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Smooth and creamy, this candida diet safe shamrock shake is delicious without needing any sugar or sweeteners. It's naturally colored, paleo, and vegan.
The last week has been a life changer for me. While visiting the Facebook pages of one of my fellow bloggers, who just happens to be from Grand Rapids, MI like me, I came across one of her posts that caught my interest. It listed a bunch of symptoms, which I happen to be dealing with, and mentioned that candida could be the cause.
What is candida?
Candida albicans is a type of yeast that can cause infections in the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina, but it can also affect your skin and other areas of the mouth.
I remember studying candida back in dental school. It can lead to a white coating in people's mouths and tongues, commonly known as thrush. It can also cause yeast infections. I, however, not being plagued by either of those, never even considered that I could have an issue with it.
Seeing all of the symptoms together, though, made me curious.
I have lately been suffering from a lot of things that are now associated with candida: itchy patches on my skin, acne, brain fog, frequent bladder infections, moodiness (including incontrollable crying for no reason at times), extreme hunger all of the time with cravings for bread and sweets, and just an overall sense of not feeling “right.” They aren't the obvious symptoms, which is why I had never considered it.
The fact that I had been put on long term antibiotics for acne years back, and that I was also taking the pill for several years, both known triggers for a candida overgrowth, it just seemed to suddenly make sense to me. (In fact, at one point my doctor had me taking the pill non-stop, without taking the 7 day break to get my period. It seemed like a great idea at the time, never having to deal with my period, but I'm pretty sure now that I was just aggravating things instead of making them better.)
How to deal with Candida?
I happened to mention my epiphany to a group of healthy living blogger friends of mine, and was surprised by how common problems with candida could be. One of my firends, Jedha from Good Food Eating, is a nutrition and health coach, and she mentioned that she happens to treat it, and is working on a written product for it which she plans to release soon. She pointed me in the direction of some of her posts about candida.
I learned a lot through reading it all.
I learned about how one can begin to heal it with food.
What is the candida diet?
The candida diet focuses on healthy foods without sugar. Even fruit is completely eliminated or greatly reduced to small amounts of low sugar fruits.
In January, I had already started a grain free diet for awhile. I probably never even bothered mentioning it here because I felt so sick after a week or so, that I gave up. My husband told me it was my body's way of telling me that I needed more carbs. Instead, I think it was my body going adjusting to the change, and perhaps even what some people call “die off.”
I wish I would have just stuck through it, and perhaps I would be a different person by now. It's never too late to begin, though!
I decided to try out the candida diet for awhile just to see what happens. In the worst case scenario, I eat a healthy diet for awhile and lose a bit of weight. In the best case scenario, I fix all of my issues and feel much better. What can I lose really?
I have now been doing a bit of a candida cleanse for about 5 days now. I've had my ups and downs. This morning, though, I am feeling much better and felt the energy to write and begin to tell you about my journey.
Of course, the change in my diet will likely dramatically affect my food posts. For a minimum of 6 weeks, I won't be eating anything with milk, gluten, fruit, or sugar of any kind. Hopefully you will be able to appreciate the new recipes, and they may even help you eat more nutritious foods. I'm actually enjoying eating this way, despite thinking I would hate it.
With the sacrifices, I have had to make some adaptations to things that I want to eat. I never even got to drink my real food shamrock shake, because I was sick when I posted it, and had only tried a few sips myself. I was planning to make myself one for St. Patrick's day.
I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to getting what I want, though, so I have found a way around it: the candida diet safe shamrock shake!
Candida Diet Shamrock shake
The Candida Diet Shamrock Shake
- Peel and cut the cucumber(s) into small chunks, and place into a blender with the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend until smooth
What is this version of the shamrock shake like?
From the looks of things, you wouldn't expect to end up with such a smooth, creamy shake or smoothie, but the resulting shake is nice and creamy thanks to the avocado.
I love adding avocado to my smoothies and ice cream recipes; not only is it a healthy fat, but it also makes them nice and creamy. I add in the coconut milk because it helps get everything blending together, and it adds the slightest bit of sweetness (or so I think). The spinach adds some vitamins and a beauitufl green color to the shake. If you add ice, it will make your shake thicker and, of course, colder. The other ingredients make this smoothie thick enough, though, so you don't need the ice if you don't want to.
I often add in a raw, pastured egg, as a source of protein, when I'm using it as a breakfast shake. If you are concerned about eating raw eggs, though, or are vegan, leave it out! It's not essential to the shake in any way. You could also use some sort of green protein powder like a pea protein to add some protein to the shake.
This started out as me trying to make myself a healthy cucumber shake of some sort. I used to blend cucumbers with strawberries, and I loved that combination. Not being able to add in fruit, I wanted a new, fun alternative. Mint seemed like a great choice to balance the cucumber flavor.
Giving it a natural mint flavor
For the mint flavor, you have several options. When I first started making this, I used mint essential oil. Some people feel very strongly about not ingesting any essential oils, though. Peppermint essential oil is also an oil that you should avoid with young kids.
I've since made this shake with a handful of mint leaves, and really like the final result! If you don't have mint on hand, you can also add a touch of mint extract to give it flavor.
To be honest, I didn't imagine actually liking this version of the shamrock shake, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting to have to add in some stevia, but, surprisingly, it doesn't need it. If you don't agree, though, you can always add some. In fact, I have liked it so much, that I've made myself one each day for the last 4 days. Really!
This is the ultimate no guilt treat! It may sound weird, but give it a try before you dismiss the idea. You may also be pleasantly surprised!
I hope you have enjoyed the modified recipe, and that you continue to follow me on my journey to try to become candida free. I feel really optimistic about the next few months!
Keep in mind that you should do your own research when it comes to using Essential Oils, particularly when children will be using/consuming them. I have used a food grade essential oil. Make sure that you choose a trustworthy brand meant for consumption when using them in this way. Also, be conscious of the amount of essential oils that you are consuming at once.