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.


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!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


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)
apple cider vinegar

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


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?


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

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.


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!

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.

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.



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,  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:

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!!

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.


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!