Chocolate Cooking Class info & Recipes

Cooking Class 2.12.2017
Chocolate Info

Cacao can fuel energy and mood. It is an excellent source of fiber good source of protein and iron. It is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. A half half a cup of raw organic cocoa powder has 110 cal, 2 g of fat 16 carbohydrates, 10 of which is dietary fiber. It contains 8 g of protein and will give you 10% of the iron you need for your daily requirements. It is considered a stimulant and should be eaten occasionally not every day.

Cocoa beans are the fermented seeds of the cacao tree. The fruit of the cocoa tree is a pod full of sweet pulp enfolding a cluster of about 20-40 cacao seeds. Cocoa refers to the low-fat constituent of the finely ground cacao beans. These ground beans, known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, also contains cocoa butter which is a non-dairy, naturally occurring fat. Cocoa butter is a mixture of monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and saturated fats, namely stearic acid and palmitic acid. About 50-60% of cocoa liquor consists of cocoa butter.

Cacao bark, butter and flowers have also been valued since ancient times for treating various diseases like skin ailments, bowel malfunction and wounds. Cocoa has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities. Health benefits include relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, constipation, diabetes, bronchial asthma, cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome and various neurodegenerative diseases. It helps to improve cardiovascular health and brain health. It also helps in treating copper deficiency.

Commercially available chocolates and cocoa-products may not be rich in the original beneficial flavonols since their properties get destroyed by over-processing and heat. In order to obtain the benefits of cocoa, it is important to consume the correct source of cocoa. Milk/dairy blocks the absorption of the antioxidants in chocolate, so be sure to check the labels!

Antioxidant Capacity: Studies have shown it is evident that cocoa exhibits higher antioxidant activity than against green and black tea, and red wine. Antioxidants helps to neutralize the oxygen-based free radicals that are present in the body. Cacao is abundant in phenolic phytochemicals and possesses a high amount of flavonoids as well.

Of course, everything in moderation!

 

 

Jodi’s Sweet Potato Brownies
Grain Free, Paleo, GF, Dairy free
Happily serves 12

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

2 medium Sweet Potatoes
14 Medjool Dates
1 1/2 Cups Quinoa or Almond Flour
4 TBSP Raw CACAO Powder
3 TBSP maple Syrup (Grade B) or Coconut netar
Pinch of sea salt

Peel Sweet Potatoes. Slice/cut and steam for about 20 mins until soft.
The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook.

Add Sweet Potatoes and Dates to food processor, blend until a creamy smooth texture.
Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, then add cream mixture. Stir well.
Place on Parchment paper lined baking dish and bake for 20-30 mins on 350 until the toothpick comes out dry.
Allow to cool 10 mins for the brownies to gel together, very important step!!

Tip: If you don’t use raw cacao powder, you cause conventional cocoa powder but you will need to double the quantity.

 

 

Chocolate Nut Butter Cookies
GF, Refined Sugar Free
Happily serves 12

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Chocolate Peanut or Sunflower butter
3/4 Cup Coconut sugar
1 egg

Combine all ingredients. Bake on 350 for 7-8 mins.
If you are not using an already flavored nut butter, you can use a regular nut butter and ad 1/4 cup raw cacao
Chocolate Iced Coffee Protein Shake
Dairy Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
Happily serves 1

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

2 TBSP Raw Cacao powder
2 TBSP Collagen Powder
2 oz Coconut milk
2 oz Cold brew (optional)
4-6 oz Chai Tea or water
Dash of cinnamon
Stevia Powder if desired sweeter
Ice

Blend all ingredients in bullet/blender, transfer to shaker bottle.

Homemade Magnesium Body Butter

Want to make your own muscle relaxing lotion? Such a simple recipe and easy to make! If you do not wish to take the short time to make it, you can see my dear friend, Colleen Sinclair, owner of the Siphon Draw Apothecary.  She makes wonderfully combined skin care products from all natural organic food sources.  Also as a Holistic Nutritionist, she understands the biochemistry of the body and that’s it’s not just what we put in our body, it’s what’s absorbed on and in our bodies and skin. Www.siphondraw.com for more information.

