The holiday season can be challenging for anybody trying to watch their diet. So many traditional holiday favorites are full of some really unhealthy ingredients.
Think (or perhaps dream) about pumpkin pie, whipped cream, candy canes, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and eggnog. Think about the sandwiches made from your leftover ham or turkey.
And that's just for starters. Bakers pull out all the stops in a fanatical display of their prowess, as they ambush their families with cakes, Christmas cookies, and gingerbread houses to induce "visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads".
Some high carb foods are manageable in normal doses.
But when you're navigating your way through three big family dinners in three days, nibbling on shortbread, crackers and cheese all afternoon at one house and knocking back hot chocolate or fancy alcoholic drinks at the next stop ...
Balance becomes a thing of the past, at least for awhile.
Plenty of people try to be wary this time of year. Besides the average individual who doesn't want to carry an extra 5 to 10 pounds of holiday weight for the rest of the year, there are others who must manage chronic health conditions.
People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, diabetics, those with metabolic syndrome, need to avoid many traditional goodies to stay well.
Some complementary and alternative therapists have suggested that another health condition that needs a special diet is yeast syndrome.
While the Mayo Clinic says there isn't sufficient evidence for the idea that candida overgrowth causes yeast syndrome, their website said that some CAM practitioners do support it.
Yeast syndrome is another name for an intestinal overgrowth of Candida albicans. Candida albicans is a fungus that resides in all of us. Many with a robust immune system will never be aware of its presence as it is kept in balance.
A healthy digestive system keeps that balance with the assistance of a strong immune system and good probiotic bacteria also resident in the body. For people with a weakened immune system, or who have been taking antibiotics, that delicate balance can be tipped, and an overgrowth of candida can be the unpleasant result.
Its symptoms are said to be congested sinuses, depression, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, poor concentration and failing memory, and powerful cravings for sweets.
An overgrowth of candida is thought to perforate the intestine's wall, allowing particles of food as well as candida making their way into the body. The immune system is thought to become hypersensitive to candida.
Its treatment as recommended by some CAM practitioners is the avoidance of cheese, sugar, white flour and yeast. Low carbohydrate foods are recommended to replace foods containing sugar, yeast and white flour.
Whether due to the replacement of unhealthy sugar and white flour with healthier alternatives, or because of successful treatment and reduction of candida, the candida cleanse diet often results in a reduction of symptoms.