Not Quite Time for that Celebratory Bloody Mary

27 Jan

This post is crazy long and informative.  Bear with me…

Wednesday morning was a very exciting day for me, but only for about 5 minutes.  I woke up eager to learn about the restrictions of my next diet.  With a smile, I reached into the container of scribbled fates, and with a frown I read my destiny.  It’s already here…the yeast allergy + candida diet.  Translation: still no chocolate, still no alcohol, and now NO SUGAR, COFFEE or PEANUT BUTTER?!?!  I know that this diet will be good for me, but my inner food addict is bitter towards this verdict.  You already know from my rants that I love my sugar, but what you may not know is that peanut butter is another obsession of mine.  I put peanut butter on pancakes, in smoothies, on apples and bananas, in my oatmeal, in treats (Who doesn’t love peanut butter cups?  I mean really…)  Is anybody else having a Forrest Gump flashback?  Peanut butter stew, peanut butter gumbo, peanut butter kabobs ;-)…I’ve also been known to eat a disgusting amount of peanut butter by the spoonful.  I think I almost ate an entire jar within a week once.  See?  Disgusting was not an exaggeration.

This diet was tricky to plan and will be a bit complicated to explain as I am combining 2 different concepts into 1 menu of restricted foods.

The first component of the diet is related to those with yeast/mold allergies or more generally, a sensitivity to foods from/infected by the Fungi kingdom.

The second part of the diet relates to the elusive (or illusive depending on your source) condition known as systemic Candida overgrowth.  This is based on the premise of a yeast infection existing throughout the entire body.  It is believed by many natural practitioners to be the cause of a number of wide-ranging ailments.

Here are just a few of the symptoms/conditions attributed to yeast overgrowth: IBS (irritable bowel syndrome or for those with a distaste for medical terminology and a sense of humor – irritable butt syndrome), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog,  sinusitis, depression, anxiety, the list goes on and on…

There is not much scientific evidence to sufficiently support this systemic yeast theory.  There are, however, many people who appear to respond well to a yeast-free sugar-free diet regardless.  The basis for this recovery is an area of debate amongst conventional and alternative docs, but in the meantime, let’s just give a little credit where credit is due.  I strongly believe in the merit of peer-reviewed scientific studies, but I also can’t ignore the anecdotal testimonies of large groups of people.  Science is constantly evolving, but so is nature.  In my opinion, nature knows more than man ever will.  Sorry man, in this case, seniority rules.  A temporary yeast-free sugar-free diet is harmless at worst (if carefully planned & executed) and helpful at best.  It is in this spirit that I present to you the limitations of my February eating habits:

Off the Menu: (All bold items are those that I currently eat on a regular basis and will be the hardest for me not to eat!)

*Dairy products: all except for unsalted butter & ghee (clarified butter)

*Grains: flours/grains enriched with vitamins <These vitamins may be derived from yeast>, any yeast/sourdough risen breads, corn (popcorn, chips, tortillas, etc), white rice <very high GI (glycemic index) = SUGAR!>, & pasta (except for brown rice & spelt).  I can have pasta twice a week.  [Wheat and/or gluten in general are often avoided on this type of diet due to blood sugar & sensitivity concerns.  My attitude towards this concept is: overkill!  I cannot say for certain whether or not I have a wheat/gluten sensitivity, but I do know that I won’t be eating much wheat/gluten anyway as breads and starches are overtly restricted]

*Vegetables: corn, mushrooms, and peas.  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, & yams are limited to three servings/week.

*Fruits: all dried fruits (I’ve been eating figs as they are a good source of calcium), fruit juices, and all other fruits excluding sour green apples, avocados, berries, coconut, grapefruits (yuck!), & lemons/limes.  The restrictions on fruit are one serving per day.  Fruits are limited due to their high sugar content (theorized to “feed” the yeast).  I’m allowed to eat avocado and use lemon/lime juice to flavor meals in addition to this one fruit per day rule.  I will make up for the lack of fruit in my diet by eating more vegetables (as boring as that may sound).  Fruits and vegetables have similar nutritional profiles: antioxidants + phytochemicals = kicking cancer’s ass since cancer’s ass existed!

*Meat, poultry, eggs & fish: bacon (except uncured organic turkey bacon), canned tuna, hotdogs (drat! – [Sarcasm ;-)], processed & packaged meats, sausages (except uncured organic chicken or turkey sausages without added sugar)

*Legumes/beans:  peas, miso (fermented soybean paste), tempeh (fermented soybean curd) – I haven’t been eating these, because I haven’t been able to.  I really WANT to eat them though.  So many awesome vegan recipes, but I digress…peanuts** & peanut butter** (legumes NOT nuts, mind you)  **Aflatoxin – a per-va-sive car-cin-ogen from fun-gi in our food supply [Read that statement like a rap.  It wasn’t my original intention, but damn that phrase flows! :-)]  Again with the digression…this common toxin is especially known for infecting peanuts & is not destroyed by peanut butter processing – more on this in a later post!  Legumes are limited due to their carbohydrate components.  Protein-rich legumes, such as adzuki & mung beans, can be eaten in slightly larger portions.

