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Five Tips for a Plant-Based Anti-Candida Diet

February 6 2015 VegKitchen 

Contributed by Ricki Heller, author of Living Candida-Free (Da Capo Lifelong, (C) 2015). The anti-candida diet (ACD) is often considered one of the most challenging diets out there. Designed to kill off excess candida (a natural form of yeast in the body that sometimes grows out of control), the ACD removes any foods that act as nourishment for candida; namely, all sugars and sweeteners except stevia, most fruits, moldy foods such as mushrooms or peanuts, alcohol, gluten, and all processed foods. Whats left, you may ask? Well, if youve been diagnosed with Candida Related Complex (or, simply, candida), you may be asking yourself that very question. Because candida overgrowth can cause a host of symptoms that are both annoying and potentially debilitating, its important to stick with the diet, as well as take any supplements or prescription antifungals that your healthcare practitioner recommends, long enough to diminish the yeast so you can regain your health. But most anti-candida diets focus (heavily) on meat, fish, chicken and/­­or eggs, since protein doesnt contain starches; and starches break down to sugars in the body and can feed the candida. Yet it is totally possible to recover from candida on a plant-based diet (I know--I did just that). Here are some tips if youve been diagnosed with candida, or simply want to cut sugars out of your life and wish to maintain your plant-based diet through to the other side. - Keep the overall glycemic index of your meals low – Eating low on the glycemic index doesnt mean you have to forgo grains or legumes entirely (I didnt); but keep portions small, and limited to one a day for each. That way, you wont be providing the candida with its favorite food. Whole grains and pseudo-grains (such as millet, teff, buckwheat or quinoa) are actually fairly low glycemic, which means they wont spike blood sugar levels. And beans and legumes contain both protein and carbs, so they digest more slowly than carbs alone. Similarly, if you aim to include the nutritional triumvirate of protein, fat and fiber in all your meals and snacks, youll keep blood sugar stable (important to prevent slip-ups). - Be sure to take in enough protein and fats! Just because youre not eating meat doesnt mean you can forgo protein. In fact, it may even be a good idea to count protein grams when you first begin. Not only does fat keep you satiated, but it also provides essential fatty acids, some of which themselves can fend off candida (coconut oil contains both caprylic acid and lauric acid, both known to be potent anti-fungals). Plus, adding fat to food just makes it taste good. This is not the time to go low fat! - Eat raw as much as possible.  Raw foods, as a rule, are more easily digestible than cooked and contain more nutrients. They are also incredibly alkalizing, essential to kick candida. And dont forget that freshly squeezed juices are raw, too (just omit the fruit). - Love your nuts and seeds. With the exception of peanuts (not really a nut anyway) and pistachios, all other nuts and seeds are permitted on the ACD, so go for it! And as long as theyre natural and unsweetened, nut and seed butters are fine, too (and dont forget that tahini is technically sesame seed butter--mmm!). These nutritional powerhouses will add protein and healthy fats to your diet even as you kill off the candida. For best digestibility, try soaking your raw nuts and seeds in room temperature filtered water for 6-8 hours, then rinsing and draining, before consuming. - Dont give up your favorite foods! One of the reasons so many people slip with this diet is because they dont include foods that they normally love (within the dietary guidelines of the ACD, of course). Ive found that including smoothies, hummus, fries, kale salad and yes, even desserts, is essential to success on the diet. In fact, I made a point of including many tempting desserts in Living Candida-Free, to ensure that people wouldnt feel deprived and could stick with it as long as necessary to succeed. With the right strategies--and some killer recipes--you really can beat candida. And you can continue to enjoy your normal life while you do! See also “It is the ONE” Single-Serve Pancakes” from Living Candida-Free. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

