I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Candida Diet - One Week Down

It has been one week since I started the candida diet.

So far so good! I am very pleased with myself for getting through the first week. I have continued to have lots of nibbles around me all the time, and have brought a number of ok foods with me for our current weekend away from home. I've been lucky in that everyone we are visiting with seems to be contributing to the meal preparations, so everyone gets what he/she wants. Although I do feel hungry today, most of the time I have felt satisfied. I just fed myself a burger for lunch, and surprisingly I still feel hungry ten minutes after finishing it, which is strange. But generally I have been ok. I haven't missed things too much...I do miss cheese a bit. But I think I only really miss foods when I'm not satisfied by other foods....which just means I need to up the foods that make me feel full. And keep nibbling! Which I can do.

So, since beginning this diet, my bloated belly symptoms have completely disappeared. Coincidence? Maybe. I had the same belly symptoms some weeks ago, and it went away without a special diet. I guess the truer test will be to see if it returns again any time soon.

Other symptoms? My sinuses have been clearer. Related? Not a clue. But I was getting sinus issues practically on a daily basis, and now it's much less persistent. Improvement!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Candida Diet - Phase One

The hardest part of any diet is getting through phase one. I seriously admire anyone who diets, for whatever reason, and is successful. It's hard!! So here I am, once again, faced with adjusting what I eat for a proposed physical improvement. The reason I typically give myself for going off of a diet is that I am HUNGRY, which I hate. I eat a lot. And much of that is filler foods, like pasta, bread, wheat. This time, I have help with choosing foods and purchasing them, and that has made the initial couple of days MUCH easier! And I'm not hungry. In fact, I am munching all day long on nuts and whatnot, and eating very fulfilling diet-friendly meals. Ok. The real test will come when our company leaves, my support system, and I am left to fend for myself. I will try to give myself incentive....

Here are all of the symptoms I have, which may or may not be addressed through diet: bloated belly, fluid in the ears and tinnitus, sinus issues, eczema, scalp rash, sneezing, foggy brain, memory issues, focus problems, scattered thoughts and actions....

I will start by reporting that yesterday and this morning my belly had NOT been bloated or upset. So far so good!

Around noon I started getting a little bit of belly upset, which has lasted on and off all day. Just a very minor, I don't know...cramping? Or something. This might (or might not) be die-off, when you get symptoms as the yeast dies off. I also had that hunger that I always get with these diets. It just means that I did not feed myself enough foods that stick to my ribs. I know that I can, as I have had none of this the last two days. I will do better! But I am very nervous about having my support system go away tomorrow. =(

I am eating lots and lots of nuts, rice, rice cakes and salad. The salads taste SO good. My body is LOVING them. My dressing is lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I really love it.

A nice bonus to this is that my daughter, who really eats like crap, is eating some better stuff. She LOVED kale chips!! Awesome. She is also enjoying tomatoes a lot lately, with a little bit of salt and olive oil. Yum!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Candida Diet

This is my second post about my recent issue with a very bloated belly. I've bonded with the idea of it being caused by a yeast imbalance. This is because I have a history of yeast infections not caused by any of the "typical" issues. It's also because I did some online searching on my symptoms, and that was one of the possibilities. It just makes sense to me, I guess.

Anyhow, the cure is a diet....not my forte! But my current bout with belly bloat happened to coincide with a visit from family, one of whom has dietary restrictions of her own. She also happens to be very confident about food choices, and enjoys meal planning and preparing. Hurrah! She shopped and came home with an abundance of foods that are on the "ok" list for a candida diet. Left to my own devices, I would certainly have waited at least until Christmas was over to face the burden of eating a yeast starving diet.

So here on the eve of Christmas day, I am feeling a bit better. My belly had an episode after eating rice cakes with guacamole (???) but otherwise I have been feeling fairly well. I screw up here and there, such as serving myself and eating one bite of cranberry sauce before catching myself, and eating an entire serving of mashed potatoes and serving myself a second before being reminded that potatoes are not on my list. Argh!! But the same family member gently reminds me that eating is good, and that I shouldn't feel bad for doing so. How I wish I was surrounded by that kind of reassurance all the time. Hubby confronted me last night about how difficult it is to cook around dietary restrictions - sigh! I want my mommy! Anyhow, I will do the best that I can do, and try to heal myself. I will hate it, but perhaps it will help some other things along the way. If I can get two weeks under my belt, I am hoping the changes will provide the continued motivation.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bloat, Mope

My belly is bloated. Really, really bloated. What the? There are no other symptoms. I don't feel sick. This happened a few weeks ago, and resolved in about two days. What is going on? My first reaction was that I am having a yeast overgrowth. The last time this occurred that is what I concluded, but what the heck do I know? And why would it be happening now? I looked online for information about yeast imbalance and diet recommendations. Well, it's about as exciting as the GAPS diet, which I tried back in August. That sucked. It sucked! This time I decided that rather than try to suddenly deprive myself of everything on earth that tastes good and makes me feel full, I would consider skipping the "cleanse" part of the diet, even the "stage 1" diet. I went right to the list of "ok" foods. I swear, just reading the list made my stomach start grumbling. There's nothing on it. I would starve inside of a day. I hadn't eaten much for lunch, knowing instinctively that veggies and whole foods would be the way to go. I ended up eating two tomatoes with salad dressing that I made and an apple. Well, that was wrong. Vinegar is terrible. And apples don't make the cut either. I scoured the pantry looking for a snack, and found some pistachios. Nope. They might have mold, which is bad. The hell with this! Dear hubby was willing to adjust his dinner plan to follow the anti-yeast diet. I told him to forget it (with great appreciation) as I would very likely dump the diet in no time anyway. Ugh. So I have made a deal with myself. If my symptoms are still present after two days I will reconsider the diet. Damn I hate diets. But it would be lovely to get rid of this belly, not to mention some of the other symptoms that I have that are listed on the yeast diet website...fatigue....skin issues.....etc.....

Another issue is that I cannot find my way around a kitchen. I don't enjoy cooking, and I can't think of clever ideas for meals. So that makes special diets that much harder. BAHUMBUG.

Though my belly feels a little less tight at the moment. Will eating this bowl of pasta be a really big mistake?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trying My Hand At Selling What I Sew

Well I did it. I listed one of my tote bags for sale today! I really don't know whether I hope it sells or hope it doesn't! I made it for myself, but I am so curious to know if there is a market for them. I could have a little side business...