My Life with Candida Albicans(Here I Go Again)

Afternoon everyone, hope your Wednesday has been a blessed one so far. Today I want to share an update on my candida detox, plus an article I just found that explains what foods to eliminate when you suspect you have a candida overgrowth, and a recipe that I made a couple of nights ago that was absolutely delicious and dairy free! So this will be a jam packed post, but bear with me! ☺️ Below is a picture that is NOT the most flattering, but it shows just how bad this mess has gotten. 

Picture from Sunday night. It spans from shoulder to shoulder, the worst of it in the center. It’s still creeping slowly up my neck, but for now it’s not as bad as it was last Wednesday. As of today, it only itches around the edges of the rash site. There is a soap I found that I plan to try, it’s designed for these areas so I’ll share more after I give it a go. 

For a while now I have been dealing with this candida overgrowth and die off. Ever since my first die off from a few years ago I have done just enough to get over the worst of the symptoms and once the die off would clear up I would slowly begin to add certain foods back into my low carb diet. I can already hear the clucking of tongues from certain folks πŸ˜‰, trust me I have been kicking myself since last week for not having realized sooner how detrimental that decision was to my health. Just like low carb/keto is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle, so is eat to keep your candida in check. And yes, EVERYONE has candida in their bodies. It’s a nasty bacteria in your digestive system and when we aren’t eating right, when we are pumping our bodies full of antibiotics(including the animal meats we eat) we are feeding the candida. That’s when things get out of balance and we start having issues with our sinuses, allergies, skin related problems(ie rashes, eczema), flatulence, brain fog, IBS, fibromyalgia, yeast infections, and so on. It just seems to snowball and we can’t figure out why all of the sudden we are having all these issues. 
That’s been my life now since 2011 and quite possibly longer if I think about it. This could explain my most recent issue with the top of my left foot. It was hurting to the point where I could barely walk. Which that has actually started to improve over the last few days! I’m not hobbling around as much and I can stand for short periods of time with minimal issues. This is great news since this means I will be able to get back to my workouts! 

So what is it EXACTLY am I doing to improve my health? What protocol am I following to eliminate the candida overgrowth? It’s not any one thing or method. I spent last weekend reading anything and everything online, refreshing my memory of what needs to be done. The first thing I did was change my diet. Since I am already living a lower carb life, I knew I was going to have to give up more even MORE foods that may have been contributing to the overgrowth. And Saturday night proved to be a near breaking point for me. I was emotionally drained and frustrated by the realization that I would have to give up a lot of my favorite low carb foods for a while(possibly forever) and it all hit me that night. I was hungry and wanting stuffed green olives. My go to snack food when I have the munchies. High in fat, zero carbs, and I can easily eat half a jar! No judging. πŸ˜’My 13 yr old comes in and asks me what I’m doing. Trying to keep the shreds of emotions in check I tell him I’m hungry and can’t have the things that I would normally go to. At this point I could feels the tears welling up and I absolutely hate crying in front of people. When I cry it’s messy and ugly, so I took a few breaths to calm myself and without skipping a beat G-Man told me “so fix yourself some eggs.” 

I won’t lie, I scoffed at that idea. For one eggs don’t like me. Honestly, they make me sulfur gassy(and there goes any hope for finding a future husband). Before I could stop him, G-Man was already grabbing the container of eggs and asking me what meats and veggies I can have. He was shocked when I told him I can’t have sausage patties, deli ham or turkey, and no more bacon. Pitiful, I know. πŸ˜” So he grabbed tomatoes(which aren’t EXACTLY a safe thing but it added color to my dish), frozen green beans, and a green onion. He stood there watching me fry a couple of eggs in coconut oil with a handful of green beans, added in a few tomatoes for color, seasoned it all with Himalayan seas salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Garnishing the top with thin slices of green onion. And that was dinner! It was so satisfying, delicious, and simple! 

I know not too many folks like to give God credit these days, but I have to take a moment to. If my son hadn’t come into the kitchen when he did I wouldn’t have eaten such an amazing meal. I would have eaten half a jar of stuffed green olives, maybe some cheese slices, and hated myself later. God intervened by using my son to ground me (meaning forcing me to focus) and get me thinking what I should do instead and kept me from eating the very things that have led to this overgrowth and further the issue more. 

