the CANDIDA cleanse

UPDATED 4/9/13

hello fellow sS’ers!

you may recall from a previous post that candida albicans is a yeast that we all naturally have in our digestive systems. a variety of different factors like antibiotic usage, diets excessive in sugar, and even stress can throw off the balance of bacteria in our systems and cause an overgrowth of candida.  this overgrowth can lead to an endless array of symptoms such as chronic yeast infections, depression, bloating, gas, constipation, fatigue, joint pain and of course….ACNE.

when kimmy started seeing kim in december of ’09, she literally felt “clear” after the first treatment. but some time passed and she started breaking out again. this time, the breakout didn’t go away no matter how many times she came in for treatment.  along with the stubborn acne, she was having frequent yeast infections, and had an itchy rash on her face that just wouldn’t go away!  after much probing (both at her skin and into her life!), kim came to the conclusion that she had a candida overgrowth and would need to do a cleanse to get clear.

since sS was still fairly new to the candida cleanse, kimmy was sort of the guinea pig who tried and tested the crazy amount of information out there. now, after 3 rounds of the cleanse, hours of reading, and lots of frustration trying to navigate all of the conflicting information, we hope these tips she learned will help you and save you from all of the trouble she went through.

first, a few very straightforward pointers:

1. JUST DO IT. if you’re following the sS acne-free lifestyle, coming in for treatment as prescribed, and following your regimen and you’re still not clearing up; if you get chronic yeast infections, have poor digestion, crave sugar and carbs, have all around poor health and get sick all the time, just. freakin. do. it!!!

the good news is: it can’t hurt. “cleanse” is a misleading word because really, the “candida cleanse” is just following a healthy diet – and this way of eating will benefit you whether or not you have candida.a few months may seem like a long time but it is nothing compared to the months and years you will suffer with acne and all the other candida symptoms you may experience if you dont just nip this in the bud now. and lets just be honest, most of us could do with a few months of cleaning up our diets (and perhaps our livers too…)

2. don’t bother doing it half-assed. if you’re gonna do it, do it all the way! the first two times kimmy did the cleanse, she did it for two weeks each. her symptoms got better then got worse again. finally, she gave in and ended up doing it for the full two months. in the end, instead of just doing it for the full two months in the first place, she wasted time doing it half- assed because she was being lazy. also, yeast thrives on sugar — and yes, that means just a tiny drop of alcohol or a little bite of chocolate! don’t do the cleanse and cheat (even if its just a little bit) because ultimately, you’re just cheating yourself.

3. be prepared! don’t just decide to do the cleanse tomorrow without preparing and definitely don’t decide to do it right before vacation: you’ll be setting yourself up to fail and you’ll be really, really hungry. when the time is right, gather up some recipes, get some snacks in that fridge, and be prepared to spend a little time in the kitchen. if you’re someone like kimmy who’s scared to boil a pot of water, don’t worry!  we promise you, this doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming – but, you are going to have to get over your fear of burning down the house or poisoning someone every time you prepare food. and who knows, by the end of the cleanse, you may even enjoy cooking and be confident in your skills in the kitchen… as you should be! you can do it 🙂

now, on to the nitty-gritty!  we’re gonna warn you, you may start reading this list of foods to avoid and find that everything you eat is, well, a food to avoid. don’t run away just yet!  we promise you won’t be hungry and there is still a ton of things that you can eat! so, here it goes…

FOODS TO AVOID!

SUGARS (try xylitol or stevia instead!)
sugar, honey, syrup, lactose, sucrose, fructose, chocolate, molasses, rice syrup, artificial sweeteners, agave nectar, coconut sugar, candy, cookies, snack foods

ALCOHOL
ALL. OF.  IT.  wine, beer, spirits, liquors, cider.  yep.  sorry.

BEVERAGES
coffee, decaf coffee, black & green tea (or any caffeinated tea), diet & regular soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, coconut water, fruit juice, rice milk, kombucha (it has caffeine from the tea and sugar!)

MEAT
all pork products, cured meat (like: salami, pepperoni, pastrami, hot dogs), processed meats (lunch meat, bacon, spam), smoked & vacuum packed meats

GRAINS/GLUTINOUS FOODS
wheat, rye, oats, barley, bread, enriched flour, white or wheat pasta, spelt products, corn, corn by products, cereal

FRUIT (lemon and limes are fine!)
fresh fruit, dried fruit, canned fruit, fruit juice

VEGETABLES
potatoes, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, peas, parsnips, yucca, all winter squash,  basically anything starchy, which the body will turn into sugar upon consumption.

DAIRY
cheese, milk, cream, buttermilk, yogurt.  PASTURED and organic butter however, is ok in small amounts.

CONDIMENTS
ketchup, store bought mayonnaise (homemade that you make yourself is ok), regular mustard, relish, horseradish, soy sauce, salad dressings, vinegars.  in place of vinegars, you can use apple cider vinegar, lemon and limes ONLY.

FATS/OILS
peanut oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, coconut oil, vegetable oils, canola oil, soy oil, margarine, shortening, lard

MUSHROOMS/MOLDS
mushrooms, truffles, imported teas, cheeses, even dried spices (fresh herbs are best)

NUTS
cashews, peanuts, pistachios

PHEW. you still with us? now, lets talk about the foods you CAN eat.

we know most of you have a diet right now that consists entirely of foods in the last section.  we also know how intimidating it is to read the list that you’re about to read and to never have cooked or even heard of some of these foods.

amaranth? is that a perfume?… buckwheat? wasn’t that a character from the little rascals?… um, NO. these are foods that for some strange reason are not a part of our american diet… but they should be! most of them are affordable, easy to make, full of nutrients and delicious.

take buckwheat for example. buckwheat is one of the gluten-free grains allowed on the cleanse. it can be found in the bulk section of most supermarkets and is usually even less expensive than rice. it’s high in quality plant proteins, both essential and non-essential amino acids, the powerful antioxidant rutin, and vitamin e. compared to rice, it has twice as much zinc and copper, over three times the amount of calcium and iron, and over five times the amount of potassium and magnesium. buckwheat takes less time to cook than rice and can be eaten as is or put in soups (like we like to do).

the point is, don’t be scared by foods you’re not familiar with. a fancy name doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s hard to cook or expensive.

now, onto the full list of FOODS TO EAT:

VEGETABLES
artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beet greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, kale, kimchi (raw – with no sugar or vinegar!), leeks, lettuce, okra, olives (as long as they are not in vinegar – apple cider vinegar is ok though), onions, peppers, radish, rutabaga, sauerkraut (raw), snow pea pods, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, turnip, zucchini

NON-GLUTINOUS GRAINS (keep at a minimum, up to 25% of each meal)
amaranth, buckwheat, millet, canahua, oat bran, quinoa, wild and brown rice

BEANS  dont eat these more than 1-2 times a week max. they are high in carbohydrates, which turns to sugar. if you want to be super conservative, don’t eat them at all!

MEAT (be sure to use organic, hormone-, antibiotic-free and local products as much as possible!)
beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, wild game, eggs

FISH
anchovies, herring, sardines, wild salmon

NUTS AND SEEDS
almonds, almond milk (unsweetened), coconut milk, coconut cream (unsweetened), flax seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

OILS/ FATS
olive oil, sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil, macadamia oil, almond oil, flax oil, safflower, sunflower, ghee, organic butter. (traditionally coconut oil and butter are allowed on the cleanse, but are not recommended for the acne-prone, so it’s best to avoid them)

HERBS AND SPICES
basil, black pepper, cayenne, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, turmeric (fresh is always best, to reduce the possible amount of mold dried herbs can harbor)

SEASONING
black pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder

BEVERAGES
chicory root “coffee” (aka inka), herbal teas (meaning, non-caffeinated like chamomile, senna, peppermint, etc.), fresh vegetable juices (avoid the not-candida-safe veggies like carrots and beets, though – also no fruit!).  pau d’arco tea is known for helping with rebalancing candida levels.

