Candida Albicans: How I Got Rid of It

Ever since I got off the antibiotics I was on for my acne as a teen, I’ve struggled with gut imbalances, parasites and yeast overgrowth.

I was too young and emotional at the time to really consider what my issues could be due to.

My mom has had IBS her whole life, so I assumed I was destined for a life of pain and gut issues.

It took me about four years to truly get a handle on what was going on with my body.

It wasn’t until my face started breaking out in huge, red rashes a couple of times per week that I had an inkling it could be Candida.

As my carb and sugar addiction grew out of control, I started getting vaginal Candida overgrowth when I traveled, commonly known as the dreaded “yeast infection”.

That’s when I knew this was serious.

If you aren’t too familiar with Candida, it’s basically a yeast that generally lives inside the digestive tract, but can spread to several other areas of the body including the skin, mouth and reproductive organs.

The main thing to note about Candida is that it absolutely loves sugar.

It loves sugar so much in fact, that it will do pretty much anything to get it.

In fact, many specialists believe that Candida Albicans can actually hijack your brain and give you sugar cravings.

It’s what I call an opportunistic bugger. If your gut flora is imbalanced or you have a weak constitution, Candida will take advantage of your weaknesses and use them to spread.

Let me be clear about one thing: everyone has Candida.

It only becomes a problem when it grows out of balance.

That being said, I believe that if a person is having almost any form of (non-life threatening) issue from a stuffy nose to constipation, a Candida cleanse is a great place to start.

Candida overgrowth is such a common problem, that ruling it out of any health issues you’re having could save a ton of time, money and suffering.

I have a blog post about my experience on the “Vegan Ketogenic Diet”, which is essentially a sugar-free, low carb, high vegetable diet. In that post (I’ll link it for you here) I explain in a little more detail the benefits I experienced from this diet, but it’s basically the diet I used to begin clearing up my Candida overgrowth.

Just a few of the problems I was experiencing from Candida overgrowth were constipation, fatigue, headaches, skin rashes, acne, yeast infections, bloating, depression and general indigestion.

Aside from following a strict sugar-free, vegan diet for about five weeks, I also took several herbs/supplements: Wormwood, black walnut, high quality probiotics, hydrochloric acid or HCL, high quality enzymes and aged garlic extract.

If I were to go back and recommend anything to my past self, I would also include oregano oil and black seed oil to my regimen, especially after witnessing others’ success with this protocol.

I also loaded up on organic, cold-pressed coconut oil – a natural anti-fungal – and seasoned my dishes with as much onion and garlic as I wanted. (Candida hates pungent herbs and spices)

I stayed away from any form of sugar (including unprocessed sugars like maple syrup and fruit), alcohol of any kind and starchy/carby vegetables like potatoes and many types of squashes. I don’t actually drink alcohol myself, but I do sometimes drink kombucha.

I did however notice flare-ups in my digestive issues when I drank too much kombucha, so I avoided that as well. I actually haven’t consumed it much since – I feel way better overall when I don’t drink it.

There are plenty of sources online covering Candida diets, but I saw a major decline in yeast while still eating several of the “No-No” foods many Candida diets discourage, such as fermented veggies and yogurts, mushrooms and certain low-carb veggies like spaghetti squash.

As I mentioned earlier, I also followed a vegan diet on this protocol. If you aren’t plant-based or vegan, I would highly recommend cutting out dairy while you’re on any Candida diet, as it can be highly inflammatory for many people.

Bottom line, I encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinions based on the studies/evidence you find.

One of the worst things you can do for healing success is to follow any one unqualified person’s advice (this includes myself) to a T.

One of the most helpful techniques I learned was to practice self-love whenever I felt down about my situation or started seriously craving carbs.

I indulged in several large cups of matcha or hot tea daily, with creamy, sugar-free, home-made almond milk.

I made delicious sugar-free treats that I could feel good about. (I have plenty of awesome sugar-free recipes on my Instagram and on here, so definitely check those out if you’re interested)

I spent time doing yoga and taking care of my body with longer showers, face masks and hair treatments. I also made sure to drink plenty of filtered or spring water with lemon to flush out toxins and keep my body functioning optimally while dealing with any Candida die-off.

