Apple of My Eye

 

woven appleThe Rose family has always been prominent, both celebrated and infamous – the eye of a storm of rumors and beliefs in cultures world-wide. They are associated with Love, Sweetness and with the color Red. Of this prestigious lineage, sweet, humble Apple is known world-wide for her reliable tastiness, abundance, and sensual symbolism.

Adam and Eve at the Apple Tree
Adam and Eve at the Apple Tree

 

The Apple tree is sometimes cited as the tree from which the devil tempted Eve to eat of the ‘Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’, and since that time, Apple has earned herself a duplicitous reputation in more ways than one.

An Apple was put upon the table of feasting Greek Gods with the note: ‘for the most beautiful woman in the world‘. Naturally, this mischievous message started an argument between the Goddesses present. The ‘Apple of Discord‘ incident eventually culminated in the Trojan War.

 

Roman_Tomb_Apple

 

Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, is often seen carrying the Apple of Discord. Roman husbands, mourning the passing of their beloved ladies, often commissioned elaborate tombstones of their deceased soul-mate holding this very same apple – to show the world that to them, she was the most beautiful.

Apples in Japanese Pop culture are used as a symbol of Love, in the much the same way hearts are used in North America.

poison appleAt the center of an apple are seeds containing the deadly poison cyanide; a toxic dose of cyanide, inhaled, can stop a heart. This same poison is the weapon of choice for several perfidious but lovely members of the Rose family. Some believe it bears a symbolic warning about the nature of Love.

 

Apple-Cinnamon Bacon? I'm Yours!
Apple-Cinnamon Bacon? I’m Yours!

Apple has certainly maintained the family image in many ways, with her throngs of followers and paramours; as well as her on-going and much publicized romance with Spicy Cinnamon. Together they have popularized an entire genre of scented candles, massage oils and romantic recipes.

 

Tune in next month, near Valentines day, when we will discover the lives and loves of Apple’s most romantically daring cousin and namesake of the family, the enthralling Sex Symbol: Rose.

 

Pecan Pie Granola

I_Heart_GranolaPecan Pie Granola

This granola is a filling and hearty breakfast that can be enjoyed on a Candida program. Serve it with freshly-blended cashew milk. It has a sweet and toasty, satisfying crunch.

Pecan Pie Granola can be made gluten-free by substituting the barley, spelt and oats for gluten-free rolled grains, and trading the wheatgerm for ground almonds or coconut.

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup each of:

  • Rolled Barley
  • Rolled Oats
  • Rolled Spelt
  • Wheatgerm
  • Cashew pieces
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pecan pieces
  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Plus:

  • ¼ cup Bee Pollen granules
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs (optional, for those who like bitter chocolate)

Mix the above ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine and mix the following spices:

  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Clove
  • 2 tbsps. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia extract powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt

Add the mixed spices to the grains and stir gently. Combine the following ingredients in a small pot on the lowest heat (just enough to melt the coconut oil).

  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Almond extract
  • Small (160ml or 5oz) can of coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil

Once melted, pour over the grains and spices and mix it all together thoroughly with a large spoon or clean hands.

Spread the granola over a baking sheet and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to prevent it from browning excessively. Remove the hot granola from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container once completely cool, at room temperature. Makes 5 cups or 20 servings.

* Recipe by Kalyn Byrne 2013

Blackberry Lemon Fizz

blackberriesThis is so simple, I can barely call it a recipe. One way to increase your water intake and satisfy the urge to snack is to become a master of making fancy beverages. Combine your daily serving of fruit with some club soda, lemon, or herbal tea to make a variety of alcohol-free cocktails. This is but one example:

Blackberry Lemon Fizz

1/2 handful of ripe blackberries                                                                                            1/4 lemon                                                                                                                         350ml (10oz) Club Soda or Sparkling Water

In a tall glass or tumbler, squeeze the 1/4 lemon to extract the juice; if it is organic, throw the peel into the bottom of the tumbler. Add 1/2 handful blackberries. Fill the glass 1/3 full of club soda/sparkling water and mash everything up with a mortar (or other blunt instrument if you have no mortars lying around). Fill the glass up to the rest of the way and serve. Or put an umbrella in it if that makes you happy!

