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Being Candid

May 26, 2011

The Problem

It appears I have an issue with Candida.

It’s been ongoing for a few months now and though I’ve tried to correct the imbalance with probiotics (as recommended by my doctor), it just doesn’t appear to be enough to put those little guys back in line.

Lucky me.

So what’s my next step?

Something big. Something huge. Something I’ve never had to do before: I have to overhaul my entire diet.

Yikes! This could be interesting!

Here’s the scoop:

We all have Candida albicans (a type of yeast) in our systems, and they generally balance out quite nicely with the other organisms in our bodies, but sometimes the scale tips and they start to take over, causing all sorts of ill effects. In my case, the symptoms are quite evident, but some people may have an issue and not even know! (The symptoms are intense! Read about them here).

I’m reminded of the movie Gremlins. Of how Gizmo, when exposed to water, would excrete hairballs that turned into violent creatures and wreak havoc on the world.

That’s what’s happening in my body. Gremlins are being created and I need to take back the control and beat them back.

The Solution

What causes those gremlins to get out of control? Sugar. They love sugar. The more sugar they have, the more they grow and take over. And man, are our diets full of sugar! And I’m not just talking about refined white sugars in treats. Ho no!  Because while I do indulge now and then, I do not have that many treats in a week to have such a negative impact. No, most of my sugar comes from other sources. There’s sugar in fruit. There’s sugar in dairy (cow dairy especially). There’s sugar in grain (particularly glutenous ones).  It’s everywhere, in places I never expected it to be, and I need to cut it out.

Which means I’m not only going sugar free, but yeast free,  gluten free and dairy free (cow dairy) as well. At least for the time being.

Double yikes!

But I’m thinking positively. Instead of thinking about what I can’t eat, I’m focusing on what I can eat and that’s still a lot of yummy food:

  • Meat (including poultry), fish and eggs are all fair game (haha, get it?)
  • Beans, for the vegetarian in me
  • Most vegetables (need to limit the starchier/sweeter ones like cooked carrots, potatoes, beets and corn, but I can still eat them).
  • Fruits like avocado (my absolute favourite. I’d cry if I had to give it up!), lemon, lime, cranberries and rhubarb
  • Some nuts (incl. almonds and nut butter!)
  • Nut milks
  • Since I don’t have to give up all grains, just the glutenous ones, I can still enjoy daily servings of quinoa (love) and rice and even experiment with non-gluten flours in baking.
  • If I’m looking for sweet, stevia is a good alternative and won’t anger the gremlins.
  • Goat cheese! Boo ya! I’m thrilled this one is ok.

I’m sad about not being able to have fruit for awhile, and regular cheese (I heart cheese), but once I get over the initial phase and my symptoms clear up, I’ll be able to incorporate fruits like apples and berries, and cow milk cheeses, back into my routine.

I’m following the advice of a few sources:

  • This site, Diet, Dessert and Dogs, is dedicated to an anti-candida diet and has a ton of recipes.
  • From there, I was linked to The Whole Approach, which is where I found a solid plan to follow regarding what I can and cannot eat.
  • I also picked up a book, The Candida Cure, by Ann Boroch.

All the information I’ve found in these resources seems to be fairly consistent. The food lists vary a bit, but a lot of that variation is due to the allergies and reactions people have to the foods they eat, specifically in the form of digestive troubles. I’m lucky that my digestive tract is built like an ironclad warship. Gluten and dairy themselves don’t have issue with my stomach; it’s the sugars in them that’s my nemesis and how they feed the candida.

And so, I begin a major diet change. I’m incredibly lucky that A is on board with me for this and is very supportive!

Wish me luck, and here’s hoping I can get my gremlins back under control soon! If it doesn’t work, my next step will be to visit a Naturopath (my doctor recommended this), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a significant change in diet will do the trick.

I’ll keep you posted on how things go 🙂

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 8:54 am

    Here is basically why I’m on board, this website has provided a ton of useful information, particularly about Candida.

    http://www.wellnessresources.com/classes.php

    To add a note, sugar is out, but so is vegetable oil, in particular unsaturated fat, which candida use to multiply.

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