It’s detox time! Twice a year I try to do a full-on 30 day candida cleanse. This usually occurs during the change of seasons when the environmental shift brings more stress into my world. More stress, for me, means stress-eating and finding myself getting into familiar bad habits to “cope.” Also, stress tends to weaken ones immune system, and in that weakened environment candida has potential to thrive. Yes, I am that sensitive to these kinds of things.
I started this diet on Monday, March 20th (first day of Spring). I chose this date not only because of an overindulgence of wine and Oreo’s over the weekend, but because my mom rolls her eyes at the fact that every Easter I am cleansing. So this year, my dear Mama, I’m starting the diet early and will be able to eat your AMAZING lasagna on Easter Sunday.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with candida, I’ll give you a quick overview:
It’s a royal P.I.T.A.!
Okay, I’ll give you a little more info than that.
Candida Albicans is a form of yeast (fungus) that almost everyone has in their gut. Certain yeasts (Saccharomyces boulardii) are needed to maintain the balance of good bacteria in our gut flora. When the good bacteria gets out of balance, however, Candida Albicans can take over. When Candida Overgrowth occurs you may experience gas/bloating, fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, rashes, oral or vaginal thrush, and/or emotional/mental symptoms such as depression.
This little microbe is super stubborn and can be difficult to get rid of. It has this biofilm on the cell wall that can adapt to changes in its environment. Whether acidic or alkaline, candida can find a way. Fortunately there are ways to keep it at bay by maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora.
The basics of ridding the body of candida overgrowth is by starving the candida, and at the same time re-establishing a balance of good bacteria in the gut. How do you do that? There are several different protocols to take depending on your symptoms, the severity of your symptoms, the doctor you choose, and/or online resources you come across. For example, I have no issues eating animal proteins on the candida diet, whereas Ricki Heller, a very well-known candida expert, has had much success going fully vegetarian to fight candida. It’s all about finding the best approach for you, but in all protocols you will notice some major similarities.
One of the number one things to avoid on the candida diet is sugar. All kinds of sugar, even fructose (fruit). Refined carbohydrates and alcohol are also a huge no-no. Sugar is what candida feeds off of, so first things first, NO SUGAR.
For the next month my diet will mostly consist of vegetables of all kinds, sweet potatoes in moderation, clean proteins, healthy fats, and some beans and gluten-free grains. At this point in my candida journey, I know my body can easily tolerate dark berries and apple cider vinegar without any issues, so those will be included as well. I’ll be taking a supplement that contains caprylic acid which is strong enough to destroy the wall of the yeast cell, breaking it down, and eliminating it from the body. Before bedtime I will be taking a probiotic of acidophilus, which is known for inhibiting the growth of candida albicans.
Five days into the diet and things are going really well. I’m not experiencing any die-off reactions except for intense afternoon sugar cravings. This is a good sign that the candida is already working its way out because sugar is what it is looking for. The hardest part is to not give into these cravings because it’s not what my body needs to heal.
I’ll be updating my progress during the week in my Instagram story, and I’ll be posting an update on here each week with more information on candida, the diet, and some recipe ideas too! If you have any questions regarding candida or the candida diet, please feel free to contact me here or in the comments section.
Have great weekend, sweet friends! 😉