I’ll be totally honest….I’ve been struggling a bit recently.
But, I am FINALLY starting to get a bit of my zing back, my energy and motivation for…um…you know – life. Not that I’ve been specifically unwell or dealing with any major stress – but I have been really out of sorts with my energy levels over the past 8 weeks (roughly).
Around the end of January I noticed a real change in my energy levels, my skin (hello lots of bad pimples and eczema), my digestion, an increase in food cravings, and in particular my motivation and “get-up-an-go”. Initially I just thought all the indulgences of the Festive Season had finally caught up with me (in some ways they had). BUT, I also felt there was something else going on, mainly because the tiredness and low energy was just really out of the ordinary. I do get tired (I’m only human after all!) and I do know what that feels like for me – but this was different, and I really felt there was something else going on. The “Doctor Within” really felt it was gut related.
This lead me to doing a 3 day stool analysis test (something I had been considering for a little while but just had never got around to….cause…um…ew!). Turns out it’s not that bad and the information you get on the state of your gut health from this test is just phenomenal.
So what did I find out…?
I currently have an excess of yeast in my gut. Yep, those yeast guys are running the show. This very quickly explained all of my symptoms.
I should point out that yeast (or collectively known as Candida) hangs out in our guts (and other parts of our bodies) usually in small quantities, this is totally normal and healthy. However when the candida overgrows and takes over all the good guys in our guts – then we have a problem.
What makes yeast over grow? Well, it can be a number of things including
- a diet high in sugars (all kinds) and carbohydrates
- lack of diversity of your gut bugs
- Antibiotic and steroids
- high alcohol intake
- stress (!!)
- pharmaceutical medications – including the pill and other hormonal contraceptives
- high processed food intake
- low fiber intake
Any of these factors can either instigate an overgrowth or make you just generally more susceptible to one. I can definitely tick some of those boxes – was on the pill for nearly 10 years, took antibiotics a lot for tonsillitis and acne, have taken steroids for a nasty skin infection, took Roaccutane for acne and am somewhat susceptible to carrying stress in a physical way.
THEN…. incorporate a gut that has had a few troubles in the past, plus overindulgence at Christmas, new year and my birthday and you’ve got a nice environment for yeast to set up camp.
Now, I should point out as well that these “over-indulgences” were what I would still consider ‘healthier’ choices but at the end of the day healthier forms of sugar are still sugar, organic corn chips are still chips. Gluten-free and refined sugar free cakes are still cakes. Drinking home-made kombucha still contains sugar (and is actually brewed from yeast so….not a great choice!).
At this point I’m guessing you’re probably like well…how do you fix it? Will they stay there forever? OMG….Do I have a yeast overgrowth?
First thing I did was really tighten up my diet. For me this mainly meant cutting out ALL sugar – even the healthy forms of it. Why? Because yeast feed on sugar! Think about it…when you brew your kombucha you add sugar to make the SCOBY grow, when you make bread you add sugar to activate the yeast, or when you brew beer..? Yep, sugar.
For me personally this meant cutting out – banana and berries in my smoothies, sweet potato and other starchy veggies (carrots and beets are super high in sugar too!), bliss balls made with dates, dark chocolate and carbs in general (they are after all sugar in a complex from) so…quinoa, rice, gluten-free crispbreads and my gluten-free seed bread is a no go.I know! Devastating right!
This isn’t forever though. It’s just to rein the candida guys back in and then I’ll reintroduce these foods slowly and pay really close attention to how I’m feeling after eating them.
Second thing I did was get onto Kultured Wellness and grabbed one of Kirsty’s Candida Kits. This contains a months worth of herbal blend supplements to help reduce and eliminate candida growth from the gut. The protocol covers everything from what is actually going on inside your gut to the foods you should be avoiding and should be eating. It also contains a starter culture** for some deliciously nourishing Coconut Water Kefir – my new best friend (seeing as I can’t have kombucha anymore!).
Finally, I got myself a really high quality probiotic (2 actually because they all contain different strains of good guys), I’m adding in slippery elm to my smoothies (really soothing, and healing for the gut lining), eating lots of fermented veggies (fermented with coconut kefir), and I’m drinking lots of water and herbal teas, plus eating all of the GREENS (as you would have seen in my Instagram stories!). I’ve also upped my intake of nourishing fats – plenty of high quality coconut oil.
I’ll be honest, the first few days weren’t great. I was tired, lethargic and had carb and sugar cravings like a woman possessed. However now I’m a week in and I’m feeling loads better, my skin is looking clearer (already!) and my energy has picked up. I should also point out I’ve eased off my training at the moment too – taking the time to really listen to my body. Which has often wanted naps in the afternoon rather than 6am training sessions.
I’m now at the stage that I have actually completed my treatment and I am really focusing on high quality probiotics (powders, coconut yogurt, fermented veg, coconut kefir) to re-populate my gut and “crowd-out” any yeast and undesirables. I’m still keeping close tabs on my food intake and being careful not to over-do anything (in particular natural sugars and simple carbs).
Finally I want to remind you of how IMPORTANT
good GREAT, gut health is. Our gut controls so much of what goes on at a hormonal and biochemical level. If our guts are outta whack…often so are our hormones, moods and general zest for life. All healing starts in the gut!
Let’s create a gut health revolution….share this on your social medias and spread the word. Think about it….if all you’re friends and family have healthier guts they’re going to be nicer people*, right?
*not saying they’re not nice already (well..perhaps it does ring true for some!)….but imagine just HOW NICE they could be!!! Wowzers!
** I now stock these beautiful, potent and healing culture starters from Kultured Wellness. If you live in/near/close to (etc etc) the Clare Valley and Adelaide you can save on postage and purchase one direct from me. They are $40 each – if you would love to learn more or grab one please e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m SO very excited!!! I am now offering my exclusive one-on-one gut healing program Gut Detox! This is a 3 month health mentoring program that is tailored specifically to YOU and your current gut troubles. I work with you to bring your gut back to flourishing (and your health in general) Check out all the DETAILS HERE
(the featured image was jazzed up by me..but originally from Death To Stock Photo – they’re awesome!)