A Winter Weekend Cleanse

January 9 2015 My New Roots 

A Winter Weekend Cleanse Happy 2015, dear friends! I wasnt sure about doing a detox post this year simply because it seemed predictable, but over the past couple weeks, my body told my brain to stop thinking so much and just do what I feel. Smart body. There are many reasons people feel the need to press the reset button this time of year. Overindulgence, chronic stress, feelings of fatigue or sluggishness are the usual suspects, but there are also positive grounds for clearing out the cobwebs such as wanting to gain more energy and increase vitality, achieve higher levels of clarity, and realign with our internal guidance systems. I know the telltale signs for myself, and they usually involve a slight disinterest in eating (sounds crazy, I know), along with the desire to examine my food-body-mind relationship. Since I am often cooking everyday for a living, I can sometimes lose sight of the total magic that food is. If I slice open a head of red cabbage and fail to swoon, or that pomegranate doesnt bring me to my knees in awe, I know its time to take a break, simplify, and make space for those feelings again. But how can we make this really easy? Ive gotten so much positive feedback from my past cleanses and detox programs for Oprah magazine and Whole Living magazine, (all of which are still online here, here and here), but one thing that people mention is how much food there is! Taking that into consideration, I thought I would design a super-simple plan this year with only two recipes and you can make the decision how long you want to go for. One smoothie. One soup. Both are alkalizing, filling yet detoxifying, mega green but super tasty. In fact, Ill wager that youll love both of these recipes so much that youll be enjoying them long after the cleanse is over! The Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie is luscious, sweet-and-spicy with cooling mint and creamy avocado. The Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup is like eating a crazy-delicious hug. Detoxifying Habits Its true that certain foods and herbs can aid in the detoxification process, but what else can we do to boost our cleansing process on a daily basis? Exercise: Moving our bodies is essential for balance and overall health because it creates the conditions to breathe deeply, stretch, circulate the blood and lymph, and sweat. The more we move, the more efficient our body becomes at circulating and flushing out toxins. Gentle, low-intensity exercise such as yoga, stretching, or walking is best during a juice fast or reduced-calorie diet (such as this weekend cleanse), while high-impact exercise is recommended at least 3 times a week once you are back to eating a regular, healthy diet. Dry skin brushing: Dry skin brushing helps stimulate your lymphatic system, which is responsible for ridding the body of toxins. Skin brushing improves the surface circulation on the skin and keeps the pores of the skin open, encouraging your bodys discharge of metabolic wastes, and resulting in an improved ability to combat bacteria, plus helping your skin to look and feel healthier and more resilient! Skin brushing also strengthens the immune system and helps aid the digestion system, both of which are greatly involved in the detoxification process. Take a sauna: Although it is a major eliminative organ, most people’s skin is very inactive. Sweat is a most important elimination route for toxins. Repeated use of the sauna can help slowly restore skin elimination. Viruses, toxin-burdened cells, and tumours are weaker than normal cells and tolerate heat poorly. The heating of the tissues, which takes place in a sauna helps the body heal from infections and disease more quickly. I make it a habit to go to the sauna once a week for a deep, cleansing sweat. It feels amazing and does a body good! Below is a sample plan for the Winter Weekend Cleanse. You can do the program for just one day, but I would recommend at least two to really feel the benefits. You can also go longer if you like, and include one or more of the recipes from my previous programs to compliment the new one, just so those taste buds of yours stay excited! Drink as much water as you feel like /­­ need, but consume at least 1 1/­­2 liters throughout the day. Always begin the day with warm water with lemon, as this will assist in flushing your digestive system, preparing your tummy for food by increasing stomach acid, and alkalizing your entire system. Herbal teas are acceptable, but choose ones that are particularly detoxifying. Burdock, cleavers, chickweed, yarrow, nettle and plantain are some of my favourites. I also have a wonderful Detox Tea Blend recipe here. You can eat your smoothie for breakfast and afternoon snack, but it also fills in for a lunch if that is all you feel like. You can make up the entire batch for a day (the recipe makes about 3 cups /­­ 700ml) if you know youll be on the go and sip on it when you need a pick-me-up. Or you can divide the ingredients in half and make it fresh if youll be near a blender. Since we are in the colder months of the year here, Id encourage you not to use frozen fruit, as its important to keep warm when the weather is not! I like to enjoy this smoothie at room temperature, and I promise its just as delicious as its cold counterpart. The soup can be eaten for lunch and dinner or as a snack too. I really like it blended, but feel free to keep it chunky too! Winter Weekend Cleanse Plan Upon rising: warm water with lemon Breakfast: Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie Throughout the day: water! Aim for 1 1/­­2 – 2 1/­­2 liters a day (about 6-10 cups), depending on your activity level Lunch: Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup Snack: Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie Dinner: Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup Repeat on the following day, for as many days as you like. Things to Avoid: caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, computer time, television, stressful situations. Things to Embrace: sleep and rest, time outdoors, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, sauna, dry skin brushing.     Print recipe     Winter Weekend Cleanse Recipes Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie Makes 3 cups /­­ 700ml Ingredients (all organic if possible): 2 pears 1 avocado, flesh scooped out 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 35g firmly packed baby spinach 1 cup /­­ 250 ml water 2 tsp. minced ginger 1 1/­­2 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice 10-20 mint leaves (to your taste) Directions: 1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy. Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup Makes 6.5 cups /­­ 1.5 liters Ingredients (all organic if possible): 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 medium onions, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. sea salt 3 cups /­­ 700ml water 2 medium-large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1 cubes 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice pinch – 1/­­4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to your taste) 2 cups /­­ 60g cilantro (leaves and tender stems) 2 cups /­­ 50g firmly packed baby spinach Directions: 1. Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot. Add onions and salt, stir to coat and let cook until onions have softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, stir, cook 1 minute. Add sweet potato and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. 2. Place soup contents in a blender. Blend on high until smooth, then add spinach, cilantro, lemon and cayenne. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy. Store cooled leftovers in the fridge.   I hope you all find your own reasons for trying out this simple cleanse, and that it proves to be as helpful as it is delicious! Remember to take things slow, set realistic goals for yourself and be celebrate each small victory! I truly wish you all the best for 2015 - this year is going to be the cleanest, greenest yet. Love and light, Sarah B *   *   *   *   *   * Check out my interview with the gorgeous McKel over at Nutrition Stripped!

