I think I’m experiencing post-wedding-blues.
It’s crazy how quick it is all done and over with. So so so much hype, excitement, tears, tantrums, fun, love – and then boom, all over. Life goes on…. straight back to reality and the normality of day to day life. I’m feeling a little blah to say the least.
Let me just say that a wedding is not a good time to be doing a candida cleanse. You only get married once (hopefully) and I was not going to deny myself of champagne, delicious coffees, sugar, amazing dinners out, cider, liquers, and so on.
So I am starting again – my symptoms HAD reduced dramatically, but now they are back with a vengeance. It was so worth it though.
My (new) Mother in Law made me some delicious stuffed mushrooms the other night, which has got me on a mushroom eating bender. Better than a tequila bender for sure. These have a sort of Italian-style flavour; the combination of nutritional yeast and silken tofu replace the cheese…. and fresh herbs are always a welcomed touch.
Easy Kale and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
(Vegan, Anti-Candida, gluten, wheat, nut, refined sugar free)
- 6 medium field mushrooms
- 250g silken tofu, patted dry
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4C sundried tomatoes
- 4 stems of kale… leaves only…. washed and finely chopped (or baby spinach if you aren’t into kale… maybe 2C leaves packed tight)
- Fresh herbs: I used basil and oregano… 3T finely chopped
- 1/4t sea salt
- 3T nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1t apple cider vinegar
- 1t balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients (except mushrooms) in a mixing bowl, and leave to “marinate” for a few hours…. this will also help the kale soften.
- Stuff mushrooms with spoonfuls of the kale mix, and bake for 25 minutes at 180 degrees C.
- Viper does not like kale. All the more for me.
You would think that this post would entail a blow-by-blow of the big day, but at this point I really can’t be bothered – I’m just stopping in to say hi.
Plus, I don’t actually have any photos except this one.
I just wanted to express, that aside from the obvious (the commitment Viper and I declared amongst family and friends) that the whole wedding process has been a series of huge lessons for me.
*A lesson that stress is a toxic, horrible thing that does not agree with me whatsoever. And stress makes pimples which are not welcomed on ones wedding day.
*A lesson about the type of people I want to surround myself and my family with…. inspiring, warm people that really make the effort to grow a friendship.
*Actions speak SO much louder than words.
* Many many lessons in social etiquette – the right (and not so right) things to do in regards to socially acceptable behaviour.
*Family will never let you down, and will always surprise you.
Perhaps the biggest (or smelliest) lesson was that tea light candles are evil. Particularly when placed near the nook you rest your highly-flammable hair sprayed head on the edge of the spa at THAT moment at the end of the night when the romance is at it’s peak.
Yes, I set fire to my hair on my wedding night. It could only happen to me.
A trip to one of the most stunning places in the world.
A sister’s big 3-0.
Dinner at Jamie Oliver’s for said birthday.
Jamie doesn’t do a bad vegan meal. Two thumbs up. (Lighting SHOCKING… my Mum was reading the menu with a torch she had in her bag…. seriously, who carries around a torch in her hand bag?) Un-pictured fish stew, prawn linguine, ricotta/lemon ravioli, raw root veggie crunch salad (amazing) wine wine beer wine, tiramisu, ice cream, brownies – if you are in the CBD Sydney, got to 107 Pitt Street and EAT.
Rebelling against Anti-Candida diet. Sometimes you just need to.
Booze for wedding creations. Not really. Picture for illustration only… I’m really just using a tipple.
Never stop playing in the kitchen. Never stop eating salad.
Getting nervous. It’s a good nervous though.
I should be packing, organising my self (and child), and getting ready for married life (Ha.) Yet, I am making a mess in the kitchen, as per usual.
I’ve been essentially grain free (bar a small amount of brown rice protein and rice milk) while on this candida cleanse. I don’t really count buckwheat, quinoa or millet in the grain category. My latest favourite “cereal” blend is raw buckwheat groats whizzed up with coconut, flax seeds and whatever else I’m in the mood for. You could use sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats for this, or roasted groats, but I’m lazy and actually really like the taste/texture of raw.
