Candida – Part 1

As some of you may have seen, I began a 30 day candida cleanse on Monday, October 17. I thought that I should take some time to explain what candida is, what the dietary restrictions on the cleanse are, and why I am doing this.

At the end of the 30 days, I will post my daily food, mood, exercise journal so that you can see how the change in food and cleanse process affected my every day life.

WHAT is candida?

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its a natural part of gut flora, helping with digestion and nutrient absorption.

But when overproduced and the population gets out of control, candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream. This releases toxic by-products throughout your body and can cause a leaky gut. The toxic by-products cause damage to body tissues and organs, and are detrimental to yoru immune system.

This then can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.

How can someone get a candida overgrowth?

  • Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • High intake of fermented foods
  • High-stress lifestyle
  • Overuse of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
  • High intake of chlorine and fluoride
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immune system

What are symptoms of a candida overgrowth?

  • Feeling tired, exhausted and worn down
  • Frequent stomach pains and digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, brain fog
  • Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, acne, and rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  • Anger outbursts
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Intense cravings for sugars, sweets, and breads
  • Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus


What CAN’T I eat?*

This is a looooong list – get ready to scroll…

  • Sugar
    • Honey
    • Syrup
    • Chocolate
    • Molasses
    • Rice Syrup
    • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Alcohol
    • Wine
    • Beer
    • Spirits
    • Liquors
    • Cider
  • Grains
    • Anything made with wheat, rye, oats or barley, e.g. white bread, rye bread, pasta.
    • Spelt products
    • Corn and corn byproducts
    • Rice
  • Fruit
    • Fresh Fruit.
    • Dried Fruit
    • Canned Fruit
    • Fruit Juice
  • Certain Vegetables
    • Potatoes
    • Carrots
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Yams
    • Beets
    • Peas
    • Parsnips
  • Specific Meats
    • All pork products
    • Cured meats
    • Processed meats
    • Smoked or vacuum-packed meats
  • Specific Fish
    • All fish except for wild salmon and sardines
    • All shellfish
  • Dairy Products
    • Cheese
    • Milk
    • Cream
    • Whey products
  • Additives & Preservatives
    • Citric Acid
    • Anything you don’t know or can’t pronounce
  • Caffeine
    • Coffee
    • Black & green tea
    • Diet & regular soda
    • Energy drinks
  • Nuts
    • Cashews
    • Peanuts
    • Pistachios
  • Beans
    • Beans and other legumes
    • Chickpeas
    • Tofu
    • Soy cheese
    • Soy milk
    • All soy products
  • Mushrooms/Moldy Foods
    • Mushrooms
    • Truffles
  • Condiments
    • Ketchup
    • Mayonnaise
    • Regular Mustard
    • Relish
    • Horseradish
    • Soy sauce
  • Vinegars
    • All vinegars, except for Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Fats & Oils
    • Peanut oil
    • Corn oil
    • Canola oil
    • Soy oil

That seems like a lot…can you eat ANYTHING?!

Yes, and the fact is the more creative you get with recipes, the easier it is. I made a homemade guacamole to top my seasoned ground beef on a bed of lettuce. Yup, taco salad. It was filling, delicious, and met all the requirements of the candida diet.

It is a mostly meat, vegetables, and water, but I figure as long as I’m eating the things I like, it’s really not so bad. But, for you wondering what’s allowed, here’s the list:

  • Vegetables
    • Artichokes
    • Asparagus
    • Avocado
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Celery
    • Cucumber
    • Eggplant
    • Garlic (raw)
    • Kale
    • Olives
    • Onions
    • Rutabaga
    • Spinach
    • Tomatoes
    • Zucchini
  • Live Yogurt Cultures
    • Probiotic yogurt
    • Kefir
  • Meat & Eggs
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Lamb
    • Turkey
    • Eggs
  • Fish
    • Anchovies
    • Herring
    • Sardines
    • Wild salmon
  • Nuts & Seeds
    • Almonds
    • Coconut meat
    • Flax Seed
    • Hazelnuts
    • Pecans
    • Sunflower Seeds
    • Walnuts
  • Non Glutinous Grains
    • Buckwheat
    • Millet
    • Oat Bran
    • Quinoa
  • Herbs & Spices
  • Oils
    • Virgin Coconut Oil
    • Olive Oil
    • Sesame Oil
    • Flax Oil
    • Coconut Oil
    • Red Palm Oil
  • Seasoning
    • Black Pepper
    • Sea Salt
    • Lemon Juice
    • Coconut Aminos
    • Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic, Raw, Unfiltered)
  • Beverages
    • Chicory root coffee
    • Cinnamon Tea
    • Peppermint Tea
    • Ginger Tea
    • Licorice Tea
    • Water
  • Sweeteners
    • Stevia
    • Xylitol

WHY would you do this?!