*Pure coconut charcoal can also help improve die-off symptoms, but make sure to take it away from food or other supplements as it can absorb good things as well as bad things.*

I coaxed myself into feeling excited to try out new recipes and seeing how close I could make my Candida friendly treats to the “real thing”, rather than feeling restricted.

Anyway, if any of this resonates with you or you’re having any of the health issues I did, it might be time to consider a Candida cleanse!

As always, please speak to your medical professional before going on any strict diet or cleanse, and especially before taking any herbs, supplements etc.

And if you have any questions, my Instagram DM’s and e-mail are always open!

Peace & Healing,

xoxo – Mackenna

Good Morning Matcha Latte

Ahh, matcha.

Some mornings, it’s literally a life saver.

Whenever I start my day with a warm, comforting matcha latte, I can just feel the Green Tea gods shining down upon me:

“You’re going to have a good day today, Mackenna, we’ll make sure of it.”

Thank you, matcha.

If you’re a fan of matcha, you know what I’m talking about.

It has gentle, slow-releasing energy that doesn’t end with the same crash as coffee.

Though I love the taste of coffee, it’s always made me anxious and jittery, so I don’t drink it.

If you drink matcha all day like I do, you might also be a matcha snob.

I always try to use organic, grade-A matcha for my lattes, not only because it tastes better, but because it’s often tested for heavy metals and pesticide residues.

Matcha green tea is an antioxidant bomb, and may actually contain cancer fighting compounds.

Matcha originated in Japan, and has been consumed for centuries as a frothy tea.

It’s made from grinding green tea into a fine powder.

Matcha tea is very high in an antioxidant called theanine, which is also believed to attribute to the rich, deep flavor matcha tea has.

You can use any type of milk you like for this recipe, but I usually like to use almond milk.

One cool thing about matcha is that it’s so versatile!

You can add tonic herbs, different flavors like rose, cinnamon or vanilla, or add it to milkshakes, ice cream and desserts.

This recipe is perfect for mornings, especially when a busy day awaits.

I included ashitaba in this recipe, which is an amazing herb – especially for vegans – due to its blood building and nourishing properties.

It also aids in regulating metabolism, supports the immune system and promotes proper digestive function.

It also has a grassy, mild flavor that pairs nicely with matcha.

Ingredients:

12 oz raw almond milk
1 tsp matcha tea powder
1/2 tsp ashitaba powder
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk on low heat until just steaming.
  2. Add to a blender with the matcha, ashitaba and maple syrup.
  3. Blend until super smooth. (Alternatively, if you have a high speed blender, you can heat the latte in the blender by blending it on high until warm – about 2-3 minutes. This keeps the recipe raw as well.)
  4. Pour into your favorite mug.

Enjoy! ❤



Raw Almond Mylk

I’m a huge almond milk fan.

When it comes to non-dairy milks, my body is happiest when I drink almond milk.

Almonds are an amazing beauty food, and are abundant in antioxidants including skin-loving Vitamin E.

They’re high in the anti-stress mineral magnesium, as well as bone-building manganese.

Almond milk is my favorite choice for making my morning matcha latte, especially considering almonds sit so well in my stomach.

When I became plant-based, I was shocked at all the strange ingredients store-bought almond milks had.

Gums, stabilizers, oils, fillers and….

So. Much. Added. Sugar!!

Plus, the ones that were organic, had the cleanest ingredients and tasted the best were often up to $11 a bottle.

I don’t have a problem with spending extra money for higher quality, healthier products, but when the ingredients are just almonds and water I would rather make my own.

Plus, home-made is so much better!

The only investment you need to make is a good quality nut milk bag.

I say good quality because some nut milk bags, particularly the super cheap ones, are not fine enough to filter out all the nut pulp from the milk.

I’ve ended up with way too many gritty almond milks because of a crummy nut milk bag.

When you buy one, hold it up to the light. It should be very finely woven, and you should not be able to see through it.

I’m talking almost like trying to look through a piece of fabric.

Even if you don’t have the best blender in the world, a good nut milk bag will give you smooth and creamy almond milk.

Save the almond pulp!

You can use it in baking, skincare, raw recipes, oatmeal and more.

It’s great stuff, and it freezes wonderfully.

As far as soaking goes, if you have a standard blender I would highly recommend soaking your almonds for 8-12 hours before making the milk.

If you have a Vitamix or similar, you don’t have to soak them, but it helps soften the almonds, increases bioavailability and makes them easier to digest.

