For my 44th birthday my good friend Nancy gave me the best book: Linda Page's "Cooking for Healthy Healing--Food is your Pharmacy" (Here's a link to the book on Amazon:
Starting on Monday I'll be doing the six week "Overcoming Candida Yeast Infection" program. It's pretty intense on what I can and can't eat.
From the book:
"Is your lifestyle promoting Candida?
"1. Poor diet-especially excessive intake of sugar, starchy foods, yeast breads and chemicalized foods.
2. Repeated use of antibiotics--long use of antibiotics kills protective bacteria (that keep candida under control).
3. Hormone medications like corticosteroid drugs and birth control pills.
4. High stress life, too much alcohol, too little rest."
"Do you see the signs of a candida infection?
--Do you have recurrent digestive problems, gas, bloating or flatulence?
--Do you have rectal itching or chronic constipation alternating to diarrhea?
--Do you have a white coating on your tongue (thrush)?
--Have you been unusually irritable or depressed? Do you have unexplained frequent headaches, muscle aches and joint pain?
--Do you feel sick all over yet the cause cannot be found? Are the symptoms worse on muggy days?
--Has your memory been noticeably poor? Are you finding it hard to concentrate or focus your thoughts?
--Do you have chronic vaginal yeast infections or frequent bladder infections?
--If you are a woman do you have serious PMS or other menstrual problems? Do you have endometriosis?
--If you are a man do you have abdominal pains, muscle pain, prostatitis or loss of sexual interest?
--Do you have chronic fungal infections like ringworm, jock itch, nail fungus or athlete's foot?
--Do you have psoriasis, eczema or chronic dermatitis? Are you bothered by erratic vision or spots before the eyes?
--Do you catch frequent colds that take many weeks to go away?
--Are you oversensitive to chemicals, tobacco, perfume or insecticides? Do you crave sugar, bread or alcoholic beverages?
--Have you recently taken repeated rounds of antibiotics or corticosteroid drugs for a month or more?"
Well I can answer yes to many of those questions. Because I don't want you to feel too close to me I'm not going to tell you which ones except I have a very thick white covering over my tongue.
"The longer you wait to begin a candida detox and healing program the harder the job becomes.
"1. Killing the candida yeasts: The diet and supplement program will kill the yeasts. Avoid antibiotics, corticosteroid drugs and birth control pills unless there is absolute medical need so you don't get re-infected.
2. Eliminating the dead yeasts from your body: The cleansing diet and cleansing products will release the dead yeasts and their waste from the body. Enemas or colonics will expedite their removal.
3. Rebuilding your normal systemic environment and immune defenses: The program will strengthen your digestive system by enhancing its ability to assimilate nutrients. Afflicted organ especially the liver and glands will be strengthened. Metabolism will normalize and probiotic supplementation will promote friendly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract."
So let's look at the nuts and bolts of what I'll be doing for the next six weeks.
"Do not eat the following foods for the first month to 6 weeks: Sugar or sweeteners of any kind, gluten bread and yeasted baked goods, dairy products except plain kefir or kefir cheese, yogurt or yogurt cheese, smoked, dried, pickled or cured foods, mushrooms except anti-fungal shitakes, nuts or nut butters except almonds or almond butter, fruits, fruit juices, dried or candied fruits, coffee, black tea, carbonated drinks (phosphoric acid binds up calcium and magnesium), alcohol or foods containing vinegar. Avoid antibiotics, steroid and cortico-steroid drugs and tobacco.
Acceptable foods during the first stage: Fresh and steamed veggies (especially onions, garlic, ginger, cabbage and broccoli), raw cultured sauerkraut, poultry, seafood and sea greens, olive oil, eggs, mayonnaise, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, barley, millet, miso soup and tofu, vegetable pastas, plain or vanilla yogurt, rice cakes-crackers, some citrus fruit and herb teas. Have a green drink, green tea and miso soup every day. This is a short list but diet restriction is the most important way to stop candida yeast overgrowth. Note: Drink 8-10 glasses of bottled water every day of your cleanse. Water lubricates and flushes wastes, toxins and dead yeast cells from the body."
There you have it. I have quite the program ahead of me.
Rather than think about what I can't have I'm choosing to embrace what I can have. I love a good challenge and am looking forward to creating new recipes using all the acceptable foods.
I'll post exactly what the day to day program consists of.
In the meantime I need to make a shopping list and get started!