What is Iridology?

IrisBorder

You can go directly to the Iridology Tutorial October 2017, or read this article for a glimpse into the realms of the Iris.

What is Iridology?

Iridology is the examination of the iris of the human eye and interpretation of markings in the iris to relay information about a person’s body and state of health.

Iridology is my favourite healing modality – the amount of information I can share with my clients about their bodies, just from a quick peek in the eyes, is startling! The Iris is a breathtaking structure, unique as a snowflake, and the study of Iridology is a joy to me, as well as a constant learning opportunity.

What is an Iridologist?

An Iridologist is a practitioner of Iridology, the study of the iris. Iridologists often have training in natural health modalities such as herbal medicine, massage or reiki, and can use the information from an iridology reading to recommend changes in lifestyle, exercises or supplements to improve the health of a person based on their specific needs.

What can Iridology do for me?

Iridology can tell the strength of your constitution – your ability to resist stress and disease. It can also tell your genotype, which is a body/personality group describing your most likely areas of health concern, and some bits about your personality.

The Iris map lays out specific organs or areas of your body where there is tissue damage, lack of energy, scar tissue or acute acidity or inflammation. It helps to pin-point possible trouble areas in a person’s health.

What doesn’t Iridology do?

Iridology does not diagnose diseases, and does not represent health issues with 100% accuracy. It cannot tell if you are pregnant or taking drugs or alcohol.

Learn to Read the Eyes

In this Fast-Track Tutorial, Iridologist and Herbalist Kalyn Kodiak walks you through the theory and practical application of iris analysis. There will be plenty of practice and opportunities to apply newly learned skills, and group discussion of iris slides to aid in learning of the finer points of analysis. Find out more about the Iridology tutorial here.

Want to Learn Iridology in your Hometown?

I am teaching a weekend tutorial for Iridology in Lethbridge, Alberta in October 2017. If you are interested in learning Iridology in your own hometown and have a group of 6 or more participants, I am willing to travel to you. Please email me at kalyn@kodiakherbal.com to discuss the possibility of hosting a weekend of Iridology training in your area.

Marie Rose, Metis Medicine

MR_CoughSyrup

 I recently wrote about my new line of products inspired by my Grandma’s Grandmother, Marie Rose Delorme Smith.

Marie Rose was a writer and midwife on the prairies of Southern Alberta. She is the author of My Eighty Years on the Plains, a chronicle of life in the pioneer days. She lived a traditional Metis lifestyle, speaking French, English and Cree with her relatives and travelling in her father’s trade caravan.

When the nomadic life of the Metis became unsustainable, she moved to Alberta with her adventurer husband Charley Smith, where they set up a homestead on the Jughandle Ranch on Pincher Creek, Alberta.

smithmr

 Marie Rose was an industrious person, sewing clothes and making a home for 17 children, while serving as a healer and midwife to the native, metis and white communities around her. I admire her as someone who was able to move between worlds in a time when co-mingling (even among ‘half-breeds’ and ‘full-breeds’) was profoundly discouraged. Like Marie Rose, I am not content to live in one paradigm only, but am compelled to see the world from as many mountain tops as I can climb.

I made a trip to the Glenbow Museum archives to obtain images of one of her many manuscripts, quaintly entitled Old Time Home Remedies, in hopes of discovering what my Grandmother used in her own day to help the people around her feel better. I would like to share some of her writings with you.

”           Old Time Home Remedies

By Marie Rose Delorme Smith

In out of the way places home remedies are invariable tried before the Doctor is called and some of the home cures do the trick admirably. In the far north most of the remedies used by the Eskimo and the indian are tried by the white people with good results.

gallbladder of the bearA cure for boils, blood poison, proud flesh and the like is made from the gall bladder of the Bear,
after the bear has been in hibernation all winter its bladder is much larger than at any other time. For use it is shaved like soap then to these shavings alcohol or coal oil is added, the mixture thus formed is spread over the wound or otherwise diseased tissue, then liquid balsam gum is poured over this, in a day or two this covering can be lifted off, with the proud flesh or other dead tissue adhering to it, the flesh beneath is left sterilized and in condition to heal rapidly.

The indians in alberta used to have several sweat baths on each reserve and used this substitute for the Turkish Bath of the white man as a remedy for cold and other ailment.

