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Thursday, August 23, 2012

340

The Best Time I Went on a Candida Cleanse

“Sugar is basically poison,” my friend Rachel said over a couples’ dinner with her husband and my girlfriend, Kelli, at our favorite pizza place.

She was telling us about the monthly “Candida Cleanse” she embarks on to combat her allergies and indigestion.

“Essentially, it clears out all of the yeast in your gut that keeps your immune system from working the way it needs to,” Rachel explained. “My acupuncturist told me about it. You guys should try it.”

She had us at “poisoned gut” and “acupuncturist.” Kelli and I both tend to get seduced by alternative wisdom like horoscopes, yoga mantras, and books about the holographic universe (because we’re artistic, because our Midwestern parents would scoff at it, or just because it’s weird and fun to play along with mystical conspiracy theories). Plus we’re lesbians with two cats and crystals growing on our mantel, so, you know, it’s not a big surprise that we would be into this stuff.

Besides these preferences, Kelli really does suffer from sneezing fits and weird allergic skin reactions, and I get debilitating migraines that relegate me to giving myself a shot of sodium chloride in the leg after days of puking my guts out. So an alternative cure — no matter how suspicious-sounding — seemed worth a try. As we walked home from dinner with Rachel, we pledged to give yeast-free living a go.

I. Research

“The Candida mold feeds off of the food that you eat, especially sugars and starches. The mold then begins to produce its own waste products. These wastes are toxic to the system and cause most of the sickness and disease which plagues man.”

As it turns out, when searching for information about Candida you’ll come across a lot of sites that look like a LiveJournal entry by someone writing a sci-fi novel about sugar aliens. 

According to these sources, Candida forms from too much yeast in your gut, which produces mold (a.k.a. “toxic mold” depending on how alarmist the site you’re reading wants to be). The overgrowth of yeast feeds off sugar. Since there’s sugar in everything we eat, we’re all being lightly poisoned by a Sleeping Beauty’s Castle-esque overgrowth of yeast in our system, potentially causing a range of symptoms — everything from acne to indigestion, asthma, headaches, low libido, night sweats, panic attacks, bad breath, yeast infections, crying spells(?), and itching anus(!). So goes the theory, anyway.*

We decided 10 days would be a reasonable amount to try the cleanse, giving us enough time to get through the “withdrawal” phase and see any positive effects.

II. Preparation

“If you’ve tried to stay on it, even the words ‘Candida diet’ make you shudder.”

It’s the day before we are set to start the cleanse. We examine packets of Stevia in the Raw over brunch, trying to detect if there is anything resembling sugar that we can eat on the diet. The answer? Nope, everything that tastes like sugar has sugar in it. Balls. Kelli eats two-week-old cantaloupe in an effort not to waste the yeasty items we already have in the fridge. Every five minutes, I think of a new food to ask Kelli if I can still eat. She shuts me up by sending me a list, which I’ve helpfully shortened to the basics.

Allowed: Avocados, eggs, walnuts and almonds (in moderation), quinoa, brown rice, broccoli, kale, cucumbers, hummus, green peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, herbal tea.

Not allowed: Everything and anything that includes sugar, including all fruit, all bread, and every condiment/sauce. Caffeine and alcohol. (According to The Candida Diet, caffeine suppresses the immune system from fighting back against poisonous effects of Candida.)

It worries me a bit that the list says, “Gum with xylitol is allowed to combat any bad breath you may experience.” I picture dying yeast struggling out of my tongue in a green cloud, trying to make my life even more miserable, like the animated mucus family in those Mucinex commercials.

We purchase yeast-fighting supplements online, including Nature’s Bounty™ Probiotic Acidophilus (its label mysteriously touts the contents as having “100 Million Organisms”) and something Rachel recommended called Undecyn that is manufactured by a company called THORNE RESEARCH. I wonder aloud if the origin of Batman’s next arch-enemy might come from the THORNE RESEARCH labs — a yeast giant created when eccentric millionaire Gregory Thorne falls into a vat of oh, 100 million organisms, perhaps? Kelli says she hopes I’m ready to take this seriously as she scratches at an angry red rash that has spontaneously appeared on her shins. I put my palm on her leg and feel the heat coming from her skin. I tell her Candida is going DOWN.

We go out for our “last meal” at a friends’ apartment. A guest at the dinner party tells us she’s done the Candida Cleanse before, and that she remembers her “pee and sweat smelled differently.” Noted.

III. Submission

“You will be surprised what lingers in the intestine.”

Day One: 

Normally we enjoy a ritual of making coffee, one of us sleepily setting the water to boil and measuring out rich, dark coffee to put in the French press, the other one checking email and playing Beach House on the stereo.

This morning, Kelli is chopping kale and drinking herbal tea. I match her enthusiasm with some cleanse-inspired air karate chops. We take our two THORNE RESEARCH pills; eat a full breakfast of kale sautéed in garlic and eggs, and high five.

At work, I immediately start to feel totally spacey — a little bit like being high but not in a fun way, just a stupid way. I learn not to say anything in meetings for fear of sounding like I’m on drugs or just really, really slow. I chalk it up to the no coffee and persevere. Around 3 p.m. I start to get a tension headache and secretly resent everyone who talks to me. I worry about my xylitol gum-covered breath.

The headache abates with dinner (brown rice, steamed green beans), after which Kelli decides to make hard-boiled eggs, and we sit down to watch Breaking Bad with seltzer and lemon juice on hand. At the part where Walt and Jesse are breaking into the police station with a giant magnet, Kelli realizes she’s boiled the eggs for 40 minutes. We don’t high five. She’s still itching her legs.

Day Two: 

I have a slight headache that persists all day, but it’s nothing that can’t be handled by a couple of Advil. I still feel in a fog, but now it’s more like a light mist. I pack rice cakes and almond butter for us to bring to work, and eat mine immediately. When Kelli eats hers she instant messages me: “I’m embarrassed about my snack.” “Why?” I type. “It just seems like a parody of a diet. Who eats rice cakes?” Candida killers, that’s who.

Later, I have a conversation with a co-worker about a similar-sounding sugar cleanse she recently completed. She asks me what day I’m on. When I say day two, she replies, “Ohhhhhhhh. Watch out — on day three I felt like I was coming down with a fever.” Hmm.

Day Three: 

I wake up feeling a little falsely filled up, like a human balloon animal. I’ve noticed a bit of a separation from my body, which I suppose means I’m usually a slave to my sugary appetites. So instead of tucking into every meal like it’s my last, I’m now spearing steamed broccoli and observing it as a thing that is going to get digested and power my muscles to move. I take no enjoyment in eating. I explain my feelings to Kelli, who tells me to stop acting like we’re in a reality show confession room and bear down. I notice a rash of red bumps creeping up her collarbone, so I do.

Day Four: 

I am still irritable and foggy. I bring more rice cakes smeared with gloopy almond butter in little baggies to work. They look like dog poop sitting on my desk, so I cover them up with papers and eat them later when no one is looking. They taste like an oily cardboard box. Lunch is actually pretty good — some wild salmon (allowed), romaine lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and almond slices in lemon juice and olive oil. All of the best things I can have on the diet put me in high spirits. I convince myself I’m entering the “energy” portion of the cleanse, until I get a headache later that night and pass out watching So You Think You Can Dance.

IV. Struggle

 Candida fights back when you attack it. Some people have burning when they urinate. DO NOT BACK-OFF ON THE ATTACK.”

Day Five: 

Plain yogurt with unsweetened cinnamon for breakfast tastes like going for a jog in 100-degree heat. You have to coach your mouth into every bite. Despite the lack of enthusiasm during our meals, we’re both feeling pretty good. Over flavorless herbal tea, we get into an argument about how much sugar and cheese we are going to eat after the cleanse is over.

I argue that we can just eat a smaller amount of cheese post-cleanse, while Kelli, clearly high on yeast withdrawal, suggests we never eat cheese again. I gasp a little.

We finally agree that we will eat as little sugar and dairy as possible, but not completely cut anything out. We hug, and Kelli mumbles into my shoulder, “I just want to lead a lightly sugared life.” I tell her she should start a low-sugar recipe blog called Lightly Sugared Life. I go to bed hungry and exhausted. She goes to bed scratching.

Day Six: 

Our weekends are typically filled with flea market food tastings, mimosa-soaked brunches, and intimate meals at creative Brooklyn hotspots serving things like fried kale, creamy risotto, plantain arepas, and creatively flavored artisan ice cream. Like any Brooklynite couple, we take full advantage of the diverse culinary splendor of the borough. But until this cleanse, I never realized how big of a part food played in our freewheeling weekend pleasure-seeking.

Physically, I feel pretty good. I’ve lost a couple of pounds, my head feels clear, and I have a decent amount of energy. But mentally, I’m getting pretty depressed. Life without sugar sucks. The most exciting thing we do all day is go to the park, where we proceed to detail out all of the things we are going to go back to eating once the cleanse is over.

Day Seven: 

This morning my pee was a shocking fluorescent yellow, which I took as a sign of good health. We finally caved and bought some pure Stevia from Whole Foods, which is a plant-based extract that kind of tastes like NutraSweet without the aftertaste, and is the only sugar-like thing allowed on the cleanse. It comes in a small bottle and is administered with an eyedropper, making me feel like a scientist doling out precise drops of pleasure into our herbal tea, oatmeal, and yogurt. After eating a not-that-bad-but-not-that-good-either meal of quinoa-based pasta, almond-basil pesto, and tomatoes for dinner, I start to sow the seeds of discontent, grumbling out loud about how I think the cleanse is kinda bullshit. I suspect the THORNE RESEARCH pills are placebos. Kelli says, “Wow, this cleanse is making you really bitchy.” I tell her it’s my demon yeast talking.

Day Eight: 

I haven’t had anything alcoholic for eight days, the longest I’ve gone since I graduated from high school. Nothing like a Candida Cleanse to make you examine your dependencies. I’d say my skin and energy are about the same as they were before — certainly not the pristine complexion or laser-focused mental clarity I’d been promised by the LiveJournal sites, but not too shabby, either. On the plus side, Kelli’s allergies have virtually disappeared and I haven’t had any migraines. We’re both noticeably losing weight, but I kind of feel like I’m getting a haunted, starving-myself look rather than the healthy, Nike Training Club app model look I would prefer, should I have my choice of body types. (Which, deep down, is at the heart of why all of us embark on these cleanses, I think; to somehow suddenly be able to shape our flesh like Play-doh.)

I’ve also developed an annoying superiority over other, sugar-dependent human beings, but it isn’t really that satisfying. After all, I like snarfing cookies with other people and gossiping about how Jim from HR looks like he cuts his hair with a Flowbee. I feel good, but life looks bleak.

V. Concession 

 “Candida is a fast-growing fungus that will take advantage of any opportunity that you give it.”

Day Nine: 

One day left and rather than feeling a sense of calm and control over my cravings, or a peaceful oneness with the physical world, I'm just getting more irritable and impatient. Food without sugar pretty much ruins food, one of the great pleasures of life. I start to tempt Kelli into quitting early, setting up my arguments with philosophical Ally McBeal lawyer-esque flair.

“If you can’t look forward to food, what can you look forward to? It’s like three tiny prizes every day,” I say, cupping my hands in front of me and knitting my brow in my best John Cage impression. “I’m not living my life like this. We can’t see our friends, we’re miserable, and annoying.”

“No, YOU’RE miserable and annoying,” Kelli says. But I’ve gotten to her. She agrees that we can have coffee the next morning. I’m so excited about going back to sugar I can’t sleep that night because I’m picturing myself contentedly smiling and stirring a perfectly caramel-colored cup of hot coffee.

Day Ten:

Sweet release. Coffee is So. Fucking. Good. How could I have left it? I bounce around the room like a toddler given a tub full of Lik-M-Aid and feel euphoric the rest of the day.

VI. Epilogue: Taking Stock and Getting Stuffed

“Sugar weakens the immune system and gives yeast a spectacular feast.”

