Category Archives: candida

A POST-PRIMAL PRIMALPAT…OR HOW I WENT NUTS BEING PALEO

Dear friends,

I spent three years of my life living in fear of food. I had a very black and white view of nutrition as I relentlessly researched the webpages of Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, WAPF and similar sites. I joined Paleohacks. I ‘liked’ and joined many paleo/primal friendly groups on Facebook. It become my whole life. I was consumed.

I turned my physical and mental health upside down. I became a woman obsessed. I was labelled the “Food Nazi” by my family and I drove them crazy.

COMPLETELY CRAY CRAY.

I thought I was so smart. I thought I knew what I was talking about.

I was going absolutely bonkers inside my skull. I agonized. I scolded. I lectured. I turned into a complete asshole.

You, dear readers, have unfortunately been witness to this helter skelter journey.

I spent far too much money on supplements, naturopathic doctor visits, allergy tests of different kinds, and more supplements. I removed perfectly nutritious food because a blood test told me so. Blood tests I have now learned to be completely unreliable. I posted about candida like I was some goddamn expert. I was convinced I had it, and schooled others thinking “I’m so fucking smart!”

Meanwhile, my health continued to decline. My gastritis constantly seared the pit of my stomach eating high fat, loads of vegetables, meat and no fruit. I tried all sorts of different digestive aids to help combat this to no avail. INCOMING TMI: Bowel movements hardly ever happened no matter how much ‘roughage’, coconut oil or magnesium I was consuming.

Still, I could not let go of my primal/paleo/completely nutty way of eating even though it clearly wasn’t working for me.

One night, I found Matt Stone. I started reading his blog, and found other people whose health declined when they went primal/paleo.

We were told by other Primal-ites to “GROK HARDER”, “EAT MOAR FAT” or even worse “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG”.

No, I wasn’t. I was super strict at my absolute worst orthorexic.

My wife and I had a long conversation about my relationship with food. We realized many things together, including:

I stopped enjoying food. It was no longer pleasurable.

I was more stressed about my health than ever, and spent far too much time researching on the internet about what my problems could actually be. I was digging myself into a hole of serious paranoia.

I decided life is simply too short to worry about food. I decided to reclaim my life back, to enjoy food, to stop being so obsessed.

This realization also came after completing an 8-week course in mindfulness meditation in late 2012. I will share more on this with you later. It gave me a much broader perspective about well-being. I learned that ‘thoughts are not facts’. I learned to return to my breath. It absolutely and completely changed my life. Suddenly, my priorities were changing. I started taking classes in 5Rhythms, a form of ‘moving meditation’. My mind was changing. I was learning to be calmer and less anxious. Both of these practices were forcing me to take a long, hard look at my eating practices, my food obsession, my health paranoia.

It dawned on me that relaxing my views on food, and practicing meditation daily was of much bigger benefit to my physical and mental health than eating primally ever was. Than researching ever was. Than being a know-it-all douche was.

Slowly, in the earlier part of 2013, I visited my much beloved health/food/nutrition websites far, far less. I started consuming less fat and eating potatoes regularly. POTATOES! MY POLISH ANCESTORS REJOICED!

I was tired of the paleo/primal community. Many folks who follow this lifestyle are oftentimes arrogant, smug, lecture on shit they really know nothing about, and become extremely hostile in the face of dissenting views.

Kind of life religious fanatics.

There are people in the community who eschew eating any fruit whatsoever, but consume gobs of butter and coconut oil in their coffee. I even posted about Bulletproof Coffee right here on my blog, although I never consumed it daily. I think it’s revolting, and I LOVE BUTTER.

I don’t have a problem with the message of eating paleo. I do have a problem with diets, or excuse me, ‘lifestyles’ becoming big money, and gargantuan empires of greed. Take my supplements! Buy my books! Pay for my coaching! I thought paleo was supposed to be about simplicity?

For the record, I have not completely given up on reading health related blogs. I am a big fan of Go Kaleo, 180 Degree Health, and Cheeseslave. I do not pretend to know anything anymore.

Food nazism doesn’t equal health. EATING MOAR FAT doesn’t work for everyone. We must look at the bigger picture.

LIFE.

BALANCE.

You can eat as ‘healthy’ as you imagine yourself to be, but obsessive mental patterns relating to your ‘health’, micromanaging every ounce of food that enters your mouth, spending vast amounts of time on the internet, and acting like a pompous, self-righteous ass is not HEALTH.

