A Healing Candida Diet
by TL Cornish, CNP
The Whole Approach Candida Diet is a healing, low-glycemic diet planned around hypo-allergenic foods that do not promote yeast growth. The Whole Approach Candida Diet emphasizes highly-nutritious and easily digestible foods. The preferred foods help to clear mucous and reduce inflammation, while minimizing or avoiding foods that don’t support candida cleansing.
Abstinence from hard-to-digest foods, allergens, contaminants or additives, helps encourage intestinal healing and whole body detoxification. GMO-free and organic foods are emphasized as much as possible. The Whole Approach Support Forum, provides guidance and support for healthy eating. Tarilee Cornish, CNP (Certified Nutritional Practitioner) provides support and other helpful tips for navigating food quality and food safety issues inherent in our global, industrialized food system.
Corresponding educational reference resources further augment the WholeApproach food lists, including the Food Notes and Candida Diet FAQs. An overview of the Whole Approach Candida Diet can be found below, as well as a description of Tarilee’s healthy eating guidelines.
Customized to Individual Needs
The Whole Approach Candida Diet is customized by each individual according to their improving score on the WholeApproach Candida Symptom Assessment Questionnaire. Food choices are selected from a Food List download, divided into easy to use, color-coded, OK, Limit and Avoid categories. Members choose foods according to their nutritional needs, preferences, and tolerances. Progress on the transitional diet is determined by the candida symptom questionnaire score.
Diet Rules – Are they all Essential?
It’s common for those of us on a self-healing path to come across a multitude of health theories, therapeutic diets and eating styles. The sheer quantity of information can be overwhelming and the contradictions are often downright baffling. Some people go from diet to diet in the hope that one of them will fit just right. Others study all of the theories and try to accommodate all of them into one diet.
The candida diet itself, being low-carbohydrate, can be rather challenging. We caution against trying to follow so many rules that it makes your diet plans into an absolutely stressful and impossible feat. Try to remember that every diet rule is not applicable to every person. If you attempted to follow every diet rule out there, the combined restrictions would probably prevent you from eating anything.
In the hope of preventing you from getting lost in a maze of diet theories, we have created the WholeApproach Candida Diet. This includes a careful selection of what we consider to be the most important diet considerations to enhance your recovery from CRC. It not only incorporates recommendations to support recovery from candida overgrowth, but also includes considerations for boosting immunity, detoxification, energy, brain health, blood sugar balance and intestinal regularity.
The Whole Approach Candida Diet can be challenging for some people, especially when it represents a dramatic change in habits. Balancing your diet rules with a calm, immune-boosting state of mind takes practice and time. As you settle into a diet that feels right for you, the anxiety around your choices will fade away.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to learn to listen to your body. As you move forward, you will learn what works best for you. Your diet notebook will prove invaluable in helping you evaluate the effectiveness of your food program.
A healing diet maximizes food choices that are:
- organically grown and local if available
- healthy fats and oils
- pasture raised animal products
- low carbohydrate and low glycemic (does not raise the blood sugar rapidly)
- easy to digest (including sprouted or naturally fermented foods with more digestible proteins and starches)
- cleansing (help the body eliminate waste or toxins)
A healing diet minimizes foods that are:
- hard-to-digest or allergenic or overly processed
- genetically modified (GM/GMO) or derived from GM sources
- artificially preserved or texturized
- oxidized, fractionated, or trans fat oils (see healthy fats article)
- high residue foods (promote mucous, inflammation, skin eruptions or constipation)
It’s important to eat the good stuff but it is at least as important to make sure your body can assimilate it. In this world it’s not really possible to eat a perfect diet all the time. Try to be kind with yourself and remember to accept your best efforts. Even a mostly healthy diet can have a healthy impact when the mind is trained to default to calm and positive.
While doing the best you can to eat well, it can be helpful to remember the old adage, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. You can maximize the goodness and minimize the negative impacts of everything you eat by adopting an attitude of appreciation. Also, regular self regulating practices like yoga or meditation can actually strengthen digestive power and reduce toxic residue from a meal.
Try taking some moments to breath slowly and calm your state before eating. Focus on what’s good about what you are about to receive and of the privilege of being the beneficiary of all the human and natural efforts that went into bringing it to your plate.
Another important part of eating for health and happiness is to refrain from bemoaning the foods you ‘can’t’ eat. When your self-care requires some avoidance, skip the sabotaging thoughts. Your meal can deliver the most nutritional (and emotional) benefit when you eat it with acknowledgement that it's an advantage to eat healthfully, not a deprivation.
Tune in to your Needs
In addition to selecting the right foods and appreciating them, you can tune into your body’s changing needs at different times. Fatigue, stress, travel, hormone cycles, emotions, activity levels and even weather and environment can influence your diet needs.
Do you need more fat and protein when you exercise? Do you need less when it’s hot? What foods calm you, or help you feel light and energized? What foods are easiest for you to digest when you are worried or excited? What eating patterns enhance your sleep and how refreshed you feel when you are awake? Do certain foods cause irritation, inflammation? Do some foods make you feel happy?
You can become intuitive about your own unique diet needs by listening to your body and tracking your positive and negative responses to your diet choices. Try keeping a diet notebook to evaluate which choices feel best for you.
Here's just a few brief diet tips that will be revisited in future course modules.
- Use the Whole Approach candida diet as a guide, (to starve candida and nourish you)!
- Eat quality food in its most simple, natural state.
- Make vegetables at least 50% of your diet, some of them raw.
- Prepare your own food when possible and eat in. It’s underrated!
- Diversify your diet to prevent food intolerance.
- Diversify the colors on your plate for a range of vitamins and minerals.
- Drink pure water, at least half your pounds of body weight- in ounces.
- Consume only healthy oils and prepare them gently.
- Soak and sprout seeds, nuts, beans and grains before eating.
- Choose your food to suit your activity level, time of day and energy level.
- For better digestion, optimize your emotional/mental state before eating.
- Use a diet and health journal for self-monitoring feedback and motivation.
When you’re hungry or planning your meals try simplifying your choices with these simple questions in mind:
1- What are the healthiest, (ideally, seasonal, organic, and local foods) that I have access to?
2- What is the healthiest and tastiest way to prepare them?
3- Which of these foods should I eat and when, in order to feel my best?
Tarilee Cornish, CNP (Certified Nutritional Practitioner) provides support to help you find healthy food with a maximum happiness footprint. This article has been revised from an article previously written by Tarilee Cornish. Tarilee is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner with a special interest in pure, ethically-sourced foods, immune and digestive recovery and recovery from food allergies and candida overgrowth. Tarilee is a moderator on the WholeApproach Support Forum. Copyright 2018