[CASE STUDY] How I Lost 7 pounds in 1 Week

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We’re always looking for ways to get healthier and fitter…

…and maybe even lose some weight doing it.

I must admit I had put on about 10 excess pounds between April 2016 and Jan 2017 and I couldn’t get them off.  It’s funny because as a personal trainer I hear this all the time and here I found myself dealing with the very same issue so many of our clients come to us to work through.

I was still considered healthy and fit by western standards, but I knew I wasn’t, and the weight represented that for me.  But weight wasn’t the primary motivation for my dietary shift.  I didn’t feel like my best self but even that wasn’t enough to make a shift large enough to create the amount of change I needed.  

I’d been struggling with Asthma and Sinusitis for years.  Through my studies with IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I’d been exposed to a lot of different dietary theories and I’d had some suspicion about what I needed to do, but it just seemed so difficult and complicated I let denial guide me.  They say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear, and I was finally given a simple home test by my Acupuncturist, Xilin Jordan that confirmed it could all be due to Candida (a systemic yeast overgrowth). This gave me a target toward which I could structure my plan: get rid of Candida.  It gave me a goal.  It gave me the motivation to address what I knew I needed all along.  I had confirmation.

This was Tuesday, January 17th, 2017. I was given the test:

Take a full glass of tap water and let it sit out overnight.  When you wake in the morning, very first thing: spit a quarter-sized amount into the center of the glass and observe what happens.  

If the spit stays and floats on top = no Candida
If the spit webs down like Halloween spider web decorations = Candida
If after 5-10 minutes the spit is on the bottom of the glass = Severe Candida

I don’t think everyone reading this has Candida.  I don’t think what worked for me will necessarily work for everyone, but I did learn a few things that are universal through this process:

1) What got me to where I am now will not get me the rest of the way to where I want to be.  I can’t just repeat “Level 1” over again and expect to progress.  At some point I need to step it up to “Level 2”.

2) Using food to: get high, emotionally fulfilled, stress relief, or anything other than fuel masks the real issue and prevents us from addressing it.  This results in weight gain at best, illness at worst.

3) Cravings are how our bodies communicate with us.  Eliminating foods I KNOW are toxic to me allowed me to have an emotionless conversation with the craving.  I was able to make more productive choices because my emotions weren’t being manipulated by the food.

4) Success with a diet more restrictive than we’re accustomed comes from recognizing how much better we feel, the weight we’ve lost, and the decrease in negative symptoms we experience.  It allows us to appreciate the different qualities specific foods carry.

5) Food is only one of the ways we can respond to cravings.  Our bodies need an adequate supply of certain elements to survive and thrive.  If we’re not connected to our bodies we might misread those needs and try to fulfill them with food.  We need adequate supply of movement, water, sleep, human connection, and breath.  If we’re not getting enough of those 5 other “nutrients”, food should not be our first response.

These are my notes from the week.  Lessons I learned that can be applied to any journey are in bold and summarized above.

1/18/17 - Wednesday

The candida test is positive.  It feels good to have an answer.  Finally.  But the reality of how hard and not fun this is going to be is setting in.  I’m not going to be able to eat for pleasure anymore.

Headache started.  Kicked in around 11am.  I’m detoxing.

Just has smoked Oysters in EVOO & baby kale cooked in coconut aminos w/ garlic and leftover greens, peppers, & zucchini w/ onions cooked in coconut oil.  It was plenty of food, but upon finishing I didn’t feel satisfied.  I was wondering if it was the Candida feeling hungry that I’m used to feeding.  As I kneel here, writing, I feel less hungry.  Time.

Throughout the day today I ingested: 2 sausages & some ground beef.  Baby kale, green pepper, zucchini, white onion, spirulina, dulse, smoked oysters, 3 eggs, blackberries, blueberries, ginger tea, herbs from Xilin, beta-glucan supplement.

1/19/17 - Thursday

Woke up feeing pretty good.  Headache is very mild.

Breakfast: 2 eggs w/ baby kale in coconut oil.  Ginger Tea.

Candida re-test is positive…severe?  Xilin’s recommendations: no sugar.  no fermented foods. healthy fats.

Diet is going…well.  It’s hard not getting any high or emotional fulfillment from food.  An avocado (2/3) w/ 1 can (2/3) of sardines was nice and filling.  I combined them in a mash.  I feel lighter in general and the headache didn’t kick in until around 6pm tonight though that could as much be related to my son :)

I feel like I’m on the right track this time.  I also felt myself wanting an apple or chips.  I think I had to use willpower to stay away.  I’m nervous about how long that will keep.

1/20/17 - Friday

I had a great day!

Last night, however, was horrible; I took my Spirulina before bed and had a coughing fit.  The cough was loose, so that felt good but it was accompanied by a lot of wheezing which felt wrong.  And scary.  I drank 2 pints of water and that calmed everything down enough so I could sleep.  Then I slept very well despite getting up 4x to pee.

My energy and spirits have been great today.  But I have been horribly congested.  Not running, just super stuffy.

Still getting slight headache at 5:30pm.  Still Detoxing.

1/21/17 - Saturday

I’m feeling irritable this evening…

And now, I’m just ridiculously angry.  The movie we wanted to see was full so we went to see a movie that didn’t sit well with me.  Now I’m ridiculously angry.

Good thing: on the drive home I was able to not take my frustrations out on my wife.

Diet is fine.  Diet is hard.  I don’t feel the need to eat junk food or sugar or grain but I do feel overwhelmed by what I can eat.  It feels very monotonous, even though it varies it’s still the same: meat & greens.

1/22/17 - Sunday

Great Day.

I had a sweet craving today.  I was able to control it with roasted dandelion tea & cinnamon!

I think, so far, success with this restrictive a diet has come from recognizing how much better I feel, the weight I’ve lost, the bloat and gas have decreased and my sense of smell has started to return.  Also, I’m able to appreciate the qualities that specific foods carry.  I’m not able to use food as a mood regulator; I can only use food as fuel right now.  I’m not very interested in water, so I’ve been drinking a lot of tea.  Maybe because tea is warm or because it’s flavorful or both.  I don’t know, but I think more pure water would be beneficial for me.

Seems I’m waking up well, then irritability (or headache after days 1& 2) set in in the PM.  Though, it’s 4:30pm now…so far so good.  Fingers crossed for later in the day.

1/23/17 - Monday

Once eggs get boring try adding new spices.  Today cayenne, Turmeric powder and Spirulina were great.

Nasal congestion is still really bad.  I’d left my herbs at work and so didn’t have them all weekend, but I’ve taken them 2x today so far. Acupuncture tomorrow.

Breakfast - 2 eggs w/ spices and greens.  Ginger tea.

Snack - Dulse & 1 radish

Lunch - 3oz Chicken, greens w/ onions.  1 radish, 13 raspberries.

4pm hunger pangs.  Slight headache.  Still detoxing.

1/24/17 - Tuesday.  Acupuncture

To address the congestion: Oil pulling 1st thing in the AM with cold pressed sunflower oil 5-minutes x 2. Himalayan salt gargle in between.  Water pick in the PM.  Neti Pot.

Diet modifications: Apples ok.  Root vegetables ok.

Keep with diet.  Lots of seaweed.  Scramble w/ eggs, scallions, and garlic.

Cook Millet & Mung Bean together in lots of water.  Double what you’d use for congee, then drink the excess water.

So, I clearly wasn’t finished with the journey.  My acupuncture session on 1/25 resulted in “Keep with diet”.  This was just the beginning for me, but after realizing what I accomplished through a short detox and the reaction of my friends and family I knew that I was onto something, on the right track.


Marannie Rawls-Philippe is the director for Elm City Coach, a Holistic Health and Fitness gym that offers Personal Training, Group Fitness Classes, and Nutrition Coaching in New Haven, CT.

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