So, I am officially at the halfway mark of one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. For the last 30 days I have been doing what’s called the “anti-candida diet.” No, it’s not a trendy new weight loss fad, it’s a nutrition plan that uses food to combat a myriad of particular health problems. I’ve been dealing with some reoccurring health issues this past year that, while not life threatening, have greatly reduced my quality of life. Traditional Western medicine and several doctors that I’ve seen haven’t been much help and the treatments they suggested were only temporary relief at best, so I sought out a recommended certified holistic health counselor to help me try a new option.
If you aren’t familiar with the details of the diet, you may have the same reaction that many people have once I tell them what’s on the “do not” list of foods- “So, like, what can you eat??” All sugar and gluten are out. All fruits (except lemon, limes, and granny smith apples) are out. All nuts (except almonds) are out. All meat (except salmon) is out. Dairy is out. Grains are pretty much limited to brown rice and quinoa. Alcohol, coffee, and tea (except herbal) is out. Most vegetables are in, but before you get too crazy excited about that, these are a few of the veggies that are a no go: corn, tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes, and soy. Those guys are in EV-ER-Y-THING. Well, at least I can have all the seeds I can possibly handle, high five me up top!* And, this is a 100% no-cheat-never-ever type of plan, so don’t even think about it…
I honestly wasn’t planning on sharing any information about the diet on the blog for two reasons: one, I can imagine that it’s not exactly the most interesting thing to hear about other people’s dietary restrictions, and two, I don’t really know if this diet will work or not, so I can’t really recommend that anyone else do it or don’t do it. But, I have to say that in searching the internet constantly to try and find new foods to try, I’ve found comfort in finding other people that are also struggling through the diet with hope for change. Or, even better, those who have had inspiring results by changing their nutritional behavior.
While this diet is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I’ve slowly learned what I can and can’t have and have made a few really good meals along the way. Since I’ve also had a LOT of failed attempts as well (especially in the snack department), I thought I’d share a few of my winners so far in case you or someone you know needs some encouragement on this diet:
- Guacamole (omit tomatoes)
- Brown rice chips (I almost cried in relief when I first made these! I bake for 3.5 min per side)
- “Spicy Doritos” Cheezy Dip (omit nutritional yeast)
- Apple Crisp
- Chocolate Mousse (crazy ingredients, but a life saver for chocolate cravings)
- Kale Chips
- Chocolate Frosting Shots (so good with toasted almond slivers)
I live for snacks. For reals. I still have another 30 days to go before I’m done with the diet, but I’m hoping to be able to indulge in a few holiday treats with the rest of humanity by the time Christmas gets here. I’m dying for my favorite hometown pizza and chicken ball!
* If you look up anti-candida diet lists, they are probably different from my list as they can be pretty varied. My health counselor suggests a pretty strict food list that is on the cautionary “better-safe-than-sorry” side which I appreciate. I mean, if I’m going to do this, you want it to have the best chance of working, you know?
I’m glad you found things you could eat, and I hope it works for you. –Hanna Lei
I gave up gluten about 6 months ago and it really really changed my life. Candida is a terrible and can really affect so many things. Good luck to you and please email if you need any recipes or cookbook suggestions
i’ve never felt really compelled to write a comment on here (although i love your blog!!!). about three years ago, i had to go on the anti candida diet! i’m already vegan so taking out everything else feels insane. after over a year of doing the diet, i am now still vegan, gluten free, and sugar free. every once in a while i will eat a sandwich with vegan bread that’s not gluten free, or eat a vegan cupcake. i can definitely tell when i’ve had too much! that’s for sure…
anyway, if you need any advice or just someone that can relate to your struggles or even if you’d like to share your story or hear mine, email me! but i can say, it will all be worth it! and you can do it! 😀
very useful information! many thanks!
