Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tips to get you through a food challenge

Woman with Healthy and Unhealthy Food. Difficult choice Stock Photo

 

Hello week 6 of my candida cleanse! When you decide to do a “food challenge” whether it’s a strict candida cleanse, a Whole 30 or even just a short 21 Day Sugar Detox, it most likely seems really daunting. You start picturing all the weekends and events you have between now and the end and get anxiety about how you’ll make it through x, y and z without food/drink you enjoy. Well, at least I do. I did complete a couple of successful Whole 30’s, but those were in January when everyone else is “dieting” too.

At the beginning of this six weeks I had no idea if I would actually see this through, but I was determined because of the state of my health and the hefty price tag of the program. If you’re struggling with will power or peer pressure, here are some tips and tricks I’ve told myself to power through and still live my life.

tipsfoodchallenge

1. The X number of weeks will still pass whether you do this or not.

I first thought about doing the candida cleanse in Mid-August, but dismissed the idea because I thought it was too strict and I could never do it. I had calculated the number of weeks it would take and figured I would end at the end of September. “That’s way too long,” I thought and put it out of my mind. Then Mid-September rolled around, and my health was still the same. And I thought, if I had just started in August, I would have been done by now. That’s what really convinced me to do it, honestly. The amount of time it will take for you to do it will pass, and at the end of it your health is going to be better, or the same. In the grand scheme of things what is a month or two of your life if it means more health and happiness in the long run?

2. What’s more important, the company or the food and drinks?

I get anxiety when I think of trying to socialize without drinking and eating. How weird is it that we’re just hard-wired to do these things when we try to hang out with our friends. It really forces you think about what you’re doing with your life….. Just kidding, but it forces you to be creative when making plans or looking for things to do instead of just saying “oh we’ll grab drinks”. It feels really boring when you’re facing it, but when you take these things away it puts more emphasis on the people you are with and the conversation you are having instead of using the social crutch of drinking and eating. I feel like this is a post for another time, but it’s definitely something to think about.

3. Don’t fall victim to the “self-actualization loophole”

yolo

Okay, I stole this one from Gretchen Rubin. You can read about it here. But basically when we’re trying to reach a goal and temptation stands in the way, we look for loopholes to bail ourselves out of the commitment. Self-Actualization loophole is disguised as “YOLO”-ing, or “living life to the fullest”. You’re out to dinner and you told yourself that you were going to order the salad and no dessert, but when actually faced with the decision, you cave, telling yourself “You deserve this” or “life is too short to deprive myself.” Happens to me ALL THE TIME. This is actually the #1 reason why I’ve failed challenges in the past. Because it makes sense. Yes life is too short but you started the challenge for a reason. Often times when you go off the rails, and especially if you’re health depends on it, you regret it later. Gretchen Rubin suggests you think about how you’ll feel tomorrow about your decision. If you feel like you won’t regret it, go ahead, eat the dessert and burger. But most likely you will and that’s when you need to summon your will power.

4. I’m choosing not to drink/eat these foods

beers

Instead of telling people (when it’s necessary, hopefully I don’t have to explain my food choices to anyone) “I can’t eat that” or “I can’t have a beer”, try “I’m not drinking” or “This is a choice”. It is, after all, a choice.  You CAN eat whatever you want. But you are making a conscious choice to better your health. It reminds you of why you’re doing this. And you shouldn’t have to defend your choices to anyone. Plus, when I have the mental attitude of “I can’t have that” it automatically makes me want to have it! And it makes other people more likely to badger you “What do you mean you CAN’T!! Sure you can, YOLO!!!!!!” People don’t have much to respond to when you say “I’m not drinking tonight.”

5. If you slip up, it’s not the end of the world.

Sh*t happens, and nobody’s perfect. It’s easy to feel like EVERYTHING IS RUINED if you get glutened at a restaurant or fall into the self-actualization trap once during your challenge. I feel like one of the bad reasons challenges are so popular is because they are “all or nothing” and people just want to go back to the way they were eating before when it’s over. So if you mess up, the whole jig is up and the challenge is over. This is an unhealthy way to look at challenges. You’re supposed to be changing your lifestyle for the better, and continue the habits after the challenge has ended. So one slip up in the scheme of things isn’t a huge deal. It’s what you do in the long term that matters.

signature

Candida-Friendly Granola Bars

Woahhhh….the first recipe I’ve posted in over six months. Feels weird. But also feels good to get back to blogging a little. I caught you up to speed in how it’s going with my candida cleanse. Again, I feel like I basically want to quit everyday and eat a box of apple cider donuts. And pumpkin beer. I’ve really craved apple fritters or cider donuts more than anything. Probably because it’s fall and I haven’t been able to have any of it.

