Friday, December 31, 2010

Kefir Attempt Number 2!!

My last attempt at making a Kefir drink ended with my poor sister, a mop, and lots of sticky liquid everywhere, sorry Karol!!

This time I'm not going to add more sugar and trust that they are alive.  The raisin have even started dancing they are just moving about in the jar, I think there having a new years party!


This is the recipe I used this time:
20g of dried fruit (I used raisins)
1 litre of boiled tap water or natural mineral water
1 organic unwaxed lemon sliced
6 tbsp Sugar
water kefir grains (about 3 tbsp)

I dissolved the sugar in the water in an air tight jar and then added the water kefin grains, dried fruit and lemon.
The mix should be left for at least 1 day but no longer than 4. The longer it is left the the taste will suffer.

Once the drink is ready, take out the lemon and squeeze it into the drink. Pour the drink through a sieve. The drink should then be kept in an air tight container in the fridge.

Remove all the fruit from the sieve and clean the kefirs with mineral water or cooled boiled water. Clean the jar with water and begin the process again.

Can't wait to try it now, will let you know.

Shiny
xxx

No More Grains

I'm going to make a new years resolution, no more grain and starchy veg. yikes! Its going to be though. I've been doing the anti-candida diet for a while now but have had gluten free porridge oats for breakfast and a small amount of starchy veg in the evenings, like one small potato and some cooked carrots.

I guess I can still have buckwheat as this is not a grain. But what to eat for breakfast? Any Suggestions?

Missing my spuds already!!!
Shiny
xxx

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ketchup

I made some delicious ketchup today, cant believe how easy it was to make too. I cant give the exact measurements as I just randomly mixed it up to taste.

tomato puree
lime juice
stevia (you could use sugar if you don't have candida)
salt
apple cider vinegar

You just mix everything up and viola! So simple and delish.

Enjoy
Shiny
xxx

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Dessert

So I've been trying to plan my Christmas meal so I'm not left with a boring dinner.  I've pretty much sorted the main course so now on to the difficult dessert.   How the hell do you make a wheat free, diary free, sugar free, yeast free dessert?  Seems impossible!

I've searched and searched and even searched some more but there always seems to be one ingredient that I can't have.  Think I am going to have an experimental weekend in the kitchen.

Has anyone ever created a successful phase one dessert?

Shiny
xxx

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Gravy

I'm trying to plan my Christmas dinner so I'm not sitting there with a dry boring dinner, drooling over my sisters plate!  I decided to try making some gluten free gravy and it worked out so nice I couldn't wait to eat it again the next day.  Here is what I done:

2 cups of chicken stock (I plan on making my own stock for the final Christmas gravy recipe will follow)
Juices from a roast chicken
fat from roast chicken (or if you don't have any 1/4 cup of dairy free butter)
1/4 cup of buckwheat flour
Salt and Pepper

I got the fat from the chicken and mixed in the flour in a saucepan until it was bubbling, I then added the chicken stock and juices from the chicken.  I continually stirred this until it boiled then I let it simmer for 5 minutes until it had thickened, stirring occasionally.

This is so worth trying and really simple to make,  I will be saving the juices and fat from my roasts from now on!

Happy Cooking
Shiny
xxx

Chicken Gravy on Foodista

Homemade Mayo

I really missed creamy sauces and dressings on the anti candida diet until I realised how easy it is to make your own mayo.  Here is the recipe I use:

 3 egg yolks
300 ml of sunflower oil
1/4 tsp of mustard powder
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper

The ingredients must be a room temperature.  Put the eggs into a food processor and mix on the lowest setting until creamy.  You then leave the processor running slowly and slowly pour the oil into the eggs.  This is really important or the eggs wont mix.  You are just adding the oil drip by drip.  You will soon hear the mix starting to thicken and it will make a sloshing noise.

If the mix starts to split and is not mixing properly this may be because the ingredients are different temperatures.  Try adding a tablespoon of warm water.

Once all the oil is added you can add the lemon, mustard powder, salt and pepper and give it one last mix.  The mayo will then keep in your fridge for 2 weeks.  You can also added finely chopped garlic to make garlic mayo or even some chili there are so many options to make delicious meals.

Enjoy
Shiny
xxx

Fajitas Seasoning

I love Mexican food and fajitas are one of my favourite recipes.  Being on the anti-candida diet has made it more difficult to have this meal as there are preservatives and sugar added to nearly everything you need for this meal.  Here is my fajitas seasoning that I think beats any Old El Passo seasoning.

