Candida: yeast-like fungal organism.

Sounds appetizing, right? Speaking first-hand, I can tell you that a Candida diagnosis is not one you’ll be thrilled to receive, nor will the diet that follows be one of your favorites, but I promise that if Candida overgrowth is an issue for you, and you follow this simple protocol,  the end results (after the 7-8 week cleanse) will be well worth it!

So what is Candida, and why should you care?

Essentially, Candida is an overgrowth of yeast which is often the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, to joint pain, foggy brains and gas.  It turns out that we all have some levels of Candida in our bodies; the issue arises when it’s allowed to grow, setting up shop in our intestines, and often times, throughout our bodies.

The cause could be anything from a few courses of antibiotics, a prolonged diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar, a lifetime of eating foods we’re allergic to, or even something as common as a lengthy period of stress at work.

Here’s a video of Ann Boroch, author of The Candida Cure explaining how Candida overgrowth is commonly misdiagnosed, and helps explain some of the more common symptoms and how they lead back to candida. She quite simply states how you clean up the fungus and help repair various auto-immune conditions, as well as MS, hyper or hypoglycemia, depression, anxiety and more. As she states, we don’t have a deficiency in prozac – we have a deficiency in nutrition.

Some of the common Endocrine System issues related to Candida Overgrowth:

Adrenal/Thyroid failure
Hormonal Imbalances
Over/Under Weight

You can download the full chart from Anne’s site here (it’s a quick review of how Candida literally takes over our bodies and upsets so many body functions!)

Speaking personally, I can tell you that I was having a terrible case of candida overgrowth, and had no signs of it (at least, none of the ones that I naturally thought of when I hear ‘yeast’).  So after being diagnosed with a case of Candidia which had spread through much of my body, and successfully eliminating all food allergens that are present (due to leaky gut) I not only cleared up the brain fog and fatigue, but the joint pain & headaches are gone, and even more obscure, so is my asthma.  Turns out it was most likely due to the presence of yeast in my lungs.

Pretty amazing, right?

Here are some of the common symptoms of a Candida overgrowth:

  • Cravings for carbohydrates
  • Digestive problems, including bloating, cramping
  • Depression
  • Mood fluctuations
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Joint or muscle aching
  • General fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Headache
  • Intolerance to certain food
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to lose weight

So as I always say, I’m not a healthcare professional – just a girl who suffered through a ton of health issues, and has stumbled her way through diagnoses and treatments, and come out ahead. So here’s where I recommend you contact a holistic practitioner or experienced dietician who can have you tested and help guide you on your next steps. But to make sure you’re armed with as much knowledge as possible, here are my tips:

1. Ask for a food allergy and leaky gut test – you will most likely have leaky gut if you have food allergies/sensitivities.

2. If you’re the kind of person who needs to see it in writing before you’ll tackle the cleanse, ask for both candida and leaky gut tests.

Remember – if you have food sensitivities, you probably have leaky gut. If you have those, you probably have Candida overgrowth.  If so, you need to eliminate all foods which are showing up as allergens, not just the main ones which come up on a standard food allergy panel. For example, my food allergies are primarily gluten and cow’s dairy, however, the panel we ran in conjunction with leaky gut and candida exposed several more (leaky gut causes food particles to ‘leak’ into your bloodstream, which triggers your body to see it as a foreign object/allergen, and develop an allergy to it). So the foods which my body now thinks are allergens are the foods I tend to eat the most, as more of those foods were making their way into my bloodstream than any others.

3. Prepare for an elimination diet: you will need to remove all allergens from your diet, as well as foods which tend to promote Candida growth. Those include anything sugary and with a potential to mold, such as alcohol, chocolate, dairy, cheese, mushrooms, etc.

4. Take a strong Candiaa die-off supplement. This will help ensure the dietary changes you’re making are supported in their effort to kill the Candida. Your doctor, nutritionist or wellness clinic specialist should be able to prescribe one, and if you want to do some research beforehand, check out this site for Syntol which is the product I took.


Here Ann Boroch talks about the important supplements to take for Candida die-off as well as many other supplements that we can all use given the common, modern-day diseases many of us face.

So the lesson here? Find a holistic practitioner who gets it, or seek out one online who will work remotely. If you’re in Austin, these are the guys I trust completely (an ND shares the practice with 2 MDs: Center for Health & Wellness, Hill’s Medical Group. )

If not in the Austin area,  you can reach Chris Kessler who takes clients remotely and is well-versed on food allergies, sensitivities and I’m sure on leaky gut and Candida as well.

Here’s a helpful website you can browse too, which covers much of the Candida diet cleanse. Note that you’ll want to take a Candida supplement during the cleanse, which your doctor or healthcare professional can help you with. I used Syntol, which I believe you can order online. It’s gentle and effective – but pricey.

