What is Candida
Candida albicans is a yeast, a type of fungus that lives in everyone’s body. Our intestines always have both good and bad bacteria at all times and when these are in balance our gut is happy. It is when the bad bacteria start outnumbering the good bacteria that we get into trouble.
Causes can include the use of antibiotics (anti-bacteria). Antibiotics have their purpose if you absolutely need them, but they can wipe out all of your bad and your good bacteria. So, if we do not follow up with some good quality pro-biotics after taking a round of antibiotics, we create the perfect place for bad bacteria to take over.
Other ways to destroy good bacteria include swimming in chlorinated water, taking birth control, eating highly processed and refined sugars and carbohydrates, air pollutants, and stress.
Symptoms of a mold or yeast overgrowth may include:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Stomach Bloating and digestive issues
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Arthritis/joint pain
- Depression/low mood
- Multiple Sclerosis or other auto immune diseases
- Recurring yeast infections
- Fungal infections of the skin and/or nails
What is Gluten-Free
What is Gluten-Free? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “is a mixture of proteins that occur naturally in wheat, rye, barley and crossbreeds of these grains.” Gluten-free refers to a diet, meal or food item that excludes gluten – for reasons such as health problems like celiac disease, or for certain food allergies including to wheat. Others may pursue a gluten-free diet for other, personal reasons much like they might be vegan or vegetarian – for their own health peace of mind, to possibly lose weight, or just because it makes them feel better, or will help them live longer.
In terms of specific reasons to try a gluten-free diet, let’s look at celiac disease, which affects up to 3 million people in the United States alone. This occurs when the natural defense system in a person’s body reacts negatively to gluten, essentially by attacking the lining of the small intestine. An unhealthy intestinal lining inhibits the body’s ability to absorb nutrients; ultimately this could result in conditions including anemia, osteoporosis, and other ailments including diabetes, and intestinal cancers. Celiac disease is a serious condition and a strict gluten-free diet is the only effective treatment found so far.
The gluten-free diet basically has allowed and disallowed foods. A good list is offered by the Mayo Clinic. For instance, allowed foods for the gluten-free diet include beans, seeds and nuts in their natural form (meaning, unprocessed), fresh eggs, fresh meats, fish and poultry, fruits and vegetables and most dairy products. Many grains and starches are acceptable, including amaranth, flax and quinoa. Foods and drinks to always avoid in a gluten-free diet include barley (and anything involving malt), rye, wheat, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. Remember that avoiding wheat can be difficult due to the use of various names for wheat, like farina, durum flour, kamut, graham flour and spelt.
What is Vegan
A vegan diet is one that relies solely on products of the plant kingdom and excludes all animal products such as dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.), meat, chicken, fish and eggs.
Foods that are included in a typical vegan diet are vegetables, fruits, beans/legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and oils.
The choice to adopt a vegan diet can range anywhere from moral, ethical, religious, and health. There are many health benefits to adopting a vegan diet.
Eating animal fats and proteins has been shown in studies to raise a person´s risk of developing cancer, diabetes, rhematoid arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and a number of other illnesses and conditions.
Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain no cholesterol and are low in fat, especially saturated fats. They are also high in fiber and other nutrients.
For more information on the many health benefits of a vegan, plant-based diet, read “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. It documents the most comprehensive study on the effects of diet on health and wellness of human beings ever conducted. Dr. Campbell states that “people who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored.”
What is Macrobiotics
Macrobiotics originated in China thousands of years ago and is more than just a diet. It is a philosophy and a way of life. From a macrobiotic perspective what we eat has an effect on our physical, emotional and spiritual states. Certain foods like whole grains and vegetables support and encourage clarity, peace and well-being. Other foods such as sugar, excess animal and highly processed foods create confusion, anger and depression.
The word Macrobiotics is derived from the Greek word “macro” meaning large or great, and “bios” meaning life, so in a sense it is the art and philosophy of creating a big and wonderful life. We achieve this by eating foods in their most whole form by choosing food grown locally and in season, and by working with, instead of against, nature and the natural flow of things.
Just spend some time in nature and you will see that animals do this naturally. A lion in Africa is not thriving on the same food as a polar bear in Alaska. Also, if you look closely you can probably see this philosophy working in your life already. For instance, a slice of juicy watermelon is very cooling and enjoyable on a hot summer’s day, but in the middle of winter that same slice of watermelon might not taste so refreshing and you may lean more toward a big bowl of warm soup or stew.
What does a macrobiotic diet consist of?
A macrobiotic diet consists of whole grains, a variety of fresh, seasonal vegetables, beans and bean products such as tofu, tempeh and seitan, sea vegetables, soups, pickles, desserts, condiments, twig teas and grain coffees. Foods that are typically avoided are highly refined sugars, chemicalized and processed foods, nightshade vegetables, and animal products such as red meat, chicken, eggs and dairy. (fish is eaten on occasion by those in good health).
Why turn to macrobiotics
All sorts of people try macrobiotics for a host of different reasons. Some turn to macrobiotics in time of illness (physical, emotional or spiritual) and others are just looking to experience a deeper level of peace, freedom and clarity.
For more information on macrobiotics, please see the list of books and websites below: