I didn't start creating new flavors with whole foods until I was diagnosed with chronic candida. I ended up with candida from too many antibiotics, steroids, and other medications that were intended to heal me from chronic health issues. The interesting thing is that I never had candida symptoms—I simply had chronic muscle pain.

It took me almost eight years to figure out that the muscle pain was caused by yeast in my gut because doctors didn't realize it. Candida can be very tricky, and it’s key to make sure you’re not eating added sugar if you think you may have candida or a suppressed immune system. Once I finally found the right doctors, things started to click and I knew what I needed to do.

I had to cut out sugar and many other foods because my immune system was compromised, and sugary foods are inflammatory and aggravated all my symptoms. I noticed that almost all salad dressings were loaded with added sugar, and so were my favorite condiments like salsa.

When I finally got rid of my candida for good, I started adding in flavorful, whole foods like freshly squeezed orange juice, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice to my salads for a quick and easy salad dressing.

Here’s a fun recipe for spring that doesn’t include added sugar—just natural sweetness from citrus that’s sure to keep your microbiome and your immune system happy!

Spring Green Bean & Pear Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing

Photo credit: @thehealthyapple

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green beans
  • 2 large pears, large diced
  • 1 cup yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • 4 tablespoons warm water, plus more if needed
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Steam the green beans in a large steamer basket on the stovetop for 5 minutes or until they are bright green and crisp, not soggy. Rinse them under cold water and dry them off.

2. Transfer the beans to a large serving dish, top with tomatoes, cabbage, scallions, basil, and sesame seeds.

3. In a small bowl, combine the tahini, water, orange juice, garlic, and sea salt and pepper; mix well to combine. Add more water, if needed, for a thinner dressing. Pour over the salad and serve immediately.


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