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Keep the Good Guys Happy – A Worthwhile Balancing Act

by Lisa on March 1, 2011

So many things in our lives rely on balance to thrive. Everything from our work/life balance to the bacteria living in our guts help to determine how well our body works and how we feel everyday.

Cultured Veg---up close and personal. This stuff is amazing on salad! I've seen other bloggers post about putting it in stuff...and cooking it. Don't do that---it kills the bacteria that you're getting out of it!

The interesting thing about the body systems is that they all seem to thrive on the same kind of lifestyle, and when you make your gut happy you’ll also make your endocrine, cardiovascular, and neurological systems happier (not to mention your kidney filtration and your skin…). So whether you think you have candida issues, or if you just have some weird symptoms (or you just want to reach maximum health)…check out the recommendations here.

Why? Well, the story of my (career) life, is that I like to address issues and enhance health through real food and natural supplements—so they aren’t (if used correctly) going to create additional problems, like prescription and OTC drugs do. Your body has an innate wish to reach balance, and will always strive to do so. If you do as many things as you can to help balance be reached…it’s just more likely to happen. Then—->You feel good! Outrageous Joy anyone?!

Last winter, I thought I was doing a good thing and grew tons of wheatgrass inside (Joe really loves me---there was dirt everywhere and he didn't complain once). Then I found out that wheatgrass feeds candida. I stopped...and grew more sprouts and microgreens---sprouts are easier, you don't need dirt...but microgreens are awesome for salad!

What I do to try and make my bacteria happy:

  • Take probiotics (Jarro is a good brand, but there are lots of them. Right now, I’m taking ESL3). Preferably before bed–for some reason, the bacteria are more effective when you’re resting and in the horizontal position. Do this and/or eat fermented foods at each meal (this does not include pasteurized sauerkraut), especially fermented veggies. Right now, I’m doing this once a day. Info coming soon on this.

My smoothies no longer look like this....

  • Eat less (or no) sugar. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, when the recommended upper limit for women is 6 teaspoons. You need complex carbs to be maximally healthy. You do not need sugar. Bad bacteria thrive on sugar, and other body systems (especially the endocrine system, which is the main contributor to your metabolic functions) are taxed and don’t function optimally with a sugary diet (this includes artificial sugars). Note: Most fruit is high in sugar. Low sugar fruits include granny smith apples, and many berries. Lemons and limes are usually ok too in moderation. Right now, I’m not eating any fruit…barring an occasional lime in a smoothie.

Does this look gross? I can't tell---it's soaked and dehydrated buckwheat groats and cashews (although soaking cashews is kind of pointless...diff topic), chia, cacao nibs, coconut shreds, and unsweetened coconut milk...plus a little stevia. The Mother of all Cereals! (I eat it for dinner sometimes when I'm about to binge on cookies)

  • I cut out most grains. I could eat small portions of quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet (these are actually seeds, not grains). Note: I ate brown rice in a sushi roll last night, and I’m not sorry about it. Aside from that and a bit of buckwheat in some leftover soup last week, I have not eaten any grains since I started my Personal Improvement Plan (PIP).
  • I do not drink alcohol or coffee, or caffeinated beverages (some green tea is ok). I’m drinking a lot of Dandy Blend…but I still would love a cuppa coffee right now!

Herbal Coffee alternative---not exactly like coffee, but as close as I can find.

  • I’m not eating any processed food or oils, fried food (or any other crappy stuff), and sticking to cold pressed organic oils (especially virgin organic coconut oil).

Fancy olive oil that we got as a Christmas gift---the perfect gift for me!

  • I take herbal and natural supplements: caprylic acid, garlic, oregano oil, Pau D’Arco, Chlorella…there are lots to choose from. I’m not as dedicated to this as I want to be.
  • Exercise: My beloved AMT at the gym for cardio (interval training, no more than 30 min at a time…should I talk about workouts more? I have a degree in Exercise Science, and have been training a little more lately. I miss it!)
  • Drink a lot of clean filtered water (I use a Pur water filter, and someday hope to have a household filtration system.  My next step is a shower filter. Did you know you absorb more water through your skin in the shower than you drink in a day?)
  • Manage stress: I’m doing this mostly through working on my perspective, clearing my social calendar so I have ample time to teach my 7 classes, and going in my infrared sauna. I also need to amp up my yoga. I’m excited—my friend is opening a Yoga studio in Canandaigua! She’s so awesome and open-minded…and I am doing a smoothie workshop there in April.

Balance is worth it. We often think of our body health as the health of this container we’re in—from the outside. And although our skin, chub location, and cellulite can tell us a lot about our health, there is way more going on inside than we can be aware of. Doing just a few things differently (and believe me, it’s not so bad to eat salads for breakfast and switch to stevia), even gradually, can make a huge difference.

Mezzaluna + salad in a glass bowl + tahini + 1/2 cup fermented veggies...awesome breakfast! (pretty ugly though)

I find I need balance in every area of my life, or things start to go a little wild.

It’s funny, sometimes, how long it takes me to realize it! I lived in Boston for a while (loved it), and it was great…so when I moved back to upstate NY, a little bit of me went crazy inside and outside. People wore sneakers out to dinner there, and “out to dinner” meant something totally different than I was used to.

Me and LA cousin...We can overdo it in LA and also in upstate NY...middle ground? Still working on that.

My LA cousin and I have a joke about going to a bar in our hometown—we went to meet her relatives there one Sunday, and there was a NASCAR party going on. Crockpots of crab bisque, a spread of food under the pool table lights (for hours)…and lots of Looney Toons t-shirts and NASCAR scrunchies. We also once spent an entire weekend drinking and eating our way through LA, Malibu, and the Sunset Strip.