Basically I whizz up 2C raw buckwheat groats with 1/2C shredded coconut and 1/4C flax meal until it resembles a flour with a few chunks. The good thing about this blend, is that it is SUPER absorbent, and you can add lots of milk/yoghurt until you create a rich, creamy texture. It’s particularly good with coconut milk, vanilla stevia and cacao nibs. Yummo. Grind up a whole bunch, store in a jar, and it’s a quick and easy “cereal” snack when the mood strikes. Also gluten free which is a bonus.
Something that is not so much a new find, but an on- going obsession is cacao butter. If you want to try your hand at raw, home made chocolate-making then this is the gear you need. Loving Earth is the best I’ve found – not to mention all their other amazing products. Oh to be rich and be able to flap around doing raw-foodie angels in such products. Sigh.
The combination of lucuma and almond butter is one that needs to be experienced; don’t think cacao butter needs to be restricted to use in CHOCOLATE treats only. This following recipe is one that has gotten a bunch of ideas going in my head – this would be amazing as a truffle, dipped in additional raw chocolate, or as a filling for a decadent dessert tart. Or just straight up like I have done here:
- 2T raw almond butter (or any nut butter)
- 6T grated cacao butter, melted
- 1/4t vanilla bean powder OR 1/4t vanilla extract
- 1/8t sea salt (ONLY if your nut butter is unsalted)
- 2T raw lucuma powder
- 2T almond milk, slightly warm or at least room temperature
- 10-15 drops vanilla stevia liquid, or to taste
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into moulds (I use silicone cupcake moulds) and place in the fridge to chill – they will harden, but not go super hard like a chocolate bar – think more along the lines of a smooth, solid, creamy fudge.
I haven’t said much about my goals in ‘motion,’ lately. By motion I mean exercise, but this is not an exercise blog and I’m not what you would call a gym bunny. Although I do go to the gym a bit… I think I wear the most clothes out of everyone though. Seriously, when did work out gear become so trendy and hip?
Just because I don’t have Lorna Jane or Nike or some other brand plastered across my chest (or arse as the case may be) I’m probably seen as a “Dowdy Down-Dogger,” but really, I would rather spend my money on a decent yoga mat so I can benefit the most from my practise…. Read: Can actually hold a pose without slipping over in my own sweat puddles that have collected on the gym mats (aka Slip’n'Slides)… yeah, I’m a dripper. I don’t think snazzy tights could make my foot get any closer to my head, do you?
Anyway, all that aside I have come to a few conclusions about how I move my body and what is best for me. I dabbled around in trying a few different group fitness classes, and while enjoyable (sort of, if you consider jumping around with barbells to house music a fun time) they didn’t feel so beneficial. Sure, I know I got through some hard work outs and boy, was I sore the next day, but I didn’t get that overall sense of satisfaction that I get from yoga.
I don’t think any other form of exercise challenges me like yoga. My WHOLE body gets worked through yoga…. mind included, which I find is crucial for my general well being. Any longer than say 10 minutes on a treadmill, or a few different weight machines and I’m bored and lose motivation. Yoga motivates me to constantly re-align, to focus, to breathe…. to go that little bit further, that little bit deeper, to balance.
Yoga for ME is the perfect exercise, paired with a few strolls with Misty in tow and I’m a happy camper. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about – what you enjoy and what makes you feel GOOD. For some, running does it for them, others swimming or weight lifting. We are all so different, and finding your “perfect motion,” is as individual a choice as diet.
My newest exciting find is vanilla bean powder. I actually bought it as an ingredient in my wedding-treat creations…. but I had to have a play with the stuff first. The fragrance is just incredible.
