Hi everyone, my name is Laura, I am 24, I am starting my 5th month of my second pregnancy, and I have a 2.5 year old son. I was hoping to post a kind of concise personal history and eagerly accept your take on things ; ).

I struggle with Candida something fierce. I had migraines, bouts of taccacardia, repeat UTI's-always with normal paps, seasonal indoor/outdoor allergies, tested positive for a ton of food allergies even though I could never trace back my symptoms to those specific foods and had observable reactions to others that I tested negative for, frequent illnesses, etc. growing up and no one could ever connect any of the symptoms. After slews of tests I was diagnosed with hypersensitivity. I basically gave up asking questions. Until I had my son.

When we started our nursing relationship I had terrible cracks that opened up into large scabs on my nipples from nursing him, felt awful, and eventually realized I had thrush. This led to the beginning of all of my research which gave me the following conclusions about myself.

Migraines, fatigue, mood swings, oral, vaginal, nipple thrush/yeast, IBS like symptoms, brain fog, itchy skin, nail fungus that comes and goes, food sensitivities, asthma, allergies, seemingly weak immune system-get sick easily/often.

Likely Predisposing Factors:
C-section born, formula fed, lived in house with smokers, frequent courses of broad spectrum anitbiotics when I was growing up, started birth control pills as a teenager and continued for three years, and the pregnancy, birth, nursing hormonal cycle.

What I have learned about me so far:
Dairy is my biggest culprit except for butter in my cooking that doesn't seem to bother me, gluten makes me feel hazy and lethargic, I also feel really crappy-upset stomach, itchy, etc-if I eat soy, caffeine, certain shell fish, or a heavy amount of beef. It just feels like they can't be processed by my system so everything becomes out of whack. My biggest trigger for increased candida symptoms is my hormones. Right before my period it always flares up. Pregnancy makes me way more sensitive to flare ups as well and the extreme hormonal adjustments following childbirth and involved in the establishment of a milk supply make things totally nuts. All my usual symptoms to the tenth power.
I also noticed that I am sort of hyper sensitive to certain things. I cannot shower with heavily fragranced soaps- I do best with olive oil soaps that have dead sea mud in them, have to wear cotton bras only, and do best with white cotton underwear that I can bleach between uses.

My biggest concern is the baby being born and us traveling down the same road as my son and I did. He was a baby with a lot of upset stomach, gas, thrush, and sicknesses that seemed to mutate for him when he caught even the smallest cold from a play buddy. His saliva became so acidic in his mouth from the yeast that it caused severe tooth decay and he had to under go serious dental work under general including four extractions and four baby root canals. Breastfeeding should have given him the best start possible, but there was so much that I didn't/don't understand about my health problems and how they relate to him.

I have read so much and tried so many things and there just seems to be major gaps in my understanding. Any help will be greatly, greatly appreciated. TIA.

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I have been having great luck with spelt flour so far. It seems that moderate amounts of gluten are cool, but it is more about wheat being avoided. That twinki thing is hilarious. Times get desperate man. lol.

I will be visiting that site with the recipes right away. I would love some inspiration. And you know, maybe you 're right, maybe I should be looking for brand new ideas rather than fixating on replacing old ones.

And I know that I am quickly becoming that kid in class who just keeps raising their hand over and over again, but can you be more specific about

"And I'd focus on opening/supporting detox pathways with the Epsom salt baths, magnesium, zinc, vit C, food folate."

Like how much mag, zinc, vit. c should I be supplementing with? Do the amounts differ as I change stages from pregnancy to nursing?
Foods to Help Phase I and Phase II Detoxification:

check out www.eatingcultures.com to try and guess on some of your detox pathways, and figure out which nutrients will be important for you. And www.detoxpuzzle.com to identify some of your detox pathways, nutrient deficiencies/needs.

But, I can't give dosages for supplements. The doses are on the supplements. Or consider reading at World's Healthiest Foods. It lists a ton of information about each nutrient, such as magnesium, zinc, folate, etc. http://www.whfoods.com/nutrientstoc.php

I prefer to get complex nutrients from whole foods.

Pat I just wanted to thank you for putting up with my whinning and being so supportive today. I am actually feel very encouraged by our talk. So here is what I am thinking...

I am going to try to view my sensitivities as a culinary challenge rather than constraint to my lifestyle. I am thinking of buying new cookbooks and trying totally new recipes rather than focusing so much on trying to replicate what I feel like I have lost. I am going to resume my green smoothies and lemon juice in my water, both things that make me feel good that are SO easy to do everyday. I am going to eat more complex nutrients and find a good CLO supplement and bifidum probiotic. And I think to address my sugar cravings I will have to move in phases, the first of which is to renew my elimination of all refined sugars/carbs so that if I am having a treat it will at least be one that is whole grain or no grain with some health benefits and minimal negatives that I have baked myself rather than something simple and sugary off of the grocery store shelf. I am also going to resume only drinking water, cranberry juice, and herbal teas sweetened with local honey as I have been letting some soda and lemonade type things slip back in. I am also going to try to really cut back on how often the family and I eat out because it is obviously much harder to control what we eat if someone else is cooking it. The big one here is that I know that I HAVE to eliminate dairy all together. So I am going to try to be generous/realistic and say that these are the things that I will be committing to for the next month. Hopefully I will have good news to report soon!
Just take it one day at a time. There are no failures, just learning opportunities. When you find something didn't work, analyze it. Maybe, some preplanning, or batch meals, or frozen meals, or some bulk buys or some convenience health foods or snacks, or portable or lunch or quick meals or fast breakfast alternatives are the obstacle. Just observe and examine the difficulties as potential changes to brainstorm. Dont' beat yourself up. That never helps, in my experience!

Keeping a food journal about how you feel will help a lot to find patterns and encouragement, I believe.

I just wanted to add, I've found the recipes on elanaspantry.com to be AMAZING--we use ground sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in place of the almond flour, and usually sub coconut oil for the grapeseed oil, and honey for the agave, but there are some seriously delicious recipes there--and much easier to make than lots of the gf stuff I've been making! There is chocolate cake, twinkies (but these ones have eggs, just fyi), cookies and more...I think most of her recipes are pretty nutrient dense which I LOVE...

Also, if you are dying for cheese and about to cheat, there is this delicious (albeit super processed) rice cheese--I believe by "Follow Your Heart", called mozerrella shreds that is really and truly the best fake cheese I've ever had. There is a small amount of goat's milk casein in it, so we avoid it currently, but in a pinch, when you are about to eat some other cheese, I think it's a good alternative! It melts just like mozerella, is WAYYYYY better than any (IMO nasty) soy or fake cheese, and tastes kind of like provalone when not melted. If you add taco spices, it makes a great topping for a taco--might work ok in your nachos dish...

I totally hear you on finding alternatives to what you are used to eating. I've been AMAZED at how many delicious and super nutritious alternatives there are to foods I used to feel guilty eating...

And I totally agree w/ what Pat said...I can't imagine life without chocolate! ;)

Ohhh--and one yummy thing I've recently tried, cashew cream...just soak 1 cup cashews in 1/2 cup water for 2 hours, then blend really well, add some raw honey and vanilla extract (to taste). Makes a wonderful frosting, dip for fruit, or just a tasty treat to eat off of the spoon! YUM!

One other thought--I believe there is a dairy free recipe for ceasar salad dressing in "The Spunky Coconut Cookbook"...I read about it online and it look super cool! Maybe google it and you might find the recipe online? :)

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