This recipe contains avocado oil, which has naturally occurring magnesium and potassium that help hydrate the skin. Avocados are one of the most mineral-rich superfoods in the world. In addition, magnesium oil is added — it’s transdermal so can pass through the skin into the body.

Also, to naturally calm the body, this recipe contains lavender essential oil, which can relax muscles and reduce the effects of stress.

Apply this CALM magnesium body butter recipe today to naturally increase minerals and healing compounds in your body!

Dr. Axe explains it very simply:

Check out this video on YouTube:


Homemade CALM Body Butter Lotion
Total Time: 45 mins to an hour

Serves: 30-90
ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup Avocado oil
1/4 cup Magnesium oil
1/2 cup Cocoa Butter
30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Large Glass Jar or Small glass Jar
DIRECTIONS:

In saucepan with water over low heat, place a jar containing the cocoa butter.
Once melted, pour into bowl and let cool in fridge for 30 minutes.
Using a standard mixer blend and whip it.
Once whipped add in magnesium oil, avocado oil and essential oils and mix.
Transfer to glass jar or plastic container and keep in refrigerator for 90 days.

Sugar Cookies

Vegan, Gluten Free
Happily Serves 24

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

COOKIES
1/2 Cup Vegan butter or butter
2/3 Cup Monk Fruit
1 tsp Vanilla extract
3 Tbsp Chickpea brine or flax egg, or 1 egg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea salt
1 2/3 Cups gluten free flour
2/3 Cup Almond flour
1/3 Cup Arrowroot
1 TBSP Almond or nut milk

FROSTING (optional)
1/2 Cup vegan butter
1 1/2 – 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 TBSP Almond or nut milk

Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment paper OR spray with coconut oil spray.
Add softened vegan butter (not melted or cold) to a mixing bowl and beat/whisk until creamy and smooth.
Add monk fruit and mix on medium speed until fluffy
Then add chickpea brine (or other egg substitute) and vanilla and mix again.
Add baking powder and sea salt and blend well
Then add gluten free flour blend, almond flour, and arrowroot and mix on low until the ingredients are combined.
Add almond milk and stir.

The dough should be thick, moldable and a little difficult to mix at this point. If too soft, continue adding a mixture of gluten free flour blend, almond flour, and arrowroot until a thick, moldable dough is formed. If too thick, thin with a bit more almond milk.

Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. Once chilled, use a spoonful of about 11/2 TBSP of dough and roll into balls – the dough will still be soft. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and press down gently with the back or your spoon to smash slightly.
Or you may roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until about 1/4-inch thick and use cookie cutters dipped in flour before pressing into the dough. Use a floured spatula to gently scoop onto baking sheets.

Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before scooping and baking

Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until the cookies appear fluffy.
Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.

To make frosting, add softened vegan butter to a mixing bowl and whisk/beat until soft.
Sift in powdered sugar in small amounts and mix, add the vanilla and whisk.
Continue adding powdered sugar until you have spreadable frosting.

Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before scooping and baking.

Struggling with Depression??

Do you struggle with Depression or know someone who does? Tired of being pushed the drug route? Want to heal your body naturally?  Try a few of these herbs.  You  can take them in combinations in tea form or supplement form.  If you need help deciphering what you think you need first, let me help you sort it out before you spend extra money trying to experiement on your own.

Herbs for depression
Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola rosea (Crassulaceae) is a perennial plant that grows in cold, alpine regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Its roots contain a sap that has long been used to improve physical and mental endurance, relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, and even lift mood and alleviate depression symptoms. This is why it is considered to be an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps normalize the body’s response to stress, and maintain optimal homeostasis by balancing the immune system and endocrine hormones (http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/342/review45139.html).

