If there’s one thing I can say for certain, it’s that real food has absolutely changed my life.
I went from sick, overweight, unhealthy, inflamed, and in pain to vibrant, healthy, and healing.
I used a variation of the candida diet food list as my elimination diet and action plan. My brother followed the protocol and actually gained weight for the first time in his life!
You can find more info & food lists on the candida HERE
I followed their “allowed” foods list to a T and made the decision to cut out nuts and non-glutinous grains as well because I heard they were hard to digest. At the time I couldn’t eat anything and I was desperate! Everything I ate seemed like a land mine and I had to be in the bathroom after every bite so my body could purge itself. This experience was daily – and it was painful, sad, and embarrassing (more so if I wasn’t home) – so finally I got to the point of not eating if I had to go somewhere. I came home to soup, crackers, and Gatorade before the candida diet – which I now know was only making matters worse (sugar, wheat, gluten, and processed, inflammatory snack foods).
Here’s what I ate for 4 months straight:
Vegetables: Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic (raw), Kale, Olives, Onions, Rutabaga, Spinach, Tomatoes, Zucchini
Yogurt to Replenish Gut Bacteria: Plain yogurt (like Chobani) sweetened with powdered Stevia (organic) + lemon or cinnamon. For a savory dip I used garlic/lemon/dill for a ranch style dip
Meat/Protein Sources: Beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, and eggs
Pantry Items: Coconut products (check for additives, etc.), basil, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, sea salt, lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil, red palm oil, grass fed butter/ghee
Beverages: peppermint tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea, and lots of water
Within one week I saw so many positive results and decided to keep going. For one, I could eat and not run to the bathroom – secondly, I felt more clear-headed than I ever had in my life. My husband was so supportive and helpful during this time. I didn’t have control over my body anymore and he kept encouraging me to keep going. There were definitely times I felt like giving up and eating what everyone else was eating, but he reminded me that it wasn’t worth it to be where I was. I ultimately followed the diet until my weight stabilized – my total weight loss was around 30 pounds in 4 months. It felt like the inflammation was flying off during that time!!
I started with very, very basic foods and slowly started incorporating more recipes. I didn’t know how to cook or even hard-boil eggs, so it was quite the learning experience.
I literally packed yogurt, cut up celery, cut up cucumber, hard-boiled eggs and lemon juice almost everyday for snacks. For meals I had eggs and avocado/salsa with a side of meat and some veggies. I stuck to the basics and did not try to overcomplicate things.
Was this boring? Well, I felt like I packed food everywhere I went and couldn’t participate with others (food-wise), but what was the trade off? For me it was the freedom to go to my friend’s bridal shower, to run a half marathon, and to go out in public without fear – that to me, is living. You don’t have to eat this way forever, but you’ve got to help your body undo the damage you’ve done over the years. The body can heal itself.
You can do this.