Does Apple Cider Vinegar Live Up to the Hype?

 Does apple cider vinegar cure candida?

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Live up to the Hype?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is touted for many healthful benefits of alkalizer, digestive aid, detoxifier, weight loss aid, hair beautifier, and more.  While it can be beneficial for many, it’s not the cure-all and may even be making things worse for some folks.  We often do recommend it for some people, but not for everyone and for everything.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Since ancient times vinegar had been made using partially filled containers of wine or other alcoholic liquids to sour.  This process was unpredictable in time and results.  Over the centuries, the vinegar making process was refined and since the 19th century can be made in a matter of a couple of days. You need an alcoholic liquid, oxygen, and bacteria. These bacteria are specific to being able to use the alcohol as an energy source and have acetic acid as the by-product.  After the fermentation process, most vinegars are pasteurized to kill remaining bacteria and aged for a few months to develop their flavor, in part to the acetic acid.  Cider vinegar is made from yeast-fermented apple juice, turning the juice into alcohol and then the bacteria are added to get the acetic acid.  The cloudiness you see in a cider vinegar bottle is a tannin-rich pulp that is unique to the apple cider and isn’t considered as a “mother” like other vinegars or fermented liquids.

What makes ACV healthy?

In the fermentation process, it produces acetic acid which is what allows the vinegar to be used as a preservative and inhibit the growth of many microbes.  In Babylonian times they added vinegar to water to make it safe to drink. Research shows that even a 50% dilution of ACV will kill Candida, and even further dilutions will knock out strains of E.Coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

The tannins also provide for anti-microbial and anti-yeast activity. Tannins also may also have a role in regulating blood pressure, blood fat, and clotting factors.  

The weight loss claims of taking regular ACV are likely because of the vinegar's role of reducing non-benenficial bacteria that can alter the way we extract energy from foods and lead to weight gain.  

When would ACV NOT be helpful?

Some people are sensitive to tannins and tyramines.  Tyramines are also produced naturally in the aging and fermentation process.  Both of these can be migraine triggers for individuals.  Tyramines in some that have some genetic differences in how they process them in the gut (MAO gene) can alter the way it affects blood pressure, serotonin, and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine as you know are neurotransmitters that regulate mood.  

If you are taking an MAO-I drug, you may not break down the tyramines causing them to build up in the blood and increase blood pressure and alter your neurotransmitters.

Though ACV can be used to support digestion or kill bacteria there are some gut infections or dysbiosis that is more severe and needs more support than ACV. Others use ACV to aid in chronic yeast infections, but these frequent reoccurring infections usually involve more than just the vaginal immune system and typically need a whole gut rebalancing overhaul.

All in all, for many, ACV can be beneficial for a variety of remedies but be aware if you are having reactions to foods that are aged, you're on certain medications, have chronic infections, or may have a larger gut dysbiosis issue that needs further investigation and advanced support to get your gut back in balance. 

Lab testing is the easiest way to get a clear picture of your gut health. Following a professional protocol can be the most efficient use of your time and energy. 




Main Sources:

McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (Kindle Locations 20702-20791). Simon & Schuster UK. Kindle Edition.

What Body Positivity is Not


Body Positivity is not a license to eat unlimited ice cream.

There. We said it.  

Body Positivity is about appreciating function over form, at least it should be. 

It’s also about finding neutrality, peace and hopefully unicorn-like confidence with what you’ve got. This includes bodies of all shapes, sizes, genders, and abilities. Acceptance is a beautiful thing and we need more of it.

Yet, somewhere in the excitement of rebelling against the airbrushed ads and bullshit 500 calorie diets we started seeing some influencers in the BoPo community giving zero fucks about what they put in their body in the name of self-acceptance. 

We are not here to be the food police but something’s not adding up.

If body positivity is about appreciating function over form, then ensuring your body’s function requires some care for what you put in it because food is information for your body.

To be clear, we 100% prioritize wellness over weight, which means that your weight is not the sum of your health or anything for that matter.

No matter your current weight, size, or how you look, there are long-term health consequences to consuming too much sugar and processed foods such as insulin resistance, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions that impact our hormones such as PCOS and thyroid disease. Other health consequences include being prone to yeast infections, eczema, migraines, IBS, and mood swings. Food matters.