This recipe is best within the first 3 days of making it.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw almonds
5 to 6 cups filtered or spring water (use less water for a thicker milk)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend everything together in a blender on high speed for about 60 seconds.
  2. Pour the milk through your nut milk bag into a large bowl.
  3. Squeeze until all the milk has left the almond pulp inside the bag, and the pulp is dry.
  4. Pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
  5. You can store the almond pulp in a ziplock bag in the freezer for later use if you wish.

Enjoy! ❤

Creamy No-Fried Beans

From the time I was five to the moment I decided to be a vegetarian at age twelve I was addicted to Taco Bell.

My mom and I (also an ex-Taco Bell junky) would often stop there for dinner after she picked me up from staying with my dad in Sacramento.

While I wasn’t picky about which gooey, cheese-smothered, red sauce-drenched delicacy I was going to chow down on, I did have a few favorites:

Their Seasoned Red Rice, nacho cheese dip, the legendary “Enchirito”, and the joy de vivre of Taco Bell:

Their re-fried beans.

Anything that was on the menu that contained those beans, I was all in.

As I became more health-conscious, my love for re-fried beans evolved.

I was soon a huge fan of Amy’s organic re-fried beans.

I digress.

To this day I still love re-fried beans, but I would much rather have a just-as-satisfying raw vegan version.

I think there’s a misnomer that raw food can’t be heavy, comforting or full of hearty flavors and robust spices.

One of my main goals in starting this blog was to show the world that raw vegan junk food is real.

And I eat it.

A lot.

These no-fried beans are extremely satisfying, filling and versatile.

You can put them in raw tacos or burritos, pair them with raw Mexican “rice”, use them as a dip for chips or veggies, or eat them like I do:

Topped with fresh avocado and chunky salsa fresca.

Plus, they have a hearty amount of secret raw veggies, making this a great recipe to feed picky kids.

The best part?

They only take about 10 minutes to make!

This recipe makes about 4 servings, and can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup yellow or green zucchini
4 to 5 sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated in warm water or packed in olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tbsp chickpea miso paste 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp tamari 
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
1/4 smoked sea salt (optional) sub with regular sea salt if unavailable
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
1-2 tbsp filtered or spring water to blend

Directions:

  1. Add sunflower seeds to a food processor and grind until a gritty paste is achieved.
  2. Add zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper and miso paste and continue to process into a paste, scraping down the sides.
  3. Add in all the remaining ingredients and continue to process into a creamy “re-fried beans” consistency, adding water a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  4. Taste with a spoon and adjust seasonings if you’d like.
  5. Dish up and top with avocado, salsa fresca and chopped cilantro!

Enjoy! ❤


Sugar-Free Mango Cardamom Chia Pudding

Chia puddings have always been my favorite go-to breakfast (or dessert) recipe.

I remember when I was about seven, I thought chia seed gel tasted (and looked) just like what I imagined frog eggs to taste like… but I still ate them.

Kids are weird.

Chia puddings are so easy to make and taste amazing – plus they’re loaded with nutritional benefits.

Chia seeds are one of my favorite “superfoods” of all time!

They’re chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, functional protein, soothing fiber and antioxidants.

In fact, chia seeds are one of the foods that I credit to helping my gut health improve in leaps and bounds.

Because of their high fiber content, they help to keep you full for a longer time without weighing you down, and are the perfect pre or post-workout snack.

Since chia seeds don’t have much taste to them, it’s easy to get creative with flavors for your puddings.

I’m a huge fan of cardamom, so I wanted to make a spin-off on a mango lassi – in pudding form!

Chia puddings tend to be similar in texture to tapioca pudding, but if you want a smoother texture you can actually blend the chia seeds into the mango cashew cream as well.

They’ll still “bloom” and form a sort of gel, so just let it sit in the fridge as normal before enjoying.

Another thing to note about this recipe is the type of mango you’re using.

Since we’ll be blending the mangoes, it doesn’t much matter if it’s a “good mango” – as long as it’s ripe, it’s totally fine.

There are two main types of mango available in most areas of the United States:

The Tommy Atkins Mango (or very similar)

And the Ataulfo Mango (or very similar)

Both will work wonderfully in this recipe, but keep in mind that the Ataulfo and similar mangoes are much smaller than the Tommy mango.

If you’re opting for Ataulfo, I would use two.

