Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Allergy and Candida Cooking

While reading Allergy and Candida Cooking: Understanding and Implementing Plans for Healing by Lewis and Fink (Canary Connect Publications 2009), I found some particularly good insight on proactively helping the body to heal through careful dietary measures. 


Probiotics - What They Do:
  • (some kinds) produce lactase for the lactose intolerant
  • facilitate healing from IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome)
  • reduce diarrhea and constipation
  • increase nutrient bioavailability, esp aids the absorption of calcium, zinc and iron (important in the treatment of candida)
  • reduce acid reflux
  • lower cholesterol
  • contribute to the prevention of cancer, esp colon cancer
  • properly balance yeast growth (vital for people with candida)

Natural probiotic food sources that promote friendly bacteria and prevent the spread of bacterial infections -- these foods are high in chlorophyll:
  • alfalfa
  • barley green
  • chlorella
  • spirulina
  • green Kamut
  • blue green algae

Anti-fungals for treating candida include:
  • B-complex
  • bentonite
  • capryllic acid
  • citrus seed extract (grapeseed)
  • coenzyme Q
  • garlic
  • grape extracts (with caution)
  • oil of oregano
  • olive leaf extract
  • psyllium
  • tanalbit
  • pau d'arco
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • foods rich in chlorophyll are also anti-fungal:
  • kelp
  • seaweed
  • dulse

Essential Fatty Oils (EFAs)

These oils have Omega-3s and Omega-6s and are essential for reducing inflammation and rebuilding cells. They also reduce cholesterol, regulate hormones and fight infections:
  • flax seed oil
  • evening primrose oil
  • GLA
  • borage oil
  • fish oils
  • saw palmetto is important for men with prostatitis associated with yeast infection

Treatment That May Buffer Food Reactions
  • drink 1/4 t. baking soda in 1/2 cup purified water. You may need to repeat the dose
  • drink buffered, corn-free, citrus-free vitamin C powder dissolved in purified water
  • drink purchased salt preparations such as a combination of sodium and potassium bicarbonates

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Freshly-made Almond Milk

Freshly made almond milk -- hot or cold -- is a delight. I throw a huge handful of almost in about 2 cups of water and buzz them in my high-speed Blendtec blender for about a minute. The milk whips to a frothy creaminess. Once it's well-blended, I add whatever amount of water is necessary for the texture and flavor I want. While some people like drinking the milk chilled and without the froth, I like it warm.

And to, literally, spice it up a bit, I sometimes add a bit of vanilla bean that's been soaked to soften it, or a shake or two of cinnamon. Anyway, this is one of my favorite drinks in cold weather. Easy to make, low on calories, and high on both nutrition and flavor. 


freshly-made almond milk with a touch of vanilla bean and cinnamon -- super YUM!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

515 Chemicals Women Daily Put on Their Bodies


This infographic (published by Mind Body Green) on chemicals in beauty products takes 'Cosmetics Dirty Dozen' to a whole new level.


When I first got sick so many years ago, from my reading I became aware that not only foods that I put in my body were starkly affecting my health but the air I breathed was also a factor and what was absorbed through my skin was another huge factor. The skin is the largest "organ" of the human body. It keeps our blood and plasma within us; it acts as a barrier to eliminate contamination from our surroundings, but when we intentionally put chemicals on our skin (for the sake of beauty or health) we are (unwittingly perhaps) contaminating the barrier, which is permeable, and exposing ourselves directly to toxins that would only indirectly hurt us if they weren't in such direct contact.

Toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, perfume, things we never consider to be bad for our health need to be reconsidered.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Avocado Salad

Visiting people can be a bit rough, especially when I'm hungry and the kitchen is filled with fatty smells like cheesy quiche, fresh-made cinnamon rolls or hot bagels, and then of course coffee. Well, while the others were making quiche muffins wrapped in vegetarian "bacon" and toasting their breads and brewing their coffee, I was making my own breakfast ... a massive salad. But LOL, one of the others decided that the salad would be much more satisfying and asked for a bowl also ... to go along with a quiche muffin. 

