My last post Vegan Candida Diet explained the reasons behind the decision to take the Candida journey and also about my first experiences as well as difficulties. In this post however, I’m going to concentrate on compiling balanced vegan candida diet meal plans.
Read more about my experiences and research results from the following articles:
Most importantly, I was determined to stay on whole food plant-based diet during my fight with candida overgrowth, i.e. I would not consume any oils as well as refined sugars or flours, which are to be avoided in any case while on candida diet.
As you most probably know, the energy that you consume is divided between fats, carbohydrates and protein. Therefore, every day you get a percentage of calories from each group. Normally I’d try to keep the relation as follows:
- 65% or more calories from carbohydrates
- 20% or less calories from fat
- 15% or less calories from protein.
While I was eating everything including fruits and starchy vegetables the above was very easily achieved. However, here’s what I saw when I started to insert my vegan Candida diet meal plans into nutritional database – it was very difficult to get the same level of energy while keeping to those percentages. The reason was not that I wasn’t capable of eating non-starchy vegetables in an amount that’d keep the percentages where I’d been used to. And it’s not that I can’t eat! On the contrary, I can consume huge amounts of whole food plant-based food. Simply put, my nuts’, seeds’ and protein rich foods’ intake relatively increased, at the same time raising the percentage of calories from fat as well as protein. Most of all, the rise came on the expense of carbohydrates.
At the same time I noticed one thing– I actually didn’t need as many calories as I was consuming before. Even with 1500-1700 kcal per day (sometimes 1400 during the cleanse) all my nutritional needs are met and most of all, I feel lighter, more awake and alert.
Inserting my vegan candida meals into a database was a crucial step as otherwise I might have lacked on some of the nutrients and/or energy in general. It is most noteworthy that with the vegan Candida diet meal plans that I have established I am getting all the necessary macros and micros. Furthermore, I’m beyond the RDA with most vitamins and minerals.
Macronutrients of my vegan Candida diet meal plans divide as follows (approximately):
- Carbohydrates – 210 grams, 56%
- Fats – 42 grams, 25%
- Protein – 71 grams, 19%
The fats are divided as follows (percentage from calories):
- Monounsaturated fats (olives, hazelnuts, almonds, avocados) – 9.2%
- Polyunsaturated fats (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds) – 10%
- Saturated fats (coconut, Brazil nuts) – 7.2%
It is especially relevant to remember that within polyunsaturated fats there are omega 6’s and omega 3’s and their healthy ratio is 1:1 – 4:1, i.e. you shouldn’t get omega 6’s more than 4 times of the amount of omega 3’s.
Here’s the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 of some foods:
- Flaxseeds – 4:1
- Chia seeds – 3:1
- Hemp seeds – 1:3
- Walnuts – 1:16
- Grape leaves – 6:1
Next, the following cocktails have a good ratio of omega 3 to omega 6:
- Omega 3/6 ratio 1:3 – 1 tbsp of flax seeds, 1 tbsp of hemp seeds, 1 Brazil nut, 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds, 3 tsps of sesame seeds
- Omega 3/6 ratio 1:3 – 1 tbsp chia seeds, ¾ avocado, ½ tsp tahini, 3 green olives, 2 Brazil nuts
- Omega 3/6 ratio 1:4 – 1 tbsp flax seeds, 1 Brazil nut, 1 tsp poppy seeds, 3 tsps sesame seeds, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 2 walnuts
On an average day I would get from food (% from RDA):
- Vitamin A – 114%
- Vitamin E – 237%
- Vitamin B1 – 145%
- Vitamin B2 – 277%
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – 213%
- Vitamin B6 – 460%
- Vitamin B12 – 207%
- Folates – 400%
- Vitamin C – 219%
- Potassium – 207%
- Calcium – 119%
- Magnesium – 280%
- Iron – 198%
- Copper – 333%
- Iodine – 147%
- Selenium – 112%
- Zinc – 367%
Supplements in Vegan Candida Diet Meal Plans
- Vitamin C – to support my immune system during candida cleanse I took the time release formulation vitamin C; 1000 mg/day.
- Vitamin B12 – there are two different forms of B12: methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is synthetic and created in a laboratory, whereas methylcobalamin is a natural form of B12 and therefore probably better absorbed by our bodies. It has not been proven, but I choose to use my logic.
- As nutritional yeast contains the synthetic form I do not rely on that entirely and therefore I take the natural form supplement once a week as well.
- Vitamin D – I take vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in liquid form, especially in winter when there’s not a lot of sunlight. Remember, the UV (ultraviolet) index has to be at least three in order to get vitamin D from sunlight.
- Agar-agar – it actually is food and not supplement. However, as I only add it to my food to meet the daily iodine allowance, you might as well call it supplementing. ¼ tsp. of agar-agar a day is enough to keep your iodine levels up to date. I add it to my porridge or chia pudding. Alternatively 1g of dried wakame does the job as well.
- Apple cider vinegar – during Candida cleanse I started my day with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. I began with 1 teaspoon and gradually worked my way up to a tablespoon. Apple cider vinegar helps the liver to detoxify your body and is also told to enhance mineral absorption when consumed before meals.
