The Great Grand Diet Trial Of 2011: About That Candida

October 9th, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

I’m getting my new computer this afternoon! Which means things should be getting back to normal by tomorrow, and I’ll be able to begin to play catch-up. Thank you guys so much for bearing with me through this fiasco! I hate having “question comments” hanging out unanswered on the site . . . Ill be able to answer them all real soon!

Anyway, for now I’m posting from Damian’s iPad (the iPad is so rad, who knew?!)

Last week I introduced The Great Grand Diet Trial Of 2011, and I opened up about the physiological/metabolic troubles I experienced after my son was born. One of the biggest issues I faced back then, and a topic that provoked a lot of interest, was how to deal with Candida (internal yeast infection).

I really should have known that there would be so much interest in this aspect of my ordeal, as Candida is a scourge that impacts the health of so. many. people. And it’s often misdiagnosed, or simply dismissed, by western medical doctors (which I sort of understand, since it seems like everyone and their dog is claiming Candida infections – more on that later).

But the truth is, my “Great Grand Diet Trial” wasn’t done to address my Candida. No, this set of experiments was all about correcting imbalance, and stabilizing blood sugar, and learning about what foods truly nourish me (both physically and emotionally). I had already eliminated my Candida, separately, prior to beginning thee trial.

So I wasn’t prepared for all the Candida focus, even though I should have been! But I’m excited to share my experiences in dealing with this horrible little beast, and I’ll do so in a separate post, following the Great Grand Diet Trial series. Fair?

What I’ll tell you now I’s that it involved a depressingly restrictive “anti-Candida” diet, followed by a full-scale onslaught of probiotics involving fermented or cultured foods at every. single. meal, and often in between. There was a veritable “beneficial-bacteria battle royale”, waged near-hourly in my body. It was very hard work, banishing Candida, but in the end I was victorious. And that’s about the time I fell deeply in love with fermented foods . . . which means, when I’m feeling particularly optimistic, that I can thank Candida for leading me to one of the greatest healing tools I’ve ever discovered. All’s well that ends well?

I’m really looking forward to sharing the details of my experience in fighting Candida. In the meantime, feel free to ask your questions so that I can (hopefully) address them along with my own story. Look for the Candida post in the days following the conclusion of the Great Grand Diet Trial series.

Cheers everyone! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  • Neko

    This is SO serendipitous, because all day today Candida has been on my mind. I’ve been eating about 50-75% raw lately but I still enjoy my sweet treats (favorite lately is dates dipped in almond butter). Even though going partially raw and eliminating refined sugar has helped me a lot, I still feel sluggish, and my face is an absolute mess of breakouts. It all started when I became pregnant with my second child 3 years ago and it has not let up since.

    I’ve been reading an interesting book about digestive health and it has gotten me thinking about Candida (among many other things), so I’ve been trying to psych myself up for what sounds like an extremely boring diet in attempt to rid myself of it. I think it would really help my kids, too, because they have their own set of issues that seem to be digestive/gut related, despite being very healthy eaters themselves.

    Suffice it to say I’m super interested in reading what you have to say about your own experience!

  • cheli

    oh geez this is really interesting. personally, i`ve been struggling for six months (six! six!!!) with, it’s not candida, but it’s a bacterial infection that is causing mastitis. what i understand is that there is some kind of bacterial inbalance. i am taking probiotics which help, trying to eat fermented stuff (i got as far as pickles. help!), cutting out all processed foodstuffs… what else what else. i want nursing to be pleasant again, involve less flinching and twisting up. any tips and reading suggestions you might have would be grand.

  • Clair Johnson

    I followed an anti-Candida diet for awhile, since doctor after doctor told me I was battling yeast infections (but no one ever got positive tests) and I was sick of the prescription drugs. Thankfully, my new doctor has a better head on his shoulder.

    In any case, going without the sugar was an eye-opening experience for me. My mood improved exponentially…I think everyone should give it a shot for awhile.

    Yep…all’s well that ends well. =)

  • Melisann1981

    One big question I had is your thoughts on juicing while doing the anti-Candida diet. I followed a vegan version of Donna Gates Body Ecology Diet and she said no to juicing. But that didn’t seem right to me b/c look at all the people who cure themselves of cancer with high raw diets that juicing is a big part of – it is said most people with cancer have Candida. So yeah, that’s my big question. It’d be great if you did a post similar to WIAW with Candida friendly foods (examples of a typical day when you did the diet). Thanks so much for broaching this subject matter!

  • Moira

    I’m eager to read your series. For many years I’ve suffered from Gi health problems as a result from multiple parasitic/ameobic infections overseas. Having been on several doses of antiobiotics over the years to kick the infections (all successfully), the doctors’ diagnoses of continued gut problems were food intolerances/allergies. So I’ve lived with the multiple manifestations of a compromised gut for years – I am frequently get the cold, flu and other infections (i.e. present moment) and I have irregular eating patterns, sugar spikes, drowziness, etc. Through all of this, I decided to be proactive and research on my own – and this is when I ran into your blog. Because of your blog, in the last year I’ve had tremendous benefit from natural cleanses, Kombucha, cabbage juice, greens juicing, etc.

    Needless to say, I’m so excited to read this series and hopefully nib this thing in the butt. Rock on, Sayward!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Have you cut out sugar? That was the biggest thing for me, after the probiotics.

    Probiotic favorites for me = kombucha, water kefir, tempeh, miso, and coconut yogurt. I have recipes for homemade kombucha, kefir, and yogurt in my archives if you want to check them out!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It is AMAZING how much better I feel without sugar. Like, mind-blowingly amazing. Such a world of emotional difference!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I would definitely not juice while doing the candida diet. Juice is full of nutrients but it’s also FULL of sugar. I know that even normally I have to be careful with my juice, because if I drink too much too fast I have a “sugar reaction”.

    Anyway, every body is different and I’m certainly not a doctor! But just for me personally, I avoided all sugar/carbs/fruit for the strictest elimination phase, then slowly introduced a few pseudograins and low-glycemic fruits. I know that in *my* body, juice would have fed my candida and done a lot of damage.

    For me it helped to think about the candida-diet time as being discreet, ie, it was this thing that had a beginning and an end. So it sucked, but I could get THROUGH it, I knew. So maybe I wasn’t maximizing my nutrients during that period, but I was doing something else really important. I could worry about micronutrients later. At least, that’s how my thinking went.

    Hope that helps!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Are you familiar with Donna Gates and her book, the Body Ecology Diet? She is sort of the expert on gut health and it sounds like what you’re experiencing is totally in line with what she talks about. Have you read about “leaky gut syndrome”?

    I’m so glad to hear you’ve had some success in healing yourself! probiotic foods are so, so powerful.

  • Moira

    No! But I’ll look them up now :) Thanks, Sayward!

  • cheli

    yes, sugar is out. along with white flour.
    oh i had no idea about coconut yogurt. will check it out. thanks, sayward!

  • Melisann1981

    Thanks for the reply. I did The Body Ecolgy Diet (vegan version) with a special B.E.D. certified nutritionist for a year and a half and was still having symptoms so finally said enough was enough. I still eat super healthy, but eating that strict w/no symptom reduction was getting out of control. How long did you do the diet for? I did eat grains (only quinoa, millet and amaranth), though. Maybe that was where I was stuck. Thanks!

  • Darlene B

    If I can ask, can you tell me what your symptoms were? How did you know you had an internal yeast problem? I think my daughter suffers from hormonal yeast problems and it has been very difficult for her to deal with it. So, I’m curious if what you have done could help my daughter.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    If you take her to a doc/naturopath, they should be able to test her. I had a gyno confirm a topical yeast infection so I KNEW the organism was present in my body. But from there it was self-diagnosis (we were between insurances – I was on my own!) via matching symptoms on the Internets. Not recommended! I really, really suggest seeing a professional. Luck!