hello fellow sS’ers!
you may recall from a previous post that candida albicans is a yeast that we all naturally have in our digestive systems. a variety of different factors like antibiotic usage, diets excessive in sugar, and even stress can throw off the balance of bacteria in our systems and cause an overgrowth of candida. this overgrowth can lead to an endless array of symptoms such as chronic yeast infections, depression, bloating, gas, constipation, fatigue, joint pain and of course….ACNE.
when kimmy started seeing kim in december of ’09, she literally felt “clear” after the first treatment. but some time passed and she started breaking out again. this time, the breakout didn’t go away no matter how many times she came in for treatment. along with the stubborn acne, she was having frequent yeast infections, and had an itchy rash on her face that just wouldn’t go away! after much probing (both at her skin and into her life!), kim came to the conclusion that she had a candida overgrowth and would need to do a cleanse to get clear.
since sS was still fairly new to the candida cleanse, kimmy was sort of the guinea pig who tried and tested the crazy amount of information out there. now, after 3 rounds of the cleanse, hours of reading, and lots of frustration trying to navigate all of the conflicting information, we hope these tips she learned will help you and save you from all of the trouble she went through.
first, a few very straightforward pointers:
1. JUST DO IT. if you’re following the sS acne-free lifestyle, coming in for treatment as prescribed, and following your regimen and you’re still not clearing up; if you get chronic yeast infections, have poor digestion, crave sugar and carbs, have all around poor health and get sick all the time, just. freakin. do. it!!!
the good news is: it can’t hurt. “cleanse” is a misleading word because really, the “candida cleanse” is just following a healthy diet – and this way of eating will benefit you whether or not you have candida.a few months may seem like a long time but it is nothing compared to the months and years you will suffer with acne and all the other candida symptoms you may experience if you dont just nip this in the bud now. and lets just be honest, most of us could do with a few months of cleaning up our diets (and perhaps our livers too…)
2. don’t bother doing it half-assed. if you’re gonna do it, do it all the way! the first two times kimmy did the cleanse, she did it for two weeks each. her symptoms got better then got worse again. finally, she gave in and ended up doing it for the full two months. in the end, instead of just doing it for the full two months in the first place, she wasted time doing it half- assed because she was being lazy. also, yeast thrives on sugar — and yes, that means just a tiny drop of alcohol or a little bite of chocolate! don’t do the cleanse and cheat (even if its just a little bit) because ultimately, you’re just cheating yourself.
3. be prepared! don’t just decide to do the cleanse tomorrow without preparing and definitely don’t decide to do it right before vacation: you’ll be setting yourself up to fail and you’ll be really, really hungry. when the time is right, gather up some recipes, get some snacks in that fridge, and be prepared to spend a little time in the kitchen. if you’re someone like kimmy who’s scared to boil a pot of water, don’t worry! we promise you, this doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming – but, you are going to have to get over your fear of burning down the house or poisoning someone every time you prepare food. and who knows, by the end of the cleanse, you may even enjoy cooking and be confident in your skills in the kitchen… as you should be! you can do it 🙂
now, on to the nitty-gritty! we’re gonna warn you, you may start reading this list of foods to avoid and find that everything you eat is, well, a food to avoid. don’t run away just yet! we promise you won’t be hungry and there is still a ton of things that you can eat! so, here it goes…
FOODS TO AVOID!
SUGARS (try xylitol or stevia instead!)
sugar, honey, syrup, lactose, sucrose, fructose, chocolate, molasses, rice syrup, artificial sweeteners, agave nectar, coconut sugar, candy, cookies, snack foods
ALL. OF. IT. wine, beer, spirits, liquors, cider. yep. sorry.
coffee, decaf coffee, black & green tea (or any caffeinated tea), diet & regular soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, coconut water, fruit juice, rice milk, kombucha (it has caffeine from the tea and sugar!)
all pork products, cured meat (like: salami, pepperoni, pastrami, hot dogs), processed meats (lunch meat, bacon, spam), smoked & vacuum packed meats
wheat, rye, oats, barley, bread, enriched flour, white or wheat pasta, spelt products, corn, corn by products, cereal
FRUIT (lemon and limes are fine!)
fresh fruit, dried fruit, canned fruit, fruit juice
potatoes, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, peas, parsnips, yucca, all winter squash, basically anything starchy, which the body will turn into sugar upon consumption.
cheese, milk, cream, buttermilk, yogurt. PASTURED and organic butter however, is ok in small amounts.
ketchup, store bought mayonnaise (homemade that you make yourself is ok), regular mustard, relish, horseradish, soy sauce, salad dressings, vinegars. in place of vinegars, you can use apple cider vinegar, lemon and limes ONLY.
peanut oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, coconut oil, vegetable oils, canola oil, soy oil, margarine, shortening, lard
mushrooms, truffles, imported teas, cheeses, even dried spices (fresh herbs are best)
cashews, peanuts, pistachios
PHEW. you still with us? now, lets talk about the foods you CAN eat.
we know most of you have a diet right now that consists entirely of foods in the last section. we also know how intimidating it is to read the list that you’re about to read and to never have cooked or even heard of some of these foods.
amaranth? is that a perfume?… buckwheat? wasn’t that a character from the little rascals?… um, NO. these are foods that for some strange reason are not a part of our american diet… but they should be! most of them are affordable, easy to make, full of nutrients and delicious.
