Candida diet INTRO
With the Candida Diet, many people may experience ‘die-off’ symptoms and we understand that completely. Most of our ‘die-off’ symptoms occurred over a period of time of 2 years when we were removing gluten..then dairy..then meat.. then rice.. then eggs..then soy…then, well, you get the point. Those were also very challenging times, especially when we were juicing to deepen our ‘detox’ to heighten our ‘symptom’ awareness. I’m using these terms freely to communicate the measures we took to get our health to where it is today. We eliminated processed foods which was VERY hard, especially bread for me. I love bread and that includes all the varieties of ‘gluten-free’ bread which are ever growing.
I’ve since realized that it’s not necessarily the actual bread as it is the yeast that grows the bread and it makes total sense that our bodies aren’t really made for that particular ‘yeast’.
If you are interested in learning more about the ‘yeast’ connection, I highly recommend a book called “The Yeast Connection” by William G. Crook, M.D.
I’ll quickly go over it with you so you can understand what it’s about. First and foremost, I want to say that something that helps incredibly before doing this type of ‘diet’ is a 7-10 day juice-fast. If you can do it longer more props to you though it’s not entirely necessary and may exhaust your mental and physical capacity. Always check with your own doctor before trying any diet or detox as each body is different and requires unique attention to those individual needs. The juice fast along with eating healthier for a period of time helped us tremendously in transitioning into the anti-candida diet. There was a lot less ‘die-off’ issues felt at the time of beginning the stages of this diet at which we were able to skip phase one and jump right into phase 2. As in we don’t eat fast food, processed food, processed sugars, sugar drinks, coffee, etc. so we don’t need to ween ourselves off of that food.
Secondly, please only attempt to do this type of diet if you are serious about truly helping your body. Regardless of the diet labels or implications you can have a form of Candida even if bloodwork results test that you do not have the particular Candida Albicans. In my opinion (based off of my own research) Candida is a hard thing to label and this is because everyone has Candida. Candida in its intent is actually good for the body as it helps the body to decompose once the body has died. However, due to modern diet Candida has grown in many people causing many health issues. Again, this is a disputed condition and really not one that many can seem to agree on. That’s okay. You’ll learn that the foods you have to eat in the anti-candida regimen diet are actually foods that are pretty primitive and align with many of our ancesteral type diets. However, I wouldn’t put this in the category of say Paleo because Paleo allows for more types of foods than the Candida diet does-because we’re removing mold agents from the body as well. Food is to be at it’s utmost cleanest and healthiest form. When you are dealing with the immune system and healing the body, you don’t mess with unknown and unnecessary components such as GMO and pesticides. Even if I wasn’t eating the anti-candida diet, I wouldn’t eat GMO or pesticide food anyway. That however is a different topic for a different day and if you are interested in maybe watching an informative commercial that was advertised in Brazil, I highly recommend checking it out (yes it has subtitles).
In Chapter 11 of the (soft cover-updated) book there is an outline to the Candida Control Diet (with update).
Here is a sample of the anti-candida diet from “The Yeast Connection”:
During the early weeks: Foods you can eat freely…
Most vegetables, they can be fresh or frozen and you can eat them cooked or raw.
Asparagus, Beets (though I avoid these because they are very high in sugar), Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green Peppers, Greens: Spinach, Mustard, Beet, Collards, Kale, Lettuce-all varieties, Okra (not canned), Onions, Parsley, Radishes, Soybeans (although I personally do not recommend soy), string beans, tomatoes (not canned), Turnips (another one I don’t recommend as it’s a relatively high starch and can cause some immune system reactions).
Meats and Eggs including: Chicken, Turkey, Beef (lean cuts), Veal, Pork (lean cuts), Lamb, Wild Game, Eggs, wild Salmon, wild Sardines, wild Cod, Mackerel, seafood (I don’t recommend all types of seafood as there are higher contaminants and mercury present which can be toxic to a healing immune system and of course your liver.)
Nuts, Seeds & Oils (unprocessed): Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews (eat these less in the beginning stages as they tend to have more mold than other nuts), Filberts, Pecans, Pumpkin Seeds. Oils: Linseed, Safflower, Coconut, Sunflower, Walnut and Ghee (use in moderation).
There is also a list of foods you can ‘eat cautiously’ but we avoid completely such as ‘squash’ or ‘sweet potatoes’ they are more starchy foods and can cause some immune reactions, but they are also dependents and you should not eat these more than once a week if you do eat them after stage one.
Avoid yeast. After stage one, test your body and see how your body reacts to quinoa. Personally, that’s the only grain we eat when we eat a grain. Want a harder die-off reaction, eat more grains and starchy foods. We would like as easy of a healing process as possible, so we avoid these foods.
Avoid list: Sugar and sugar containing foods (including honey’s of all types such as Manuka honey). In the second stage you can use Yacon Syrup, however it is a lot more expensive and you will use less. It doesn’t taste like your standard sugar either and has a taste that crosses between agave and molasses.
Avoid canned and processed foods (check label, make sure no sugar in any form as been added). The way I handle this is I don’t buy canned foods and bottled foods the ingredients must say the contents inside. For example, if I’m buying tomato sauce I buy bottled organic tomatoes with the single ingredient of tomatoes.
Avoid cheeses, alcohol, condiments, breads/pastries, malt, processed or smoked meats (which all contain sugar and yeast), mushrooms (edible fungi), Melons, Coffee, fruit juices, canned or dried fruits and eat as fresh as possible.
The book offers some recipes, though I believe they still contain foods that I don’t agree with (such as wheat) and some recipe books (not necessarily the yeast connection) offer recipes which completely contradict the advice given to avoid. I make up my own recipes 95% of the time and you’ll notice that the recipes in this book are pretty much a no-brainer. Like sautéed or steamed broccoli. To me this is boring, so I use my creative talents and work on my own recipes. Some of which you’ll actually see have made it to this blog. There are many others and I’m working to post a lot of those (as soon as I find a time-stopping watch). There are also some recipes which I am keeping for my cookbook-stay tuned for that one!)
