UC + LDN Update, Tips for Sticking With Anti-Candida Diet, Staying on Track While Traveling, Plant-Based Protein Powder

Hey guys!

Welcome to this next edition of CNC Instagram Live. I have a great group of questions for you today, so if you’d like to hear them, stay tuned and listen in!

 

 

LDN and UC Update

I received a few variations of this question and am happy to talk about it because I’ve got a lot to tell! LDN (knock on wood) has potentially kicked in, though it’s hard to know for certain because I started it about 5-7 days before I started the anti-candida diet. Something is definitely working, though, because I am feeling better – maybe the combination of the two? 

I’m not 100% yet, but I have reached the point where I’m speaking with my GI doctor about getting off of Entivyo. Of course, I need to be at a stable place and my CRP (an inflammation marker) is still kind of high. The good news, though, is that it has dropped to 54 from 156 over the past month or so. 54 is still considered kind of high (though not really for someone with IBD). My GI doctor wants me to be at an 8 or lower, however, so I still have a ways to go.

I will be getting another round of Entyvio shortly, and, of course, that’s probably going to change things up. It usually leaves me feeling better for a couple of weeks and then it kind of just stops working, unfortunately. Hopefully, the work I’m doing with my functional dietician will help my gut get stronger on its own.I actually just talked to her yesterday and since she’s really happy with how things have been going on the anti-candida diet. After just a month, I’m feeling better and seeing improvement in my symptoms – even my cough is getting a little bit better! All good news, though I’m a little nervous because I feel like every time I say things are going great, something bad happens. But I’m thinking positive thoughts – it will all be fine!

I’m also going to meet with a new GI doctor at the Brigham who comes highly recommended. Long-time readers will remember how obsessed I was with my old doctor. Unfortunately, he is no longer practicing and actually went to work for Takeda, the company that makes Entyvio. I was put with a new doctor, who is fine, but kind of just average in his approach (I’d give him a C+). This new doctor is said to have a more integrative approach, so I’m definitely going to talk to her about getting off of Entivyo.

Of course, I’m remaining very realistic about this and not trying to get my hopes up too much. Obviously, I want to stay healthy and keep my colon, but I also don’t want to be on Entyvio for the rest of my life. But again, positive thoughts, so we shall see!

Are you sticking with the anti-candida plan?

First of all , thank you to all of you who have emailed me – not only with questions, but also with awesome recipe ideas and tips! I am still trucking along with the diet. My dietician actually gave me a few tips and tricks for hitting macros while on the diet, which has been super helpful. She basically put me on a 40/30/30 split by increasing my protein, dropping my fat a bit (I do love my nut butter and avocado), and keeping carbs moderate. I’m not in a calorie deficit, just focused on maintaining and making sure I get enough nutrients. So far so good, and though an extra month has been tacked on to the protocol (4 total) I’m in a good place because I can see the diet working, and I know that the long-term goal is to get better. 

As far as what I’ve been eating on the anti-candida diet, I’ve been keeping it low carb in the morning. I used to eat carby things like toast, rice cakes, or oatmeal, but lately I’ve been sticking to breakfast sausage, avocado, salads, and even leftovers from the night before (there’s no such thing as “breakfast” foods!). Once I even had leftover salmon and veggies. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having carbs in the morning, but for me, eating the majority of my carbs for lunch and dinner helps to keep my blood sugar stable. I already have high blood sugar and high cortisol in the mornings (two things that go hand-in-hand), so consuming more protein and fat earlier in the day just makes sense.

When I do eat carbs, I keep the serving sizes moderate, and typical sources include bananas and other fruits as well as starchy veggies such as parsnips and sweet potatoes. I’ve also found that keeping the foods that I really like on rotation has helped. Applegate has frozen turkey burgers with rosemary that I really like, and I’ve been sticking to a lot of chicken sausage, fish, and veggies. I keep preparation simple by popping them into the air fryer or oven, and even nuking the veggies in the microwave. It’s not fun to be eating the same things, but it doesn’t require a lot of prep or thinking and I’m all about doing the best I can right now. 

