Monday, January 28, 2008


Before - After

After several weeks on the trail, Lauren was probably right around her ideal weight, but by the end, she had gained around 30 pounds. Somewhere around the halfway point of our hike, Lauren began losing muscle tone, gaining weight and feeling bloated.

Clearly some of that gain would be expected with muscle growth, but that still didn't explain everything, and became an increasingly frustrating aspect of our summer for Lauren. While most other hikers were jumping in at the AYCE buffets, and losing significant weight, she was eating modestly and becoming increasingly concerned about her own physique.

This became a point of tension for us, both on the trail, and in the months following. Then, about two weeks ago, Lauren remembered a friend from the past who was diagnosed with Candida and that was the breakthrough that she needed.

Candida is a yeast that each of us have in our systems, typically in balance, but if it grows out of control, it can cause problems.

The more Lauren researched Candida, the more things began to make sense. Below is a list from Dr. John Dommisse of things to avoid for treating Candida, and description of how Lauren's regimen was essentially the opposite.

  1. Avoid sugars - With a name like Figgy, and her half pound of figs each day, this sounds like the perfect food for the Candida to multiply out of control
  2. Avoid starches - Hiking 20+ mile per day without starches? Not likely.
  3. Increase saturated fats - Flax oil and sardines didn't make it into our trail diet.
  4. Avoid Antibiotics - After the tick incident in New York, a two week round of antibiotics probably polished of any of the remaining 'good bacteria' that may have been keeping her intestines in check.

For two weeks now, Lauren has been eating no fruit and absolutely no sugar, wine, vinegar, yeast, coffee, or black tea. She is also taking oil of oregano and probiotics to reestablish the internal balance. After the first week we didn't notice any results, but after the second week Lauren has lost 6 pounds.

It feels good to be finally making progress.


  1. whoa! This is totally rad and insightful! I'm so thankful that you've discovered this!

  2. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. Sally

  3. Very cool, Must be hard to go without that coffee. I know it would be for me. Hope it works out, and I'm glad you found out about it.