Herbal remedies for external and internal use are made from Sm_pageplants found growing wild on the reservations, Powdered toadstools were supposed to stop bleeding.

When available warm blood was often given to newborn papooses.

Beds were placed on the ground to ward off rheumatism, sciatica, etc.

The indians wore strings of beads, bracelets and necklets (sic) rings of brass.
I wonder who remembers the old stocking pot filled with hot salt placed on the cheek for that aching tooth or the ear for that earache.

Mother longed forThe early-day mother used to say that when the new baby cried often it was longing for something the mother wished for. Some women fed the child cooked rabbits brains to satisfy this longing.

A small bag filled with hops was placed under the pillow for sleeplessness. The wearing of red flannel for Rheumatism was quiet common.
A string of cut coral beads around the child’s neck would (sic) it was thought to protect it from sore throat.
Some of us still have the scars from the asafetida or camphor bag worn around the neck as a preventative of contagious disease.

When a child was born with a birthmark the mother was supposed to kiss the mark before breakfast each morning.

Butter rubbed over a swelling bump would reduce the swelling.
Some of the pioneers carried potatoe in opposite pockets as a cure for rheumatism. Babies inflamed eyes were bathed with mother’s milk from the brest. (sic)

An idea of some grand mothers was to peerce (sic) the ears of a child for earrings to strengthen eyesight.

A piece of copper wire around the wrist and around the opposite ankle or one around each wrist was supposed to cure arthritis. To remove ring worm one was advised to rub a copper penny on the diseased spot.

Garlic was eaten to bring down high blood pressure.
Parsley was used to take odor away from the breath.

The rose colored leaves of the herb called horsemint is called ‘manikapi’ by the Blackfoot indians . . . it is gathered and placed in hot water and is used as an eye wash to allay inflammation

5_generations
G.G.Grandmother Marie Rose, Great Grandma Mary Helene, My Grandma Helene, and my Aunt Maureen.

  Like many Metis families, the folk wisdom of my family was nearly lost. The link between the earth-dwelling members and our ancestors would be severed if not for the enduring voices of our women. By seeking out my Grandmothers’ writings on medicine, I am healing my own feeling of cultural disparity with voices from the past.

I’m thankful to have the words of my Grandmother’s Grandmother, and I am grateful to my own Grandma Helene for speaking so fondly of Marie Rose, and fostering a pride in me for my Metis heritage and the strong women who held traditions for their communities and families. May I one day hold the honor of being a tradition-keeper in my own turn!

Wild Berries of the Foothills

I had the pleasure of roaming the foothills of West Central Montana in a golf cart in late July – the beginning of Berry Season. With a good dog and keeping a sharp eye out for bears, we scoured the hills for some of the tastiest natural treats, as well as the lesser known goodies of the dry back country. Many of these berries are available all over the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, including right here in Alberta! Here’s what we found.

Elderberry (Sambucus spp.)

S. Canadensis and S. cerulea are both found in the Rockies.

Last year's berries, still on the bush.
Last year’s berries, still on the bush.

This year's blooms.
This year’s blooms.

Lovely Red Elderberry.
Lovely Red Elderberry.

Elderberries are used in wines, preserves, and pastries. The bark and leaves are used in healing washes for skin conditions (eczema), while the flowers are used medicinally in tea. The berries are high in calcium, potassium, and iron, and vitamins C and A. Berries show antiviral activity and are used in teas for colds and flu. Cooking is said to make them edible, although some Nations may also have eaten them raw. The concern in eating the raw berries is the cyanide-producing glycosides in the seeds and the rest of the plant, a common feature of the Rosaceae (Rose) family of fruits and flowers.

Black and Red Currants (Ribes spp.)

Black Currants, possibly R. hudsonianum
Black Currant

Wax Currant (R. cereum)
Wax Currant (R. cereum)

A currant branch.
A currant branch.

The flowers of currants have 5 petals and 5 sepals. The currant family shares a distinctive lobed leaf, alternate on the branch. Not all currant bushes have prickly stems (unlike the gooseberry which has prickles).

Currants are high in pectin, and can be added to other fruits and berries to make excellent jellies.