By the following weekend, I’ve eaten pizza, pancakes, and amazing Udon noodles with poached egg and tempura. It may just be my shape-shifting yeast talking, but I’ve never felt better. We are, however, trying to continue some of the lessons from our time on the cleanse. For example, Mayor Bloomberg will be happy to know we won’t be ordering giant-size sodas anytime soon.

Kelli’s still into the Stevia, and is using the little eyedropper like crazy in her morning coffee and yogurt (me, I went straight back to my vulgar morning lover, Sugar in the Raw). We’ve cut back on our wine consumption, opting for our cleanse-time staple of soda water and lemon juice instead of the “relaxing” three glasses of wine habit we used to have. I haven’t had a migraine yet and Kelli’s allergies really do seem better, although her skin is still mysteriously reacting from time to time, and I’m beginning to expect it might be our laundry detergent and not Candida after all.

I guess I can’t say whether the cleanse “worked” or not because it’s not really a black or white answer. It worked in getting me to recognize how much sugar I eat, and in getting me to appreciate eating amazing food, guilt-free. But it didn’t work as a lifestyle, or produce a big enough change in my health to convince me of any of the alarmist warnings I was secretly hoping would manifest for a dramatic conclusion.

Maybe I’ll hop back on the cleanse train at some point down the road, just to freshen up my gut if I’m feeling a little yeasty. But for now, life’s just too short. And sugar is just too sweet.

*Please note that none of the quotes about Candida in this article are endorsed in any way by the mainstream medical community. It could be all bullshit. OR it could be exactly what THEY don’t want you to know. Or it could be incoherent residue of the holographic universe.

Kendra Eash is a copywriter in NYC specializing in writing Facebook status updates in the voice of inanimate objects. Thanks to Sister Act 2 (Back in the Habit), she knows that if you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention. Her social media alter ego is Jeri Blank. 

 



340 Comments / Post A Comment

falconet

Ugh. I did a modified version of the candida diet, under the supervision of my naturopath, while dealing with thrush during breastfeeding. I have never been hungrier. I lasted about a week before I got a massive dose of fluconazole instead and ate all the bagels I could get my hands on.

Danzig!

@falconet Only thing worse than a naturopath is a narcopath

/PFT reference

cuminafterall

Everybody is cleansing these days! Did all our livers and kidneys suddenly stop working or something?

whizz_dumb

@cuminafterall I have faith in those organs of mine so I'm going on a gin cleanse.

boysplz

@whizz_dumb If you don't exercise them they'll atrophy! And then you have to cleanse.

DianaPrince

@whizz_dumb Liquid diet. Gin, tonic and lime juice only.

Jinxie

@xx-xx-xx How else are we going to stave off malaria and scurvy if we don't have gin, tonic, and lime in our diets in large quantities?

entangled

This reminds me of the time I ate paleo for a week. On one hand, I varied my diet and gained some appreciation for eating new foods and combinations. On the other hand, I felt off all the time and started getting obsessive and losing the ability to relax and enjoy life. Also, it hurt to exercise. A lot. I came to the conclusion that if I am indeed addicted to carbs it is in the same way I am addicted to air and water. Though I do wish my skin would stop itching.

JanieS

@arrr starr Have you tried going fragrance-free with your soaps and laundry detergents? I've had some success with my own itchy-skin issues doing that (although I do miss having pleasant-smelling fresh laundry).

entangled

@JanieS I haven't, but I probably should. I've been to the dermatologist and he thinks it's some sort of low-level allergic reaction but whatever allergy it is probably won't be sensitive to treat. I did switch to a more natural shampoo and conditioner with less crap in it and that helped a little. Actually, this reminds me to go call that allergist the dermatologist recommended right now!

OhMarie

@arrr starr Yeah! I tried to ease into paleo, but it's eased back to basically not eating sugar or grains most of the time.

The best thing about it is how much I enjoy it when I do have sugar. I used to be able to blow through cookies and bread, no probs, but now when I have it it is THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN. So that's pretty nice.

entangled

@OhMarie I'm pretty sure the no grains thing is just not for me. I'm actually not really a sugar person at all (sweet things just don't taste good to me), but it was the no grains or legumes thing that killed me. It was an interesting challenge short term, but it also skyrocketed my already-high food spending and my body really, really did not like playing sports or exercising on a lower-carb diet.

Though I did end up cutting down the amount of processed food I ate and getting more protein from real food sources like meat and nuts versus processed stuff like veggie sausage. It was a weird balancing act, though, trying to get both the variation and the benefits without falling into the orthorexic abyss again.

MilesofMountains

@OhMarie That's pretty much what paleo ended up for me, too. I felt like otherwise I'd be eating so. much. meat. And I don't even really like meat all that much. I guess maybe I lost about 5-10 lbs over the 8 months I did it for, and I learned that wheat makes me feel sick, but I definitely didn't feel energized or amazing or anything. And as much as I like cooking, I eventually couldn't deal with the huge work-intensive meals the diet required.

pernickety

@arrr starr
After trying for months to find out what food, cream, dry cleaning chemical, or laundry detergent (and inspecting my sheets over and over for bed bugs) had caused my skin to become crazy itchy, my dermatologist told me that nothing specific was causing the itching, and to take Zyrtec ("a lot of Zyrtec") when the itching starts. It's worked, though not having an explanation was unsatisfying.

faience

@arrr starr The truth is that regardless the "paleo" diet is pretty meaningless. Humans really evolved to eat pretty much anything and ancient peoples regularly harvested wild grains when and where available. We are basically the greatest omnivores ever! I will admit eating less processed things is probably for the best

So says me the angry archaeologist who keeps being asked by friends about paleo diets and then angry when I say the above. I have so many feelings about paleo diets that I really want to work up a conference paper on them.

entangled

@pernickety yeah, my dermatologist put me on an antihistamine which worked pretty well at calming this down for about a year until I ran out of pills. I went to see him this week for a new prescription. He is not optimistic that allergy testing will find the cure - his suspicion is that we'll find so many minor reactions it'll be useless which is my suspicion as well but I figure I might as well try to find out before I commit to another year of allergy pills.

entangled

@faience oh, I TOTALLY believe this. I did a lot of research while I was changing up my eating habits and that was the conclusion I came to as well. The human digestive system is incredibly adaptable and can survive on an all-whale or all-vegetable diet, but we're built to eat what's around. I think what gets called the paleo diet is healthier than a lot of alternatives and has some great results in people who have underlying insulin or gluten issues but I get more than a little annoyed when people start throwing out pseudo anthropology and the toxin talk to explain why we're all slowly killing ourselves with brown rice and kidney beans.

lavender gooms

@pernickety I have this issue every once in a while. Like, I will have one spot that's itchy (sometimes for a legitimate reason but other times for no reason at all) and if I scratch it, all of a sudden my body freaks out and its HIVES EVERYWHERE! Sometimes this also happens if I go running outside when it's a little cool out. I usually pop a Claritin and it clears right up.

Once, though, I didn't have Claritin and my co-worker offered me a Benadryl pill instead. And I took it. At work. I was a zombie for the rest of the day. Don't do that.

meetapossum

@faience Ugh, thank you! I had to explain that to my friend who wanted to go paleo and his friend commented and said, "It's what our bodies evolved to eat." NO. No, it is not.

pernickety

@lavender gooms
HIVES EVERYWHERE is exactly the problem. I realized after writing it that I'm not as blase as my "whatever, take some Zyrtec" comment might imply, since I am getting increasingly paranoid that I'll have hives on my chest and back for my wedding in a couple months. It's going to be so hard to resist taking the whole bottle!

BornSecular

@lavender gooms
@pernickety

If either of you figures out what's going on, let us all know! I recently switched to fragrance-free detergent & white vinegar as fabric softener due to skin irritation. I still get weird rashes/itches though. Especially under my arms, even though I have tried many, many natural deodorants & changed almost all of my personal hygiene habits!

KatnotCat

@BornSecular Could it be something to do with the water quality in your area or house? Did you recently move?

Lorelei@twitter

@lavender gooms @persnickety you almost certainly have dermagraphism!

According to my allergist, no one entirely understands what causes it in the sense of it happening to some people but not others, but it's definitely just histamine being released after minor irritation of the skin. Totally benign, totally treatable with antihistamines. I've had symptoms for about 10 years now, have been taking loratadine to control it, and it's no big deal.

When I first start itching, the reaction were pretty intense and I always knew just when the antihistamine was wearing off because I'd get start to feel itchy again about half an hour before it was time for another dose, but over time the intensity has faded and I can go a couple days without a pill before I get all itchy again (and even then the hives never become as bad as they did at its peak), so basically I just take a claritin whenever my skin bothers me enough that I remember. No long-term side effects or problems or anything.

@BornSecular, if your rashes are more specific to your underarms, there might be something else going on, but also, maybe not! I'm far more likely to get hives on my torso generally than on my limbs, and these days the most likely site for any rash is on my neck because I'll sort of casually scratch at a passing tickle and my nails on bare skin will set off the reaction faster than scratching through fabric. So...maybe your underarms are just irritated faster like that? I dunno, I am obviously not a doctor, but I didn't get diagnosed until I went to an allergy specialist because no one else had heard of the condition.

I try to be careful about avoiding products that can trigger itching, since obviously it will start a reaction just as soon as I forget to take a pill for a day or two, but it's not so much "I am allergic to this product" (except for aluminum-based antiperspirants, in the last year I've had to stop using those entirely) as "my skin will overreact to any irritant at all if left to itself." If it comes up I usually tell people I am allergic to myself.

Hello Kidney

@lavender gooms, Fun fact: the generic name for Benadryl is diphenhydramine hydrochloride, and it is marketed as two different drugs: an antihistamine (Benadryl), and alternatively, a sleep aid. The antihistamine-marketed pills are usually pink and the sleep-aids blue. One version is typically significantly less expensive than the other, but I can't recall which it is.

Kathryn Schmidt@facebook

@entangled I have dermatographic urticaria, which once resulted in an embarrassing trip to medical at work (I work in a chemistry lab, bumped my hand on the FTIR and it swelled up). A co-worker that has idiopathic urticaria (hives for no known reason) recommended a combination of Allegra and Tagamet. Yep, the heartburn medicine. It is actually a type of antihitamine. The combination of the two has greatly reduced my itchiness.

When I get full-on hives and I'm not at work, I will take a couple Benadryl pills (dirt cheap in large bottles) or a swig of the liquid children's stuff. Tastes like death, but works like a charm.

14577869@twitter

@entangled I'm an archaeology student, and when paeleo diets come up, people always expect me to back them up. I usually respond that the average life expectancy in northern Europe in the middle paleolithic was 23. ¬_¬

Decca

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one lightly sugared life?

Inkling

@Decca
I don't ask for muuuuch
Truth be told I'd settle for a
liiightly sugaaaared liiife

frigwiggin

I want something else
To get me through this
Lightly-sugared kinda life
Baby, baby

Carrie Ann

@Decca When all I ever wanted
Was the simple things
A lightly-sugared life

Sundae

I looked into this a while ago, after the internet promised me it'd be helpful and solve all of my problems (& more!). However, I'm ultimately glad I didn't because it is one of the most restrictive diets, with extremely little solid proof behind it. I don't think I can get on the bandwagon of anything that makes you cut out a whole swathe of fruit and veg - that's my hard limit. A good, varied diet with lots of fresh stuff and acknowledging what you're eating and what you can handle is the best bet.

ragazza

A friend did this under the guidance of a holistic doctor (an MD I believe)--she was having skin issues or something? She was a total convert--said it solved the problem, she lost weight etc (although she is very thin to begin with). But she couldn't eat anything, basically just veggies and meat. I'm all for cutting out sugar but there's no way I could cut it out completely. That's no way to live, my friends.

anachronistique

Tomatoes are allowed but not other fruit? I'm so confused!