SWEETENERS
stevia, xylitol

let’s want to walk you through a typical day of food on the cleanse:

breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with greens (kale, collard greens, spinach) in olive oil, oat bran w/almond milk, cinnamon and sliced almonds or coconut shreds (unsweetened), or even candida-safe grain porridge (you can eat this savory with leftover veggies and meat, or sweet with almond milk, cinnamon and almonds or unsweetened coconut)

snack: celery/bell peppers w/hummus or almond butter, mixed nuts

lunch: salad w/avocado and quinoa & dressed w/olive oil and apple cider vinegar, chicken

dinner: roasted brussels sprouts, cajun spiced fish, millet/buckwheat

all of these meals are super easy, economical, and easy to pack up and take to work or school.

here are a few tips while you’re on the cleanse:

you may experience “die-off” symptoms, a.k.a.: sugar withdrawals. as you starve the yeast, it releases toxic byproducts into your system and this can cause symptoms ranging from sweating to headaches to fatigue. if this happens, don’t stop! it simply means that the cleanse is working and your body is cleansing itself of the yeast.  just try to take it easy, and be gentle with yourself.  take extra time to rest, have relaxation time, take epsom salt baths, take up a new hobby like coloring or reading paperback books 🙂

try not to eat out too much during this time: it will just make you really frustrated.  if you must, mediterranean restaurants are a good choice because a lot of the dishes are yeast free.  you can also go to a high end restaurant that serves good, clean locally grass-fed beef or organic free-range chicken or wild fish, and ask that they prepare them with only olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  they often will also have veggies you can ask to have as sides instead, and have seasoned the same way.

MAKE SOUP!!! soups were kimmy’s saving grace during the cleanse!  she’s all about the easiest and fastest way to do things and making a soup is a great way to make something easy, fast and economical. every saturday, she went to the alemany farmers market, bought tons of organic veggies and made a soup that would last me almost the entire week.  no cooking everyday, and super easy to reheat and eat?  hallelujah.

CANSOL is an herbal tincture recommended by naturopath, dr. anstett, to be taken in conjunction with the diet. dr. anstett says there are a lot of candida cleanse kits on the market and most of them are garbage. the manufacturer of cansol, pure herbs, is the one he trusts and uses in his own practice.  we have also heard success with taking oregano oil, but haven’t tested this out.  let us know how it works out for you!

CANSOL INFORMATION from pure herbs, the manufacturer:

CAN.-SOL – (CANDIDA yeast – SOLOMON, formerly known as CAN. COMBINATION) Kills stubborn yeast infections. This unique Combination was designed and formulated by the much loved and admired, living, Amish Herbal Practitioner, Solomon Wickey, for severe cases of Candida and other persistent yeast infections. Part of Solomon’s wisdom in choosing two of the herbs in this combination was to observe Nature and note which plants can and do live in dark and moist or wet environments and never have problems with a fungus infection such as yeasts. The roots of Purple Loosestrife (loves to be near or in water) and the White Pond Lily fill these requirements exactly, and lend their strength to us for protection against yeast and other fungus infections. Indiscriminate use of antibiotic treatments, which are in reality yeasts themselves, do kill bacteria, but, at the same time, encourage the growth of fellow yeasts and other types of fungus. Often, normal yeasts associated with the body, such as candida, are pushed to an overgrowth type of situation by the use of antibiotics and cause an even worse problem. Yeast infections can be sexually transmitted and traded back and forth between sexual partners. This must be guarded against while a person is using CAN.-SOL, so it can do its job properly. Avoid all “sweets” and refined carbohydrates such as white flour products, bread, cookies, crackers, stuffings, etc. during use of CAN.-SOL. Also, avoid vinegar, beer and wines. Some natural sweets such as fruit juices and fruits can be enjoyed, by some, during this time. Do use a bowel program that produces at least 2, and preferably 3, easy and complete evacuations per day, to clean out the area in which yeasts can house and use as a base of operations, from which they can continue to invade the rest of the body. (SEE: Cascara SagradaC.C.E.-WBuckthornSennaBlack Root) It may also be necessary to eat only organically raised meats, as commercially raised farm animals are often routinely fed antibiotics in their food and passed on to us. CAN.-SOL does offer a welcomed solution and relief to this modern scourge of stubborn yeast infections.
COMBINATION:   Greasewood, Purple Loosestrife, White Pond Lily.DOSE: take 3 dropperfuls, 3 times a day, in conjunction with the candida diet for the best results. Do not be alarmed if cleansing discharges occur; persist and rejoice!

