I'm Not Tired: International CFS/SEID/ME Awareness Day
May 12, 2015
Tomorrow, my sister Michelle and I will embark on a ten-week health overhaul, a candida/digestive health program from www.thewholejourney.com. It add...
April 25, 2015
From this point, I am adding more structure to this blog. On Saturdays, I'll give a general update on Michelle's and my progress with our illnesses a...
Creative Time Management Series
June 7, 2015
Round Two! Lizzie's Take on Low-sugar Autoimmune Paleo
March 1, 2016
Last year, I started this blog as Michelle and I began a two-month comprehensive anti-fungal/digestive health nutrition/supplement regimen (The Whole Journey Candida Cleanse). It was difficult, but it paved the way for my healthiest three months since I was diagnosed with CFS/SEID. But it wasn't 100% Paleo, and Michelle and I fell into a rut, eating the same handful of vegetables everyday and including more stevia and chocolate then we should have. But my blood sugar regulation drastically improved. Then vacation happened (read: sugar and processed junk). Then a way too busy semester with emergencies and other added stress thrown in. Then the holidays, performances, etc etc etc.....
I'm ready to go back and do deeper healing. This time, I'm doing it by myself. Michelle is now gluten-and-corn-free, and mostly dairy-free, which is working well enough for her. Doing this solo gives me the opportunity to focus on myself, do this as strictly as I'd like, and take the stress off finding food that Michelle, a pickier eater, might like.
I've crafted my own plan that merges the following ideas:
-Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP)
-The Whole Journey Candida Cleanse
Basically, I'm avoiding high-fermentable-fiber (high-FODMAP) and high-sugar foods, including most fruits, but I am allowing a cup of blueberries or raspberries a day, in addition to three servings of a starchy vegetable each day (enter parsnip chips and rutabaga fries). Sweet potatoes are out; too high in sugar/fermentable fibers. But the diet is not so low-carb that it will induce ketosis (which is a good thing....research has shown ketogenic diets can make candida, low thyroid, and adrenal problems worse).
I am combining this low-sugar approach with AIP, which is a meat and vegetable-based elimination diet. I'll be eating sustainable meat and fish and a ton of vegetables (except for high-FODMAP veggies and nightshade veggies). This will include a lot of soup/broth, gelatin (good-quality, Great Lakes brand), and organ meat (yum!....actually, NOT bad if you puree 1/8 cup grass-fed liver and mix it in with 1 lb. of taco meat as you cook it).
The one part of AIP I'm NOT doing: giving up coffee 100%. I've given it up before, so I know how it affects me, and as long as I don't chug an entire cup of caffeinated coffee at once, it doesn't seem to affect me too badly and it does wonders for my mood. So I'm comprimising and allowing myself 1 cup of whole bean, organic, swiss water process (for the decaf portion), 1/2-caff coffee each day.
Along the way, I'm making a greater effort to reduce stress, rest more often, and not pile my to-do list with things that don't absolutely have to be done right away. And I am mostly following the supplement protocol outlined in The WHJ Candida Cleanse: daily anti-fungal supplement rotation, Saccharomyces boulardii probiotics in the evening, biofilm disruptor once a day. But instead of using diatomaceous earth/bentonite clay like I did during the clease last year, I'm trying out Klaire Labs' Interfase, in small doses, as I know my body is very sensitive to biofilm disruptors. I'm starting with 1/4 capsule/day. I have also added one Prescript Assist soil-based probiotic in the morning. I seem to tolerate it really well.
As for how long I'm doing this....I don't know for sure. I'm in it for the long-haul, and I've accepted that (hey, as long as I can drink a cup of 1/2-caff coffee each day, I'm game for anything). I think if I view this program as a lifestlye rather than a diet where I'm counting down the days until I can eat a gluten-free cookie, I'll be more successful. But I will start to reintroduce certain foods after the first four weeks. Eliminating all high-FODMAP foods for longer than a month might actually be detrimental to my microbiome, so I'll start with reintroducing certain types of FODMAP's like onion and garlic. Depending on my success and how I feel, I'll reintroduce more from there. But I'm definitely sticking to low-sugar fruits for 6-10 weeks. I'll also lighten up on my antifungal supplements a little after the first six weeks.
That's the plan of attack! :D I started yesterday. I'm a little tired and out of it, but so far, so good (fingers crossed that I don't experience too rocky of an adjustment period these first two weeks). Here goes!
If you want to learn more about low-FODMAP, AIP, or The Whole Journey's cleanse,
check out the following resources:
thepaleomom.com (AIP, low-FODMAP)
The Paleo Approach (written by Sarah Ballentine, of thepaleomom.com)
chriskresser.com (functional medicine practitioner with articles including Paleo/low-FODMAP issues)
thewholejourney.com (not necessarily Paleo but you can apply a lot of her concepts to any kind of clean-eating diet; includes digestive healing, basic nutrition, and candida cleanse online programs)