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
black pepper



I fry the chicken until the outside is completely white and starting to brown.  I then place all the above seasonings in a bowl with 200ml of boiling water and mix until all the powders dissolve.  Pour the mix over the chicken until it reduces and makes a paste on the chicken.

This is lovely with tortilla recipe I posted earlier.

Happy Munching!
Shiny
xxx

Tortilla Recipe

I have started making tortilla wraps when I need a really quick snack.  They are so easy to make and you can have them ready to eat in 5 minutes.  No messing!!  These are fab with any filling.

ingredients
1 1/4 cup of flour (I use buckwheat flour but I'm sure any flour would work)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of water (room temperature)
1/2 tsp of oil

mix 1 cup of flour with the salt and make a well in the center.  Add the oil and water. stir well with a fork until it forms a dough and clumps together in a ball.



Preheat a pan (with no oil).  sprinkle some of the remaining oil on a table and take a golf ball sized piece of dough and flatten it with your hand. keep turning it over making sure its well floured each time.  You can roll it out with a rolling pin.  Make it as thin as a tortilla wrap but be careful not to make it too big or it may be difficult to get off the table and on to the pan.  Bake on the pan for about 3 minutes on each side.



Enjoy
Shiny
xxx

Kefir

Ive started to read up on Kefir as I had heard of its great benefits for anti-candida.  Kefir comes from the Turkish word "Keif" which means "good feeling".  Kefir is a polysaccharide structure where several non-pathogenic, but friendly or healthy bacteria and yeast live in symbiosis. 

Depending on the fruits used to culture Water Kefir, we may be adding new friendly yeast and bacteria to our grains. Typical composition of Water Kefir grains is: Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus , Lactobacillus alactosus, Lactobacillus casei casei, Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus lactis, Streptococcus cremeris, Leuconostoc mesenteroide, Saccharomyces florentinus, Saccharomyces pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica, Candida valida.

Kefir works by slowly regulating the organism and helping it become healthier. Water Kefir can help in the treatment of nervous disorders, internal ulcers, bronchial catarrh, sclerosis, myocardial infarction, liver and gall bladder disorders, kidney problems, stomach and intestinal diseases, diarrhea or constipation, anemia, allergies, dermatitis and other skin problems such as eczema. It’s use on an ongoing basis proves to have excellent effects in convalescence after serious diseases. It can also help regulate blood pressure and weight control, and has good results during pregnancy and abdominal feminine discomfort.  Kefir prevents intestinal putrefaction, which is the cause of multiple disorders, and contributes to the body’s depuration. It doesn’t alter the digestive process. It should be drunk on a daily basis, and depending on the condition, once or more times a day. In chronic conditions, great quantities of Kefir should be drunk, 3 times daily, about ½ a liter (approx. 2 cups) each time.

To make a kefir drink you need the following:
1 large broad opening glass container with lid - exact size depending on the amount of liquid per batch you want to make. If you make the basic recipe exactly as listed below, probably a 1.5 liter capacity container will suffice. If your glass container does not have a lid, you can simply cover it by placing a plate on top or with some plastic wrap or cloth tied with a rubber band around the opening.

3 tbs. Water Kefir grains

50 g. Brown Sugar or Honey - you can use any preferred type of honey, and can also use white sugar or molasses as long as it is from sugar cane. (Don't worry about the sugar content if you have candida or are worried about the calories, the kefir grains eat the sugar and you don't consume the kefir grains)

1 or 2 dried figs – or any other dried fruit you prefer like dried prunes, apricots, dates, raisins, etc. Fresh fruits are also suitable, but need to be changed daily ones weekly, make sure the dried fruit is unsulfured.

½ lemon sliced

1 liter mineral or spring water – water without any chlorine should be used, so tap water is not suitable unless it’s filtered.

Put all the ingredients in the glass jar.  It will start to ferment over time.  You can leave it for 24 48 or 72 hours.  72 hours is the maximum time you can leave it.  The longer it is left to ferment the stronger it becomes and the carbonic acid increases every day so if you container is air tight sealed it could explode (more details on my own personal experience of this later!)  Make sure that the glass jar you are using has enough space for the gas to build up.  The jar should only be 3/4 full.

It is said that 24-hour Water Kefir acts like a laxative and 48-hour kefir regulates and replenishes the intestinal function.  The jar should be kept at room temperature but kept away from direct sunlight and heat.

Once the fermentation time has passed you can strain the liquid and squeeze the lemon that was in it.  The drink is best drank cold from the fridge and will keep in the fridge for 3 days in an air tight container. Wash the grains with mineral or filtered water and clean the jar but do not use soap.  You can then begin the process again.