I’ve started to re-introduce a few more forms of protein (to stop me going crazy) and I rejoice with the return of bean sludge. I am moderating my consumption of beans (not going through buckets a day as I was before my Anti-Candida Cleanse) so I have been using it as a condiment for some raw, Anti-Candida friendly “cookies.” Good fuel for motion, too.
RAW Spiced Vanilla Almond Cookies with Chocolate filling
(Vegan, Anti Candida, gluten, wheat, seed, soy, grain, refined sugar free)
- 2/3C raw almond meal
- 1T lucuma powder (optional – you could sub in mesquite, maca or a protein powder if you wish)
- 1/4t vanilla bean powder (or 1/2t pure vanilla extract)
- 1/2t ground cinnamon
- 10 drops vanilla stevia liquid (or more to taste)
- Good pinch of sea salt
- 1T water
- 2T melted cacao butter – which equals about 4T solid, grated cacao butter
- 2t melted coconut oil
- Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add the stevia, cacao butter and coconut oil…. combine well until a loose crumb if formed.
- Push tablespoons of the mix firmly into the bottom of silicone cupcake moulds, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Pop out of moulds and enjoy with:
Almond Chocolate Bean Sludge
(Vegan, Anti-Candida, gluten, wheat, seed, soy, refined sugar free)
- 1C black bean “sludge”
- 2T almond butter
- 15 drops vanilla stevia liquid (or more to taste) – you could also use a few tablespoons of maple syrup/honey/agave if you prefer.
- Enough non dairy milk to obtain desired consistency – this can be anything from 1/4-1/2C.
- 2T cacao powder (or 3T cocoa)
- 1/4t sea salt.
- Whizz everything together in a food processor until silky and smooth. Add more milk if you like a thinner consistency.
- Use as a delicious “glue” to stick the almond cookies together.
- Store in the fridge.
My posting has been a bit sporadic lately; don’t expect that to change much in the next few weeks. Flying to Sydney, Misty wrangling, family catch ups and oh getting married are going to take precedence, but I may pop in with a photo/ramble or two before the big day.
I think things are on the up.
I’m starting to feel a little more human… it’s amazing how much you appreciate feeling WELL after being sick. This tummy bug seriously kicked my ass, and left me not only queasy but a bit down in the dumps. Viper noticed the low-mood himself, so it wasn’t just me. It makes sense though; when the body goes through a difficult time physically, it’s quite natural to notice the emotional “body” struggle too.
Candida-Cleanse wise things are going well. I completed 10 days of the intital “cleanse” – this entailed a LOT of vegetables/veggie broths/vegetable-only juices/coconut oil/nuts/seeds/quinoa/buckwheat. I completely cut out ALL sugar (fruit!) and my usual high carbohydrate based foods (pulses/beans). It was tough, but not too bad, honestly. By about day 3-4 I broke out in quite a severe rash across the left side of my chest and underarm, and had flu-like symptoms and was VERY fatigued. Getting gastro in the midst of all this didn’t help, but such is life.
Topically, I’ve been using my Herb Gel on the irritated patches of skin, and as a soothing shower cleanser (I simply mix in a few teaspoons of Dr Broner’s Castille soap to get a lathering quality). I’ve used chamomile, calendula, licorice, nettle and various other herbs in a handful of concoctions.
I’ve been bathing in coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and epsom salts on rotation.
Today I have introduced a small amount of chickpea flour in the form of a baked “thing.” So far so good; I think my body really appreciates this small gesture of variety. My skin has improved and I’m feeling less “foggy.” The baked “thing” was good (to me) but I will just share with you my little trick for creating a lovely, creamy drizzling sauce.
I’m going to stick with the NO sugar for as long as I can…. and stay away from gluten/wheat. I’m going to have small amounts of pulses/legumes, and I have just started on my first batch of almond milk yoghurt using probiotic capsules. Fingers crossed.