take buckwheat for example. buckwheat is one of the gluten-free grains allowed on the cleanse. it can be found in the bulk section of most supermarkets and is usually even less expensive than rice. it’s high in quality plant proteins, both essential and non-essential amino acids, the powerful antioxidant rutin, and vitamin e. compared to rice, it has twice as much zinc and copper, over three times the amount of calcium and iron, and over five times the amount of potassium and magnesium. buckwheat takes less time to cook than rice and can be eaten as is or put in soups (like we like to do).
the point is, don’t be scared by foods you’re not familiar with. a fancy name doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s hard to cook or expensive.
now, onto the full list of FOODS TO EAT:
artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beet greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, kale, kimchi (raw – with no sugar or vinegar!), leeks, lettuce, okra, olives (as long as they are not in vinegar – apple cider vinegar is ok though), onions, peppers, radish, rutabaga, sauerkraut (raw), snow pea pods, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, turnip, zucchini
NON-GLUTINOUS GRAINS (keep at a minimum, up to 25% of each meal)
amaranth, buckwheat, millet, canahua, oat bran, quinoa, wild and brown rice
BEANS dont eat these more than 1-2 times a week max. they are high in carbohydrates, which turns to sugar. if you want to be super conservative, don’t eat them at all!
MEAT (be sure to use organic, hormone-, antibiotic-free and local products as much as possible!)
beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, wild game, eggs
anchovies, herring, sardines, wild salmon
NUTS AND SEEDS
almonds, almond milk (unsweetened), coconut milk, coconut cream (unsweetened), flax seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
olive oil, sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil, macadamia oil, almond oil, flax oil, safflower, sunflower, ghee, organic butter. (traditionally coconut oil and butter are allowed on the cleanse, but are not recommended for the acne-prone, so it’s best to avoid them)
HERBS AND SPICES
basil, black pepper, cayenne, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, turmeric (fresh is always best, to reduce the possible amount of mold dried herbs can harbor)
black pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder
chicory root “coffee” (aka inka), herbal teas (meaning, non-caffeinated like chamomile, senna, peppermint, etc.), fresh vegetable juices (avoid the not-candida-safe veggies like carrots and beets, though – also no fruit!). pau d’arco tea is known for helping with rebalancing candida levels.
let’s want to walk you through a typical day of food on the cleanse:
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with greens (kale, collard greens, spinach) in olive oil, oat bran w/almond milk, cinnamon and sliced almonds or coconut shreds (unsweetened), or even candida-safe grain porridge (you can eat this savory with leftover veggies and meat, or sweet with almond milk, cinnamon and almonds or unsweetened coconut)
snack: celery/bell peppers w/hummus or almond butter, mixed nuts
lunch: salad w/avocado and quinoa & dressed w/olive oil and apple cider vinegar, chicken
dinner: roasted brussels sprouts, cajun spiced fish, millet/buckwheat
all of these meals are super easy, economical, and easy to pack up and take to work or school.
here are a few tips while you’re on the cleanse:
– you may experience “die-off” symptoms, a.k.a.: sugar withdrawals. as you starve the yeast, it releases toxic byproducts into your system and this can cause symptoms ranging from sweating to headaches to fatigue. if this happens, don’t stop! it simply means that the cleanse is working and your body is cleansing itself of the yeast. just try to take it easy, and be gentle with yourself. take extra time to rest, have relaxation time, take epsom salt baths, take up a new hobby like coloring or reading paperback books 🙂
–try not to eat out too much during this time: it will just make you really frustrated. if you must, mediterranean restaurants are a good choice because a lot of the dishes are yeast free. you can also go to a high end restaurant that serves good, clean locally grass-fed beef or organic free-range chicken or wild fish, and ask that they prepare them with only olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. they often will also have veggies you can ask to have as sides instead, and have seasoned the same way.
–MAKE SOUP!!! soups were kimmy’s saving grace during the cleanse! she’s all about the easiest and fastest way to do things and making a soup is a great way to make something easy, fast and economical. every saturday, she went to the alemany farmers market, bought tons of organic veggies and made a soup that would last me almost the entire week. no cooking everyday, and super easy to reheat and eat? hallelujah.
– CANSOL is an herbal tincture recommended by naturopath, dr. anstett, to be taken in conjunction with the diet. dr. anstett says there are a lot of candida cleanse kits on the market and most of them are garbage. the manufacturer of cansol, pure herbs, is the one he trusts and uses in his own practice. we have also heard success with taking oregano oil, but haven’t tested this out. let us know how it works out for you!
CANSOL INFORMATION from pure herbs, the manufacturer:
VERY IMPORTANT: make sure you have 2-3 long and formed bowel movements a day, to flush the excess candida completely out of the gut. you can drink extra water, eat more fiber (marshmallow and parsley teas, flax seed, fibrous veggies like celery, cauliflower, broccoli), eat more salad and raw veggies, do some digestive yoga poses.
dr. anstett also recommends you drink ONLY distilled water, and eat organic/locally sourced/antibiotic-free meat and produce.
and last but not least, keep in touch! you can email or call us anytime if you need help, have questions, or you just want to vent your frustration.
we’ve got a pinterest board where we’ve collected tons of recipes and tips. let us know if you find something good to add to it! just remember, beans (in general) should only be eaten sparingly (1-2 times a week at max) and many of the recipes on our pinterest have garbanzo beans (so don’t go crazy with those recipes!).
we hope this helps and we wish you all the best of luck!