Could it be Candida?

When I was diagnosed with Candida ten years ago, I was actually relieved. I had been searching for an answer for the majority of my life, visiting countless doctors and undergoing test after test after test. Being poked and prodded for most of my teens left me very anxious and depressed. I was bloated all day everyday and had terrible stomach pains. I suffered from chronic fatigue where it became impossible to get out of bed in the morning. My skin was terrible. cystic acne everywhere... and it was so painful.

When I was finally introduced to Holistic Medicine, my whole life changed. Within days of following my Naturopathic Doctor's advice to remove Candida, a weight was lifted off of me.  For the first time in my entire life, I wasn't bloated. Of course my healing journey to cure Candida was not that simple. I had to follow a protocol for awhile to make sure it had been eliminated.  And even now, I still have some setbacks. However, my quality of life is so much better than it used to be.

When I decided to become a Holistic Health Coach, I made it my duty to research gut health so that I could help others lift this burden too. Throughout my studies, I discovered that Candida is much more common than we think. In fact, an average of 70% of Americans are effected by a Candida overgrowth in their lifetime.

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its main job? Helping out with digestion and nutrient absorption.  It's important to understand that everyone has Candida in their system, but when overproduced, Candida can break down the wall of the intestines and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression. 

Common symptoms of Candida: 

  • Skin and nail fungus

  • Feeling tired or worn out, chronic fatigue

  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea

  • Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis

  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHA, and brain fog

  • Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes

  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression

  • Vaginal infection, urinary track infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching

  • Severe allergies or itchy ears

  • Strong carbohydrate and sugar cravings

You may be thinking, well, some of these apply to me but how do I know if it is Candida? There are many variables along the way. Some people are born with Candida. It can be common or associated higher risk with c-section babies because they are not exposed to some nutrients when born. Even as a baby, I struggled with many digestive issues and back then, doctors did not have enough research to understand what I was going through. If you weren't born with it and one day it started rearing its ugly head, chances are you acquired it from these following pathways.

Things that contribute to the direct cause of Candida: 

  • Eating a diet high in refined carbs and sugar

  • Consuming alcohol daily or in excess

  • Taking oral contraceptives (birth control)

  • Living a high-stress lifestyle

  • Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of the good bacteria

1. Diet high in sugar

Consistently consuming high sugar foods feed the Candida bacteria, causing it to multiply. Sounds gross right? It is! They actually thrive off sugar. This includes white sugar but also any foods that converts to sugar like white potatoes and white flour. 

2. Chronic Stress

Stress affects your entire body, which can lead to excess Candida. One of your body’s first reactions to a stressful situation is to release cortisol, a hormone that suppresses your immune system and raises your blood sugar level. The Candida yeast feeds on the extra sugar, while your weakened immune system is powerless to stop it. Stress gives it the chance to overpower the existing gut flora in your small intestine.

3. Overuse of antibiotics

Antibiotics serve their purpose when needed, but in extended doses and excessive use, they break down our healthy bacteria and disrupt our gut flora. This, in turn, weakens the immune system, making it nearly impossible for the body to fight off disease, especially Candida.

4. Birth Control

According to TheCandidaDiet.com (a great trusted resource for Candida info) an outbreak of Candida can be traced to the contraceptive pill. The intestines depend on the right environment to support them, and this equilibrium can be thrown off by the hormonal imbalances caused by the contraceptive pill.

By disturbing this balance, the contraceptive pill opens the door for Candida to once again outgrow its competitors in the gut. Estrogen, the major ingredient in the contraceptive pill, is known to promote the growth of yeast. If you need evidence of how this can happen, see how many women get regular yeast infections while on the pill. It’s exactly the same principle, and it has been documented by multiple research studies.

5. Non-organic food

By exposing yourself to genetically modified foods (GMO's) and pesticides, your immune system breaks down making it more susceptible to yeast.  Buying organic food can help to reduce your exposure to antibiotics. An astounding 55% of the antibiotics used in the US are in the livestock industry. Herds of cattle are fed antibiotics to keep mortality rates low and profit margins high. Some of these residual antibiotics make their way onto our plates in foods like beef and milk. This has become so widespread that the European Union has banned it completely and won’t even import beef that has been raised with antibiotics.

Reducing your exposure to these five pathways will significantly decrease your Candida overgrowth but there are additional steps that need to take place.
 
First: you need to REMOVE the yeast. To remove the yeast you basically have to starve off the cells from reproducing. It can take up to six months to remove the bad bacteria so it is important to stay strong through the process. 