Let’s jump in!

Ingredients:

2 small Ataulfo mangoes OR 1 large Tommy Atkins mango (or similar)
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in filtered water overnight
1/2 cup chia seeds 
2 cups filtered or spring water
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/8 tsp monk fruit OR 1 tbsp maple syrup OR 4 pitted medjool dates
1/4 tsp cardamom 
1 tbsp coconut MCT oil (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt 

Directions:

  1. Blend cashews with water, sea salt, vanilla, cardamom and sweetener.
  2. Cut mangos into small chunks and add to the cashew cream.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into a large bowl, and add chia seeds.
  5. Mix until well-combined.
  6. Cover chia pudding and put it into the fridge for about 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to make sure the seeds don’t gel at the bottom.

Enjoy! ❤

Chia Later (-;

Creamy Cashew Mylk

As far as flavor, creaminess and versatility, cashew milk is probably my favorite non-dairy milk alternative.

While cashews are a little heavier and more difficult for your digestive system to process, I notice that when I blend them into milks or sauces, I have a much easier time with them.

Cashews are actually not nuts, but a seed harvested from a variety of fruit called a “Cashew Apple”, which is native to Brazil.

While we will be using “raw” cashews for this recipe, take note that all cashews sold in stores have been steamed to remove harmful compounds found in truly raw cashews.

Cashews aren’t my top choice of nut in terms of overall digestibility, but they actually contain a ton of nutrients, healthy fats and protein.

They’re extremely high in copper, which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood and bones.

They also have high amounts of magnesium, the “anti-stress” mineral; vitamin E, a skin-loving antioxidant; manganese, a metabolism booster; and oleic acid, a healthy omega fatty acid.

So to sum it up, cashews are kind of a major superfood – just stick to the ones sold at the grocery store.

Because this milk recipe is rich with glorious, creamy cashew nuts, it’s perfect for making lattes, adding to coffee or tea, making chia puddings, baking, and adding creaminess to smoothies and “mylkshakes”.

If you have a friend, co-worker or family member who thinks they don’t like non-dairy milks, give them this one.

Probably my favorite thing about this milk recipe is you don’t actually need to use a nut milk bag.

The raw cashews break down to a smooth consistency in any high-speed blender. This also helps make it a heartier, more filling and protein-rich nut milk option.

Which for me, is a godsend, as I tend to be lazy when it comes to making nut milks. But there is such a difference between homemade and store bought nut milks, it’s so worth it in the end.

You also don’t have to soak your cashews, but it will help with consistency – especially if you don’t have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.

This recipe will make you about 6 cups of cashew milk, which turns out to be quite a lot. I like to share mine with friends and family, because it’s such a crowd-pleaser!

With refrigeration it should last up to about 4 days in the fridge.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
6 cups filtered or spring water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 pitted medjool dates (optional)
1/8 tsp sea salt 

Directions:

  1. If you’re soaking your cashews, let them soak in three cups of filtered water, in an airtight container (in the fridge) for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews before adding to the blender.
  3. Add everything to a high speed blender.
  4. Blend on high for about 3 minutes, or until the outside of the blender becomes a tiny bit warm.
  5. Pour into a mason jar or reusable container.

Enjoy! ❤

Raw Vegan Sugar-Free Cinnamon Apple Crepes with Probiotic Pecan Cream

This raw vegan dish totally highlights the amazing honeycrisp apples I found at the health food store 

It’s sweet, creamy, cinnamon-y, and the crepes are soooo tender and soft (and the best part is, I used pre-made coconut wraps to make them!)

If you’re a fan of anything sweet and breakfast-y, you’ll love these.

These crepes make the perfect dessert, as well. Especially for anyone with sugar-sensitivities! 

I myself have a very low tolerance for fructose, meaning I can’t really eat very many fruits or I’ll bloat up like nobody’s business.

If you don’t already know this, I have been dealing with Candida overgrowth in my digestive tract off and on, so fruit doesn’t sit with me so well.

The few fruits I tolerate are most types of berries, certain types of melon and apples.

Luckily, I love all those things.

While I don’t consume any fruit besides berries often, once in a while I love adding apples to raw recipes because of their amazing fiber content!

Apples actually contain a soluble fiber called “pectin”. 

Pectin helps your body detoxify, and scrubs the colon clean of old waste material.

