Just to be clear, I was already gluten-free. So for me, this was a dairy-free, sugar-free, and yeast-free diet. I embarked on this adventure to help rid my body of yeast candida. While I did not have the typical sign of a yeast infection, I was constantly battling with dark, brown spots covering my back. They would come and go, and my doctor confirmed it was a fungal infection, so I was prescribed an anti-fungal cream (vagisil). I would apply the cream to my back for a few days and the spots would disappear. A few weeks to months later they would reappear and I would have to do it all over again. Now I don’t know about you, but I got tired of all the pity looks the cashiers would give me every time I had to purchase another tube of that stuff.
I knew what I had to do from my own research, but I consulted my Natural Path first. She suggested a 4+ week diet free of the foods I listed above. The idea is that you starve the yeast so that it dies. She also prescribed an oral anti fungal to be taken three times each day, and a probiotic at night to replenish any good bacteria that got killed off. She also warned me that for some people it takes longer than the 4-6 week period to kill off the yeast.
What is the yeast candida diet?
The yeast candida diet is all about eliminating foods that feed the yeast. Anything that may have mold is eliminated. Anything that is a fungus (mushrooms) is eliminated. Most foods that contain sugar are eliminated. To keep the sugar content low, the only carbohydrates I ate were vegetables, berries and green apples. All other fruits, starches, and sugar products were left out for the duration of the 4 weeks. It is very common for people with celiac disease/digestive disturbances to develop yeast infections more frequently than those who don’t. Recent speculation in the medical community is that there may be a strong connection between the two. Many people with celiac disease have reported significant improvement in lingering symptoms when on this particular diet.
What about the science?
I hear this a lot. People always want to know where the science is. Interestingly enough, there are not a lot of studies done on nutritional changes that don’t make the government/food industry investors any money. We know from recent evidence that the sugar industry paid off certain studies to make fat look like the bad guy. We know that since high carbohydrate/low fat diets have been recommended, obesity and chronic disease are on the rise. We know that when the food guide was first recommended, the people who helped decide what the entire country was going to eat were also major share holders in the vegetable oil, dairy, and sugar industries. I’m not trying to convince you of a conspiracy theory, but I do believe we need to be somewhat responsible for our own health. Be proactive when it comes to your health, and listen to your body. If you have ongoing health issues, doesn’t it make sense to take a look at what you put in your body everyday? Don’t trust someone solely based on the fact that they wear a white coat, or have a certain amount of education. Do your own research as well, and stand up for yourself when necessary.
I was very strict while following this diet. I never caved in to sugar. I had a few gluten-free pretzels when things got tough, and a few bites of white potato here and there. Overall this was the closest I’ve ever stuck to anything! The first week was rough, because my body was used to the regular amount of carbs (40-50%) in my diet, and now it only made up 15-20% of my diet, with the rest being (mostly) fat and protein. My body did not know what fuel source to use, so during workouts I felt lethargic and achy. This only lasted a few days. By week two I felt amazing. I felt a huge decline in inflammation. Anyone with an autoimmune disease will tell you that inflammation is one of the symptoms that tends to linger. My wrists stopped hurting when I was lifting, and my knees stopped hurting while I was squatting. Dan, my husband, said I was “glowing” and looked healthier than he had ever seen me. It only got better. By week three, I was setting PR’s (personal record) in the gym. I hit a 155lb OHS at 152lb body weight and got my mile time back down under 8min. I set personal records on my strict gymnastics moves as well. The most noticeable change for me was my clarity of thought. Brain fog is something I struggle with regularly. It has been getting better over the past nine months since I went off the BCP. This month, while I was on the diet, it was like it got kicked into overdrive. It felt like I had drank a whole pot of coffee. My thoughts were coming in so fast I was trying to do everything all at once. After a few days I got used to it and was able to use it to get a lot of work done. The four weeks ended with a trip to Sudbury for a CrossFit competition. I had a few bites of a cupcake the night before and could NOT go to sleep until 1:30am, and then woke up at 4am wide awake. My body did not know what to do with the sugar. This trend continued over the weekend even though I did not indulge as much as I could have. It became pretty clear to me that my body reacts more than most to sugar and dairy. This is not an uncommon finding among many people.
I have decided to continue for at least a couple more weeks to ensure that the yeast is gone. Once that has been accomplished I hope to continue on a similar nutrition path, as this is working for me so far. I won’t worry about the occasional treat like I do right now, but it has shown me that my body is capable of more when I give it what it needs, and avoid the foods that bother me. I want you to keep in mind that I have an autoimmune disease. I have met many other people with autoimmune diseases who find this style of eating to be the least damaging to their body. If you do not have an autoimmune disease, your body can probably handle a lot of the food that my body can’t. You may not notice as big of a difference as someone who struggles with autoimmune-related inflammation. I do think that many of us eat more sugar than we realize in a day. I know I did. Trying to cut back on the added sugar in your diet and replacing it with healthier options certainly can’t hurt you.
Eat Your Veggies
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