Wax currants have a pinkish to greenish flower. They are bright orange berries when ripe with the dried flower remnant protruding from the berry. Look for erect bushes 2-6 feet tall with typical Ribes leaf shapes. Harvest time for currants is mid July to mid August. Currants quickly fall off the bush once over-ripe.

Currants are said to be a strengthening tonic, and useful against arthritis. They are used as a culinary berry, making their way into wines, syrups, pastries, and preserves. The leaves and inner bark make a minty flavored tisane that is sometimes used for diarrhea or symptoms of a cold. Tea or jelly from the berries is soothing to a sore throat. The seeds of black currants contains GLA (Gamma-linolenic Acid).

 Gooseberries (Ribes spp.)

Notice the 'beach ball' stripes!
Notice the ‘beach ball’ stripes!

A spikey variety of gooseberry
A spikey variety of gooseberry

A member of the currant genus, gooseberries are round with a protruding dried calyx from the flower still attached. The berries often have ‘beach ball’ stripes or spikes. The Spiny-branched shrubs have alternate, typical Ribes-shaped  leaves. Tubular flowers white or faintly green, 5 petals, 5 sepals. Gooseberry harvest occurs in mid-July to mid-August depending on region and microclimate.

These yummy berries are juicy and edible raw or cooked. They can be picked green as they will ripen off the plant. Some varieties are sweet and others are sour. Wild gooseberries tend to be smaller than the cultivated varieties.

A source of vitamin C, gooseberries are useful in colds and sore throats, with good antiseptic properties. Some texts caution against eating too many berries if the currant family is not a routine part of your diet, as stomach upset may occur.

Mysterious member of the Ribes family
Mysterious member of the Ribes family

Unnamed currant – because we caught this currant bush in between the flower and berry stages, a positive identification is difficult for a non-local herbalist. We’ll be staking out this bush, and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of berry forms later in the year. My guess is bristly black currant (ribes lacustre). If you can identify this ribes species, please enlighten us with a comment below!

 

Saskatoon Berry – (Amelanchier alnifolia)

Bounty of berries!
Bounty of Saskatoon berries!

Serviceberry, as they are sometimes called in Montana and Alberta, are a sweet and tasty berry that is ready to eat straight off the bush. They are useful in the kitchen in pastries, jams, puddings, sauces, syrups and wines. The boiled berries were used for ear drops while the green berries were used to make eye drops. The juice of saskatoons is said to relieve upset stomach. The branches of Saskatoon bushes are said to have been used for a variety of tools, including arrows, tipi pins and stakes, and medicinal lances (1). Saskatoons are said to be another source of potential cyanide-like substances by some guides, while others report the free eating of them by first nations. They come to full ripeness between early July and early August, depending on the minute location of each bush. Saskatoon berries were mixed with the sour white berry of the red-osier dogwood to make a desert known as ‘sweet and sour’.

This saskatoon plant has been heavily bitten by insects. Our master gardener tells me they are still good to harvest!
This saskatoon plant has been heavily bitten by insects. Our master gardener tells me they are still good to harvest!

Compare red, unripe berries with fully ripe purple ones.
Compare red, unripe berries with fully ripe purple ones.

Chokecherries – (Prunus virginiana)

chokecherry_ripe
These ripe chokecherries will be even better, after the first frost.

In the foothills we have a few varieties of chokecherry, all used in a similar fashion. Chokecherries are often found as a small tree, but can also be a tall and leafy bush. The leaves are shiny, deep green or purple, and ovate. The berries hang alternately on a raceme, making them easy to pick by sliding your fingers down the end of the branch and allowing them to fall into your basket. The dark purple fruit becomes ripe in mid to late July, but is best collected after the first frost for sweeter berries.

chokecherry_red

These were an important food berry for many first nations. Dried into cakes in old days, they are now cooked into jams, syrups or made into wine. The astringent taste of the raw berries dries out the mouth and throat, giving them their name: ‘choke’ cherry.

These sour berries improve appetite and dry up loose or bleeding bowels with their astringency. The stone inside the chokecherries is removed in most modern day use due to the presence of hydrocyanic acid in all parts of the plant except the flesh of the fruit. However some first nations report pounding and drying the berries whole, consuming the entire fruit in moderate quantities.

