Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Start of A New Journey

So long, farewell! Photo credit

This last year has been one of learning and preparation for me. As I gently waded into the world of Real/Traditionally prepared foods I knew that I was barely touching the surface of my journey to health. Initially I started being drawn to traditional foods because of my daughters difficulty in digesting food and then as I began to learn and research, the pieces of the puzzle came together for me as well. All the years I struggled with feeling weak and useless could be traced back to one source: Candida albicans.

When I learned about the havoc that Candida can do to a weakened immune system it was made clear to me that all the symptoms I had been experiencing were related. Test after test with no result over the course of years were so frustrating! My Dr.'s said that I was in great health, but I could not understand how it could normal to feel achy, fatigued and irritable ALL the time. I played with many different diets: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, grain free and now I think I have finally figured out what I need to do.

Enter, Bee's Candida Diet. I tried a different Candida cleanse earlier in the year and failed miserably. It was awful and had a colon cleansing element that I could, very literally, not stomach. Bee's diet is the most intense I have ever seen, but it is also the most comprehensive. The diet is on board with traditional foods preparation so I don't have to change anything and Bee's website has helpful tools to manage what you are eating. The diet can be broken down into a few key elements:
  • The Diet: NO grains, dairy (except butter or ghee), fruit (except lemons and limes), sugar or sugar substitutes (except Stevia), legumes, nuts or seeds, vinegar (except raw/unfiltered ACV), starchy vegetables. LOTS of good fats! LOTS of protein! Eating a strict diet will keep the Candida from growing. I will modify by allowing some low carb. nuts and seeds in moderation and some berries as well unless my body tells me not to.
  • Supplements: This element of the program along with eating lots of good fats is intended to repair your immune system. In addition to the Cod Liver Oil I am already taking I will need to add: Nutritional Yeast flakes for B vitamins and Niacin, Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate, Vit. C and Vit. E.
  • Time: People suffering from Candidiasis are often born with it if their parents also had it so Bee recommends that you stay on the diet for 1 month for every year of your life. For me that means twenty six and a half months.
  • A Healing Balance: The website gives you information to help individualize your diet plan, which is one of the reasons I think this will work for me. According to my calculations I need to be eating 80 grams of protein, 200-280 grams of fat, and ONLY 64 grams of carbohydrate a day. I use FitDay to keep me on track.
One of the things I especially love about this diet are that there are NO awful anti-fungals (Oregano oil, ick!) and NO colon cleanses. Bee says that you can do at home colonics if you want but they are not required for the diet. Phew! I also love that this program is provided at no charge; that is a rare occurrence these days.

What will this mean for my family? Not a whole lot. Since I have been mostly grain free for about a month now I have learned to make substitutions/snacks for myself and when it comes to family meals, I just make sure to either make meals primal/paleo OR I put grains on the side so I can abstain if I wish. How about dining out? Today when I went to lunch with my father-in-law I ordered egg-drop soup and shrimp with bean sprouts, no rice. Last week at a different restaurant I just got a salad with chicken (I will need to bring my own salad dressings however).

Bee recommends keeping a journal to keep track of your progress and I think I will do that here now that I have my own personal blog space. I hope that you won't mind. The first step is list all of the "Symptoms, diseases, and malfunctions you have before starting the program." I am afraid to list all of these for all the world to see, but here goes:
  • Chronic vaginal yeast infections. This is probably my most annoying symptom in that it is hard to ignore. Before I got pregnant this spring I could get an infection and cure it with topical cream or other natural cures, which I was doing every month; now, however, I cannot cure them with anything. It is very depressing.
  • Chronic and extreme fatigue no matter how much sleep I get
  • IBS symptoms: gas, bloating, occasional constipation/diarrhea with no known cause
  • Abdominal cramps after eating
  • Tinnitus, or ringing of the ears that never goes away
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Sugar cravings
  • Insulin Resistance/Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Extreme irritability
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Acne
  • Foul body odor
  • Hot flashes
  • Numbness/tingling in hands and feet
Yeah, this is a long list and most will probably be skeptical that they can come from a simple yeast overgrowth. Remember, though, I have been tested over and over to determine the medical cause of these numerous symptoms and aside from being diagnosed as insulin resistant there is no known cause. Doing this strict of a diet is daunting but I feel like God is leading me in this direction and has been for a while. I desperately want to be healthy for my family and my own sake. Starting next week, I go into full on Candida diet. Wish me luck! 