Anyway, one thing about eating fresh whole foods, I don't have food cravings like other people. I've read about this and people who nourish their bodies with plant foods (which are rich in vitamins and minerals) are satisfying their bodies and therefore feeding their bodies. It's the "starved" body that has cravings! With all the avocado fat on the salad, I was very satisfied and didn't feel hungry until the next meal ... when of course everyone was hungry. I think they had pizza and I was back foraging in the fridge for another salad.


Now THAT is a salad!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

10 of the Most Powerful Herbs and Spices

Nature is filled with herbs and spices, and after reading about some of various herbs and spices healing qualities, I incorporated them into my diet to help me fight against the evil systemic candida. All of the 10 items on this list, except for fenugreek, were frequently used, and they sure did make my simple all-natural diet tasty. 
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Ten of the Most Powerful Healing Herbs and Spices

Some of the most powerful healers can be found in the kitchen - herbs and spices. These wonderfully fragrant and flavor-enhancing additions to food also contain a wealth of natural healing properties that have a number of diverse benefits, from aiding digestion to reducing the risk of cancer.

All herbs and spices contain substances that promote healing, and here are just ten of the most powerful ones, and some reasons why you should be using them in cooking and as health-enhancers:
  • 1. Cinnamon - cinnamon bark contains an oil-like substance that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including E.coli and Salmonella, and research shows that cinnamon is able to stop the growth of the Asian flu virus. Cinnamon has a surprisingly strong effect on the brain and mood; its distinctive smell helps to reduce anxiety and stress, increase alertness, and prevent mood swings caused by fluctuating blood-sugar levels.
  • 2. Turmeric - turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant chemical that detoxifies carcinogens and calms inflammation, making it useful for easing auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and allergies. It appears to work just like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects. Turmeric is such as strong anti-inflammatory that only a small amount is enough to reduce the risk of illness. Curcumin, which gives this spice its vivid golden color, also helps to prevent the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, and so may protect against conditions such as Alzheimer's and heart disease.
  • 3. Basil - basil contains volatile oils, which account for the medicinal properties of this herb. It relieves flatulence, is an aid to digestion and its antiseptic properties are said to benefit acne. This fragrant oil also has antimicrobial effects. Recent tests have found that basil oils can counteract the growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, including those that cause food poisoning and others that infect wounds.
  • 4. Cloves - clove oil is 60 to 90 percent eugenol, a potent pain-relieving compound, effective for numbing the pain toothache, headaches, and other areas of pain, such as the joints. As well as their anesthetic effects, cloves combat the bacterial infection and inflammation that can lead to gum disease and the risk of further damage to teeth.
  • 5. Cumin - cumin seeds are valued for their digestive benefits. Cumin relieves wind and can prevent digestive upsets such as diarrhea. This is thought to be because these small seeds stimulate the production of pancreatic enzymes that help the body break down foods and absorb the nutrients. This fragrant spice is a source of iron and is rich in essential oils. Regularly eating cumin is associated with blood glucose-lowering effects.
    Chewing a few seeds of cumin sweetens the breath after eating a meal. End a meal by chewing a blend of cuminseedsfennelcloves and cardamom to enhance digestion.
  • 6. Fennel - Rich in volatile oils, fennel is a carminative herb, meaning that it can ease bloating, flatulence, and digestive spasms. As well as digestion, scientific research has demonstrated fennel's anti-cancer, intestinal health and eye health benefits. Fennel seeds can also reduce bad breath and body odor. The fennel bulb contains a significant amount of Vitamin C, and is a source of fiberfolate and potassium, making it a powerful antioxidant herb.
  • 7. Mint - mint is widely used as a highly effective digestive aid, and to counteract nausea and vomiting. Mint improves fat digestion and is an effective antacid, due to its essential oils. Peppermint oil is still the basis for many indigestion remedies, because it is extremely soothing to the stomach lining. Mint tea is not only beneficial for digestion; it is a simple treatment for stress-induced headaches. Chewing the leaves or drinking the tea stimulates the cortex of the brain to improve concentration and induce relaxation.
  • 8. Oregano - One tablespoon of oregano has about the same antioxidant capacity as one banana or a cup of string beans. Its antioxidant qualities combat the conditions of aging, especially heart disease and cancers. Oregano contains at least four compounds that soothe coughs and 19 chemicals with antibacterial action, which are associated with offering protection against food-borne diseases. Freshly-picked oregano leaves are the most effective.
  • 9. Parsley - parsley is rich in essential oils, and contains Vitamin A, C, and some iron and calcium. It is a diuretic and digestive herb, helping to prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections, and keeping the body's plumbing running smoothly by causing it to produce more urine. It also aids in the elimination of uric acid - useful for arthritis, rheumatism or gout, and it is an effective breath freshener because it contains high levels of chlorophyll.
  • 10. Fenugreek - fenugreek is rich in vitamins A and C, and iron and phosphorus. Studies have shown that fenugreek is a potent stimulator of breast milk production in nursing mothers. Fenugreek seeds have also been found to protect against cancers of the colon and breast, and have anti-diabetic effects. The regular intake of fenugreek seeds helps to purify the blood, flush out harmful toxins and lowers the risk of a heart attack.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Three Salsas (raw)

