Tuesday, July 15, 2014

anti-candida noatmeal (gluten free)

Earlier this year, I felt God was leading me to do a three-month sugar fast. It's one I'd resisted for some time because, well, how do you do life without sugar? It's in everything.

However, based on symptoms I was having, I strongly suspected a candida (yeast) overgrowth in my system and couldn't ignore it any longer. In this days of high antibiotic and high sugar use combined with high stress, it's quite easy to go from having some yeast in your body to one where the yeast takes over and causes all sorts of unpleasant side effects - many of which we put down to just feeling under the weather. If you google yeast overgrowth and/or anti-candida diet (ACD), you can learn more for the sake of keeping this post brief and because I'm not an expert*.

What I do know, however, is that 1) It is possible to live without sugar 2) The most annoying of my symptoms went away 3) I felt a lot better. 

One of the biggest challenges of the diet, especially during the very restrictive first month, was enjoying breakfast.

Before the ACD, I would look forward to the same fuss-free breakfast every morning: oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, non-dairy milk, unsweetened shredded coconut and, occasionally, blueberries or almonds.

On the ACD which cuts out gluten, oats were out :( ,  so buckwheat was in.

It was hard to get used to. Especially without raisins (forbidden). And the coconut (allowed, but I chose not to).

So I experimented a little and threw some millet in there for good measure and by the end of the first month, I found my taste buds had adjusted to both the flavor and texture of this new breakfast.

If you are considering changing your diet, please be encouraged that the first month is the hardest. However, if you stick with it, your taste buds will adapt to the new palette of food you are eating.

Here's the recipe I ate for the majority of the ACD which I call "Noatmeal." As in "no oatmeal."

Anti-candida Noatmeal (recipe notes follow)
candida diet friendly, dairy free, gluten free, peanut-free, soy free, sugar free, vegan

1 cup raw buckwheat groats
1 cup millet
2.5 cups water

Suggested mix-ins (strict phase):
almond, hemp, coconut or rice milk (no soy)
flax seeds
coconut oil

Suggested mix-ins (post strict phase):
unsweetened, shredded coconut 

Combine all the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Spoon into bowls and store any leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Recipe notes:
  • One way of saving energy, it requires a little planning, is to prepare the noatmeal the night before. Bring the mixture a boil, then turn off the heat and let it sit overnight. By the morning, the water is absorbed and you've saved on your energy bill. 
  • I always make more noatmeal than I need so I can reheat the leftovers
  • During the strict phase I increased the fats in the noatmeal by adding almonds and coconut oil to prevent weight loss as I already shed some pounds when I changed to a vegan diet. If you're also looking to lose weight, leave out the coconut oil and maybe the almonds.

*It's often recommended to see a doctor before you make dietary changes, which is sound advice especially if you have existing medical conditions.

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