I did this cleanse about this time last year under the guidance of my naturopath. It did wonders for me – mood, energy levels, concentration, and my stomach felt a million times better after completing this.

I have digestive issues, and am usually bloated and uncomfortable, no matter what I eat. knowing that this cleanse made such a change for me last year I decided to do it again.

Along with the dietary restrictions, I take 3 natural supplements a day, along with a probiotic. The cleanse I use is: Genestra Candaclear Four. The supplements are as follows:

  • Delayed Release Allicin
  • Allicin with cinnamon
  • Allicin with caprylates
  • Probiotic with nutrients

I take one of each of these pills once a day, witha  meal, for the next 30 days. Allicin is garlic, and a lot of it, which is a natural antifungal, which also supports the immune system, reduces cholesterol, and controls blood sugar levels.

So overall, this cleanse will allow me to FEEL better overall. I will likely lose weight – I did last year, but it’s important to note that this isn’t the reason why I am doing this. Pleasant side outcome? Yes, but overall I want a calm and happy belly more than anything.

In 30 days, I will provide an elaborate update! If anyone has any questions, give me a shout!



*this comprehensive food guide comes from The Candida Diet, which has been a valuable resource to me

focus good

Tomato Bisque Soup

Cold days call for soups…and soups you can make in a crockpot and blend up at the end of the day are my kind of meal.

I love simple recipes that are delicious! The best part about this particular soup is its versatility! I’ve cooked tortellini and topped it with the soup, I’ve added ground beef, rice, quinoa,  noodles, the possibilities are endless*! I also eat it as is without anything added too.

Tomato Bisque Soup

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Serves 4-6

Nutrition/serving (based on 6 servings):

Calories: 174

Fat: 7g

Carbs: 12g

Protein: 5g


  • 1 ¾ c. diced carrots
  • 1 ¾ c. diced yellow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • ¾ c. heavy cream


    1. Dice up carrots and onion, add to crockpot
    2. Add in diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, garlic basil, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and sugar
    3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-3 ½ hours
    4. Once this time has passed, remove the bay leaves from the crockpot
    5. Puree the mixture using an emulsion blender (I have also used a measuring cup to pour into a large blender once scoop at a time if you do not have an emulsion blender)
    6. Stir in heavy cream and allow to sit for 10 minutes

*If you are adding in any additional ingredients such as beef, rice, tortellini, noodles, quinoa, etc. and only allow warm in the crockpot with the soup to desired temperature – leaving it sit too long will result in soggy/mushy food





There’s something absolutely terrifying about entering a new decade of life. Turning twenty was full of excitement and possibilities. Turning thirty has me wondering why life didn’t fall into place as I thought it should.

Today is my birthday. I’ve had mixed emotions about it for the past 6 months. One is excitement, since I am currently getting on a plane to San Francisco for the weekend, meeting up with friends I met through the BBG exercise program while I’m there, and traveling a city that has been on my bucket list for years with the BF. The other emotions? Negative ones.

I’m a planner, to the point of it almost being OCD. I could tell you right now exactly what I am doing on any said day within the next three months. It gives me control, and I like to know how my life will go. That said, it should be no surprise that I had it all lined up in my head since I was about 16 how my life would go: graduate high school, go to university, meet the love of my life, graduate university with a 4 year bachelor degree, get married, buy a house, begin a career, have a baby or two, and have my career begin taking off. All by the time I turned thirty. Well. I’ve done some of those things.

I finished high school, that was probably the only thing that went completely to plan.

It took me six years to finish university. I did poorly the first year, and switched to the college to complete a 2+2 degree (2 year diploma, which then directly allows you to begin your third year of your bachelor degree). The grades from the first year affected that and I couldn’t move directly into third year. I switched majors twice. I had to retake a couple of classes. I moved to Calgary to work full-time and couldn’t take a full 5 course semester for a year. I ultimately finished and crossed the stage.

I took a break for three years before I decided to pursue my accounting designation, which was another two years plus 8 months because I had to take classes I didn’t take in university. So what could have taken 6 years total took almost 9. I just finished the designation last year.

I met a few men who I was certain were the “loves of my life” which couldn’t have been further from the truth. We can just say I’ve had my share of poor relationship experiences, from cheaters, to drug abusers, to manipulative, emotional/mental abusers.

I’ve moved nine times in the past 10 years and lived in four different cities. I do not own a house. I am not married. I do not have children. My career is at the very beginning stages of where I want it to be.

I’ve been really struggling with all this. It’s too early to be having a midlife crisis, but when plans don’t go the way I think they should, I have a hard time with it.

I made mistakes, and I made poor choices. I’m human, it happens.