I got my water kefirs from a woman on boards.ie,  I put them in a jar with the water, sugar, lemon and sultanas.  After the 1st day I was not sure if the kefirs were still alive as they had been sent during the very cold weather and also my house was very cold at the time.  I changed the liquid to young coconut water(from cans got in an Asian shop) and left for 24 hours in a warmer house.  The next day I was not sure if this was working so put in some more sugar and marked that glass with some tip ex to indicate the level of water.  This way i would know if the kefir were alive as they would eat the sugar and the water level would drop.  I think i might have gone a little crazy with the sugar though as it exploded, the whole bottom came off the jar!!  Pity really cause this meant the really were alive and kicking!

So I still have not managed to drink the kefired water or tell of my experience of health improvements etc but I am determined to make this drink and have ordered more kefirs as those were destroyed.  Has anyone else has success with kefir grains?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Candida Tests

The list of symptoms is very long and its probably a very good idea to get tested if you have some of these.  Especially if you haven't got severe symptoms as these may develop over time or they may become chronic.  Its possibly quicker to treat if caught early.  Here are a few ways to get tested:

Spit Test
One simple test that you can do at home is the spit test.  When you get up in the morning get a glass of water.  You need to do this before you put anything in your mouth.  Gather up the saliva in your mouth and spit into the water.  You should keep an eye on the water for the next 15 minutes and see if any of the following happen:
  • Your saliva stays at the top and you see thin strands that look like strings or legs extending downward.
  • Your saliva floats to the bottom and looks cloudy.
  • Your saliva is suspended in mid-air and looks like little specs are floating.
If you have any of these in your glass it is a sign that candida is present.

Candida Questionnaire
With the questionnaire you answer a series of questions, at the end you are given a results that may indicate if you have candida.  Here is a link to a questionnaire:
http://cassia.org/candida.htm

Medical Test
You can have a blood test done that tests a combination of IgA, IgG and IgM. None of the Ig tests are reliable alone. They must be used as a combination.  I has this test done with the fitzwilliam food test in Dublin.  They sent out a finger prick kit.  You simply prick your finger and send back the blood for testing.  I received my results in less than 10 days.  I also confirmed my results with the spit test.  If you have a positive result with the spit test I would recommend this intolerance test too as food intolerance's are often associated with candida.  
Here is a link to the fitzwilliam food test:

Happy Spitting!!
Shinny
xxx

So What is Candida?

Candida affects so many people and most don’t even know they have it.  People suffering from candida often go from doctor to doctor looking for help for the problems but get no real help.  This is because main stream medicine does not recognise the effects of Candida apart from thrush.  I believe this may be down to the profits made from repeat prescriptions from their patients if they are never cured.
Candida albicans is a yeast that naturally lives in the body but if the balance of  bacteria is upset this can cause the yeast to multiply and take over from the good bacteria.  Once the candida takes over and travels through the body it can show as many different symptoms.  Here are some of those:
  • abdominal gas and bloating
  • acid reflux
  • acne
  • athlete’s foot
  • anxiety
  • chronic pain
  • cognitive impairment
  • constipation
  • cravings for alcohol
  • cravings for sweets
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • earaches
  • eczema
  • excessive fatigue
  • headaches
  • hyperactivity
  • indigestion
  • inability to think clearly or concentrate/ brain fog
  • inability to loose weight
  • irritability
  • itching
  • learning difficulties
  • low sex drive
  • migraines
  • mood swings
  • muscle weakness
  • persistent cough
  • poor memory
  • pre-menstrual syndrome
  • rectal itching
  • sensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals
  • sinus inflammation
  • thrush
  • vaginitis
Candida is considered to be a leading contributor in alcoholism, anxiety disorders, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, addisons disease, multiple chemical sensitivities, crohns, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, pms, endometriosis, fibromyalgia syndrome, prostatitis, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, food allergies, muscle and joint pain, clinical depression, psoriasis, lupus, repeated urinary tract infections, hormonal imbalances, migraines, digestive disturbances, difficult menopausechronic pain, tourette's, vulvodynia, rheumatoid arthritis and many more.  Most of these require a lifelong medication plan.  So why would a doctor want you cured? 

Not everyone gets all the symptoms they can vary from one person to another and often move back and forth between systems within the same individual. From the list I would say that I had 7 of them at some stage in my life. One day you may experience symptoms in the musculoskeletal system and the next day it could be the digestive system ,etc.