Numerous scientific studies, including research conducted and compiled by Dr. Zakir Ramazanov, a former Soviet soldier-turned-doctor, has revealed that rhodiola rosea can be safely used to reduce recovery time after workouts, improve attention span and memory, improve physical fitness and performance, enhance psychomotor function, and alleviate depression and anxiety (http://rhodiolarosea.org/rhodiola-benefits/).
100mg of Rhodila a day (Dr.Weil.com)

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjQgnxzR

St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), a plant native to temperate and subtropical regions of the world, has long been used in many cultures to treat depression. Numerous research studies, including a 2008 study published as part of the Cochrane Systematic Review, have found that St. John’s Wort is at least as effective as standard antidepressant drugs at treating mild to moderate depressive disorders, but with few potentially harmful side effects (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192435.htm).

When taken as a whole extract, St. John’s Wort has also been shown to help naturally alleviate sleep disorders, promote relaxation, and boost energy levels in such a way that avoids the “spikes” and “plunges” typically associated with consumption of caffeine and other stimulants. St. John’s Wort is considered to be a safe, inexpensive herbal remedy that can help promote improved overall mental health.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSFGRPF

Camu Camu
Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a tropical rainforest plant whose berries have the highest known levels of natural vitamin C in the world. The plant’s fruit, which is naturally tangy and sweet, contains a host of nutrients, including vitamin C, that fight the negative effects of the herpes virus, promote immune health, alleviate inflammation, and fight bacteria and viruses. Camu Camu also has adaptogenic properties that normalize bodily processes during stress, and help relieve symptoms of depression.

In his Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing, Dr. Gary Null, Ph.D., critically-acclaimed nutritionist and researcher, lists Camu Camu as the second most potent known plant for containing natural antidepressant compounds — and best of all, eating camu camu has absolutely no know negative side effects
Therapeutic Ranges for Vit C falls between 3000-5000mg day

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSTNQ4d

Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an Indian plant that has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, contains powerful adaptogenic compounds that are known to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. The plant is also known to help fight degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Several studies, including one published in the journal Phytomedicine back in 2000, have found that ashwagandha works as well as, or better than, antidepressant drugs at relieving anxiety and treating depression symptoms. And ashwagandha naturally prevents stress-induced free radical damage without causing harmful side effects (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm).
Ashwaganda can be up to 6000mg a day, suggesting to be taken in 3 doses divided.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSWnAz2

Maca
Maca (Lepidium meyenii), also known as “Peruvian ginseng,” is a root vegetable that is packed with amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Like the other herbs mentioned, it has long been used in traditional medicine to increase energy and stamina, enhance libido, and boost the immune, adrenal, and endocrine systems.

In a 2008 study published in the journal Menopause, researchers found that maca helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in women with menopause (http://drtorihudson.com). And in a 2006 study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that maca clearly exhibits general antidepressant activity in all people when consumed.
Maca can be 500-2000mg a day. (macaextract.net)
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSfMG5m

Aminolase: Protein Nutrition

PROTEIN NUTRITION
Aminolase. Arthur Andrew Medical
30 capsules $24.99
90 capsules $69.99

Worth every penny for anyone “training” and not just “working out!”

Ideal for body builders, runners, fitness enthusiasts, or anyone with an active lifestyle, Aminolase represents a breakthrough in protein nutrition for those using protein supplements or meal replacements to help build or maintain healthy muscle mass and accelerate muscle recovery. Aminolase should be taken with protein rich foods and all protein supplements including the following: whey, milk, casein, soy, pea, rice and hemp. Protein supplements are one of the richest sources of all nine essential amino acids that the body is unable to produce on its own; however all protein must first be processed into a usable form, which includes essential amino acids and beneficial peptides (i.e., Di and Tri-peptides). To be effective, protein must be broken down into a smaller particle size within approximately 90 minutes of consumption. This transit time represents the time from which protein passes from the stomach through the small intestine where digestion/absorption primarily occurs; from there it will be assembled into muscle building protein (a bio-usable form). Undigested protein will simply be excreted from the body, resulting in increased kidney stress and wasted amino acids, essentially pouring your expensive protein supplement down the toilet.*

Servings Per Container: 30
Consume 1 capsule of Aminolase™ per 25 grams of protein. Aminolase capsules may also be opened and added directly to your favorite protein supplement, or taken with any protein rich meal.

