Monday, May 28, 2012

Week One Down! Ups and Downs of Candida

Well - I have done it!  Seven days in and I have done it! Only seven more WEEKS to go!!
Overall - definitely great.  It did not take me long to start feeling really well.  (like I said - I live a very healthy life anyway, so normally it does take more time than this to feel such positive effects)
Let's see, after one week, here are the drawbacks:

  • Expense of groceries.  Especially the initial expenses like Flax Seed Oil and Raw Almond butter.  Those kinds of things set me back quite a bit initially.  Now it is just the expense of making sure there are lots of fresh veggies and fruit in the fridge so I can snack easily.  I know once the garden is really going this will be a big help.
  • The time cooking for two separate meals.  I tried, for the most part, to cook simply - like stir fry for all of us and then add in rice for the rest of the family.  But it was exhausting - I felt like I had to be in the kitchen the whole time.  This week I hope to master the cooking better.  As much fun as it is for me to try new recipes, I just don't have the time for this!
  • Convenience food - hard to find.  Once we didn't get home for dinner till 6:30 - the family is hungry, I am hungry - what to eat that doesn't take at least 15 minutes to prepare?  That did not go well...Mommy had a bad day that day.  I need to plan ahead better.
Okay so those are the drawbacks - what are the BENEFITS?
  • Fog is lifting.  I didn't go on this diet because of my foggy head.  I didn't realize I was foggy, until it started to lift.  I remember now - I remember 14 years ago when we got married and I did a similar cleanse.  I always loved the clear headed part and I had forgotten what that was like.  It's back and I embrace it wholeheartedly!
  • The FOOD - I have made some INCREDIBLE dishes (mostly for myself) - like this pizza recipe - wow it was perfect!  And this tortilla and avocado guacamole type recipe (without the fish so far).  I am having these amazing fruit filled shakes for breakfast - it is wonderful.  I am - after almost 13 years of having babies - finally - feeding myself for myself and it feels great! "No honey you can't have those strawberries - those are for mommy on her 'special' diet!! Nope - not the yummy chicken breast either" How lucky can one Mom be? (Don't worry - my children are eating just fine!! They are enjoying this too I think!)
  • Energy returning.  I am getting my usual amount of sleep, except I wake up when the alarm clock goes off and I feel well and alive! Ready to embrace my day.  Rather than forcing one foot in front of the other for my morning walk, I feel like actually taking the walk!  Now - this is in general - there were definitely and still are days where I feel more tired as I am still really detoxing , but in general I have much more energy than before.
Thanks for reading and if I am inspiring you I would be happy to tell you more of the details!  This is so great, I honestly can't tell you!  I may never go back...??? ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

Remember I am studying Patrick Holford's book New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind and that is where all my blogging is coming from on this topic right now.

SWINGING from low lows to high highs! 

These swings can be generated by a huge number of factors - such as too much coffee, stress, hormone imbalances, food allergies and nutritional deficiencies.

How effective are SSRI's really?
There is an INCREASED RISK of suicide on SSRI’s (pg 263)
“No randomized controlled trials show that patients with bipolar disorders who receive drugs do better in the long term than those who receive no medicine… against this background, let’s take a look at the nutritional approaches…” (pg 263)

3 ways for a person with bipolar to minimize the risk of disruptive moods.
1. Take the nutrients that help to stabilize mood – helping mood swings in either direction
2. Take nutrients and herbs that help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
3. Take nutrients that promote healthy sleep patterns.

Blood Sugar Imbalances or Food Allergies
Remember the brain is almost totally dependent on glucose for its supply of energy so keeping a stable level of glucose is crucial for improved mental health.  Avoid sugar, stimulants, cigarettes and excess stress.

Omega 3 fats –definitely fish oil.   Eat cold water fish – herring, fresh tuna (in moderation), salmon, sardines and mackerel.  And to turn these essential fats into building materials for the brain what do you remember what you need? B vitamins!  Are you with me?  Did you guess that from all the other entries I’ve done?  More info about Fats and B’s is found here:  
(please note that fish-liver oil supplements are UNSUITABLE for treating mood disorders because in order to take enough of them, you will get too much vitamin A – possibly leading to toxicity)  They have yet to determine how much is optimum but generally 1.5-4 g of EPA is adequate to improve mood in patients with Bipolar.  Be sure to check the EPA not just the mg of oil.
Vegetarians can try to substitute flax seed oil, as long as they take optimum amounts of magnewium, zinc, B’s, C and biotin – all needed to convert flaxseed oil into EPA and DHA – Fish oil is ideal as it is very difficult for most to make enough EPA from flax seed or another alpha-linolenic acid.

