I am nearing the end of my first week on the candida diet and I have been really happy with my progress so far. I really feel better. I don't know exactly how to explain it but I feel awake. It's nice because for a long time I felt like I was just always going to feel like I was dragging. I know a big part of it is the no sugar aspect of the diet. Having no sugar (or very little and all from plant sources) is making a huge difference in how my body regulates and processes the food I'm eating. Without caffeine to keep me awake, my body has had to actually start doing it by itself, which has forced my adrenals and other systems to start doing their job properly again--or close to it anyway. I really like how I feel right now, less pain, more focus and more energy.
I haven't been hungry either, not really hungry. I have learned over the years that there is a difference between having a craving and really being hungry. I will admit that I have had some cravings and with a lot of those food items in my face and offered to me this week, it's been hard but I have declined successfully so far. I am satisfied with the amount of food I have eaten so I haven't felt hunger pains or anything like that. Just the constant thought of, "Hmmm, a chocolate chip cookie would be nice. . . ." And it has been very difficult to deny myself my constant Dr. Pepper but so far I haven't had any--just a whiff of a friends.
This diet is tough because it eliminates so many of the things I would normally eat. I'm not allowed to have any sugar in any form. Period. That means no fructose, which is what we find in fruit. The only things that are somewhat allowable if you read some sites are Granny Smith apples and some berries. So I have had a few apples and some blackberries this week. It also doesn't allow anything that turns in to sugar--so that means there are not a lot of carbs that I can't eat either. There are some that are allowable, like the buckwheat bread I've been eating, but all of the things I am used to eating--like rolls, pizza crust, white bread, are not okay.
Artificial sweeteners are also off the table, as well as tea and other drinks that have caffeine (unless it's decaffeinated). I am allowed to use Stevia so I got some of that but I haven't used it. I'm trying to get my body to understand that I don't need everything to be sweet all of the time. There are other flavors! So far I have been fairly successful with this and I plan to hold off for as long as I can.
The good news is that, if I am doing this diet solely to fight off the candida and not as a weight-loss diet, I can start introducing "normal" foods back in a couple of months from now. That does not mean I can start shoveling cookies into my mouth or drinking Route 44 cherry-vanilla Dr. Peppers from Sonic everyday but it does mean I can have an occasional sweet snack or drink, in moderation. And that's really the key to everything. I think we forget that.
Processed foods, now that's a different story that I will save for anther post. I will also discuss the supplements I'm taking in more detail as I continue to post on this topic.
I'd love to hear from anyone else who has followed the candida diet or suspects they may have candida overgrowth. Please feel free to leave a comment.