SarahP

@anachronistique The evil sugar lurks in all fruit except tomatoes and avocados!

boysplz

@SarahP Peppers too! Also, I'm unclear on why they can have rice (even if it's brown). That's just going to get cut into simple sugars in your gut so it'll still make things that FEED THE YEAST.

dale

@boysplz See, this is where I would like someone (or more than one someone!) to actually take the claims apart and say things like this! Ok, so you eat x, which you think is ok, but it's going to become sugar/whatever in your digestive tract ANYWAY, so you're not doing what you think you're doing!

DianaPrince

@dale 1 large Tomato: 5g sugar.
1 Kiwi: 6g sugar.
10 Raspberries: 5g sugar.

So.

DrFeelGood

@anachronistique Yea.... There is also sugars (but not added) in plain yogurt...

SarahP

@all The enemy is everywhere! We need more cleanses! More cleanses!

Marquise de Morville

@anachronistique It's not exactly scientific. Cutting extra/refined sugar may be a good idea, but in the end carbohydrates are carbohydrates, from fruits or vegetables. This is almost as annoying as stuff being advertised as "chemical free!".

dale

@SarahP Clearly the only option is breatharianism, then, if the Poisons Are Everywhere! {grin}

boysplz

@anachronistique ALL NATURAL (No Technetium or elements about 92)

Faintly Macabre

@anachronistique Yeah, I had a relative who did this (and then stayed at our house and made us figure out what to feed her and told us how unhealthy we all were). The whole time I wondered if anyone had told her that there are only a few kinds of simple sugars, and even most of the acceptable foods turn into them! (Also, you kind of need them to keep existing.)

Oh, and relative turned out to have a real, major diagnosable health problem that was causing her symptoms and had absolutely nothing to do with candida/yeast/diet/fungi. Shocking.

jule_b_sorry

@anachronistique THANK YOU. Why are rice cakes allowed? Lemon juice? Bell peppers? Those things totally have sugar! And "coffee weakening the immune system"...I'd really like to see some science on that, because everything I've heard says it can actually help some types of immunity (while potentially suppressing others,. yes, but still).

Craftastrophies

@boysplz CHEMICAL FREE (is literally a vacuum).

So You've Decided to Drink Only Water.

smartastic

@anachronistique Is this all a long The 'Burg reference? Does anyone else remember that web show?

Ham Snadwich

@jule_b_sorry - It clearly angries up the blood. Any scientician will tell you that.

carolita

@xx-xx-xx I think the point is really that there's naturally occurring sugar in almost everything, so adding sugar to your food is really overdoing it. I've weaned myself off sugar, and it's really great. I still eat fruit, though, but hell, you need fruit! How else are you gonna, well, you know? Poop? I don't fancy being constipated for the rest of my life. That's no darn way to live!
I have noticed, now, that if I eat something that has added sugar (like flavored yogurt, or certain desserts), it's unbearable to me now, it's like someone poured a cup of sugar into it, I'm that sensitive to it now. I do still treat myself to the occasional Mister Softee vanilla cone. I'm not crazy, after all. I just don't want sugar every day. I may well be living that "lightly sugared life."

I can also say that weaning myself off sugar made it really easy to take the next step and go gluten-free, which has basically eliminated my allergies. (I've noticed that when I do crack and eat one of my favorite things, papadum, or eat regular cereal by accident in a morning haze, I will get a bit of a stuffy, sneezy reaction, within the hour.)

D.@twitter

@Marquise de Morville Exactly. Anything that purports to have "all of the answers to all of the problems"--diet or religion--can usually be discounted as oversimplified nonsense. The human body is home to over 500 different species of commensal microflora, and yet only one is worth singling out? The justification for this cleanse is basically a slightly more advanced version of "balancing the humors."

SarahP

You guys did realize that yogurt is dairy, right? Having probiotics does not make it dairy-free!

I've had a few things with stevia, but the weird aftertaste ruins it for me. I will take sugar (as long as it's not processed with bone char, but whatever).

Slapfight

@SarahP I know that Greek yogurt is approved for this diet. It's magic.

MilesofMountains

@SarahP These magic diet things always seem to think that fermenting food takes all the evil out of it, so I'm not surprised that yogurt was somehow ok.

charmcity

@SarahP What, you haven't tried the bone char cleanse? It's amazing!

SarahP

@charmcity Just sprinkle a litle cayenne on it, and you won't need to eat anything else for weeks.

TheJacqueline

@Slapfight Once I bathed in Greek Yogurt. After I rinsed off, I looked exactly like Cindy Crawford.

jule_b_sorry

@MilesofMountains And that caffeine is always EEEVIL, with different justifications every time. I think some of these claims are up there with the belief that "if you put it in a pita, it's health food".

Slapfight

@TheJacqueline That's weird. When I tried that I ended up Karl Malden. Like I turned into him. He had to fake his own death.

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP I've never noticed an aftertaste. Stevia is the only cane sugar substitute I can eat. All the artificial stuff is vile. Sorbitol is okay in certain things, like gum and Frosted Mini-Wheats, but too much (like a handful of sorbitol candies) makes me crampy.

charmcity

@SarahP And you will get so thin! I mean, feel so healthy. Yes. Health is the most important thin. I mean, thing.

SarahP

@jen325 I used to work in a health food store, and I actually heard people get into arguments in the aisles over whether stevia has an aftertaste. So I think it's something only some people taste, while others don't?

EpWs

@charmcity So You've Decided To Eat More Bone Char

EternalFootwoman

@SarahP You only get the aftertaste if you're not spiritually advanced enough.

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP That's really weird, because I'm always the one who tastes things other people don't.

SarahP

@EternalFootwoman "You're not ready for stevia."

waltzedout

@MilesofMountains I know that for some reason eating plain yogurt is really good at combating/preventing yeast infections. Not sure why, but it totally works every time. Apparently acidophilus keeps your pH levels low. http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/yogurt-yeast-infections

Roey Thorpe@facebook

@SarahP So You Think You Can Char

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@waltzedout Also yogurt popsicles in the vag is A Thing People Do. It's a long-standing joke between me and my Dude (not because I've used them, just because it is a hilarious concept).

itiresias

@jen325 I was literally (pathetically) just thinking about my Stevia aftertaste hatred. My old roommate loved to experiment with cooking but she was convinced sugar was the WORST THING...and she didn't notice the aftertaste, but god, I hate it.

It came up because I realized that's why I've been hating the cough drops I recently bought so much. Damn you, whole foods. Just use sugar.

Slapfight

I did this a few years ago for 6 months, and it cleared up my acne, my gastritis and other lovely yeast related fun-times. It was hard, but after a few weeks and the caffeine headaches went away, I looked and felt great. I recommend it if you're having skin issues and nothing prescribed by your dermatologist works!
When I stopped, pizza was the first thing I went for too.

Slapfight

@Slapfight So much candida. So much cleansing.

boysplz

"Candida fights back when you attack it" The way the sources make candida out to be some super intelligent soldier mold would make me nervous to go on this diet if I had a vagina. What if it launches some last minute slash and burn campaign in the form of a killer yeast infection?

maybe partying will help

@boysplz

My immediate reaction to this diet was to cross my legs. I guess taking acidophilus pills is supposed to get you healthy candida, but I'd rather just eat a fuckton of yogurt.

Honestly tho, I am a little confused by the whole thing. I might just be missing something.

TheLetterL

@boysplz Like Sherman's March to the Sea, but instead of Savannah...

chickaboom

@boysplz I actually was really hoping this was going to be an article about cleansing my body of being a recurrent yeast infection machine.

Megasus

OK, so your headaches might be because of the wine! A lot of people are sensitive to oaked wines (which is most of them), but if you get unoaked, no headaches. It is actually true, I've tried it! Something to consider anyway. All the Naked Grape wines are unoaked.

maybe partying will help

@Megano!

Dude, is that what that is? I had some hippie wine when I was at home for Christmas and it was great! Usually wine makes my legs ache (...I have no idea) and I get a bit of a headache too, but not this wine. The more you know indeed!

Xanthophyllippa

@Megano! Also nitrates. I don't know what the relationship is between that and oaked wine, but one of by best friends loves wine and sausage and can't have either. She gets flaming headaches.

DrFeelGood

@Megano! Yes, you can be allergic to the sulphates in wine too.

LacunaKale

@Megano! And sulfites. Our Daily Red is pretty bad, but any decent wine store (or whole foods) will have a few lower sulfite selections.

anachronistique

@LacunaKale An old friend of mine can't drink red wine or eat onions because the sulfites trigger her migraines. HORRORS.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Megano! And sulfites! (Or sulphates? I don't remember which it is.)I heard you can remove them from wine by swirling a copper wire into it, but that might not be true. And you can also buy wines without added sulfites, but some are naturally-occurring..

LacunaKale

@anachronistique Ugh. I avoid them when I'm in a migraine cycle. But giving up completely? Not going to happen.

I had a really bad cycle in the late winter when I was taking baking. The chef tried to tell me that I shouldn't eat the offered chocolate. Cue sore headed death glare.

TheDragon

@Megano! Huh. I don't get headaches, but I start acting STRANGE when I drink wine. Like, crying in a heap in the corner strange.

Xanthophyllippa

@Dragon Leo McGarry: You have an interesting conversational style, do you know that?
Ainsley Hayes: It's a nervous condition.
Leo McGarry: I used to have a nervous condition.
Ainsley Hayes: How did yours manifest itself?
Leo McGarry: I drank a lot of scotch.
Ainsley Hayes: I get sick when I drink too much.
Leo McGarry: I get drunk when I drink too much.

TheDragon

@Xanthophyllippa I would say that, but it's only wine. I can knock back whiskey and beer all night. I drink a glass and a half of wine and I'm CONVINCED I will die alone

Xanthophyllippa

@Dragon Sounds like a good reason to drink more whiskey, then!

TheDragon

@Xanthophyllippa yep, most of the time I don't mind at all! It only gets awkward on girls' nights. But I usually just bring myself some good beer, and we're good.

mishaps

@Megano! when I was young and impressionable I was told that red wines had histamines in them, and the headache you may sometimes get from them is an allergic reaction which you can combat by taking antihistamines. I am not a heavy drinker, but I have followed that advice.

fuck fuck fuck

this is EXACTLY how i ate when i was an eating-disordered vegan purposely limiting myself to 1000 calories per day (minus the yogurt and plus a lot of self-loathing).

TheDragon

@i'm a self-rolled man Add a million and one crunches and laps around the track, a boyfriend who called me fat, and you have me two years ago. Cheers on getting past it, or at least, realizing that that wasn't healthy!

fuck fuck fuck

@Dragon haha i just responded to you downthread but can i just also say FUCK THAT BOYFRIEND

TheDragon

@i'm a self-rolled man Oh yeah, he was all sorts of bad for me. At least I know some things to run from in future boyfriends now!

KatnotCat

@i'm a self-rolled man There are a lot of reasons why I don't try these extreme diets and cleanses, but part of it is they seem like a one-way ticket back to Bulimiaville.

all the bacon and eggs

@i'm a self-rolled man Yeah, pretty sure the candida diet weight loss is related to starving oneself rather than evil mold leaving the body.

lisma

@Dragon That was me THREE YEARS ago. Except instead of the mean boyfriend, a well-meaning but misguided mother.