The two most important aspects of ridding Candida: Diet and Lifestyle. 

Diet Changes - Avoid toxic triggers: 

  • Caffeine

  • Sugar

  • Alcohol

  • Gluten

  • Dairy

Lifestyle Changes - Stress less
 
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to Candida. Stress ignites the reproduction of the cells, so it is very important for you to take care of yourself mentally and not overextend yourself when trying to eliminate Candida. Here are a few helpful tools for decreasing the stress in your life:  

  • Journal (get those unwanted thoughts out of your head)

  • Exercise

  • Plan ahead

  • Avoid or manage toxic relationships

  • Take a weekend trip to unwind

  • Choose yourself first

Out of all these rituals, journaling is my favorite. It provides a road map to your health. I often find it extremely helpful when assisting my clients and helping them understand their body and its reactions. 

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Healthy daily rituals

It is really important during your detox of Candida to take it really easy. When the body disposes of the excess yeast, it can be very overwhelming on the immune system. Proper rest and relaxation is key in your recovery. Slowing down your workouts and focusing on self-care is helpful too. It is common that people will experience cold and/or flu-like symptoms too, but remember that taking an antibiotic for these will only delay your success. It's best to weather it our with vitamins and bone broth.

Having structure around your day helps to keep the stress at bay. Also, these healthy rituals will help your body DETOX the yeast faster. 

  • Oil pulling

  • Hot Epsom salt baths

  • Meditating

  • Daily exercise

  • Hot water with lemon and cayenne

  • Drinking room temperature spring water

  • Dry sauna

  • Alternating hot/cold showers

The most important thing to remember is you are not alone. Many people are struggling with these symptoms and making these changes all the time. If you are looking for a supportive community with other people going through this then join my crew. The JRW Crew is a wonderful Facebook community of women who are all on their healing journey and support one another. Join here.

Is there testing for Candida?

Yes there are many tests that will show Candida. Spit and blood are the best ways. I perform a simple finger prick blood test for my clients through a company called KBMO Diagnostics. Additionally, they test for food sensitivities and inflammation in the body. I have done over 50 of these tests on clients in the last year and at least 50% of them were high in Candida. If this test is something you have interest in, you can book a complimentary consultation here so we can connect.

Supplements that support and eliminate Candida

Additionally, you can support your body with supplementation. There are a few different products you will want to include in an Anti-Candida protocol. An anti-fungal is almost always needed. This will help remove bacteria. You will also want to provide some good bacteria to through a quality probiotic. Lastly, you will want to work on healing the gut lining with an amino acid like L-Glutamine or Aloe. Be careful about purchasing some supplements online or low quality ones because they can cause more harm than good. I offer a professional grade products to my clients from a company called Xymogen. Xymogen is an exclusive to health care providers. They do not sell online through amazon, eBay, etc. in order to maintain the integrity of the product. As a Health Coach, I am not allowed to give out supplement advice to anyone who is not a current client, however I understand when someone may want some simple advice and recommendations for the interim.

That is why I have my Mini Consult. It’s done by phone for 40 minutes iand is $60. We will go over health history and concerns. Then I am able to provide you with a solid recommendation for your supplement protocol and specific instructions personal to you.

BOOK MINI CONSULT HERE

Ready to jump in head first? I have a Get Started Anti-Candida guide packed with more information on Candida plus:

  • foods to eat

  • foods not to eat

  • lifestyle recommendations

  • 7-day meal plan

  • grocery shopping list

  • recipes that help fight Candida

To get this guide, all you have to do is follow me on Instagram, tag 3 friends that would benefit from my Instagram page, and then send me a direct message with your email address. Then, I will email you the guide and you can start healing!

Lastly, you can make huge stride by checking out my FREE 5-Day Fix: Beat the Bloat guide. It is full of helpful information to start your healing journey. This guide has my top 5 tips that I tell anyone struggling with digestive issues. Keep in mind, it’s not always what you eat but how you eat it.

Xo Jaclyn Renee

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5 simple ways to detox the body

The body has the ability to naturally detox everyday. However, harmful environmental toxins, common allergies, and chemicals in our food have made it harder for the body to perform. When the body does not flush toxins properly it can back up in our organs and intestines, thus causing inflammation in the body. We become bloated, feel irritable, get rashes or even acne as a way for the body to signal that something has gone array. We think, "I'm just going to juice for 5 days, or I'm going to workout everyday, twice a day, to get back on track." The problem is, those things will not help with long-term success and may end up hurting more in the end.