Sunday was even better! I had to make the decision to stay home from church since I was experiencing some IBS issues(again I’m just killing my prospects here lol) and didn’t want to chance anything. I rarely eat breakfast y’all, I take after my Memaw, leave me alone for an hour after I get up and let me enjoy my morning coffee(only for her it was hot tea). Coffee fills me up but I made half a cup instead and fried up two eggs just so I could get something into my system. Lunch came and I was starving! That’s when I made this…


All right, it’s not the prettiest bowl of food, but it was tasy! Stir fry veggies and garlic ginger chicken, it made four servings so I had enough for dinner and some to freeze! Sunday afternoon my detox pills arrived and I was actually excited! Me, I hate swallowing pills, but I was actually excited about having THOSE! I know, crazy. 😏 With my biggest meal I take my pills every day and haven’t had too many issues with them(mild burping…I’m batting a thousand already who cares anymore?!). And this is what is helping me to combat the candida overgrowth. I still pine for the foods that I used to eat, but I know in the end it’s better that I go without and finally get well after years of neglect. 

So…

Goodbye to : dairy(heavy cream, butter, cheeses, cream cheese), processed meats(kielbasa, spam, hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, deli meats), mushrooms, peanut oil, mini sweet peppers, fathead pizza dough and bagels, creamy/cheesy casseroles, homemade ranch dressing, ketchup, mayonnaise, low carb brownies(because of the chocolate and butter), pork rinds, low carb protein smoothies(because the protein powder I love has whey in it), mashed cauliflower(I tend to make it with cream cheese, parm cheese, and heavy cream), pickled foods(sliced jalapenos, dill pickles, stuffed green olives), naturally sweet veggies and fruit, and the list goes on. 

Say hello to: dark green veggies(kale, broccoli, chard, romaine), cruciferous veggies(cauliflower, cabbage), organic meats(beef, chicken, and pork…not a fish fan), peppers, fermented foods(soy sauce, sauerkrauts, kimchi), squash, zucchini, green beans, onions, garlic, coconut oil, evoo, safflower oil, avocado oil(and avocados), hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds, eggplant, blueberries, unsweetened cranberries, stevia, xylitol, vitamins and supplements, and candida detox pills(two pills once a day). 

Here’s a link to a site I found today that gives a basic outline of what foods to avoid and what foods are safe when killing off the candida. CLICK HERE

A friend recently asked me how my ice cube diet is going. 😏 I love her cheekiness! If it were anyone else I wouldn’t have laughed. For the most part I am able to maintain my low carb lifestyle while incorporating more of the anti-candida regimen. I don’t feel as bloated, the gas is slowly going away, mental clarity is emerging, I’m not as tired during the afternoon, but I am still battling with cold extremities, that might take a bit longer to get over since I’ve dealt with it for years. Plus I actually dropped a pound over the weekend which I haven’t been able to do for a while! 

Now, what yummy recipe do I have for you?! 


It’s baked chicken legs(you can use breasts, thighs, wings, or the whole chicken, go nuts!!) with oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower, served over a very basic romain salad topped with spicy brown mustard. 

What you’ll need:

12 chicken legs, skin on

No salt added seasoning of your choice(the one I used is pictured below)

Evoo

2 pounds frozen broccoli

1 pound frozen cauliflower

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Directions:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two sheet pans with non stick foil. Coat the chicken legs evenly with salt free seasoning and place on sheet pan. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered. Crank the heat up to 425 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. 

In a large mixing add frozen broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle on evoo and season with pink Himalayan sea salt. Spread out on remaining sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until it reaches a desired doneness. 

Serve with chopped organic romaine lettuce and use your favorite dressing. It’s simple, it’s easy, and leftovers are great the next day for breakfast with a couple of fried eggs. Leftovers can be frozen or used for those Bento boxes. Just make sure to debone the chicken first before storing. Makes it easier to enjoy later on! 

Below is the no salt added seasoning recipe I used. 


I store mine in a regular mouth glass jar and washed off a screw on lid from a Kraft Parmesan cheese container. This way I can shake on the seasoning on one side or measure it out from the other. I can’t remember if I doubled or tripled the recipe at the time I made this, but it is worth it! I use it on my eggs, veggies, beef, pork, and of course chicken. 

You can make a non-spicy version by leaving out the cayenne pepper. I think the next batch I make I’ll add turmeric and ginger powder since both of those are amazing anti-candida seasonings. 


