I've had several clients ask me about body pH in relation to candida albicans (commonly called yeast infection in both men and women). Most assume candida infections are caused by an overly acidic environment, but this is not the case. I teach this subject in thorough detail in my Food as Medicine class on Candida, but since I don't have one scheduled in the near future, here are a few answers to your questions.
In acidic pH, the candida grows as a yeast. In this simple-yeast form, candida is completely harmless. In fact, as a yeast, candida can be kept in check based on gene repressors found in the diet and through thousands of other beneficial micro-organisms that live in your body. The real harm occurs when this simple-yeast changes it's gene expression and mutates into an invasive filament form: a mutated fungus that wreaks havoc on just about every organ in the body and can even be life threatening. This mutated fungal form of candida albicans is a result of an alkaline environment! When the pH gets over 6.5, this will trigger the mutation of a harmless yeast into an invasive fungus.
The picture above shows: Candida mutated from a round yeast cell into a hooked and barbed fungal cell which embeds itself into the intestinal walls. They can then pass into the blood stream and move throughout the body. This leaky gut now invites other proteins and undigested foods to enter the system and cause food allergies, malnutrition and other ailments.
Antibiotics destroy the healthy bacteria that create fatty acids that protect against this mutation. One might ask, "Shouldn't I just create an acidic environment then?" Unfortunately, it isn't so simple as one might imagine. Candida can actually change a neutral environment (neutral pH) to an overly alkaline based on external influences like nutrition and the waste products, like ammonia, that the fungus releases.
Common candida symptoms include sugar or sweet cravings, gas, bloating, fatigue, low energy, allergies, leaky sinuses, heartburn, hormonal imbalances and mood swings, lacking concentration, depression, and arthritis or joint related issues.
In my class, I go into detail on what candida does in the body and how to change your terrain to an inhospitable one for mutated candida to flourish. We discuss starving the candida and I discuss the contractive and expansive qualities of your food, which support or hinder candida starvation and death. It's a very large subject but I hope this answered your questions and helped you to see it isn't so cut and dry with regards to the body pH and candida.
Check my calendar here for a list of all classes and programs I teach.
See you in class-
Stephanie Austin, H.H.P.
Day 16 of my juice cleanse and the reading of delicious recipes begins. I have made delicious (or so they say) dinners for family a few times to keep up with my need to play with food despite not eating. With every fast I've ever done, I seem to enjoy reading recipes towards the second half.
Odd. I like odd.
Next for dinner, I intend to make Lemony Lentil Soup with a Pistachio Pesto drizzle, which I learned in Berkeley at a workshop at Bauman College. I hope they enjoy it.
Meanwhile, I'm doing great on my juice cleanse. I went running through the forest and down to the beach this weekend and LOVED it. I love running while empty and fueled by easily digested nutrients.
Today's first recipe reading included nut cheese from Choosing Raw and Nathalie Lawhead (click names to read more). Nathalie writes an incredible article on fermenting cheese and the importance of lacto-fermentation.
Onto a much bigger subject...
I've been having a strong, intuitive inkling to stop being vegan lately. I've been all sorts of 'vegetarian' such as raw vegan, mostly raw, lacto-ovo vegetarian and unhealthy vegetarian throughout my 7+ years of a non-animal dependent diet. Prior to that, I ate anything and everything under the sun, unless it was healthy! I loved meat and sugar and preferred very few veggies and little to no fruit.
Recently, I've actually craved red meat, which I would rather not eat again; just being candid here.
Even though I didn't start my vegetarianism for ethical reasons, the desire to not kill to eat has grown to be the stronger reason for my dietary choices. Thing is, I've not been thriving as I once have. I thrive while juicing for sure ... but I can't live on juice alone.
Where I go wrong is in 1) not enough variety, 2) little to no supplementation, and 3) not eating enough food. Some of the nutrients I tend to lack from such nutritional neglect include: omegas 3, 6 and 9, CLA, D3, K2, B12, protein and iron. While I'm one of those firm believers we need far less protein than is marketed, I still eat fewer calories in protein that what I need to thrive.
I've been recommitting myself to better nutrition during this juice cleanse, and I've been researching, as well as meditating, on "What is the best way for ME to eat?" I tend to do what I learn, even if it is challenging or feels 'extreme.' If I read that the benefits are said to be the best, I will try it just because 'I should.' The real problem with being such an information seeker is I stopped eating 'intuitively' and instead, I eat what is described as the 'best way.' But as the brilliant Fred Bisci says, we are all different and so are our dietary needs!