If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, or simply have been overindulging a bit more lately, it may be time to try detoxing your body.  These home remedies are easy, inexpensive ways to get the blood flowing and the organs flushing. Plus, you can still eat food! I do always recommend staying away from excess sugar and alcohol and drinking tons of water while choosing any of these options. They are all very safe for you and have many benefits. Set yourself up for a home spa detox weekend and try them all.

 

1. Dry brushing

Dry brushing is a technique in which you use a high grade skin brush in small circles, starting at your ankles, and covering all the skin working towards your heart. Work your way up your legs to you arms, chest, stomach, and back. This will stimulate the lymphatic system which is a great way to eliminate toxins. Your lymphatic system is responsible  for eliminating cellular waste products and if not working properly will cause a build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. This is just one of the many benefits of dry brushing. The list goes on to increase circulation, reduce cellulite, relieve stress, and improve digestion and kidney function. My favorite one is from Dirty Girl Farm. I do it for about 2-3 minutes before my shower everyday. It's so invigorating and a great detox habit to be addicted to.

 

2. Home Hydrotherapy (hot/cold showers)

Your skin is your body's largest and fastest growing organ. Your skin is your protective coat and barrier between disease and germs coming in and eliminating toxins out. We take care of our skin by cleansing and moisturizing, but what about detoxing it? Try your own little spa experience at home with alternating hot and cold showers. The hot water has relaxing properties, will soothe stress and open the pores. The quick jolt of cold water right after will aid in the elimination of toxins and reduce inflammation in the body. Together it helps to improve circulation and makes your skin glow. This can be done any time you take a shower and is a quick way to detox you from feeling sluggish.


3. Foam Roll

If you aren't familiar with what a foam roller is, you can look one up and purchase one right here or you can pick one up at your local sporting goods store. A foam roller is used to stretch out your muscles before and after a workout or even after a stressful day. When you workout really hard or are under a bunch of stress it builds fascia in your muscles. The foam roller works to remove the build up and recover muscles more quickly than just stretching alone. It also helps improve flexibility and reduce stress. Try it everyday for 5 minutes at night and note the difference in your body at the end of the week. You can look up some videos on YouTube about how to properly foam roll your body.

4. Have "a" green juice

You don't have to juice all day, every day, for 5 days straight to experience the benefits of juicing. Just one green juice as a meal replacement is enough to send forceful signals to your organs to start eliminating toxins. Choose juices with ginger and lemon for their anti-inflammatory properties and cleansing effects.

Try my Liver detox green smoothie!

5. Eat Soluble Fiber

Most Americans do not reach the amount of recommended dosage of fiber a day. Women should consume around 25 grams of fiber a day and men should come in around 38 grams a day. Fiber helps keep waste moving through your intestines and aids in elimination of toxins through the liver. It also helps to boost the good bacteria in your gut to keep everything healthy and running smoothly. Eating fibrous foods will also keep you full longer, so you are less likely to go looking for sweet or salty snacks later. Try adding some oats, lentils, beans, dark leafy vegetables, or fruits to your diet to get the amount you need. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help digest these foods.

XO Jaclyn Renee


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5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.

Many of the products I use to detox are from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

 

 

 

 

 

5 tips to heal your gut

Do you feel like you are constantly bloated and tired? Do you feel like no matter what you eat, healthy or not, your stomach is upset.? You may be experiencing chronic inflammation in your gut. Inflammation in your gut does not only limit you to digestive issues. Many other issues can come along with it including joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, acne, and many more. Society has taught us if there is a problem then to make it better you just have to take a pill to fix it. While that may be true for some cases, healing your gut is not one of them. In fact, taking any medications in general disrupts the healthy bacteria, or flora, that we need to keep our immune system strong and digest food properly. 

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then it is time to start taking action. The key to healing is to nourish your intestines with good food and vitamins to reduce inflammation. The body is a beautiful force and given the opportunity, it has the power to heal itself. Follow these 5 daily tips and you will feel better fast. If you have been experiencing digestive issues for a long time, you may have to continue these things for the rest of your life. My recommendation is to try these tips daily for 6 weeks and note how you feel. Has your bloating gone down? Do you have more energy? If so, then there is no harm in continuing for preventative care. If you fall off and feel sick again, you can pick up any of these tips again to get some relief. 

