Ever since I started giving Brooks naturally fermented pickles he has broken out in a rash around his mouth and more recently I’ve discovered that the same happens to Maddox.
A few months ago, I did an online search and came across “die off” symptoms of candida. I also reached out to Donna Gates on Facebook because she is the creator of the Body Ecology Diet and is a huge proponent of fermented foods. To my surprise, Donna sent me a Facebook message back a few weeks later suggesting that I reach out to a holistic practitioner. I decided to do just that. Yesterday I had a one hour appointment with Dr. Emily Lindner who is a practicing MD and functional medicine specialist.
I explained to Dr. Lindner that even though I feel that I have a very healthy diet and that I exercise, it seems that I have to work really hard to stay healthy. It only takes one sleepless night or a few glasses of wine for me to wake up with a sore throat. Luckily through the years, I have found a lot of ways to build my immune system so that this sore throat doesn’t turn into a full-blown infection but regardless this happens a few times a week. I also suffer from near constant nasal congestion and pretty regular fatigue. We discussed my diet and my history of surgeries, illness, and the use of medications. We also discussed Maddox’s history of food allergies, eczema, ear infections, and cradle cap.
Dr. Lindner suggested that I, and likely Maddox, are dealing with candida, an overgrowth of yeast. She explained that she could run diagnostic tests to determine this or we can do an experiment with my diet. She was in favor of the latter since she said the tests become expensive and aren’t always 100% accurate. I agreed to try the diet for 2-3 weeks to see how I feel with the understanding that if it is working I will need to follow it for a total of 6-8 weeks to allow time for my gut to heal.
Today I met with my acupuncturist who agreed with the diagnosis. Interestingly enough, the diet differs a little depending on what you read or advice you follow. Dr. Lindner suggested that I eat any meat that I want (nothing fried), any seafood, any veggies except corn (limited potatoes, beets, and carrots), as well as nuts (expect cashews and peanuts), limited legumes, and plenty of oils. Her list excludes all grains, alcohol, coffee, black tea, and even fruit. My acupuncturist said I could probably include low sugar fruits like berries, and the Body Ecology Diet also allows for some low sugar fruits. There are definitely some disagreements about what foods are allowed but the premise is always the same: starve the yeast. Thus, my starvation diet has begun. I’m a day and a half in and I already know that my biggest challenge will be making sure I’m starving the yeast but not myself.
In addition to the diet, I will be adding a few supplements to help my body detoxify and for the good bacteria in my gut to override the yeast. We also discussed what to do when I cheat and drink alcohol on occasion over the next 3-6 weeks.
I’m writing this to hold myself accountable. I love coffee, wine, fruit, and sweets so this is not going to be an easy road for me. I’m going to write an update each week to let you know how it’s going. My hope is that I can stick with the diet, get rid of the yeast, and build my immune system so that I don’t end up sick every time Brooks brings home germs from school. As for Maddox, I’m going to try to clean up his diet too and include more greens, coconut oil, and possibly some supplements. Obviously he’s too little to be put on this program so I’ll have to tread lightly.
So there we have it…the starvation diet is officially underway. Wish me luck, and of course good health.