You might not think you have candida even if you have some of these sympthoms.  I first read about Candida 10 years ago and thought I might have that but did nothing about it back then.  But if I knew how simple it was to diagnose I may have taken it further.  In my next post I will tell you about getting diagnosed and a simple home test.

Shiny
xxx

Simple Tasty Bread Recipe

I thought it was about time that I shared one of my recipes.  I was fed up trying to find a bread recipe that had no xanthum gum or some other ingredient that was on the no no list.  I decided to just make up my own and see how it went.  To my surprise it was a great success and stays fresh for a whole week.  The bread is mainly made from buckwheat.  But don't let that put you off, it has not connection to wheat!!

Technically, buckwheat is not a grain. It’s not even related to wheat. It is a seed, from the rhubarb family, but one that can be used in a wide range of recipes in a manner similar to wheat. The people of China and Japan, where it originated, have reaped its health benefits for centuries, but it remains relatively new to us. 
It is high in fiber and protein, and is a good source of iron and magnesium.  Buckwheat also contains rutin, a substance believed to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thus helping to prevent heart disease.  For all those with hemorrhoids, rutin is believed to get rid of them!

2 Cups of Buckwheat flour
1 Cup of rice flour
2 1/2 Cups of water
2 tbsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs whisked well (I can't have egg whites so I only use the egg yolk but I mix it with 1 tsp of organ no egg and 2 Tbsp of water)

You simply mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then combine with all the wet ingredients. Mix well.

Place in a greased bread tin and bake at 200C.
I bake it for 30 - 35 minutes but oven times may vary.

Hope you enjoy!
Shiny

Monday, November 29, 2010

Apple Cider Vinegar

I had heard that Apple cider vinegar and candida yeasts do not get along so I thought I would give this a go.  I put 2 teaspoons of it into 500ml of water and drink it throughout the day.

When choosing your apple cider vinegar it must be raw unfiltered and unpasteurized.  I found Braggs in my health food store so purchased that one.  At first I didn't like that taste much I thought it was a bit like drinking liquid chips, but now I find its like apple drops.  Much better than liquid chips!!

Apple cider vinegar is delicious, rich in vital nutrients, and truly a valuable item in your diet. Most vinegars in the shops have been pasteurized, even distilled, and filtered.
That kills all the good stuff!

Apple Cider vinegar is rich in natural enzymes which aid digestion. It also helps to restore the natural balance of healthy bacteria in the gut by creating a perfect environment for those healthy bacteria to grow, all while keeping yeast like candida in check. 

Some people with candida find that it aggravates there symptoms but this may be due to the candida die off reaction.  Personally I don't think I have any problems with it so I'm going to stick with this one.

What are your thoughts on ACV?
Shinny
xxx

Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling has been mentioned in the ancient texts of Ayurveda.  According to oilpulling.com "The healing process is accomplished by the human organism on its own. In this way it is possible to heal cells, tissue and all organs simultaneously, the body itself gets rid of toxic waste without disturbing the healthy microflora." 

Oil Pulling involves swishing 1 tablespoon of either sunflower oil or sesame oil around your mouth for 15 - 20 minutes first thing in the morning, before washing your teeth.  It is recommended that you use cold pressed oils.  You basically just swish the oil around your mouth pulling through your teeth.  Once the time is up you spit it out and rinse your mouth.

Common diseases like allergies, common cold and cough, Candida, dental caries, gum diseases, infections in the mouth, keratosis pilaris, ear, nose, throat, eyes, and pains like headache, migraine, tooth pain, neck pain, back pain etc, allergic sneezing, lip cracking, fevers, irritability etc cured.

When I first heard about oil pulling I thought it was crazy.  How could swishing oil around your mouth and spitting it out have any effect on your health.  I had first heard about it when I was trying to find a solution for Keratosis Pilaris (little red spots on the backs or arms and thighs).  I dismissed it as something ridiculous.  However I have since read that it helps with Candida too and having Candida is probably the reason I have keratosis pilaris.  I thought I would give this ago, as it was not going to cause me any harm.

After three days of doing this first thing in the morning I noticed my throat glands swelling up, they remained like this for a week and I felt like I was getting a sore throat but it never fully developed.  I not sure if they were related but I think so.  I also had a problem with my jaw, on and off for the last 10 years my jaw would get very sore and I could not open my mouth very far.  This could last for a few days up to a few months.  When I started the oil pulling my jaw had been sore for about 2 months.  After the second day of oil pulling I could fully open my mouth.  This of course could be a coincidence but it will be interesting to see if it comes back.   I also feel my keratosis pilaris (such a ridiculous name!) has started to clear up, and the skin on my feet looks a lot better.