YES, we absolutely believe in enjoying food for fun on occasion. I swear we’re still fun at parties and those who know us personally know we can get down on some food for pleasure. 

However, not caring at all becomes just as self-destructive as caring too much. 

Love your body for what it is and have some care for what you put inside of it because it matters. 

Become More Body Positive With These Five Effective Strategies

  1. Look for opportunities to think about how you feel, not how you look. When do you feel your best? What attributes to that?
  2. Start a gratitude journal and list the ways you appreciate your body and how it functions. 
  3. Notice how you talk about your own body. If you start to criticize yourself stop and ask yourself if you’d say that to a friend. Say something nice instead.
  4. How do you talk about other people’s bodies? Are you able to describe them based on internal attributes instead of their body? Can you say something positive about them?
  5. Simple movements like walking and stretching can allow you to connect with your body and bring awareness to how you feel inside it. 

How to Cultivate Self-Care. (We Asked a Therapist)

We asked one of our favorite therapists how we can start to cultivate a self-care practice. Lauren Cohen of Hope & Humor Therapy agreed to teach us how to do it in just 5-minutes a day. 

Let's Talk About Self-Care

"Let’s talk about self-care. I mean, really talk about self-care. There are a lot of myths floating around about it these days. It has become synonymous with spa days, weekend getaways, long trips to the beach; things that can feel out of reach for most of us, most of the time. We ask ourselves, “How am I supposed to practice self-care? I can’t just take a day off and flit about town; I can’t be away from work/my family/school/my responsibilities for that long! COME ON!”

In an instant, self-care becomes this giant, insurmountable task, and it gets placed on a long-ignored shelf next to cookbooks that we never open and treadmills that we never use.

Well, I’m going to let you in on a secret: self-care doesn’t have to be that way. The crux of self-care is for you to take action to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health. There’s a whole range of things that you can do to cultivate this practice. It does not have to be this giant, sweeping gesture that you do for yourself every once in a while, (maybe). It can be something small that you do every single day." -Lauren Cohen

 Self Care Doesn't Have to Be The Perfect Dream Vacation. 

Self Care Doesn't Have to Be The Perfect Dream Vacation. 

Try This Self-Care Exercise

"At 2 pm every day, stop what you are doing, find a quiet place, take a moment, and ask yourself what you need right now. Literally, internally ask yourself, “What is the best thing that I could do for myself in this moment?” Then go do that thing.  

(Alternatively: if 2 pm is the worst time of day for you to try this, then pick another time that works better for you. Commit to that time. Put a reminder on your phone. Then do it.)

(Alternatively: if you can’t meet that particular need at that exact moment, commit to a time when you can. Put it on your calendar and then do it.)

At the end of the week, notice if you feel any differently about yourself and your life. After extended use of this technique, people have reported having more positive feelings about themselves and feeling better able to handle life’s challenges. You’ll be surprised what this simple change can spark in you!  

I wish you luck in this endeavor and encourage you to try all forms of self-care!" - Lauren Cohen

Self-Care is Caring

Like Lauren said, it's really easy to allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the idea of caring. There are all the choices, decisions, responsibilities and the idea that caring takes up too much time and energy. Start small. It makes a world of difference. Remember, that taking care of yourself makes the world a better place. 

Repair & Restore Your Gut Health

Gut Health is Total Health

Why is Gut Health Important?

Up to 90% of disease can be traced in some way back to your gut. You have over 10,000 species of bacteria living in your gut and on your body.  We all have "good" and "bad" bacteria. However, your lifestyle determines the balance of your flora, thus your overall health. You can support your gut by feeding and restoring your beneficial bacteria. 

Food sensitivities, constipation, diarrhea, auto-immune conditions, and low immune system status have a lot to do with with the health of your gut.  Most of what we are talking about in gut health is the small intestine and the large intestine.  There are microbial and other mechanisms to ensure your stomach, liver, pancreas are operating at their best too, but mainly we focus on the large and small intestine when we address repairing and restoring the gut.

