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The Land of Pizza Hut and Iceberg Lettuce

Posted Feb 24 2011 5:16pm

Yesterday was a hungry day. I woke up hungry and on the verge of cranky. But I didn’t need or want to be cranky, with my littlest love by my side (even though he did not lie still for a whole minute the entire night). It’s winter break from school (his, not mine)—and I thought we’d ski and/or sled, and go out and about and do fun seven year-old things. But my love knows how to stay in touch with his feelings and needs, and he decided he wanted to stay inside and watch a movie.

I may be detoxing on my 10th day of PIP, or maybe I shouldn’t have eaten all those veggies from the vegetarian hot bar at Wegmans Tuesday night—they were all vegan dishes, but they may have had extra oil or salt…or pesticides? I once had a holistic health person tell me I was sensitive to a certain pesticide—I totally forgot about that until today. I’m puffy and kind of sad about it—No wait, let me change that. I’m taking account of the puffiness after the wegmans food–it’s information that will eventually help me figure out what is going on in my body.

Part of PIP is eating organic foods, so I’ll stick to it better now, and cook my own vegetables.

If I buy and cook them myself, I know they're organic and what is on them.

Now for my candida journey Part II:

When I decided to explore my ability to feel better by following an anti-candida diet, I cut out fruit, sugar, and grains. Mostly. My understanding of nutrition and my ability to comprehend online advice was pretty good, but my college degree was in exercise science, so let’s just say…I wasn’t perfect on my quest. I also cried a lot. Because it was stressful, and I was in Boston by myself, and no one understood except my mom and she was 400 miles away (and the world was still out to get me back then).

And I believe that stress hinders healing.

My favorite snack of that era:

Plain organic yogurt with a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice, and some stevia. Back in those days, 2001, stevia had a horrible aftertaste. I was desperate though, and that was supposed to be a treat. Ha.

I used to think eating things with healthy bacteria meant eating yogurt. Now, I know better and that it really means things like cultured veggies and fermented almond cheese.

Over the next year, I got better, but I’m pretty sure I never solved the problem. I made progress though. Then I stopped thinking about candida, and when I got an occasional yeast “hangover” or brain fog, I nursed it and then felt better and ignored it again.

In 2003, when my sister died, I moved back to NY, Penn Yan specifically. The land of Pizza Hut and Iceberg lettuce. In addition to being isolated from healthy foods, I also was caring for my sister’s newborn and living with my brother-in-law…and missing my sister and best friend. My heart hurt, and my stress skyrocketed. Then my skin broke out, I lost weight, and my hair turned gray. I was 25.

I’m sure I had a candida problem then, among other things.

I ate Easy Mac, and McDonalds (more often than I care to admit), and drank Diet Pepsi for a while. After 6 months, I moved in with my parents (and took care of my nephew during the day and whenever needed).

My heart hurt. My head hurt. I had no place to work out. I started personal training people in their home gyms. Stressful things happened. Lots of stressful things. I ate crap for a year straight and started drinking more than my fair share of alcohol too, and I’m not sure some of my clients realized it, but if it weren’t for our appointments on the days Matthew was not with me, I would have stayed in bed all day watching the clock and counting minutes till I had to move and turn on a light. I should have been paying them for giving me a reason to get out of bed.

I think my life was making my candida worse, and the candida also played a role in how bad I felt emotionally.

God, that sucked.

But, my life got better! I often looked at my mom and wondered how she could get out of bed everyday after what she was going through. I didn’t know how she did it—but if she could do it, I could do it too.

My little piece of heaven :)

I finished my master’s degree. Started (and much later, finished) my Ph.D…got a job teaching at a college…and then another one. I moved to Rochester, and occasionally addressed my candida, but mostly I did not. I just lived on a little bit of a roller coaster, and the people surrounding me did not get it. Not even a little bit.

I finally dumped a guy who was a whiny cheap selfish bratty mama’s boy (Yes, that’s how I really feel!!). Got a full-time job. My mom and dad were both doing ok, and I was coming to terms with the idea that things couldn’t go back to normal. I started to have enough money to shop in the health food store. So I did.

I met Joe. He wanted me to be myself. We went to Mexico, and the Mexican Mystery happened. This pushed me to stop ignoring my candida again…because it was now showing, literally, on my face.

The next step?

Going back and forth between admitting it and doing something, and not admitting it. At this point, there’s a choice. Take drugs to fix symptoms, or dig deep and change things at a level needed for real long-term health changes. Truthfully, there is a wide range of things you can do for candida, and you can be aggressive or not so aggressive. Part of what determines your own best course of action is how severe your case is. Is it only in your digestive tract? Has it moved throughout the body and grown roots that wrap around your organs (seriously, it can do that!)? What glands is it affecting? How are the imbalances manifesting?

The first focus, actually for everyone and not just candida sufferers, is to keep a good healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. How to do it? I’ll fill you in next time!

Do you pay attention to your digestive bacteria? Ever?

I had a very eventful day today, mostly in my head. I swear—-I am detoxing physically, and that has led me to some significant emotional revelations. My next post theme? Outrageous Joy. I know you can’t wait.

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