The Candida Diet (OR "Um, at least I’ll be skinny?")

Thrush update: we are still struggling.

We are on Round Two of the gentian violet as of yesterday and will continue with that through Sunday. I purchased a fresh bottle thinking that might make a difference, and if nothing else, it certainly stains more. Poor Raegan’s whole mouth-face area is purplish, and I keep thinking “Violet, you’re turning violet!” when I look at her. The stuff makes her gag when I first apply it to us, so we’re doing our best to nurse our way through it and not stain every single inch of ourselves or the house in the process.

Thanks to the help and generosity of a good friend, I now have actual live Acidophilus to take as opposed to the capsule form. Hopefully this will help neutralize the yeast/bacteria that seem to have taken up shop in my system. The bottle she brought me is blueberry flavored and actually tastes just fine, but for some reason the way the stuff in the bottle bubbles (and literally looks alive) kind of freaks me out. The same friend also brought me a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar which I am adding to water and drinking. It is gross and gaggy, but I keep doing it, again, in hopes of ridding my body of any and all things nasty.

My other approach to kicking the thrush is severely reducing my sugar intake. Prior to this week I was trying (sort of) to not eat as many sweets. I’ve come to realize after some research, though, that cutting out my beloved brownies and ice cream habit isn’t enough to do the trick. To really fight yeast, you have to really eliminate sugars and yeast from your diet, which is really not an easy task. As it turns out, yeast/sugar is in just about everything. My dear husband did some research online for me the other night and came up with several sites that detail just how strict the Candida (yeast) Diet is. In short, sugar in almost every form, alcohol (duh), grains, fruits, all pork and lunch meats, all fish except for sockeye salmon, all cheese, milk, coffee and teas, peanuts, beans and soy, condiments, vinegars (save for the apple cider), and a lot of fats/oils (save actual butter) ALL equal big NO-NOs. Doesn’t look so short, now does it? If you want the really long version, click here. Fortunately, Ben also found another web site that tells me what I can eat. Basically a lot of fresh greens and vegetables, chicken and lean beef, almonds, eggs, and some fruits like oranges and peaches. But if you know me, this diet is asking a lot.

For one thing, I have to remember that I’m nursing. Yes, I want to get rid of the thrush so the nursing feels better, but I have to remain mindful of taking in enough to produce enough for both my body and Little Miss Raegan, too. Another important factor here is the fact that we are moving one week from tomorrow. I honestly don’t have time to totally re-haul my entire pantry and diet right now. I also don’t have time to make double meals – one for me and one for the boys. We’re trying to eat a bunch of the freezer meals I made last fall and some of those just do not follow the Candida Diet.

Lastly, if you didn’t know, I am a carb freak. I love bread and pasta and baked goods – they have always been my favorites. So this is a real stretch just for my palate, but I am trying. I’ve gone on a couple shopping trips now to collect some “OK” items to eat, including more fresh veggies and new alternatives to snacks (list-approved nuts, for example). The real bummer in all of this, though, is how much yeast fights to stay in your system. As I’m working to eliminate it, it’s fighting to hang on, literally making me crave sweets and breads more than ever. Nice, huh?

I guess the bright side here, in addition to Goal Number One: Get Rid of Thrush, is that, if I stick to it, I will get real skinny following this diet. I would say “real skinny without even trying” but obviously I am having to try all the time to follow the rules. I know that I won’t be able to follow the lists 100% of the time, but I guess I’m hoping that every little change I make helps us move in the direction of healing. It would (will!) be so nice just to enjoy my nursing/nursing my baby girl.

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It’s Not Easy Being Purple

So I totally freaked out about 10 different moms at MOPS this morning. Here I am, carrying around this two-month-old little baby, smile on my face and blue-looking lips on hers. Each one that noticed it got wide-eyed and said, “Um, Mom….” But no worries. Well, not really – there are worries, but not the fact that Raegan’s lips aren’t the natural or normal pink that they should be.