VERY IMPORTANT: make sure you have 2-3 long and formed bowel movements a day, to flush the excess candida completely out of the gut. you can drink extra water, eat more fiber (marshmallow and parsley teas, flax seed, fibrous veggies like celery, cauliflower, broccoli), eat more salad and raw veggies, do some digestive yoga poses.

dr. anstett also recommends you drink ONLY distilled water, and eat organic/locally sourced/antibiotic-free meat and produce.

and last but not least, keep in touch! you can email or call us anytime if you need help, have questions, or you just want to vent your frustration.

we’ve got a pinterest board where we’ve collected tons of recipes and tips. let us know if you find something good to add to it!   just remember, beans (in general) should only be eaten sparingly (1-2 times a week at max) and many of the recipes on our pinterest have garbanzo beans (so don’t go crazy with those recipes!).

we hope this helps and we wish you all the best of luck!

 

 

 

 

acne safe breakfast ideas

as complied by the lovely christine and carolyn.  pics and more ideas to come!

steel-cut oats
(you can make a big pot of this on sunday and reheat/eat throughout the week!)

stove top prep: combine 3 cups water with 1 cup dry oats in a saucepan (if you feel fancy, you can add 2 cinnamon sticks, chopped fresh ginger and/or, fresh vanilla bean). bring to a rolling boil and reduce to a simmer. cook for 30 minutes. if you want your oats more wet and porridge-y use 4 cups of water.

once the oats are cooked add all the fixings: stir in a splash of unsweetened almond or hemp milk and about ½ tsp of ground cinnamon (if you didn’t add the sticks earlier), 2 tbsp of chia seed, a sprinkling of flax seed to add fiber to move your digestion along.  you can also add some unsweetened coconut flakes or top with fruit if you want something sweeter..

and you can also cook the steel cut oats plain in water, and use as a savory base (like grits!) for last night’s leftover roast, or stir fried greens and an over easy egg on top..  bacon, sausage, japanese style with fish and pickles, the combinations are pretty much endless!

amaranth porridge:
with almond milk and cinnamon. be sure to cover the cooking amaranth, cuz it’ll pop right out of the  pot!

to cook amaranth:
combine seeds with two and a half cups water in a pot and bring to a boil.  reduce heat, cover and simmer for up to 20 minutes, until grains are fluffy and water is absorbed.  for a porridge-like consistency, use slightly more water (three cups for one cup of grain) and cook a little longer.

you can also “pop” amaranth like popcorn; simply preheat a pot or skillet over high heat (must be very hot), and add amaranth seeds one or two tablespoons at a time (adding too many seeds at once can cause them to burn).  continuously stir the seeds with a spoon as they pop, and once mostly popped, quickly remove from pan.  repeat with more seeds if desired.  popped amaranth can be enjoyed on its own as a crunchy snack or topping, or served with acne safe milk (almond, cashew, oat, rice) and fruit for a healthy breakfast cereal.

quinoa porridge with the same fixings as oatmeal (cranberry, apples, cinnamon, a bit of brown sugar, nuts, fruit)

scrambled eggs and greens + amaranth or quinoa or brown rice

soft-boiled eggs
so easy! just cover your eggs with cold water in a small pot, put the pot on the stove, when the water starts to boil, set a timer for 4 minutes. when the time goes off, cool down the eggs in cold water).  serve with soup or quinoa or over rice with kimchee.

