Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Experience with Candida and Fungus

I had candida and fungal infections practically all my life. Throughout childhood I was diagnosed with allergies and asthma, treating these meant using steroid inhalers daily as well as receiving monthly allergy shots. I was exposed to antibiotics frequently as well as anesthesia for surgeries I had incurred as a child. When I turned seventeen my parents put me on birth control because I had become sexually active. I stayed on this for the most part until age 23. All of this in combination completely changed the state of my internal bacteria and set up an excellent environment for candida and fungus.
Later, as an adult, I was introduced to a more holistic approach to treatments of symptoms, which used food as medicine. One of them is called the anti fungal diet. It worked great initially for around one to two years of attempting it. My allergies and asthma went away, I didn't have to go in for monthly allergy shots anymore and I had more energy, my immune system was stronger and less candida symptoms overall, just by cutting my sugars. Although the symptoms got initially better, some, not all, came back later on. Like itchy skin, dandruff and and itchy throat. It occurred to me later on that when you see symptoms of candida and fungus come back this means either your body now needs something different or you have not gotten to the root cause of the problem.
I worked on this diligently by strictly changing my diet for a long time, then finally came to the realization that it's about more than that. You can only come so far with just dietary changes. It's about your mental, emotional and spiritual health as well. Healing yourself from candida and fungus has to come from a holistic place, not just by changing one component of your life.
I begin this journey by taking you through my healing process on every level.

First the physical:
After being on the anti-fungal diet hard core for four months, going through a parasite cleanse and gut healing program, my body was, at this time, ready for the next level. This was introducing sugar back into the diet. My coach, Josh Rubin, recommended I look into Ray Peat's work and discovered that his research proves that after a period of time, the low sugar, high protein diet actually raises blood sugar levels and creates an in-balance in hormonal levels. This happens because when your blood sugars drop as a result of not eating any sugars, your body produces cortisol and adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels. After you eat like this, over time it begins to take a toll on your hormones. Your hormones being out of balance changes your PH levels which can negatively affect the health of your skin, body and energy levels.
I felt this to be true mainly because of the way I was feeling on the high protein low sugar diet. My hormones definitely felt out of balance, my sex drive was low, I was experiencing some depression (which is not like me), I was chronically tired, would break out with acne and craved sugar constantly. I couldn't understand why this was happening, and felt like I was doing everything I was recommended to do. What I found was that the anti-fungal diet is a great diet for initially bringing down the amount of fungus along with getting to the root cause of the fungus, but if done too long it can have a negative effect on a person's hormonal levels.
Ray Peat recommends reintroducing sugar into the diet, not through grains, instead through fruit and straight sugars. That way your body can begin to acclimate to sugar again and this helps to balance hormones. I know this may sound contrary to what we've been taught about fungus and candida, and believe me I had my doubts, but surprisingly it has worked for me.

Ray Peat is also a huge component of drinking lots of homemade bone broth and adding gelatin to it. This helps to keep blood sugar levels even as well as heal the lining of the gut.
His research also finds that most above ground veggies contain a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is a fat you want to avoid, because it can get stored in the body and then present itself as a free radical in the body and cause things like premature aging and hormonal imbalances. I personally switched over to starchy below ground veggies and avoid any veggies that are above ground for now. If I do eat any above ground veggies I do it sparingly and make sure I cook them as well as add a good fat like organic butter and organic coconut oil. Also, I started eating tropical fruits and lots of coconut oil. The coconut oil helps to raise my metabolism. I rub coconut oil on my face and body daily as well as have a spoonful in the morning. Saturated fats are something that I have started to eat more of as well. I've not been able to tolerate raw milk in the past and can drink it now. Presently I stick to raw pastured dairy (organic butter, milk, cheese, yogurt), saturated oils (coconut oil, lard) starchy veggies, tropical fruits and pastured meats. As a result, I'm loving life, feeling joyful and life is colorful all the time.

My mental stillness:
This started for me with proper breathing throughout the day. It's a great way to change your PH levels, the more efficient you breath the more balanced those levels are. I practice this daily by using any form of meditation that focuses on breathing or just focusing on your breathing 5 minutes a day or whenever you think about it.

Next, the emotional healing:
Focusing on love and forgiveness is a big one. I first began my journey here by practicing looking at myself in the mirror every morning and telling my self that I love myself. Honestly it felt kind of funny at first, but the more I practiced it the more natural it began to feel.
Now I wake up every morning look in the mirror and give my self a compliment.
Forgiveness is another big one. Forgiving myself was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. This includes giving myself permission to make mistakes and not being so critical of myself.
Also, I had to learn how to receive love. Giving love was easy, sometimes I discovered that I was almost giving too much of me away. The hard part was feeling I was worth receiving love from myself and others.
I practiced this by using certain kinds of meditation, talking lovingly to myself in the mirror and through affirmations. Louise Hayes has many great affirmations in her book, "Love Your Body".
I also found that Tony Robbins has some pretty cool ideas on how to practice this.