I mentioned in a previous post that I haven’t been 100% compliant, but that’s just for me and how I work. I know that I can’t be black and white – NEVER having a piece of dark chocolate or a cocktail just doesn’t cut it for me. But I will say that I have been more on top of this diet compared to before, and getting creative with my recipes has helped a ton. If you saw my Instagram Stories about my massive spaghetti squash, then you will know that I made banana muffins with almond flour and spaghetti squash. I didn’t add any sugar so they weren’t super sweet, but they did the trick for squashing (haha) any cravings. Thinking outside the box with recipes helps, and so does utilizing the natural sweetness of fruits when I feel like I need a little bit of a treat. For example, I really love nuked blueberries with melted almond or sunflower butter! Mmm! 

Lastly, I think sticking to this diet really comes down to being an adult and actually giving a sh*t. I want to get better, and I just have to be a big girl and do what it takes. I know that if I cheat and eat a ton of sugar, it’s just going to feed the yeast and make the whole situation worse. The more on top of it I am, the better the results will be. In one month alone, I’ve already seen a difference, so I’m going to keep pushing forward and take responsibility for my results even if that means skipping my favorite Halloween candy this year. I did have a couple pieces of dark chocolate though, so I didn’t totally miss out! 🙂

How can you stay on track when travel is a big part of your week?

I have a few ideas that hopefully differ a bit from the usual ones! Of course, the gold standard is to plan as best as you can and pack healthy snacks, such as protein and collagen powders. But you should focus on front-loading your day with protein, veggies, and fiber because those are the hardest to get when you’re traveling and dining out, so make sure you make those three a priority – not only during breakfast, but any time you have control over what you’re eating. In addition, what you eat and drink can sometimes be out of your control when traveling. Grabbing what you can, even if it’s just a cookie, comes with the territory while eating on-the-go, so if you have a moment to sit down and actually plan out what you eat, make sure you’re hitting those three!

Another one of my tips is to stick with your morning routine wherever you are. For me, that’s a quick workout or even a walk to grab coffee. Being active sets the tone for the day for me, so I’m not feeling rushed or flustered. I focus on what I can plan instead of what I can’t, which is usually my mornings, and just handle what the rest of the day brings as best as I can. But when it comes down to it, you have to realize that it’s not going to be perfect. You have less control when you travel, and all you can do is your best. Go with the flow and don’t get upset if it’s not perfect – it’s just part of life! You always have the next meal, day, or even a week to get back on track, and in the grand scheme of your diet a few “off” days are not going to throw you for a loop and crush your goals. 

Are you using a plant-based protein powder?

Before I started the anti-candida diet and was faced with these GI issues, I was searching for the perfect plant-based protein powder. I ended up trying and loving Nuzest’s smooth vanilla protein powder. They also have a coffee + coconut flavor and MCT oil flavor, and both are really delicious mixed into smoothies and oatmeal. I was also putting them in my iced coffee, but you do have to put it in a shaker and really shake it up to ensure that it’s mixed.

Unfortunately, with the issues I’ve recently been dealing with, I’ve needed to avoid those ingredients, especially pea protein, which can be tough on the gut. For now i’ve been sticking to collagen (which is good for the gut!), and I make sure that I get some sort of vitamin C in the morning because it helps collagen be better absorbed. I know collagen is not a complete protein source, but I’ve been eating a lot of meat lately, so hopefully I have my bases covered as far as amino acids go.

So no protein powder for now, but I never say never! I actually have a lactose test next week; a three hour test to see if i really have sensitivities or allergies to dairy. Nothing significant has ever showed up on a test, but I feel like every time I eat dairy, I break out really bad. It would be great to have a solid confirmation of a yes or no answer, because I’d love to add some dairy back into my life, like a quality whey protein. I’m getting a little sick of eating chicken, turkey and salmon – I need a little variety!

That’s all I have for now! If you guys have more questions send them along. I love hearing from you!

16 Comments

  1. Hi Tina
    While it’s great that you are listening to reader feedback and now writing out the « script » to the Instagram lives, ultimately your readers are also followers on Instagram, so this is redundant. You are using Instagram more and more (which is fine) and the blog seems to just be a duplication of what you have on there, making it less and less engaging to read. The only times where you are motivated to write out posts, they are either sponsored, or full of affiliate links of products you “love”… (someone can only love so many sneakers, sweatshirts, etc. We are in a world that is maxed out on consumerism)

    I’m bummed because I have been reading for over 10 years, and we have a lot in common because we are in similar life stages. I even started CrossFit because I read about it here!! But these days when I read (and I still read almost daily) I just leave feeling like your blog is not genuine and you re-pivot every couple months to try to find the new way to make money.

