By KRS Edstrom
I am on a diet to get rid of Candidas, also known as a yeast overgrowth. This diet seems to be making me crazy. I crave sugar badly but I am not suppose to have any. My birthday is approaching so I am hoping I can indulge in sweets once in a while.
Sugar Craving with Candida
Dear Craving Sugar,
Candida Albicans is a natural yeast living in the intestines and vagina. Candidiasis has become one of the more popular and overdiagnosed illnesses in recent years, but certainly worth knowing about. Antibiotic overuse destroys the “good” bacteria responsible for controlling bacterial and yeast overgrowth. [Always supplement with acidophilus if you must take antibiotics.] Sugar and refined carbohydrates create a candida-friendly “home” in your intestines. The more you can “starve” this home, the better.
Unfortunately, we often crave that which is worst for us, so think of yourself in battle with sweets when the cravings arise — and vow to win. Then eat some protein as quickly as possible to help your resolve by stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Keep fresh fruits and naturally-sweetened hard candies around for craving emergencies.
Pick your “slips” wisely and sparsely. The more time that passes without sweets,
the easier it will get. The more you indulge the craving for sweets, the harder
it will be and the longer you will prolong the battle. The good news is that
with this healthier diet, you will probably notice a positive redistribution of
body weight. Hang in there — you are giving yourself the best possible birthday
You say that there is no such thing as positive stress, but what about “eustress”?
Confused About Stress
Dear Confused About Stress,
Good question. The “father of stress research,” Hans Selye, coined the word “eustress” to mean stress that people enjoy; stress that is “positive.” As much as I respect Selye’s research, I find serious semantical and physiological contradiction with his jamming two opposite words into one, i.e. “stress” and “positive.”
Webster’s defines stress as “any mental or physical tension or strain,” a
definition that leaves no room for positive interpretation of stress, no matter
how one tries to rework it. Also, the body supports the “stress as negative”
view as it displays adverse blood chemistry changes when it is in the state of
stress. I would change Selyes’ word from “eustress” to “euchallenge”. Unlike
stress, a challenge can be enjoyable and positive.
I am a dancer and have been taking lessons in ballet, tap and jazz for over ten years. I am in good shape from my dancing but I would like you to give me a few exercises I could do that would strengthen my back and shoulders and improve my posture.
Needs Posture Exercise
Probably 80% of Americans cringe when they sneak a peak at their posture in store windows. They think “Who is that old lady/man? Yikes — it’s ME!” Then, in disbelief, they check the next window, hoping perhaps it was a “faulty” window, and onward down the block. Bad posture can add years to your appearance, inhibit proper breathing and cramp your organs.
Here’s a simple but effective posture-improving stretch you can incorporate into
Clasp your hands behind your back, palm to palm with fingers interwoven. Straighten your elbows as you slowly lift your arms upward, keeping your spine vertical, your gaze forward and head neither tilting up or down. You may feel a pinch between your shoulder blades but that will diminish with time.
This stretch can be done sitting or standing. If you are standing, be sure to
keep your knees slightly bent, your back straight and your pelvis tucked under.
While lifting your arms, think of rolling your shoulders back and pushing your
chest out (versus the usual shoulders rolling in and chest sinking in). This
stretch feels good, retrains the body to good posture and helps relieve stress.
I have been catching every illness that has been going around lately. In the past six months I have had the flu, strep throat (twice), and sinus infection. I am twenty-five years old and exercise at least three times a week. I stopped eating beef a year ago and my mother insists that the reason that I keep getting sick is because I am not getting the protein and vitamins I need. What do you think?
Dear Always Sick,
You are not alone. There are more and stronger viruses then ever before and autoimmune experts are desperately looking for answers. However, the problem also lies in our increasingly vulnerable immune systems. Autoimmune system diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome are growing in epidemic proportions and are demanding our attention. Part of the solution may be resolved in a laboratory, but it is also our RED FLAG to start looking for internal solutions — how we live on emotional, physical and spiritual levels. We must watch how we use our energy, as well as what we eat, and how much rest and exercise we get.
Check your stress level. There may be a lot of stress you are carrying around that you don’t even realize. We tend to accept unnecessary negatives in our lives and drag them around with us. This drains our energy and leaves our immune systems vulnerable. Start being aware of when you get sick and what happened in the preceding days or weeks. Keep a diary for a while and you will be surprised how self-educated you become. Soon, you will learn to alter the activity and your reactions that contributed to your getting sick.
Don’t worry about not eating beef — in fact, the less the better as long as your
diet is balanced. Go easy on the refined carbohydrates like sugar and sodas. A
good multi-vitamin is a worthwhile investment for you and the whole family.
“Should you decide to accept” — this could be a noble and fascinating personal
KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please visit KRS’ “Serenity and Meditation Corner” at www. www.AskKRS.com For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail: KRS@AskKRS.com
Return to the November/December Index page