Spend time with your friends. Read fiction. Get laid. Hug your dog. Kiss your cat. Watch a movie. Go for a walk. Take a deep breath. LIVE LIFE.

Eat, love, laugh, sleep, breathe.

In the face of life’s deep beauty and awe, what we think we know is utter nonsense. It means absolutely nothing when compared to The Big Picture, and is tantamount to ego stroking and proverbial dick measuring.

I refuse.

I bite my tongue.

To all of you, I give my sincerest apologies.

We have better things to do than argue with idiots on the interwebs.

We have better things to do than act self-righteous about how we eat.

No one wants to listen about how amazeballs you are for not consuming any sugar of any kind, how wheat is teh devilz, or what your Crossfit WOD times are.

I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic. I knew I had a lot to say. But I was pissed off, still in shock and denial, and needed to percolate before I could share this message. I was inspired by Melissa Mcewan’s post on the same topic. I breathed an enormous sigh of relief when I finished reading it.

“I’m not alone!”

No, I wasn’t. And neither are you.

I eat what I want now. Gluten, at it’s worst gives me headaches, although it is not consistent. I do not eat it all the time. I’m back to eating glorious, nutritious eggs, and yummy cheese. I’m eating rice, lots of potatoes, and FRUIT! I drink beer here and there too. BEEEEEEEER. I’ve been loosely following Matt Stone’s advice, although not going absolutely CRAAAAAAAAY over micromanaging myself.

Unreasonably Dangerous Onion Rings has a hilarious post on “Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take Dietary Advice From Cavemen”. And a very good rebuttal to those rebuking the previous post.

Friends, if you came to my site and enjoyed my recipes, I’m overjoyed. I’m still proud of the food I posted for your eating pleasure. Please ignore all and any health advice I wrote about. I may edit those articles to strikethrough the nonsense, because I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to pretend to anymore.

Scott from RealFood University recently wrote a post on “What’s So Bad About Pleasure?” It put a big smile on my face. You know who would approve of this article?

My food and cooking mentor, James Barber.

James Barber: who talked about being relaxed in the kitchen, using what you have, never needing fancy equipment, and using love and enjoyment as a generous ingredient.

“Cooking is like making love: you do the best you can with what you got!”

James Barber ate whatever he wanted, and died at 84, sitting at the kitchen table, with soup simmering on the stove.

I want a death like that.

We’re all going to die. No Way of Eating, diet, or “lifestyle” is a magic pill. We must enjoy our time on this planet. We must savor every moment, stay present in every breath. If I wake up once day and find out I have cancer, will I vilify myself for not GROKING MOAR HARDCORE? For not eating enough grass-fed beef and leafy greens?

Nope.

Obsessing is not living. I choose life.

The great Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation. Including moderation”.

James once said, “Cooking, like sex and dancing, is a pleasure best shared”.

Fuck yes! Eat The Food!

Sweet ‘n Sticky True Blood Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Plums, and Lip-Smackin’ Lamb

Hi kids.

It is sunny, hot, muggy and humid.

That is an observation, not a complaint. I’ll take it over winter any day.

I haven’t been posting food epic-ness in a while, not because I don’t cook, or because I don’t love you. But because I’ve been eating the same boring shite for weeks!

Meat, fat, veggies. Repeat. Nothing exciting enough to post for you lovelies. I do have one trick up my sleeve though. Sweet ‘n sticky True Blood Sweet Potato Fries and Roasted Plums. These were made weeks ago. I filed them in my brain under “Post Later”. Why the True Blood reference? First of all, I am obsessed with the show, and am truly enjoying the latest season. I added plums to the mixture, and once they cooked down, their juices and skin wept, oozing dark crimson red that glistened and gleamed, like blood. My iPhone camera simply did not do these tasty morsels justice. You’ll know what I mean when you whip these up.

I know some of you have found my site looking for help and advice in dealing with candida. I am no expert, and am not a medical practitioner. I have spent months researching, and practically ripping my hair out in frustration. This is an awful affliction, and I would wish it upon no one. In reading about hormone imbalances, I’ve now come to the conclusion that my candida may be a problem of estrogen dominance. I have contacted a naturopathic clinic in Toronto as a last resort. I’ve had it with this crap. I’ve also considered traditional chinese medicine, which I may still look into. We’ll see.

I will list some examples of anti-fungals one should add into their diet to weaken candida. I will also mention that it helps to rotate anti-fungals. Candida is one sneaky bitch. She’ll get used to one anti-fungal, and when she does, you have to switch.