TheDragon

@ginalouise Ugh. Loved ones can fuck you up. My older sister is obese (BUT she's getting better!) and I'd always been pretty skinny, until freshman year of college. Years of everyone comparing the two of us messed both of us so much on our thoughts about weight

glorificus

@i'm a self-rolled man Mmm-hmm. Every time I see one of these wacked out "alternative" health diets, I get a little excited. And every time, I ask myself "Would I have thought this was an awesome plan when I was anorexic?" The answer is usually a resounding yes. Any diet that cuts out an entire food group will send me down in a spiral. I am coming to terms with the fact that I can probably never even be a vegetarian.

errata stigmata

Better skin/libido sounds great, but dude: you will pry my apple-a-day from my cold, yeasty hands. Mr. Stigmata is currently taking the Nature's Bounty pills though(we're trying to get to the bottom of his recent stomach troubles) and they seem to help. I can't read the label without an exclamation point after every word, like the Lynda Barry book. One Hundred! Million! Organisms!

anachronistique

@errata stigmata I had to take acidopholous when I was a kid due to gastric issues for a while, and I think it helped. Mostly I remember the pill tasting gross even though we crushed it into applesauce. Blech.

maybe partying will help

@anachronistique

My mom would always make me take it for cold sores! Is this a Thing or did she just make it up? I have never seen anything online or anywhere about acidophilous helping oral herpes sores go away. I definitely still take it for that reason, though. o.O

BornSecular

@maybe partying will help
I don't know about the acidophilous for cold sores, but my mother-in-law (an ER doctor!) proscribes L-Lysine. According to her, you can take 1 a day for prevention, and up to 3 a day once you see/feel symptoms. It won't make it go away in a snap, but can speed up recovery. Also, I have found less stressing helps too. In an ideal world....

selenalynn

@BornSecular Yes! This works for cats too - we put the shelter cats on Lysine, because most of them tend to have some kind of upper respiratory infection, usually in the herpes family.

JanieS

Brown rice = carb that will turn into sugar in your body anyway. Nothing about this diet makes sense.

sony_b

@JanieS Yeah. It's a little scary how little thought goes into something like this. But then sugar is the preferred energy source for brain cells, so...

vanick@twitter

@JanieS Also I'm not sure if it was some sort of sugar-free lemon juice used, but if it was fresh squeezed? Lemons have a lot of sugar in them!

JanieS

@vanick@twitter Nonsense! If it doesn't taste good, it must not have sugar in it! That's logic!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

I'll take any excuse to mention Persian sweet lemons. Sweeter than oranges and you don't need to grow them to experience them if you live near a good Persian grocery (...I'm sure you all do...).

fondue with cheddar

@sony_b "But then sugar is the preferred energy source for brain cells, so..."

Hence the 40-minute egg boil.

theotherginger

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict they are sooo good! I have some dried ones that were for a recipe - but apparently can infuse other soups, rices, etc.

Decca

Candida: or, Pessimism

Bittersweet

@Decca We'll build our house, and chop our wood, and make our (fruit- and livestock-free) garden grow...

TheDragon

I struggled with anorexia a few years back, so I just try really hard to not focus on diets, or cleanses, or anything. Reading about them kinda fascinates me, and I start getting neurotic again. But I was lucky enough to never completely let that awful fucking monster control me, so I'm usually ok.
I just try to cook at home more than I eat out, run occasionally, and most importantly: I do NOT own a scale. Seriously. Those little plastic squares are the devil incarnate to me.

fuck fuck fuck

@Dragon congrats on staying healthy! i agree, scales are THE WORST. i don't even let them tell me my weight at the doctor's office because i want to ensure that i continue not caring.

TheDragon

@i'm a self-rolled man You owe me a Coke!
I let them, but I tell them first that I've had problems and that I don't want to see the number. Then I stand on the scale backwards or with my eyes shut. Most doctors are really great about quickly noting the number, moving on, and making a point to tell me that I am really healthy, without bringing any "weight words" into it.

bluewindgirl

@Dragon Ah, mapping the ever shifting tides of my disordered eating. I have tried cleanses and things, and I recently flirted with the paleo diet, because I am trying to figure out how to change my body without hating my body (difficult) and focus on improving my ability to DO things rather than bullshit beauty standards. The hard thing is that bullshit beauty standards and hating myself are the only thing I KNOW work for me-- fortunately I no longer consider hating myself to be a good alternative to carbs.

TheDragon

@bluewindgirl This is gonna sound really "cheerleader" but I wrote a list of things my body can do, that it wouldn't be able to if I kept starving it. I also posted rather gory pictures of extreme anorexics in my kitchen and around the bathroom mirror, and pictures of healthy women that were beautiful and un-photoshopped. (I stole some from my friends facebook.) It's kinda corny, but it worked.

fuck fuck fuck

@bluewindgirl i have no idea what your life is or what you like to do or what your goals are, but just on the off-chance this sounds interesting to you: i tried to shift my focus from losing weight to being appreciative of what my body could do as it was, and i did that by starting to lift weights. not like light strength training in addition to cardio, but full-on replacing my whole workout with squats, bench, deadlift and accessory work. i did notice changes in my body composition very quickly, but more importantly i noticed that i was looking in the mirror with a bar on my back and feeling AWESOME about myself. also, if you do a really, really intense workout, your metabolism goes crazy for like an hour afterward, so FREE TREATS.

bluewindgirl

@Dragon Thanks :) I don't mind "cheerleader"ish sentiments, but I'm not teetering on any brinks at the moment-- I'm a few years out of it now, and I generally know how I need to live. In a weird way I'm glad to have been (briefly) anorexic-- like how broken bones heal stronger? I can't tell myself the lies a lot of women do about how perfect my life would be if I were thin, and I have an intimate knowledge of what limits my bones place on my ability to manipulate my appearance. I remember this revelatory moment in a dressing room when I realized, "HA! IT ISN'T YOU. SOME DRESSES ARE JUST UGLY."

OxfordComma

@Dragon : YES. I have to do this, too. I hate (HATEHATE) it when everyone around me is touting their new shiny diet that is the Best Thing Ever, and I just want to tell them to shove it, because?

My body IS NOT YOUR BODY.

And not all bodies cooperate with diets the same way. Honestly, it is the height of idiocy to presume that one way of eating will work for everyone.

TheDragon

@OxfordComma Yep. also some of us just really love carbs and dairy and turn into MASSIVE bitches without a bowl or two or cereal every morning. (Seriously. I would be looking around the room, see someone glancing in my direction, and snap "WHAT?!?" at them.)
I just do better when I eat the way I grew up eating.

OxfordComma

@Dragon : Me too! My nutritionist recommended that I try going gluten-free, and it was a miserable three months. I just wanted my toast and butter, Goddammit.

TheDragon

@OxfordComma My acne cleared up, but I'd rather be a loveable zit-face than a bitchy beauty

JadedStone

@Dragon I LOVE CLEANSES. I love diets, I love weird exercise, I love it all.

Thankfully, I'm a lazy gemini with the attention span of a gnat. I can do something for MAYBE a week.

fondue with cheddar

@Dragon Hey! What happened to "The Ken"?

TheDragon

@jen325 One of my friends joined the 'Pin, and while I love her, I wasn't ready to give up my anonymity. I wanted to be "The Dragon" but that was taken.

fondue with cheddar

@Dragon I like just plain old Dragon, especially coupled with the flea pic.

TheDragon

@jen325 Thanks! I figured most of you could figure out who it was if I kept the infamous flea!

VDRE

I shouldn't have read this because I have an automatic anger response to alternative medicines and cleanses. When I was in high school my English teacher lent me his copy of Natural Cures THEY Don't Want You to Know About. It had a whole section about the causes of disease and pretty much everything was caused by Candidia or Electromagnetic Chaos. Anyway now I'm a total western medicine fangirl because I can't read things like that and believe them.
(not to say that I was on the side of the English teacher, he lent the book to me because I had a whole argument with him about how I didn't believe that Big Pharma wanted everyone in America to get cancer)

TheDragon

@VDRE I don't know. On one hand, I think some of the alternative medicines are ridiculous, and I don't believe that Big Pharma is bad and WILL KILL YOU.
But I think that trying to live a natural life without a ton of chemicals is logically sound, and I have this huge fear that too much medicine makes the body rely on medicine to function.
Personally, I think it makes the best sense to combine the two. All one or the other makes me highly nervous. But that's just me.

maybe partying will help

@VDRE

I want there to be an experimental post-rock band named Electromagnetic Chaos. They can tour with Explosions in the Sky.

VDRE

@Dragon I'm perfectly on board with trying to live more naturally but the whole going on cleanses thing is too much for me. Fruits with sugars in them are perfectly natural enough for me.

As for medicines, I don't know- I have some chronic illnesses so medication is kind of unavoidable for me and I do in fact need the medicine to function so I'm kind of ok with it?

TheDragon

@VDRE Oh yeah, I do not trust any diet that tells me that simple, natural foods are bad. That is just a huge red flag. (Also, as discussed above, I don't do well with any diet)

Ok, that I completely understand. I guess I was thinking more of pain medication, because that is my family's Addiction of Choice. I think I've a grand total of 8 prescription pain pills in my life. I just don't trust them.

Reginal T. Squirge

@VDRE

I'm with you.

Hammitt

@VDRE To quote Tim Minchin on this brilliant issue:

"By definition ... Alternative medicine has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work. You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? Medicine."

Shortly followed by my favorite line in any of his songs, in response to the question "you mean you don't believe in any natural cures"

“On the contrary actually:
Before we came to tea,
I took a natural remedy
Derived from the bark of a willow tree
A painkiller that’s virtually side-effect free
It’s got a weird name,
Darling, what was it again?
Masprin?
Basprin?
Asprin!
Which I paid about a buck for
Down at my local drugstore.

dale

@all We seem to have this tendency, as humans, to be very binary about things. It's either/or, never, let's take the best options we can find. I am all for modern medicine - I think many, many lives have been saved by it, or at the very least made easier.

At the same time, there's room for awareness of how to eat things that are better for you, exercising to your body's capacities, taking care of your mental health, and so on, to prevent what we can down the road (heart disease, diabetes, and the like).*

And then there are a few things that modern medicine can't do anything for at this point, like the common cold, so really, if I take a shot glass of pickle juice to try to shorten the days I have a cold, where's the harm?

*I am eliding over the serious issues here relating to socioeconomic status which have a very real effect on the ability of some of us to have the option of pursuing healthy goals.

Lily Rowan

@dale Also, in re: "modern" vs. "natural" medicine -- Here, I have something you can take for your headache. It's made from willow bark. I don't know how it works, but it definitely does! Yeah, aspirin.

VDRE

@maybe partying will help I did in fact want to name a band "Electromagnetic Chaos" after reading that. OR make it my superhero name- Electromagneric Chaos girl. Super villain?

@Dragon yeah- painkiller addiction can be pretty bad. I've fortunately not had to deal with any major pain issues but I can definitely see wanting to be wary about that.

@dale I don't have a problem with trying to eat healthy or trying to be more aware of what you eat- it's just the fad "medical" diets (gluten free when you don't have celiac [I know that there are also gluten allergies but it's become so popular that there's definitely a 'fad diet' element to it], juice cleanses, candidia cleanses, etc) that bother me. Obviously like the pickle juice when you have a cold is perfectly harmless and so are the cleanses- I think part of what bothers me is that things like cleanses aim to fix problems that aren't really there- you don't have too many toxins in your body, you have organs that filter them out, etc. For the pickle juice you are trying to fix a problem that's actually there which bothers me a lot less.

dale

@VDRE Oh, I wasn't picking on you specifically, more that I hear these anti-medicine, anti-sugar, anti-gluten, anti-so many other things tirades all afternoon at work from my coworkers, and I get a little beaten down from it. I completely see where you're coming from and I agree - there's so much looking for a fast fix when there isn't always one.

stuffisthings

@Dragon How do you live without chemicals? Do you float in a cloud of monatomic gas, in space? Is your body made of dark energy?

TheDragon

@stuffisthings Yes.

Sorry to be rude, but I think you know what I meant. There's a big difference between the chemicals found naturally in an apple and the chemicals found in the artificial apples used in some processed snacks.
Also, I believe I said "a ton" not "any"

laurel

@Hammitt: Tim Minchin deserves to be completely fucking famous and influential in the US. C'mon Hairpin, make it so.

stuffisthings

@Dragon I just feel like the health food discourse is going downhill. Like in the 90s people would talk about "preservatives" and "processed food" and now it's all "toxins" and "chemicals" and pretty soon everyone will be going on a "matter cleanse" where they subsist through photosynthesis or something.

If you've got beef with a specific chemical, name and shame. But, like, some of my best friends are made of chemicals! All of them, in fact.

TheDragon

@stuffisthings Ok, I understand where you are coming from, and that my comment was a little inane. I'm just having a bit of a bad day, so your comment came across as less "funny way of pointing out the flaws in your logic" and more "Hey, Dragon. You're an idiot."
I actually agree with you. I think that as humans we should use common sense (aka whole grain pasta is going to be a healthier meal than a white cake with fluorescent icing), and eat a balanced diet, instead of trying ever-stricter cleanses.
I'm also in favor of avoiding chemicals that I consider unnatural.
That is just my personal thoughts on the issue though. I'm by no means going to dislike you if you disagree with me, as long as we all can be civil and agree to disagree.

But honestly, photosynthesis subsistence sounds great to me! No cooking, no dishes, and an excuse to let my sun-worshiping side run rampant!

stuffisthings

@Dragon No I totally know what you mean. I think I was just unduly influenced by the middle school science teacher who told me about the "ban dihydrogen monoxide" prank.

TheDragon

@stuffisthings Seriously though. That sounds dangerous. I bet people drown in it.

Faintly Macabre

@stuffisthings I knew a girl who spent every school assembly earnestly circulating petitions to stop the cruel creation of cube-shaped kittens.

Xanthophyllippa

@stuffisthings I was actually thinking something along the same lines - I have a friend here who is a chemistry Ph.D. student, and it drives her nuts when someone says something like, "Oh, I bought this new chemical-free nail polish." Or, "I grew these vegetables without chemicals." I've taken up her irritation: no, you bought nail polish without toluene and grew the vegetables without manufactured fertilizers.

JanieS

@stuffisthings I want a body made of dark energy.

Then I could finally accomplish my goal of joining the Avengers.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@VDRE: New handle identified

Cavendish

I stopped eating sugar and it's kind of amazing how much better I feel. I went 100% no sugar for two weeks, and am now eating a tiny bit on special occasions. I have fewer headaches, and feel more energetic and just healthier. I haven't lost any weight though, unlike countless other sugar giver-uppers who claim the pounds just melted off. Bah.

But you'll have to pry bread out of my clenched death claws.

DrFeelGood

@Cavendish I assume you mean added sugar. Our bodies convert carbs to sugars and our brains and vital organs need sugar to function.

effystonem

@Cavendish A few years ago I went on a pretty restrictive diet to try to re-tool my system (I was eating like total shit), and obviously part of that was cutting out added sugar. Probably 3 weeks or a month in, I realized that I genuinely did NOT crave it - even if people brought in delicious-looking treats to work, I was just like, "Eh, not feeling it," there wasn't any part of me that wanted it. It was funny how annoyed people got, though, like I thought I was better than them for not eating sugar, because it's such a thing in the workplace. But I really didn't want it! Also my skin looked AWESOME, but that's because I was also drinking a shitload of water.

Dancercise

Wait, but... the yeast in breads is already dead by the time you eat it. The heat of the oven kills it. How does it grow mold in your gut and poison you if it's dead? I do not understand Candida logic!

Reginal T. Squirge

I laugh inside every time I read "gut". Sorry, everybody, I have a stomach so this diet doesn't apply to me.

maybe partying will help

@Reginal T. Squirge

I remember in my first bio-anthro course I was like WHY IS MY TEACHER SAYING GUT ALL THE TIME what happened to stomach what is this GUT business?

Three years later I was the person with fun facts about Homo guts at parties.

Reginal T. Squirge

"Well, I've been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old and, frankly speaking, I've come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains."

Beatrix Kiddo

@Reginal T. Squirge Nice High Fidelity reference.

Reginal T. Squirge

I have a lot of problems with that movie and Cusack's character's general juiceboxiness in it but it has some good lines.

TheDragon

@Reginal T. Squirge
I always think of "gut" as a ruminant thing? I know it's not, but I think its that all the animal sci professors call cattle intestines "guts" and horse's intestines "the G.I. tract."

Reginal T. Squirge

It also makes me think of the hip-hop slang term for, well, all parts of a ladies' womb ("guts").

Heat Signature

Hmmm....I guess I'm not sure why you'd go on a cleanse and not just commit to the whole ball of wax? What I mean by this is, why just do it one week a month, since that's not really going to provide long-term resolution? I say this because I was on an anti-candida diet for over a year and I felt just amazing, physically and mentally. It also resolved a lot of different symptoms I was having, including stuff related to my fibromyalgia.

Susanna

This "candida" stuff is absolute bollocks.

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/candida.html

'The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has strongly criticized the concept of "candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome" and the diagnostic and treatment approaches its proponents use. AAAAI's position statement concludes: (1) the concept of candidiasis hypersensitivity is speculative and unproven; (2) its basic elements would apply to almost all sick patients at some time because its supposed symptoms are essentially universal; (3) overuse of oral antifungal agents could lead to the development of resistant germs that could menace others; (4) adverse effects of oral antifungal agents are rare, but some inevitably will occur; and (5) neither patients nor doctors can determine effectiveness (as opposed to coincidence) without controlled trials. Because allergic symptoms can be influenced by many factors, including emotions, experiments must be designed to separate the effects of the procedure being tested from the effects of other factors [5]. Several years ago, Crook told me that he had no intention of conducting a controlled test because he was "a clinician, not a researcher."

The antifungal drug most often prescribed by proponents of "candidiasis hypersensitivity" is nystatin (Mycostatin, Nilstat), which seldom has significant side effects. However, they also prescribe ketoconazole (Nizoral), which has an incidence of liver toxicity (hepatitis) of about 1 in 10,000. The liver injury usually reverses when the drug is discontinued, but ketoconazole has been responsible for several deaths. For this reason it should be prescribed only for serious infections. Both of these drugs are expensive [6]. In a double-blind trial, the antifungal drug nystatin did no better than a placebo in relieving systemic or psychological symptoms of "candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome." [7] A study of 100 consecutive chronic fatigue patients found no differences in historical, physical, or laboratory findings among those who believed their problem was yeast-related and those who did not [8].'

stuffisthings

@Susanna Oh man I wish the AAAAI and the IEEE would get together and do a joint report. Maybe about karate chops or skydiving.

RK Fire

@stuffisthings: What about the OOO though? No one ever thinks of the OOO.

DrFeelGood

@Susanna Stop assaulting my brain with SCIENCE!!!! Facts are reasonable, evidence is given! Does. Not. Compute.

jule_b_sorry

@Susanna Hah, my first thought was "why not just take an antifungal, rather than some crazy yeast-killing elimination diet?" TECHNOLOGY, WE HAS IT.

"Toxins" has always come a bit too close to "humors" in layman medical lingo for me to take seriously.

TheBourneApproximation

@jule_b_sorry Because taking a antifungal would be *too easy*, and would lack the moral purity and requisite pain and suffering?

Sorry, grumpy scientists here. Criticize the capitalistic parts of modern medicine all you like, and by all means call for better FDA regulations and consumer protections, but don't knock the damn science. Particularly when you're writing on a computer built with science over the internet built with science.

lizaboots

@TheBourneApproximation SERIOUSLY. And your $600 Vitamix for kale smoothies and multiple 38-dollar bottles of supplements...those are totally untainted by the evils of capitalism!

Dancercise

Don't let melis see that hummus is on the approved list.

evil melis

STOP

EATING

FUCKING

HUMMUS YOU GUYS

YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT

boysplz

@evil melis You just haven't met the right one! I'll whip up a batch of hummus made with local fresh boiled chick peas and unicorn farts and pixie menstrual blood and YOU WILL SEE THE LIGHT.

hotdog

@evil melis I just ate kalamata hummus with tabouli and it was amazing. AMAZING.

Faintly Macabre

@evil melis I am confused by the structure of your command. Do you mean "Stop eating fucking hummus, you guys" or "Stop eating/fucking hummus, you guys"?

TheBourneApproximation

@Faintly Macabre "As opposed to normal hummus?"

Faintly Macabre

@TheBourneApproximation If I couldn't tell that the hummus was fucking, is it still a sin to have eaten it?

EpWs

@hotdog That sounds delicious

teaandcakeordeath

This line is perfect:
"As it turns out, when searching for information about Candida you’ll come across a lot of sites that look like a LiveJournal entry by someone writing a sci-fi novel about sugar aliens. "

Sugar kinda destroys me but I found slowly cutting down was preferably to a straight up cleanse. Your body sort of slowly realizes the benefits instead of getting straight up mad at you for depriving it of cookies.
And whilst I have given up most sugary things, Id prefer to eat a spoonfull of raw candida than ever give up coffee or booze. Priorities!

KatieBarTheDoor

The food part of this is similar to a cleanse I tried a couple of years ago, desperate to take off the post-wedding weight, though the premise of mine was to "cleanse the liver of its toxins." I couldn't eat dairy, sugar, or carbs, which left me, as a vegetarian, with a diet of tempeh, eggs, and greens. Plus liver-boosting supplements and multiple glasses a day of a gross cranberry juice (sugarless!) and flaxseed concoction. I lasted three miserable days before deciding it was a stupid idea.

LacunaKale

I'm hardly the patron saint of healthy eating (trader joe's chipwichs, why are you so good?), it seems that the best way to eat better is to just EAT BETTER. Instead of drinking only kale juice pressed under the full moon for a week, eat a salad. Drink less sulfite-y wine, and have delicious seltzer instead. Maybe I'll call it the common sense cleanse, gin up a blurb that says it attracts positive emotions, and sell it with a recipe for kale cesar salad and sugar pills.

lisma

@LacunaKale Obviously you are in cahoots with BIG KALE and can't be trusted.

But please share your recipe for kale caesar salad.

Jinxie

@LacunaKale WORD. Near as I can tell, my roommate lives on a diet composed almost entirely of cheese, dairy, bread, boxed mac n'cheese, ice cream, and vodka. Coincidentally, she often suffers from digestion problems. Every so often, she'll go on a juice cleanse and spend a week bragging to me about how amazing she feels and how she needs to live like this all the time and she's totally going to give up alcohol and cheese forever and I need to start cleansing too. Personally, I'd rather eat my veggies than drink them, and I just don't see how consuming nothing but juice for a week is better than eating a fairly balanced diet high in whole grains, lean protein, and lots of fresh vegetables (with some booze, bacon, and cheese mixed in for fun).

maybe partying will help

@LacunaKale

Ok, I need to know if your handle is a healthy-veggies spin on the band Lacuna Coil? :B

LacunaKale

@ginalouise It's just this http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tuscan-Kale-Caesar-Slaw-366450, but I add more mustard and garlic because I am a lonely cat lady.

LacunaKale

@maybe partying will help Nope. there's a kind of kale called lacintino, but I thought that calling it lacuna was funnier. Cause who doesn't love dark leafy veg+ missing pieces in music or literature. In related news, I may be a geek.

maybe partying will help

@LacunaKale

Still a good story!

gidgetjones

@LacunaKale That recipe is marvelous and will cure people of their kalephobia (crispy oven-baked kale with salt and paprika also does this).

Beatrix Kiddo

@ginalouise Just make regular Caesar dressing and mix it with kale instead of lettuce! It needs a bit more dressing than the lettuce does, and it doesn't hurt to let it sit for a short while before service, unlike lettuce, which breaks down too quickly from the salt and lemon.

blueblazes

@Jinxie ...And that is how I found out that Jinxie and I had the same roommate. Now this person is living with someone else and has quit it with the Kraft. She and her new beau are big into lentils. (So maybe I was the problem all along?)

Danzig!

@LacunaKale Can someone explain to me, an idiot, how to make a salad correctly? Seriously, I get the leafy greens and all that but then WHOOPS an ocean of dressing

Like I could definitely eat more salads if I wasn't so stupid about making them.

frigwiggin

This toxins stuff always cracks me up. Like the infomercials for those pads you put on your feet and they get all black? Lots of people in Santa Cruz (where I went to school) are into this kind of thing, but man, if it does anything, I would imagine it would take way longer than a week and a half to work.

lisma

@frigwiggin Did you ever feel like if you saw another person drinking water out of an old Santa Cruz Organic juice bottle you'd break it over their heads?