    Have a nice day

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to comment! Readers (and IG followers) said they wanted me to repost my Live videos because they often can’t catch them within 24 hours, which I totally understand. We’re all busy! Then, readers said they wanted to READ my Instagram Live videos since they don’t like watching videos, so I’ve started to include the copy. These are by far my most popular posts on the blog, so it’s obvious people enjoy them. As far as sponsored content, I *might* have one per month on my blog – I’d actually say less nowadays. Basically, they’re very infrequent. My “Friday 5” posts are things that I love and also include affiliate links (I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to make money at my job, and I always disclose them). These posts are also some of the most read on the blog. I’m not saying any of this to be defensive; I’m just sharing my reasoning for the content I include on the blog. So, now I’m wondering… what would you like to see on this blog? It would definitely help me out.

    1. Sadly, it’s only kind of working, so I’m hoping all of the other stuff I am doing will help get me into remission. I’m not in any rush to get off it because it’s doing SOMETHING, but it’s definitely not working like it used to. I’m also pretty sure it’s causing my cough, so there’s another motivation for not wanting to be on it forever.

  2. I like the Live videos on Instagram a lot, but if I miss them, its great that you put this here. 🙂 I hope your symptoms and your cough only continue to get better. 🙂

  3. Hi!

    Just some random input (not trying to be your doctor RD scientist or anything else:)

    But you mentioned the dairy& breakout connection and I had the same problem! About 6 years ago I started getting really bad cystic acne (about the time I started weightlifting/crossfit)…I stumbled upon a couple articles linking cystic acne to dairy. Once I cut out the dairy, the acne completely stopped. On occasion, id have a lil dairy binge (I’ll forever long for a cheeseboard) and the results were guaranteed— I’d get 1 or 2 painful, cystic, pimples.

    Now I’m dairy free and *mostly* Meat free, I still eat eggs & fish a few times a week. And I can’t even remember the last time I had a breakout. My point is, based on my personal experience, i think the acne is hormone related (Weightlifting/dairy/meat), not necessarily an allergy.

    I’m curious to hear what you’re dr finds and if you have an allergy!

  4. Hi Tina,
    You mentioned that you have high blood sugar in the mornings. Have you been able to figure out why? I have a friend who is dealing with the same thing, high fasting blood sugar levels in the morning but the rest of her readings are perfectly normal. She was recently put on Metformin to take every evening but it has not lowered her morning readings. Just curious if you have found anything that really works to lower the reading or figure out the cause?

    1. I did the DUTCH test, and it showed that my cortisol was high in the morning. I was also taking blood sugar readings for about a month to keep track. I have the same thing as your friend – high in the morning and then normal for the rest of the day. I mostly just try to eat low carb for breakfast and then not pack too much into the morning to stress myself out.

  5. I for one am grateful that you post the script to your live videos. I live in a remote location and our satellite internet capabilities can not handle videos. So the only way for me to hear and be engaged with your content is to read it. So thanks for sticking with posting the text.
    And best of luck to you on your health journey.

    I do have one question about your cough….my son, 5, has a chronic cough which occurs at night, every night. We got allergy testing done and have him off of dairy and corn, which helped for awhile, but this fall he has been bad again and I’ve been chalking it up to environmental allergens such as mold, grasses, pollen, which he also has allergies to. (we live in Mexico). But what I’m wondering is, do you think that your candida would be a contributing factor to your cough? Also, what other symptoms did you have in diagnosing your candida?
    Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback about the blog posts! I’ll keep ’em coming! 🙂

      As for my cough, I really didn’t have too many of the traditional candida symptoms besides the GI symptoms and cough. The diet *may* have helped my GI symptoms, but I’m still trucking along with the cough, which gets better and worse day-to-day. I’ve removed ALL nuts and potatoes (since they can have mold), so I’m hoping that helps. Does your son have a mucus-y cough?

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