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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Gut Health 101

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Everything begins and ends in the gut.  In fact, our second brain is the center of our gut and is home to the central nervous system and is actually larger and more powerful than the one in our skull. It holds the power to 3/4 of our immune system. The gut is also the first place we should look when we are experiencing chronic disease and inflammation.  When our digestive tract has been compromised our whole immune system can be compromised.

The foundation of gut health is understanding digestion. Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with saliva. If we rush or hurry through a meal, we have not properly started the digestive process. Slowing down and chewing food is the core principle of digestive health.

Once the food leaves our mouth, it travels through your esophagus into our stomach. Your stomach is the mixing bowl where your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas secrete enzymes to break down your food into bile. If any of these organs are inflamed or compromised, they also cannot break down your food properly and will lead to constipation, gas, diarrhea, or chronic bloating.

Beyond the organs are your intestines. The large and small intestines. Let's take a quick look into the gut and it's four major parts.

  • The intestinal wall is the lining of the digestive tube. 
  • Intestinal flora is the good bacteria that live in the intestinal wall AKA microbiome. 
  • The Gut's lymphatic system or Gut associated lymphatic tissue; GALT
  • Nervous system or small nerve fragments that are spread throughout the gut

If any of the four parts of the gut have been compromised, your immune system will be notified and your body will start to become inflamed. You may start to experience light digestive discomfort or bloat to begin however, if not addressed properly if can morph into many other symptoms.

  • food allergies
  • indigestion
  • bloating
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • depression and anxiety
  • auto immune disorders - Celiac, Chrohn's, MS
  • skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne

These signs and symptoms of gut inflammation should not be taken lightly. Predominantly referred to as "Leaky Gut" this type of inflammation will definitely effect the long-term health of your body and your brain.

What is Leaky gut really? Leaky gut is simply a penetration of the intestinal wall, or the most important wall in our body. A colon contains these hair-like tight junctions that help ward off toxins from poor nutrition and uncontrolled environment. When they have become inflamed it starts to pry the junctions open and can create tiny cracks in between the junction. Instead of digesting and dumping the toxins through the body, they can slip through the cracks and into the bloodstream.  This is ultimately where disease begins. 

Things that can disrupt the gut lining:

  • exposure to BPA and other toxic chemicals
  • pesticide exposure (non-organic food)
  • antibiotic overuse
  • stress
  • chronic infections
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • sugar
  • gluten (for some)
  • dairy (for some)

Indefinitely, avoiding these things will help the healing process, however it's important to understand that healing takes time. The gut heals in stages. We have to reduce the inflammation first and the allow the lining the opportunity to heal properly.

The best place to start is from the beginning.

My foundation of gut health can be found in my free 5-day fix to beat the bloat. This will give you my core principles of gut health before you get too deep. Follow these for a few weeks to notice significant changes in digestive health. 

Beyond that if you still are experiencing symptoms, I recommend purchasing my 7-day Flat Tummy Food Guide. This is an incredible jump start to healing.

The guide includes:

  • A clean out list
  • Daily protocols to detox
  • A healing foods grocery list
  • 7-day meal plan; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
  • Over 20 of the best gut healing recipes that I have tested over time

This guide is normally $75 but for a limited time, I am offering this guide at $35. Get your copy today and let's get healing!

Following my JRW lifestyle guidelines, along with your personalized program will remove all of your struggles and symptoms and help you thrive. I know what it feels like to live every day in a constant struggle. Let me guide you towards better health and wellness so you can enjoy life again. XO Jaclyn Renee 


granolaberries.jpg

5-DAY FIX: Beat the Bloat

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

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!

Chicken Bone Broth

Almost every week, at the beginning of the week, I roast a whole chicken and try and make as many meals out of it as I can. I purchase my chickens from Bob Boles who owns this adorable little farm called The Grazing Life in the north end of Rochester, MI. I've seen the farm, walked the grounds, and know the owner well. He treats his chickens with the utmost care, never feeding them any hormones or anti-biotics and giving them a healthy diet of organic food free of crap. They roam free and live well and only have one bad day in their lifetime. 

Roasted Chicken

One of the main things I do with the leftover carcass  and gizzards is make bone broth. I make a large batch to sip on during the week and use as a base for soups and sauces in other meals. The benefits of homemade bone broth are oustanding. By soaking the bones in water, they release minerals and readily absorbed nutrients. Some of the major vitamins include magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus as well as gelatin and glucosamine that help fight against degenerative joint disease. You would have to take up to 10 supplements to obtain the benefits from 1 cup of bone broth a day. 

The broth is also very healing for the digestive system. It contains collagen which repairs the gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation. One cup of bone broth can have up to 16 grams of protein so you can easily swap out synthetic powders for a good wholesome cup of broth post-workout. 

This recipe is a very basic version that can be open for interpretation. Feel free to jazz it up with some of your own spices and flavor. Don't forget to share the love. Post comments below on your take and please feel free to leave questions or concerns.

Bone Broth  (printable PDF)

 

Bone Broth (Chicken)
1 large chicken carcass**
3 chicken livers
1 chicken gizzard
1-2 chicken feet (optional)
6 stalks celery
5 large carrots
1 Spanish onion
4 (1 inch) chunks of ginger
2 Tbsp. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

1)    Place all ingredients in a large pot and cover with spring or reverse osmosis water.
2)    Bring to a boil, then put heat on low, cover and let simmer for 24 hours stirring occasionally.
3)    Grab a friend and have them help you strain the broth. You will need a small holed colander. My suggestion is to take the big bones and veggie chunks out first so you don’t have a splash.
4)    You can freeze your extra and keep some in the fridge fresh for up to a week. Store in glass containers and let cool before placing in fridge or freezer. 

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.