Has anyone else tried oil pulling and found it cured anything?  I would love to hear your experiences.

Shinny
xx

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pau d'Arco Tea

For ages I have been searching for Pau d'Arco tea once I heard of its benefits, its used to treat fungal, bacterial and parasitic infections. Oddly there was no sign of it in my local health store but I was delighted when I found it in Nourish in Dublin.

As happy as I was to find this tea I also dreaded the taste.  This was going to be disgusting.  But if there was a chance it would help I was willing to give it a try.   You can imagine my amazement when it tasted like caramel!!  Maybe it only tastes like caramel to the non sugar eaters but I thought it was delish!  I am now trying to drink 3 cups a day although have only managed 2 a day.

I read more about this tea on http://www.paudarco.org/   Here it said Drink up to one liter daily for as long as six weeks, then take a four-week hiatus prior to resuming another six-week course of Pau d'Arco treatment.  There are also some other cautions so I recommend reading this before you decide to drink it.

Im not sure if its better to take this in supplement for or tea.  Has anyone any ideas?  Do you think it tastes like caramel too!

FOS - Warning

I started taking large doses of probiotics after reading a book called The wonder of probiotics by John R. Taylor and Deborah Mitchell.  I started to do the Flora Blitz.  This involves taking high doses of probiotics for 5 days then reducing the amount and taking them for another 5 days, again reducing to a lower level and then onto a maintenance level. 
I started to takes Udo’s Super 8, these contained more bacteria than recommended in the book.  I am taking one with each meal and Im not going to reduce them until the entire bottle of 30 is gone.  I also started taking FOS.  FOS is supposed to be a prebiotic which creates a friendly  environment for the good bacteria.  However I noticed that i started to get diarrhea  and suspected that this was due to the FOS as it is fibre. I found an interesting article about FOS and as a result I will not be taking it anymore.  It suggests that it also creates a friendly environment for the bad bacteria too! Yikes!!!  Going straight home to bin every bit of FOS whether is true or not I aint taking any chances!  Still taking the probiotics though.
Here is a link to the article:
http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/knowledge_base/kb/fos_fructooligosaccharides.htm

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

About Me

For over ten years now I have had problems with my digestion.  I was constantly bloated, looking about 3 months pregnant the whole time. I would have, ehem, frequent trips to the loo and lots of gas! My sister liked to refer to me as a gas bag!! nice!  I also get very bad headaches and migraines where my hands would even curl up and get tunnel vision.  I'm still not entirely sure this is associated with my digestion problems but i reckon so.

I went to several doctors but they all said that it was most likely irritable bowel syndrome.  They made the diagnoses based on my story and did not rule out any other conditions.  Unhappy with this diagnosis I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some research.  This led me to a book called Fat Around the Middle by Marilyn Glenville. I followed the advice she gave in the book, low and behold my stomach shrank.  I should also say that I was religiously going to the gym at the time but had been doing so for a year and had not shifted a pound in that time.  However that week I lost a whole stone.  Obviously this was just my bloatedness going but hey what a result.  I concluded from this that I has an intolerance to wheat.


Sadly though this was not to last.  My stomach gradually started to reappear even though I was still off the wheat.  At this stage I couldn't really remember what I had and hadn't eaten that week so was unable to figure out what it could have been.  I tried avoiding few other foods such as tomatoes, dairy and then dairy and wheat together.

I was giving up hope so decided to do a blood test with the Fitzwilliam Food Test clinic in Dublin.  The test was sent to my home, where I then done a finger prick test and sent it back.  I had the results back very quickly.  The test showed a high intolerance to Corn, Dairy and Yeast.  My Borderline foods were egg whites, chillies, wheat, sheep's and goats milk, and plums.  I was sceptical of doing this test from the start but quickly removed these items from my diet.  Martin Healy, from the Fitzwilliam food test, then rang me and went through the foods with me.  He mentioned my major problem with yeast.

After my phone call with him I started to remember reading about Candida Albicans.  I done the home test for this where you spit into a glass of water first thing in the morning.  If you had a candida overgrowth in your system then little tails would come out of the spit and head down to the bottom of the glass.  From this test I was then positive I had candida albicans.

I began the anti-candida diet.  As the weeks went by I continued to eliminate extra foods from my diet.  I started making all my foods from scratch.  Banned Sugar along with my intolerant foods.  Straight away I felt much better.  The gas issue started to subside and began to deflate!

I decided to start this blog to share my progress with others and share some tasty recipes that I started to make.

I would love you to leave comments and share your experiences.
Shiny
xxx