These three salsa are great for parties, nights in front the TV, or even for packing in lunches. Guaranteed to be a family favorite!

Cucumber-onion Salsa

2 cucumbers diced
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
fresh dillweed


Sour Apple-onion Salsa

2 Granny Smith apples, cubed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. cumin powder
2 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh cilantro
salt to taste




Parsley-tomato Salsa

1 thick bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1-2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste


Excellent for serving with hummus cups and chips for dipping. (Chips here are El Matador corn chips -- for some reason those corn chips don't bother me, black bean chips, and Cheeze its, which of course I can't eat but everyone else could.) 



Positively divine and so simple!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Vitamin A: Necessary Growth Factor

Vitamin A is an absolutely vital vitamin for maintaining health, and unfortunately people with systemic candida often have deficiencies of the vitamin. In the early period of my systemic candida, I kept having weird eye, neural and other symptoms, and because of my horrendous eye problems, decided to get a vitamin A test. Sure enough, a deficiency! And it kept getting worse, not better, even with supplementation, which I then read in Supplements Exposed that supplements didn't boost vitamin A levels at all. So I tested out that theory, and sure enough, my vitamin A levels didn't budge even though I was taking powerful daily doses of vitamin A. Even now, in 2017, I still have a big vitamin A deficiency. My diet was ultra-strict before to control the systemic candida, and now that I'm a lot better, I'm really trying to eat as much vitamin A-rich foods ... the numbers have improved a bit, but I'm still deficient.

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Vitamin A was identified as a necessary growth factor in 1915 and was the first vitamin to be discovered. It is obtained from food in a combination of two different forms: as pre-formed vitamin A and as pro-vitamin A, which the body can convert to vitamin A as necessary. Pre-formed vitamin A, often in the form of retinal or retinal [sic], is found in foods of animal origin while pro-vitamin A, of which beta-carotene is the best known form, is found in orange, yellow and dark green vegetables and fruits. Both forms are fat soluble.

What does it do for your body? 
EYES - Vitamin A is essential for eyes to function effectively. It is involved in the growth and repair of the eye and in the production of a chemical called visual purple, which helps in night vision.

EPITHELIAL CELLS - Vitamin A is involved in the growth and repair of epithelial cells. These cells cover the internal and external surfaces of the body and are found in the skin, lungs, developing teeth, inner ear, cornea of the eye, sex organs, glands and their ducts, gums, nose, cervix and other areas. This growth and maintenance role is vital for many bodily functions. For example, the good health of the digestive tract lining is important in protecting against ulcers and maintenance of the lining of the vagina and uterus which are important in fertility.

PREGNANCY - Vitamin A is necessary in pregnancy for the development of the embryo.

NERVES - Vitamin A is involved in the production of membranes and of myelin, which coats the nerves.

GLANDS AND HORMONES - Vitamin A plays a role in the maintenance of the adrenal gland and synthesis of certain hormones such as thyroid hormone.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM - Vitamin A is known as "the anti-infective vitamin" as it is vital for the development of the body’s natural defenses. It stimulates and enhances many immune functions. This immune enhancing function promotes healing of tissues and increases resistance to infection.

