Sunday, February 21, 2010


Who knew that the typical human body is overloaded with a variety of environmental toxins? I did, but I never knew how much of an effort it would take to detoxify my body.

I've been following Teri Kerr's Ultimate Detox Diet on the advice of my dietitian at Sojourns, a wonderful yet expensive resource just across the river from Walpole. The diet consists of three phases: phase one is two weeks long and involves deep cleansing with lots of beets and dark leafy greens; phase two is a slightly less intense cleanse that also lasts for two weeks; phase three is essentially the rest of the participant's life.

I've successfully made it through phase one, eating only legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, poultry, fish and a little tofu, and drinking only water, herbal tea, and a fruity but complexly flavored breakfast drink. I'm now moving into phase two, where I get to add small amounts of gluten-free grains—amaranth, quinoa, millet—and eggs.

During the first few days of the diet, I noticed a marked change in my energy levels. It's been easier to wake up in the morning (so easy that I've been getting up around 6am almost every day, which is something that would have been exceedingly difficult before the diet), I've had more energy throughout the day and have noticed that I'm more mentally alert and focused. I also have more energy for exercise, which, coupled with the healthier eating, has led to twenty pounds of weight loss.

Once phase two is complete, I will start to add back potentially problematic foods, like cheese, milk, gluten, wheat, sugar, alcohol, and so on. I choose one food, eat it three times in a day, monitor myself for potential reactions, wait 2-3 days and if there's no problem, I move on to the next food. Sounds easy enough, right?

In spite of all this good eating and exercising, I have seen a slight decline in my energy levels. I met with Stacey, the dietitian, late last week to discuss this trend and she determined that I might have an overgrowth of Candida yeast in my system. Everyone has this fungus in their gut, but an overgrowth can lead to symptoms like fatigue, depression, bloating and gas, yeast infections, weight gain, rashes, sensitivty to certain smells (like cigarettes and automobile exhaust) and the list goes on. My meeting with Stacey ended with a few brief mentions of how to fight Candida, which thrives on carbohydrates and sugars, so I bought some oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, pau d'arco tea, and highly potent acidophilous—four proven remedies—and left feeling fairly positive about ushering these organisms to their imminent deaths.

Then I got the letter.

Stacey wrote to tell me that she felt that we hadn't had enough time to talk about the Candida and that treating this particular ailment was one of her specialties. Included with the letter was this printout about Candida and MS, which I made the mistake of reading last night. Stacey cautioned me about the source, saying that she didn't know much about it. Still, I think anyone who reads this would feel pretty freaked out afterwards. I am pretty freaked out. To be sure that I had cause for alarm, I looked up Candida in my copy of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, a trusted source of health information that I've consulted for years. The information in this book backed up that of the printout. Great.

So now I have a parasitic overgrowth and feel fairly grossed out and concerned about eating anything, really. As I mentioned earlier, the detox diet calls for a fruity beverage for breakfast, something that my Candida love. Oh, and the best part is, according to the printout, that I'm not supposed to eat mushrooms or spend time in damp or moldy places. This is great news for our new MUSHROOM FARM business.

I woke up today, skipped the beverage, drank three cups of tea and had some leftover root vegetables for breakfast. Pardon my language, but I really want to starve those little fuckers. I made an appointment to see Stacey again in a few weeks and plan to call her later today to inquire about my state of dismay regarding the fungus. This is a huge blow to the progress I've made, but I'm trying my best to not let it get the best of me.

If only the Candida didn't love beer, too.


  1. Oh sweet Hoss! It's going to be okay - don't worry! I LOVE YOU!!!

  2. you have opened a new window for me. i had given up gluten, but why was i still getting sick when i'd have a reeses cup. the sugar. so can one be cured of this candida and go back to eating gluten, sugars, etc or is it a lifetime diet????