Serving Size: 1 capsule
Amount Per Serving:
Aminolase TPA™ … 250mg
Acid Stable Protease Blend
Other Ingredients: Cellulose (vegetarian capsules)
Aminolase is free of dairy, gluten, and soy allergens. Contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

Winter Squash Pancakes

Winter Squash Pancakes

Vegan, GF, Refined Sugar free
Happily serves 4

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
PANCAKES
1 cup Cooked and smashed winter squash
1/3 cup cashew cream or vegan cream cheese
2 large eggs (or flax egg)
1/2 cup coconut yogurt
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
A dash black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose GF flour
coconut oil for frying pan

TO FINISH:
Crispy Sage Brown Butter:
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
A pinch or two of salt
A few fresh sage leaves

In a large bowl, whisk squash, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and baking powder until smooth.
Add flour and stir until just combined. Batter will be thick.

Heat skillet medium-low to medium.  Coat the bottom with coconut oil, and spoon in pancake batter,  flatten the pancake slightly.
Cook until golden brown underneath, flip and cook until golden brown.
Lower your heat, if it’s cooking too fast. If you’re worried pancakes have not cooked in the center, you can finish them for 10 minutes in a 250 degrees oven.

To finish, wipe out frying pan and add butter (or you can use coconut oil), a Dash of salt and sage leaves, heating over medium heat. The sage leaves will crisp and the butter will brown in a minute or two so keep a close watch on it. Pour leaves and butter over pancakes

To roast squash: For butternut or kabocha, roast it face-down on an a baking sheet sprinkled with coarse salt at 375 for 40 to 50 minutes, until tender.

The differences between Green, Black, and Oolong Tea

Green tea is the least processed and thus provides the most antioxidant polyphenols, notably a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea. Green tea is made by briefly steaming the just harvested leaves, rendering them soft and pliable and preventing them from fermenting or changing color. After steaming, the leaves are rolled, then spread out and “fired” (dried with hot air or pan-fried in a wok) until they are crisp. The resulting greenish-yellow tea has a green, slightly astringent flavor close to the taste of the fresh leaf.

In black tea production, the leaves are first spread on withering racks and air-blown, which removes about one-third of their moisture and renders them soft and pliable. Next, they are rolled to break their cell walls, releasing the juices essential to fermentation. Once again, they are spread out and kept under high humidity to promote fermentation, which turns the leaves a dark coppery color and develops black tea’s authoritative flavor. Finally, the leaves are “fired,” producing a brownish black tea whose immersion in hot water gives a reddish-brown brew with a stronger flavor than green or oolong teas.

Oolong tea, which is made from leaves that are partially fermented before being fired, falls midway between green and black teas. Oolong is a greenish-brown tea whose flavor, color and aroma are richer than that of green tea, but more delicate than that of black.

Green tea has always been, and remains today, the most popular type of tea from China where most historians and botanists believe the tea plant originated throughout all of Asia. Why is this so? Perhaps because green tea not only captures the taste, aroma and color of spring, but delivers this delightful bouquet along with the highest concentration of beneficial phytonutrients and the least caffeine of all the teas.

10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & What To Do About It

by Dr. Amy MyersApril 4, 2013
You might be wondering: What on earth is candida?

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its main job? Helping out with digestion and nutrient absorption.

But when overproduced, candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.

How do you get candida overgrowth?

The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, a few factors can cause the candida population to grow out of control:

Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
Consuming a lot of alcohol
Taking oral contraceptives
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like Kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles)
Living a high-stress lifestyle
Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
What are common symptoms of candida?

Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
How do you test for candida overgrowth?

Blood test

You’ll want to start by checking your levels for candida antibodies called IgG, IgA, and IgM. This can easily be done through most medical labs, and high levels can clue you in to an overgrowth of candida.

 

 

How do you treat candida overgrowth?

To successfully treat candida, you need to do three things: stop the yeast overgrowth, build up the friendly bacteria, and heal your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

First step: getting rid of the candida overgrowth, which mainly requires switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Sugar is what feeds yeast. So start by eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms — such as candy, desserts, alcohol, and flours. At the same time, cut back to just 1 cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates, like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes. This will help prevent the candida from growing and will eventually cause it to die.
I also recommend eliminating all fermented foods. That’s because, while it’s common knowledge that fermented foods help to feed the good bacteria, most people don’t realize that bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well.