Coconut oil – this magical oil is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides, which your body will burn for energy immediately. It is also extremely high in lauric acid, second to breast milk. Lauric acid is anti-fungal. It is best to take coconut oil on an empty stomach, but I’m warning you: die-off symptoms of candida are brutal, and coconut oil produces some of the worst, I found. Think nausea, bloating, and gas. I feel like vomit for hours after taking coconut oil. In fact, right now, I can’t even stand the smell of it.

Kyolic garlic supplements – this is aged garlic that is super-concentrated. I took several high dose (1000mg) a day for a month. Be sure to rotate, and be forewarned: die-off symptoms are yucky.

Onions – add onions to everything you cook, as they are nature’s anti-fungal as well as garlic. Raw garlic is best, but wow, oh wow…the pain and discomfort of die-off!

Oil of oregano – this oil is a real killer. I always have some in case of sniffles or flu-like symptoms arise. You need the super potent version, however. Look for 90% and above potency. Carvacrol is the active ingredient. Take an eye-dropper full under the tongue several times a day. It’s nasty, and there’s some die-off, but it’s not horrible.

I’ve also used different yeast-eating enzymes with some success. Candex was the first I tried, then Syntol, now YST Management. Remember to lay off all starchy foods (no sweet potato fries, parsnips, or even squash), no fruit, no dairy, absolutely nothing fermented (vinegar, soy sauce, alcohol), no mushrooms. Meat, fat, veggies. Repeat.

Diet will not help alone. I’ve read countless stories of men and women who’ve been on an anti-candida diet for up to two years, and still can’t get rid of it. This is why I’m finally reaching out for more help. You must be relentless in your search, no matter how crazy you think you’re going. You cannot give up. You will destroy this beast. I know I will. I have to keep reminding myself.

Edited March 27th, 2015:

THIS STUFF ABOUT CANDIDA IS BULLSHIT. CANDIDA IS WOO. SYSTEMIC CANDIDA IS PREVALENT IN TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS, NOT YOU. PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM DR. GOOGLE AND STOP GIVING NATUROPATHIC “DOCTORS” YOUR MONEY.

Who wants some FOOD?

One evening, I threw a lamb shoulder into the oven with only a few ingredients: dried sage, dried rosemary, garam masala, salt and pepper. I smashed up a ton of garlic and stuffed it under the lamb. I blasted it in the oven on convection roast at 400 degrees for about half an hour. This is when I thought to myself, “SELF! You have PLUMS! Throw ’em in there!” I cut up two plums, and dotted the whole thing with butter, because butter = love.

After ten minutes, I realized “Dude. You suck. The lamb is nearly done and the plums ain’t”. By this time, I had sweet potato fries in the oven as well (this was before I realized I can’t have even sweet potatoes as a safe starch at all, or fruit for that matter). They had been cooking for about 20 minutes. I threw the plums in with them, adding in some juices from the lamb shoulder, and the butter. I cranked the oven up to 425 for about 10 minutes. Sizzle, bake, roast. I checked on them, and found oozy, awesome, sticky fries. WIN! I cranked the heat up again to 450 for another 10 minutes.

Let’s put this in an easy-to-understand format, shall we?

Lip-Smackin’ Lamb

1 approx. 3 lb lamb shoulder
1.5 teaspoons each: dried rosemary, dried sage, garam masala
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 – 3 large garlic gloves, smashed, chopped, obliterated

Coat the entire lamb with your spices. Stuff your obliterated garlic under the lamb and on top. Crank your oven to 400 degrees on convection and cook for about 40 – 45 minutes. Alternately, bake at 375 for about an hour. Your lamb will be medium rare and juicy sweeeeeeeet!

Sweet ‘n Sticky True Blood Sweet Potato Fries and Roasted Plums

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into fry-like shapes
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cinnamon, paprika, rosemary, garlic powder, chipotle, turmeric, grated nutmeg, sage: sprinkle generously!
Lard, melted about 1 tablespoon
2 plums, cut into quarters
Butter, cut up into pieces to ‘dot’ with

Combine all the above. Crank your oven to 400 on convection if you have it. If not, do not concern yourself with trivial matters. Crank it to the same temp on normal. After about 20 minutes, toss and stir everything. Crank the heat up again to 425. Now, wait another 10 – 15 minutes. Toss, stir, coat. Crank again to 450 for 10 minutes. This is beginning to feel like that scene in Captain America where Steve Rogers is in the ‘MURICANIZING MACHINE screaming “NO! I CAN DO IT!” Yes, your sweet potatoes can do it. And yer plums.