In my efforts to regain control over what I choose to eat, based on what's best for me personally, I, of course ... drumroll please ... turned to research!
Gaahh my Science, info-brain!
This time; however, I am looking for empowerment and not answers. I have the answers if I take the time to ask myself.
I'm in alignment with raw food educator Shazzie, when she wrote: "I had to keep reminding myself that a vegan diet isn't natural and therefore must be supplemented for optimal health." She has opted to feed her once raw vegan child egg yolks, butter and dairy, in addition to daily supplementation, to assure her vitality.
She's so right! Even horses, elephants and other large, non-animal dependent eaters receive nutrients through fecal-laden soil (b12) and insects as they forage. Even the bonobo, the animal with DNA most like ours, eats between 1-5% animal-based nutrition.
But I don't want to! We aren't meant to consume another mammal's milk; it too is unnatural, but I certainly don't want to eat insects or spend $200/mo to supplement either. The alternative, for me, might be occasional consumption of eggs, perhaps raw dairy, and I might even try sardines - a low mercury, omega rich food. Not sure yet, but I just might!
Shazzie goes on to say something else I relished over, "I had to question my own belief system. The initials for Belief System are BS, have you ever noticed that?"
When it comes to my own health, I often forget to treat myself like I do my clients. What would I tell a client if they came to me unhappy with their dietary lifestyle? I'd say, "DO SOMETHING ELSE because the goal is to maintain or regain balance in order to restore health. And healthy also means HAPPY."
There is a gross, over-reliance on animal-sourced food in the Western diet. Countless health and environmental concerns result from this imbalance. Furthermore, the treatment of animals for the benefit of our money-making food industry is appalling, and I never wish to contribute to the consumption and production of commercially raised animal-sourced food.
With that said, I would like to find my level of optimal health while eating as consciously and fairly as possible; in accordance with our anthropological proven dietary needs (ie. predominately plant-sourced); and in close connection with the providers of my select few, animal-sourced food choices.
I plan to listen to my body and do my best to honor it. I will continue to share my experiences with you as I realize many people inquire about my personal dietary choices to fight Dermatomyositis and my over 50 pound weight loss. For now, I'm still fasting and loving it.
This blog is on the many avenues that interest Coach Stephanie. Subjects are a vast array of hobbies, career, desires, coaching and lifestyle.
"I am here for support, guidance, education and as an example of what works for ME. What works for me may work for you or at least provide you with a starting point from which to explore. I am discovering what works for me at every moment. I don’t have it all figured out, but I do feel I have a teaching and healing nature with which I am here to share. In this blog, I offer you a view into my practice of being that which makes my experience - MINE."
Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Practitioner, Stephanie Austin, was guided into holistic living in 2002 when she was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, an uncommon autoimmune disease affecting the skin and muscle.
Opting for education rather than medication, Austin enrolled in a Holistic Health Practitioner program in 2004 after realizing she'd been gifted with disease so that she may learn to heal herself and later teach others to do the same.
Since her education, Austin has released over 60 pounds and conquered years of junk food addiction through holistic healing and nutrition techniques that she now passes onto others through her business, Wellness by Mother Nature.
Austin has been the Director of Education and Board Member for the nonprofit organization, The Wellness Kitchen. She is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award from www.ACHS.edu.
Austin is an author, coach and speaker who empowers people on the healing value of nutrition and the innate self-healing abilities of a body in balance.
She has helped hundreds of people achieve balance through methods such as meditation, herbs, movement, supplements, aromatherapy, homeopathy, nutrition, mind-body connection, energy healing and by closely listening to the needs of her clients.
It is awareness that brings change, not your effort. Why does it happen through awareness? - because the awareness changes you. And when you are different, the world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world, it is only a question of creating a different you. You are your world; so if you change, the world changes.
My Other Blogs
I've used several websites over the years to journal my juice cleanses. Since there are many years worth of journals, I am slowly moving them all to this one. Meanwhile, you can view my First Juice Fast blog here and a few others here and here.
If you're looking for program specific blogs (ie. Juice Cleanse or Gluten Free) visit the Classes and Programs here for their respective blogs, which are password assessable to clients only.
The Traveling Homesteader has an entirely separate blog here.
Otherwise, I write everything else here at www.StephanieAustin.com.