Marquise de Morville

@frigwiggin Do they walk around all day in sandals? That'd account for the black pads ;-)

frigwiggin

@ginalouise Oh god, yes. Or the students who carried their coffee to class in mason jars. Or the students who walked around the forest barefoot. (Speaking of black pads.)

lisma

@frigwiggin What if they stepped on a banana slug though?

DrFeelGood

@frigwiggin My favorite was an infomercial for at home enimas. It claimed that we have like 20 or so lbs of fecal matter just sitting in our colon, and that some monk in the 14th century gave himself enimas and lived to a 120.

Elsajeni

@frigwiggin My mother-in-law used to buy those pads and it drove my husband batshit. I think once he actually demonstrated to her that they're moisture-activated, if you just dip them in water they turn black, and she replied that obviously there were toxins in her tap water too.

cosmia

@frigwiggin Those foot cleanse things! I read somewhere that the reason the pads/the water (have you seen the foot soak ones?) is because there's a chemical in the pads/water that makes the dust from your feet turn black when it touches them.

frigwiggin

@DrFeelGood Oh maaaan, I saw one late at night once that was, if I remember correctly, for some kind of pill that made a lot of claims like that, about cleaning all the matter "hanging out" in the colon. There was a long interview between a "medical professional" and the dude selling the product, and he went on and on about how he was ashamed that his seven-year-old daughter had bigger poops than he did until he started taking it. Dude, what???

@ginalouise Then the foot cleanse pads would turn yellow, obviously!

@Elsajeni @cosmia Yeah, they're such a load of crock. TOXINS, TOXINS EVERYWHERRRRE

KatnotCat

@frigwiggin What why are you even keeping track of a 7-year-old's poops? Once a kid if toilet trained, I better not see their poop for any reason.

I have now made two poop-related comments to you in a matter of seconds, frigwiggin. I am not doing this on purpose, I promise.

hotdog

@frigwiggin my boyfriend carries his coffee everywhere in mason jars. His hands are gigantic and his homemade iced coffee habit is, too. AND he's a good-looking woodworker with an adorable dog that he never kicks.

Hate on, haters! I kid, I kid.

Faintly Macabre

@frigwiggin My dad took out that awful Crazy Sexy Cancer book when he was diagnosed with cancer, and the author claims that you should poop three times a day, and if you don't, you just grow further and further behind in your pooping and I guess it eventually comes out your mouth. Luckily, my dad did not take this book seriously.

EpWs

@Faintly Macabre Wait what?

Xanthophyllippa

@Faintly Macabre Well, that explains some of the shit my co-workers say at meetings.

Faintly Macabre

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher She doesn't say exactly that, but she doesn't explain where all the poop fits if it's supposedly accumulating in your body.

This same book also advocated playing the "cancer card" to get what you want, even with immediate family members who are watching you go through treatment. Basically, the kind of ideas you'd expect from someone who'd name their advice book Crazy Sexy Cancer.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@frigwiggin This sort of marketing has made me soooo strangely fascinated with the idea of a colonic? Especially since people are all "There was a Barbie shoe in there! And I'm 45!"

olivebee

I suppose this thread is a good a place as any to ask this (since we're talking intestines and food and all), so I have a question/problem.

A couple weeks ago, my friend introduced me to this herbal tea that....uhh....makes you go. It did not take me long to get addicted. Since I started drinking it, I feel 50x better. I don't bloat, I don't feel heavy (not in a weight way, more like a feeling way), I am not as tired, less headaches, etc. It's a miracle tea. Then I read about it online and it says to only drink it for "emergencies" because your intestines are supposed to have stuff in them. They should never be completely empty and clear because then it changes the way they work and their chemistry and stuff and you can get really sick (and potentially die) because of water absorption and some other stuff that I do not remember. Anywho, I stopped drinking it, and now I feel miserable. I feel like a giant, puffy lead balloon walking around like I always used to. So my question is, what do I do? Do any of you have similar experiences?

Oh, and FWIW, I am a vegetarian who eats pretty much only whole grain, fiber-rich carbs and a lot of fruits and vegetables. So I am pretty sure my regular diet should work in my favor, but it does not.

Reginal T. Squirge

It's called "coffee", right?

olivebee

@Reginal T. Squirge I wish I could drink coffee because I hear it "works," but caffeine makes me sick.

stonefruit

@olivebee Hmm. You may want to go see a GI doc about this. (Not the tea, the bloated lead balloon feeling!) A friend of mine had similar symptoms to yours, and after some testing it turned out her GI tract was not working as it was supposed to -- sorry for the lack of specifics, this was several years ago and she didn't go into a whole lot of detail -- and she had to make some changes. She was also vegetarian/whole grains/lots o' fiber kind of gal.

hotdog

@olivebee oh lord, was it senna leaf tea? That stuff if POTENT and has some serious downsides.

If you're bloaty all the time, there are numerous digestive things that could be wrong, but you would have to follow a strict elimination diet to find out if you have any food stuff going on. Elimination diets are GREAT, and medically sound, but again-very strict until you figure out what you can/can't eat (after a few months of slowly adding things back in).

In the meantime, try a strong probiotic? Like, not a trader joe's or mainstream grocer probiotic, but a real one that has to be refrigerated.

I should start a "ask someone who works with naturopathic doctors but is healthily skeptical" column.

Reginal T. Squirge

@olivebee

I'm the same way. Coffee just makes my stomach feel sour all day so I drink tea.

Blushingflwr

@olivebee Yeah, I would say talk to a doctor if you can. If you're eating a relatively healthy diet and you're not feeling well and you're not regular, I would say that maybe there's something going on.

olivebee

@all The Hairpin: the only "public" place I feel comfortable sharing my bodily issues. I knew you guys would have some advice, thanks! Unfortunately, now it sounds like I should make a doctor's appointment (sigh, insurance blah blah expensive). But I guess it's probably a lot better and safer than relapsing to my tea addiction.

all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

@olivebee Sounds like what a friend of mine has! She couldn't figure it out for years. Turns out she has digestive problems with the onion/garlic family, plus she's lactose intolerant. Some people have odd sensitivities, it could well be one of the fruit + veg you're eating that is causing it. Or soy, that's pretty common too, and you're a vegetarian so you probably eat a lot of it? Ask your doc for an allergist referral! (also, probiotics couldn't hurt!)

Melusina

@olivebee My doctor has just prescribed senna for me (capsule form, daily) and it has similar properties. It doesn't sound like you should worry or feel bad about drinking the tea so long as you aren't overdoing it. If you were feeling bloated before, it probably meant you were constipated, and drinking the tea has just enabled you to go like a non-constipated person.

Jenna Q

@olivebee
ALSO, well, this is normally referring to actual laxatives, but I am assuming since it makes you go and that is the point of it, it counts as a laxative. ANYWAY, if you take them regularly for a bit, your bowels actually come to rely on them and you literally will not be able to go without them. So watch out!!

Hammitt

All this stuff bugs me. Or at least most of it. Moderation, sure. Moderation is GREAT. And yes, sugar causes energy spikes and crashes which causes horrid headaches and a bunch of other stuff, but didn't most of us learn that the first time our parents didn't moderate our intake of Halloween candy?

It's like people who feel vaguely shitty, have absolutely NO proof tengential or other that its related to gluten, cut it out, feel amazing, and then tell me about how gluten is horrid. Some of the time, sure, it's gluten. But you know what else? When you cut out gluten you also cut out pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches and eating random things without thinking. You started looking at labels and noticing other nutritional facts. You started eating a lot more veggies and fruit to make up for all the bread and pasta you weren't eating anymore. YOu got into whole grains and took up a bigger variety of foods. You became incredibly mindful about what went in your body, and when, and how. And, after all that, you SHOCKINGLY feel better? By golly, must be the gluten!

frigwiggin

@Hammitt

Aww, but I like eating random things without thinking.

Xanthophyllippa

@frigwiggin That's why for lunch I had a binder clip and a pinecone.

Hammitt

@frigwiggin @Xanthophyllippa This made me so, so happy.

Incidentally, I also LOVE eating without thinking, sometimes to the point of discomfort. But I also LOVE drinking to excess, driving dangerously fast, being really bitchy sometimes, and blowing off work to marathon Battlestar Gallactica. I think its just key that we, you know, moderate what we love.

Xanthophyllippa

@Hammitt We need to hang out.

snowmentality

@Xanthophyllipa: "That's why for lunch I had a binder clip and a pinecone."

Here is an educational video for you, courtesy of Yo Gabba Gabba.

Xanthophyllippa

@snowmentality WHAT IS THIS CRAZY DIET YOU WOULD HAVE ME ON I DON'T EVEN.

I think Cookie Monster even said that binder clips are a sometimes food.

Hammitt

@Xanthophyllippa Well, obviously.

snowmentality

@Xanthophyllippa I have been following the FOOD! lifestyle for many years. It has changed my life! I feel so great now! I don't even crave plastic cameras and skateboards anymore! If I slip up and eat a cowboy boot, I just get right back on track and make sure my next meal is nothing but FOOD!

(Wow, it is way too easy to imitate diet books.)

Xanthophyllippa

@snowmentality I too have been enjoying the restorative powers of FOOD! I feel so much better when I eat FOOD! I haven't eaten any office supplies in a FULL DAY thanks to FOOD!

(Hey, you're right!)

Binnebrook

Nonsense. Complete nonsense. I would hazard a guess that the headaches are on account of giving up caffeine all of a sudden, and the itchy skin is on account of something in the laundry detergent.

SarahP

@Binnebrook I had the same thought about the headaches!

Beatrix Kiddo

@Binnebrook Definitely. I have frequent headaches, but I know it's because I drink a lot of wine. The concept of cutting out fresh fruit for ambiguous, unproven health purposes makes no sense to me.

Faintly Macabre

@Binnebrook Yeah, caffeine doesn't have a huge effect on me, sadly, but I still get a pounding day-long headache if I don't drink a strong cup within a few hours of waking.

(And I will never give it up! What else could give me a reason to follow breakfast with cookies and chocolate?)

bluewindgirl

Cleanses are the socially acceptable alternative to diets (that awful, trivial, feminized phenomenon!) because they substitute reasonable, neutral things like "health" for that emotionally and politically charged goal, weight-loss. In a cleanse, the goal is "clarity of mind" or "freedom from Big Corn" or some kind of abstract spiritual fulfillment. These are ostensibly higher-minded goals than looking good in a bathing suit because you've eaten no solid food in a week, which is totally just a side bonus.
It is POSSIBLE to do a cleanse for purposes other than weight loss, just like it is possible to diet explicitly for health rather than for beauty. It's just hard not to get funneled into that persistent narrative, in which Puritan self-denial makes you attractive to others.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@bluewindgirl What finally gave me freedom from Big Corn was my podiatrist.

Scandyhoovian

I have one of those friends who is constantly trying all the new fad diets, and Candida Cleanse is her new thing. She explains it to me like "no white sugar, no white flour," though? I'm wondering if she's just invented a diet and called it a Candida Cleanse, considering it's not what was described above...

hotdog

@Scandyhoovian So, to be fair white sugar and white flour are both very good things to cut out-they are both super processed versions of the original, and cut out otherwise healthy attributes of the foods (I'm really talking more about the flour here). It's' the zealousness that's alarming with the cleanses, methinks.

Scandyhoovian

@hotdog Well, yeah, definitely! I try to eat pretty healthily, so I avoid those things as well as I can anyway. It's just odd to me that my friend has decided to call that a "Candida Cleanse," haha.

stuffisthings

If every dumb New Agey diet fad were written about exactly like this the world would be such a better place.

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings Needs more Voltaire jokes, though.

Xanthophyllippa

@stuffisthings Objection! What about snakes?

stuffisthings

@Xanthophyllippa Full of toxins. Avoid them.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@stuffisthings But necrosis sheds so much weight!

jeriblank

@Scandyhoovian I definitely felt like there were a million different versions of this cleanse floating around and all of them had slightly different rules. I think that was part of what made it so comical to try to follow. It definitely contributed to why we stopped doing it. My main argument with Kelli for stopping it was: "I'm pretty sure it's all made up."