Still, using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. So, I often recommend that my patients use an anti-fungal medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin, for at least a month.

If you are self-treating, you can also take a supplement of caprylic acid. Caprylic acid, which comes from coconut oil, basically “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die.

And while some people recommend using herbs like oil of oregano, I don’t recommend it since it can also kill the good bacteria.

Next, you should rebuild the good bacteria that typically keep your candida population under control. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics on a regular basis should help to reduce the candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria.

Finally, heal your gut. Eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract — and introducing foods that help — will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and dramatically improve your overall health.

Want to find out if you have candida overgrowth? Consider seeing a functional medicine doctor who is trained in detecting and treating candida.

More information below: This article has been updated as of November 1, 2016 by mbg editorial to include new studies, information, and data on candida.

Is candida a fungus?

Yes, yes it is. More specifically, candida is a yeast. There are many different forms of candida, but Candida albicans is the main species colonizing the human body.

Candida normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to candida overgrowth. When there is disruption of the delicate balance of the good and bad bacteria, Candida albicans will take over, leading to common conditions like oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and diaper rash. If you have ever taken antibiotics, you were probably warned by your doctor about the risk of developing a yeast overgrowth—this happens because the antibiotics can wipe out your gut bacteria, good and bad, creating an environment that is ripe for yeast and fungi to take over.

Is candida a yeast infection?

Technically yes, candida is a yeast infection but this warrants clarification. When most people say “yeast infection” they are referring to a vaginal yeast infection but the candida symptoms and causes we are discussing here pertain to the gut. Typically, yeast overgrowth is treated using antifungal medications, but these medications can have unpleasant side effects and it’s common for the yeast overgrowth to return as soon as you stop taking them. For example, many women suffer from chronic yeast infections because they medicate without completely understanding the connection between the microbiome and yeast balances in the body. Changing the yeast infection recurrence, like with candida, often requires a lifestyle or dietary change.

Not to mention, like antibiotic resistance, microbiological resistance to these conventional antifungal drugs is becoming problematic and it’s causing researchers to start looking for alternatives. Which is all the more reason to educate yourself and try to understand your yeast issues on a deeper level.

How candida affects your gut

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million different times, but while yeast infections and diaper rash are well-known conditions and generally easy to spot, when overproduced in the gut, candida will break down the walls of our digestive tract and penetrate the bloodstream. When left untreated, it’s more dangerous than you think.

Candida can also be toxic to the system. Essentially, when candida breaches the intestinal barrier and enters the bloodstream it releases toxic byproducts—including acetaldehyde—into your body. Acetaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen and is responsible for “hangover” symptoms such as nausea, headache, fatigue, and liver damage—definitely not something you want floating around in your body in large quantities.

Candida and leaky gut

If you are thinking this sounds a lot like leaky gut, you are already ahead of the game. The connection between candida and leaky gut is intricate. A leaky gut creates the perfect environment for candida to multiply, pass through the intestinal lining, and enter the bloodstream along with the undigested food particles. This is characteristic of leaky gut syndrome. Meanwhile, candida itself can colonize the gut and damage the intestinal lining. If you have one, you’re probably more likely to have the other. They can also exacerbate each other, creating a situation where your gut health quickly snowballs into dis-ease.

Candida, the liver, and detox

Similar to leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth releases toxins into the bloodstream that must be filtered by the liver. If there are too many toxins due to candida overgrowth, it can overload the liver and interfere with its ability to do its job. This means over toxicity and trouble maintaining blood sugar levels, storing vitamins and minerals, and regulating hormones.

The connection between candida and the liver explains why many of the symptoms of candida overgrowth—like irritability, fatigue, and brain fog—are similar to those of an overburdened liver. It also explains why many candida cleanse or diet programs include liver support supplements and detoxification support.

Candida and inflammation

Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, an overburdened liver, and the physical and mental symptoms they create can trigger the immune system to react, causing chronic inflammation. Inflammation can manifest itself in uncomfortable symptoms like weight gain, skin rashes, or brain fog and can eventually lead to autoimmune disease.

The relationship between candida, the liver, inflammation, and gut health is extremely complex, but it’s helpful to remember that everything in the body is connected. Different organs rely on and interact with each other. Adopting a holistic approach instead of treating each symptom individually will give you the best chance at achieving optimal health. This is a perspective that is often missing in the conventional medical approach, leaving many people bouncing from one specialist to another, with a bunch of symptoms they can’t quite connect.

Causes of candida

The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. The bad news is that many different factors can disrupt the delicate gut balance and can cause the candida population to grow out of control:

Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. Carbohydrates and sugar act like food for yeast and feed candida overgrowth in the gut.
Consuming a lot of alcohol. Most alcohol is fermented and contains sugars that will also feed the yeast.
Taking oral contraceptives. The birth control pill can disrupt the bacterial balance in the microbiome.
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like kombucha, sauerkraut, vinegar, and pickles). These foods often contain yeast or have small amounts of alcohol that is produced during the fermentation process.
Living a high-stress lifestyle. Stress can slow down digestion and trigger inflammation.
Taking a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with harmful bacteria which sets the stage for Candida albicans to take over.
Taking corticosteroids. Drugs like Prednisone, commonly used to treat severe allergies, skin problems, asthma, or arthritis are known to cause yeast infections in humans.
A weakened immune system. As you may know, a good portion of the body’s immune system resides in your gut. A compromised immune system puts you at a higher risk for gut imbalances and candida overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth and asthma

Essentially any medication, food, or lifestyle factor that disrupts the body’s natural environment can change the balance of the gut and set the stage for candida. Certain chronic diseases, like asthma, may require frequent antibiotic use and daily inhaled steroids, creating a perfect storm of factors that can lead to yeast overgrowth. If you have a chronic inflammatory condition that requires medication, it might be wise to see a functional medicine practitioner to see what you can do to counteract the effects of these drugs.

If you are someone who suffers from frequent colds, sore throats, or sinus issues, it’s important to note that antibiotics are one of the most prevalent causes of candida overgrowth, and also one of the most unknown. Remember that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and should only be taken when necessary. Overprescribing antibiotics is a big problem in Western healthcare system and they can have negative effects on the microbiome, which dampens your immune system, leading to a greater susceptibility to the same conditions they are meant to treat.

At home candida test: the simple spit test

There are a few different tests for candida and none of them are error-proof, so it’s important to consider your symptoms when trying to determine if candida might be a problem for you. If all of your tests come back negative but you suffer from many of the symptoms of candida, you can always try making the recommended diet and lifestyle changes and see how you feel.

This do-it-yourself candida spit test lacks scientific backing, but many candida experts suggest it as simple, free, no-risk starting point. It works like this: when you wake up in the morning get a clear glass of water, before you brush your teeth or drink anything gather some saliva in your mouth and spit into the cup. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then observe what you see. If your spit looks particularly cloudy, or you see small white projections coming out of the saliva, it could be a sign that you have candida and you might want to try one of the more established tests mentioned above.

Candida cleanse: foods to avoid when you have candida

Sugar

Cut down on sugar. It’s important to note that this includes many salad dressings and condiments and even natural sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, and agave. This can be a difficult adjustment, even if you are mindful of your sugar intake, completely eliminating sugar can leave you with strong cravings and feeling irritable.

Sugar has a strong effect on your body and brain and cutting it out can be difficult. Scientific research has shown that high glycemic index foods are linked to strong hunger and food cravings.

Carbohydrates

Many foods containing carbohydrates, especially complex ones, are not inherently bad for you. But when you are fighting yeast its very important to cut off its food supply completely, or it could take longer to get your symptoms under control. It’s a challenging lifestyle change, expect some slip ups and don’t beat yourself up.

Candida-friendly foods

At this point you might be wondering what you are able to eat. Nuts and seeds, avocado, vegetables, lean protein, and stevia for sweetener will be your allies on this candida diet. To help you get an idea of the daily routine of the candida diet we have provided a day’s worth of meal examples.