This absolutely works! I had to do it myself and have been symptom free for years now. I am a dietitian and recommended to anyone who suffers from the horrible symptoms of yeast…it’s an absolute miserable experience. Probiotics are crucial to my recovery and have been back to eating to my normal diet and feeling great. There’s an end to all of this!
I was wondering if you have seen any improvement in your symptoms? I sure hope so. I know it’s hard to stick to something that strict if your not seeing any results. But I guess your doing your body good either way. Keep up the good work.
i have considered doing an anti candida diet for my health as well, but was always overwhelmed when i saw the enormous quantity of foods that were off limits and shied away from trying. good for you! I hope it helps
What kind of health ailments does the diet help with? Is it meant as a short term thing or a lifestyle thing? I’m pretty good to my body (what I eat/exercise) but I’m tired ALL the time and I’m in my early 20s, every time I go to the Dr. they prescribe drugs that by the time I research them I don’t bother filling the RX because they seem too crazy. Maybe seeking out a holistic practitioner is the answer for me!
I haven’t read anything about an anti-candida diet helping fatigue issues, but I’m far from an expert on it. I would definitely seek out a health counselor if you want to give a nutrition based plan a try! You can find my health counselor at Janetmckee.com 🙂
Hope you find a path that helps!
girl, i feel you. i really applaud your efforts and i hope you are feeling a lot better!
i have an autoimmune condition that several doctors overlooked. it was really tough trying to get the proper help and figure out what the heck was actually going on when i was feeling so sick. 2 years later and after a lot of research, some big diet changes, and finally finding a great functional doctor, i’m mostly symptom free! it can be really difficult to make those bigger diet changes (i think i had to quit gluten 3 or 4 times before it finally stuck) but they can do so much.
just curious if you’ve been diagnosed with candida with a blood or stool test? (not to get ALL up in your business, you definitely don’t need to answer that ; ) ). symptoms of candida can be similar to symptoms of several other chronic issues, so it can be really helpful to know for sure what you’re working with. your HHC sounds great but if after 60 days you’re still not seeing significant improvement you may want to work with a Functional MD who can help you identify the root cause and make a plan specific for your needs. i’m an HHC too, shoot me an email if you want more info about functional medicine. 🙂
Thanks for the suggestions Jess! Glad you found a plan that worked for you! I do plan on finding an MD here in town that believes in a nutrition based plan, so I will definitely be exploring that regardless of the results of this 60 day diet. Thanks so much for your help!
this site is helpful for finding functional mds in your area: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117
good luck! 🙂
This is such a great topic for you to discuss. I’m so glad you did! I’m finding more and more suffers and it makes my journey through this much more comforting knowing that I’m not the only one. Answers are definitely hard to find, especially since most medical doctors don’t acknowledge or believe in yeast overgrowth. I’m curious as to what exact symptoms you were/are experiencing from yeast? It seems that people who have this problem can develop many different symptoms which makes it that much harder to diagnose. I have been experiencing digestive problems as well as recurring yeast infections that never seem to go away. The yeast infections are the only thing that made me think it could be a yeast problem and boy are they not fun! I wish you well in your recovery as well as everyone else suffering with this terrible problem!
I’m finishing a similar nutrition plan called The Fast Metabolism Diet. Meat is in, as are more fruits (including tomatoes) but that’s about the only difference that I can see. And I, like, you, LOVE my snacks. Now that it’s a few months out, I’d love to hear if you’ve gone back to normal eating patterns or not. I’m ending my diet tomorrow but planning to continue most of it and worried that going back to any of my eating patterns will undo what I did.
Hi Bri! I still stay away from gluten, dairy, and sugar as much as possible but I feel pretty good so far. Hope you find something that works for you!
I had never even heard about this “candida” before I read your blog post some time ago. I just recently was told to look into this very thing since I’ve been battling some health stuff for a while now. Of course I went back to check out your post again. Thanks for the info. I’m really hoping I can find my way back to “normal” again. I will miss my cocktails most of all… But I can’t wait to feel better soon!
Thanks for sharing!!!