First, let me thank you so much for starting this blog and sharing this helpful information! I do find a lot of useful advice here on daily basis. Both my daughter and I suffer from candida overgrowth and have been on various diets to get it under control, but the one you describe here works the best! I wanted to ask your opinion about two things while on the candida diet.
- Since this diet consists of a lot of animal protein, what is the best way to keep one’s pH level at an optimum? Should we just increase the amount of vegetables we eat?
- My daughter and I have developed allergies to almost all raw fruit and vegetables over the period of last year or so while we were trying a mostly raw vegan diet. At this point I have to cook everything we consume to avoid allergic reactions. I know that enzymes are really important to help us digest and absorb nutrients, but I feel like we’re getting none. What are your thoughts on that?
Thank you so much! Beth
The most important aspect for balancing the pH of the body is the elimination of sugar, grains, white flour, artificial sweeteners, flavors and additives, carbonated beverages, caffeine, alcohol and all processed food. When you remove all this garbage and replace it with whole foods, then that will begin to bring about significant balance to pH right away.
The best way to balance your pH is determined by whether your body is too acidic or too alkaline. Being too alkaline is not healthy either. A raw, vegan diet is extremely alkaline, so since you were on a raw, vegan diet for a period of time, it is possible that you are very alkaline at this point. You can test yourself quite easily with pH testing strips. Saliva is more reliable than urine.
If you are too acidic, then you want to increase the amount of vegetables you eat and be sure to avoid all grains, in addition to removing all the items mentioned in paragraph one. The temporary use of ionized drinking water or alkalizing drops is another effective way of alkalizing. You can also reduce acidosis with deep breathing exercises or umeboshi plums. However, if you’re too alkaline, then you would eat more acidic foods for a period of time; so you could increase your meat consumption and decrease your vegetable content. It is crucial to be aware that there is a difference between the pH in your blood and the pH of your gut. You want your blood pH to be slightly alkaline; however, you want your gut to be acidic. A gut that is too alkaline will encourage yeast overgrowth, because acid is one of our primary ways of keeping pathogens out of the body. Therefore, a diet that is too alkaline will contribute to Candida. Take a look at Candida & pH for more information on this topic.
Following a balanced diet that basically consists of eating a Paleolithic diet will help you from going too far in either direction. It isn’t eating meat that causes the body to be too acidic, it is more about balance. We want a combination of alkalizing and acidic foods in our diet. Meat protein has been a part of the diet since caveman days and it is supposed to be a part of the diet. It is grains, beans and dairy that shouldn’t be part of the diet. However, meat should not be processed. You shouldn’t be eating things like bacon, sausage or lunch meat. It should be organic, pastured, free-range, and whole cuts like thighs, breasts, steaks, roasts etc. Additionally, it should be accompanied by a variety of alkalizing vegetables, which will neutralize the acid and promote a healthy pH in both the blood and the gut.
The Candida diet that I recommend is a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet. It is my opinion that the healthiest diet consists primarily of animal protein, a moderate amount of fat, and low-starch vegetables with a small amounts of nuts, seeds and low sugar fruits. That’s it.
It isn’t true that you aren’t getting nutrients by cooking your food. Only foods that are high in water soluble vitamins lose their nutritional value with cooking. Cooking vegetables that are high in fat soluble vitamins which include A, D, E and K can actually double their nutritional value.
Some foods that are high in fat soluble vitamins include tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, onions, spinach, apples, celery and apricots. So eat plenty of these.
However, the manner in which you cook them is what’s important. DON’T BOIL. Boiling allows the nutrients to escape. The best method for cooking is steaming. Steamed vegetables do not lose their alkalizing abilities and retain most of their nutritional value. Alternatively, you can also bake them in a small dish with a lid. For example, a baked onion is very nutritious and baked pears or apples with a dash of cinnamon are delicious and packed with nutrients.
If it’s possible, you want to steam “lightly”. Meaning they should contain a slight amount of crisp to them when they are finished. If that’s not possible because of your sensitivities, just leave them as crisp as possible.
Another good practice is to drink the water in the bottom of the pan after you steam them. This water has all the nutrients that were steamed out.
You say that you are allergic to “almost” all fruits and vegetables, so I would encourage you to try and get a few servings a week of something raw that isn’t causing problems for you. The diet should not consist of raw foods only to be nutritious, but it should contain at least some if possible.
Part of designing a diet that works for you is about reconciling what is “ideal” with what is “realistic” because of health conditions we may face, sensitivities, the integrity of the gut, limits, circumstances of life, finances etc. We usually have to find a balance between the two. We often have conflicting needs and must compromise to meet them the best we can.