Ever since I got off the antibiotics I was on for my acne as a teen, I’ve struggled with gut imbalances, parasites and yeast overgrowth.
I was too young and emotional at the time to really consider what my issues could be due to.
My mom has had IBS her whole life, so I assumed I was destined for a life of pain and gut issues.
It took me about four years to truly get a handle on what was going on with my body.
It wasn’t until my face started breaking out in huge, red rashes a couple of times per week that I had an inkling it could be Candida.
As my carb and sugar addiction grew out of control, I started getting vaginal Candida overgrowth when I traveled, commonly known as the dreaded “yeast infection”.
That’s when I knew this was serious.
If you aren’t too familiar with Candida, it’s basically a yeast that generally lives inside the digestive tract, but can spread to several other areas of the body including the skin, mouth and reproductive organs.
The main thing to note about Candida is that it absolutely loves sugar.
It loves sugar so much in fact, that it will do pretty much anything to get it.
In fact, many specialists believe that Candida Albicans can actually hijack your brain and give you sugar cravings.
It’s what I call an opportunistic bugger. If your gut flora is imbalanced or you have a weak constitution, Candida will take advantage of your weaknesses and use them to spread.
Let me be clear about one thing: everyone has Candida.
It only becomes a problem when it grows out of balance.
That being said, I believe that if a person is having almost any form of (non-life threatening) issue from a stuffy nose to constipation, a Candida cleanse is a great place to start.
Candida overgrowth is such a common problem, that ruling it out of any health issues you’re having could save a ton of time, money and suffering.
I have a blog post about my experience on the “Vegan Ketogenic Diet”, which is essentially a sugar-free, low carb, high vegetable diet. In that post (I’ll link it for you here) I explain in a little more detail the benefits I experienced from this diet, but it’s basically the diet I used to begin clearing up my Candida overgrowth.
Just a few of the problems I was experiencing from Candida overgrowth were constipation, fatigue, headaches, skin rashes, acne, yeast infections, bloating, depression and general indigestion.
Aside from following a strict sugar-free, vegan diet for about five weeks, I also took several herbs/supplements: Wormwood, black walnut, high quality probiotics, hydrochloric acid or HCL, high quality enzymes and aged garlic extract.
If I were to go back and recommend anything to my past self, I would also include oregano oil and black seed oil to my regimen, especially after witnessing others’ success with this protocol.
I also loaded up on organic, cold-pressed coconut oil – a natural anti-fungal – and seasoned my dishes with as much onion and garlic as I wanted. (Candida hates pungent herbs and spices)
I stayed away from any form of sugar (including unprocessed sugars like maple syrup and fruit), alcohol of any kind and starchy/carby vegetables like potatoes and many types of squashes. I don’t actually drink alcohol myself, but I do sometimes drink kombucha.
I did however notice flare-ups in my digestive issues when I drank too much kombucha, so I avoided that as well. I actually haven’t consumed it much since – I feel way better overall when I don’t drink it.
There are plenty of sources online covering Candida diets, but I saw a major decline in yeast while still eating several of the “No-No” foods many Candida diets discourage, such as fermented veggies and yogurts, mushrooms and certain low-carb veggies like spaghetti squash.
As I mentioned earlier, I also followed a vegan diet on this protocol. If you aren’t plant-based or vegan, I would highly recommend cutting out dairy while you’re on any Candida diet, as it can be highly inflammatory for many people.
Bottom line, I encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinions based on the studies/evidence you find.
One of the worst things you can do for healing success is to follow any one unqualified person’s advice (this includes myself) to a T.
One of the most helpful techniques I learned was to practice self-love whenever I felt down about my situation or started seriously craving carbs.
I indulged in several large cups of matcha or hot tea daily, with creamy, sugar-free, home-made almond milk.
I made delicious sugar-free treats that I could feel good about. (I have plenty of awesome sugar-free recipes on my Instagram and on here, so definitely check those out if you’re interested)
I spent time doing yoga and taking care of my body with longer showers, face masks and hair treatments. I also made sure to drink plenty of filtered or spring water with lemon to flush out toxins and keep my body functioning optimally while dealing with any Candida die-off.
*Pure coconut charcoal can also help improve die-off symptoms, but make sure to take it away from food or other supplements as it can absorb good things as well as bad things.*
I coaxed myself into feeling excited to try out new recipes and seeing how close I could make my Candida friendly treats to the “real thing”, rather than feeling restricted.
Anyway, if any of this resonates with you or you’re having any of the health issues I did, it might be time to consider a Candida cleanse!
As always, please speak to your medical professional before going on any strict diet or cleanse, and especially before taking any herbs, supplements etc.
And if you have any questions, my Instagram DM’s and e-mail are always open!
Peace & Healing,
xoxo – Mackenna