Just like my last juice fast, candida diets are beginning to feel like old news to me; I battled candida during Lyme for a long time a couple years ago, then had an unexpected bout return this past December. In the last month, it has come back again, which is not surprising now that we’ve found out we may have mold in our bedroom. We’ve had a LOT of health problems since moving across the hall in November, and tomorrow they are opening the offending wall and we will know for sure whether nastiness is growing in a spot under the window that sprang a leak shortly after we moved in. We are, of course, hoping that it IS moldy in there, because if it isn’t, our household has become randomly riddled with really odd ailments, for no apparent reason.
Back to candida– and by candida, I am referring to the kind in your gut, not other areas, just to throw that out there for the record. It’s back, it’s got me STARVING CONSTANTLY, and in turn I have of course put on all the weight I’d lost since the hormone situation (which, if there is mold in the wall, explains why all that got so bad too). While just a month ago I was back to my normal skinny pants, those are again a lost cause. I spent a minute (err, couple weeks) thinking, “Fuck it,” because I knew I had to wait until the wall situation was fully dealt with, and that has involved numerous inspections, tests, etc. I didn’t go crazy and eat yeasted bread or anything, but I had wine close to nightly and what the average person may consider a slightly obscene amount of chocolate. Now that the wall is being handled, it’s time to handle me, too, so I ordered Renew Life Enterprises “CandiGone,” will bust out the Rife machine every few days, and began a joyous standard candida diet. Only, being me and having lofty goals, I decided to also cut out foods that I know I have been consuming way too much of, that are typically allowed. Read: Ace has staged numerous nut-interventions on me lately, and I’ve come to realize that they are just too big a part of my diet. So although the candida diet says they are ok as long as they’re roasted, I’ve decided to cut nuts and seeds out entirely for a short while.
The easiest way, for me, to not feel completely deprived of specific foods, is to remove myself completely from food and do a juice fast. But since I just did that a month or so ago, and since I am STARVING CONSTANTLY, that sounds very not fun right now. Instead, I’ve decided to switch up my normal eating life as much as possible so that I don’t notice what I am missing as badly as I usually would. My tips for a candida cleanse overlap with those for a juice fast, but I think there are several important things that can help you get through any restricted period of time, so I am including them again here.
1. Buy a plethora of snackable green produce. I kid you not, I have eaten an entire head of celery as a snack lately. Candida hunger is like the munchies from smoking pot exaggerated to the millionth degree, only without any laughter or fulfillment. Know that you will still be hungry for awhile, and plan accordingly with things you could eat all day and not have to worry about. My two favorites for this are Persian cucumbers and celery. Broccoli stalks also work.
2. Don’t try to substitute. If you love, say, regular pizza, don’t think you’ll be fooled and satiated instantly by gluten free crust and Daiya cheese and pesto sauce. Forget about pizza for a minute, and try making, say, an Indian food dish you’ve never had but have been curious to try.
3. Since you have added a bunch of new rules, release some of your standard ones. Personally, I am mostly raw and I rarely buy products with ingredients. So for me, buying brown rice cakes (I never buy rice cakes because puffing grains at high temps denatures them and renders them nutritionally void) is a huge treat. What’s in my cabinet right now? Brown rice cakes!! What’s my treat for eating a raw greens salad with probiotic onion dressing for lunch? Brown rice cakes!! I also have roasted seaweed snacks, and So Delicious sugar-free coconut milk and ice cream. (Seaweed and coconut are in the “top ten foods to eat” while getting ridding of candida, btw.) This all helps me to feel like there are tons of “guilty” treats waiting for me, and eases the focus off the fact that I can’t currently have any fruit, chocolate, nuts, wine, etc.
4. Protein- what’s a non-meat eater to do on a diet that usually stresses meat? I am huge on listening to one’s body, and have actually had several times throughout my adulthood where my body said, specifically, “feed me poultry.” I listened, gave it chicken a couple times, and it shut up about that for another couple years. For reasons like that, I eschew labeling myself as anything other than a raw foodist, even though my diet is at least 90-95% plant based and I think I eat a lot more veggies than the average vegan. (I also tried eating liver twice at the recommendation of several different alternative health practitioners, but that didn’t go over well in the slightest, and I plan pretty solidly to never try it again.) On the regular, I consume a small amount of raw dairy in the form of raw cheese, which is, of course, not allowed on a candida diet. To solve this issue, I prefer protein shakes. Currently I have Rainbow Light Protein Energizer, which is brown rice protein with spirulina, greens, and herbs for energy (thanks to the health issues I’ve got lethargy, malaise, and ennui written all over me lately). I wish it was all organic, but at least some of the ingredients are.
5. Make simple things special. Examples of this are having a shake or juice in a fancy glass, mixing a salad in a beautiful bowl, or breaking out nice dinnerware for a regular weeknight meal. You are doing a candida cleanse for YOU, because your body is important and you want to help it rebalance itself. However, the more we focus on what we are missing/can’t have, the more stressed we get, and the worse we in turn make our bodies feel. Reward yourself in every possible way!