Most of us are deficient in magnesium.  Average diet gives around 200 mg while the RDA (recommended daily amount) is 300 mg. (500 is the ODA – optimum daily amount)  Depression, insomnia, constipation and nervousness are all from a long list of magnesium deficiency symptoms.

Chronic stress depletes magnesium
A study in the US of patients with major depression found that they recovered rapidly, in less than a week, by taking magnesium at each meal and at bedtime.  (pg 246)
Food has far less magnesium than it did 100 years ago – because of refined foods but also due to chemical fertilizers – many nutrients are missing from our food supply – not just magnesium. 
Green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium because of the chlorophyll – raw nuts and seeds are a great source too.  With one tbsp of seeds, at least three servings of dark green veggies and 100 -300 mg of magnesium daily, you will ensure you are getting enough magnesium. (Do not supplement more than 300 mg total)

Broad-spectrum Multi
Best place to start is by supplementing a multivitamin and mineral.  Nutrients are synergistic – they need each other to be absorbed and to work well in the body. One study recently done in CanadaUniversity of Calgary – demonstrates how effective this is with manic depression.  A group of manic depressive adults were given vitamins and trace minerals in addition to their prescribed meds.  Over six months, on average – they halved their need for the medications and every patient experienced between a 55 to 66 % reduction of symptoms. 

 If it is high (get it checked by your doctor– high is above 10 mg/dl) start supplementing folic acid at about 1000 mcg and 500 mcg of methyl-B12

Use AMINO ACIDS and HERBS (like St.Johns wort) only under the care of a trained professional, if bipolar and on antidepressant medication.  

SLEEP encouraging a regular pattern of seven hours of uninterrupted sleep can help to smooth out the curves.  Sleeping less and less rapidly depletes nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin C.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Candida Diet - Day One

I started a cleanse today.  I haven't cleansed for 13 years.  I've been pregnant or nursing for most of that time so that has been my excuse. I've been counselling people for years to do Candida Cleanses, Gallbladder Flushes, Liver Detoxes but most of them I have never really strictly done myself.

My birthday was last weekend.  I ate cake, ice cream, chips - even a ginger ale which never normally passes these lips.  I prepared myself for the 'day after the long weekend'.  It is time.

 Perhaps you are wondering - as my son said to me today...
"Mom - why are you going on a diet - you're like the healthiest!"

Well, son - and whoever else cares - I am pretty healthy.  I feel well most of the time, I don't have a whole lot to complain about.  Yet - I do have some symptoms such as the ones listed here  and they aren't going away by just eating my wonderful healthy diet.  I know that without some severe measures the symptoms will not truly go away.  And so - I am starving those little sugar, starch, fungus loving yeasties inside of me.

Phase 1 - lasts for 8 weeks.
No grains, no starchy vegetables, no sugars, no dairy...
no nothing?  

Sure I can have lots of other things! All the protein, veggies and limited fruit I want so it isn't all bad!  While I starve them I kill them too - with things like Oil of Oregano (ouch!) and Caprylic Acid. And then I also replace them with fantastic probiotics (not from my sugary yoghurt either - sorry but that does not count!)

 I am going to win this battle!

So far so good.
I had a nap this afternoon.
I feel hungry.
I bought groceries today, I found some yummy recipes on line and I am feeling confident.  If I can't do this myself how can I ask my clients to do it?

Granted, most of them don't cook for 5 children under 12, but that's okay - I know I can make it through.  I made them make their own sandwiches today for lunch, while I munched on my green salad.  It is hard but I know it is good too.