ANYWAYS, you have to survive somehow with no sugar, coffee or alcohol. So I made these granola bars! These are very similar to the regular granola bars I blogged about here and make my husband nearly every week in his lunch. A version is also in my cookbook. I just left out the honey or sugar. Gluten free oats are allowed on the candida cleanse I am doing, in moderation. I like to use homemade cashew butter and it makes them kind of taste like cookie dough bars! The result is a gluten free, sugar free, dairy-free candida friendly snack. Best of all there are only four ingredients! Super simple and worth the small amount of effort.

You could add chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit if you’re not on the cleanse as well.

Candida Friendly Granola Bars

granola bars candida

You’ll need:

1 cup nut butter (sugar free!) *I like homemade cashew

1 and 1/2 cups gluten free oats

1 egg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

1.Pre-heat oven to 350. Melt the nut butter in a large, glass, microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.

2. Mix your oats in and stir until well incorporated.

granloacandida

3. Add the egg and cinnamon and stir again until well combined.

4. Pour the mixture into an 8X8 baking dish that is greased, sprayed with non-stick spray, or lined with a silicone sheet. I like my silicone baking sheets so much! Nothing sticks.

candida2granola

5. Press the mixture down until it is even in the pan.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. After cooled, cut into bars!

Makes 8 bars.

If you’re not used to sugar-less treats just be aware that these have NO sweetener, so they might take some getting used to. If you’re on the candida diet or have been away from sugar like me they should taste just fine.

signature

Candida Cleanse Update

Wow! Well three weeks went by fast. I expected to post more, but as you may suspect, this whole cleanse thing has been REALLY difficult and I haven’t really felt like commenting on it. This is the start of week 4 for me. I’ve wanted to quit about 50% of the days so far.

fall

The first week, I came down with a cold. So that was fun. Trying to deal with symptoms without taking Nyquil was awesome. So I wasn’t really sure if I felt like crap because of that or “die-off” symptoms.

What are “die-off” reactions? It’s when the toxins (candida) you are trying to kill are leaving the body too fast and your liver can not keep up. From the Whole Journey website:

“Die-off is a sign that the candida is leaving your body, so it is a measure of progress. It just depends on how much your liver, kidneys, digestive system, lymph, and blood can take to determine the intensity of die-off since everyone has a different current state of health. Die-off symptoms that persist for longer than seven days indicate that you are cleansing too quickly, and your body is having a hard time eliminating the toxins and candida fast enough. This is when colonics and other detoxing suggestions are helpful.”

The second week I wanted to quit and eat pumpkin donuts. The sugar cravings were OFF THE CHAIN. I was sure that there was no way I could do this. I was googling “is candida even real
to justify my desire to quit.

Last week (week 3) I was still dealing with some brain fog. Feeling blah, like the whole world was just underwater. Not to sound cliche, but I feel like I’m living my life in black and white. I think this was the die-off symptoms that everyone kept talking about. Either that or a reaction to one of the supplements. Some days I even felt like I was hungover. I had trouble concentrating. I was definitely ready to quit. Why am I giving up all these foods to feel like utter crap?

fall 2

I decided to look into the program a little and there was a suggestion for a supplement (I was like…..ugh ANOTHER one?) that helps with mood, energy and stress. It’s called Max B-ND and I got it on Amazon (affiliate link). Holy crap did I notice a difference! It’s only been three days but after taking a teaspoon in the morning I am no longer dealing with the “blah” feeling. I feel perfectly fine and even more upbeat. So hopefully this is going to help me get over the hump with the cleanse and finish out strong.

I was able to survive last weekend at home visiting family, without going to my favorite restaurants or going off the diet at all. It wasn’t easy. I faced ridicule by others and temptation. Next weekend I have a Halloween party, and I am worried about what people are going to think of me not drinking. I know it’s so shallow. But I was always the one wondering “why aren’t they drinking”. Hopefully they just assume I’m pregnant or something and don’t ask. LOL.

Planning on going at least 6 weeks on the diet (so two more), hopefully 8. I don’t think I will feel the need to drink until the holidays. I know that’s a whole new topic so for now I will just focus on staying strong these next two weeks.

 

What do you do when faced with ridicule by your friends/family about your diet?

What would be the hardest thing for you about not drinking?

signature