*Nuts/Seeds: pistachios & cashews

*Spices & herbs: Limited amounts of dried herbs/spices.  [One source recommended avoiding all dried herbs/spices as they could be contaminated with yeast.  Many plant foods have this potential.  Therefore, I’m going to call total restriction a bit overzealous and shoot for moderation!]

*Condiments: soy sauce, tamari, vinegars & all dressings/sauces made with vinegar such as mustard & ketchup, & nutritional yeast flakes (Since experimenting with a vegan diet, this has been my go-to source of vitamin B12.  It is recommended that B12 supplements be taken in a sublingual lozenge or chewable tablet for better absorption.  Any chewable tablet I find is bound to have sugar or some other restricted ingredient in it.  Just a spoonful of  ?  helps the medicine go down.  I may have to incorporate some animal foods or bite the disgusting non- “chewable” bullet to ensure I am consuming a constant reliable source of vitamin B12 :-/

*Oils: canola, corn, cottonseed, peanut, soy, & processed/partially hydrogenated oils (Like I want that crap in my body anyway!)

*Fun Stuff: oh boy here we go…chocolate/cocoa, all diet & regular sodas, alcohol, coffee, non-herbal teas, any/all sweeteners such as refined white sugar, honey, agave nectar, corn syrup, maple syrup, & molasses, & any/all artificial sweeteners such as Splenda & Aspartame

[Caffeine causes stored sugar to be dumped into the bloodstream…ever notice how a few hours after your morning coffee you are not just hungry but rather STARVING?!  That’s why.  Despite popular conventional wisdom, artificial sweeteners have the potential to increase blood glucose levels as well.  For this reason (and the fact that they are just plain weird and untrustworthy in my book), they are off-limits on this diet.  Stevia is technically allowed, but I don’t really agree with this.  Stevia is a popular natural non-nutritive sweetener.  “Natural” does not always = healthy (case in point: arsenic, mercury, lead…you get the idea).  A lot of Stevia products are just as processed as artifical sweeteners and plain sugar.  For this reason, I will not be using Stevia unless it is in its pure leaf form.  I have yet to see this in stores and am likely too lazy and poor to seek it out online.  In the interest of not having an entirely sweet-less Sweetheart’s Day, I may use powdered Stevia for ONE dessert recipe.

*Other: any vitamins/minerals derived from brewer’s/baker’s yeast

Items back on the menu that are especially noteworthy: TOMATOES (woot woot…I don’t need your stupid sugar with my deliciously sweet tomatoes by my side), lemon/lime juice (and I don’t need your stinking vinegar with my citrus fruits here to provide some pizzazz), cinnamon & nutmeg (recommended for increasing the sweet taste in foods), berries (yay!), curry powder, avocados, red beans, soy, tofu, & soymilk (in small quantities)

And I still have my carob powder! (though I’m not sure how exciting carob can be without added sugar…)

The light at the end of the tunnel is that there are only 29 days in February this year 😉 Wish me luck, and as always, I welcome any comments, questions, joys, or concerns! 🙂

My (main) sources:

Bennett, C. w/Sinatra, S. (2007) Sugar Shock! Pgs. 246-247.

Bock, K. & Stauth, C. (2007) Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, & Allergies.  Pgs. 232-237.

Boroch, A. (2009) The Candida Cure: Yeast, Fungus, & Your Health.  Pgs. 45-79.

Brostoff, J. & Gamlin, L. (2000) Food Allergies & Food Intolerance. Pgs 235-251.

Buckley, J. (2010) Healing our Autistic Children. Pgs. 79-97.

Vickerstaff Joneja, J. (2003) Dealing with Food Allergies. Pgs 209-214.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002429.htm

http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/aflatoxin.php

http://www.topnews.in/health/diet-sodas-artificial-sweeteners-increase-waist-size-blood-sugar-levels-212629

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2 Responses to “Not Quite Time for that Celebratory Bloody Mary”

  1. (Dad) Randy Cadwell January 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Oh man, oh man, oh man…this one is definately going to need a “Good Luck”. Are you saying there are some poor indiviuals who have to go by a diet like this their whole life…or just utilizing parts of it…as you say “in moderation”?

  2. thehungryguineapig January 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    People with yeast/mold allergies who react to dietary sources of fungi must not eat certain foods for life in order to avoid symptoms. These include: enriched flours, certain cheeses, vinegar/vinegar products, mushrooms, grapes, dried fruits, yeast-risen/sourdough breads, non-herbal teas, and any other sources of yeast/mold (brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, etc.) Those with assumed candida infection vary in their approach to the other more restrictive aspects of the diet. For many, this diet is a temporary measure (which I support!) Some people follow a very strict diet and herbal/anti-fungal supplement(s) regime until their symptoms are under control. Others who struggle with chronic yeast infections may find it helpful to incorporate as many of these dietary strategies into their daily lives as possible in order to feel well. The difference between medicine and poison is in the dose.

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