2. Apparently I've been in a bad mood for the past ten years: As I stated before, when I went on my own version of the Candida Diet, my concern with acne quickly evaporated and new changes which my body was unfamiliar with came into clear view. The most significant change I noticed while on the diet was in my mood. I never really thought about food correlating with mood (indeed, they only sound alike) but it makes sense since food is, essentially, energy and with low energy, we're not at our best. And since I've reintroduced some foods back into my diet, those days that I eat mostly junk are days I can tell my body is fighting to stay awake with little energy left over for social pleasantries. But with a body running more efficiently, I noticed a stabilization in mood and even less anxiety as my energy, hormones, whatever (I'm just guessing here) seemed to be more consistent, rather than shooting towards the moon and then crashing down to Earth.
3. Meat is a must (for me): With three-fifths of my family maintaining a vegetarian status, it's easy for me to forget to eat meat and begrudge the argument that "we became the intelligent species we are today due to our meat consumption." But I know my body needs meat, a fact which became ever more apparent as I ate more natural foods. Referring to point number one, I often came home at the end of the day consistently hungry and knew some shredded brussel sprouts with salt and oil was just not gonna cut it. Enter meat (and nuts). Without the fat (and perhaps unnecessary calories) gained from rich dips and dressings my body really called out for a fat and protein source. And while it may not be part of the cleanse series of the Candida Diet, I gave my body what it wanted. And it felt good.
5. You will not want to return to your former way of eating: While I had a few tough times on the "diet" I was surprised by how quickly my body adjusted to this new form of eating. It was fun thinking of new foods to eat and new modes of preparation to develop flavors. And while my mind was distracted in thinking of new recipes to try, my body seemed to lock into a new mode of natural eating. I think it hit me like a ton of bricks when I walked into a Starbucks and didn't feel like ordering a venti caramel macchiato with extra caramel and whip, even with a very long day ahead of me. In general, I'm sure anyone would be surprised at how easy it is (physically) to maintain a more natural form of eating. The difficulty seems to lie (at first) in gaining easy access to such foods and/or preparing them. This is where the salad bar at the grocery store becomes your friend. As someone who generally cooks for one, I was formerly intimidated at the prospect of buying fresh foods, preparing them and eating them before they went bad. But I noticed that as my body (naturally) craved more natural foods, an entire head of lettuce, tomatoes and six chicken thighs were nothing for the week as I was more inclined to travel home for a healthy meal over stopping out to get something more "exciting" (or salty). This being said, as my grocery bill went up, my entire food budget began to go down as I bought more natural ingredients and stayed in for meals... a consequence that I quickly and willingly got used to.
So eating more naturally has become a bit of a joy and a learning curve. But learning new things can (literally) become the spice of life. And a few recipes I have learned to love are as follows. Enjoy!
Hummus: Beans, garlic, sesame seeds, oil, lemon juice, divine.
Chili Paste: I love spicy foods and this recipe provides a great way to add flavor to any dish.
Nut butters: As with hummus, the combination of (in my case) cashews, oil and salt makes for a divine creation which can provide you with a hit of protein when needed.