Unripe Chokecherry
Unripe Chokecherry

 

Chokecherry bark and unripe berries have traditionally been used to bring relief from stomach upsets and diarrhea. Chokecherry inner bark is used in heart and lung problems, as a diaphoretic, as a steam or smoke in asthma and bronchial congestion, and occasionally in small amounts in cough medicines.

 

Oregon grape (Mahonia spp.)

oregongrape_cluster2
Mahonia aquifolium
Oregongrape_wild_ripe
Mahonia repens

These pretty blue berries may grow in large grape-like clusters, or in small groupings of only 3-10 berries, depending on the year, and the size and location of each plant. Both prostrate barberry (M. repens) and the bushy variety (M. aquifolium) grow in the dry foothills. The berries are very sour. The leathery, spikey-toothed leaves are most easily recognizable at a distance by their second-year leaflets, which turn yellow, orange or even bright red in the winter and may remain so all year.

 

Oregon grape was not popular as a food berry with first nations until sugar was introduced, making the berries more palatable. A desert was made by mixing Oregon grape berries with sugar and milk. The roots of Oregon grape are famous for their yellow alkaloid berberine, a blessing for those suffering from dysentery, kidney troubles, and as an antiseptic for other infections.

 

 

Finally, the elusive, exclusive celebrity of the Western Montana tourist country:

The Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)

source: http://connectingwithnature.org/
source: http://connectingwithnature.org/

Shrubs can be 1-5 feet tall, with shiny leaves and pinkish urn-shaped flowers. The stems are red with a longitudinal groove. The berries are gathered in late July to early September, and are deep blue to black, about ½ inch in size.

Similar to his cousin the blueberry, huckleberries are not so easily cultivated and so prized as an exotic, wild treat. The location of huckleberry hunting grounds are a closely guarded secret in the rocky mountains, even among neighbors, and the ripe berries are featured in tourist traps and farmers markets at wonderful prices ($10 per half pound this summer in Missoula Montana!).

http://whatscookingamerica.net/
http://whatscookingamerica.net/

 

Eaten fresh or dried, huckleberries can be treated like a blueberry for all culinary uses. A tea of the leaves is used by some to stabilize blood glucose levels, reducing the need for insulin in some and treating hypoglycemia in others, as per the need. The leaves are also said to be useful in urinary tract infections. A tea of the roots and stems was used by the Flathead Indians as a medicine for rheumatism, arthritis, and heart issues.

 

Didn’t see the berry you were looking for? There are so many wonderful edible treats in the foothills I couldn’t fit them all in one blog, and plan to write about some of them later. Look out for Part II of Berries of the Foothills, featuring Buffalo berry / “Indian Ice cream”, Red Willow berry, Juniper, Thimbleberry, Bearberry, Snowberry, Mountain Ash and others!

 

Cherry Harvest!

It takes less than 15 minutes to 'tickle' a gallon of cherries off a cherry tree!
It takes less than 15 minutes to ‘tickle’ a gallon of cherries off a cherry tree!

It’s Cherry Season! Soon those cherries will be falling off the bushes so you’d better grab them now. It’s easy to get lots of lovely ripe cherries off a bush – this batch took me about 15 minutes. There are two methods to quick and easy cherry picking:

Method #1. Tickle A Cherry Bush

When your cherries are fully ripe, select a branch and place a wide container under it to catch the berries. Starting at the ‘root’ of the branch (where it meets the trunk), wiggle the fingers of both hands in between the leaves and the branch, in a tickling motion, gently coaxing the cherries off the bush. You will have to make several tickling passes per branch. Only the ripe berries will fall off when tickled. I think it actually helps to remember that you are ‘tickling’ the cherry tree – this will make sure you don’t pull too hard and break any of the cherries.

I prefer the tickling method when I go hunting for cherries in public spaces or in neighbor’s yards, as it allows me harvest the cherries right away, at the height of their firm ripeness.

If you're a patient person, you can let nature collect the cherries for you!
If you’re a patient person, you can let nature collect the cherries for you!

Method #2: The Drop-Cloth

Some cherry bushes loose their fruit onto the ground when it becomes over-ripe. Not all cherry bushes do this, but if you are lucky enough to have the right type, this method is definitely the easiest.