Apples also contain loads of minerals and nutrients. They contain a surprising amount of vitamin C, and a high amount of potassium. 

Apples are made up of mostly water (like most fruits), making them very hydrating and cleansing.

This recipe is also topped with a probiotic pecan & cashew cream.

I try to add probiotics to almost every dessert recipe I make. 

Apples are also an amazing prebiotic food, meaning the good bacteria in your gut love to feed off of them.

So by adding probiotics to this recipe, you’re not only adding more friendly bacteria to your digestive tract, but also giving them a meal to keep them happy.

The probiotics are, of course, totally optional, and you’re welcome to sub the apples for any other fruit you like.

(I’m thinking a blackberry or strawberry crepe would be to die for.)

Anyway, let’s get on to the recipe.

*makes about 5 servings*

Ingredients:

Crepes:

1 package Cinnamon Coconut Wraps (Plain will work just fine if you can’t find cinnamon)

Cinnamon Apple Filling:

4 honeycrisp apples
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla bean
1/8 tsp organic monk fruit 
1 pinch sea salt 
1 tbsp coconut MCT oil or coconut oil

Probiotic Pecan Cream:

1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup raw pecans
2 cups raw cashews 
1/8 tsp vanilla bean 
1/8 tsp monk fruit 
Contents of 2 probiotic capsules
1 pinch sea salt 

Directions:

  1. Finely dice the apples and mix well with the rest of the filling ingredients.
  2. Spread evenly onto a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115° for 45 minutes, or until soft.
  3. In the meantime, blend pecan cream ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
  4. Line 4 coconut wraps on a dehydrator sheet, and spread 1 tbsp pecan cream evenly onto the surface of each wrap. 
  5. Place wraps in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 110° for about 5-7 minutes, or until warm, soft and pliable. 
  6. Remove cinnamon apples from the dehydrator, and mix in 3-4 tbsp of the pecan cream. 
  7. Scoop 1/4 cup cinnamon apple mixture onto a wrap, and roll it up tight, like a crepe!
  8. You can dehydrate these again for a few minutes to re-warm them.
  9. Top with a dollop of pecan cream and sprinkle with chopped pecan nuts and cinnamon!

Enjoy ❤

My Experience on the Vegan Keto Diet

In the past two years or so, there has been one diet planting its flag on the planet of fitness and weight loss:

The Ketogenic diet.

What is the “keto” diet?

It’s basically a diet that heavily restricts carbohydrate consumption, and replaces them with fat, plus moderate amounts of protein.

No fruits, no grains, no high-carb plant foods (such as potatoes).

This “trains” the body’s metabolism to burn fat instead of carbs.

This metabolic state is called “ketosis“.

While I am by no means a huge fan of “fad diets”, this one caught my interest, especially since my partner in crime owns a sugar-free chocolate company. (I’ll link his website here for anyone who’s interested)

The idea of a low-carbohydrate, zero-sugar diet sounded like a great idea for anyone (me) struggling with a sugar addiction, Candida, brain fog, digestive issues or some other sugar-related problem. 

I was already aware of the issues that sugar can cause on the human body, but there had never been a label for a diet free of this addictive, drug-like edible substance until now.

It was the first fad diet I’d heard of that didn’t sound like it was complete hogwash invented by some “nutrition guru” who was being channeled by demons of incorrect food restriction. 

Until I started scrolling through some of the “keto” hashtags on Instagram.

I soon found out that most of the people who were following this ketogenic diet were eating primarily, if not entirely, animal products… and I don’t mean grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic meat from their local butcher.

I’m talking big name meat and dairy companies – factory farmed, antibiotic-filled, hormone-laden, GMO grain-fed animal products that, in my opinion, shouldn’t ever be on the table of any health conscious individual, even in small quantities.

Some of these people were actually eating entire sticks of butter.

Let that one sink in.

I could cite dozens of articles on why eating these types of animal products this frequently can cause all types of health issues from arthritis to heart disease, but it only takes a quick google search to see for yourself. 

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re either already well versed in the plant-based diet, or – at the very least – have heard it buzzing around the mouths of hipsters for the past few years. (No shade to hipsters. Love y’all.)

I’m not saying everyone who’s following the ketogenic diet is doing it wrong, but I became increasingly weary the further I scrolled.