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I think anyone who regularly ingests coffee and then stops for nine days would become "bitchy," as Kelli stated. I get that way if I don't have it before 11 a.m. Hi, my name is Rose, and I'm addicted to coffee.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
Yeah, it was quite a revelation the day I realized that, as soon as I run out of coffee at my house, I immediately begin rearranging my plans in order to procure more.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@josiahg "I just need a shot of espresso, man. Just one; I know I've only got $1, but please, man. Please. I need this."

theotherginger

@josiahg I've definitely left the house immediately upon waking, sprint biked to the closest 24 hour grocery store, and made coffee to the tune of a pounding headache... I mean, no coffee problems here

Xanthophyllippa

@josiahg I have had two cups of coffee in my lifetime. I was not impressed by either. (And caffeine makes me sleepy, so: pointless.)

cosmia

Man, I feel like I could maybe sort of do this, because I'm (lightly) dieting right now after going on vacation and gaining 5 All-Inclusive Buffet Dinner pounds, so I'm eating less carbs and cheese and stuff anyway, but omg, no fruit! I would die without fruit. I love all of the fruit always.

Daisy Razor

I get ragey about "cleanses" and anti-candida stuff in particular because my sister used to put her CHILDREN on diets like this to "cure" their behavioral problems. Years of hearing her spout bullshit like this have made me western medicine's biggest defender, which is funny given that I do often think western med has its head up its ass.

At least it isn't telling you your children will be cured of their learning disabilities if they don't eat sugar though.

hotdog

@Daisy Razor you have valid points, but like-some kids behavioral problems DO come from red dye (allergies!). Some kids have eczema because they can't do dairy. If one route is "take your kid to the doctor, then rub this cream all over them that comes from big pharma that you don't know what's in", and the other is "put your kid on a dairy-restricted diet", with results the same from both, I know which one I'm choosing, relatives who think I'm nuts be damned. Is she crazy to try dietary routes before she puts them on ritalin?

Daisy Razor

@hotdog Except she never even brought them to the doctor. She just decided what they had and went from there.

thebestjasmine

@hotdog Yeah, I'm going to pick the route that starts with "take your kid to the doctor" instead of the one that's "read about something on the internet and put your kid on a crazy diet."

hotdog

@Daisy Razor those routes are not mutually exclusive.

Xanthophyllippa

@hotdog Sounds like they were to her sister.

apb
apb

The meals described here are totally unbalanced - maybe that's why you felt so shitty? I am not a hard-ass about it, but almost everyone I know would benefit from giving up refined sugar and most refined grains. Yes, everything turns into sugar in the body, but they are all metabolized differently and hit your bloodstream at different rates. Pure white refined sugar slams in there, hence sugar highs and crashes. Something like brown rice syrup, which is primarily maltose rather than fructose or sucrose is assimilated by the body much more slowly, which is why it tends not to cause the crashes.

I understand that there's a lot of "cleanse" and BS dietary advice out there, and people get crazy-evangelist about sketchy diet claims, but I have a close friend who gave up refined sugar and eliminated a lifetime problem with regular (weekly or more often), crippling migraines. (He'd been having them since age six.) I find that refined sugar, especially in combination with dairy, makes me break out. I have trouble sleeping when I eat refined sugar in the afternoon. My lifelong battle with stomach pain, which led to tons of medical tests but no conclusion, and never responded on a permanent basis to medication, has responded to dietary changes and dietary changes only.

The thing about the candida diet: yes, it's a little quacky, and yes, it sucks (though if you had been eating balanced, full meals - which is possible on the diet - you would have felt much better - who things almond butter + rice cakes are enough to eat for lunch??) , but going on it for a week or a month to try it out will do no lasting damage. That's the thing about dietary changes - you can try something for a few weeks or a month, you can juice fast for a couple of days, just to see what happens, without doing the long-term damage that medication can cause.

But quitting white sugar, cutting down on refined carbs and flours, not overeating fruit and other sweeteners, and making sure to eat a LOT of vegetables, raw and cooked, on a daily basis? This is a good idea for just about everybody. But most people who aren't eating this way don't want to hear it.

OxfordComma

@apb ...Mostly true! :)

There are some folks who are so sensitive to many greens (Hi! I'm one of them!) that their bodies simply don't absorb the nutrients they need from them, along with sometimes just flat out barfing them back up.

Eating good food is a good plan--but we have *so* many good foods to choose from, it's okay to eat more fruits than veg, or more whole grains than fruit, or more veg than yogurt--all of these things are okay, so long as we are mindful of what we're eating.

Hammitt

@apb Yes and no. Depends how delicate your health is. I know two 70 something sisters who ended up hospitalized three days in to a juice cleanse. Turns out? You need calories and a variety of nutrients to live! I mean, I agree with you generally speaking that dietary changes are some of the best meds, but if your health is careful, its worth talking to a professional before you try something whackadoodle with your diet.

hotdog

@Hammitt Absolutely! I help people (friends, especially) with their diets (not DIETS), but I won't touch it with a ten foot pole if someone is in anything but perfect health or has their doctor's green light to try something out of the ordinary. Any good naturopath/cleanse book will tell you that (I hope!!)

apb
apb

@OxfordComma There are definitely exceptions to everything. I can't eat tomatoes or avocados (both super healthy wonderful live-giving foods!) because they do horrible things to my digestion, and I have a friend who suffered for years before finding out she just could tolerate broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables. But situations like ours and yours are the exception, rather than the rule - and I didn't find out about the tomato/avocado thing until I'd adopted a veg-heavy, unprocessed diet. With all the white flour and sugar in the mix, I wasn't enough in touch with my body to k now what was doing what.

And I agree with you for the most part on the variety of healthy foods out there. But vegetables, really (as tolerated - and some folks really can't tolerate much, if any, raw veg, due to delicate digestion, so cooked is the answer there) are the most nutritious thing out there. In addition to its high sugar content, fruit has a relatively narrow profile of nutrients - mostly vitamin C plus various antioxidants. But vegetables have a very wide variety of vitamins and minerals, especially when you include mushrooms. Some folks don't need to eat grains. Some can't tolerate dairy, or fruit. But vegetables are a necessity across the board for the majority of people.

I also find that a lot of folks who try the Source & other "cleanse" type diets that *could* be healthy, tend to underestimate the amount of protein and fat they need to eat to be satisfied, end up spaced-out and sluggish as a result, and then swear off "healthy eating" or plant food-heavy diets as a result. This is a shame, and I wish these quacky diets didn't get so much attention.

@hotdog YES, definitely. The problem with the idea of a "cleanse" is that people who have been overindulging and generally living an unhealthful lifestyle think that they can just "reset" with a juice cleanse. Fasting, on the other hand - done more for mental than physical reasons - can be a healthy thing to do for the mind and the body once in awhile, if you're already in optimal health. "Cleanse" is simply a misleading term, that encourages folks to put themselves into harm's way with this idea that you can shortcut to good health by deprivation.

And now that this is Great American Novel-length, I may as well put in: unfortunately, "talking to a professional" won't always do you any good. I ran the gamut of gastroenterology specialists for a good decade-plus, and the only dietary recommendation I ever received from any of them, or my primary care physicians, has been "eat less spicy food". None of these doctors ever asked about my diet. And why would they? There's very little nutrition education involved in a western medical education, unless you're very lucky. I wasn't able to figure out that my excruciating stomach pain was food-related until an acupuncturist had me make a food diary, and I started changing the way I ate.

The best part about knowing how food affects your body? You can still choose to eat it. I know if I eat sugar at night, I'll feel thickheaded in the morning, but sometimes (often!), ice cream is worth it. Now I'm going to go have some ice cream.

OxfordComma

@apb : Yup! I have done a LOT of research into finding out the best way for me to eat, get the nutrients I need, and avoid foods that trigger my body's sensitivities.

Honestly, I wish nutrition--flat out nutrition, nothing sponsored by ANYONE--was taught in school.

brista128

If your girlfriend still has her rash, then it really might be detergent-related. This has a lot of info - http://www.solveeczema.org/

Also you didn't mention how long she's had rashes. If she been using topical steroids to manage her rash for years, it might be red skin syndrome.

many things do not fly

I've never really understood the whole cleanse thing (TM), but I just wanted to comment something I do know about--rice cakes with almond butter. This is my breakfast almost every day because I love it. Crunchy, nutty goodness! Not at all like cardboard! I will defend almond butter 'til the end.

Judith Slutler

@many things do not fly I wish almond butter weren't so expensive because that stuff is AMAZING.

entangled

@many things do not fly I think rice cakes with nut butter are pretty delicious, too. I should eat them more often, but I am such a messy eater. But I think that oftentimes things eaten with the mentality of "this is healthy I must eat it" end up being a lot less enjoyable than the same foods eaten because dammit they taste good.

simone eastbro

@many things do not fly I PUT KIMCHI ON TOP and it is THE BOMB

apb
apb

@simone eastbro I like eating rice cakes with regular butter and sometimes honey or hot sauce. YUM.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@many things do not fly: Like leeches, humours, and the ether, cleanses are another throwback to things that 'seem like they should work', usually based on intuition or anecdotal evidence.

many things do not fly

@simone eastbro Wait...KIMCHI ON TOP??? That sounds amazing. I have a craving for peanut butter and sriracha sandwiches every once in a while, so that would be right up my alley.

@Emanuelle Cunt I know! I wish almond butter were cheaper. I lucked out, in that my boyfriend's parents came to visit for a week and brought three jars of it with them (for what purpose, I'm not sure) and left them behind! So now I have ALL THE ALMOND BUTTER. Which may have been part of the motivation for my rice cake and almond butter binge.

EpWs

@many things do not fly Rice cakes, honey, a little sea salt. AMAZING.

snowmentality

@Emmanuelle Cunt Regarding expensiveness of almond butter: I recently learned that with a powerful-enough food processor, you can literally just dump a bunch of almonds in there, turn it on, and leave it for a while (like 15 minutes), and it will turn into almond butter. (Okay, you might possibly need to scrape the sides somewhere in there.) And a big bag of raw almonds is fairly cheap at Costco, or a tub of them at Target.

Also delicious: walnut butter (especially with some cinnamon added).

Of course, there is the expense of a powerful food processor. Then again, I use mine a lot, to make all kinds of dough, hummus, falafel, gazpacho, curry pastes, as well as nut butters, so I think it was worthwhile. (Also I got a refurbished one for about half price online.)

angelinha

@Emmanuelle Cunt Do you have a Trader Joe's near you? Their almond butter is delicious and natural and the same reasonable price as their peanut butter.

frigwiggin

Another thing I never understand is how people can observe that they've lost two or three pounds in a couple of days. I would just count that as a margin of error on the scale? (Unless people have super high-tech scales now I don't know about. I haven't had one in years.)

Xanthophyllippa

@frigwiggin Or temporary weight fluctuation. If I'm the same weight two days in a row, it's usually the scale that's off.

KatnotCat

@frigwiggin Most people can quite literally poop out 2-3 pounds in a day, so yes, not a very remarkable weight loss and a little obsessive to note it.

Mira

@frigwiggin Yeah, I don't own a scale but 2-3 pounds is like, I drank more/less water than usual today. The idea of tracking my weight that closely is kind of scary.

anachronistique

@frigwiggin My weight swings around more than that depending on where I am in my menstrual cycle too. Which is part of why the whole "I have to lose ten pounds" thing always baffles me. (I mean, I'm also super fat so ten pounds makes no difference, but still.)

Xanthophyllippa

@KatnotCat That's...revolting. But also comforting, given the magnitude of the dinner I just ate.

KatnotCat

@Xanthophyllippa It's not gross at all! I have to weigh each bowel movement as part of a cool new cleanse I'm doing. I've never felt so good! Once you get into weighing your own poop, you get so in touch with your body.

Xanthophyllippa

@KatnotCat I have absolutely no interest in being in touch with my body, but I wish you the best on your cleanse.

