First off, let me start by saying that f you’ve done a candida diet and it worked for you, I am genuinely thrilled. There’s nothing I want more than for you to feel fabulous
Second, this is based on my personal and professional experience, in seeing how these extreme diets & protocols trigger an obsession with health that borderlines disordered eating.
Now that I got that out of the way, I want to say that while the candida diet did give me some (temporary) relief, I came to realize that tackling this nasty little one does not require being so hard-core intense as I went about it. In fact, I owe having this condition under control to the guidance to the one and only Dr. @sarahvadeboncoeur who has a keen sense for finding the sweet spot between gentle yet effective as well as my personal commitment to finding health without diets and, most importantly, without feeding my obsession with being healthy
To make a very long story short, the summer of 2013 I was getting ready to defend my master’s thesis and was feeling foggy, sluggish and depleted as I had ever been. Since my draft was submitted and I had my defense scheduled, I decided to visit a doctor to make the best out of those 4 weeks before my defense. I though, “please anything to bring me back to life so I can defend that baby and go on to live my best life”
I could smell my own success, if only I could get rid of the fog, recover a glimpse of joie de vivre and ease of my belly bloating
It was then that I was first introduced to something called “candida”. Now, you have to understand how hard core obsessive I used to be about, well, pretty much everything. The practitioner I visited at the time just asked me if I had heard of candida and he mentioned something along the lines of “see if you can cut down a bit on sugar and gluten”
Sounds pretty simple, right?
But oh no, off I went home and I google the heck out of that candida diet
I was on a mission
So I spend HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS, indulging on my new obsession to fix my leaky gut
Bought ALL the supplements (I won’t give many details because the last thing I want is to encourage you to do it)
Cut out about 50 foods from my diet (again, no details)
And surrendered to feeling miserable as I went through the infamous “die off”, all in the name of health
I obviously couldn’t go anywhere because my life was at an all-restrictive phase. No restaurants, no seeing friends and family (‘cause “no one gets it”, right?), no life…
As I started off the diet, I begun feeling… “brighter”, the fog lifted up. That was nice.
I also started dropping weight… oh, weigh loss, my good old lover!
It was if there was a direct correlation… the more isolated from the world I became, the skinnier I got. I know you also smell the danger. Looking back, red flags all over.
3 weeks into the candida diet, I defended my thesis with a clear brain and a flat tummy
So now… life time success, right?
To tell you the entire story would require about 10 pages so to make matters as short as I possibly can, I was able to sustain the diet for 4 weeks while I was so restrictive and socially isolated. Yes, I felt good physically but to be completely transparent, that diet made me spiral into an all time high obsession with my weight & my health. For about a year after that 1st candida cleanse, I attempted numerous times to get back the same bright brain and flat tummy only to see myself trapped in a cycle of food restriction & obsession right straight into sugar binges.
I spend a ton of money on supplements, visiting health practitioners, but most sadly I spend hours and hours of my life dieting, obsessing over food and staying away from socializing because I was waiting for the right diet to give me the green light to enjoy myself.
If this resonates at all, I want to share 2 pieces of advice to help you:
1. I hear you, you’re not feeling awesome, you probably haven’t in a long time… but I promise, it is possible to be healthy without diets and without doing extreme things. It’s going to require that you shift your mindset and you commit to giving up quick fixes. Your health is your most valuable asset. Be in the business of taking care of your health for the long run.
2. Tune out the noise and find yourself a health practitioner who helps you tackle your health issues in a gentle yet effective way. When I see practitioners claim that you have to absolutely cut out X, W, Z to feel well, I respectfully disagree (and run for the door). I know myself enough to know that this mindset can trigger my old ways, plus I happen to have effectively managed this condition for several years without cleansing, dieting or spiraling into disorder eating. And so can you my friend!
PS: feeling stuck in the restrict/overeat cycle? if so, I've got an awesome resource for you! grab a copy of my 3 Powerful Tools To Stop Eating Those Emotions without Willpower or Restriction