Candida diet: best foods for candida

Breakfast: for breakfast try unsweetened coconut yogurt with strawberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and almonds. This will include lots of healthy fats and keep you feeling full until lunch.

Lunch: try a big leafy green salad and make a dressing using olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Top it with quinoa for some protein.

Dinner: grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables are all candida friendly.

Snacks: try making homemade guacamole and eat it with raw veggies or flaxseed crackers. Hardboiled eggs or mixed nuts are also great snacks on the candida diet.

Still not sure where to begin? Check out these 8 Recipes For The Candida Diet where we give you some great recipes that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Candida diet: foods to eat when you have candida

While it is important to eliminate certain foods, it can also be beneficial to incorporate candida-fighting foods into your daily routine. Thankfully, there’s a long list of delicious foods that have strong antifungal properties.

Raw Garlic

Garlic is one of the best options for fighting yeast, one study showed that garlic oil was able to penetrate the cellular membranes of Candida albicans and very successfully disrupt the normal activity and functioning of the yeast.

Coconut oil

In a study conducted at Tufts University, coconut oil was suggested as the first effective dietary approach to fighting candida.

Olive oil and cinnamon oil

A recent study exploring alternatives to conventional antifungal medications demonstrated that olive oil and cinnamon oil both successfully combatted candida isolated from bloodstream infections.

Lemon

Citrus fruits have long been known for their antiseptic qualities and can help prevent the formation of biofilms (a film of bacteria that adheres to a surface).

Wild salmon

This excellent source of omega-3s can help fight fungal infections.

Ginger

Ginger was recently suggested as a natural antifungal option to during a time when many fungi are becoming resistant to conventional antifungal medications

Apple cider vinegar

It’s the only vinegar allowed on the candida diet, as it contains minerals that will help fight against yeast.

Cloves

Cloves have long been used in traditional medicine systems to fight a wide variety of ailments, including fungal infections.

Probiotics, prebiotics and supplements for Candida

Adopting the right diet is arguably your most important tool when fighting candida.

Diflucan and Nystatin are only available through your doctor, so if you are self-treating, another great supplement to fight candida is undecylenic acid. This is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is thought to be even more effective than caprylic acid in fighting yeast and helping to maintain a healthy microbiome.

When choosing a probiotic, here’s a tip: pick a good quality probiotic that includes the lactobacillus strain, as some studies have shown it to be particularly effective at fighting yeast.

If you are suffering from any of the GI conditions listed above, probiotics can even more important to maintaining your good health. Some studies suggest that prebiotics and probiotics will start to be included in the standard treatment protocols for inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis because of their ability to help control symptoms and exacerbations.

Fiber supplementation is also frequently suggested in candida treatment plans. Yeast overgrowth occurs in the digestive tract and its important to flush out those areas and keep things moving. This limits the amount of time the candida has to colonize and cause damage. Some good fiber supplements include acacia fiber or even raw chia seeds taken regularly. Fiber is also prebiotic, helping probiotics do their jobs better.

You can also consider herbal remedies with antifungal properties. Ayurvedic experts recommend valerian, wormwood, and mugwort. There are also plenty of probiotic foods and fun teas that can be easy to add to your daily routine.

What is candida die off?

It’s possible that in the beginning of your candida-fighting mission, you will experience something called candida die-off. This is similar to the flu-like symptoms you can experience when you start a detox program. While this is largely unstudied and unquantified from a yeast standpoint, the Herxheimer reaction is a byproduct of metabolic processing. (Most research here has been done on patients with syphillis. As your body gets rid of toxins and the yeast dies, your symptoms may get worse before they get better. Like any detox, start out slowly, drink a lot of water, rest, and if symptoms are too uncomfortable, ease up on your anti-candida regime or adopt a gentler approach. Keep the faith that you will start to feel better, look for signs like more restful sleep, well balanced blood sugar levels, and more mental clarity.

How to heal your gut after having candida

Once you have the yeast under control—which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months—you can start slowly adding different food groups back into your diet.