Goji Tea with Baobab and a Giveaway

October 22 2014 Golubka Kitchen 

Goji Tea with Baobab and a Giveaway I’m back from a very inspiring trip to Italy. It seems that back home, autumn has taken over and there is no turning back. Cold season has come hand in hand with fall – everyone around is sneezing and sniffling. I came up with this healing drink in a hurry, when my husband felt a sickness coming on a day prior to an important meeting. He drank it before bed and woke up feeling no signs of a cold, no joke! I later tried this method on myself, and it worked once again. It goes without saying that you don’t need to be sick to enjoy this medicinal drink. The mix of nutritionally dense goji berries, alkalizing lemon, anti-inflammatory turmeric and raw honey is sure to give your immunity a good boost. The flavor of the tea is bright, much like its color, and will have a warming effect. When Organic Burst sent me a sampling of their pure, ethically traded super-powders, I knew what to do with their Baobab powder right away – it took this Goji Tea from very good to dynamite. Here is a chance for Golubka readers to try the baobab powder, along with spirulina, wheatgrass, maca and other healing products from Organic Burst. Leave a comment here until November 5th, 2014 for a chance to win their Full Range set of nutritious goodies (we are giving away two). Goji Tea 1/­­3 cup goji berries 1 1/­­2 cup boiling water 1 lemon 1 teaspoon honey (preferably raw) 1-2 teaspoons turmeric 1 teaspoon Baobab powder – optional 1/­­2 teaspoon bee pollen – optional Place goji berries in a heat-proof dish, bowl or large mug. Pour boiling or near-boiling water over the berries, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Pour into a blender, add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and foamy. Pour into mugs and enjoy hot or warm.