smoothies
1 cup almond milk, 2 tbsp chia seed, tablespoon almond butter, 2 hand fulls of spinach and/or 1 handful of kale, 1 inch of peeled ginger, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 banana or 1 sliced green apple. place ingredients in blender (in the order we listed above), and blend until smooooth! if your mixture is too thick, a splash of water and blend on high for 10 more seconds.

breakfast sandwiches
scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, on whole grain bread (look for local, artisinal bread as mass-produced bread has soy lecithin and other additives).  these you can also assemble a few days ahead and grab as you go – you can plop the whole thing in a toaster oven or heat on a frying pan if you want it warmed up!

egg frittata
spinach, mushrooms, chives. turn on the broiler on your oven. beat 2-3 eggs (for 1 person) like you would to scramble them. heat a teaspoon of olive oil in  oven-safe skillet on medium heat. slowly pour the eggs into the skillet. sprinkle chopped veggies onto the cooking eggs. cook the eggs until the bottom of the eggs is set, then transfer the skillet to the broiler. cook until the top of the frittata bubbles and has set.

if you really only have time to grab and go:
kate, our new office manager, just introduced us to NuGo Free gluten, soy and dairy-free bars http://store.nugonutrition.com/products/45102.html which is fine for a once in a while quickie!

let us know what favorites you discover, we’d love to hear (and taste) your ideas!

stop the makeup madness!

mineral-makeup

we’ve all been there, and we see it at skin salvation too often. you’re broken out, but have to present your face to the world on a daily basis, and you need something to help conceal those pesky pimples. there is no shame in this, and those of us who have fought or are fighting the battle against acne know that wearing makeup is not about vanity, or even trying to deny that the acne is there. it’s about being able to go about your daily life feeling confident and sure that the people you interact with are seeing and experiencing the true you – not your acne. most importantly, it is your right as a human being to feel good about yourself and have the self-assuredness it requires to put your best self out into the world.

the problem is: the makeup that you are using to enhance your lovely face could be exacerbating your acne, completely defeating the purpose of your sS treatments, product regimen, and acne-safe lifestyle! you see, the cosmetic industry is a tricky but powerful little (ok, huge) guy. the “rules” that dictate how product ingredient lists are labeled are virtually non-existent, or totally skewed at best. cosmetic companies are allowed to label their products as “non-comedogenic”, “hypoallergenic”, for “problem skin” or “breakout-prone skin” with little or no evidence to support those bold claims.  there isn’t even a rule (a strictly enforced rule, at least) that requires companies to list all of the ingredients in a product. say what?!

in fact, most department and drugstore makeup brands include several known pore-cloggers in their formulas, simply because the ingredients are cheap, they make products feel nice, and the companies are not required to provide any proof that these ingredients don’t, in fact, clog pores. the acne-ridden consumer is ready to use anything and everything that claims to prevent future breakouts, and the cosmetic industry is well aware of this. so, we buy the products they claim will change our lives, our pores continue to be clogged with all sorts of unfriendly ingredients, and we continue to use those very same products, believing the whole time that what we are putting on our faces is safe and “non-comedogenic”. sorry to burst your bubble, but this could not  be farther from the truth!

but fear not – sS is here to help demystify the lies that these cosmetic companies keep feeding us.

liquid foundations are the most evil offenders for acne sufferers, mostly because they are applied across the entire face and are generally used daily. they often contain heavy oils such as lanolins, and it is common for the more sheer liquid foundations to contain isopropyl myristate, a seriously pore-clogging ingredient. on another note, liquid makeup that claims to be “oil-free” may not actually be free of oils; it may contain no animal, vegetable, or mineral oil, but it could contain synthetic oil.  if it is, indeed, oil-free, it often contains other ingredients that aren’t oils but still clog your pores, like glyceryl stearate SE, an ingredient that provides “slip” to a product.

this stuff looks safe!  except for the coconut-oil containing lip liner.

this stuff looks safe! except for the coconut-oil containing lip liner.  watch out!