Both scared me in their own ways.

Balance feels good. Comfortable. I’m reaching for more of it, inside and out. How are you balancing things to be happy and minimally stressed?

For candida, you can tailor your approach to your lifestyle and needs. I recommend getting help. Above you can see what I do based on my own research. I’m not a doctor—I’m educated about the issue and I feel like I know what I’m talking about, but you should always do your own research too and find a professional to help you who knows how.


  • http://fitchocoholic.wordpress.com/ Gen

    Great post! Isn't it amazing how much better we feel when we balance ourselves in all aspects of life?

  • http://theavidappetite.com Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    Oh NASCAR :) It is tough to be balanced. I often feel out of whack with working long hours and getting home too late to want to exercise, make dinner or even blog. It's all about planning for me!

  • http://thenondairyqueen.blogspot.com/ Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    We do sprouts here too, it is just so easy! This was another great segment for candida…thank you!

  • http://stephaniejothomas.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Darn. My sauerkraut doesn't count. Hehe. I figured as much.

  • http://fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com/ Samanthaswalton

    i'd love to hear you talk more about exercise!

  • http://thebalancedbean.blogspot.com Maryann (The Balanced Bean)

    I love this post! Sounds like you're taking lots of precautions-that's great! I just recently started to lower my daily intake of sugar (even cutting out fruit) and I am feeling much better, plus my sugar cravings have gone down! Its a miracle :)

  • http://twitter.com/therawproject Christine

    So cool, I just used home cultured veggies in my salad last night. Great post on balance, looks like you're doing many wonderful things to achieve it. Agreed on sugar and still working on the caffeine and alcohol. :-)

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    I always wondered about wheat grass and sprouts with candida. I just started adding sprouts back in to our diet. Glad to know they are beneficial. Yes, keep these guts happy!

  • http://www.ravenwavesblog.wordpress.com Sophia @ Raven Waves

    Balance is so important, and you seem like you are so on top of it! I need to work on varying my meals a bit. They're getting a little boring haha!

  • Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn

    Ahhh girl I love half moon! Your mezzaluna chopper looks fun, where did you find it?! Slash the AMT machines at our gym are my favorite!! Also you have inspired me to eat a salad for breakfast:) I always have a kale, cucumber, apple, and lemon smoothie before the rest of my b'fast but this sounds like a fresher start to my day!:)

  • http://spicedplate.blogspot.com/ lauren@spiced plate

    your way of eating is so similar to mine — I feel gross w/ too much carbs, and eat a small amount of quinoa, buckwheat, millet, or amaranth, and lentils (chickpeas too, sometimes)….no sugar, hardly any fruit, and lots of veggies. Probiotics are my life saver. It took me so long to find this balance, and now that I feel so good with it, why do anything different? Unless it's a special treat, of course ;)
    Good for you for putting your health into your own hands and seeing positive results!

  • http://twitter.com/PeasandCrayons Jennifer Laughlin

    girl you're doing your body goood! =) Good to know that wheat grass feeds candida! I had no idea! I grow it for my husbands cat… and she screams for the stuff daily. may'be I wont nibble it when I chop it for her… haha!

    I want to start growing my own sprouts — i'm thinking of ordering one of those little burpee kits! =) was it you who told me about those? i'm so fascinated by sprouts! <3

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  • http://www.1970kikiproject.wordpress.com CathyK

    this is my favourite quote of your post, today, lisa:
    “Your body has an innate wish to reach balance, and will always strive to do so.”
    you are bang on correct and i love this statement!!
    i really enjoy reading about your nutritional plan and the changes you have implemented. i give you credit for the NO CAFFEINE – that would be a challenge for me (although i have given it up in the past!…)
    that's a great photo of you and your cousin – isn't it fun to have zany memories to look back on!
    happy first of march! three cheers for spring! (soon!)

  • http://whatkateiscooking.wordpress.com/ Kate (What Kate is Cooking)

    I need to eat less sugar for sure! I notice a huge difference when I cut back on it.

  • http://purplebirdblog.com Christin@purplebirdblog

    I had no idea about the wheat grass/candida correlation! I reaaaaaally can't wait to hear more about the fermented veggies. :)

  • http://twitter.com/TheNewHealthy Stefanie

    You are such a fountain of great information! I totally agree that balance feels good! What are the benefits of the supplements you take?

  • http://gratitouille.wordpress.com Erica D @ Gratitouille

    An exercise science degree, too? You’re like superwoman! Superwoman with candida :)

  • Allison @ PickyEatingRD

    Probiotics make me happy!!! I am always working to keep balance in my life. I have a tendency to go,go,go when it comes to work and lose it at home. I have made a strong effort to turn off my email when I walk out of the building. It has def helped. I also strive to plan my workout days at the beginning of the week. That way i dont feel bad if i miss a day since i know it would have been a bonus to what i already have scheduled.

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I bought the mezzaluna on Amazon. I think they may have it at bed, bath, &

    beyond or target though!

    Salad for breakfast rocks :)

  • http://talkingorwalking.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Gasp! The thought of cutting back on fruit breaks my little heart!

    I wish you much health and joy as you figure out what works best for you!

  • https://www.chlorella-world.com/ chlorella

    In medical and alternative medicine circles, celiac disease is well known for being the cause of numerous detrimental body conditions. In its basic form, celiac disease is the damage of the intestinal lining by gluten proteins, which come from grains – the bottom of the pyramid.

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