When I first began my healing journey, I felt fantastic! Within four months I lost 18 nagging pounds, my nails and hair grew stronger, and my monthly cystic acne cleared up. And, by the end of two years I transformed my thyroid disease.
YAY!! I was simply glowing with good health.
Then an interesting thing happened. I began having odd reactions to the healthy food I was eating. I felt gassy and bloated ALL the time, and my mouth, cheeks, forehead and chin broke out with a weird red rash. It wasn’t as bad as the kid’s face in the picture on the left, but it was still pretty awful.
Some days, it was so bad I didn’t want to leave the house for fear that I would be seen by other people.
I also remember, my stomach would make the LOUDEST sounds as if I had swallowed a live cat!
The worst part about it was… the healthier I ate, the more I experienced these annoying symptoms.
What the heck was going on inside me??
That’s when I learned about Candida overgrowth. Ugh! I was cursed with it!
I couldn’t even eat one little tiny champagne grape without having an uncomfortable flare up on the inside, and on the outside of my body.
I learned that Candida Albicans is a species of helpful yeast (a single celled fungus actually) that thrive in a healthy human gut assisting in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Unfortunately, for millions of Americans (including me), sometimes this normally cooperative fungus surges out of control, traveling into the small intestine, blood and organs, where it digests ALL of our nutrients for it’s own survival, leaving the host filled with toxic waste, exhausted and susceptible to many ailments (poor immunity, skin rashes, digestive disorders, brain fog, joint pain, etc.).
I tried everything to free myself from the curse of candida: specially formulated teas, essential oils, food combining, supplements, colonics, and candida cleanses and diets.
I even ate handfuls of of raw garlic cloves hoping that would help. And, it might have… if I had a vampire living inside my digestive system.
It seemed every time I went on a candida “curing” protocol things would go well for a period of time, but as soon as I stepped off the program, my body would have a horrible reaction. I was an emotional wreck – how the heck could I eat the healthiest diet ever and still be suffering like this???
Something was obviously missing from the healing puzzle, but I couldn’t figure it out. I thought I was doomed to remain on a Candida diet for the rest of my life – no bread, no grains, no fruit, no sweets, no anything, not ever, nothing, nada, zippo, zilch… arggghh!
Finally, after years of misery I found a missing piece. I read a book called, Eating Alive, by naturopathic doctor, Jonn Matsen. According to his book, candida can escape and wreak havoc in our system from eating too many foods rich in potassium (vegetables and fruits), without adequate protein (specifically animal products) and salt, causing the ileocecal valve to weaken, allowing yeast to migrate from the large intestine to the small intestine, and other parts of the body. You can read more about that here on his blog: Eating too Well
That’s why I felt worse the “healthier” I ate. It made perfect sense! My candida overgrowth never really healed because it wasn’t enough to simply eliminate the food candida thrived on (carbohydrates, fruit, starchy vegetables, sweets) I had to simultaneously strengthen my illeocecal valve.
Curing candida overgrowth is generally a two-fold process.
First, we need to weaken the funghi by not feeding it sugar, starches and excess carbohydrates.
Secondly, we need to strengthen the illeocecal valve by eating seasonally and locally.
Here are my top ten tips for healing candida overgrowth:
- Eliminate sugar, including fruit and refined carbohydrates (bread, cookies, cakes), for three months to four months
- Substitute non-gluten grains like quinoa, buckwheat and millet when you have bread/carb cravings
- Use traditionally cultured foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and yogurt to re-colonize intestinal flora
- Eat high quality saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, schmaltz, lard) to help strengthen the integrity of your cells
- Eat a nutrient dense diet that includes bones stocks, animal proteins and organ meats (rich in vitamin B12)
- Chew food thoroughly – digestion begins in the mouth NOT in the stomach.
- Use herbs & spices that have anti-yeast & anti-inflammatory properties and because they are delicious (oregano, rosemary, thyme, savory, cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika).
- Use Fungus Fighter by HerbPharm
- Drink non-chlorinated water and non-flouridated water
- Eat seasonally and Locally to strengthen the illeocecal valve and all of the other valves in your body as well
While you’re kicking Candida’s butt back into your large intestine where it belongs, go out for a run and some cardiovascular activity to help dry out the damp condition you may have created in your body. Candida thrives in a damp environment.
Need more guidance? Watch an AWESOME online class featuring Candida busting recipes and herbal remedies that can help you take back control of your digestive system and start thriving again.
Start watching via your computer right now: Healing Candida
Andrea Beaman is a internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching individuals and health practitioners how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.