I will let you know how I am doing through out this phase.  Stay tune for the Depression blog in the next day or two as promised!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Atypical Depression and Chromium

Do you have Atypical Depression?
Are you one who
-         Tends to gain weight?
-         feels tired all the time, for no obvious reason?
-         craves carbohydrates?
-         could sleep forever and feels groggy?
-         Is hurt easily by rejection from others?
-         began feeling depressed before turning 30?
(versus classic depressive is suffering from weight loss and insomnia)

If you answer yes to even ONE of these questions – chromium will likely help you!

Chromium – crucial mineral that helps stabilize blood sugar – (because without chromium, insulin – the hormone that carries excess glucose out of the blood into the body and brain – can’t work!) supplement 200-600 mcg – take it in the morning as it may cause insomnia and vivid dreaming when taken right before bed.

Our diets are generally very deficient in chromium - you lose chromium through stress and by eating the refined carbohydrates, sugars, caffeine.

Some studies have found that chromium is MORE effective than SSRI’s (it is totally okay to take both if necessary!)
**Has no side effects even at very high amounts (extremely safe!)
**Usually works faster than SSRI’s
**Has been found through many studies that it reduces symptoms more effectively than SSRI”s (page 246)

Our diets are generally deficient in chromium and as we age we need more – the more refined carbs (fast releasing carbs) you eat the more chromium you will lose.

Use this general diet outline that began this journey: here. 

Diabetes connection: since the 17th century when one doctor saw the connection regarding diabetes he wrote, “Sadness and sorrow often proceeds this disease.”  They actually have found that the incidence of diabetes in depressed people is 2 ½ times that of the general population.  Often depression precedes diabetes by 20-30 years.

So clearly - though supplementing with chromium is critical for atypical depression it is also critical for avoiding diabetes down the road!

Manic Depression coming soon...have I lost you yet?  Stick around for this next post - it is going to get you as excited as I am!  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Intro to Depression

Taken from Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford

 “More people suffer from depression and schizophrenia than any other mental health problem.  1 in 20 people are diagnosed with depression.  1 in 100 are diagnosed with schizophrenia.”
Both are, for the most part, curable with the right nutrition plus psychotherapy.
This section of the book was full of hope for me and I am hopeful will be for my readers too!  My heart was racing as my eyes skimmed through the pages – I had heard whisperings for years, knew people first hand who had successfully fought these illnesses without drugs – but I had not held in my own hands the weight of research behind this idea - not in one spot - until now.  

In this post I talked a bit about how things like blood sugar and allergies are all linked to low mood.  If you suffer from depression and haven't already read this post, please follow the link and start there.

Depression is 10 times more common today than it was in the 50’s

Classic symptoms are:
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Thoughts of suicide or preoccupation with death
  • Loss or increase of appetite and weight
  • A disturbed sleeping pattern
  • Slowing down – physically and mentally
  • Agitation 

Four or more of the above symptoms? Read these posts!

There is no single cure.

BUT it's a good idea to keep neurotransmitters in balance – that is what the drugs aim to correct but have lots of nasty side effects.  Holford recommends 100-300 mg of the amino acid 5-HTP twice a day to boost serotonin levels. Tyrosine at 500-1000 mg 2 x daily helps those who feel a distinct lack of drive as well.

St.John’s Wort – gentle with minimal side effects, not addictive, enhances sleep and dreaming.  

Annual death rate of death by overdose on antidepressant drugs is 30.1 per 1 million prescriptions 

No one has ever died from an overdose of St.John’s Wort! (pg.243)

Other supplements that have been proven to help are:
  • Omega 3 fats (and in order to turn omega 3's in to building materials for the brain....we need the B's - especially...)
  • B12 Folic Acid,, B3 and B6 , which in turn further promote the brain's production of serotonin and other key neurotransmitters....We are fearfully and wonderfully made aren't we?
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

Under-active Thyroid is a common link to depression as well- best way to find out is to do the basal temperature test - most accurate method!

Patrick Holford has a website I recommend this free questionnaire through his site- I took the questionnaire myself a while ago and it helps to narrow down your specific needs and things you can talk to your health practitioner about - like which blood tests would be good for you to take, what areas like allergies or blood sugar that you might want to direct your attention towards.

Looking for more research pertaining to depression and nutrition? some is listed  here

I am writing more - much more - this is a HUGE topic - coming soon - Atypical depression and Manic depression!