You’ve probably noticed that I’ve started posting more recipes involving fruit and (unrefined) sugar. I am so excited to be able to eat fruit again after quite a few months on a strict Anti-Candida regime. I thought I would recap my experience, and leave you with a few tips on how I got rid of the yeastie beast. I must admit, it IS a struggle to maintain such a diet being vegan – I had to supplement with protein powder to meet my nutritional needs, and I probably ate way too many beans/legumes according to ACD “purists” but obviously, my plan worked for ME, which is the main thing.
As always, take what I say with a grain of salt – I am in no way a medical professional, and this worked for ME – it may not work for YOU. Every body is different.
My Army of Anti-Candida-Soldiers:
- Vitamin C – I mentioned the benefits in this post. Vitamin is excellent for stress, and if you are suffering from a Candida overgrowth, your body is under stress. The prospect on having to go on a major cleanse-programme can be stressful in itself, so give yourself the best start possible, and start getting some decent quantities of this vitamin in your system. I was taking more than 10o0mg per day, but please consult your healthcare professional before embarking on any new supplement regime.
- Probiotics – goes without saying, really. You need MORE good bacteria to counteract the overgrowth of nasties in your digestive system. Do your research as some brands are more potent than others – you need to invest in the good stuff here, it makes the world of difference.
- Nettle Tea – high in iron and a general blood toner, nettle is always a constant in my drinks regime – candida or no candida. I reckon it’s particularly important if you struggle with low iron/energy. A great pick me up for body AND mind.
- Pau D’arco herbal tea. This inner bark of an Amazonian tree is a powerful Candida-killer…. I was (trying) to drink up to a litre a day of the stuff. Chilled with some fresh ginger is really nice.
- Garlic – a very powerful anti-Candida option… you could take garlic tablets, but I prefer the real deal. Let’s just say I eat a LOT of garlic, and yes, I repel vampires (and probably most people due to my pungent aroma, oh well).
- Dandelion root “coffee” – most Anti-Candida material will advise to cut down, if not OUT, caffeine. I cut my intake back to 1 cup a day. I mean, I had my mental health to think about, and some (most) days that single cup of coffee is enough to get me out of bed and motivated for the day. So no, I wasn’t going to cut out the naughty bean completely. For those times I wanted the experience of a coffee I had a dandelion root “coffee – sometimes it’s all in your head.
- Cultured foods – coconut milk kefir and tempeh to be exact. The jury is still out on whether kombucha hinders or helps the process, so I avoided it to be on the safe side. I DID eat a lot of sauerkraut, but I have since discovered that cabbage doesn’t agree with me – it just added to my stomach discomfort. Apple cider vinegar is the only type of vinegar allowed – make sure you get a naturally fermented one that includes the “mother” – use in salad dressings, or drink in some warm water with a touch of stevia.
- Stevia. I love sweets – I would not have survived this cleanse without stevia. It’s a lifesaver, seriously. All steiva is not created equally, there are the good, and the down right disgusting. The brand I use is not available in Australia, but I get it through iherb.com (really reasonable shipping) – it’s delicious stuff, with no weird bitter after taste. Here are a few of my favourite stevia-sweet-treat recipes:
- Coconut Oil. I’m addicted to this stuff. If this regime has taught me anything, it’s that coconut oil is amazing stuff. From oil pulling (don’t knock it to you try it) to baking to general moisturising goodness, this stuff does it all.
- Eat your greens – this may seem a bit trivial, but leafy greens can really help in this battle. The fibre helps fill you up, as does amping up your healthy fat and protein intake. By limiting sugar and starchy carbohydrates, you are essentially starving the yeast of it’s main food source. Fats and protein at every meal help satisfy and diminish those sweet cravings – think avocado, tahini, hemp seeds, tempeh, tofu, small amounts of beans/legumes, coconut oil, nut butters.
- Yoga/de-stressing activity. Stress doesn’t help anyone or anything. If you are stressed out, your body will not be able to concentrate on healing it’s issues within. Find an activity (I suggest yoga, but I know it’s not everyone’s favourite) that really lets you relax – meditating, a long walk at the beach, dancing, a hot bath – whatever it is, make sure you include this in your regime. I went with yoga, and I found that by just including a mere 20 minutes into my day (I call these yoga “snacks”) it really helped both energise my body, and calm my mind. Physical healing relies on mental calm in my opinion.
Try to keep in mind – with Candida, it usually gets worse before it gets better. You will probably go through a “die-off” period if you are cleansing correctly. It’s hideous (flu-like symptoms/rash) but should only last a few days. Keep positive and think of it as an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and come up with NEW favourite dishes. If you focus on all the stuff you CAN”T have, it’s adding negative thoughts to the process, which nobody benefits from.
Thoughts? Have you experienced candida? Any tips you could add to my list?