All of those missteps have formed me into who I am today. I had to really stop myself from focusing on all of these negatives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that is being an adult that when all you see is tasks, and to do lists, and cleaning, you forget about what’s important. About what has been achieved.

I am an accountant at a stable oil  & gas company, who has not laid a single person off since the downturn in oil. I really have met the love of my life, and we’ve been together for almost five years. We rent because we love the area we live in, and to buy in this economy is not feasible. We have a healthy, loving, and supportive relationship.

I get to travel, spend time with family and friends, exercise, go out, and my career is slowly starting. I am healthy, I have amazing friends, and I get to experience new things constantly.

I am turning thirty the strongest, healthiest, and fittest I have ever been. I am confident in who I am as a woman. So even though I haven’t checked all those boxes, I am happy, and it took me too long to realize that.

This next decade is about being just that. Happy.

This is achievable in so many ways. I will grow myself and my relationships. I am going to start a new exercise program next week with weights, and continue running. I want to challenge my body, and push it to new limits. I want to run a half marathon. I want to continue to be active in the BBG community, where I’ve met so many amazing women and made so many new friends, even though I will be taking a break from the exercise program for a bit. I will continue to work on my career so I can continue to advance. I’ll get that house one of these days, but it isn’t something I need to dwell on. I will travel more, and worry less about money.

It’s time to experience life to all its potential, and I can’t wait.


Three Cheese Skillet Lasagna

A couple weeks ago, a friend told me about Mealime. This is accessible both in a web browser, as well as an app availble in the Apple iStore.

This site/app is a meal planner’s dream. Once you sign up, you select your dietary preferences (classic, flexitarian, low carb, paleo, pescetarian, vegetarian), allergies and food restrictions (shellfish-free for me), and select from a massive list of ingredients you dislike. From here, you choose how many meals you want to cook (2-6), and your meal size: 2 servings, or 4 servings. I went with 4 servings as this way it feeds the BF and I both dinner and lunch the next day.

Mealime then generates meals for you based on the information you provided, and you then have the option to swipe through and find other dishes before you make a decision. Once you select the meals you want, it generates a full and complete grocery list for you to ensure that you get everything you need, with exact measurements, for the plan. You can also select each item on the grocery list, and a substitution (if available) is provided. I then will check off anything I already have at home, then use Superstore’s Click & Collect to order all the rest online. I tend to use two devices to do this – one to view and check off the grocery list, and the other on the Superstore website to place my order. Then Sunday’s I pick up my groceries without having to leave the car, and all the hard work is done for me.

Mealime is also FREE. Yes, you read that right, something this amazing and lifechanging costs nothing. You do have the option to upgrade to the premium option, which allows you to view previous weeks’ meals, track calories, macros and micros, and add previous favorites to the current weeks’ plan. I cannot say enough good things about this company, and tell everyone I can about it. Meal planning can be hard, and this does all the work instead! Plus, every meal so far hasn’t disappointed.

This three cheese skillet lasagna was one of the amazing meals I made this week. It was such a delicious, indulgent meal – that wasn’t even that bad for you! Hit all the basic food groups (fat, carbs, protein, veggies), and well, I love me some pasta!

Three Cheese Skillet Lasagna

Recipe adapted from Mealime

Serves 4-6

Nutrition/serving (based on 6 servings):

Calories: 373

Fat: 16g


Protein: 33g


  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small pkg fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 3 sheets Olivieri fresh lasagna
  • ½ c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning


  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 1 c. water. Set aside.
  3. Add ground beef to sauté pan and, breaking apart with a spoon, cook until browned and crumbly, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Peel and mince garlic.
  5. Add garlic and Italian seasoning to pan. Stir for 15-30 seconds.
  6. Break lasagna noodles into thirds, and then halves and arrange over top beef. Pour sauce over top noodles. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until noodles are tender, 8-10 minutes.
  7. Grate 1 cup of mozzarella and Parmesan. Measure out 1 cup of ricotta.
  8. Wash and dry basil. Pick leaves off the stems; discard the stems and thinly slice the leaves into ribbons.
  9. Once noodles are tender, reduce heat to low and uncover. Sprinkle with ½ of the mozzarella and Parmesan; fold into the noodles. Then place spoonfuls of ricotta over top and finish off by sprinkling with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  10. Cover and cook until cheese melts, 4-5 minutes. Garnish with basil.
  11. To serve, place pasta on a plate or in a bowl. Enjoy!






Running..that dreaded thing

I’m not a runner. I never have been either. I swam, so when you put me on land to do that kind of steady, continuous movement I become a fish out of water; flopping around and senselessly moving forward. I assure you, it’s not pretty. My boyfriend has always said my running is terrible and I need serious help.

