spinach, onion and garlic, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheese
8 to 10 oz chopped chicken
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 cup almond milk
2 tbsp of brown rice or gluten-free flour


In a slow cooker, start by layering the cauliflower, ground flax, vegetable mix, 1/4 cup of cheese and chicken.
Once you have made the bottom layer, you can finish up by layering the remaining ingredients on top. Add the brown rice or gluten-free flour if you desire a thicker consistency.
Let it cook on high for 4 hours and serve when ready.

5. CrockPot Brisket Tacos/Quesadillas: 


3 lb brisket
Ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz Dublin Dr. Pepper (made with real sugar)
Mango Barbecue Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp Creole (spicy brown) mustard
1/4 cup mango chutney

8 8-in flour tortillas
8 oz brie, thinly sliced
1 cup monterrey jack, shredded
olive oil or cooking spray, to brush tortillas
cilantro, for garnish (optional)


To make the brisket: Rub the meat with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic.
Place brisket in the crockpot and pour the Dr. Pepper over the top.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove from the crockpot and let rest for 15 minutes.
Slice against the grain (1/8-1/4 inch thick).
To make the barbecue sauce: Heat olive oil in a 2-qt sauce pan.
Saute onions for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and run until smooth.
To assemble the quesadillas: Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-high.
Lay out the tortillas. Divide the meat, brie, and monterrey jack between the tortillas, placing the meat and cheese on half of the tortilla.
Top with a spoonful or two of barbecue sauce and fold the other half over.
Place on the heated grill (brushing the tortilla with oil or cooking spray will prevent sticking).
Cook until the bottom is crisp and flip over.
Remove from heat and slice into thirds. Serve with extra barbecue sauce. 

So, there ya have it!  Make your list and head to the store. 

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Let's Talk About.. HIIT

Let's Talk About.. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) vs. Hours in the Gym... 

I don't know why this comes to mind when thinking about HIIT...  Maybe because it involves a lot of planking and core strength?  Regardless, I can say that after 3 weeks of doing the Jillian Michael's HIIT 30 minute videos, I'm getting much closer to the top picture vs. the bottom picture from when we first started. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let's Talk About.. Bulletproof Coffee

I am a Starbucks Junkee.  I go there every day.  I say I don’t need it and I can stop anytime, and then I look up and I’m in the parking lot.  It has some fiendish hold on me and I believe I’ve been bewitched!

One of my co-workers has been drinking Bulletproof Coffee every morning and swears it is the best thing since homemade, gluten-free, sliced bread.   I envisioned coffee that, when consumed, made you bulletproof. Unless you’re a police office (or a drug dealer), I couldn’t see the benefit. 

I asked him what was in it and he said, “upgraded coffee, unsalted grass-fed butter and coconut oil.” Sounded…. fatty.  And what the heck was upgraded coffee?  He said it gave him energy and is helping him lose weight.  I was skeptical.  He added that consuming fat in the morning teaches your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.

Wait.  WHAT?  (Somewhere, I heard a record needle scratch)  As a diabetic, I immediately perked up.

What sorcery was this??