lipstick and blush are culprits, too. as with foundations, they can contain acne-causing oils and waxes. also, blush and lipstick are often loaded with synthetic dyes and fragrances that are known to clog pores. and to add fuel to the fire, the ingredient labeling for blushes, and especially lipsticks, can be particularly hard to decipher. for instance, many lipstick ingredient lists often say things like “may contain dye # so-and-so”. this is a problem because not all dyes are pore-clogging. some of the D&C red dyes, which are derived from coal tars, are known to be comedogenic; red pigments such as D&C red #9 and D&C red #40 are the most troublesome of these dyes. when ingredients are listed like this, how are consumers to know what exactly they are applying to their lips? i don’t know about you, but i am not down with using a product that “may” contain a certain ingredient. because each lipstick or blush contains different dyes depending on the shade, the only way to find out what exactly is in each one is by contacting the cosmetic company, asking for the full list of ingredients for the product you are using, waiting until they respond, and then checking that list against the lengthy list of pore-cloggers. phew! that’s a lot of effort for just one lipstick. if you are a lipstick-loving lady (or gent), your best bet is to stick to a brand that uses as few ingredients as possible and is completely transparent about those ingredients. a line that looks safe but hasn’t (yet) been sS-tested is colorganics (http://www.colorganics.net).  all of their products look safe, except for the lipliner, which contains coconut oil.

so, let’s talk mineral makeup.  sounds pretty crunchy, right? maybe, but it rocks. it offers great coverage, clean ingredients, and it’s easy to use. mineral makeup is the only type foundation and blush that sS recommends for the special acne-prone population. why? mineral makeup contains less ingredients than liquid or cream makeup, and putting less ingredients on your face is generally a good thing. also, the potential for minerals to clog pores is far less than the potential for liquid formulas to clog, because making something a liquid requires the use of oils, waxes, and synthetic ingredients that clog up your beautiful pores.

however, not all mineral makeup is acne-safe. some cosmetic companies that carry a mineral foundation and /or blush add binders and fillers to their products – ingredients that claim to make the minerals last longer, look more natural when applied, and help bind the minerals together (like in a pressed powder formula). fillers aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but when they happen to be ingredients that are known pore-cloggers, steer clear! for example, i used a very well-known and frequently purchased mineral makeup for two whole years, all the while thinking that it was “good” for my acne-prone skin.  unbeknownst to me, it contained a highly pore-clogging ingredient – algae extract! so, even if a mineral makeup contains all natural ingredients, do not be fooled! even some ingredients derived from nature can clog your pores. also, a high-quality mineral makeup goes through a thorough milling process, eliminating the need to add artificial fragrance, alcohol, mineral oil, talc, or petroleum in order to make it smell, look, and feel natural. mineral makeup that contains these ingredients is a “watered down” version of real, pure minerals, and can cause or exacerbate acne. two thumbs down!

ok, enough of all the “no-no”s and “can’t”s. at this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “well, what kind of makeup can i wear?” if you’ve been using the colorscience pressed or loose mineral foundations, you are in the clear. as of right now, these are the only acne-safe foundations we at sS trust. they have been tested by many a clog-prone face, and they are both definitely acne friendly. we are in the midst of testing mineral foundations and blushes from alima pure, youngblood, and beeyoutiful skin. even if a product’s ingredients look safe (contains no known pore-cloggers), the only way to know for sure if it is acne-safe is by testing it on someone who is prone to breakouts. so far these brands look promising, although the test to determine if a makeup is cloggy takes about 6 months. it can take this long for acne “seeds” to form in the pores, so we want to be completely sure of the safety of these brands before we can recommend them with 100% certainty. we will definitely keep you posted! for now, stick to the colorscience foundation in order to get and stay clear.

if you have fallen victim to the cosmetic industry’s dirty deceit, do not despair! i count myself among that population. the good news is that now you have the knowledge and awareness to make informed, proactive decisions when it comes to what you’re putting on your face.

::sigh::

isn’t that a relief?