Quick “Nut Cream” Sauce
(Vegan, Anti-Candida, gluten, wheat, soy, grain, refined sugar free)
- 1T almond butter (any nut butter will work, but almond or cashew would go best with the lucuma)
- Vanilla stevia liquid (5 drops or more to taste)
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 2t lucuma powder
- Almond milk to thin…. usually a few tablespoons
- Mix all ingredients together really well in a small bowl – a tiny whisk is great for getting out the lumps.
The lucuma powder is the key to a subtle almost maple like flavour to the sauce. If you haven’t tried lucuma yet – I highly suggest you do.
I’m still working on ideas for my wedding “cake” – I almost gave up on the whole idea entirely a few days ago, but I am soldiering on. Mainly because I have the best taste tester in town at my disposal.
I’m not going to reveal what I’m actually working on (because I hardly know yet!) but I am looking for some flavour suggestions from you all…. for example:
If you were at a wedding, what flavours of sweet treat would YOU like? Cherry chocolate coconut…. hazelnut latte…. rum raisin…. ??? Any creative suggestions will be welcomed with open arms!
Misty will tell you if he approves or not.
That’s how I’m feeling.
And that’s OK.
“Cake” helps. Even though the term “Cake” is used very loosely here.
The last few days have been intense…. stomach bug, sick child, being only physically able to move between bed, bathroom and couch. Top that with trying to organise our trip to Sydney for our wedding in ONE WEEK… and now you realise why I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed?
I admit I did revert to dealing with things ‘like a 5 year old,’ (Viper’s description) – running to my bedroom to cry. Misty promptly started copying me, and I must say his impression of me (hands over eyes, stamping feet and “sobbing”) was pretty darn hilarious (and accurate).
I am totally looking forward to some yoga tomorrow. Just breathe.
These actually look a lot yummier than they are, sadly.
I’m just happy to be able to EAT again…. and while on a candida cleanse…. I’ll take “cake” of any description. I’ve made this recipe twice; I baked it into a loaf as well which was pretty good spread with almond butter.
This cleanse definitely makes me appreciate how GOOD real baked treats are.
Anyway, this recipe isn’t terrible, and if you’re on a restrictive diet at the moment, you might want to try it? If not, then I would go bake some sort of delicious, sweet, fruity cake dripping with agave and cashew cream and then tell me ALL ABOUT IT.
- 1C buckwheat kernels ground to flour in the food processor
- 1 + 1/4C coconut milk
- 1/4C ground flax seed
- 2T coconut flour
- 1t apple cider vinegar
- 1/4t sea salt
- 20 drops vanilla stevia liquid (or to taste)
- 1/8t baking soda
- Mix all ingredients together…. spoon into silicone cupcake moulds or into a small, lined loaf tin.
- Cupcakes = bake 30 minutes at 170 degrees C Loaf = bake 40 minutes at the same temperature.
The “frosting” was basically 1 avocado, 1/8t sea salt, 2t carob powder, 10 drops of vanilla stevia, 1t lucuma powder and enough almond milk to get it to the right consistency.
Misty, being the crazy kid he is, decided he LOVED this loaf crumbled in a bowl, with almond milk and eaten with a tiny spoon. He ate about 1/2 the loaf this way. Plus he decided my sewing basket is a really cool car. Go figure.
A glass of orange juice straight after you brush your teeth?
A family breakfast right after a big night out with 3 too many tequila shots?
Misty dropping your phone in the toilet? (Example only – he hasn’t done this…. yet)
Tweezing nose hairs?
OR to quote a old favourite movie:
"What's worse? You go to your favourite restaurant...
order your favourite meal, take a bite...
and under the steak is a scabby Band-Aid."
Doing a candida cleanse and get struck down with gastro. Plus your partner and child go down with you. Not fun. Don’t even talk to me about food right now.
At least this photo gets a smile.
I will be back with some food soon (I hope).
My title sums up my mindset for the past few days on my Anti-Candida regime. If it wasn’t for stevia, I would have lost my mind. I’m munching home made chocolate treats like there is no tomorrow. Fat is my friend, for sure.