Finally the spiritual healing:
I came to the realization that I was not living the way I wanted to live. Even though I was doing all of the right things with my diet and exercise, I wasn't giving myself time to expand spiritually everyday. I now consider practicing creativeness a spiritual practice. Whether I'm practicing my music, drawing, writing, dancing or just having time for myself everyday, these are all expressions of that creativity we are here to explore.
If I'm not acknowledging this time for myself everyday, I feel as if I'm compromising myself. This begins over time to stress the spirit, which can present itself physically as candida or fungus.
This stress can also develop by saying "yes" to something you know deep down you really don't want to do. I've been guilty in the past of being that person who wants to please people. I've now learned that this is not the same as serving others, you have to serve yourself before you can even begin to serve others.

If you can relate to this and could use guidance and a plan of action, Allison Pelot is available to help. Please contact Allison at allisonpelot@gmail.com or visit her website at www.pureenergywellness.net

"Love Your Body" By Louise Hayes

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Good Oils Vs. Bad Oils with Sally Fallon

I began my journey by driving to the SC chapter's annual Weston A. Price conference in Aiken, South Carolina the Friday after the big snow storm. I wasn't sure if I was going to run into any ice from the storm, but felt sure that at this point the worst of the storm was over and was determined to get there no matter what. More than anything, I did not want to miss an opportunity to hear Sally Fallon speak. By the way if you're not familiar with who Sally Fallon is, she's one of the founders of the Weston A. Price Foundation and co-author of the book "Nourishing Traditions", a book that outlines the history of food and why and how those traditions were fashioned.
We were on the road for around three hours and made a few pit stops along the way. As we got closer to our destination, my mobile map sent us down a pitch black dirt road and we turned around immediately. After experiencing much frustration and thinking we'd never find the venue, we drove a little further and came upon the location - aptly called the Lighthouse Baptist Church.
Honestly, I don't know how long it's been since I've set foot in a church, but needless to say it's been a while. I never thought I'd be in a church listening to such progressive views about food, politics, history and life.
My friend Maja and I got there and the first person I saw with a cheery smile was Sally Fallon standing behind her booth. I walked straight up to her and introduced myself, expressed to her that I've been following and using her book, "Nourishing Traditions", for years now and thanked her for putting this information out there.
We then proceeded into the lecture hall. Sally introduced us to the the concept of good oils versus bad oils and the history behind the companies who are currently producing most of our food supply. Notice how I say producing, not growing, because the reality is, most of the processed food you see in your grocery stores is made in a factory and not considered a real food. This is something called imitation food. Legislation in the United States used to require that companies put an imitation food label on their product if it was considered an imitation food. But unfortunately, because of some deregulation legislation, companies aren't required to put the imitation food label on their products anymore.
So most people think they're buying and eating real whole foods when they're only getting less than optimal imitation foods. These foods are extremely low in vitality and need to be avoided. A great example of these products are skim milk and margarine. Skim milk is nothing but pasteurized milk(dead) which has been processed into a powder form and then re hydrated with water. Margarine is nothing more than vegetable oil that has been through a harsh process including bleaching and adding colorings among other things. These products can sit on shelves much longer that fresh nutrient dense products can.
She then talked about good fats, which I've been familiar with for some time now, but it's always great to hear it again. It's so wonderful to learn something new or to be reminded of something I may have forgotten.
Sally shared with us the classification of all fats. The first kinds of fats are called polyunsaturated fatty acids. They're liquid at any temperature, very unstable, and delicate. Examples of these fats are soy oil (which is in virtually all processed food), peanut oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, and all other veggie oils. These are the oils that are prevalent in most of the processed foods we consume today. Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature but solid in the refrigerator. Examples of these fats are olive oil and canola oil. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. These include fats from raw dairy(pasture fed raw milk, butter and cheese), pastured animals, coconut oil, palm oil, bone broths and gelatin. At this point most people reading this will expect me to say that the oils to avoid are the the saturated fats since that is what we have been told by almost all health authorities in this country for the past 40 years. However, my advice to all is the EXACT OPPOSITE. Saturated fat is VITAL to have in your diet and you should avoid the poly and mono-unsaturated fats in your diet.
For some of you, this might sound very contrary to what you've been taught, but I assure you it's true. If you do a little research on the "lipid hypothesis" you'll find that it has never been proven true and valid. I will share a few links to books that will give you some info on this.
As a matter of fact the complete opposite results have been found according to the Weston A. Price foundation, that saturated fats make a healthy body. While a low fat diet may lower your cholesterol (and most likely does), it's been proven that these people die sooner. And this is why:
high cholesterol is not always a bad or negative thing. Cholesterol is what your body makes naturally to repair damage that has been done. If you're in a constant state of inflammation and not able to produce cholesterol to repair the damage, this can lead to serious health risks.
Many people on low fat diets can become seriously depressed because of the lack of certain vitamins they're not getting from avoiding saturated fats. Saturated fats have specific vitamins, A, D, and K, that you can't get from any other foods. These fats are essential for brain development, your heart, healing, building and regeneration. They are called fat soluble vitamins, which means they can only be absorbed with the help of saturated fats.
Saturated fats help you move closer to a state of homeostasis (balance). You need more of these fats, especially in the winter since there is less sunlight ,vitamin A and D levels are lower.
According to Sally, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids should be consumed in smaller amounts and foods that are highest in polyunsaturated fatty acids should be avoided completely. Eating too many of these isolated polyunsaturated fatty acids have been proven to result in free radicals circulating in the body and can lead to damage, premature aging and disease.

To learn more about these topics an to sign up for a free holistic nutrition and lifestyle assessment please contact me...

Allison Pelot