What do peace talks have to do with my dreary anti-candida diet?

At the moment I’m fantasising a lot about food. This anti-candida diet is hell. For some reason even though I’m not a whipped cream fan, I’m constantly seeing fluffy chantilly cream concoctions my mother made when I was a child and we  lived in Famagusta, Cyprus for four sunshine years.

I remember watching her patiently drench Marie biscuits in a mixture of warm milk and cognac, enough to soften but not so much they’d fall apart. The infused biscuits were sandwiched with chocolate chantilly cream, lined up erect to form the inner core of what became a chocolate log cake once coated with more chantilly. There was a meringue Mountain cake, consisting of home-made meringues topped with fluffy chantilly, roasted nuts with caramel, piled up into a 3-D triangle, and  topped with a glossy chocolate sauce which set hard so that you’d bite into this explosion of textures and heavenly tastes.

With peace talks in progress for a solution in Cyprus coinciding with this diet, the desserts of my childhood are on my mind. Eating is our personal history. Eating is so much more than scoffing something to keep going, limiting foods  to get the right appearance, worrying about what to eat and not eat and turning the process into an internal psychological attack when not eating ‘the right way’ or not losing weight. If there is peace on my family’s island I will remember the meal my mother will cook for us to thank God for returning to our town. The first meal we will cook in Famagusta will be liberally laced with the ingredient of grateful tears.

I wish you all happy moments eating with your loved ones and if you are eating alone that includes enjoying being with your loved inner self too.

Why moaning is good for a medical diet

I’ve tried lots of health plans over the decades so in theory I ought to have been prepared for this anti-candida diet.  I arrogantly thought it would be boring but a breeze. Hey, me, I’m healthy, I’m motivated, I’m fortunate to work mostly from home so I can easily control what I eat. It’s been hell. The withdrawal symptoms have been ghastly. And moaning about the whole process is what is helping me stick to the plan. Continue reading

Can a foodie find exciting new ingredients in a health store?

It’s hard to stay upbeat on my current diet to get rid of a candida infection and parasites but being a foodie I’m trying to find the sunshine gourmet food learning opportunity.  I look to many chefs and food writers for inspiration and though the food I cook is light and healthy, I’m certainly way more Nigella than Deliciously Ella. One of my favourite dairy free chocolate cakes is Nigella’s divine velvety mousse –like chocolate olive oil cake.

Here’s my foodie verdict on health food store ingredients I’ve just tried. I’m not going to bore you with the health benefits as no matter what these are if something isn’t a joy to use in cooking and the flavour is dubious, I won’t serve it to anyone else.  Continue reading

When you love food but have to go on a medical diet

It’s grim. A medical diet is hard for everyone, but for those of us who adore food it’s a sad time. Foodies don’t stuff themselves indiscriminately with processed junk. We’re always on a search for mind-blowing tastes, new cuisines, restaurants, recipes, ingredients. Food is joy. When that’s taken away from you because for whatever reason you are unwell, it feels like a deprivation of a big part of your life. At the moment I stand outside restaurants reading menus with tears in my eyes. Instead of enjoying watching the Great British Bake Off final, I sunk into depression.

I think the reason foodies find it harder and even impossible to diet for weight loss is because of the imposition of soulless regimes. Because of my interest in health I’ve been able to balance my eating so weight hasn’t been an issue for me (I’m also hyper active and love exercise and dance which obviously helps). When a medical issue appears foodies are faced with a choice: suffer to get well or suffer whilst unwell. And I have to admit at the moment I am feeling maybe I’d rather the latter. I don’t have a terminal disease so what the hell, maybe for the love of food I’ll put up with the consequences because I’m depressed and miserable now anyway.

This is where I have to remind myself: I just need to get past this sticky part. After a month on a preparation diet I’m on day 15 of a 30 day hard core programme. I hate it. However, here are some of the positive aspects emerging from this life stage. I hope these can help you. Continue reading

The most important medical tests for your mind body and gut

Here are the diagnostic tests that can shed light on your metabolism and help you maintain your optimum weight so you can still enjoy being a foodie without resorting to drastic diets. If your GP in the UK does not offer these, keep going back and describing your symptoms in more detail. They can’t argue with the NHS website guidelines so be sure to refer to these.  (For non UK readers, if there are no official guidelines in your pick the best official version.) As soon as you start mentioning blogs and forums doctors aren’t likely or don’t have time to take you seriously.

Many people end up believing it’s normal to feel tired and stressed, or blame themselves for digestive problems because they’ve over indulged. Women can so hard on themselves for lacking discipline in eating, or become terribly sad that as they get older they can’t keep the weight off. Yet some standard diagnostic tests might hold the key. At the very least these tests will provide a valuable health profile.

I have kept the information brief and provided links with more information because I want you to read this and take action. (There are other tests too but again I’ve picked the ones most relevant to weight and digestion). Even if your GP’s initial diagnosis is wrong, this is a starting point to take care of yourself. Continue reading

Was I right to trust a nutritional therapist? Absolutely

No raw food after four? No more than 1-2 pieces of fruit a day? No gluten? Eggs for breakfast? No treats? Are you kidding?  I moaned for almost four weeks whilst waiting for the stool test kit to arrive, then faffing about with the test, sending it off and finally getting the results. During this time I had to follow an interim diet and start a course of supplements. I don’t eat much bread or pasta so the no gluten seemed ridiculous. I don’t have sweet things every day so the no treats seemed ridiculous. I can’t stand breakfast.  I have salad with every meal and fruit is one of my greatest joys. A bowl of fruit gives me more pleasure than a vase with flowers. And big yukky supplements don’t go down easily for me. This felt like my most expensive mistake.  Continue reading

How to get to the bottom of your digestive problems

 

I’ve tried a lot of things in the name of work, from a miserable 5 week macrobiotic diet to contacting my inner wild spirit animal and speaking its language. I’ll give anything a go. But even I squirmed at the idea of a stool test. Why did I go through this? Two words: Desperation and determination.  I was desperate to know the precise reason for feeling unwell and determined to find a solution. I love food far too much to endure not being able to enjoy the process of eating.

The NHS option given to me was come back in three months, and if I felt worse I could be referred to a gastroenterologist. Since that would take another two months, I calculated suffering for 5 months. With increasing evidence on the link between the gut and the mind could a diagnostic stool test achieve a double whammy of identifying what was playing havoc with my digestion and my mind?

Here’s my survival guide to help you decide if a stool test can help you, and how to deal with it: Continue reading