A good rule of thumb – once the cleanse is completed, you will want to take between 20-40 billion Probiotics count for at least a month (post-cleanse). Transformation Enzymes makes one daily that is 42.5 billion, though I believe you need a medical professional’s help to get them.

As always, I hope this helps you! Please share your ocmments below and let us know what worked for you, how you felt before and after, etc. I love to hear other people who have made the journey to rid Candida – it’s not a fun cleanse period, but it’s SO nice to be on the other side of the symptoms!



It’s our motto around here, but what does it mean?

Well, to start it addresses the power of food, and its incredible effect on our ability to heal the damage most of us are facing due to the popular American diet we’ve all grown accustomed to. Who hasn’t stopped in for a quick bite at a local fast food joint when you just didn’t have the time to cook dinner after a long day of work, knowing you’re coming home to face a gaggle of hungry faces clamoring for dinner?

I know I did, and I know all too well that I’m not alone on this one. And while I only ate out in moderation, many of you probably find yourself at the drive thru more often than you would care to admit. And if you’re dealing with food sensitivities, or suspect you might be, and are eating out, you might be aggravating your allergies with cross contaminated foods and highly GM foods and oils often used in restaurants and fast food joints.  I’m a big fan of the experience of eating out. I love spending time out with friends and family, enjoying a tasty meal that I didn’t have to prepare, or worrying about cleaning afterwards. The social aspect of being out appeals to me, and I appreciate it every time. 

But I also recognize that it’s hard to find a restaurant with a social conscience. That is to say, that they’re using meats farmed from socially responsible farmers, locally raised produce free of pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms. In fact, I’m willing to bet that every time you eat out, you’re consuming a vast amount of GM soy, corn or wheat. And we know that these foods are slowly poisoning us. 

So it’s time to ask yourself – am I happy? Do I feel like crap more often than not? Am I overweight? Am I avoiding my annual checkup because I dread the results of the blood tests? Does the blood pressure machine at your local drug store call to you but you run and hide like a child playing hide and seek?

I can tell you that if you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re in very good and well numbered company. The fact is, most Americans would answer yes to those questions. So now that you’ve brought your state of  health to mind, let’s see what we can do to improve it!

Whether you’re just embarking on a journey to understand what this movement with our food supply means, or if you’re well invested in the cause already, you most likely have had that “Ah Ha” moment that made you stop and wonder whether it’s possible for food to actually heal, or hurt us.  Sadly, the answer is simple. Yes, the foods we eat can either help us heal, or harm our ability to live a happy healthy life. 

And to be clear, I don’t think food in its natural state causes us harm. It’s the way we’ve changed our food to handle mass consumption and appeal to the Fat and Happy mainstream that has caused us harm.  We have modified our food supplies to create ‘food’ that lacks all aspects of nutrition, and are instead made up of genetically modified sources so that we can enjoy brightly colored cereal with a glass of hormone-laden cow’s milk before sending our kids off to school. And that brightly colored cereal which is rich in sugar, food colorings, processed and genetically modified wheat or corn, causes a sugar spike that will give your child a sugar rush bigger than any that even an adult’s body should/could handle, and then a devastating crash  that leaves them unable to concentrate and in need of some other sugary drink to retain a balance. 

If this sounds like your typical breakfast, don’t worry because you’re not alone. And if you’re here, you’re probably realizing that this typical American breakfast might not be the best choice for you or your child. This is where the idea of food healing us comes in.

Food in its natural, real state is powerful. It was designed to provide naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our bodies need for fuel. Food in its natural state fuels our bodies, mind and soul. Real and powerful food can reverse toxic damage caused by the dangerous processed foods that are so readily available today. It can help you to lose weight, reverse auto immune conditions, prevent dangerously high levels of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol. I know, because I’ve experienced it first hand.

Processed food caused me devastating health issues, and real/whole foods helped save me. It’s that simple. Eat real food, heal your body, and thrive.

Has food changed your life? Share your stories below so others can be inspired by the power of food, and its ability to heal!



Optimal Food. Optimal Health. 

For those of you familiar with cleansing, this list will come as little surprise, but may serve as a nice reminder of the most optimal food choices you can make. For those of you not familiar with cleansing, we will be posting a series on cleansing soon, and will tie all the details together, so until then, read on for a list of the most optimal food choices we can make.


Remember that old adage from childhood – GIGO. Garbage in = garbage out.

It applies as much to our bodies and our health as it does to science.  Be sure to feed your body with fuel that will help it heal and thrive!



Sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy. Too good to pass up!