However, it is important to continue to avoid inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract. Remember, the strong relationship between candida and leaky gut? Many people with candida overgrowth also have a leaky gut and that can put them at increased risk of food sensitivities. You want to make sure you are not continually disturbing the intestinal lining as it tries to heal.

Foods like sugar, coffee, grains, alcohol, dairy, and starchy plant foods can all be very irritating to the intestinal lining and increase the risk of candida getting out of control again. Limiting or avoiding them might be wise, and make sure that if you do consume them, you pay attention to how you feel afterwards.

If you are thinking that this guide was helpful, but it is just too complicated an endeavor to take on by yourself, consider seeing a functional/integrative medicine doctor, or holistic Nutritionist.

Most integrative/functional medicine providers are trained in detecting and treating candida and many will even advertise candida as one of the conditions they are able to treat. Some facilities and providers even have specific candida treatment and prevention programs in place.

Can candida overgrowth cause adrenal fatigue?

In case you needed another reason to adopt a self-care routine, stress management can be one of the most important tools in fighting candida. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation, which slows your ability to digest and inhibits your immune system. This is a problem because along with your good gut bacteria, your immune system works to keep candida in check. When your stress response interferes with your digestion it can pave the way for candida to overproduce. Adopting healthy coping mechanisms to deal with daily stress can be a very important tool in the prevention and treatment of candida overgrowth.

A word on exercise: although exercise can be a great stress-reliever it can also initiate the body’s stress response and lead to the release cortisol. Mild exercise like walking or gentle yoga, at least for the initial stages of the diet as they can lower cortisol levels. Yoga and meditation can be helpful tools for fighting candida. They will decrease stress and activate relaxation pathways in the brain and body. If you are worried about sticking to the diet, meditation and yoga can help you detach from the challenges and refocus your energies on healing from candida.

Yoga poses to help with detoxification

Yoga can help heal candida overgrowth Here are a few different types of poses to try if you’re battling candida.

Twisting poses are known to help with digestion and detoxification, as they massage the abdominal organs. Here are a few twisting yoga poses to try while you’re fighting candida:

Seated spinal twist
Supine spinal twist
Standing twists
Inversions revive our energy and help with blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification, among other things.

Simple variations to prep for handstand or headstand
Restorative poses (first pose in this sequence)
Headstand
Breathwork activates our parasympathetic nervous system, reducing blood pressure, helping with respiratory conditions, and also re-energizes us.

Pumpkin Cornbread

PUMPKIN CORNBREAD

Vegan, GF, Dairy Free

Happily Serves 8

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

¾ cup almond or coconut milk, room temperature

¼ cup Coconut vinegar

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup GF All purpose flour (can sub quinoa flour)

½ teaspoon Himalayan Sea salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup softened coconut oil

cup brown sugar, packed (can sub coconut sugar)

1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups fresh pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a 9 in cast iron skillet (or square pan) with cooking spray.

Stir together nut milk and vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Whisk together your dry ingredients: cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and set aside.

Whisk together coconut oil and granulated sugar until well combined.

Whisk in pumpkin puree.

Stir in almond milk/vinegar mixture.

Now stir in your dry ingredients.

Mix until just combined.

Don’t over mix, or you’ll end up with tough bread!

Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly and then serve immediately 

More Cornbread Recipes

Black Bean Burrito – Indian Style Recipe

Indian Style Black Bean Wrap

Vegan, Vegetarian, GF

Happily serves 4

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Cup sweet potatoes or quinoa (or half cup of each)
1 Cup green bell pepper
1 Cup Red bell pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 TBSp +1/2 cup vegetable or bone broth
2 cups black beans drained and rinsed
Sea Salt and black pepper to taste
Romaine lettuce

Chop onions and garlic. Let sit for 5-10 minutes
Prepare other vegetables.
Salute onion, garlic, ginger, and peppers in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add garam masala and sweet potatoes and mix well.
Add 1/2 cup broth and cook covered on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Add beans, Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lettuce wrap all veggies and Enjoy!

Black Bean Burrito