hi friends.

happy saturday. i am so glad the weekend is here. how has the week been?!
mine, honestly, has been a bit rough. round 2 of operation #kickCANDIDA started this week. i briefly mentioned some of my woes in my other posts this week, but i wanted to share a little round 2 update.
plus some eats and a letter to myself.

lots of oatmeal. with coconut butter, coconut oil and carob powder.
lots of oatmeal. with coconut butter, coconut oil and carob powder.

i did a candida detox a few months ago, for about 2.5 months. if you’re new to burpees for breakfast, i’m one of those girls with crazy gut issues (check out my journey here). i hardly had any problems at all on the detox. i started it coming off of a 2 week dose of diflucan, so my body was ‘ready’ for the next thing to kick the candida. i barley noticed any die-off symptoms and i had more energy than i had in months. the only ‘trouble’ was the occasional annoyance that i couldn’t eat my beloved bananas.

heirloom carrot pasta with broccoli, chicken, chard and turmeric yogurt sauce. and. kimchi.
heirloom carrot pasta with broccoli, chicken, chard and turmeric yogurt sauce. and. kimchi.

i ended the detox a few days early to accommodate a rice crispy treat cake and sugar-free brownie for my birthday and some gingerbread cookies for christmas. now, i did not go crazy with the sugar after…i mostly ate fruit. a little bit of coconut milk ice cream. and in the past few weeks – larabars. i missed them so much.

but, i noticed the candida coming back – i woke up with a white tongue and the rash/bumps on my face were back. i got a dose of diflucan, hoping it would magically go away. no such luck. the candida have come back stronger and more powerful. no 2 week dose of diflucan will kill these guys.

swiss chard with veggies and adzuki beans
swiss chard with veggies and adzuki beans

so, i emailed my dietitian and asked what i should do. she said the candida often come back (of course) and that a low sugar diet with yeast aids was the best option. or get a $300 organic acid test.
now, this girl ain’t made of money – or at least not enough to justify a $300 test, where the results will likely tell me that i have more stuff going on and will require expensive supplements and enzymes. no thank you….at least not yet (more on this later).

eggs, white rice, sweet potato, brussel sprouts. and kimchi.
eggs, white rice, sweet potato, brussel sprouts. and kimchi.

i thought it over for a couple of days and decided to buy the yeast aid and digestive enzyme. i prepared myself as much as possible and dove in on sunday.  looking back on the last detox, i started out with only 2 pills and worked my way up to 4. this time, i just dove in with 4 pills. probably bad news. here is how my week went:

*sunday: the day started pretty well. by mid afternoon, all the sudden, i just lost it. all energy. i felt like i could fall asleep in an instant. i was blah. and i was not in a good mood.
*monday and tuesday: so tired and in a bad mood. i only did a short yoga video both days and went to bed by 9.
*wednesday: i felt a bit better when i woke up, but about an hour later, i was so dizzy. i ended up not going into work and just sitting, working most of the day. and slept over 9 hours.
*thursday: best day of the week. my head was foggy and i was tired, but after taking 10,000 steps (thank you walking desk) i made it to the gym. after 10 minutes on the elliptical, i felt good enough to run. a sub 9 minute mile. after doing decline barbell bench, i was shot. i knew i couldn’t do anymore, so i sat myself in the sauna.
*friday: even better, but still sluggish. downed a bag of sweet potato chips and pancakes for dinner.

homemade chicken no-noodle soup and plantain bread.
homemade chicken no-noodle soup and plantain bread.

i’m hoping today is great. it’ll be a day full of studying for my cpt exam. i’ve been doing more research on killing candida. here are a few things i’m doing this time around:

coconut oil: i love this more than ever. it goes in my oatmeal, i cook with it, put it on plantain bread + paleo english muffins, and even in my tea. yes. in my tea. i might try to do some oil pulling a couple days a week. and i use it as moisturizer sometimes.

dry skin brushing: i read that this has all kinds of benefits, one of which, helping detox from candida. it removes the dead skin cells, helping with detox. i got a brush last weekend. and i’ve been doing it every day before my shower and so far, i can’t really tell a difference. but everything takes time. here’s hoping.

tea & water: fennel tea – good for detox. nettle tea + pau d’arco tea – good for KILLING CANDIDA. and water. lots of water. if i’m not drinking water, i’m drinking tea. all kinds of tea. it’s exciting….

