December 2011


I view my kitchen exploits as relevant to the overall topic of this blog.  Therefore, here’s a sample of my culinary niche.

I am currently following a diet meant to reduce the overgrowth of Candida, a yeast normally present in the digestive system.  Sometimes, due to various factors such as taking antibiotics, this normally friendly digestive tract resident tries a hostile takeover, to the detriment of the billions of other microbes.  In order to put my personal Candida tenants back in their place, I am eliminating the foods that promote their growth.  For six weeks, I am avoiding sugar (in any refined forms, including honey, agave, etc.), yeast, any grains not in whole form, vinegar, fruit (save one piece per day), peanuts, dairy (save yogurt) and anything fermented.

One side effect of a Candida eliminating diet is a craving for sweets as soon as the yeast starts to die off.  I have been experiencing this compulsion the past few days.  Therefore, in order to quell my cravings and strengthen my resolve, I have adapted a classic oatmeal cookie recipe to be candida-diet friendly.

I looked at several oatmeal cookie recipes and the one I came up with is as follows:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the following, all at room temperature with a mixer:

  • 0.5 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup xylitol

Then in a separate bowl mix:

  • 1.75 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 0.75 tsp baking powder
  • 0.75 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients to wet.  Stir in:

  • 3.5 cups oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.

Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and flatten.  Bake for 7-10 minutes.  Take them out of the oven when they are starting to get light golden brown.  Let cool a few minutes, then set on a rack to cool completely.

Now that my sweets cravings have quieted down for the moment,  I can concentrate on making dinner.

I divide my life, as relevant to this blog, thusly: fitness, food and miscellaneous interests.  In today’s post I will begin an account of my fitness history and habits.

I like to think of myself as a naturally active person with varied activity-based interests.  However, I must admit that more appropriate terms may be ‘schizophrenic’ and ‘short attention span.’  I have always been a physically active person and through rigorous testing and with plenty of outside confirmation, I have proven true my hypothesis that unless I keep up a minimum level of exercise, I become rather bristly and unkind.  Therefore, I am always doing something.

I have concluded that for my best health and well-being, I have to incorporate cardio, resistance training and stretching.  Balancing all three is tricky but necessary.  I don’t like feeling strong but stiff, or else supple but weak.

At one time, I was convinced I had to do everything at least three times a week to have a minimum of fitness.  I scheduled it all out using complicated spreadsheets and schedules from my gym, dance studio and running buddies.  I ended up scheduling something like four hours a day for exercise.  A smidge excessive, you say?  I concur.

At this mature (snort of derisive laughter) stage of my life, I try to incorporate a variety of activities on a regular, though not necessarily weekly, basis.  If I have a big event coming up, I will spend more time training for that activity and reduce time spend in others.  However, I find I like a varied and balanced fitness portfolio, which is why I have largely given up participating in orchestrated events like races and rides.  I had that stage: when racing was so exciting and training schedules were new and promising.  But having done it all the way up and through a marathon, I must admit the mystique and allure have left the building.  Races are fun, but I have bigger priorities at the moment, namely, keeping balanced, sane and moving to anther continent.

I will have to devise methods of keeping said balance even in foreign surroundings.  I believe it will be, to quote J.M. Barrie, “an awfully big adventure.”

Tomorrow’s Post: In Which I Dance
(An Accounting of My Current Fitness Habits, Part II)