Friday, February 21, 2014

Breakfast Shake Recipe for Lyme & Candida Sufferers

One of the problems with a low carb/low sugar Paleo type diet is breakfast. Besides bacon and eggs, salmon and avocados, and the occasional almond/coconut flower pancake it is really difficult to figure out what to eat, especially a quick meal in the morning. I ended up eating lots of veggie crackers with coconut or almond butter but finally got tired of that as well.

After I got a Nutribullet mixer early this year I started experimenting with new breakfast smoothies and let my inner alchemist go crazy. So here is a smoothie recipe, specifically suitable for folks with Lyme and Candida , that I have been playing with and refining over time. The result tastes like eggnog or vanilla pudding, its really good actually and quite easy to make.

Ingredients for one Breakfeast Serving:

2 TBSP of hydrolyzed collagen from grassfed cows - helps rebuild collagen damage caused by borrelia; I like the brand from Dave Asprey, Upgraded Self. Alternatively one can use gelatin from grassfed cows, although it may not mix as well as collagen. Sometimes I also add cold processed whey from grassfed cows such as this brand. I would not recommend any soy protein powder.

A handful of soaked sunflower seeds - I soak them over night and rinse them out to get rid of phytic acid, which may not be ideal for the intestines; if I am in a hurry then I just soak them briefly in the morning with hot water. The lecithin in the seeds should help with nerve repair, specifically the myelin sheaths covering the nerves. Over time this may help with little Lyme muscle tremors, that are caused by nerve damage. Alternatively one can use lecithin powder. Often I add other soaked nuts, like almonds or cashew, to the mix to get some variety. Brazil nuts have a high nutritional content and should be ideal for this. Just make absolutely sure the nuts don't have any mold on them. I have also tried canned coconuts, makes the mix very smooth and works well.

1 TBSP of Chia seeds - contain a a high concentration of essential fats including Omega-3 fatty acid. Lots of minerals as well. I typically grind them at time of use (I just throw them in the mixer first). If you grind them and store them in a jar, the oils may start oxidizing over time. I keep changing back and forth between chia seeds and flax seeds to get some variety.

2 -6 TBSP of Coconut Oil or MCT Oil - This is for immediate brain energy, especially MCT processed from coconut oil . It works amazingly well! Alternatively one can use butter (a good size chunk) or a combination of coconut oil and butter. If you are scared of butter and cholesterol see David Asprey's whole philosophy on butter. Its a real eye opener.

1/2 - 1 carrot (raw or cooked) - I do add some GAPS diet friendly carbohydrates to the mix to get a bit more energy and just a little bit of sugar on top of all the fats and proteins. Alternatively you can use a couple pieces of pumpkin, summer or winter squash. Since I am only using Stevia as a sweetener having a little bit of carbohydrates may help with weird blood sugar issues caused by Stevia. See the blog entry from Lauren over on Empowered Sustenance for more info on that.

1 egg - Optional to add some good fats and protein. I use pastured eggs and rinse them in acidic water to kill any salmonella that may be on the shell. Empowered Sustenance has a good summary on raw egg safety and what type of eggs to use.

Sweetener: Stevia, honey or dates - If you are able to eat sugar (I am not) then use honey as your first choice. I end up using Stevia. As mentioned, there are issues with it, but that's really my only option at this point.

1-2 cups Almond milk, Cashew milk, coconut or any other nut milk - this is for mixing all this stuff together. Just make sure your nut milk does not contain any carrageenan, it may end up hurting your intestines. Make it as thick or fluid as you like. Since the mix is already very rich plain water is also sufficient. What also works is water with some coconut milk powder.

Last but not least, the flavor- Organic vanilla powder is my first choice, about 1 TSP. Vanilla is also a good antiinflamatory. Alternatively you could use organic, raw cocoa powder or a combination of cinnamon, cardamon and anise (chai taste). If you are ok with sugar then any berries will work well, blackberries, blueberries, etc. I also use juice powder from black currents, which don't contain a lot of sugar and in moderation are ok for candida sufferers.

I keep changing between the different flavor combinations but I always try to use cocoa powder sparingly as I notice that it effects the liver when used too often.

Directions:

1. Grind chia seeds first in mixer
2. Put everything else in the mixer and let it run for a minute
3. Enjoy!

If you want to add more umph to the mix here are a few more options:

Cordyceps mushroom powder - contains beta glucan and helps immunity. May make the whole thing taste a bit weird though.

L-Glutamine powder - for intestinal repair, tastes realtively neutral

Maca or eleuthero root (siberian ginseng) powder - provides more energy

Ginger or Tumeric Powder - strong antiinflammatory. I have not tried that yet, it may end up tasting a bit weird. I think it may work well with ginger, cinnamon and anise.

I do feel a difference in energy with this breakfast. It keeps me going for a long time, I am not even hungry until early afternoon.

One more thing. I start my day with a green's mix to alkalize my body first thing in the morning and get pure green food and their nutrients in first. The smoothie is my second meal, taken about 1/2 hour later to give the greens a chance to get into my body and do their job.

I also found a cool ketogenic smoothie recipe from Ben Greenfield, he uses avocados, kale, coconut milk and chocolate.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Experimenting with Hyperthermia at Home

After having gone through whole body hyperthermia in Austria with a great success I wondered what I could do at home to keep high temperature treatments going to at least some extent. The question is how high in temperature can you get up a home without any professional equipment.

I purchased a small portable infrared sauna at home that I use now about once per week now (I should do it more often, i.e. 2x per week) to get my body temperature up on a periodic basis. I experimented a bit with length of use and rise of body temperature. After about 40 min sitting in the sauna running at maximum temperature I get up to about 38 deg C or 100 deg F in temperature (measured orally). That could corresponds to as high as 39 deg C or 102 deg F core temperature (measured rectally), although it is unlikely given how long it took me in Vienna to get to an increase of 1-2 degrees Celsius.

For me 40 min in the home sauna is about as good as it gets. I can't stay in there much longer, I just get too tired sitting and I want to lie down. So next I started to attend a commercial IR sauna where I could lie down.  I was able to stay in there for about 2 hours. After that I started to crash. I stayed in the sauna for 2 hours, then drove straight home (trying to stay warm) and then went immediately for 3/4 of an hour or so into the hot bathtub, as hot as I can tolerate. That approach would split the heating time between bath and sauna.

In general it seems that exposure to hot water is more draining to the body than heat provided via light or photons, even infrared light.  I have noticed how fatigued I get when sitting  in a super hot tub for long periods of time. After a while you can barely get out anymore. But at least in the tub it is possible to lie down and was at home, close to getting to bed.  The combination of those two procedures seemed effective.


After the IR sauna and bathtub combo I wrapped myself up into a cotton sheet and an emergency blanket sleeping bag made of thin metal foil. Then I lied down, covered myself up with a thick blankets and lied there heated in bed for a few hours. Of course plenty of fluids though during all this. I typically make myself a mix with electrolytes, Vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract (for Lyme cysts and biofilm). I have not measured how high the temperature actually got up to during the IR sauna/bathtub combination, but it felt pretty strong and I was sweating quite a bit

There are now a many larger commercial infrared saunas available in gyms and spas that are lie down style and are more suitable for longer sessions. See the resources section under hyperthermia for more info.

Another good option would be to do a Bikram Yoga session combined with a hot bath at home. However, one needs to be in bit of shape to make it through 1 hour Bikram, an not every Lyme patient can do that.