beet + carrot  + greens smoothie
beet + carrot + greens smoothie

sauna: i read this is great for detox and i tried it on thursday after my workout. after i got through the first couple minutes, it was great. i got out feeling wonderful. might try to do this 1-2 times per week.

workouts: if the past week is any indication of what the detox will be like, i clearly cannot handle my usual workouts, let alone a workout like last saturday. this means i might not be able to finish the burpee challenge. sad day. i already told myself that i need to take it slow, workouts cannot be more than 30 minutes for the new couple weeks, unless it’s yoga. i’ve really been enjoying yoga lately, so this should hopefully work for at least another week.  plus some strength training too.

foods: on my dietitian recommended detox, i can have all veggies, including starchy sweet potatoes, grass-fed/organic meats, fats, gluten-free grains, and my favorite for a treat – chips, with just oil and salt. now, most bagged chips use canola or sunflower oil, which are high in omega-6’s, which can cause inflammation. i don’t care, i’m eating root veggie chips.
downing lots of goat milk yogurt, might try some ghee, and i’m more in love than ever with kimchi. as you can see in most photos. i love it on everything…except oatmeal. going to make red cabbage, beet and radish kimchi this weekend! love fermented foods! full of probiotics! still keeping the grains low, but not totally eliminating them. enjoying meat and lots of eggs too. green eggs even.

green eggs and paleo english muffin
green eggs and paleo english muffin

supplements: my usual: vitamin d, super b complex, vitamin c, cod liver oil, digestive enzymes, and probiotics.
adding: l-glutamine – to help heal my leaky gut, increasing my apple cider vinegar shots to twice a day, herbal yeast aid + digestive enzyme in the morning, gelatin – adding a tablespoon to my morning warm lemon water. and possibly going to try fermented cod liver oil. i’ve heard that this is awesome and i’m about out of my current supply.

sleep: get more of it – check. keep doing it – challenge accepted.

beet, radish, carrot noodle pasta with adzuki beans, yogurt and...kimchi.
beet, radish, carrot noodle pasta with adzuki beans, yogurt and…kimchi.

stress: keep it low. really low. i’m a perfectionist. an over-achiever. sometimes i welcome stress. bad news. especially during the detox. how am i going to keep my stress low? great question. i wrote a little letter to myself.


take a deep breath.
you need realize that it is pointless to obsess about killing the candida. it will just make it worse. you can only do what you can to help it go away (see above). and if it still doesn’t, that means there is something else going on. which means you can feel good (in a weird way) about getting the organic acid test done. it just might help you figure out what is actually going on in that crazy, but beautiful body of yours.
remember, you can only cut out so many foods before you are left eating greens. even though you love them, you need more to eat. eating whole vegetables, good meats and healthy fats are good for your gut. you want it to be happy.
also, don’t feel guilty about eating an entire bag of root vegetable chips, even if they might make you slightly bloated. as strong as you are, this is a hard detox. especially, when everyone around you can eat whatever they want. you need a treat.
please, please, listen to your body. you may think you can be superwoman and still do killer workouts. you might be able too at some point, but do. not. push. yourself. you will regret it. and increase your stress.
if you are tired, it’s okay to skip studying and just crash. if you know you just need a yoga day, don’t fret about not getting in all your steps for the day or not doing cardio. you’ll survive. you like yoga and so does your body.
it’s okay to have a bad day and be in a bad mood. when you have those good days, which you will hopefully have from now on, enjoy the day. don’t overwork yourself. just relax and enjoy.
just relax. and enjoy.
and remember, you perfected your sugar-free pancake recipe. whip it out for hard days and for happy days.

remember: take deep breaths, learn to love your body. start loving your gut.

carob gluten free + vegan pancakes w/coconut butter, coconut oil and almond butter sauce.
carob gluten free + vegan pancakes w/coconut butter, coconut oil and almond butter sauce.

1 week down. 11-12 more to go.
bring it on.
thanks for reading friends. if anyone has any tips for healing a leaky gut, getting rid of candida, or any words of wisdom, let me know.
i’m making some bone broth, which will hopefully be awesome and delicious!

– jena

p.s. do you struggle with food intolerance? have you done a sugar detox?