When these are done, they will come out glistening with streaks of blood. I mean, plum goodness. Right.

Even a vampire could appreciate these. Serve with your bloody good rare lamb.

OM NOM NOM.

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Happy Easter, and Happy Birthday, Linda! Here’s Her Liver.

Wait.

What?

If you’re reading this, and you don’t like liver, I have no idea why you’re here. Liver is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s especially good fried in butter, onions, garlic, and bacon. You don’t know what you’re missing! What’s especially important is not to overcook it. I love calves liver, but any will do. Experiment, if you wish.

I used to love liver growing up. But then somewhere along the lines of adolescence, I decided it was disgusting. Years later, a friend asked for fried liver for his birthday. I cringed as I sliced the organ into pieces. I wanted to vomit.

I am so happy I am a reformed liver lover.

Recently, I also discovered the benefits of l-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid which helps rebuild the intestinal lining. This is important if you have leaky gut, which have given you food intolerances.

Enter moi.

I have recently stopped taking any anti-candida supplements (including Candex which I blogged about recently), and am solely focusing on rebuilding my intestinal lining. This means drinking bone broth first thing in the morning, and taking somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000mg of l-glutamine. I have noticed a dramatic difference in my dermatitis on my chin. It’s very nearly GONE!

I also pigged out on Haagen Daz last night, which should have led my skin to erupting in an awful red rash.

Nada.

Zip.

Zilch.

It’s a miracle!

However, I also discovered what happens if you take too much l-glutamine in one day. Severe abdominal cramping, back spasms. Holy-cow-I-haven’t-been-in-this-much-pain-since-I-had-a-gallbladder…THAT kind of pain. Crawling into a popular yoga pose known as Childs Pose, and deep breathing stopped the debilitating pain. Guess what I’m *not* taking today. Yup.

Edited March 27th, 2015. L-glutamine is overrated and not a cure-all. I broke out in dermatitis only two months after my son was born, and no amount of glutamine helped. I finally broke down and went to my doctor who prescribed me EBIL ANTIBIOTICS!!1!1!1!!1!!one and THEY WORKED. BOOM.

This morning, I helped myself to two generous servings of 40 hour bone broth. How I love using a crock pot for bone broth. It’s brilliant!

Not only is it Good Friday, it’s also wifey’s birthday 😀 She was sleeping from coming in from a night shift. So, at around 12:45pm, I greeted her with a cup of freshly made coffee, and a Blu-Ray copy of “Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail”. That put a grin on her face.

Upon moving into the kitchen, I whipped up a large batch of liver and onions. So, let’s get to it, no?

Linda’s Liver and Onions with Butternut Squash

1.5 lb calves liver
2 slices pastured bacon, sliced into pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2.5 tablespoons lard, or butter
1.5 teaspoons dried marjoram
.5 teaspoon dried rosemary
.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Sea salt to taste

Butternut Squash

2 – 3 lb butternut squash
1 – 2 teaspoons marjoram
.5 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt to taste

Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise and place it face down in a baking dish filled nearly half way with hot water. Place in an oven preheat to 400 degrees on convection, if you’ve got it. If you don’t, no worries. This should be done in about 35 – 40 minutes or when a knife slices into it easily and smoothly. Remove flesh with a spoon, and mash with a fork, or potato masher, and add in your marjoram, cinnamon and sea salt. Try not to eat this to your face.

Add one tablespoon of your FOC (that’s fat-of-choice, Health-Bent.com readers know what I’m talking about!) to a large frying pan on medium high, and add in your bacon. Allow it to brown slightly, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add in your sliced onions and some sea salt. Let these guys cook until translucent and dark golden brown, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add your marjoram, rosemary, garlic and splash of of balsamic. Cook for about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove this yummy concoction of onions and garlic, and transfer to a bowl.

Take your remaining 1.5 tablespoons of fat, add it to your frying pan still on medium high heat. Add in your liver. Sprinkle your Italian seasoning over the liver, and some sea salt. Flip after about 2 minutes. The other side should have a beautiful dark crust. Once flipped, add in your onions and garlic on top. Cover with a lid for about 3 – 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your liver slices. Remove from heat

Serve with squash to your lovely wife on her lovely birthday 😀 Happy birthday, beautiful!

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