The anti-Candida Diet, or, “Things We Do For Our Kids”

Everyone has bacteria and other live organisms growing in their digestive tracts and various places in their body. When things are in proper balance, they promote and aid in proper digestion. Well, sometimes this balance becomes upset, either through illness or sensitivity to various foods, and one particular organism, Candida albicans, can become dominant and will then begin to invade healthy tissue, in the form of thrush or other yeast ailments, including yeasty stomach, or other common fungal infections.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the anti-Candida diet but the general idea is to eliminate anything in one’s diet that could promote yeast over-growth in the body. The most obvious culprit is sugar – as anyone who has made homemade bread knows, yeast need sugar to live. Cut off the food source, and you begin to get rid of the overgrowth, and put things back in balance. In my case, while I have no apparent symptoms of yeast infections or Candida, Jade obviously does, so I have to eliminate anything in my diet that might affect her through my breastmilk – either yeast in my own system that can get passed to her, or sugar and other things in my milk that could make her own yeast problems worse.

If only it was as simple as cutting out sugar and sweets. You would be *amazed* at how much has to be cut out of one’s diet in order to fight this.

This means no yeast, no sugar, no fructose (including MOST fruit), no sucrose, dextrose, malto-dextrose, no artificial sweeteners, no additives derived from sugar or yeast, no wheat, no bread, no dairy (except butter), no foods processed through fermentation, malting or distillation processes. No foods containing vinegar or any foods prone to yeast or mold growth (cheese, cantelope, peanuts, pistachios, mushroms).

No alcohol of ANY kind. No coffee, No tea (except certain herbal teas). No fruit or fruit juices except grapefruit, lemon, lime and cranberry (unsweetened of course).

The only sweetener I am allowed is Stevia, and (depending on which version of the diet you follow) perhaps pressed cane juice.

Another thing anyone fighting yeast/Candida needs to do is to increase the number of beneficial flora in the system, including Acidphilus – which can be done any number of ways, including supplements, yogurt with active cultures, and other methods, such as Bio-K, which is a really nasty tasting drink made with TONS of live acidophilus.

It’s a healthier lifestyle for sure, and I’ve even lost weight, but it makes grocery shopping and meal prep, not to mention eating out or with friends, so much more complicated, and to some extent (supplements, organics, alternative no-no free foods from health food stores), more expensive.

I’ve even learned to make my own yeast free breads using alternative grain flours like spelt, millet, buckwheat and oat.

Right now, as I’ve mentioned before, not even all the medicines, natural remedies, supplements, and dietary restrictions has been able to beat this, due to the complications with her heart defects, but, if nothing else, I can hopefully keep it from getting worse.

While I will gladly do whatever I have to to make her feel better, or, in this case (since we can’t really seem to get rid of it), even to just keep her from getting or feeling worse, I really, really don’t want to have to be on this forever. I am SO hoping this will resolve itself after her surgery.

I will likely have to continue on the diet for some time after her surgery, as she will be on antibiotics for a while afterwards and is very likely to end up with a re-currence of thrush from that. So, I’m resigned to eating this way, probably for many months.