Amy asks: If one wanted to control the yeast in their bodies, what else (besides yogurt) might one eat to help that?
The first thing I wanted to address is the issue with the belief that yogurt will eliminate yeast, or at least help. I used to have Candida. I had it for years. I tried probiotic tablets in combination with eating plain yogurt, as well as taking Three-Lac and other things designed to fight yeast, and guess what? I only saw moderate improvements even though all of that together was costing over eighty dollars a month. Considering my own experience and what I've learned over the years, I wrote Amy the following reply:
Conventional yogurt generally will not actually help much, unless you eat in entirely plain, and then sometimes it still doesn't do much good because the yogurt is pasteurized which kills off all the good bacteria along with any possible bad bacteria.
I used to have raging Candida, so this is one of the very first things I studied. There are several main foods that fuel yeast to overgrowth and sporing within the body. Refined sugars, certainly, and also any conventional ordinary breads you find in grocery stores. They don't let the bread rise all the way, usually only forty five minutes or so, when bread should rise for many hours. A real bread with no sugar added or used in the process that has risen entirely correctly using mainly wheat berries instead of flour will not do much of anything to stimulate yeast, but I've met only three or four people in my entire life who solely eat *real* bread. For the most part, when people say "bread" they mean the awful stuff that is perfect for feeding yeast throughout your body. (You can find *real* bread at the Five Points Bakery on Rhode Island in Buffalo. I used to get a loaf on occasion even when my diet otherwise contained no wheat or flour.)
I imagine there is a reason you're asking this question; either for yourself or for a friend. There are many signs of too much yeast in the body, and most of them are quite subtle and not well known. Flaking scalp, excessive ear wax, stuffed sinuses, sticky and/or smelly saliva, saliva that tastes "off" or "weird," excess eye "sand" in the morning -- gritty stuff on one's eyes when they wake up, itchy skin and especially itchy genitals. None of those guarantee yeast over production, but some sure signs are the same as above, but to an extreme degree. For example, if you wake with so much grit on your eyes that you can not open your eyes, then you most definitely are dealing with lots of excessive yeast throughout the body.
So far, we have: Avoid refined sugars and conventional breads, and also that yogurt, unless plain and raw, is not very effective
I made my own coconut kefir which I have almost daily now, but that may be more effort than most people are interested in going to, although it's a lot of bang for your buck. Last I was in Buffalo, you could buy young coconuts in the Lexington Co-op. Coconut kefir is made by blending the "meat" and the "water" of the young coconut in a blender, and then stirring in a probiotic. This probiotic should come from a refrigerated section of a store; otherwise it may be entirely ineffective. Once you've stirred your probiotic into the blended meat and juice of a young coconut, you put a lid on the jar (don't fill all the way, it will expand by 20% to 80%), and then put the jar in a somewhat warm and dark place for 30 to 48 hours. Stir up your jar and eat plain or use as a smoothie base. I love to just add on banana to about a quarter cup of coconut kefir with just a dash of cinnamon and about a half cup of water.
Kambucha is a probiotic beverage that is sold in many different forms at Whole Foods, so they may have some sort of it at the Co-Op. It contains live cultures. I don't yet know how to make it myself, but I believe the nutshell of it is the same as the coconut kefir, except with tea made from fresh herbs. I could be mistaken however. (Kambucha is also raw. Anything that contains probiotics supposedly but is also pasteurized is contradicting itself. You can't have live cultures in something that has been cooked.)
A diet that frequently mixes sugars and fats will assist yeast. The natural sugar content of a fruit digests very rapidly when eaten with other fruit and/or vegetables. The natural fat content within nuts, avocados, seeds and olives takes hours to digest. (Obviously, when not on a raw diet, there are tons of other sources of sugar and fat. The rule applies to all sugars and fats, including lab-altered sugars and fats. Although refined sugar is processed very differently in general than natural fruit sugar that is still within the fruit that it's hard to compare.) When you eat both fat and sugar together, then the sugar is digested at the same rate as the fat, which means that you have a bunch of fruit fermenting within your body, feeding bacteria -- and yeast. This is often what causes gas and bloating.
I've discovered that reserving fat only for the last meal of the day agrees with my body much, much better. It makes a huge difference in energy level for me.