While many of these folks did seem to be successfully losing extra weight, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy way to eat – if you catch my drift. 

When I see plate after plate full of pink, brown & varied shades of beige, I become a tad alarmed.

(In case you’re wondering, it is totally possible – often encouraged – to follow a ketogenic diet without a totally carnivore-based eating style. Even popular keto diet gurus like Thomas DeLauer have talked about this.)

Now of course, I do have a small bias:

I’m an ethical “bee-gan” (I do indulge in the occasional teaspoon of raw organic honey) and have been for years.

That being said, I do believe that for some, animal products such as eggs or raw dairy can be tremendously healing – when eaten under the right circumstances, from the right sources, and in the right quantities. 

Bias disclaimer aside, let’s get to the part where I decide to try keto on a vegan diet!

To give you a bit of backstory on why I wanted to give this a shot, I’ve been struggling with a little bit (lol) of a sugar addiction, as well as Candida Albicans overgrowth for the past two years or so. 

I figured that the ketogenic diet was the perfect experiment for my situation. 

Day one was easy peasy. I felt pretty normal. I’ve always steered clear of most grains and processed sugars, so it felt like a relatively normal day of eating.

After only two days of cutting out all sugars and severely cutting my carbs, I felt pretty great. 

Around day three, my sugar cravings were in full effect. I was desperate for sugar – any kind of sugar.

I was using loads of stevia and eating a ton of sugar-free desserts to satisfy the “sweet flavor” side of my addiction. 

But alas, the stubborn bacteria in my tummy knew the difference between stevia and maple syrup, and I had a hard time feeling satisfied from my keto treats – though they were delicious

I would desperately try to make up any excuse for why I should have that vegan, gluten-free cookie at the grocery store, or why having just a teaspoon of honey in my tea was perfectly acceptable.

Speaking of tea, here’s some “tea” that might peak your interest:

According to NIH (National Institutes of Health) microorganisms actually outnumber your human cells 10:1

Yep.

“Ok Mackenna, that’s kind of creepy, but what does that have to do with the ketogenic diet?”

Well, if you’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat”, you already know!

The microorganisms and bacteria living in your body get hungry too.

And if you’ve been feeding them sugar and carbohydrates for any length of time, that’s what they want.

To get a little sci-fi on you, they actually tell you what you want. If you’re harboring bacteria that crave processed foods and sugars, that’s what they’re going to communicate to your brain.

I’ll link a study for you on this here.

So, around day five was when I stopped seriously craving sugar. 

Did it still sound good? 

Yes.

But it was surprisingly easy to avoid.

Around week two – yes, it took me that long – I didn’t even think about sugar. A nightly cup of unsweetened herbal tea with almond milk did the trick for me, and I felt comforted and satiated from it.

Week two was also when I started noticing serious changes in my skin. 

When I was eating a higher carbohydrate diet, I would break out in bi-weekly rashes all over my face and mouth, and had acne frequently.

After cutting out sugar and carbs for two weeks, my skin was much more even-toned, and my acne decreased significantly.

My digestion was better than it had been in months, I had more energy and I felt like I could eat only savory foods for the rest of my life and be totally stoked about it.

Of course, all good things must come to an end. (Not really, but I tell myself that to feel better about my lack of self-control in certain situations.)

I broke my keto vegan diet on week five when the holidays rolled around…. 

And it wasn’t even that satisfying.

But of course, the carb cravings immediately returned with a vengeance after my holiday indulgences.

I have since regained my strength and willpower and am excited to say that I’m currently back on my favorite diet of all time: The Raw Food diet. 

I’ll write about why I love raw food so much another time, and my experience eating only uncooked plants.

But I digress.

If someone were to ask if I recommend the vegan keto diet, I would say absolutely. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to new recipes, help cleanse the body, kickstart your body into healing from sugar-related illnesses, re-set your metabolism to burn fat, and kick cravings right in the butt.

It really helped me re-gain control over my body, gave me glowing skin, more energy and better sleep.