Breakfast: Cooked quinoa (cold) with coconut flour, mesquite powder, vanilla stevia and almond milk. Raw chocolate chunks on top.
Say NO to Candida RAW Chocolate:
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/grain/refined sugar/nut/seed/soy/corn free…RAW)
- 7T grated cacao butter
- 4T coconut oil (melted)
- 1-2T cacao (however strong you like your chocolate…. I have also made this with carob – yummo)
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- 1/8t sea salt
- 1T lucuma powder (I have also made this with mesquite and maca…. all delicious)
- 10-15 drops vanilla steiva liquid (or around 1/8t stevia powder – or to taste)
- The easiest way to do this is combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and place in a BIGGER bowl of HOT water. This gentle heat is the best way to melt the grated cacao butter.
- Pour into little moulds and chill in the fridge.
Too Easy Coconut-Oat Bars
(Vegan, wheat, nut, seed, refined sugar free – gluten free if you use certified oats)
- 2T maple syrup (OR honey OR agave)
- 3T coconut butter (I didn’t bother toasting it, but here is the method)
- 2T cacao/cocoa
- 1/4t salt*
- 1/4C water
- 1C whole oats
- A few squares of dark chocolate – optional for topping
- In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, coconut butter, water together.
- In a mixing bowl, place oats, salt and cocoa.
- Bring mix in the saucepan to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes – the mix will start to sort of “foam” up.
- Carefully pour hot mix into the dry ingredients and combine well.
- Press very firmly into a lined baking tray or a silicone mould (I used a 20cm loaf tin lined with baking paper).
- Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- If desired, melt a few squares of your favourite chocolate and smooth on for a chocolate topping – I only had about 4 small squares of chocolate left, but in this case a little when a long way.
I’m on Day 3…. it’s getting better/easier.
Emotionally I feel a bit more balanced – it helps a lot that Viper has returned from a few days away…. and that Misty’s teething has settled down. I feel like I have more energy today; a morning yoga class definitely improved my mood and energy levels.
Feeling “full” after meals is the challenge – I am eating a LOT of fat to help satisfy my sweet tooth that is longing for a fruity/sugary hit. Coconut oil, almond butter, avocados, tahini and whole nuts have become my best buddies.
This has ALWAYS been a staple for me, but it is one of only a few “seasoning” options I have (along with general herbs/spices and sea salt). I’ve been experimenting today with a few ways to make piles of veggies interesting. Ginger juice.
Ginger “juice” is a staple in Japanese cooking. Basically I grate up a heap of ginger and then squeeeeeeze out all the liquid (through some cheesecloth)…. voila – super intense ginger juice you can add to anything. Of course, keep all of the squeezed ginger for adding to stir fry/juices/kombucha – whatever.
I think I’m missing pickled ginger and SUSHI…. hence my lunch time bowl of sushi-style ingredients. Wakame makes for some great flavour when condiments are limited.
This is a pretty loose recipe, but it was surprisingly yummy, so I thought I would record it.
“Sushi” Veggie Bowl
(Vegan, Anti-Candida, gluten/wheat/nut/grain/refined sugar free)
- 1/3 head cauliflower made into “rice” (whizzed up in the food processor until it is the size of rice grains)
- 1 large zuccini, grated
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber, cut into chunks.
- 1/4C wakame “dust” – or however much/little as you like…. simply whizz the wakame up in the food prcoessor until it is a chunky powder. If you want you can just snip it into strips using kitchen scissors.
- 1 small avocado, diced.
- Small amount cooked tofu (I think I went with 1/4 of a 250g block, pressed and baked)… totally increase this if you aren’t on an anti-candida eating regime like me!
- 2T tahini
- 2-3t ginger juice… or more depending on your ginger threshold.
- 2t apple cider vinegar
- 4t water
- 1/4t sea salt
- Teeny tiny pinch of stevia (less than 1/8t)
I was surprised, as this actually kept me full for longer than 1 hour. Success.