Update: Candida, Life & The Pursuit of Body Love
These last few weeks have been a roller-coaster form. That's the honest truth. I love having my own blog because I can be brutally honest with what's going on in my life and I don't have to sugar coat anything. Sometimes when reading other blogs you never know if things are glossed over but you don't have to worry about that here. I'm a straight shooter.
And the honest truth is that following this candida diet has been a struggle at times. I am so grateful that I have a creative mind and know my way around the kitchen. These two things alone have saved me time and time again. The candida diet, to me, is very strict. And, if this was January or February and I was holed up in the house to avoid the blustery winter wind, I think I'd feel quite different. But it's June and summer and Albert finally has free time outside of work. In the past, we'd spend these days trying out a new local restaurant, drinking a lemony flavored beer & walking up the street to share a scoop or two of handmade ice cream.
Our summer days usually revolve around food and that's been hard to enjoy on the candida diet. Thankfully Albert is a gem and has been very understanding. We've frequented the one local spot that tailors to gluten-free, paleo focused eating even though it's not his favorite spot. I am grateful for that.
Another part that has been difficult is the financial obligation tied to cooking all of your meals 24/7. Now, yes, whether I buy takeout or food from the grocery store, I'm still spending money. I understand that thoroughly. But I've found that the types of ingredients and foods I need to purchase to avoid eating grilled chicken and asparagus every day are expensive.
Some of these items are my favorite and I'd recommend them to anyone wanting to try a gluten-free, dairy-free tortilla, or a sugar-free ketchup or ranch dressing. But when you're providing for two people, the prices add up. And yes, I'm a food blogger but none of my posts are sponsored nor do I collect any income from this. It's coming from pure passion, baby!
And at the end of the day, I'm not looking to only live this way for 5, 8, even 12 weeks. Healing my candida will always be a part of my lifestyle. You can rid yourself of candida but if you go back to your old patterns, it's likely to return. So I decided a long time ago that I wanted to incorporate this into my life and not go into it with the mindset that I'll only have to do this for a few weeks and I can go back to cheeseburgers.
Finding the balance between strict candida and living my life has been difficult at times. Any time I've tried to incorporate something on the "no" list, my body reacts terribly to it. And this causes frustration and stress for me. I'm not looking to eat tacos, burgers, pizza, ice cream & bagels every day. Okay, well, tacos maybe. But, should I need to attend a wedding I'd like to enjoy the meal provided. Or, should I be somewhere rare, I'd like to be able to try their specialty without regretting it the rest of the night with bloat, gas, pimples, etc.
So what have I learned so far?
I am currently in week 5 of the candida diet. But full disclosure, I haven't followed it 100% this last week. During the middle of week 4, I decided to see if I saw any triggers from foods yet. So I tried a corn tortilla with my taco instead of the paleo coconut flour one. No gut reactions. I had a cocktail. No gut reactions. Though, I did feel overly dehydrated the next day. I've had honey in my coffee. No gut reactions. But, this may be the reason I feel a bit more tired in my mornings than I've been experiencing lately. And I've had gluten a time or two and haven't seen any gut reactions.
Oh, and then there was this one time I forgot that butter was dairy and put some on my paleo pancakes. GUT REACTIONS FOR HOURS. Wow. I haven't been in as much pain as that day in six months to a year. It felt like a knife was playing etch-a-sketch in my tummy. It was awful.
So at this point, dairy is 100% out. And that's totally okay with me because I haven't been missing it either. Except for pizza. I do miss pizza but it's not worth it I've decided. Also, I don't really need gluten either. Thankfully if I need to, there are so many gluten-free options these days (while they're all not categorized as "healthy", I know) that I don't see a reason to NEED something with full gluten.
I also don't need alcohol unless it's a super special occasion or like, my wedding day. I really dislike the feeling of being dehydrated and not being in control of my feelings & emotions. And I'm finally not missing the super sweet fruits that I was missing in the beginning. I'm okay to not have bananas, pineapples, mangos, etc. I thought this wasn't going to work for my smoothies but I'm loving them this way.
And lastly, overall, I'm just trying to not stress about everything. My doctor told me that stress was one of the main factors to cause my candida. And, I can't imagine that stressing out over everything I eat is worth it. I have been doing my best to stick to a gluten-free & dairy-free lifestyle 80% of the time. It makes me feel great and the more I learn, the easier it will get. But should something slip or should I mindfully want to enjoy a gluten or dairy containing item, I am learning to not rip myself a new one afterward.
Through this whole process, I want to come out on the other side loving my body more than ever. Living with Candida, that's been one of the hardest things to do. Loving your body when it's having a gut-wrenching reaction to something you ate is very hard. Loving your body when your belly is so bloated you look 3 months pregnant, isn't easy. Loving your body when you have three pimples on your face at once when you used to get none, is challenging.
But that's what I keep going back to. How can I love my body more this time around despite it's current reactions? It's the question I'll continue to ask as the answer is always changing and evolving as I do.