Enjoy your cocktails frequently, with varying ingredients as suits your mood. Remember to stick to your daily fruit allowance if you are on a Candida program.

 

Candida-Free Phase 1: The Candida Program

part2_strawberryBelow is a brief over-view of the Candida cleanse. It consists of a dietary lifestyle change, and herbs/supplements to remove yeast and fungus from the body. The diet (without herbs/supplements) is safe for almost anybody, and can be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women as well. The herbs and supplements are generally safe for healthy individuals; you may wish to discuss them with your Healthcare Allies (naturopath, herbalist, MD).

   Get Back to Life Through Eating

The dietary restrictions are based on avoiding simple carbohydrates (sugars, starches) and focusing on an abundance of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Complex carbs take longer to break down into glucose, and provide a steadier supply of blood sugar and less fuel for bodily yeasts.

part2_roastvegWhile avoiding simple carbs will starve candida, we are not interested in starving you. Eating until you are full and staying satisfied is important, and snacking is encouraged. Eating a wide variety of foods from plant and animal sources is encouraged. Enjoying diverse and plentiful proteins and healthy fats is also encouraged. Try to buy whole fresh foods (vegetables, fruits, grains and meat) so you know exactly what you’re eating, and always check the ingredients of processed foods for the following items.

What to avoid: Especially for the first 30 days, it is imperative to avoid these foods entirely.

– All flour and products containing flour
– All dairy and dairy-containing products, with the exception of butter
– Sugar or sweeteners of any kind
– All yeast or food containing yeast/yeast extract, including foods and beverages fermented with yeast
– Peanuts, citrus fruits (except lemons), melons, tropical fruit, grapes and mushrooms (except medicinal mushrooms), dried fruit- Wine, BeerLimit these foods:

Handful-sized amount of non-tropical fruit daily (peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears)

Up to 2 cups of coffee with no cream or sweetener

Up to 2 ounces of hard alcohol (distilled 40% or greater) per week

part2_grainsWhat to Eat:

About 20% of the diet is protein foods, the other 80% complex carbohydrate foods. The exception to the rule is fish, which can be eaten as often as you like. This ratio creates an alkaline environment, undesirable to yeast.

Protein Foods Complex Carbohydrate Foods
Animal proteins which do no contain additives (preservatives, colors, added flavors or sugar)Plant proteins (beans, legumes, grains) All nuts and seeds except peanuts
All vegetables and root vegetables (limit potatoes to 2 potatoes per week)
All leafy greens (salad-type vegetables)

For a list of possible food choice suggestions in each category, I found this webpage helpful.

What happens if I slip up?part2_fish

Some websites try to scare you, saying it is all over if you slip up just a little! This is so unfair; don’t let it discourage you from trying a candida program. If you slip up by accidentally ingesting the wrong food, or through giving into a moment of craving, don’t stress about it. Just go back to the diet, and do your true best. Remember, you are doing this for your own well-being, and not to prove anything to anybody and not as a form of self-torture.

The length of your candida program will be decided by your healthcare practitioner and you based on your progress. The more you stick to it, the quicker it will go by, and the more you will learn to love the foods that make you feel so good!

Herbs and Supplements to Enhance and Comfort

The easiest way to do a Candida cleanse is with the pre-boxed kits they sell at health food stores. I recommend this for first-time cleansers because it takes all the dosages and guess-work out of the equation; it makes it easy to choose between the hundreds of combinations of herbs you could take if you decide to make your own formulas. You will want to stick to a program for at least 1 month, so make sure your cleanse kit lasts that long – you may need to buy 2. Always read the instructions on your kit! Below is a brief guide to many common ingredients and approaches to removing yeast/candida.