I’ve mentioned how much I like this site, Against All Grain, in the past so today I’m showcasing another of her fab recipes which is perfect for summer! As someone who eats a lot of salads, I can tell you I’m excited to give this one a shot.  The idea of combining the sweet and gritty texture of watermelon with arugula and goat cheese is just too tasty to imagine. So while I head out to the store to grab some watermelon, I wanted to throw this recipe up so you can enjoy it in the meantime. 


watermelon salad with arugula, goat cheese & candied walnuts

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 individual salad

watermelon salad with arugula, goat cheese & candied walnuts


  • 6 pieces of watermelon, cut to 1 inch thickness
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (omit Goat Cheese or sub in Vegan cheese for vegan options)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Spiced Candied Walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Using a large biscuit cutter, or just great circle cutting knife skills!, cut the watermelon slices into round circles. Use a knife to trim off any parts that make the circle uneven so it sits flat on a plate.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the watermelon circles on a plate, then top each with a small handful of the arugula mixture (roughly 1/3 cup each).
  4. Sprinkle each salad with goat cheese and the chopped walnuts, then drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the tops.
  5. Enjoy!


* If you’re serving to a larger crowd, or don’t want to take the time to cut the watermelon into rounds, you can use a melon baller to create cute balls or just simply cut the watermelon into chunks and pile it all into a salad bowl.


For those of us following the Paleo or Primal Blueprint diets, pancakes are a thing of the past, right?

At least, that’s what I thought until I ran across this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple. It’s definitely more carb-centric than much of what he suggests but as he states many times, those of us following the Primal Blueprint can allow for an indulgence now and then and still keep on track with our goals for health, wellness, weight loss, etc. That said, this is a delish and healthy indulgence and one I’m excited to make again this weekend. I hope you enjoy it too!


Paleo ‘Pancakes’

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 pancakes

Paleo ‘Pancakes’


  • 2 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 Tbs almond butter
  • fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil


  1. Mash the bananas, add the egg and mix well.
  2. Stir in the almond butter, adding more than a tablespoon if you want a more pancake-like texture.
  3. Warm the coconut oil in a pan and pour batter into small cakes.
  4. Brown on each side and serve warm topped with fresh blueberries.
  5. Enjoy!!



Those who know me have heard me say many times over the last couple of years how powerful nutrition is. That’s for a simple fact; changing my diet changed my life. Yes, I had to use other nutritional supplements to help get my body back on the right track, and I don’t believe I could have healed without their help too, but the bottom line is food is powerful stuff. I’ve read reports of people healing from various auto-immune diseases by changing their diets to remove the harmful chemicals we eat (unknowingly) daily, and by removing foods which our bodies just aren’t programmed to digest (hence why I follow the Primal/Paleo lifestyle).  I can speak for myself and say that by removing all grains and dairy, I have changed my health. I have more energy, less physical ailments (from digestion to heartburn, painful cramping, headaches, fatigue, nausea, mood swings, etc) and whenever I cheat, I pay for it. Quickly. 

It’s not an easy diet for most, and I understand completely. I live it everyday, so I get it. But for the first time in years, I’m able to connect with life in a way I haven’t been able to for as long as I can remember. And it feels good to feel good 🙂


To be honest, I’m not a fan. I’ve never really cared for the idea that there’s so much pressure around a new year, as though this is your chance to finally get something right. Maybe its a vow to eat better, lose weight, take some classes you’ve been putting off… whatever the resolution is, it signifies that there’s something about your life that you’re not happy with. Something that you want to change, to improve, or perhaps to remove. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with striving for better health, improved lifestyles and quality of life, and overall general well being. So the general idea of improving your life is fine with me; it’s the idea that you need to make a resolution to make those changes that bothers me.

I have always felt like a resolution is simply setting yourself up for failure, especially when its such an extreme change of lifestyle that you’re pursuing, which most often is the case. Lose weight, give up carbs, stop drinking, stop smoking. These are all major lifestyle changes that require more than just a date to come around for you to be able to make it on your own.

Today on Facebook I saw a post by Jillian Michaels who writes:

So they say the first 12 days of your new year determine how the rest of your year will play out… so, on that note how has it been going so far?

In other words, if you are like the many Americans that are trying to make a change this January 1, according to Jillian Michaels, you have 12 days to commit to your resolution or you’re likely to fail. Have you spent the first 3 days following your resolved new plan? Or did you find it a lot harder to commit to than you imagined? I’m here to tell you that you can absolutely accomplish anything you put your mind to, but it might be a task that requires help, support from peers and/or a trained professional to get there.

So my comment to you is don’t worry that if you don’t succeed from Jan 1-12, then you wont succeed this year. You can absolutely make the change you wish to make; I just encourage you to research your resolution. Find support groups (online or in person), read blogs and other message boards of people fighting the same fight as you, and embrace any help you can find to stay on target. Making a lifestyle change is sometimes better when approached in baby steps, though others prefer the “rip the bandaid off” approach and dive right in. Whatever you find to be the best method for you is not important; what is, is that you recognize there is something about you that you wish to improve, and you’re setting your sights on that change. Congratulations for taking the first step, and I wish you all the best on your journey!

In good health and happiness, cheers to 2012!