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Before starting my journey through holistic nutrition, I went in thinking I had everything figured out. I ate healthy. I exercised regularly. I cooked with whole foods often. I was healthy, wasn’t I? A year into schooling, seemingly out of nowhere, I was handed a host of symptoms I had not previously experienced. What I initially thought were acute symptoms eventually turned chronic and I was riddled with stress and “poor-me” syndrome. My ignorance was not so blissful after all. I had (and still have) much to learn.

Five months and numerous natural methods later, I, in a moment of desperation, took a round of antibiotics (gasp!). My perspective quickly shifted as my symptoms came rushing back within days after completing the prescription. I knew then and there that I no longer could take the back seat by trying to simply treat the symptoms, I needed to get to the root cause of the issue. After much research and a handful of consultations within my network of practitioners, it all came down to one major factor: candida albicans (with a side of parasites and toxicity). All of which are much more common than you’d think. Put simply, candida is a smart little fungus in the form of a yeast and part of our gut flora that thrives in the body given the right conditions. A damp, sweet, and toxic environment is one in which it can easily flourish. It also releases over 80 of its own toxic byproducts, which your body then has to process and eliminate before it runs amok on other body systems, namely our immune system. When candida overgrowth is present in the body, it can manifest in many ways. Brain fog, fatigue, crying spells, strong cravings for sweets, sensitivity to foods and smells, and a slough of vaginal infections are all possible symptoms and all of which I experienced. Unfortunately, there are many, many more possible symptoms. Fortunately, there are also many possible steps to take in getting it under control.

When I was ready, I began a strict protocol in which I removed the foods (and there are lots) that are known to assist the growth of yeast as well as incorporated strong probiotics and specific enzymes to help crowd out the bad flora and break down the cell wall of the candida yeast. This can certainly be a challenge and it sure isn’t a quick fix, my friends. But as with all healing, it takes time. With this protocol, I’ve eliminated many foods to promote die off including all sugar and most all carbohydrates. “So, no chocolate to wash down my sorrows…?” I thought. Yes, it’s tough but it isn’t impossible. And believe me, you become very creative in the kitchen (dare you to ask about my recipe for no-sugar-raw-chocolate-with-almond-filling)!

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Knowing I had strict guidelines to follow, I sought out as many anti-candida recipes as I could and tried a hand at my own as well. Thanks to a fellow classmate and Paleo enthusiast (this recipe also works for those following Paleo and GAPS diets), I got my hands on this super recipe. I made a few adjustments but it is still a simple recipe that is totally satisfying. Finding delicious alternatives to the real thing make for an easier transition altogether. Plus, cauliflower, and cruciferous veg in general, are packed-full of vitamins and minerals and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Eat as you would regular hummus – with my homemade seed crackers, perhaps? –  as a dip, spread or dollop on top of a meal.

I’m happy to report that as short as a month and a half into the protocol, I saw a significant decrease in symptoms. Hallelujah!

The Ingredients (Yield: 4 servings Total Time: 1 hour)

  • 1 head garlic (keep raw for additional anti-candida-fighting benefits)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • sea salt & ground black pepper

The Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Chop off the top of the head of garlic and lightly coat with olive oil. Place in a small baking dish and roast in oven for 35 minutes

3. Break down cauliflower into smaller florets and place on baking sheet. Coat with extra virgin olive oil and place in oven. Roast for 20 minutes. You can also steam your cauliflower until it’s cooked and fork-tender but not mush, about 10 minutes. Drain and place in food processor

4. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and into the food processor

5. Add in tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of s&p to the food processor and pulse until smooth in consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste

*Think you may be struggling with candida overgrowth, parasites, or toxicity? I am now taking on clients and can offer up further knowledge and a hand in healing. Get in touch through my Contact page for more details (website coming soon!).

One comment

  • Ned

    OMG. Delicious. I just made this last night as soon as it showed up in my email inbox and I realized I had a GIANT head of cauliflower!

    Suggested variations: put a few tomatoes or red peppers in the oven to roast at the same time as the cauliflower to add an additional delicious flavor!

    May 07, 2015

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