- December 29, 2011 at 4:23 am #69716
Most of the discussion on the forum is in regard to the most difficult part: stage one. I’d like to find out a little more about what happens after that.
I’ve been away from the forum for a few weeks due to some major events coinciding in my life, but I’m happy to report that despite being so busy I literally only went home to cook, sleep, and shower, I stayed on the diet the entire time (every morning I’d wake up extra early and cook 24 hours’ worth of food to bring with me). I’ll admit it was really tough; I had to forgo all of my typical crunch-time snacky comfort foods. Partway through a few all-nighters had to stop working, return home for about an hour in order to cook another day’s worth of food, then return back to work. I brought lunch boxes with me to dinner parties and munched on cold chicken and salad while everyone else dined on warm catered food and beer.
However it was all worth it; I stuck with the diet, and my eczema is now almost completely gone. The red, dry, itchy rash has all but disappeared (even though it’s winter and I haven’t been using much lotion recently), and my skin overall is reaching normal levels of itchiness. Needless to say, I am thrilled. I want to thank everyone on the forum for all your support and expertise; it’s the reason why I’ve gotten to this point.
I’m going to monitor my situation for another week, but if everything stays a-okay I’m looking to move onto stage two. I’ve only been on the diet for about 9 weeks, but I think my candida overgrowth was more on the mild side to start with, and I want to be able to get out of the kitchen and back to my life as soon as possible. Am I jumping the gun here, or should it be safe to proceed since my symptoms are 90-95% cleared up? I’d like to get out of the kitchen and back to my life as soon as possible (my goal is to be able to go out to eating and drinking with my friends again sometime around March).
I know the allowed foods thread has a list of stage two foods, but other than the dried beans, most of these are small-ticket items (I’m already eating the millet and very occasional beef, and cashews and almonds don’t sit well with me). I’m currently not eating any dairy, but I was thinking of trying to reintroduce some in the form of kefir and commercial unsweetened yogurt. What else should I be looking to reintroduce? I’m most interested in foods that will make my life easier (e.g. require less time in the kitchen, are filling, can be purchased at a normal grocery store or restaurant, etc.)
Any advice would be much appreciated.December 29, 2011 at 5:44 am #69717
JavizyMemberTopics: 20Replies: 945
You can eat buckwheat, right? So maybe 十割そば (100% buckwheat noodles) could save you some time. Apparently all other soba is mixed with white flour.
I’ve been meaning to ask you how you get on with the protocol in Japan. Does buying all the veg stretch your budget? What about supplements like probiotics and vitamin C, and organic milk for kefir? Have you found anything in a restaurant you can eat?
I’ve been considering taking a working holiday there in the new year if my symptoms improve. When I went in September, though, I was shocked by the prices of whole foods, and organic produce was crazy (a melon for 4000円). I was staying at a place close to Shinjuku, so maybe it was too central to be representative? I did see some more reasonable prices on markets.
Anyway, if you’re working at a Japanese company and you’ve managed to stick out phase 1, then you deserve congratulating. I’m pretty sure everyone’s gonna tell you not to rush things though. If you go out eating and drinking, you’ll expose yourself to 10s of foods/ingredients that could cause a reaction and you won’t be able to single anything out. It’ll be better to slowly continue introducing new foods so you can keep in control.December 29, 2011 at 7:47 am #69724
(what follows is extremely Japan-specific advice; everyone who doesn’t live/aim to live there can ignore)
Hi Javizy, nice to meet you.
I sometimes eat 100% soba noodles, but I’ve found buckwheat groats (玄そば, otherwise known as そばの実) to be way more convenient, since you can cook them in a rice cooker and eat them as a rice substitute. Same with millet, so I tend to stick to those two.
As far as prices go… for the moment I’m trying to buy my vegetables organic or “reduced chemicals” and my meat hormone/antibiotic-free. Salmon I buy wild, but other low-mercury seafood I get at a normal store. The eggs vary, but are always at least hormone/antibiotic-free. I got desperate one day and bought conventional eggs and had a reaction, so I’m trying to stay reasonably organic for now (the buckwheat/millet is usually conventional).
What you need to know about food prices in Japanese groceries is that they vary tremendously depending on store and product. If you’re staying in Tokyo, I’d recommend taking a venture out to a large grocery store in one of the more suburb-like parts of the 23 wards… if you are going to be in Shinjuku, then there are several in Higashi-Nakano within a few minutes of the station that will give you a good idea of “normal” conventional food prices (bring a notepad and take notes!). Another option is small produce stores along shopping arcades; there’s a really good one leading from Asagaya Station to Shin-Asagaya Station. However, these tend to be best for fruit, which we can’t eat (they do carry some veggies too, though). Try to avoid smaller grocery stores like Meidiya that carry more specialized items, as they tend to be expensive. Same goes for department stores, and many groceries near expensive developments (e.g. Roppongi Hills). 24-hour stores also tend to be a tad more expensive. Food prices also vary according to seasonality, of course, as well as origin (imported foods are usually cheaper than domestically produced foods), and don’t forget about sales!
However, the above advice is only for conventional food. I’m not living in Tokyo at the moment, so I’m not sure how to advise you on getting organic/hormone-free food there. Where I am at the moment, examples of the prices for organic food are like so:
bag of salad greens (spinach, mizuna, etc.): 200-250 yen (a decent-sized salad requires 1.5-2 bags)
one very slender cucumber: 60 yen
one egg: 29-57 yen (depends on degree of organic-ness)
two slices wild salmon: 450 yen
chicken: 100-130 yen per 100g
ground pork: 200 yen per 100g
ground beef: 300 yen per 100g
And these are the best prices I’ve found. I’ve seen way way worse (500 yen for a single organic avocado, anyone?) Dried food stuffs like the buckwheat are best purchased online (Rakuten is your friend). Don’t forget that in addition to having to buy organic, you’ll also need to start buying more. Volume-wise, I eat at least double what I used to, since proper grains and starches are all off-limits. This means that while one slice of fish, a small salad, a bowl of rice, and some kind of dessert used to count as a meal, I’m now eating a huge salad, a small bowl of buckwheat groats, two fish slices, and 3-4 eggs as “dessert.” Basically, all my discretionary income goes to food nowadays. And all my spare time goes to cooking.
I did buy some vitamin C here, but most of my supplements were shipped to be from the States (my mom was worried and gathered some up for me). Honestly, I don’t take them that often, and they haven’t been a crucial part of my healing process, but then again I don’t think I had a very bad case of overgrowth. It was too damn complicated to try and figure out which ones here were any good, when I knew exactly what all the good brands were back home (and can actually read the labels without having to whip out a dictionary).
As far as restaurants go… because I’m trying to stay organic eating out is pretty much impossible. Even if you ignore the organic side of things, there are way too many no-no ingredients that could be added. Soy sauce, vinegar, table salt, canola oil, a dash of flour… even something as simple as grilled fish is likely to include some or all of the above. Also, restaurants usually only offer a small daikon or cabbage salad or maybe some pickles in terms of vegetables, if that, and expect you to rely on white rice to fill up. The only foods I can open the package and eat on the spot from a grocery store are dried seaweed, sashimi, and that’s basically it (if you get desperate while on the go you can make an almost-meal out of these two). Everything else requires rinsing off (vegetables) or cooking (meats and buckwheat/millet).
Fortunately I’m not working at a Japanese company at the moment; I quit my job to go back to school so I’m a student now (if I had tried to do this diet a year ago, I wouldn’t have lasted a week simply because I didn’t have the spare 2-4 hours a day to cook and grocery shop, not to mention the prolonged die-off symptoms I experienced would have eventually gotten me fired; as is, I’ve had to skip a lot of classes and suffer nasty quiz scores < -- brain fog). Personally, I wouldn’t do anything out of the ordinary such as working abroad while on this diet (I’ve been living in Japan for almost two years now and have my own apartment and everything, so this is home for me), if for no other reason than what are you going to eat between when you leave your house (in the UK, right?) and when you get established with a kitchen and groceries in Japan? Ultimately the decision is up to you, of course, but I wouldn’t ruin a perfectly good Japan trip with this 面倒くさい diet. Although… I don’t know what kind of work you were planning on doing, but if you do WWOOFing and pick just the right farm (and right time of year), you’ll have a decent amount of spare time for cooking and access to free organic produce.
Anyway, let me know if you have any other Japan-related questions. And no worries; I plan on easing back into a more normal diet fairly slowly; no 飲み放題 at any 居酒屋 for me anytime soon I’m afraid.December 29, 2011 at 9:04 am #69729
JavizyMemberTopics: 20Replies: 945
Thanks for the detailed reply. A lot of it’s kind of what I expected – I’ll need to spend most of my money on food and have little social life.
My girlfriend moved to Tokyo at the start of the year and is planning to stay for at least another 12-18 months. Some of my symptoms make it hard for me to do a full-time job at a computer, so I’d just be doing the whole 英語教師 gig if I go. I have CELTA, some teaching experience and JLPT1, so I should be able to find work considering the post-disaster 外人 exodus. I hear it’s not too hard to find additional tutoring work, too. I’m not going to rush into anything without a lot of prior research though.
The way I see it is: I’m better off doing part-time work somewhere interesting while living with my girlfriend and working on healing than I am alone in the UK doing even worse part-time work. My girlfriend has more candida symptoms than I do and she works horrible hours, so I’d like to take care of her, too. I need some signs of improvement before I do anything though.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond, and sorry for derailing your thread. Hopefully someone can give you some more advice about stage 2. I hope you can improve your quiz scores now your problem is under control, too.December 29, 2011 at 9:10 am #69730
Ah, so that’s why you were thinking of moving to Tokyo. That totally makes sense; hope it all works out for you.December 29, 2011 at 9:28 am #69733
rasterParticipantTopics: 104Replies: 6828
For stage 2 items, I would consider the following:
1)potato 1-2x per week (keep serving size small)
2)carrots and tomatoes occasionally (or in small amounts)
3)almond butter and rice cakes (get freshly made almond butter or make it yourself)
4)rice 2-3x per week (rotate between black and red rice, buckwheat); black and red rice are a lot more healthier than brown or white rice and you shouldn’t be allergic because you may not have had these types of rice in your lifetime
5)oat bran (bob’s red mill brand if possible) 3x per week
6)pumpkin (make the pumpkin pie muffin bread)
7)more fruit (avoid the high sugar ones such as banana and pineapple or eat in low amounts)
Of course, only use these foods as test items and if you receive a bad reaction, save for another month and try again. After the 4 month mark, I tried potatoes, rice, etc and still reacted to it…at the 6 month mark I did not.
After about 2 months on the diet, I felt about as good as you do probably. However, I also thought I was at the 90%+ recovery mark as far as killing the overgrowth. The problem with this fact is that I actually was not as recovered at that moment in time as I thought I was and only after 4 months on the diet did I feel that way. So what I am trying to say is that even though you think you are 90% better, you may actually only be 80% better and there is still room for progress…
-RasterDecember 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm #69766
One of the reasons why I want to start adding foods back in is convenience (and taste!) but I’m also a little worried about malnutrition, or rather unbalanced nutrition, and always eating the same foods day-in and day-out. So I’m going to start slow, and might wait a little longer… I had a double portion of beef last night and think I might have had a mild reaction for a few hours afterwards.January 1, 2012 at 12:45 am #69878
Sorry for the double-post, but I had some follow-up questions:
– Do the rice cakes have to be made out of brown rice? (And why are they okay if brown/white rice is still not?)
– When you say red/black rice, do you mean any and all kinds of red/black rice, or just certain varieties? I’ve found the following: Thai Red Cargo rice, Bhutanese red rice, Camargue red rice, Colusari™ red rice, Red jasmine rice, Chinese black rice, jasmine black rice, and also purple Thai rice while we’re talking odd colors.
– Isn’t red rice a little higher on the glycemic scale? Or maybe that’s just the red rice I’m finding in Japan.
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