So I don’t run. I can do cardio in the pool or on a bike, in a spin class or cramming it into 15 minute HIIT workouts that don’t require me to hold proper form for more than 30 seconds at a time.

A month ago I seemingly lost my mind. After watching several friends post about their SeaWheeze half marathon accomplishments, I made a decision. I want to do that.

So I am going to. Part of the draw is of course the fact that it is lululemon hosting it. I freaking love lululemon, who doesn’t? Registration comes with a pair of shorts, evening yoga, special event shopping, an after-party, all hosted by lululemon!

There is also a MEDAL. I haven’t had a medal since I was 14 when I quit swimming. I want one, so I’m going to get one. I want to be able to say YUP, look at this baby, I just ran for 21.1km and I have a sweet piece of metal around my neck to prove it.

The last and most important factor? It’s something that challenges me, and forces me out of my comfort zone. It’s something that will enhance all my exercise abilities, increases my cardio, and overall going to make be stronger at the end of it.

So since my running abilities are essentially non-existent, I signed up for a Learn to Run clinic at the Running Room…and I quit it. Full disclosure, I found at the one I signed up for there was no focus on the actual how to run. What I expected to get was education on stride, foot strike, breathing, body position, posture, etc. The biomechanics of running. I very well could have misunderstood the course, but to go learn about products and clothing, then just go out and run really wasn’t what I was looking for. As a swim instructor in the past, it’s so important to me to understand the fundamental movements, and how to do them correctly, before you can expect someone to successfully swim, and in this case, run.

So instead, I stopped going to the clinic, but I did not stop running. I’ve gotten tips from my physiotherapist, massage therapist, my boyfriend (who was a short-track runner in high school), and input from other friends who are runners. I utilize the internet, without getting too deep in there since that is just overload and I try my best. I have learned over the last year of continuous working out that I can usually tell if I am doing something wrong because of the way my body feels. I listen to it, and figure out the problem as quickly as possible.

I go out to run every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I still follow the structure the running room set out, increasing the number of minutes I run each week by one, but typically sticking to 20-25 minute each time while I build up my ability. The pyramid I am working on is as follows:

Week 1: run 1 minute; walk 2 minutes, repeat 7 times

Week 2: run 1 minute; walk 1 minute, repeat 10 times

Week 3: run 2 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 7 times

Week 4: run 3 minute; walk 1 minute, repeat 6 times

Week 5: run 4 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times

Week 6: run 5 minute; walk 1 minute, repeat 4 times

Week 7: run 6 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 3 times

Week 8: run 8 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 2 times

Week 9: run 10 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 2 times

Week 10: run 10 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 2 times

I still don’t love it. I just finished the third run of week 3’s set up and have to head out to run 3 minutes at a time tonight and I am not excited. This runner’s high I keep hearing about it, I haven’t found it yet. This is what goes through MY head when I run, not some crazy feeling of euphoria:

  • ok, left, right, left, right, not too quick
  • right, I am supposed to engage my glutes, squeeze that butt
  • left, right, left, right, not too quick
  • crap! I am leaning forward again, chest up, butt down
  • left, right, left, right
  • ok, shoulders, they’re supposed to be relaxed and well they are up by my ears, ok shake them out and drop them
  • left, right, left, right, not too quick
  • oh FACK a hill, how did I find this street again when I always try to avoid it?!
  • breathe, breathe, stop holding your breath you crazy woman
  • left, right, left, right
  • ok timer, really? I swear you should have gone off by now
  • what the hell!? That was not a minute. That was 10 seconds!!
  • FINE left, right, left, right
  • Why am I clenching my teeth and fists, am I about to get in a fight!? Does my body know something I don’t? STOP IT.
  • Annnnnd repeat. For the entire time

Doesn’t that make running sound SO FUN?! But. Running is SO good for you. There are a lot of reasons, but these are the first 10 I have discovered in my first 3 weeks:

  1. it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  2. strengthens bones better than aerobic activities
  3. increases concentration
  4. it tones your legs
  5. it. burns. calories. A LOT of them.
  6. more calories burnt means I get to eat more food. I love food.
  7. it makes your whole body work – I thought it would just be legs but it is far from
  8. it’s mental. It forces me to examine your entire body at all times, and for me it’s a lot of “just do it” being repeated every 3 seconds.
  9. it’s challenging. I can do squats until the cows come home, I can’t run 2 minute without being pushed to my limits. This is GOOD for me. Once things become easy, they stop being rewarding and exciting.
  10. it gets me outside (at least until the snow shows up) and gives me some natural vitamin D and fresh air in my lungs

So, as much as I hate it, I will lace up my shoes and continue on. Nothing bad can come from it, and each week is one step closer to my half marathon goal.


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