If you have any questions please feel free to ask me below or email me at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram(@nok_amandagayle). I tend to post a little more frequently on IG these days since it’s quicker. But I hope this post has helped to shed some light on this growing issue. If you suspect you are suffering from a candida overgrowth, here is a link with a list of symptoms. CLICK HERE. This is definitely something you DO NOT want to leave untreated. I will be honest with you, there is a lot of controversial information out there, please be careful with your research and take a majority of it with a massive grain of salt. What works for one person won’t always work for another, there is no one size fits all protocol. There’s a basic outline that we all have to follow, but how I am approaching treatment is not necessarily going to work for the next person. 

In the meantime, take care, happy healthy eating, and hope you all have a blessed week! 

Supreme Nachos

I didn’t grow up with a mom who went to all the trouble of making game day food for those FSU games. Yeah, growing up here in the south we didn’t watch the Alabama/Auburn games. Seeing that we were from Florida and being in a family that was divided between the Seminoles and Gators, I grew up a Noles fan for the longest time. Now, I’m not a fan of any of it. So we just didn’t do the whole chips and dip, wings, pizza, or oodles of soda and sweet treats thing, could have been because we didn’t have the extra funds to do stuff like that and it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Money went towards putting food on the table for a family of 5, special foodie days were for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. This is why I haven’t really promoted the whole tailgatin’, game day grubbin’, football recipe sharing route. It’s foreign to me, I do see great recipes on other sites and think wow that looks great to take to the next church social or Ladies get together. My mind doesn’t go to the next football game gathering.

Ok, before I sound like a broken record because I’m sure y’all have gotten the idea now….supreme nachos are going to be my contribution to the web πŸ™‚ They’re easy, makes a lot and boy it is a crowd pleaser! I had to make a second pan last night because the fam just devoured the first pan as if they had never had nachos before! lol

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My nephew thought I was making a nacho casserole, quite frankly even I wasn’t too sure how it was going to turn out but to his surprise(and well mine too) this turned out even better! When he saw the pan sitting on the stove top his first reaction was “whoa!” Yeah, I like that reaction πŸ™‚

Supreme Nachos

(For 1 pan of nachos)

1 bag of favorite tortilla chips

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 package favorite taco seasoning

1 can black beans, with liquid

1 can corn, drained

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp oregano

1 can refried beans

1 package cream cheese, softened

1 large tomato, chopped

2–3 scallions, chopped or 1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cup 4 cheese mexican cheese blend

lettuce for garnish

sour cream (optional)

guacamole (optional)

salsa (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with release foil.

Spread out your favorite tortilla chips on the pan. If it’s not all a single layer that’s ok.Β 

Brown the beef with onion and garlic. Drain the fat if you want, add in taco seasoning, black beans, corn, oregano, salt and pepper(if needed). Let simmer to bring together the flavors. While the meat mixture is cooking, chop up scallions, tomato, and lettuce. Set all aside in separate bowls.
In a medium size microwave safe bowl soften cream cheese. Cream with a hand mixer and add in refried beans mixing until cream cheese and beans are complete combined. Set aside.

Now it’s time to built the nachos! Dollop the cream cheese mixture all over the chips. Spread gently if you can, if not don’t worry about it. Spoon the meat mixture on, sprinkle around the tomatoes and scallions. Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa!

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These were insanely good! Everyone said it reminded them of the taco dip that we all love, that’s because of the cream cheese refried beans mixture. This recipe is definitely tried, true, and oh so tasty! Make it today for your game day buddies or serve it up for your family during the week. Leftovers? Well, let me know if you have any because I will guarantee you there won’t be any πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget to get to check out the Wrapping for PCOS fundraising party on Facebook! Kim and I are itching to do some giveaways πŸ˜€ And Jamberry still has their buy 3 get 1 free offer going on, with so many wraps to choose from you’ll definitely want to take advantage of that!

Have a great day!!

UPDATE: Wrapping for PCOS Party Tonight!!

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It’s FRIDAY!!!! Know what that means?! The Wrapping for PCOS party starts tonight at 8pm!! Got an update for you from Kim Lukowitz Birdsell:

Good Morning Everyone!! I’m looking SO forward to being here tonight with all of you. If anyone has any questions in the meantime, PLEASE feel free to reach out. I am here to help in any way I can.

And YES, you CAN order BEFORE the party starts. I even have prizes for that! So, pick out those favorites and who knows, you just might be a winner! Please remember to choose party Wrapping for PCOS at checkout.“

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I hope everyone joins in the fun, there are going to be giveaways within the event that Kim is going to be doing, you’ll definitely want to get in on that πŸ˜€ And don’t forget, Night Owl Kitchen will be hosting a few giveaways as well on the Night Owl Kitchen FB page, in order to participate in that you MUST like the NOK FB page. My giveaways are open for international folks as well πŸ™‚

Hope you have a fantabulous day!!