Examples of Balanced Vegan Candida Diet Meal Plans
I usually make porridges for breakfast. My favourites are:
- Oat bran-buckwheat carrot cake porridge (discard the carrot in the first stage of your Candida diet)
- Oat bran-buckwheat pancakes
- Oat bran porridge
- Oat bran-quinoa porridge
- Oat bran-millet porridge
- Oat bran-amaranth porridge
Another tasty breakfast is Buckwheat bread with some tahini or avocado, cucumber, tomatoes and oven-baked veggies.
In addition, I have some fats and spices:
- Healthy fats – sunflower seed butter, almonds and/or shredded coconut.
- Spices – turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla, and/or spirulina.
My post 5 Ways to Prepare Nutritious Porridge describes different preparation methods, including using soaked grains instead of flakes or groats. Should you want to go even deeper in porridge world also read 9-Step Guide to Preparing Balanced Porridge.
Lunches and Dinners
I usually combine myself a Buddha bowl (a huge salad bowl):
- Protein – millet, quinoa, buckwheat, or tofu, fermented buckwheat bread.
- Healthy fats – avocado and/or tahini-lemon juice-nutritional yeast dressing.
- Leafy greens – lettuce + kale, pak choi, beet greens or Swiss chard.
- Non-starchy vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga, eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, red bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, green beans, leek, onions, sauerkraut.
It is actually quite easy with snacks and they don’t differ much from my regular pre-Candida diet options:
- Buckwheat bread slices.
- Buckwheat crackers with avocado, tomato, cucumber and salt/pepper. Or just plain crackers.
- Raw cauliflower, red bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, turnip.
- Muffins and cookies.
- Veggie and bean/lentil spreads.
Another option is to prepare delicious candies by combining nut butter, oat bran, some salt and xylitol.
- Chicory root coffee with unsweetened non-GMO soymilk which has become my morning routine instead of coffee or matcha latte. Even though it may taste awful when you first have it, you need to give chicory a chance – I threw away most of my first cup, but now I’ve grown to like it. It’s important not to prepare it too strong in the beginning, which was the mistake I made.
- Peppermint tea – I make it with fresh leaves and drink as it is. Another option is a strong tea prepared with dried leaves and with a bit of soymilk.
- Camomile tea – good if I want to relax myself or my stomach.
- Ginger tea – I cut thin ginger slices and boil them in water for 10-15 minutes. This is my before-going-to-bed routine.
- Plain water or sometime also mineral water.
- Golden milk – turmeric-cinnamon milk prepared with almond or soy milk and sweetened with stevia or xylitol.
The Essentials of Vegan Candida Diet Meal Plans
When compiling vegan Candida diet meal plans, remember:
- Have a variety of foods every day – different grains/legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- Eat a rainbow daily – something green, something yellow, something orange, something purple, something red and something white/brown.
- If you had a grain-based breakfast, have vegetables with some nuts for your mid-morning snack.
- Should you want to have a grain-based dessert (muffins, cookies), have fewer grains with your dinner or ditch them altogether.
- Make sure to have a tablespoon of ground flax seeds or chia seeds a day so your body gets enough omega 3s.
- Always have some nuts or seeds with vegetables and fruits rich in carotenoids (carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, romaine lettuce, squash, cantaloupe melon, red bell pepper, apricots, peas, broccoli, tomatoes) as the fats help absorb vitamins.
- Don’t get more than 25% of your calories from fat.
- Bear in mind glycemic load of foods.
- Eat the majority of non-starchy veggies raw.
The Plate Rule for lunches and dinners:
- ½ grains, avocado, nuts/seeds, tofu/tempeh,
- ½ raw and cooked non-starchy vegetables.
Bear the glycemic load of foods in mind when compiling vegan Candida diet meal plans. Read more on the importance of glycemic load from my post Living Candida-Free After the Cleanse.
Even though most foods with high GL are excluded from Candida diet, you still need to be cautious with the remaining grains in your menu, i.e. millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and oat bran. The best choice from the list is oat bran having the lowest GL: 16 points per 100 grams of raw oat bran, whereas millet has 44 points, amaranth 39 points, raw buckwheat 37 points and quinoa 36 points for the same amount.
Therefore, should you have problems with blood sugar fluctuation like I do, you’d need to be extra careful with glycemic load and the points of your meals.
I myself have tackled the GL puzzle and compiled vegan Candida diet meal plans that wouldn’t exceed 100 points per day or 20 points per meal. I decided to take “scientific” approach because my blood sugar still tended to fluctuate, especially in the morning after I’d had my (obviously too big) porridge.
Finally, should you feel that compiling balanced vegan Candida diet meal plans meeting all your nutritional needs is too overwhelming, check out my vegan candida cleanse meal plan or reintroduction plan.
If you are interested in reading about whole food plant-based meal planning in more detail read my post Plant-Based Diet: Meal Planning.
Most of all, keep yourself up to date with my posts by subscribing to my newsletter or following me on Facebook and Instagram where I also share my meals almost daily. I’d love to see you in my community!
Editor’s note:This article was revised on Jan 19, 2018.
Disclaimer: this information is based on my own research and personal experience and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Users should seek their own professional counsel for any medical condition or before starting or altering any exercise or diet plan. It is your responsibility to know your health and nutritional needs.