  1. Wow, Carrie! I have a lot of those symptoms too! Although I don't have the insulin resistance or chronic yeast infections, but the rest fit me to a tee! I just don't know that I could follow such a strict diet, even if it were for only a relatively short time... are there any other options??

  2. Cori, I think healing your digestive system is #1 but it can be really hard with Candida because of the die off symptoms. They can range from being flu-like to being total drug-abused withdrawl-like.

    If you want to start small, get rid of all refined sugars and grains, all sugar substitutes and try to wean yourself off of sugar in general. It takes time but what helped me was when I had a sugar craving I went for a piece of fruit or nuts. Always having a substitute snack was VERY helpful for me. Using natural sugars like fruit, sucanat/rapadura, honey will help but you need to decrease it overall.

    I hope that helps!

  3. I love that the creator of our bodies is always there to lovingly help us care for them. Just a by the way Cranial Sacral Therapy really helped with the ringing in my ears, just in case you would be interested. In 26 1/2 months shall we make a date to share cake and celebrate your new body? :)

  4. I know what you mean about sharing your symptoms out for all the world to see. I've done a little of that this summer and it's been weird...and yet so many people end up chiming in with "oh yeah, i get that too!"

    That seems like a very intense candida cleanse, and while I'm sure it will work, I admit to questioning whether you really need quite as long as she recommends. Two plus years? That seems very very long. It seems to me that a few months (like six) of going hardcore, and then committing to a sugar/yeast-lite diet thereafter would probably be sufficient. That was what they recommended for me with the gluten. Of course after doing my own research (and experimentation on myself LOL) I concluded that gluten wasn't the only thing I needed to focus on, nor perhaps even the main thing. I am working on gluten-lite/sugar-lite/yeast-lite and soaking my grains, and thus far at least it seems to make a big difference. So I definitely agree with giving it your all, but also don't feel like 6 or 10 months down the road you can't adjust the roadmap either. ;)

  5. Jenni, it seems like this diet is a lot like GAPS with a strong gut healing emphasis and like GAPS, it takes a lot of time. I fully intend to reassess every 6 months or so. I already know my triggers for the most part and I intend to avoid those for life, e.g. Wheat and sugar.

    So far I have received a lot of comments about following the word of wisdom, so here is my take: when the word of wisdom was received foods were harvested and cooked in an entirely different way. The modern American diet is destroying our immune and digestive systems, which is why diets like this are even necessary. While I will have to avoid certain things for life, my children will have much stronger immune systems (I hope) by growing up on a traditional foods diet and that is really my strongest motivation. Getting myself healthy will get me to the point where traditional foods are most beneficial. If I continued with just a TF diet I would never heal my immune system.

  6. Hi Carrie...I'm glad you stopped by my blog because it reminded me that I need to come by yours. I'm really excited to have met you and want to keep in touch.

    I went on a similar candida diet before I conceived my son. I did it hard core for two or three months, and then did a lesser version for a couple more months. I did really well on it. Then I got pregnant and everything went out the window. I need to do it again. In fact, I'm supposed to be on the diet right now, but recent stressful events have me eating things I shouldn't.

    I'm surprised the diet doesn't include probiotic supplements? I'll have to look into this diet some more. I really need it.

    I agree with you about the word of wisdom, too. Plus, I see it as God is saying that those foods are good foods in general, but individuals can still have allergies and intolerances. For example, when someone says that grains are bad for all humans, I just don't believe it.