UPDATE: Wrapping for PCOS

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Click the picture to join!

Great news everyone, Wrapping for PCOS is up and ready to receive guests!! See the message below from Kim Lukowitz Birdsell who has done an amazing job in getting this all together and keeping me grounded through the set up process πŸ˜‰ Really could not have done it without her!

 

“Hello Everyone! My name is Kim Lukowitz Birdsell and I am your Jamberry Consultant. Amanda Jones talked with me about doing a fundraiser for PCOS and I was thrilled to be able to say…YES, LET’S DO IT!! With a fundraiser, Jamberry would contribute 10% of our sales to PCOS, which is a wonderful, generous thing for then to do! BUT, I would like to do more than that. So we are set up as a party instead (right HERE, Friday, August 29th at 8:00 PM EST), which allows me more freedom and flexibility. To start, I am doubling the “norm” and will be contributing 20%. And the HIGHER the sales, the HIGHER my contribution. So let’s do this TOGETHER friends. To raising funds! And to raising AWARENESS! Looking forward to a FABULOUS time with all of you!”

 

I echo her words, let’s all come together to raise awareness about PCOS!Β  I’m beyond giddy, busting at the seams that this is happening! See y’all there, love ya!!

September-is-PCOS-Awareness-Month

 

Has Your Immune System Turned Against You? (Please pass on to anyone you know who suffers from PCOS)

Every woman with PCOS needs to watch her weight to better manage the symptoms of her condition, whether she’s lean or overweight.And in the case of the latter, researchers in Australia have found that excess fat around the abs can actually turn the body’s defense system against an overweight person, leading to heart disease. The latter condition is also linked to PCOS.The immune system is made up of many different kinds of cells that protect the body from germs, viruses and other invaders. These cells need to co-exist in a certain balance for good health to be maintained.Many factors, including a bad diet and excess body fat, can tip this balance, creating immune cells that can harm, rather than protect, our bodies.Fortunately, damage to the immune systems of PCOS women can be reversed. What is one step you can take today that will increase your overall immunity? Can you make a small, healthy food substitution or go on a 15 minute walk this afternoon? Whatever you decide to do, write it down and put it in your planner. Do it today and feel in control of your health!

Β Warmly,

Β Katie Humphrey

International Health Coach

Author of Freedom from PCOS

Spokesperson for PCOS Insulite Laboratories

I received this email in May of last year. Just found it while going through some old messages that I was getting ready to delete. So glad I chose to look through them first πŸ™‚ For a while now I have been sharing the importance of health while living with PCOS. Healthy doesn’t mean you have work yourself down to a size zero, and I’m in no way bashing any women who are thin, but simply saying you can be healthy even at a size 20W. So long as you’re eating the right foods for your nutritional type, you workout at least three days a week and strive for at least 15–30 minutes each time, staying active is key to a long and healthy life! You’re going to be healthier inside and out, sick less often, and feel better over all than if you completely ignored your body. Take control of the things that you can change…instead of donut (and y’all know I love my donuts) grab an apple or a bowl of berries. Instead of potato chips and onion dip have some gluten free veggie chips with hummus (which is so good). You can make small changes in your every day diet and lifestyle that will help put you that much closer to being a healthier you!

If by chance you are a heavier cyster, like me, you need to check out Plus Size Birth blog. You don’t have to be a woman who’s trying to conceive, I’m certainly not, but any plus size woman who is lacking confidence can certainly follow Jen’s blog and Facebook group for encouragement. I’ve met a great group of ladies who have helped me to stop looking down on myself as a person and accept the way I am. After years of being bullied, picked on about my weight and abused by my ex I spent many years replaying those words over and over in my head. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror I was disgusted, not seeing any beauty or worth. Even after having my son and gaining an enormous amount of weight that I’ve spent 7 years losing and gaining back it’s been difficult to finally reach the conclusion that I’m just as beautiful as any other woman out there! I’m me, broken body and all πŸ™‚ So be sure to check out her amazing blog and Facebook page, you’ll be amazed at how open and honest everyone is. Nothing is taboo, you don’t have to fear about asking any questions. Sometimes we need encouraging words to get us going down the path to better choices. Mental health and how you see yourself is just as important as the physical health, you must take care of the one in order to achieve the other! Stay beautiful ❀