Adequate vitamin A intake, either from diet or supplements, is very important especially for children. Many studies have found that vitamin A supplementation reduces the risk of infectious diseases in areas where vitamin A deficiency is widespread. 
A recent research review of several studies found that adequate vitamin A intake in children resulted in many health benefits. Children in developing countries are often at high risk of vitamin A deficiency. In developed countries, ensuring adequate vitamin A intake is particularly important for immune support.

GROWTH AND BONE FORMATION - Vitamin A is necessary for growth and the formation of bones and teeth, collagen synthesis, cartilage synthesis and wound healing.

ANTIVIRAL ACTIVITY - Laboratory experiments have shown vitamin A to have antiviral activity.
Absorption 

The presence of fat and bile in the intestines is necessary for vitamin A absorption. Around 80 to 90% of vitamin A in the diet is absorbed although this is reduced in older people and those who have trouble absorbing fat, such as pancreatitis, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis sufferers, who may run the risk of vitamin A deficiency. 

Vitamin A is joined to fatty acids in the intestinal lining, combined with other substances and transported to the liver, which stores 90% of the body’s vitamin A. 

Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries and is usually limited to those who have absorption difficulties, liver disease or who drink a lot of alcohol. Vitamin A deficiency is common in alcoholics and contributes to some of the disorders of alcoholism such as night blindness, skin problems, cirrhosis of the liver and susceptibility to infections. 

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms: 
EYES - One of the first symptoms of deficiency is night blindness due to lack of visual purple. Prolonged deficiency leads to xerophthalmia, a condition in which eyes become dry, ulcers appear on the cornea, the eyelids become swollen and sticky and which eventually leads to blindness. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading preventable cause of blindness in developing countries.

SKIN - Prolonged deficiency leads to thickened dry skin which is prone to infections. Small hardened bumps of a protein known as keratin may develop around the hair follicles.

GROWTH - Deficiency causes growth retardation, weight loss, diarrhea, thickening of bone shafts, congenital malformations, impaired hearing, taste and smell, wasting of testicles and reduced sperm count. Inadequate vitamin A intake may lead to improper tooth formation in children and to gum disease.

IMMUNE SYSTEM - Epithelial surfaces are adversely affected by vitamin A deficiency causing increased susceptibility to skin and respiratory infections. Immune cells and antibody functions are also affected which may lead to an increase in pre-cancerous cells in the epithelial tissues of the mouth, throat and lungs.

THYROID GLAND - A deficiency of vitamin A can contribute to lower levels of active thyroid hormone with symptoms of low body temperature, depression, difficulty in losing weight, headaches and lethargy.
Therapeutic uses 
Vitamin A supplements are used in developing countries to prevent or treat deficiency and to protect immune system function.  
SKIN DISORDERS - The vitamin A derivatives etretinate and isotretinoin are used topically to treat psoriasis. These compounds inhibit the formation of some of the toxic compounds which may be responsible for the high rate of cell division causing the scaly build up on the skin.
Other Uses
Vitamin eye drops have been used to treat dry eyes.

Creams containing vitamin A have been used to heal wounds in patients taking corticosteroid drugs.
Interactions
Vitamin E and zinc are necessary for vitamin A metabolism, including absorption, transport and release from the liver. Vitamin E may protect against some of the effects of excess vitamin A.

Vitamin A is necessary for calcium metabolism in the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin A absorption is reduced by mineral oil laxatives, which bind it. Antacids, the anti-gout drug colchicine, and the cholesterol reducing drug, cholestyramine inhibit vitamin A absorption.

Alcohol irritates the digestive tract and inhibits the absorption of vitamin A while also depleting the body’s tissue stores.
Cautions
Pre-formed vitamin A supplements in doses of more than 3000 mg RE should not be taken by women who may become pregnant. Pro-vitamin A, or beta-carotene are safe for pregnant women. 
Vitamin A supplements should not be taken with isotretinoin or etretinate for skin disease or in cases of impaired liver or kidney function. If vitamin A supplements are taken with large amounts of alcohol, liver damage may occur.

Broad spectrum antibiotics should not be taken with high doses of vitamin A.
Sources of Vitamin A

  • in leafy green vegetables
  • in yellow fruits and vegetables
  • in the liver oils of the cod and other fish
  • in milk, cheese, butter and egg yolk