I started my journey on vegan Candida diet 11 months ago and I think it’s about time I briefed you on my results, experience, failures and success.
Before I continue, let me direct you to read my Guide to Candida Overgrowth: Causes, Symptoms, Testing and Treatment should you need a good summary on the topic.
I went on Vegan Candida Cleanse in August 2016 excluding all fruits, legumes, gluten, starchy veggies, peanuts, corn, rice, coffee, black and green tea, vinegar, yeast and artificial sweeteners from my diet. I was left with non-starchy veggies, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oat bran, tofu, tempeh, soy yogurt, chicory coffee, seeds, nuts, coconut, and avocados. How did I manage?
My Experiences on Vegan Candida Diet, The Cleanse
Although I did not start with antifungals and probiotics straight away, I still experienced Candida die-off symptoms:
- I had headaches for 4 days starting from the second day. It was quite bad for the first two days, but I still managed to do without any painkillers. On the third and fourth day it already got milder and was quite bearable.
- Next, I experienced dizziness and lack of energy. Part of it was certainly due to the fact that I just couldn’t eat as many calories as I was used to. Starches and fruits give a lot of energy, but as these were taken away I needed to get used to new quantities and eating habits. Being already quite thin, I even lost a kilo in the beginning, but gained it back pretty quickly.
I used the following probiotics and anti fungals:
- Garden of Life Primal Defence Probiotic http://amzn.to/2t943MW (amazon.com), http://amzn.to/2u8JNzf (amazon.co.uk)
- Garden of Life Fungal Defence http://amzn.to/2t95b32 (amazon.com), http://amzn.to/2sZGGtZ (amazon.co.uk)
Furthermore, I made my own antifungal and anti-inflammatory shots (click for blog post and tutorial video).
Reintroducing Foods on Vegan Candida Diet
After staying on vegan Candida cleanse for 6 weeks I started to re-introduce foods back into my menu:
- 1st and 2nd week – I switched back in menu (one-by-one) without any symptoms: lentils, brown rice, beetroot, raw cocoa, blueberries and raspberries (as garnish).
Foods that I tried, but that caused some symptoms to return: chickpeas, red beans, grapefruit and unsweetened applesauce.
- 3rd and 4th week – I re-introduced without any symptoms: butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips, mung beans and chickpeas.
- 2nd month – I re-introduced without any symptoms: gluten-free jumbo oats, white and black beans.
Foods that I tried, but that caused some symptoms to return: dates and nutritional yeast.
- 6th month – finally I could have fresh fruits (yes!), except bananas. I eat mainly oranges, kiwis, melons, apples, pears, berries and grapefruit.
- 7th month – next came nutritional yeast (max 1 tbsp. a day and not every day) and an occasional splash of agave syrup or coconut nectar.
- 8th month – and finally, I added back bananas, but in a very small quantity (⅙ of a big banana).
I’ve gathered my research and experience into vegan Candida reintroduction meal plan.
New Information on Vegan Candida Diet
Even if my symptoms withdrew, I still experienced blood sugar highs and lows. This, in my experience is one of the main contributors to candida overgrowth. So, I continued to search for more information. After being on the diet for about 2 months I discovered Yeast Infection No More by Linda Allen. Her book taught me about the importance of low fat diet when fighting candida. I also switched brown rice back into my menu without any adverse effects. Yeast Infection No More is also available in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
Now, my blood sugar was doing fine for some time. However, I started to have the fluctuations again after a while. Whenever I experience blood sugar highs and lows for 2 consecutive days I can be sure that at least one of my symptoms start to emerge. Usually, it is itching or sore corners of my mouth. As soon as I get back on track, the symptoms withdraw. Thus, I concluded that it is not only about the right and wrong foods, but also about right food combining, the amounts I eat at one mealtime as well as the regularity of my mealtimes. As a result, I’ve put down the principals that keep me Candida free in a separate blog post Vegan Candida Diet – Living Candida Free After The Cleanse.
Finally, I found the ultimate book on Candida diet!
However, it didn’t end there! I was still struggling with my blood sugar (especially after breakfast) when I stumbled upon the ultimate guide to beating yeast infection – a very thorough 700-page book The Candida Crusher by naturopath Eric Bakker from New Zealand. He has successfully treated thousands of patients over the past 25 years and I found great value from his book. Among all the vital information, he emphasises the importance of high-protein breakfast accompanied by healthy fats. This is when I drastically diminished my grain consumption and started to sprout my legumes before cooking. Apparently sprouting decreases carbohydrate content and increases protein and soluble fibre content of grains and legumes. I created recipes like Mung Bean Porridge, Yogurt Parfait, Protein Balls and Vegan Paleo Brownies. (updated in June 2018)
I understand that compiling a balanced meal plan that would meet all your nutritional needs might be a bit overwhelming. Therefore, should you feel the need for help, check out my vegan candida cleanse meal plan or reintroduction plan.
Finally, are you a total newbie to healthy wholesome eating? Then I’m sure you’d find great value in my book Plant-Based Made Easy: The Complete Practical Guide to Transitioning to Healthy Whole Food Diet. Be aware that the recipes are not for Candida diet, but the rest (2/3 of the book) is packed with valuable information.
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.