Sweet Pea & Pearl Onion Pesto Smothered Zucchini Noodles

February 19 2014 My New Roots 

Sweet Pea & Pearl Onion Pesto Smothered Zucchini Noodles I have such a special treat for you today. Since I am in the final stretch of writing my manuscript (!!!), Ive asked Julie from the Alkaline Sisters to take over this week. Shes created a gorgeous spring recipe for all of you who really need a bite of brightness (I figure that is anyone who has survived the polar vortex, am I right?). I’ve been a fan of Julie’s site for a long time now, but we met in person for the first time last summer and the serendipitous sparks flew! We’ve been online pals ever since. She is an expert on achieving alkalinity, and Ive asked her to give us the low-down on this very topic. After curing her own health issues with an alkaline diet, she is sharing her inspiring journey and culinary creations on her beautiful blog. She also has a book in the works and I know it is going to be absolutely amazing! Can’t wait. I will be back very soon, but in the meantime lets all sit back and learn something from this very wise woman. Thank you Julie, for sharing your knowledge with us! What a blessing. *   *   *   *   *   * I’m so pleased that I could support Sarah by sharing a recipe with you today as she nears completion of her book.  I can only imagine the juggling that is happening as she cares for her wee babe in between wielding her heavy camera and cooking up some tasty business to style and photograph, not to mention the writing required to explain the recipe.  Lord knows I understand the process since I just recently handed my cook book manuscript in to my publisher, phew! When we had lunch last summer we realized that we were both working with the same publisher, what are the chances of that?  We’ve both been feverishly working away on our cook books but I certainly didn’t give birth to a newborn baby as I worked thru the chapters of my book!  I swear Sarah has somehow acquired super powers as she’s hardly missed a beat here on the blog!  She’s managed to continually inspire you and I with a fabulous new recipe pretty much every week since she started the book, save for popping out a beautiful baby boy!  That’s more than I can attribute to since I took a bit of a hiatus from my blog to work on my book while caring for my family of 4, trying to stay sane and enjoy the journey. So here I am, happily giving her a bit of relief so she can wrap up the final details of her book. Now she can focus, take good care of her precious family, knowing that you are inspired for yet another week. So lets do this:) With Spring making it’s way here I can’t wait to begin tasting the seasonal flavours that I have missed since last year.  Sweet green peas always make me think of brighter sunnier days and the bursting greens of budding trees.  I may be jumping the gun on the spring pea season here, just a little, hehe but you’ll be glad I did if you are a fan of sweet peas!  I’m cheating with frozen peas so please forgive me for my enthusiasm with the lead up to my favourite time of year.  Because my horoscope is Aries, I come by it honestly:) This tasty dish is a little bit raw and a little bit cooked, keeping as many nutrients in tact as possible. It’s kind of a nice combo for this in between time of year. And guess what? It’s alkalizing too....well of course!   This Alkaline Sister here is happy to inspire you with a recipe that will help you balance your alkalinity.  (If you are keen for a wee bit more information about the alkaline lifestyle read on below the recipe.) This is a quick and easy recipe to pull together, even for lunch. The pea pesto is made with a generous portion of peas that are action packed with phytonutrients that provide us with key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Peas also contain an impressive amount of health promoting omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA as well as omega-6 fats called linolenic acids.  One cup has about 30 milligrams of omega-3 and 130 milligrams of omega-6.  As for protein and fibre, green peas pack about 8-10 grams per cup.  These two macronutrients keep your blood sugar levels well regulated since they support the break down of the natural sugars and carbohydrates as they pass through your digestive track. Once thought of as being a starchy vegetable peas are proving to be much more than that. They are effective in lowering our risk of chronic health issues related to inflammation.  And studies show that inflammation is at the root of most health issues, so eat your peas!  While you’re at it, eat your zucchini and some onions too!  All of these alkalizing vegetables in this recipe provide the body with beneficial cancer-preventive nutrients.  You can’t go wrong here so give this recipe a whirl and see how you like it.     Print recipe     Sweet Pea & Pearl Onion Pesto smothered Zucchini Noodles Makes 1 large serving or 2 servings as a light lunch or as a side dish Ingredients: 2  6″ zucchinis, julienned or spiral cut, preferably organic 24 fresh pearl onions, peeled (substitute frozen if need be) 2 cups organic frozen peas 3 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped 1/­­4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1/­­2 tsp maple syrup or 3 drops liquid stevia pinch himalayan salt or good sea salt freshly ground black pepper Directions: 1. Using a spiral noodle slicer or a julienne peeler make your noodles from the zucchinis.  