Don’t let cravings and illness keep you from your health goals. Check out this encounter and recovery from candida.
After seriously sliding off the health-food wagon and trying to convince myself that ice cream was both plant-based and sugar-free, my stomach started making strange noises and causing me to run to the bathroom at the most irritating moments.
Sadly I was hooked on sugar again. I didn’t even see the signs. And once I started, I was off—cereal, cookies, chocolate, cakes, sweets—I crammed everything in with the idea that it was a one off, but it wasn’t. The one offs were every day, and my willpower was down. Oh the shame!
When the infections came in, it was the kick up the bum I needed. Time to ditch the junk again and clean up my diet. I swapped regular chocolate for raw, coconut- sweetened chocolate, ice cream for cashew cream with agave, and consumed tons of bananas with cacao nibs and raw goodies. Still no change.
I knew it was time to toughen up, and I read about the diet that was going to change my more casual approach to healthy eating. The anti-candida diet.
Candida & Causes
First let me start by explaining what candida is. Basically candida, or Candida albicans as it is known to its friends, is a type of yeast usually present in the body, helping with digestion.
However, when there is an overgrowth and the candida releases toxins, problems start to emerge. From migraines to nail fungus, fatigue to eczema, candida overgrowth can leave you feeling a little rough. Other symptoms include asthma, low body temperature, cravings, digestive problems, autoimmune diseases, difficulty concentrating, oral or vaginal infections, and mood swings or depression.
It’s astounding that yeast can create such trouble in so many different forms!
We know that diet and lifestyle choices can create this imbalance, which is fairly good news as it means we have a shot at trying to repair the damage! It’s been found that the following are contenders in the lead up to the overgrowth:
- A diet of refined carbs and sugar
- Consumption of alcohol
- The contraceptive pill
- Taking antibiotics
While there are lots of expensive tests you can do, like a stool or blood test, I decided to opt for a quick-and-easy version of spitting into a cup of water. Yup, you heard me. For this, all you need to do is half fill a cup with water then spit into it as soon as you wake up in the morning (no drinking, eating, or brushing those teeth first!). Watch the glass over the course of 45 minutes, and if the spit floats, you’re good; if it grows legs, then you may have signs of candida; and if it sinks, then you may want to embark on a little cleanse. Needless to say, mine sunk within the first eight minutes. Great.
So to treat this little “gift” you need to stop the overgrowth and heal the gut!
Say Goodbye to Sugar and Naturally Sweet Foods
In short, sugar in all forms needs to leave, as candida loves it. Whenever you put that cookie in your mouth or even a banana, the yeast has a little party, and leaves you with the hangover.
So I’ve said goodbye to my favorite foods, and even my berries initially, and stuck to sweetening things with root vegetables and stevia (stevia has become my new best friend).
Say Ciao to Conventional, Glutinous Carbs and Actual Yeast
Sorry, it’s this bit that no one wants to hear: the traditional carbs have got to go. “Wheat, oats, barley, and rye, these are the things that make me cry,” I sing to myself whenever I get lost in a world of grains. These bad boys are the ones most likely to upset the balance in your body since candida loves them, but the good news is that there are still tons of options! Quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, and brown rice are still golden, but try to only have these once a day.
Manage those Stress Levels
Yup, this is the thing that probably caused it all for me: stress. Committing to five minutes of meditation and deep breathing every morning is non-negotiable, and I’ve even taken out my yoga mat for a little light stretching. Hearing that pets are also amazing for lowering cortisol levels, I’m back to pestering the husband for a dog! Exercise too can have a superb calming influence, and if all else fails, changing your perception of stress is where it’s at!
Get Some Natural Remedies In
Garlic, garlic, and more garlic is the running theme through this diet, together with coconut and psyllium husks. Coconut contains a powerful antifungal called caprylic acid, garlic is a natural antibiotic, and psyllium is a plant fiber that helps pull all the bad stuff out your system. Get those into your regimen, and after a few months you should be laughing (if not stinking the room out…).
Candida can tend to wreak havoc with your intestines and create a bit of mild inflammation, so eliminating the gluten and adding anti-inflammatories like coconut, flaxseeds, and turmeric may help the healing.
Get More of those Good Guys in Your Gut
Having a healthy amount of beneficial bacteria in your tummy is the key for fighting off toxins, fungi, and other nasties. When you clear out the candida overgrowth, it’s essential to get those good guys back in. Probiotics will be your new friends so get them in daily!
Make a Morning Brew of ACV
That’s apple cider vinegar if you were wondering. Yes, it will taste like a massive mistake, but actually one teaspoon in a glass of water first thing in the morning helps kick-start that digestion and neutralise acid in the system. See it as your morning medicine!
Eat All the Good Stuff
While there’s a lot of stuff you really need to avoid, there’s also loads you can get your teeth into, quite literally. Fill up on veggies (except mushrooms since they’re a fungus themselves, and potatoes as they’re pretty starchy). Sprout anything you can get your hands on, including nuts and seeds. And eat beans and legumes, drink green juice (especially fresh cabbage juice), munch on seaweeds, and get your sweet fix from carob, stevia, and coconut brownies.
Personally, in the short amount of time I’ve been trying this diet out, I feel much more in control of my cravings again and am filled with a huge sense of optimism! Using amazing recipe books, I’m working my way through flax and coconut pancakes, carob brownies, and delicious cauliflower and garlic soups. While I thought this would be a bit bland and extremely painful to do, I’m actually enjoying experimenting with loads of new ingredients! I can definitely feel something shifting in my tummy and body as a whole, so I’m preparing my “farewell to candida” card and balloons already!