Common Components in a Candida Cleanse:

1. Antifungals: Herbs/Supplements to speed along the die off process

For this, I am using  the supplements provided in a pre-boxed Candida kit, plus the Easy Anti-Candida Potion Tea recipe,  and Candida 30x homeopathic

2. Antioxidants & Protectives: protect your body from toxins as they are released.

  A combination antioxidant is best, with Vitamins A,C,E and flavonoids from fruit. Milk Thistle is a supportive hepatoprotectant and antioxidant for the liver.

3. Carminatives & Digestive Aids: make the process more comfortable, they soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive system, prevent excessive gas, bloating, and cramping, and increase the breakdown and absorption of food nutrients.

I will be using a wide-spectrum digestive enzyme (1-3 capsules before each meal), and taking probiotics in whole foods form (home-made sauer kraut and kim-chi) as well as an acidophilus-bifidus probiotic capsule (strength 24 billion) before bedtime. Ginger is my stand-by for stomach upset or cramping, taken as a strong tea of the fresh root.

4. Support your liver and other eliminatory organs in their task of sorting and removing the waste – milk thistle, dandelion, nettle, diuretics, tonic laxatives

  I am using andrographis, a bitter digestive / general tonic, 1 capsule before meals. CL  herbal extract is a kidney-supporting tincture I will use, as well as LBT3 (a bowel tonic), to keep things flowing smoothly.

WholisticWorkSheet5-3smallest5. Provide physical and emotional support for your personal needs:  blood sugar balancers, mood relaxers, and enzymes (ie Candizyme) that breakdown acetylaldehyde, the toxin commonly released by the die-off of yeast (reduces symptoms such as fatigue and headache).

    For my blood sugar (to reduce cravings) I’m using 200mg Chromium, twice daily. I take a Rhodiola root capsule (500mg) twice daily to keep my mood up, and I have Candizyme on hand in case I feel a headache or brain fog coming on.

I hope this information is helpful to you in setting up your own cleanse, however you choose to do it. Please take a moment to tell us about it in the comments section below, or share on facebook in our Candida-Free New Year cleanser’s group. Cheers!

Fresh Blended Nut Milk

nuts-seeds-organic

It only takes 30 seconds to whip up some nut milk for your coffee or granola. Here is the quick method I use each morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw nuts or seeds (pecans, cashews, almonds, filberts, walnuts, brazil nuts or shelled seeds from hemp, pumpkin or sunflower all make delicious milks)
  • 1/2 cup water (or just enough to cover the nuts/seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • pinch salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree on high for 1 minute or so, until you get a smooth mixture. Add 500ml (16oz) water and puree again for another minute.

Pour the nut milk into a nylon bag (like a jelly bag or a nut milk bag) and squeeze to extract all of the liquid. Store your nut milk in the refrigerator and use within 3 days, shaking before use if it separates.  If you are putting the nut milk in a recipe or on granola, you don’t have to strain it at all.

nutmilk blender
Cashews, cranberries, matcha, inulin and vanilla extract, ready to become nut milk.

Yummy additions to your nut milk:

– frozen or fresh cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc            -matcha green tea powder               – real almond or orange extract        – stevia or inulin for a hint of sweetness                                        – cacao or vanilla powder                 – substitute prepared tea for water in the recipe

I would love to hear your favorite nut milk flavors and additions in the comments below!

Don’t forget to use the leftover strained nut/seed granules in recipes in place of flour – my raw vegan friend has a recipe for dehydrator cookies I will try to post in the future. Ciao!

Cravings, Tastebuds & Satisfying Snacks

Cravings, Tastebuds & Satisfying Snacks (To Get You Through the First Month)

foodcravingsCravings can be the most difficult part of beginning a cleanse. If you are like me, food offers a lot of comfort. The first week of detoxing is often intense, resisting desires for old favourites like breads or sweets. Stay strong – a lapse in your program now can bring those cravings surging right back to the surface! This is why a ‘clean break’ from junk food is best. Rest assured, though: cravings do not last forever. After the first 4-7 days, cravings fade daily, with each day being easier than the last.

