Sometimes it’s not all about the fruit. At certain times and for a variety of reasons you may want a fruit-free juice or smoothie. I have many clients who are on my Candida Recovery Program, and for them fruit is temporarily off limits. It can be hard at first, especially for people who have an addiction to sugar. I’ve had clients who have sailed through 60 day or longer juice cleanses without a hitch, yet the first three or four days of drinking juices without fruit becomes a true challenge. This is often a key sign that there is an overgrowth of candida fungus.
What Is Candida?
According to a recent report by the University of Maryland Medical Center, approximately 75% of women will suffer from candida overgrowth in the body. But what does that mean?
Moderate amounts of candida (and other yeast) live in every one of us without causing any harm. Normal amounts of candida live in the mouth, stomach, and vagina, and do not cause infections. Candidiasis however, occurs when there is an overgrowth of candida. Causes may include taking certain drugs (antibiotics, corticosteroids, hormonal birth control), pregnancy, being overweight, having a bacterial infection, or several different health conditions (weakened immune system, diabetes, and psoriasis for example). Other factors contributing to the proliferation of the candida fungus are: chronic stress, environmental toxins, regular caffeine intake, and a diet containing a high amount of refined carbohydrates and sugars.
Once our internal environment gets out of balance from any of the above conditions candida can change into its fungal form and spore through the intestinal wall into the rest of the body. Once the overgrowth occurs it causes a multitude of symptoms within the body.
Candida can exist within the body in three forms; 1. a budding, multiplying yeast, 2. a hyphae form, which penetrates the gut wall in search of nutrition in the blood, and 3. as highly invasive spores, which penetrate the gut wall to be transported in the blood stream to other organs.
Once the yeast has overgrown malnutrition will result in the form of vitamin and trace mineral deficiencies. In addition, the constant presence of a pathogen will stimulate the immune system 24/7, eventually causing immune deficiency (as found in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many other immune disorders) along with severe fatigue. Candida sufferers will experience a multitude of symptoms caused by the malnutrition, impaired immune system, toxins from the yeast’s metabolic processes, and from the actual physical presence of the yeast.
Can You Get Tested For Candida?
As mentioned above it is now estimated that candida overgrowth affects approximately seventy-five percent of women worldwide and it’s signs and symptoms vary. The challenging part about candida overgrowth is that its symptoms mimic many other issues in the body and very few tests accurately diagnose the overgrowth. Signs like fatigue, bloating, rashes, premenstrual headaches, mood swings, sleeping difficulties and more.
There is a test called Candida Immune Complexes, which is actually a series of tests that look at your body’s immune response to Candida in your blood stream. The test uses Candida Antibody, IgG, Candida Antibody, IgA, and Candida Antibody, IgM, and has a high degree of accuracy in diagnosing candida overgrowth. The down side is that it generally costs several hundred dollars and is not covered by most insurance plans, and it can be hard to find a practitioner who administers the test and understands how to interpret the results. The sad news is that a candida diagnoses is almost always overlooked by mainstream medicine.
Can You Heal From Candida Overgrowth?
I have tremendous respect for those in allopathic medicine – the doctors, nurses, and others who work tirelessly to save lives every day. But unfortunately Western Medicine fails us in many of the chronic diseases that people are battling with daily. If you have a heart attack, surgeons can replace arteries to keep you alive. Yet it is entirely possible that you will suffer with candida for a decade or more and be diagnosed with everything from lupus to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis to Fibromyalgia before finally figuring out on your own or with the help of an alternative practitioner that you actually have Candida. That is just the reality.
But even in the alternative healing world, I’ve seen all kinds of non-science based recommendations for candida sufferers ranging from “yes you can eat lots of fruit” to “yes you can have vinegar” to the even more bizarre “apple cider vinegar cures candida”. To think that a yeast-based vinegar can heal a yeast overgrowth is nothing short of lunacy. I would challenge anyone with this harmful advice to have themselves tested with the Immune Complexes Test as a baseline, then add apple cider vinegar to their diet for 60 days on a daily basis, and then have the test run again. 100% there will be a marked increase in candida overgrowth.