See, we are STILL treating for thrush and gentian violet is our latest attempt to rid it from both of our systems. As you can tell by the name (or the link if you take a peek at it), it is a purple liquid and it stains. Everything. But the basic concept is that you paint it on the baby’s mouth or your nipples or perhaps both and – hopefully – after a few days, the thrush will disappear. Now we’ve tried weeks of antibiotics for both of us and probiotics/yogurt for me and vinegar washes after nursing and Lotramin and reduced sugar intake for my diet, but none of that has been able to get rid of the white on her tongue or the stinging in me when we nurse (and sometimes even when we’re not). So purple mouth it is.

But being purple isn’t easy, and not just because it scares everyone who sees her sweet little face. The stuff really is a holy terror mess. I apply it once every evening and then we both have to wear and be surrounded by things that we don’t mind turning purple. Fortunately I have some lovely old towels that just happen to be a lovely shade of lavender – perfect for this week of treatment! I also found some old gowns that Harrison managed to stain in other ways and we are using those for Little Miss so she doesn’t get icky anywhere other than her face. Olive oil has helped too – I paint a little of that around her mouth before applying the gentian violet and then the purple doesn’t stain the outside of her mouth quite so much. So yes – fun, fun.

The thing is, if it works, I don’t care. I am obviously willing to try just about anything to get rid of this because I want to enjoy nursing. I plan to do it for at least another 10 months, either way, but I would really appreciate it if I wasn’t in pain for that entire time span.

So, no, being purple isn’t easy or fun, but hopefully it is effective. 

4 Days, 12 Meals

If you do the math, 12 meals in 4 days makes perfect sense. But clearly I am either very, very pregnant or just plain crazy, because in the last 4 days (starting Thursday evening and lasting until this morning), I made 12 extra meals, which clearly does not make sense. And these were not just any old meals. These were casseroles and marinades and sides that, to some extent, involved a heck of a lot more cooking/prep than I normally do. And did I mention the number of loads of dishes? Probably close to 12 as well!

Here is what I looked like Friday evening, three meals in:

Notice the slightly exasperated expression, but decent clothes and make up to boot.

There are no pictures of me from yesterday or this morning. There is only this:

This is, perhaps, the most beautiful sight I have seen in days. This is my completed list of freezer-ready dishes made, minus the Sloppy Joes that I did Thursday night, giving this whole crazy project its kick start. I did not go in the order I planned, nor I did go this adventure alone. Ben was an excellent chef’s assistant, especially when my pregnant back and belly could not take one more minute of standing at the stove, whisking butter, flour, and various seasonings to make a white sauce or base for a cheese dish. He was supposed to be working on homework all weekend, but he is not only helpful but also kind; he told me that family stuff just has to come first sometimes.

And really, that is what this whirlwind of weekend work was all about….getting ready to expand our little family. I meant to do something like this before Harrison was born but never did. This time around, the idea of cooking ahead was again rolling around in my brain, but like so much else, kept getting forgotten or overlooked in the day-to-day chaos. But this weekend HD was off to the farm with Grandma and Grandpa Welsch, so I took full advantage of my 56 free hours and went to town in my teeny, tiny kitchen. If you know my relationship with my house, you know that I consider my kitchen to be the structure’s Achilles’ heel for its lack of storage and counter space. Without a toddler around to disturb the work in process, though, my kitchen and I managed to pull off a tremendous feat. Did I mention that I also made a slow cook roast for supper last night and fresh rolls to make said roast into BBQ sandwiches? And that I’m making meatballs tonight? Surely this must be some form of nesting!

Friday morning, as I pushed my very full, very heavy shopping cart around the grocery store, I thought I must have lost my mind. I mean, I was even buying onions to saute and put in dishes – something I never do. But here I am, Sunday afternoon, with a freezer chest full of what I hope are tasty dishes that we will get to enjoy in the coming months after BWNo.2 arrives. That is perhaps the funniest and the looniest part of this whole venture. With the exception of the mashed potatoes, we have never tried any of these specific recipes. But, as my very wise father pointed out, they will taste just fine simply because they will mean that we don’t have to cook on the days when we are dragging our tired bodies from one diaper change to the next. Works for me!

And now, on to that final load of dishes…