I’ll post more information on the Candida diet as I have time to write more about it. The book I mentioned above really does give you a great idea of how to go about in understanding how Yeast and Sugar work in your body to develop what they term as the “yeast connection”. Another helpful book is called “The Ultimate Candida Guide and Cookbook” by Dr. Cobi Slater. There are a great amount of facts present in this book as well as a great set up for learning how to manage candida. The author does offer supplement recommendations and of course is selling these supplements through her online store. She has some decent recipes, though most I find taste like cardboard. Also, there are a couple of contradicting ingredients (such as Diaya cheese which contains yeast) and as you could have probably guessed you are supposed to avoid yeast. The Yeast Connection has you refrain from eating yeast for 7-10 days and then has you do a yeast test. Personally I think that yeast should be avoided at all costs as you may not be able to sense the ‘symptoms’ or may test inaccurately. For example, my husband doesn’t experience any ‘yeast’ symptoms however, when we did an immune blood test it showed that the yeast was passing through his digestive tract and causing ‘immune’ response by being present in his blood. He was testing high for all forms of yeast, including nutritional yeast.
I always source from more than one book and I recommend you do the same. I have 4 books on Candida and I’ve done extensive lab research/medical research on articles relating to Candida. While a lot of the information is agreeable to the books I’ve read there are also some contradictions that I take more caution to. For example, you’ll notice right away that Apple Cider Vinegar is both recommended and not recommended. This was an obvious contradiction that I immediately recognized. Some people say that ACV is okay and ‘good’ and some say it’s not. From the research I have done, I do not believe that ACV is okay when healing the gut and candida. There are plenty of other alternatives that will help in ‘die-off’ of candida and it is not necessary for the use of ACV. There are several other contradictions, but this is just an obvious one that can be easily found if you do a quick search online. If you are planning on doing the anti-candida diet, please do your research first and second please take it seriously. This is not the Atkins diet or Jenny Craig, this is a serious attempt to heal the body. That being said, expect to make permanent changes in your diet. While the anti-candida diet is very strict it’s also a very useable foundation for you to grow your food repertoire. For example, I don’t recommend eating a cheeseburger when you finish your anti-candida cleanse diet. You’ll have to start small and incorporate foods that you’ll want to continue eating for the rest of your life. Consider whether or not you need to eat a cheeseburger first, then second work on what you can eat. Can you eat dairy? If you have done 6 months of healing, you’ll most likely be able to eat cheese but I recommend testing that out first. Also, keep in mind that you may or may not have ‘symptoms’ from eating that cheese. Also, I recommend starting with a cheese that’s more mild like a sheep or goat cheese. (assuming you don’t have a past history with extreme intolerances to sheep or goat cheese in particular)
Blood tests are always a great option if you are unsure. You’ll have to do this after you’ve ‘tested’ out something you are wanting to incorporate into your regimen. It needs to be in your system in order to see whether or not it’s passing through the digestive system and entering your blood. Blood tests are much more reliable but like everything else they aren’t always perfect. If you notice that you have a reaction of some sort, hives are the most obvious but phlegm is also a good indicator of a ‘symptom’ which might be passed up if you’re not familiar with reactions. Dry nose, flaky scalp, itchiness, dry mucus, coughs, etc. These are all ‘symptom’s’ of an allergic response. Some may be digestive such as feeling swollen, bloaty, having gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc. this would be a ‘digestive’ symptom. There are so many other types of reactions/symptoms that you really have to be aware of your body. If you feel different in any way, don’t write it off as just a ‘feeling’ you had that day. For example, if you are more moody, irritable, tired, fatigued, or if your memory, vision, aches or pains are noticeable you should probably make them notable and document what you ate the past day or two. Your reactions/symptoms may not be immediate. You may have them a day later a few days later, etc.
This is why the field of nutrition is so large. There is a lot to pay attention to and a lot to note as important. It’s never just cut and dry. One thing is certain though, everything is related. The body works synergistically with all the components of the body so if you’re feeling a certain way it could be based on something you ate directly or it could be an indirect response like you’re not getting enough magnesium. You may have a sudden craving that could be an indicator of something your body may ‘need’ that may seem to you like a random craving for chocolate. From my studies and research there are always implications that when there is a craving there is something deeper that’s causing that craving. Like, for most people when they get ‘hungry’ it is because they are actually ‘thirsty’. Do you see how complex healing the body can be? That’s why there are Naturopath Doctor’s (N.D.’s), Nutritional therapists, Dieticians, Nutritionist, Doctors, psychologists, etc..etc..
The body is just an amazingly awesome complexity. I believe there is a reason for western medicine doctors as there is for naturopath doctor’s. I believe that everyone should work on cleaning their body and maintaining optimal health so each person can understand why specialists are required and the specialist can better help the person in need by accurately prescribing help.
Does the world of natural medicine and western medicine find synergy and homeopathic balance themselves? Unfortunately, they don’t always mesh well together which is why it’s even more important to do your research when finding a doctor. The doctor should be open to both advanced medicine practices and homeopathic medicine alternatives. The body is not something that can easily be diagnosed. The body needs a good environment to maintain function so that when something is wrong it can get the help it demands. This could be as simple as taking a Vitamin D3 supplement or as complex as taking a Ursodial capsule to help with Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. It’s important to know the difference and educate yourself on your body. If there’s anything we can control it is what we put inside our own bodies and how we treat the health of our body. Everything else is genetics, epigenetics, and evolution- simply put but not easily translated. 🙂
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your feedback!