Here’s what I did to help keep me on track and make the vegan keto diet a little easier:

  • I ate loads of fat. I mean LOADS. I was pouring cold-pressed olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, coconut and MCT oil on all my meals, chowing down on raw nuts and seeds, and having as much avocado and high-fat, raw, sugar-free vegan cheesecake as I wanted. Hehe.
  • I made keto vegan desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth throughout the week. There are tons of recipes online for delicious keto vegan desserts, and I have some awesome ones as well. (Of course they’re awesome, I made them. *wink*)
  • I made sure to eat a wide array of nutrient-dense, fiber-rich vegetables – particularly hearty greens like kale. 
  • I ate larger meals, and tried not to snack throughout the day. I usually opted to fast through breakfast with an MCT oil drink of some kind (usually a matcha latte).
  • I drank several large almond milk matcha lattes per day. (I wouldn’t recommend this much caffeine, but I am a serious matcha addict. If hot drinks comfort you as well, I would recommend opting for a keto hot cocoa or hot herbal tea later in the day).

So there you have it!

My final thoughts on the keto vegan diet?

Totally doable, but if you aren’t already vegan or keto, I would say try one or the other for a month or two first, to dip a metaphorical toe in the water of diet theories.

As far as sustainability goes, I would give this diet a 7/10.

I love that it’s zero sugar, and that it’s a multi-use tool for more than just weight loss.

I do think, especially for vegans, that eating complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, buckwheat, quinoa, and certain fruits now and then can help to keep things varied, balanced and interesting.

I want to end this off by saying that I don’t necessarily think any ONE diet is going to work for everyone

But if you want to give the vegan keto diet a shot, I would encourage you to do so!*

And if it doesn’t work for you, it definitely isn’t the only road to feeling amazing in the magical home you call your body.

Peace & healing,

xoxo – Mackenna

*As always, speak to your healthcare professional before embarking on any rather restrictive diet journey.

Welcome!

Hi there, new friend!

This is where I will be posting vegan, gluten-free, paleo, keto, and raw food recipes, my personal research and experiences, tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy plant-based lifestyle, and sharing my own healing journey.

Before I give you a brief overview on my history struggling with dis-ease, I’ll begin by mentioning that my goal is to provide information that I believe will help people overcome their own dis-eases – regardless of what I’ve gone through. 

If something that I’ve gone through resonates with you, that’s awesome! (Well, not really, but you know what I mean. Feeling like you’re not alone in your struggles can really help.)

When I was a young teenager, I had acne. Nothing like what some teens experience, but not great either.

(I’ll make a separate post about my skin journey soon.)

Because my acne affected my confidence and self-image so severely, I went on antibiotics to kill the bacteria that was causing my acne.

To sum it up, it kinda worked.

But it wasn’t enough to satisfy my desire for perfectly clear, glowing skin.

So, I went on the pill.

This helped a lot, and also gave me some relief from my chronic dysmenorrhea (debilitating menstrual pain). 

(A separate post to come on this topic as well.)

It didn’t take me long to feel the toll my body was taking from these foreign chemicals and antibiotics I’d been ingesting.

My hormones went full-on crazy, my digestive system was sick and out of balance, my skin went back to breaking out and I started getting horrible rashes on my face.

I became severely depressed, borderline suicidal, exhausted and unmotivated. 

I went to doctors, dermatologists, naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, therapists and counselors.

Nothing worked for me.

I felt so alone….

I just wanted something – anything – to work for me.
It wasn’t until after I graduated high school that I started feeling better.

I had been watching girls on YouTube eating diets high in raw foods, practicing self-love and seemingly living their best lives.

I met my partner, Jonathan, shortly after, who helped me transition to a completely raw vegan diet, and introduced me to key supplements that I’d never taken in my years of being plant-based (such as B-12).

While I still haven’t fully healed, I’ve gained a serious grip on my dis-ease, and I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge that I want to share with others struggling to find the right information like I did.

The truth shouldn’t be as difficult to find as it is.

With the vastness of the internet, controversy of social media, confusion of hearsay and biases of friends and family, it can be next to impossible to nail down what you truly need to heal your one true celestial home – your body. 

I’m excited to share my healing journey with you, and I invite you to learn and grow alongside me.

On this blog, I will be sharing my blunt and honest opinions on the topic of health and nutrition. I do not want to compromise what I’ve learned for the sake of not offending anyone! This would be doing everyone reading my posts a huge disservice.

I also want to remain open-minded, eager to learn, and continue to experiment and research on my own time; and to share anything I may be wrong or change my mind about, so as not to mislead any of you.

If this sounds like a blog you might be interested in, all you have to do is come along 

Peace, love & healing,

xoxo – Mackenna