The great news for those with candida overgrowth is that it does get better. My own personal candida recovery took a total of ten months, which came after a course of powerful antibiotics for Lyme disease, coupled with a high stress job as a Wall Street attorney, frequent coffee consumption and a refined carbohydrate-rich diet.
In my private practice, many of my clients have already had the Immune Complexes Test and have tested high positive for candida overgrowth. By the time they begin working with me, many of these clients have already tried a number of diets, including diets that allow fruit, diets that allow vinegar and other yeast based products, diets that allow mushrooms and other fungal foods, along with expensive treatments and medications to help their candida. Their symptoms always return, and subsequent tests show regrowth.
Ultimately I recommend that if you have the risk factors (antibiotic use, hormonal birth control use, high refined carb diet etc…) you should strongly consider the Candida Program. Heal Candida Now is the only plant based Candida recovery program out there. Most anti-candida diets encourage high consumption of animal proteins in order to replace the sugars and the refined carbohydrates. However, if you consume animal products you are ingesting significant doses of antibiotics as the livestock industry gives antibiotics to the animals to prevent them from becoming sick and dying in the cramped and overcrowded feed lot facilities. Even people who consume only “grass fed” animals, are still ingesting antibiotics as they are given to animals that are sick, fully within the organic and grass-fed guidelines for feeding. Remember, everything the animal consumes, you consume. A high animal-meat diet is a highly acidic diet, which makes it easier for the fungal growth the increase.
With a whole foods plant based candida program, coupled with a handful of supplements that you can buy at any health food store or online, taken in a specific protocol, combined with the discipline to stay away from sugar, you will be on the road to recovery. Is it easy? No. In our online private support group, we talk daily about the challenges that come with a no-sugar diet. The beginning is the hardest part, and that is exactly why we need support. But, you won’t need $1000 worth of naturopath-prescribed pills, nor liver damaging anti-fungal medications, and you won’t have to go it alone.
Here are the Candida Diet friendly juice and smoothie recipes for you!
Green Tea Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
- 1 cucumber
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 lime, peeled
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 cup brewed green tea, cold
- 1 inch piece of fresh coconut (or 1 tablespoons of coconut butter)
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. The ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory in this smoothie, and the healthy fats in the coconut help your body assimilate all of the powerful antioxidants in the green tea.
Cabbage Limeade Digestive Juice
- 1/4 head of cabbage
- 2 limes
This is a 2 ingredient powerhouse that has a mild flavor and will help your gut produce more healthy bacteria. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and loaded with cancer-protective compounds from the cruciferous cabbage.
- 1/2 head of Romaine or green leaf lettuce
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup broccoli (florets and stalks)
- 2 inch piece of scallions
- 1 garlic clove
- dash of cayenne
Juice all of the above ingredients. This juice is a savory flavorful juice that will help reduce inflammation while also assist your body in flushing out toxins. Juicing onions and other members of the allium family is an incredible way to heal your body. I highly encourage you to read about all of the benefits of these vegetables HERE.
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 1 fennel bulb (can use the fronds if you love the taste of licorice)
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp dried dill
Blend everything together, preferably in a high speed blender like Vitamix. This smoothie is almost like a delicious savory soup in a glass. The dill and the fennel give a depth of flavor, and the avocado makes this smoothie creamy and delicious. One of my personal favorites.
Of all the juices that help your bowels move efficiently, celery is definitely at the top of the list. In addition to helping bowel transit time, celery leaves have a high Vitamin A content and the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C , potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and healthy sodium. Celery is well known for its blood pressure lowering effects, as well as its role as a perfect post-workout juice to replace lost electrolytes.
Celery is also known to contain at least eight types of anti-cancer compounds, including acetylenics that have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells, and phenolic acids which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage tumor cell growth.
- 1 entire head of celery
- 1 head of fennel (fronds too if you like the licorice taste)
- 1/2 of a medium sized celeriac root
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 3 large cucumbers
- 2 large rainbow chard leaves
Juice ingredients and enjoy! Simple and perfect, this two-ingredient juice is a perfect hydration juice and provides you with lots of silica from the cucumber skins, folate and vitamin K in the chard leaves. Chard is quite mild and an excellent green for juicing.