Goodbye September…

Hard to believe that this is the last day of September. It has certainly been a full month, so thankful for everyone who has helped in spreading PCOS Awareness this month, for joining me speaking out and making sure pictures and articles get passed around. Just because this awareness month is ending doesn’t mean the work is done. We live with this on a daily basis and every day we can help make a difference in another woman’s life by spreading the word. At least once a week from here on out I will be posting on Health Check Tuesday/Teal Tuesday continuing this good fight against Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Please join me on Tuesdays, post your pictures, testimonies, questions, or links to more information about PCOS. If you don’t have a local support group, like me, let’s come together on here once a week and create our own support group. Encouraging one another to not give up, to not lose hope or sight of our dreams and goals. Let’s all welcome October with renewed vigor and positive outlook as the year winds down to a close.

Last week proved to be terrible for me, not motivated to do really anything for the blog or for fall. That’s just how things go some times. But this week I’m pulling out some of our favorite flavors of fall, trying out new recipes that I have found recently, and finish up my fall bulletin board. Most of it is handmade decor, free printable items that I was able to get in black and white and color it myself. My son has enjoyed it so far and is helping him to work harder in school πŸ™‚ I don’t plan to change it up for a while, I might add some turkeys later on but for now it’s good the way it is.

In a couple of weeks I’m going to be baking up a lot of goodies for a Missions Conference that I’m attending. Right now I’m making my final decisions on what to take (leaning more toward some pumpkin scones to add to the snack table and making a simple chocolate sheet cake with homemade frosting on top as a dessert). Everything I plan to make will definitely make its way to this blog along with recipe reviews and even trying out some “new” vintage recipes to ring in the autumn season! So get ready for another fun and full month!!

Happy fall and have a blessed day!

Write HOPE on Your Arm Day

It has arrived, it’s the one day I let my child write on himself, but for a good cause πŸ™‚

Today my I asked my child what PCOS stood for, what it affected, and why we were writing HOPE on our arms. He answered each question accurately, and though you can’t see it clearly on his little arm he wrote: There is hope, help them…they need it. He’s so sweet, we talked about what the symptoms are (since the word ‘symptoms’ is on his Spelling list for the week). He asked me about cancer, I explained the importance to remove as much as sugar as possible from a woman’s diet so as not to feed any cancer cells. This is why lowering our carbs is important and only using natural sweeteners, such as Stevia, in our food and drinks. Going more alkaline helps in warding off cancer because cancer needs a more acidic environment to thrive, just like colds and flues do.Β 

Why write HOPE on your arm? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I wanted to make sure it’s understood why I did it…

  • To let all my Cysters around the world know they are not alone in this.
  • I know and understand the daily struggles, this week has been horrible for me.
  • To keep moving forward, don’t stop trying to reach your goals, dreams, or the opportunity to make a difference.
  • To keep the faith, remain strong, and keep fighting!

Seeing the excitement on my son’s face today when he realized what day it was just made my day that much better! His sweet message of hope to everyone, a reminder that yes we need your help, we need your voice, and that we need your courage to not give up should be a message to not only women with PCOS but to every person on this planet. We can’t make a difference without you…please join us!

Have a blessed Thursday πŸ™‚

HOPE Collage

(From L–R: Twitter and Tumblr handle, Instagram handle; From L–R: Blog and Facebook Name, my son’s message to everyone! There is HOPE!)

Write HOPE on Your Arm

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Get your washable markers ready (permanent ones are welcomed too if you like) to write HOPE on your arm this Thursday! It may sound silly, childish even, but it’s something I find helps spread the word about PCOS. It makes people stop in their tracks and ask HOPE for what? Many do not realize that PCOS exists, how PCOS affects a woman’s body and the daily struggles we have to go through.

Plus there are millions of women out there who cannot have children, who are struggling with their medication, who can’t seem to catch a break with their PCOS symptoms, are struggling to get healthy and find it difficult to cope with their daily lives (thanks hormones).
This is a message for them as well, to remind them to not give up hope. That one day they too shall become mothers (adoption counts too), one day they will find the right medicine to work for them, that each good thing they do for themselves is helping to make them strong and healthier…it can be a powerful message if we all will take a few seconds this Thursday and post a picture of HOPE to them.

It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, please consider joining me, my son, and nephew on this day to help spread PCOS Awareness and letting all the women around the world know that they are not alone! Have a blessed day πŸ™‚