1. Hot water with lemon and honey

First thing in the morning, boil some water and add a squeeze of organic lemon and raw honey. Warm food and drink will soothe the inflammation. Lemon is known for it's detoxing properties and will assist the liver in detoxing. Honey has many health benefits including it's anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Together this will help flush any lingering bad bacteria and toxins and start the healing process off nicely. Trade this out for your morning coffee. Coffee on an empty stomach is very acidic and can cause early morning bloating without food in your stomach. It can also stress your adrenals and and spike your blood sugar level. If you need coffee, drink it after you've eaten a little something.

Organic raw honey

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Forget apples. A shot of this a day, will keep the doctor away for sure! With a list of health benefits longer than the line at Starbucks on a Monday morning, you will begin to see instant relief. I always recommend Bragg's apple cider vinegar (with the mother). This is one of the first things I teach my clients to do for general overall health. 

Bragg's apple cider vinegar

3. Eat slower and chew your food

These days everything is about instant gratification. Faster, stronger, better and now! If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were busy, I'd be rich!! However, you cannot be too busy to sit down and eat food. It is the easiest way to help digestion. If you are gulping down your food in seconds, no matter what you eat, you will be bloated. If you don't chew your food thoroughly, you are allowing air to become trapped in your digestive tract which causes bubbles of gas. Also, the food is going down your throat so fast that the actual digestive process can not keep up and we miss out on essential nutrients and vitamins that we need. The process begins in your mouth with your saliva breaking down your food. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly and enjoy your meal.

4. Remove toxic triggers

The top toxic triggers for poor digestion are sugar and caffeine. They have got to go now! I know you are cursing me under your breath right now, but once you can get away from these things, you will be blessing me later. Both sugar and caffeine cause responses in the body that we are not equipped to handle. They spike our blood sugar levels and create a glucose response that forces us into a fight or flight response. This, in turn, puts a ton of stress on our hormone known as the adrenals. The more our body goes through this cycle, the worse the inflammation in our gut becomes. It also continuously forces the body to use glucose instead of our stored fat, making it near impossible to lose weight, especially in our belly. If you cannot live without caffeine, I recommend consuming it on a full stomach. Stick to decaf if possible or limit to one cup of coffee per day before 10am. For sugar, you can switch to natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or fresh fruit. Coconut palm sugar can be used as a sugar substitute for baking and such. It has a low glycemic index so it doesn't cause the blood sugar spike like white sugar. 

Organic coconut palm sugar

5. Eat cooked leafy greens

ESpecially cooked cruciferous vegetables. I love a great fresh salad but when your gut is inflamed it can be one of the worst things for it. Steam or saute leafy greens everyday with a healthy oil like olive or coconut, or ghee (clarified butter.) Try new dark greens like collards, bokchoy, spinach, chard, or kale. The greens make a huge impact on digestion and contain tons of fiber to support elimination. Don't be afraid to add them to breakfast with eggs or sneak them into soups. These are great for your skin too.

Consider a pressure cooker

Not too bad right? OK, maybe the sugar and caffeine one has you a little upset, but what have you got to lose? You've been suffering for too long and it's time to get relief. You can start slowly and incorporate one at a time or dive in and try them all together. Be advised that you might go through a little bit of a detox when you start to incorporate these things. You may want to start over a weekend so you can get plenty of rest or be prepared for the changes your body will go through. If you don't see positive changes after a week or two, then I suggest booking a  consultation so we can figure out what the root cause is. Book your consultation here. 

It is possible that you could be experiencing food allergies. If these simple steps do not do the trick, you can get tested for inflammatory foods through a simple finger prick blood test from a company called KBMO. I assist my clients ion performing the test. It takes about 2 weeks for the results. Once we receive them, we will meet and go over the necessary protocol to remove these foods and your 6 weeks action plan to heal the gut for good. 

Additional product worth noting! Try using collagen in your smoothies or food every day. Collagen and helps boost gastric juices and aids in restoring the lining. Purchase  JRW approved Vital Proteins marine collagen here.

Happy Healing! 

XO Jaclyn Renee 

** A core principle of the Jaclyn Renee Wellness program is to choose organic whenever possible. This includes all fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, flours, nuts, and even spices. Reducing your exposure to pesticides and chemicals is a major part in healing your body and preventing disease. 

Almost all of my dry ingredients come from Thrive Market and I get them at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay at other stores. If you want to save money and score some of the great things you see on this blog, check them out! 

Want to save 20% off your first 3 orders? Use the link below! 

granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

A 5-day guide to reducing bloat and healing gut inflammation significantly.