My Wellness Journey: Part 3 | We’re All Human…

Wellness Cucina, Blog, Wellness Journey, Personal Chef, Dietitian, Nutrition, Leaky Gut

We’re All Human… | As crazy as it sounds, dietitians aren’t perfect! Shocking, I know!

This past week was difficult. I have been perpetually hangry, and craving carbs. For the majority of the week I was able to cope by eating large salads, and prepping a mix of raw veggies – cucumbers, tomatoes, heirlooms carrots, purple & green cabbage. I’ve been tossing the veggies in apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil – pretty delicious.

With candida, I can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to dress a salad. The essential oils of lemons contain mild anti-fungal properties; its main role in fighting candida is to promote liver detoxification as it works to fight candida. Apple cider vinegar potentially has enzymes that can help to fight candida; research is limited at this time…but this is the only vinegar allowed on a candida diet.

I’ve noticed that because non-starchy vegetables are the core of my meal plan…I am hungry every two hours. I’ve had to ensure that I have a healthy fat with all meals to making the meals more filling and sustainable. Tossing veggies with extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil has been helpful…adding sliced avocados to salads and making guacamole are also good ways to add more, calorically.

Choosing the oils mentioned above contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help the body fight candida.

So…this past weekend was St. Patrick’s day…a typical American drinking holiday. I did not partake as I did in my college years; I did however imbibe in a singular glass of red wine. I didn’t have any GI discomfort after having the wine, but I did notice that I did not feel as mentally clear, as I have been feeling, the next day.

As I’ve mentioned before a diet for candida is restrictive of alcohol, for several reasons: weakens the immune system, overloads the liver, increases stress on adrenal glands, and destabilizes blood sugar.

In addition to a glass of wine, I had a gluten free pizza with dairy free sauce, and no cheese…basically a GF disk with tomatoes. This was the worst decision I’ve made since I’ve started this journey – I was awoken at 3am by an excruciating stomach ache.

Started the next day off well, but we also had tickets to the Chocolate & Coffee Festival here in Albuquerque. (I purchased these tickets before I found out about my current GI sensitivities). I took two digestive enzymes prior to the festival and ensured that I only had sips of coffee, tiny bites of gluten-full bread, and dark chocolate.

Thankfully, this endeavor did not result in GI issues! It did however result in a sluggish feeling, a caffeine high/low, and again a lack of mental clarity. I was able to recoup, and felt a bit better, after consuming a green power shake from Purium®.

The gut and brain are connected and my experimentation with food this weekend is a great example of that! Knowingly choosing/consuming foods that have been deemed a sensitivity by a blood test and seeing/feeling the repercussions was a first hand reminder that staying strict on this regimen is key for long-term.

A leaky blood brain barrier stems from the gut; the tight junctions in the gut are supposed to allow only essential nutrients through…but when the gut becomes leaky the tight junctions allow particles that are not supposed to pass through into the blood. Factors such as stress, poor diet, change in gut microflora, and foods sensitivities can cause the gut to become leaky and inflamed.

Inflammation isn’t completely bad, it helps to bring protection and restoration to the body after an illness or injury or trauma or a stressful situation but if it persists and inflammation becomes prolonged, it becomes chronic and harmful. This can affect the brain, the body (every organ), and can lead to long-term diseases and/or autoimmune diseases.

Ending on a happier note…I’m back on track after this off the wagon weekend. Picking yourself back up, if you trying to lose weight or you are going through your own wellness journey, after having an off day or an off weekend is essential to staying focused and on your goals!

Stay updated this week with my Instagram account where I’ll continue to post the meals I am making.

My Wellness Journey: Taking on Sensitivities | Part 2

Wellness Cucina. Personal Chef, Diet, Nutriton, Wellness, Gut Heath

The Lifestyle Change Continues | A week and a half into this lifestyle change I am feeling exponentially better than I have in months!

As I mentioned earlier, I was experiencing GI discomfort with almost everything I ate; this made a lot of sense after the dietary antigen testing showed that 30 foods have a effect on my system. It is important to remember that these foods are currently causing issues; as long as you work to heal your gut, the majority of these sensitivities will go away.

This past week I have been really hungry, the majority of what I can eat consists of leafy green vegetables, chicken, salmon, and small amounts of grains/carbohydrates.

I’ve found that it has been imperative to have foods cooked in the fridge that I can easily reheat.

I always recommend meal prepping for my clients, it makes a life change transition exponentially more smooth. Taking one day a week, or two in my case, to cook several vegetables, several grains, and several proteins. Keeping variability in your meals is key to long-term sustainability …. I personally cannot eat the same thing everyday, so this is key for me!

I typically keep my veggies pretty simple…either roasted or sautéed so that I can add new and refreshing flavors when I reheat them.

In addition to eating within my restrictions, I’ve also started a supplement regimen. To my dismay every supplement I have incorporated is basically a horse pill – I am not great at taking pills, or should I say…I wasn’t great at taking pills. Sparkling water makes taking horse size pills a breeze!

Our digestive tracts are critical to our health is because 70–80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract! Our overall health stems from the health of our gut and the millions of bacteria that are in our gut.

Treating candida and leaky gut is a simple four step process:

  1. Remove foods and factors that are damaging the gut.
  2. Replace with healing foods (those your body can tolerate).
  3. Repair with specific supplements.
  4. Rebalance with probiotics.

Without a blood test, eliminating the top allergies can be a good place to start. Theses foods include: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy.

Nourish your body with wholesome veggies, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains – minimize sugar and alcohol.

Rebuild your gut with the help of several supplements. They goal here is to heal the lining of your gut and eliminate any fungal issues, and bad bacteria. Several supplements can help with this process: L-Glutamine, Digestive Enzymes, and then rebalance with probiotics.

L-Glutamine is an essential amino acid supplement that has anti-inflammatory properties which is necessary for the grow and repair of the intestinal lining. L-glutamine benefits include acting as a protector: coating your cell walls and acting as a repellent to irritants.

Digestive Enzymes primarily act as catalysts in speeding up specific, life-preserving chemical reactions in the body. Essentially, they help break down larger molecules into more easily absorbed particles that the body can use to survive — needless to say, an important role in digestive health. They ensure that foods are fully digested, decreasing the chance that partially digested foods particles and proteins are causing damage your gut wall.

Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria. It is important to vary the types of probiotics you are consuming because we have millions of different types of bacteria in our gut microbiome; switch up the probiotics you take often.

Consulting your naturopathic doctor or registered dietitian regarding the timing and quantities of these supplements is important for recovery.

I’ll continue to keep you updated as to the progression of this new, temporary, lifestyle change. Stay tuned for some of the awesome meals I’ve been making – no matter what your diet situation…your food can always be delicious!