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 foods for the sweet-tooth

here at sS, we all know what it is like to have a sweet-tooth! every single one of us enjoys a bite or two of a cookie or a chocolate bar….or a pastry or some ice cream. although we do advocate a diet low in sugar and refined foods, this does not mean we support depriving yourself of a yummy treat once in a while. you know by now that dairy and high amounts of sugar are ingredients to stay away from but a few more ingredients to be conscious of when purchasing your acne-safe desserts are . we already posted a blog on acne-safe ice creams ( http://skinsalvation.wpengine.com/2012/09/acne-safe-ice-cream/ ) but here are a few more acne-safe alternatives to help satisfy your sweet-tooth:

hailmerry

merry’s miracle tart

we tried both the meyer lemon and the mint chip and both are deliciouuuuus.  they still have coconut oil and sugar in them though, so moderation is key!

grindstone cookie!

grindstone bakery wheat free cookie

tasted ok.  kind of maybe brown card-board-ish.

alternative baking company

alternative baking company

this is my all-time fav. i even contacted the company once to express my love for their cookies.  ive never tried one that isnt good. they are chewy, thick, guilt-free, and come in the most delicious flavors like lemon poppyseed and double chocolate.  they also always have a special cookie of the season like my favorite coconut macaroon.  they do have coconut oil in them as well as sugar, and some of them have peanuts so…  moderation,  moderation, everything in moderation!

 

 

 

homemade pickled veggies!

we all know by now that kimmy is not the most sophisticated cook in the kitchen but who woulda known that pickling veggies was so easy???  if she can do it, you can too!

coupled with a wide-mouth mason jar and a few of your favorite veggies, you can have a quick and delicious jar of probiotic filled pickles!  we love this thing so much that sS has them for sale!  pickling with it really is easy, and is so good for you.

first, you want to get everything together. the perfect pickler, a wide-mouthed mason jar, some sea salt (preferably celtic salt, the moist gray kind), and your favorite veggies.  you will want to make the brine now (just 1 TB salt and 1 QT water), mix well, and set that aside.  when you sign up for perfectpickler.com’s newsletter, you’ll get an email each month with recipes for new ideas…  like fermented fruit and breakfast pickles!

for kimmy’s first time making them, we decided to use onions, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, and garlic (all organic of course).  :

 

 

first step is always to wash your veggies:

then, you cut your veggies into bite-size pieces:

pack your veggies into the jar, fill with brine solution, and attach the perfect pickler cap onto the jar (make sure to get some water into the chambers to keep beneficial bacteria in, and non-beneficial bacteria out while the fermentation process starts):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mark the bottle with the date, and leave it on your countertop for a few days.  in 4 days (a few days longer if it’s cold weather season, fermentation tends to take a bit longer in cooler climates), you will be eating your very own homemade pickles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

acupuncturists suggest that people eat small amounts of different fermented vegetables with each meal, or at least in the morning and evening, to get the digestion going.  by eating a variety of fermented veggies, you get a broader spectrum of vitamins each veggie has to offer!

for those with very sensitive stomachs or have never tried fermented foods, we suggest starting slow, with very small amounts.  say, 1 mini pepper, or a carrot slice, to see how your body reacts.  then, slowly work up your quantities as your stomach can tolerate.   we’d probably say a tablespoon or two of fermented veggies per serving, 2-3 servings a day, is good!

for more detailed directions, check out perfectpickler.com’s youtube video on the process:

 

if you’ve picked up the perfect pickler, you’ve got to come by and let us sample your bounty 🙂  or at the very least, comment and let us know what you’ve made and how it turned out!

acne-safe seasonings

we know a lot of you struggle with finding seasoning that doesnt contain soy or a dozen other unhealthy chemicals.  have no fear, the sS team is here to help!  we went to rainbow and found these acne-safe alternatives (and they are now here at sS for all of you to try on your next visit):

coconut secret raw coconut aminos, about $9:
this soy sauce alternative has 65% less sodium and is  gluten and dairy free.  it is supposed to be safe to use while on the candida cleanse, and is surprisingly sweet – use it as you would like a teriyaki sauce.  it’s definitely more sweet than salty.

 

 

 

 

 

ume-shiso sprinkle, about $4:
a japanese condiment made from shiso leaves and ume. shiso is a perilla plant and related to the mint family, while ume is pickled and dried plum. you can sprinkle this on everything from rice to salads for a salty and tangy flavor.   a traditional japanese dish you can make would be to take a bowl of rice, pour some tea into it and sprinkle some of this on top.  a real comfort for those cold nights, or when you are feeling under the weather.

 

 

 

 

 

garlic gold sea salt nuggets, about $3.50:
these little nuggets are made from chopped and toasted organic garlic and is great as a salt substitute or seasoning for your for just about everything.  we’ve used them at sS for roasted veggies – simply toss mixed veggies with these nuggets and olive oil, roast at 400 for about 15 minutes = yum!

 

 

 

 

 

garlic gold italian herb nuggets, about $3.50:
just like the sea salt nuggets, these nuggets are made from toasted organic garlic, except without salt.  here at sS, we like to sprinkle this on kale with a little olive oil and roast them for a yummy snack.

sugar smart – even fruit counts!

we’ve all heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but how many apples is too many? in a culture that stresses the importance of fruit in our diets, its hard to imagine that there is a downside to eating too much of it but for the average person, and especially for the acne prone, there is.

the nutrients and minerals found in fruit make it a great part of anyone’s diet, but excess sugar, even from fruit, can lead to weight gain, more belly fat, increased triglyceride levels, and candida overgrowth which for the acne prone means worse acne!

the recommended daily sugar intake according to the USDA for women is a maximum of 26g and for men is 36g or just 2 cups of sliced bananas. grapes are an even worse offender in terms of sugar and just 2 cups add up to about 47g of sugar – which is more than a 12oz can of coca cola which has 39g!  this isn’t to say that fruit isn’t an important part of one’s diet, because it is. the key is to be informed so you can make healthy choices and like anything, practice moderation! next time you go to the grocery store, keep in mind these numbers: