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Happy new year, everyone! January is famous of course for resolutions, one of the most popular being weight loss. The start of a new year is a good time to reverse the celebratory eating that the holidays bring, but there are several different ideas to consider.

If you want to lose weight, consider adding a detoxification component into your plan. Toxins from food and chemicals from your environment cause the body to hold onto excess weight, so if you have trouble losing or keeping weight off, or if you suffer from allergies, headaches, PMS, or skin troubles, this could be a good consideration for you.

Do you always feel hungry and deprived when dieting? Don’t beat yourself up: it’s not always a question of willpower. You may be eating foods that are wrong for your physiology, or you may be low in critical neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine) that can lead to weight gain or cravings. Amino acid therapy using 5-HTP, the precursor to serotonin, used together with tyrosine, is effective for weight loss.

Do sugar cravings sabotage your weight loss efforts? Consider a candida cleanse. Yeast or candida overgrowth can cause powerful sugar cravings; after all, sugar feeds yeast, so an overgrowth of this bad bacteria can drive you to crave sugar or refined foods. Aside from sugar (and even alcohol) cravings, do you suffer from frequent yeast infections, bloating, poor immunity, “foggy” thinking, or if you have taken antibiotics or birth control pills, consider a candida cleanse.

Scientists estimate 70% of our population – both men and women – suffer from candida. These infections can proliferate due to weakened immune systems, mineral deficiencies, and acidic blood, conditions that together create an environment where pathogenic yeast and fungi can thrive, causing infections. Eating a poor diet high in refined, processed foods, taking antibiotics or other drugs, drinking alcohol, and parasitic infections can lead to candida overgrowth.

If you suspect you have candida, take the following steps to be yeast free. First off, the diet: remove gluten (bread contains yeast, and removing glutens will reduce intestinal inflammation) and all refined and processed foods (anything in a box!) and sugars from your diet. This should include all fruits and fruit juices and alcohol. Avoid mushrooms (fungus) and tomatoes as well. Pick a time when you feel you’ll have the least temptation. Plan on doing this diet for 3-4 weeks ideally. It’s ideal to add probiotic rich foods like cultured vegetables or kefir and also high quality fats such as coconut oil (has anti-pathogenic qualities), flaxseed, and olive oils. Get plenty of mineral rich leafy greens!

Along with the diet, take an anti-candida supplement that contains all or most of the following: caprylic acid, pau d’arco, berberine, grapefruit seed extract, zinc, biotin, olive leaf extract. In addition, take oregano leaf extract in a tincture or capsule form. Oregano leaf is an ideal candida killer. You can often find it in anti-candida supplements, but I like to take it separately for maximum effectiveness.

You can stay on the supplements for 4-6 weeks, then follow up with a high quality probiotic supplement to help restore a healthy balance of gut flora. Also, try some stress relief: meditation, yoga classes, walking, gardening, whatever relaxes and rejuvenates you.

A word of warning: some people will feel worse before they feel better. If you fee achy, flu-like, or nauseous, you could be reacting to the yeast dying off, which overwhelms your body and your liver. Try a liver support tincture or cut the supplements in half or stop them and gradually start back up again. Imagine it – you could be a different person by February! Free from cravings and on your way to losing all the weight you want.