When your cherry tree is ripe, spread blankets, bedsheets or towels underneath it, smoothing them down flat. Make sure the center of each blanket is lower or level to the outsides. When the cherries naturally drop off the bush, they will collect on your blanket. Cherries may take between 1 – 4 days to drop, but it often happens in one fell swoop – so check your blankets often. You can also give your cherry bushes a shake a couple of times a day to speed the process along. Then carefully gather up the edges of your blankets, and cackle over your massive cherry harvest!

The Drop-Cloth method works best if you have a cherry bush in your own yard, as you have to leave a blanket down and wait for the cherries to drop. It is the easiest method, but the cherries will be quite soft; however they are still suitable for juice, syrups, or jellies with added pectin.

What do you do with all those cherries?

You GARBLE them!

Garbling is the process of removing the leaves, bugs and bits from your harvested cherries.This is also a very simple process if you know how to do it:

Fill bucket 1/2 full of cherries
Fill bucket 1/2 full of cherries

Add water to the top of the bucket
Add water to the top of the bucket
Scoop out the junk as it floats to the top
Scoop out the junk as it floats to the top

 

The pictures above pretty much sums it up. After you scoop out a handful of leaves and bits, stir the cherries up a few more times to allow the rest of the junk to float to the surface. Unripe cherries or bad cherries will also float to the top sometimes, and when you’ve scooped it all out, you end up with bright, clean cherries. If you are picky, you can now rinse them in a colander for extra squeaky clean points.

 Sweet! Clean Cherries! Now What?

There are a few options for your cherries, and 1 important safety note.

Safety First: Raw cherry pits contain hydrocyanic acid and other cyanins – the cousins of cyanide. This has led to warnings about consuming certain amounts of fresh or raw cherry products that were processed with the pits still in. Nobody can say for sure what amount of cherry pits is harmful to any one particular human. Of course, you can just spit the pit out or discard it when you make juice or jelly.

I’m planning on making cough syrup with some of my cherries, and that hydrocyanic acid will actually play a medicinal role in the formula! To learn how to make cherry cough syrup and see the other recipes I used my cherries in, check out my next blog on cherries (coming up next week). For now, I’ll be freezing my clean cherries in large freezer bags (the ones I don’t eat, anyway), so they’re ready when I need them.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Quiche with Ham & Bell Pepper

Quiche

The perfect breakfast hot or cold – a fluffy crust-less quiche made with soy cheese or Daiya shreds and loaded with green onion, smoked ham and colorful bell peppers. Candida-friendly, Dairy/Gluten-Free and ready in 40 minutes – what’s not to love about this tasty quiche?

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Red and Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped)

1/2 cup Green Onion (chopped)

1/2 cup smoked, cooked Ham (cubed)

6 large eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened nut milk (almond, hemp, soy, etc)

Salt and Pepper (sprinkle of each)

1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheese (optional)

quiche4

Dice the bell peppers and green onion into separate bowls.

 

 

 

quiche2 quiche1Preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high temperature and add 1 tbsp of butter.  Add chopped peppers to the hot skillet and stir every minute or so until they are a little softened. Remove the peppers back to their bowl and add the diced ham to the skillet, browning on both sides.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and almond milk and whisk together until frothy.

quiche3Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a glass pie or casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Apple Bacon Crustless Quiche

applebaconquiche

Jayme Byrne wrote me: “I made the best quiche today! You should try it and if you like it put it on your facebook page. I call it Apple Bacon Crust-less Quiche. . . I added some cheddar because we are trying to use up what we have before we cut out cheese but it would be just as good without.

It’s sounds delicious and I certainly will be trying it this weekend. Here is the Candida-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free recipe below.

Ingredients:
3 Apples (Maybe only two if you use big apples. I used smaller ones)
About half a cup of green onion (chopped)
Six strips bacon (chopped)
Seven large eggs
about a tablespoon of Rosemary
1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheese (optional)

Fry or bake bacon and cut into chunks. Cut apples and green onions into small pieces. Beat eggs and mix in apples, onions, bacon and rosemary. You can sprinkle a bit of rosemary on top for extra flavour and aesthetics – it might look really pretty to put fresh rosemary on top once it’s out of the oven. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and eat!