Herbs to balance blood sugar may help dull cravings by maintaining an even keel in your glucose levels. They are a good idea in the beginning of a cleanse for those who experience cravings. Chromium picolinate or Chromium GTF (400mg daily) and B-vitamin complex (50mg daily) increase your ability to adapt to new blood glucose levels, and so minimize cravings.

This Iris even LOOKS delicious!Flower Essences can be helpful as well, especially if you draw emotional comfort from food, and feel a little lost or blue without snacks to help you cope. A great Flower Essence for cravings is Iris, for those with a tendency to hypoglycemia, using sweets to repress creative urges or to substitute for the natural high of inspiration. Other Flower Essences specific to cravings are Evening Primrose (prone to overeating), Self Heal (relying on food to heal a lack of confidence), and Snapdragon (always needing to chew or nibble for comfort). The Three Yarrows of protection, especially Pink Yarrow, are useful when we use food to create a shield around our emotionally oversensitive selves (ie. eating to avoid having to talk to strangers in social situations).

5 tastesAn important part of cleansing is creating desire for new and unique foods by changing our tastebuds. This means exposing yourself to flavours you may not have considered in the past. Many people who get a bad case of candida are predisposed to it by their eating habits. Most of us crave simple carbs, in the form of sweets and starches – and these are the fuel yeasts love. We just can’t seem to stay away from them, and this is one reason candida sufferers often require more than one cleanse in their lifetime. When we learn to love foods that are rich in people-nutrition, candida cannot thrive. In the interest of changing our tastebuds, it is important to avoid sweet flavors, even artificial sweeteners or non-sugar sweets. Instead, we can learn to desire savoury, spicy, tangy, umami (meaty) and sour tastes. Here are a couple of crunchy, rich, and flavourful snacks that can help you become addicted to savoury and lose the sweet-tooth:

Crispy Crunchy Greens

Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

Ready-made snacks that can be enjoyed on a candida cleanse include: salted kettle potato chips, fresh veggies, olives, Corn-Nuts (plain salted variety), salted and buttered

TGI Cinnamon!

popcorn. Some treats to placate the occasional sweet craving include lemon in sparkling water, herbal tea ice cubes, flavoured perrier, hot chaga-latte (recipe coming soon!), chai tea, vanilla tea, peppermint tea, and cinnamon sprinkled on anything.

Treat yourself to these unusual flavours, and don’t forget to stay full. You can do it!

Sources:

366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans and Grains, Andrea Chesman, Penguin Books 1998.

Flower Essence, Emotional Alchemy and Spiritual Evolution, Terry Willard, Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, 2007.

Candida-Free Phase 1: Detox & Get Psyched

mr-clean Candida-Free Phase 1: Detox & Get Psyched

Starting off a Candida cleanse with a general detox serves multiple purposes:

1. prepares the exit channels of the body to handle the mass of toxins that will be leaving during the program

2. clears out excess mucus and material from the GI tract, to enhance absorption of nutrients, and leaves behind an environment unsuitable for yeast

3. shortens the duration of the candida program, sometimes by as much as half

As if the reasons above are not enough, a good detox will also allow our lymph to flow optimally, and begin us on our way to balanced blood sugar. All this makes a detox a great first strike for our program.

It also gives us a milestone; after 12 days of detoxing I feel clear-headed, alive, and proud of the accomplishment – which is a wonderful way to start the candida program!

My first enthusiastic urge was to make my own 10-day tea-based detox, along with the diet prescribed in Candida cleansing. This is fine and good; however, when I cleanse, I can get cranky (especially in the first few days). The intial detox will be the time during which some of us (me, maybe you, too) will deal with our worst cravings; so, I’ve decided having to prepare teas everyday is going to be an extra stress I can do without!

