BORED OF THE BLOAT: What I’m doing to improve my digestion
For those who have been following me recently, you already know I’ve been trying to fight off the Candida in my gut and settle back into healthy and easy digestions. As promised, here are the steps I’ve been taking both nutrition-wise and lifestyle-wise to get rid of the bloating, tummy aches, gas, funny belly noises and indigestion.
I tried starting with a Candida cleanse…
I thought it would be good to start hardcore, fighting off the yeast build-up with a 3-day cleanse. The cleanse was supposed to look like this:
Day 1: Only homemade veggie broth
Day 2 + 3: Only veggie broth and steamed veggies.
I did day 1, felt absolutely horrible and decided to stop right there.
I then moved on to following the Candida protocol…
After my 1 day cleanse I decided to get straight into the Candida diet. Although there are slight differences between the ones you see online, all mostly suggest eliminating: gluten-containing grains, all sugars and sweeteners, dairy, fruit (low-sugar fruit are okay), starchy veggies (potatoes, legumes, squash, peas…) and caffeine, alcohol and highly-processed foods. The Candida Diet suggests instead filling up on: non-starchy veggies, low-sugar fruit (lemon, avocado + berries), high-quality lean protein, healthy fats, non-glutenous grains and fermented foods (except not at the beginning).
And then came Food Combining…
I was following the Candida Diet for a few days, and was feeling slightly better but I would still bloat after certain meals. When speaking to my mum about it, she suggested I look into the principles of food combining as a way to ease digestion. I decided to pair the Candida Protocol with the methods of Food Combining to see if this would help with my last bit of digestive issues. Without trying to sound over dramatic, it really changed everything.
The basic idea is to pick one food group: Fresh fruit, Starches, Animal Protein or Nuts, Seeds + Dried Fruit and then fill the rest of your plate with non-starchy veggies. The diagram below explains it quite well:
Examples of how I combined the Candida Diet with the Food Combining principles:
Green smoothie: spinach, fennel, celery, lemon, avocado, coriander, mint, basil, avocado
Organic Eggs in a pan with onion, leak & kale on a bed of spinach
Buckwheat + oat porridge with raw cacao, almond milk and cinnamon
Quinoa with parsley, mint, red cabbage, fennel and avocado topped with lemon juice
Mixed greens, boiled egg, wild-caught smoked salmon, sprouts, cucumber, mixed herbs
Garlic roasted cauliflower served with poached fish and topped with a splash of red wine vinegar
Steamed brocoli and grilled asparagus on a bed of arugula with 2 poached eggs and a drizzle of cold-pressed flaxseed oil
MORE THAN SIMPLY “WHAT” WE EAT…
I began becoming more and more aware of also how I would eat. The new habits I picked up include:
Keeping a food journal where I would document my meals and put a “tick” if I digested it well or an “X” if I didn’t. If I didn’t digest it well, I would write down what symptoms I experienced and what might have been the cause.
I started eating slower. I have a terrible habit of scoffing down my food, so I finally started practicing slowing it down. I’m trying to put down my spoon between every bite and consciously chew my food.
Giving myself the time not only to eat, but to digest my food after. This means not making lunch 5 minutes before I need leave the house for spinning, but making sure I have at least 30 minutes after eating where I’m relatively calm and my body is able to focus on digestion.
Not drinking water with meals. After meals I stick to only warm tea.
and even more than food itself…
Candida can be caused by excessive consumption of sugar, alcohol or processed foods, from repeated antibiotics treatments, other medication or stress. In my case, considering I don’t drink or eat processed foods and stay as far away from medication as possible, it was definitely stress.
Naturally, since lifestyle factors were what caused my Candida, it would make sense for lifestyle changes be part of the remedy. So far I made the following changes in my lifestyle to try decrease my stress levels:
Limiting the amount I exercise. Although exercise is said to be able to help Candida, I can feel that when I exercise too much, I’m unable to wind down, and therefore stay in a state of stress. High-intensity exercise in particular can be quite taxing on your system, and when you’re already in a high-stress state, it can throw you even deeper into it. Teaching group fitness classes is part of my job, which makes it a bit more difficult, but I’m learning to stick to my personal limit even though I love taking all and every opportunity to teach.
Adapting my morning routine. I have been religious about my morning routine for quite some time now. I would wake up at 5:30am, do my Miracle Morning until 6:30am, and be well into starting work by 7:00am. I still do this routine, however I’ve moved away from the mentality that it needs to be done every single day, to doing it most days. If I have a day where I don’t absolutely need to be up at 5:30am, I won’t. You always hear about these massively successful people who have the most ridiculous morning routines, and I assumed that I would need to stick to mine to the T for it to lead me to where I want to be. The mental shift occurred when I had to take 2 weeks off from being sick. I could either drive my life at 200mph, crash every few months and be forced to take time off, or slow down, and live life in a constant, and consistent balance.
I’m currently reading The Healing Power of Illness, and it begins by suggesting how symptoms are your body’s way of crying out for help and letting you know when there is an imbalance. Although I love the body confidence movement on Social Media, I find that this new “bloating is normal, we all get bloated, look at me, I’m an Insta Model and I get bloated too” thing is great but… it does not mean we shouldn’t take it seriously. If you’re constantly having trouble digesting your food it might be time to do some research, get some tests, speak to a nutritionist and reestablishing the balance.