I am so excited to share this guest post from a lovely friend of mine. Rachel Davies is my coworker at Down to Earth, a natural and organic grocery store on Oahu and Maui. Rachel teaches healthy cooking classes on Maui and has previously taught at the Esalen Center in California, and this girl knows her stuff! When she told me she had a book and a website about natural cures for candida, I was super excited to get her writing featured here. Her website, Sugar or Sex, offers the very best candida diet, coupled with gentle, realistic, all-round, holistic support that guarantees true and lasting success. Rachel’s program is a revolution in health. As someone who has struggled with my own candida issues, I know how frustrating and awful it can be– thank goodness for natural cures for candida!
If you don’t know what candida is you are lucky! It’s sometimes called a yeast infection, and it can occur mildly or systemically. Affecting both men and women, potential symptoms include skin rashes, low energy, depression, weight problems, food allergies, yeast infections, thrush, and a whole heap of other things. It is estimated that over half of the Western World has candida! Getting rid of it can be a long-term exercise in patience and transformation. It’s like one of those noxious, burrowing-into-everything weeds that it can take years of persistence to finally remove from your garden. But, if you can sort it out, you will be giving yourself some excellent health for years to come. Plus, you will also be protecting your system against the other diseases linked to sugar consumption, like cancer, diabetes, heart conditions and obesity! Right on!
For many years I suffered with really bad systemic candida. I spent years trying different diets, working with various healers, therapists and natural doctors trying to find a cure. Though it took my five years, finally I am cured! I wrote all the good stuff down in my book Sugar or Sex. I wanted to offer others the support that I wished I had had on my journey, but also help others save time, heartache and dollars. If you are interested you can purchase the book on Amazon or enter the September Giveaway here at Goodreads. Or you can just keep on reading….
Here are five things you can do RIGHT NOW to begin healing from candida:.
1. Drink a green smoothie or green juice first thing every morning.
Make your juice or smoothie without any fruit or sweeteners. One of my favorites includes romaine, mint and ice. You can also try awesome healing juice with celery, cucumber, dark leafy greens, maybe parsley, or cilantro, a little lemon or ginger. At my recommendation, my mum tried this. But For the first three days she made an ew-yuk face. She hated it! But on the third day, a little sore she had on the side of her mouth for years had disappeared. Now she makes them for herself everyday and is full of bounce.
2. Begin eliminating sugar from your diet.
If you are not quite ready, try to at least notice where it is in your diet and begin thinking about how you might say goodbye to it for a while. Candida is parasitic yeast that feeds on sugar, so part of our cure is to starve it. Take a deep breath and sit down while I tell you what this is gonna look like (and don’t worry, you can do it). Once you are ready, you need to leave out all sugars. Period. This means honey, agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup, plain white sugar – all of them, “healthy” or otherwise. But we also need to set aside all fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice and sweet vegetables like beets (carrots are ok, but eat them whole or blended, not juiced because of the high sugar content). Lemons and limes are good fruits for us to have, because they have such low sugar.
Ready for more? We will also leave out all the starchy foods that quickly convert to sugar in the body. This includes all bread, gluten-free bread, potatoes, yams, rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas– no grains or pulses at all. But we can enjoy things known as “pseudo grains” or ancient grains. These include millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff and (for most people) buckwheat (sometimes people have allergies to buckwheat– so be careful). It is said that these “pseudo grains” do not convert to sugar in the body in the same way. Leave dairy alone for a while too. But all veggies are ok– eat as many as possible please! Especially the green ones! Small amounts of animal proteins are ok of you eat meat, fish or eggs. Good oils and fats, nuts and seeds are ok!
This radical shift towards a diet that both starves the candida and strengthens and grounds our body allows us to heal on multiple levels. I think of it like being a baby again – it’s a super gentle diet that a baby’s system could handle. Many people transition to eating sugar-free slowly, cutting out one food group at a time. Some do it all straight away. You will know what and how is the best way for you. There are a few other things that you can incorporate with the diet to make it even more effective – like food combining and an awareness of pH balancing. If you’d like more info, I would encourage you to check out my book Sugar or Sex on the sites listed above, which goes into much more detail.
3. Don’t forget to Relax!
Stress is gonna slow down healing. And it’s boring and not much fun right? It’s important that we truly relax, choose things we feel good about and allow ourselves to deeply heal. You probably have lots of ways you like to relax. One of my favorites is listening to Belleruth Naparstek’s Guided Imagery for wellness. There is a free download called Peaceful perspective on her website Health Journeys.
4. Add fermented foods into your diet.
Good bacteria and probiotics will help strengthen our system against the candida and also increase our feelings of stability, happiness and calm. Here are easy recipes for homemade sauerkraut, homemade kim chi, and coconut water kefir. There’s some fascinating information about good bacteria in this Radiolab story “gut feelings” if you’d like to know more too. Another wonderful resource is Sandor Katz, also known as Sandor ‘Kraut,’ a fermentation expert.
5. Picture of yourself in your ideal health.
Just quietly and gently see it in your mind. This is very powerful stuff, and we CAN make good health manifest in our lives with honest and gentle visualizations. Wait and see.