Jayme also says: “We loved it! I am going to use it to replace stuffing for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Thanks Jayme!

Note: Recipe and Picture credits to Jayme Byrne. The quiche pictured here is the cheese-free version.

Cheesy Roasted Tomatoes

IMG_20130404_203747

This appetizer is more delicious than it looks, and is fulfilling when you are craving pasta or pizza with sauce and cheese. It can be made in the oven or on the barbeque! This recipe is Vegan. Daiya cheese is not completely candida-friendly, so use a soy or cashew cheese if you are on Part 1 of the Candida cleanse. During Part 2, Daiya cheese can be used as part of your weekly flour allowance.

Ingredients:

3 ripe tomatoes, washed and cut in halves

6 tbsp Cheese substitute (1 tbsp per tomato half)

Yeast/sugar free seasoning salt (we used Johnny’s Seasoning Salt)

Pepper

Oregano (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F, or turn the barbeque to low.

tomatoes1

 

Score the open top of each tomato half with a knife:

Lay the tomatoes, open half up, in a pan or casserole dish. When barbequing, make sure to use a barbeque-friendly pan.

 

 

tomatoes3

 

Sprinkle seasoning salt and pepper over the tomato halves, to taste.

 

 

 

tomatoes2

 

Top each half with 1 tbsp. cheese substitute. We used Daiya Dairy-Free Cheese Shreds, but you can also use cashew cheese or crumbled flavored tofu.

 

 

Bake in oven for 20 minutes (until cheese is melted or turns golden), or for barbeque method, grill on top rack for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted/golden.

Remember, not all cheese substitutes melt like true cheese! Serve warm.

For super pizza flavor, sprinkle oregano on to each tomato half after removing them from the oven or barbeque.

 

Chewy Caramelized Roots

Roots3

 

This recipes uses any combination of root vegetables and turns them into a caramelized comfort-food dish! It’s tasty warm or as a chilled left-over.

I always make extra since it freezes so well, and tastes just as good reheated.

 

Delicious roots to try include carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, burdock, turnips, dandelion, fennel, jerusalem artichokes and onions. This particular dish also included colorful bell peppers.

Root vegetables, 4 cups total

3-4 tbsp Coconut oil or Butter

Salt & Pepper

Herbes de Provence, Lemon Pepper, or your Favorite Seasoning  

 

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Wash all root vegetables and if desired, peel the skins (peeling is not necessary for most organic root vegetables). Slice the roots in 1/8-1/4 inch thick rounds (thinner slices will be crispier, thicker slices turn out chewy and tender). Put the roots into a large mixing bowl, making sure there is plenty of room for stirring.

Roots4
Melting coconut oil

In a small pot, melt the butter or coconut oil over low heat.

Once melted, pour the oil over the root slices and stir to coat the roots evenly.

 

 

 

Roots2Place the roots on a baking sheet and spread them uniformly. Sprinkle them with salt and put them in the oven.

 

 

 

Roots1Shift the roots around the baking sheet every 10-15 minutes so they bake evenly.

You can see they are done when the roots turn golden and caramelized around the edges, usually about 35-45 minutes.

 

 

After removing the roots from the oven, sprinkle liberally with your desired seasoning to taste (the ones pictured were sprinkled with pepper and herbes de provence). These roots are also delicious with just salt if you do not wish to add another flavor.

Roots3
Caramelized roots are great for the sweet-tooth.

 

Enjoy them toasty from the oven, cold as left-overs or freeze the roasted roots for a quick side-dish on a busy weekday evening.

To reheat roasted roots, shake the frozen prepared roots out onto a baking sheet and heat them at 400 F for 15-25 minutes.

 

Continue with Candida Free: Phase 2

chicorybannerThis post explains when to continue with the second half of the Candida program. For an excellent survey that helps assess your current candida levels, go here. For part 1 of the Candida Cleanse program, read Candida Free Phase 1.

 

pants-too-big-2
One of the rewards of healthy eating.

Hello Candida Cleansers! By now you have been living a healthy lifestyle for a full season! I hope it’s been a positive experience for you and you are enjoying some of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

 

Often by this time we have developed a taste for healthy foods – craving spicy, sour or savory snacks instead of sweet. This is the phase where many people feel they are ‘over the hump’: they’ve challenged their cravings and created a new food-attitude!

It’s also possible you are not as craving/symptom-free as you had hoped you would be by now. That’s ok – it happens to the best of us. If you are still struggling with Candida symptoms, we will discuss what can be done below.

Firstly, let’s assess our candida levels and see where we stand. Follow the link to the Wild Rose Candida Questionnaire – Short Version. Go and take it now. The numbers have to be added up manually (something Wild Rose is working on).

Our goal on the Candida cleanse is to remain below a score of 20(females) or 15(males), taking the quiz each week for 4 weeks in a row.

Did you add up all your numbers? If you scored above a 20 for females or 15 for males, it would be best to continue on the Candida diet for another 2-4 weeks and then take the survey again. If you scored below these numbers for a full 4 weeks, you can skip ahead to the section titled Candida Cleanse Phase 2 below.

If you are having trouble keeping your candida in check, see if any of these statements are true for you:

I’ve been cheating here and there… If it’s been more than once every 2 weeks, it’s likely you should stay on the diet for another 4 weeks. Cheating indicates you still have cravings, which are a sign of lingering candida.

I still crave sweets, breads, yeasts, beer/wine or peanuts. If so, you will want to extend the first phase by continuing the diet for another 2-4 weeks. Having cravings indicates candida is still alive in your system and is trying to get you to give it up. It’s also a good sign, because it may mean you’ve got your candida on the run, and you’re about to kick this thing.

I’m still experiencing candida-related symptoms. Use the questionnaire to tally them up for you. Appreciate where you have improved and make note of what symptoms remain so you can keep your eye on them. Symptoms indicate the presence of candida. Continue on the diet for another 2-4 weeks.

 I want to give up. Don’t give up! Freshen up your diet with some new recipes or foods. There are always new foods you have not tried before. Make sure you are getting a full range of vitamins and minerals, lots of fresh water and create a support strategy for when you are feeling especially tempted. Don’t forget to stay full and nourished.

saurkraut
Pretty! Photo/Recipe from http://cuteanddelicious.com/2010/04/diy-raw-sauerkraut/

Use Ferments to Beat Cravings. True Ferments such as Real, Live SauerKraut (from the health food store not the super market) are useful to reduce the craving for sweet foods. Use it as a condiment, or just eat it straight out of the jar, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, 2-3 times per day. This will help to reduce your cravings, retrain your body, and give your mouth something flavorful to enjoy, all at the same time.

If you haven’t been to the local health food store to investigate the varieties of living sauerkraut yet, you are missing out! As someone who is only recently converted from hating to loving this stuff, I have to say supermarket sauerkraut just doesn’t  compare to the real, living thing.

rewardsCandida Cleanse Phase 2

If your questionnaire numbers were below 20 (females) or 15 (males), you are likely ready for phase 2. Great work! Take a moment to feel proud, smug or just happy – then read on.

The second phase of the Candida program consists of adding back in some foods that were taboo in the first phase. The amount of each food is important, and the number of times you can consume it in a week is important as well. This is an opportunity to observe your reactions to these reintroduced foods. After all, you may even end up deciding you are better off without them!

Dairy: you can now have 1/2 cup of dairy, twice per week. Not 1 cup once per week, or 1/4 cup 4 times per week! Over doing the frequency or amount will set you back to phase 1. Fermented dairy is an exception (see fermented foods below).

Flour: you may also have up to 1/2 cup flour, twice weekly during phase 2. Again, be mindful of the amount and frequency. This can include products that contain flour but are otherwise candida-friendly (no sugar or yeasts).

ferment pyramidFermented foods: the best part of phase 2: you can have ferments again! Delicious foods fermented with bacteria and NOT yeast add another level of flavor to our diets. In fact, fermenting foods can increase the amount of a food you are allowed to eat – ie. dairy. You can eat more yogurt (real, living yogurt with no additives) even if it goes above your weekly dairy allowance! Same goes for kefir.

There is no limit on the amount of fermented foods in phase two; they are important to provide colonies that rebuild your intestinal flora.

The best choices in ferments include:

Kefir – absolutely the best, probiotic kefir restores the flora of your GI, recolonizing with the bacteria that provide useful digestive, nutritive services. Kefir also contains a strain of yeast that competes with candida, but does not colonize the body.