Wild-Rose-DetoxFor the purpose of keeping it simple, I will be using the Wild Rose 12-day D-tox; it’s an easy to use, pre-boxed detox kit so it requires little effort on my part. It’s also familiar to me and I know how my body reacts when I use it. There are a number of great detox kits in your local health food store, I don’t endorse any one in particular, and I would love to hear which one you have chosen on facebook or in the comments section below.

Another way I can make this detox effort-less is to plan a menu and prepare frozen meals. I plan a large meal for each day, a few sides for lunches and breakfasts, then fill in the corners with cooked or fresh veggies, nuts and seeds, and my daily piece of fruit. For a peep at my menu, click here. I like to double the freezable recipes, then store them for those nights I don’t have time to cook.


psyched_babyHow I Getting Psyched Up for a Months-Long Cleanse:

1. Be mentally prepped for those first few nights of cravings (flower essence!)

2. Say a sweet goodbye to my favourite food, goat cheese with cranberries (I’ll think of you often, then, not-so-much)

3. Get a promise from my life-partner not to eat junk-food anywhere near me

4. Have my low-effort detox plan, and my squirrel stash of ready-to-eat foods

5. Stay busy: fill the time I normally get cravings with fun activities (for my first night of cleansing, I’m drinking a kava concoction and whiling away the hours reading fortune cards with my dear old friend Miriam)

I believe I am prepared to embark on the first leg of my cruise into Candida-Free land! The next blog will be about cravings and snacking and will be out tomorrow. Look out for Candida-Free Phase 2: The Candida Program sometime before January 17th. Cheers!

 

Sample Candida-Free Menu

Bag_of_GroceriesSample Candida-Free Grocery List

It can be hard to know what to cook when you are new to cleansing. Even experienced cleansers can have blah days,  feeling uninspired in the kitchen.

Here’s a sample menu for the first few weeks of the candida cleanse. Most of these recipes can be found in 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains by Andrea Chesman. I modified a few of them to fit the cleanse; I will post more, full-length recipes in the future as I modify and try them out.

Candida Menu/Grocery List:

Sushi  (Sushi rice, Seaweed sushi wraps, Avocado, Pickled ginger, Cucumber, Crab meat, Candida-friendly mayo, Green onion)

Polenta (Medium-grind cornmeal, Butter/olive oil, salt)

Crunchy Chickpea snacks (Uncooked chickpeas, Hot sauce, Ground cumin, Garlic powder)

Carmelized Onion & Kidney Bean Spread (olive oil, salt, pepper,onions, hard-boiled egg, cooked kidney beans)

Smokey Corn & Kidney Bean Salad (can corn, can beans, 3 colors of bell peppers, scallions, 2 tomatoes, lime, parsley/cilantro, chipotle en adobo)

Risotto with Butternut Squash(onion, garlic, rosemary, Arborio rice, butternut squash, miso, salt and pepper)

Chinese Fried Rice  (2 eggs, black sesame oil, onion, Chinese cabbage, carrot, garlic, white rice, braggs amino acids, bean sprouts, peas, scallions, pork or shrimp)

Blackbean & Sweet Potato Cakes (3 sweet potatoes, can blackbeans, chives or scallions, cilantro, 2 eggs)

Chilli  (Onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, can red kidney beans, can crushed tomato, ground beef)

Lentil Burgers (Dry green/brown lentils, brown rice, cumin, onion, carrot, garlic, coriander)

Granola (Rolled oats, barley, and spelt; toasted wheat germ, slivered almonds, nuts, coconut shreds, coconut milk, vanilla extract)

Hummus (Garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon, scallion/green onion, parsley)

Rose Sauce (Can of tomato paste, coconut milk, can peppers, garlic powder, onion powder)

Tomato Coconut Cream Soup (Coconut milk, basil, can tomato paste, garlic/onion powder)

Pizza Popcorn (Popcorn kernels, Butter, Tomato paste, Garlic powder, Italian seasoning)

Sauteed Brocolli and Cauliflower with Chickpeas (Broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, olive oil, 6 anchovy fillets, parsley, cooked chickpeas)