Something else that will help is green leafy things, especially dark green leafy things. The magic of dark green leafy things is that they help you no matter what your problem is. The nutrients nourish your own body's defenses against unwanted problems and build better cells, the live plentiful enzymes of live leafy plants cultivates full digestion and full absorption of minerals, and the high fiber content scrapes bacterias, dead matter (cooked foods that didn't fully digest), toxins, and yeast from the intestines.Dos & Don'ts Summary
Do: Kambucha, Coconut Kefir, Green Leafy Stuff
Don't: Refined Sugar, Conventional Breads, Fat & Sugar Combination (and what I mentioned in the "PS:")
PS: Toxins can assist yeast just by dampening the body's ability to do anything about any issue the body is having. Removing excess toxins from the diet and lifestyle will always improve any condition.
Sources of toxins include: bad air, stale air, dirty carpets (all carpets are dirty), dirty ventilation systems, cigarette smoke, cooking smoke, artificial colorings, artificial flavoring, "natural" flavorings, convention produce, unwashed produce, mold, many laundry detergents, many dish soaps and even hand soaps, most tooth pastes, most floor cleaning agents, window cleaning agents, carpet cleaners, dust, paint, car smog, jet fuel (which we all breathe constantly), artificial sweeteners (such as splenda, aspartame, etc.), stress, and many people would add "negative energy" to this list (meaning being around people who leech energy and/or give off negative energy interrupting your flow of chi.)
Removing any of these sources from your life will improve any/all conditions, so I thought I'd mention it.
Photo by Raederle Phoenix, 2010, Road Trip #2
In other news, I heard the most disappointing story at the farmer's market today.
They were selling heirloom navel oranges from trees over 100 years old. The sample was so rich in flavor; I had no idea an orange could have so much flavor. I was impressed and delighted.
They told me that 90% of those old trees had been replaced by new trees because grocery stores wouldn't accept the "dirty looking" heirloom oranges. My delight turned sour, and I found myself thinking of those wonderful, beautiful, ancient orange trees... Ripped up because Americans will choose a washed orange over an orange with some dirt on it. It's absurd.
Demand quality, not vanity!
I was asked this question today as well: "Is raw food more filling? It seems that way to me, but I'm not sure."
Absolutely. The more flavor and nutrients, the more genuinely full you will be. Many cheap foods seem filling, but then you're starving again ten minutes later when your body realizes it still didn't get any nutrients it needed. How much any individual raw foodist eats however varies greatly. Luckily, you can just eat your fill without worrying about over-eating since your body will naturally crave what you need when you're eating a toxin-free nutrient-dense diet.
Today is January 23rd 2011, last year on this very same day, January 23rd of 2010, something very special happened to me. My husband and I met in person for the first time. We met online in October, through a letter I wrote to him. We talked over Skype all through November, and in December, on the 10th, we officially called ourselves "a couple" but it wasn't until the 23rd of January that I took a plane out here to California to meet him. Since that day we've only spent a few weeks apart.
This morning we rose early and attended yoga at Lululemon here in Walnut Creek. Afterward we went directly to the farmer's market where we bought a huge mound of oranges, five apples, a stalk of celery, celery root, a pomegrante, kale, chard, parsley, cilantro, spinach, an avocado, raw almonds and walnuts, as well as walnuts within the shell. I'm probably forgetting something.
We also stopped by Whole Foods to pick up bananas, a young coconut, blueberries, an heirloom tomato, and a huge tub of assorted lettuce.
When we returned home my wonderful husband made the most delicious raw soup. I've never been much for soup in general, cooked or raw, but this was by far one of the most delicious things I've ever had, and certainly the best soup.
Coconut curry soup, mostly following the recipe from our new book we bought: the Cafe Gratitude recipe book which contains the recipes they use at their delightful establishment.
After we devoured the spicy sexy flavors of the soup (with a nice large salad on the side), we enjoyed an experiment with raw "rice" made from grated celery root and a creamy coating made of cashews and garlic.
To finish off this delicious lunch feast, we mixed the rest of the two dishes together; the celery root "rice" and the coconut curry soup which was both excellent in flavor and in texture. Most definitely something we will make again.
I'm feeling very satisfied with life in general today, and am pleased to be able to share each of these things with you.
~ Raederle Phoenix An Lydell West Jacot
PS: I turn twenty-two on January 30th 2010, and I received a package in the mail yesterday. Inside was a wrapped present from my mom in a lovely blue wrapping paper with white ribbon and bow. I've set the small package in a visible place so I can admire it until the day comes this next Sunday. I'm throwing a raw potluck at my house as my birthday celebration. I'm quite excited about it all.