The Attic Wife

Just to go incredibly off-topic - Am I the only person who read the title and thought, "I don't get it, has this person been reading too much George Bernard Shaw?"

i make lists

Has anyone ever heard of the Keto diet? I know someone who's been on it for almost six months and it honestly seems a bit unhealthy to me. She is allowed 20 grams of carbs a day, and otherwise only eats meat, eggs, nuts, and vegetables and she says it's to prevent diabetes. I just want to know if it's safe? She's lost about forty pounds in six months without any exercise and she'll have these tiny lunches that consist of only olives and cheese, or almonds and boiled eggs. I'm just worried it's a disordered eating thing, since I'm not sure how legit it is.

Summer Somewhere

@i make lists - Your friend is purposely putting her body in a state of ketosis, which results in weight loss but can also cause organ failure, kidney stones, kidney failure, etc. (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/high-protein-low-carbohydrate-diets) My human biology instructor in college made fun of people who did this--from what we were learning about digestion it sounded fucking crazy--and then Atkins mania hit about 2 years later.

blueblazes

@i make lists -- I did something similar for a time. It wasn't Keto specifically, but it was essentially high fat, some veggies, no carbs. I did this on the advice of an actual physician of Western Medicine, and I felt great while I was doing it. Except that I didn't really. MY BODY felt great and was working with efficiency and zeal, but the diet kind of took over my life. No beer became no social life. No pizza became nothing to look forward to. Oh, but I could glance condescendingly over at the mere mortals who needed calories to survive. How quaint and old-fashioned they were with their omnivorous digestive systems. All that to say that the diet turned me into a self-obsessed, antisocial, smug nihilist. AND THAT IS WHY CELEBRITIES LOVE DIETS.

If your friend's mental health is OK and she is still the person she was before, the diet itself isn't harmful. If it is changing her outlook and personality, you're veering into the land of eating disorders.

Myself, I decided exercise is a small price to pay for the joy of carbohydrates.

blueblazes

@blueblazes Also, RIP David Rakoff. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/259/promised-land?act=2

TheLetterL

@i make lists I dunno from the Keto diet, but the goal of the Atkins diet used to be* keeping yourself in ketosis, peeing daily on testing strips and everything. In the intro phase, the goal was* indeed 20 grams a day. It smells...unusual.

* I use the past tense because the last time I did Atkins was about 12 years ago. I understand more carbs are allowed now, NOT THAT I'M BITTER.

MollyculeTheory

The Best Time I Went on a Candide Cleanse: No Voltaire, at all. For serious cleansers, also avoid Montesquieu. It was okay. I lost 2 pounds.

stuffisthings

@MollyculeTheory But was it the best of all possible diets?

Melusina

@MollyculeTheory Oh, it worked for me. I lost one buttock.

stuffisthings

I came up with a great new diet where you swear off all ethnic foods for a certain period of time. I'm just not sure what to call it...

Mira

@stuffisthings The WonderBread Cleanse.

hahahaha, ja.

@stuffisthings: "Mild racism"?

bluewindgirl

@stuffisthings I'm pickin up what you're puttin down... :D

Xanthophyllippa

@stuffisthings WIN.

glow bug

Super off-topic (possibly), but the last time I had an unexplained rash it turned out to be bed bugs? Sorry to say. Some people react to the bites differently than others, which may be why Kelli is rashing and you're not. Worth checking out. You can look for dark spots on your mattress & bedsheets, and/or wake up at 1-2 am and look for the actual buggers crawling around your bed.

glow bug

Also the rashes would pop up at different times of the day for whatever reason, so I never thought it was from something biting me in the night. Even when our neighbors mentioned they had bed bugs I didn't buy it.

fondue with cheddar

@pigforker The last time I had an unexplained rash it turned out to be scabies.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@pigforker Last time I had an unexplained rash it turned out to be a massive allergic reaction to sunblock. And the last time I had an unexplained rash before that, it turned out to be a massive allergic reaction to Rembrandt whitening toothpaste. And the time before that when I had an unexplained rash it turned out to be a massive allergic reaction to life itself.

glow bug

@jen325 Oooh, I had that once too! Couldn't figure out why the rash was swirly, turns out I scratch in circles

@werewolfbarmitzvah Life itself is definitely a huge irritant at times

Xanthophyllippa

@werewolfbarmitzvah I had a sunblock reaction too! I put some on then scratched it all off when my neck started to itch, so I put some more on and then went for a run. My neck started to REALLY itch so I decided, okay, I'm just going to scratch until I feel better, and as soon as my fingers hit my neck I realized oh, something is Wrong. I looked in the vanity mirror in the car and my entire neck was puffed up and white and lumpy like cottage cheese. Now I have to buy fancypants Aveeno or Neutrogena sunblock instead of the off-brand stuff that's $4 for a massive bottle.

flanhoodles

@jen325 Me too!

fondue with cheddar

@flanhoodles I'm so sorry! Scabies are the worst. Thank goodness I didn't have them in my underpants area, because it was torturous enough to have them everywhere else. The fact that they were misdiagnosed as hives didn't help, either. I had them for months before getting proper treatment. And it was summertime.

meetapossum

@jen325 !!! I had the opposite problem: After researching on the internet, I thought I had scabies, but it turned out to just be a rash.

fondue with cheddar

@meetapossum Thank goodness! That is not a problem, it's a blessing. HOLY SHIT IS IT A BLESSING.

City_Dater

I read this while eating a salami sandwich and a bag of cheddar cheese SunChips. And laughing.

TheBourneApproximation

@City_Dater I just ate a gigantic piece of baklava!

fondue with cheddar

@City_Dater I had pepperoni pizza* and sugar-sweetened tea.

*Lean Cuisine, but still...

Xanthophyllippa

@City_Dater I was eating a generic brand of Sour Patch Kids and licking the sugar out of the bottom of the bag.

stonefruit

@Xanthophyllippa Hey! I'm on a SPK kick, too! yum, but also ouch.

mine de rien

@City_Dater An entire pizza base, with parmesan and cheddar melted on it, plus sweet tea. I am not proud, but I am happy.

Danzig!

@City_Dater I'm eating nutella with a spoon

D.@twitter

@Danzig! Is there any other way?

Danzig!

@D.@twitter Surely not

jeriblank

@pigforker As sad as this is to say, we have had bedbugs before (2 years ago when living in Bushwick thanks to a roommate that liked to bring random things in off of the street) and this rash is pretty different from any sort of bite. In fact Kelli has had them TWICE, poor girl. That experience is definitely a whole other post, but all of this is to say we are very vigilant about noticing anything remotely bedbug-ish in our apt.

glow bug

@jeriblank I am very glad to hear it is not bedbugs this time around, because besides the ick factor they are horrendously difficult to get rid of, and I hope you find the irritant soon!

hotdog

@jeriblank oh god, off the street stuff in BUSHWICK?!? I used to purposefully cross the street whenever there was anything even remotely resembling household goods. I now sing the praises of Chicago alleys at least once a week.

angelene

This is all very familiar. I tried a candida diet until my doctor told me candida is bullshit, not in those exact words but I got the gist. Since then, I discovered I had a stomach inflammation all along. Still have a sensitive stomach (which makes it sound so endearing, like it's reading romance novels and crying) – have figured out that stress is a major factor, and fierce dieting was really stressing me out.

mizadventure

Wait. Has this article caused no one else to discover, and immediately become massively distracted by, the Flowbee? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3G1cwqYkO4)

angelinha

I DID THIS TO CURE YEAST INFECTIONS! It was miserable! I lost a lot of weight because every time I thought of something I might possibly want to eat, it contained something I couldn't have. And I also hid my almond butter + rice cake poopy bags at work. <3 u yeasties

LaDolceVita

I read this entire post as Canada cleanse.

Danzig!

@LaDolceVita I would not be surprised if bits of poutine persisted in your system for years after you ate it

Ham Snadwich

@LaDolceVita - I'm going syrup and poutine free.

itiresias

I don't eat gluten and stay away from processed foods and a lot of the depressing food mentioned here is in my normal diet that I look forward to eating. Le sigh. (digs poop covered rice cakes out of purse, snacks)

hp9000

My wife is in this crazy candida diet that a Naturopath put her in. Pretty much everything is banned so she's already lost like 20 pounds. But she's also tired and cranky all day, not surprisingly. Anyway, I try to refrain myself from making any comments about her diet and about all this candida b.s. but sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut. So I asked her, do you know that bread has no live yeast? Otherwise it would keep expanding in the bag; once it's baked, the yeast dies (I know, I bake bread myself). The answer was "Oh I just follow what the doctor says". I said then, how does he know that you're getting better, does he take blood samples, saliva or vaginal swabs and sends them to a lab? The answer: "no, he does muscle testing and talks to the body". At this point, I know I've lost the battle and I don't say anything anymore because I don't want to be accused of "not being supportive" or "sending negative vibes" or something like that (she's already told me that). I guess what I'm saying is that all these b.s. cleanse diets probably won't get rid of anything in your body but will definitely get rid of your critical thinking, your friends, your couple, and any joy left in your life. If you get healed of anything, it's probably just a coincidence resulting from a change of detergent, stress levels, environmental conditions or just the body doing its job. It's sad that many people don't realize this and the price they pay for their ignorance is very high.

Alex Rinehart DC CCN@twitter

Great insight as to what a patient can go through on a candida cleanse, I think it's important because of the die-off and the toxic byproducts of Candida metabolism that sometimes slow and steady is the way to go. Headaches, flu-like symptoms, and diarrhea can be relatively severe if you go too strongly. I recently reviewed a number of natural products that may be used in place of or alongside fluconazole and other antifungal "azole" drugs and creams. Fungal resistance is becoming more common and so these alternatives are becoming increasingly important. I may add some liver detoxification support to help with some of these potential die-off symptoms. But the potential severity of symptoms just shows how much systemic candida can affect our bodies! Here's a link to my article:

http://dralexrinehart.com/nutrition-benefits/curing-candida-fungal-infections-naturally/

Robyn Vines Smith@facebook

Thank you for this. It was hilarious and absolutely convinced me not to do this.

Ozu
Ozu

@Robyn Vines Smith@facebook you're a moron.

Melissa Locks@facebook

Also, get in touch with Linda Mcartney. She's been dealing with candida for a while too and has written about it on her site.

I found Lady Soma as well to be very helpful - the Lady Soma Candida Cleanse. Ive been using it for 1 month and having great results. Its effective.

darry11

That's quite a struggle but I am not afraid of it as long as this struggle can take you to the result you want. I've become really sensible to allergies because of it, I am actually thinking about reading few things about asthma prevention, you can never have enough protection against these.

Ozu
Ozu

@darry11 Yeah, the "struggle" described in the article is kind of embarrassing (and she was never going to get results with her regimen and only 10 days, especially loading up on sugar as soon as the diet was over). Grow some self control and self respect. A candida cleanse is a lot more than just a diet, though that's where it begins and ends (and it can take months). You didn't even half-ass it and have provided nothing worth reading in this article (only fluff).

You might see results if you did put in any effort. I have done this diet a number of times (with the inclusion of yeast-fighting supplements, though I should have also done a full system flushes prior) and have found myself in a flu-like state before defecating gobs of yeast one day, and then quite literally feeling the best I've felt since I was a child. If you knew the benefits, you might take it seriously. I was at the end of my rope when I tried it (believe me, I was skeptical, too) and it was the last thing I hadn't tried (had seen every doctor, every test), but it was actually worth the effort. I wish you had something to say, too.

Marie Ski@facebook

Oh my!!! This article was so well endowed with comedy and honesty, a fantastic read and truthful insight!!!! Thank you for the laughs! *puts on yeast fighting war gear and spies around the corner of the Koolaid isle.

bilo rani

Also, it hurt to exercise. A lot. I came to the conclusion that if I am indeed addicted to carbs it is in the same way I am addicted to air and water.
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bilo rani

! This article was so well endowed with comedy and honesty, a fantastic read and truthful insight!!!! Thank you for the laughs! *puts on yeast fighting war gear and spies around the corner of the Koolaid isle.
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