Ways to Repair & Restore Gut Lining Without Supplements

Increase Microbial Diversity

  • Intake adequate fiber and fiber diversity.  Bacteria uses fiber to breakdown, ferment and use for fuel. This protects our immune system, hormone balance and more.  Rotate new plant fibers/resistant starches weekly. For example, try rotating Japanese sweet potato, lentils, then al dente rice, etc in your diet. Rotate your fiber sources for maximum diversity. 
  • Intake a diversity of foods in general: Our ancestors ate about 600-800 different foods per year, the average western diet is 15-30 different foods annually. Rotate through your foods and try new things. For example, if you usually buy baby spinach for your salads, try arugula, then romaine. If you typically only eat black beans, try pinto and white beans too. Buy a variety of proteins, don't just have chicken with every meal. Your body will love you for mixing it up.
  • Try natural fasting breaks: 10-16 hrs is a good fast time, if you do not have blood sugar problems. Start with 10 hours of fasting - that would look like not eating anything after 8pm and then eating breakfast at 6am. Longer intermittent fasting should be supervised, especially if you suspect blood sugar imbalances.
  • Eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as you possibly can to reduce your exposure to pesticides like glyphosate. Glyphosate kills gut bacteria, bind minerals and alter the way we naturally detoxify, and use Vitamins A and D - which are critical to immune health

Change Exposures to Your Environment

  • Get DIRTY! 
    • Don’t be afraid to get dirty, work in the garden, go for a walk - preferably in nature
    • STOP using hand sanitizers all day every day. 
  • Filter your drinking water.  Chlorine in city drinking water is killing off bacteria and decreasing diversity
  • Eliminate Chlorine Cleaners - Again, chlorine is killing off too much bacteria and is not supporting our total health
    • Replace with: water and essential oils or white distilled vinegar or some commercial natural brands
    • Eliminate anti-bacterial soaps, sanitizers, etc. 
  • Be around animals
  • Protect yourself from EMF’s from cell phones, laptops, wifi as much as possible - these too are having an impact on gut microbial health and our ability to restore and repair at night (try turning your phone on airplane mode at night or leaving it outside your bedroom as you sleep).
  • Stress reduction - Stress increases gut permeability which leads to leaky gut.  Find ways to calm and reduce stress. Try yoga, walking after dinner, body work, reading, therapy, whatever you gotta do to increase your relaxation response.
 Image representing protective barriers of normal (on the left) and disturbed barriers (on the right). With healthy gut diversity and overallGI health then we are able to keep bacteria, pathogens and large food proteins away from the lining.  When these are too close then the immune system mounts an attack and increases inflammation pathways. These can also enter the blood stream and cause problems in the body - skin, headaches, muscle and joint aches, and auto-immunity

Image representing protective barriers of normal (on the left) and disturbed barriers (on the right). With healthy gut diversity and overallGI health then we are able to keep bacteria, pathogens and large food proteins away from the lining.  When these are too close then the immune system mounts an attack and increases inflammation pathways. These can also enter the blood stream and cause problems in the body - skin, headaches, muscle and joint aches, and auto-immunity

Dig Deeper with Targeted Protocols & Supplements

Become a Detective

  • Find the foods and food chemicals that are causing the most problems for you.

    • One way we do that is with the MRT food sensitivity test and LEAP protocol (a customized elimination diet plan) combined with a supplement protocol.
    • Reduces inflammation and symptoms in 6-12 weeks for many people. 
  • Additional lab testing
    • Beth may determine another test is right for you such as a comprehensive stool test. 

Increase Beneficial Bacteria

  • Increase strains of akkermansia and faecalibacterium with these foods: apples, cranberries, pomegranate, grapes (purple), navy beans.  These bacteria are very important to gut but are diminished in most Western cultures.  If you can’t tolerate these foods, there are other ways to support their growth.
  • Take a high quality pro-biotic - we like MegaSpore and Saccromyces Bouillardi. It's always important to eat fiber with probiotics. 

Build a Personalized Supplement Plan that Repairs and Restores Gut Lining

Supplements we often use for gut repair are:

  • Butyrate/Short Chain Fatty Acids
  • Zinc Carnosine
  • L-Glutamine
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Anti-Oxidant Support with Glutathione, L-carnitine, lipoic acid, CoQ10
  • Colostrum/Lactoferrin
  • Choline
  • Amino Acids that Repair: L-theonine, L-Serine, L-proline, L-cysteine

We highly recommend working with a Functional Medicine Dietitian or Doctor to develop a plan and supplement protocol that's right for you. Guessing is usually not a good idea and often wastes your time and money. It is also very important to know the source of your supplements. It's not a great idea to buy cheap in this case. 

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