Yogurt – not as strongly probiotic as kefir but definitely still a wonderful staple. Be sure you are not dealing with a dairy allergy; you can also make your kefir and yogurt from sheep or goat milk to lower the allergic potential. With special care and some experimentation, you can even make kefir and yogurt from nut milk, although the texture will be different.

Kim chi – fermented vegetables; a delicious, spicy pickle condiment originating in Korea where it is a staple food eaten at nearly every meal.

Saur Kraut – a popular European fermented cabbage condiment – when buying fermented vegetables, make sure Lactobacillus cultures are present and that the condiments were not just made by adding vinegar. Look for living ferments (I advise buying them from a reputable health food store).

Kombucha – get medicinal grade, full-strength, fully fermented kombucha and add it to drinks. Avoid homemade kombuchas (we don’t always know whats living in there!) and also avoid the flavored, soda-pop like bottles of kombucha available as a beverage; the sugar in them is almost never fully fermented. Medicinal strength Kombucha should not taste sweet, but strong, like vinegar.

Vitruvian Food AllergiesRemember to make note of your reaction to the above mentioned foods, and be mindful of your portions. It’s a good idea to continue taking the Candida Short Questionnaire each week to make sure your numbers don’t go back up.

We will spend another 4-8 weeks on Phase 2 of the Candida Cleanse, so dig in, get comfortable, and enjoy some nice tangy fermented foods!

As always, feedback stories and experiences are encouraged in the comments section below.

 

Light Almond Trailblazer Cookies

A flexible recipe made in the oven or dehydrator – you can enjoy them different each time by adding a variety of nuts, seeds, and flavored protein powders.

These cookies are low calorie, high in fiber, and completely guilt-free on any cleanse. The chia or flax acts as an egg substitute to bind them together, while providing healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Vegan/Candida-friendly.

2 tbsp whole chia seeds (whole flax seeds can be substituted)

1/2 cup water

1 cup ground almonds (I used left-over almond meal from the Nut Milk recipe)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (plant-based protein of course)

1 tsp. Vanilla extract or powder

½ cup pumpkin seeds (or substitute nuts/seeds of your choice)

 

For the oven method, preheat oven to 300 F.

In this batch we used flax instead of chia - this is flax soaking in the bowl.
In this batch we used flax instead of chia – this is flax soaking in the bowl.

 

Put 2 tbsp. whole chia or flax in a large mixing bowl add 1/2 cup water to cover them; let this mixture sit until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Stir the ground almonds, protein powder and vanilla into the softened chia seeds. Make a thick dough; the mixture should be dry enough to mold into little patties. If it crumbles, add a little water. If the dough is too wet, add a little more chia and let it soak up the excess liquid for a few minutes.

Stir it all up!
Stir it all up!

 

Gather the nuts or seeds you have chosen (total of ½ cup). Break up whole nuts and large pieces into manageable chunks. Gently stir in your choice of nuts and seeds.

 

little cookie patties
little cookie patties

 

 

Form little patties with your hands – these cookies won’t melt down onto the pan, so they need to be pre-shaped before they bake.

 

cookies5

For the oven method, bake the cookies for 20-30 minutes, depending on your desired consistency. They should be firm on the inside as well as out, but because of the ingredients they do not require cooking like a traditional cookie (this is also the reason for the low temperature). They may brown a little around the edges.

For the dehydrator method, place the patties on dehydrator sheets in the dehydrator and allow 5-7 hours, until they are firm and a little chewy.

How you store your cookies will affect their texture. For moist cookies, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For a chewier cookie, store them in breathable bags (such as brown paper) at room temperature.

Alternative Flavor - with added cocoa, chocolate protein powder and lots of shredded coconut!
Alternative Flavor – with added cocoa, chocolate protein powder and lots of shredded coconut!

Alternative flavors and textures can be acheived by adding other flavors of protein powders, cocoa powder, superfood powders such as maca or lacuma. If you are not avoiding sweets, you can add some dried fruits, dates or a little honey. Be Creative and Enjoy!

Credits & thanks to my friend Michelle Bulechowsky, the Raw Vegan Goddess who brought this versatile recipe idea to my attention.