Coconut Squash or Mushroom Soup (Coconut milk, squash, candida-friendly soup stock, onions, miso, shitake, enotaki, lion’s mane mushrooms)

Tomato, Bean Arugula Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette (garlic, ACV, can white kidney beans, 4 large tomatoes, large bunch of arugula, sweet onion, capers)

Apples & Onions (Apples, onions, salt, pepper, chipotle powder, butter)

Green Chips (Leafy greens, olive oil, s&p, spices, almond butter)

Kim chi (chinese cabbage, green onions, ginger, garlic, non-iodized sea salt, daikon radish)

Additional foods stuffs to buy: raw nuts (for nut milk) – almonds, cashews; pistachios, plain almond yogurt, frozen corn, frozen peas, bacon, tuna, rotisserie chickens, easy to cook meat pieces, 1 pot roast, spinach to wilt and freeze, coconut meat for vegan bacon, coconut oil, apples, fresh vegetables, chia seeds, coconut oil, coconut milk, tomato paste.

Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

Crunchy Chickpea SnacksCrunchy Chickpeas Snacks

I found this high-fiber treat in 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains by Andrea Chesman, an astonishingly thorough resources for cleanse-friendly vegetarian or gluten-free protein options. I will be using a lot of her recipes throughout the cleanse to broaden my experience of grains and legumes.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked chickpeas                              6 cups water                                              1 tsp ground cumin                                           4 tbsps Louisiana hot sauce                     Garlic powder                                                    Salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the beans with the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain well. Toss the beans with the hot sauce and cumin.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (cleanse modification: coat lightly with coconut oil). Bake for about 25 minutes, until the beans start popping, shaking the baking sheet a few times while they bake. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the beans are well-browned and crunchy. Sprinkle the chickpeas with garlic powder and salt to taste and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Source: 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains by Andrea Chesman (Penguin Books, 1998).

Crispy, Crunchy Greens

A Toasty bowl of Crispy Greens.

 Crispy Crunchy Greens

I can’t make these melt-in-your-mouth crispy greens fast enough to keep up with demand, which makes them an extra-special occasional treat. This recipe is super easy, and can be made in the oven or a dehydrator.

Ingredients:

8-10 cups fresh leafy greens (any combination of leaves from dandelion, spinach, kale, beets, sage, mustard greens, arugula and swiss/rainbow chard)

2-4 tbsps Coconut oil, melted (Olive or another vegetable oil will do in a pinch)

seasonings to your taste (pinches of cayenne, salt and pepper, garlic or onion powder, or other favourite flavours)

– 2-3 tbsps almond butter or tahini

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (see step 5 for dehydrator instructions). Wash leafy greens and spin or dry them as much as possible. If your greens have thick center stems in the leaves, cut out and discard them. Put the greens in a large bowl.

2. Combine the oil, almond butter/tahini and spices until well blended. Drizzle this mixture over the greens, and, using a spoon or clean hands, rub or toss the greens until each leaf is lightly coated.

3. Lay the coated greens in a single layer (or close to) on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. Keep a sharp eye on them over the next 4-8 minutes as they crisp very quickly (I have burned more than a few batches in my day). The edges may brown slightly before the center of the leaves are crisp.

4. Remove and allow the greens to cool slightly on their trays, then use a spatula to carefully lift them onto a flat surface to cool completely. They keep crispy best when stored in a ziploc in the refrigerator.

5.  Dehydrator Method: After coating your crisps, lay them in a single layer (or close to) in your dehydrator. Making green crisps in the dehydrator takes between 1-3 hours, but allows you to walk away from them and do other things without the risk of burning them. You will know they are done when they are thoroughly crispy. Another advantage to using the dehydrator method is that you can coat your chips with heart-healthy PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids), due to the lower temperature.

These crisps make a nice substitute for croutons in a salad, or to sprinkle on baked potatoes. They are so tasty, they probably won’t last more than a day or two anyway. Enjoy!