Place in a medium sized bowl and set aside. 2. Place the pearl onions in a covered steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 8-10 mins till layers just begin to separate and they appear translucent. (If using frozen pearl onions your steam time will be a little less). Add frozen peas and steam for 2 minutes longer, stirring at the one minute mark to ensure even cooking. 3. Remove from heat and pour half the mixture into a small bowl and the other half into your food processor–be sure to divide the onions evenly. 4. To the food processor, add the olive oil, lemon juice, mint, salt, pepper and maple syrup. Process until creamy but not completely smooth, leaving a little texture. 5. Now lets put it altogether.  Pour the creamy pea and onion pesto over the noodles, scraping the bowl clean with a spatula.  Using two forks toss the noodles well to coat. Transfer to serving dish or divide into two bowls.  Top with remaining steamed peas and pearl onions. Garnish your bowl(s) with fresh mint and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy:) Note: This is yummy as is, with the mildly warm pea and onion pesto but it’s also delish at room temperature.  If this dish stands for more than two hours the zucchini will release some of it’s juices and become a little more tender. It’s still quite tasty this way but is best if eaten within one hour.  Store the pesto separate from the noodles if you are making it ahead. And...if you share this dish between 2 servings maybe top it with some sliced avocado to round it out a little more. Enjoy:) Thank you kindly Sarah, for trusting me to share a nourishing alkaline recipe with your treasured readers that you take such good care of.  It’s been an honour and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my alkaline message with your loyal followers. Here’s an extra special mini lesson on alkalinity and how it can be of benefit to your healthy lifestyle: The most alkaline foods are green and of high water content as in cucumber, celery, broccoli, and greens like kale, chard, romaine etc. Lemons & limes are also highly alkaline once metabolized even though they are acidic outside the body before you ingest them.  This chart shows the degree of alkalinity of many foods to give you a better idea.  On this chart you’ll also notice the list of foods that are acidic and their scores that you can pay attention to with regard to the ratio that you include in your daily meals. Pretty much any food that is a concentrated food with low water content, is highly processed or contains sugar–including fruit, is acidic to the body and should be consumed in approximately a 20-30% daily proportion.  If you are seriously ill this ratio will be more like 0-5%.  Please remember to always consult a medical professional when considering a drastic lifestyle change. Choosing alkaline foods in a  70 to 80% ratio with the balance of acidic foods allows you to  still enjoy some of the wholesome foods you are accustomed to. A visual measurement for each meal or over the period of the day is all that is necessary to maintain a balanced intake of alkaline foods.  No weighing or counting of calories is necessary. And guess what?  By following a highly alkaline lifestyle you’ll discover that a bonus side effect is weight loss or a return to your natural body weight. You may already be very conscientious with your healthy lifestyle but with a bit of tweaking in the alkaline department you might find you have even more energy, fewer colds and any nagging symptoms slowly dissipate. To increase your alkaline foods intake it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3...a,b,c… 1. add a green smoothie to your morning or a green juice 2. add a big salad to your lunch or make it your lunch 3. add a salad and steamed veggies to your dinner And we all know that we need to.... a. drink more water— 3-4 litres of filtered, hopefully alkaline water each day- to flush acids and hydrate the body b. exercise to flush your lymph, blood and tissues of acidic matter c. stay on top of your stress levels and find ways to deal with negative thoughts- meditation, yoga etc. (stress causes acids to form within the body) By slowly adapting your lifestyle and following these basics along with doing a seasonal detox you will keep disease at bay and the cold and flu bugs will leave you for good! Six years ago, with a dramatic shift to this alkaline lifestyle, I resolved the excruciating pain that I was experiencing from a seriously herniated disc that stopped me in my tracks from living my life. This lifestyle shift resulted in a welcome side effect of easily and quickly dropping 40lbs of post baby excess weight that I was struggling with. Our modern diet is often overly acidic even if we consider it to be healthy thus many of us suffer from a myriad of illnesses that are directly related to an overly acidic body.  But the good news is..... that you can turn your health around by flooding the body with alkalinity. A green smoothie cheers to your good, alkaline health Julie the Alkaline Sister


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