Thank you to all of those who have left such kind comments about my health and this new diet. :)
I saw the Naturopath on Friday, and here is the basic verdict:
A score of 9/10 on the Candida yeast scale,
Some parasites competing with me for my nutrients,
And adrenal glands that are pretty exhausted
She's going to get me in for a full screen, including blood work, kidney and liver function, etc. within the next month or two as well.
I must say, there was actually a lot of relief for me in going and being able to discuss things with her. She asked me one question that was very revealing for me, and that was to rate my energy level on a scale of 1-10. I can't remember the last time I've been asked anything like that.
Ever since my husband Ryan was sick this past spring (starting last February, he had surgery, and was then diagnosed with cancer, and spent the late spring and summer in chemotherapy treatments, and has been slowly recovering and getting back to work since fall), life has been rather hectic and tiring, in one way or another. In order to care for everyone this summer, I felt as though I just had to live on adrenaline (and sometimes coffee), just to get through the day. There was basically no time to recover from childbirth, and I've struggled with my milk supply greatly this time around, between the stress and forgetting to eat and drink enough. Life has settled down and I spent the fall/winter months before Christmas trying to just get my home back in order, focus on my children's needs, and recuperate emotionally.
But now, I am realizing that my physical body is drained as well. The baby still isn't sleeping through the night, and since he is basically solely breastfed, that is requiring a lot of my body as well. I've had the Candida and parasite issues for a long time, I'm pretty sure, which often go along with fatigue and poor digestion (and therefore poor absorption of nutrients). Since we've moved, I haven't taken the kids out for walks much, because there's no where to really walk to, and it's not particularly enticing in the West coast grey and rain to go for a walk "just because". I'm sure my body is missing our on regular exercise as well.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that this tired mommy, who is often encouraging others to pay attention to what their body is trying to tell them, just hasn't been paying enough attention to her own body's needs and is now paying the price. I don't say any of this to complain about the events of this past year, as I know that many others have gone or are going through very difficult situations as well. Quite frankly, I have felt the peace and provision of God more strongly than ever through all of this, and am thankful for what He has brought us through (but that is another story, really, that could be an entire series of posts in and of itself).
So even though this new diet is extensive (I'll give the complete list of my restrictions in a minute), I'm actually so relieved to be doing this. I want to regain my health and energy so that I can better care for my family, pour more into my other relationships, and also just so that I can feel better again. It's really not about me, and God has already done so much more for me than I deserve, but if it's possible, I would really love to feel my energetic self again.
In all of it's restrictive glory, here is my list of food sensitivities that I will be avoiding for the next couple of months, and possibly a little longer:
Barley, oats, rice (I can have it occasionally, but not often), wheat, all cow's milk products except butter, eggs, grapefruit, lemon, orange, avocado, cabbage, cucumber, green peas, mushrooms, white potato (again, only occasionally), tomato, coconut (occasionally), peanuts, beef, crab, lobster, shrimp (actually, I never eat shellfish anyways, so it's not a loss), alcohol, yeast of any kind, chocolate, coffee, fructose, honey, sugar, black tea, vinegar, and any chemicals, dyes, and food additives (which I usually avoid anyways).
In addition, I will be taking an anti-yeast homeopathic remedy, as well as l-Glutamine (which helps to heal the gut when there are food sensitivities) and a high quality pro-biotic (to re-establish good intestinal bacteria, which are attacked by Candida). I will continue to take Cod Liver Oil, because I do not digest or absorb fats well, and need the extra Omega 3 fatty acids (and my Naturopath believes that I will do better on an animal rather than plant source, which I have found to be true in my experience with supplementing fatty acids). I will also be juicing as much as possible, for the increased nutrients.
And I think that's about it- it will be an adventure, right? I've helped my husband and daughter with a Candida diet like this, and have done the Maker's Diet several times, which is quite restrictive for the first month, so I have at least an idea of what to prepare. I've been scouring my Candida, cleanse/restrictive diet and vegan cookbooks for ideas of what I can eat so that I can plan for it. In my experience, detailed meal (and even snack) planning is so helpful in order to make a diet like this successful.
Has anyone else done a restrictive diet like this? Or are you on one right now? I'd love to hear how it's going for you, what your restrictions are, and any great books or online resources you've found for recipe ideas! I will be sharing what I am using, as well!
Image from art.com