Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Newish blog: Fighting Candida: Body Ecology

Found another new Candida diet blog this evening - Fighting Candida: Body Ecology. There's a nice little - growing - community of Candida fighters out there in the blogosphere. ;) Hurrah!


Here's a list of the supplements I'm currently advised by my nutritional therapist to take. Over the last couple years they have changed fairly frequently though. The constants have been Mycopryl (caprylic acid) in varying doses, a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement and 'good' bacteria (bty, these are all manufactured by Biocare).

Quercetin Plus - 1 x 3 daily
Sea Plasma - 1 x 3 daily
Lycopene Plus - 1 x 2 daily
Bioacidophillus Forte - 1 x daily
One a Day Plus (vitamin) - 1 x daily
Essential Fatty Acids - 1 x 3 daily
Mycopryl 250 - 1 x 2 daily
Oxypro - 8 drops in water, twice daily

I'm currently getting on okay with this combination - though I frequently forget to take my lunchtime doses. Costs a blinking fortune though! And with the amount of 'left-overs' from previous regimens I have secreted in my wardrobe, I could open a pharmacists! ;)

The Anti-Candida Diet: What I DON'T eat

In response to Jul's comment on my last post (it's so nice to not just be talking to myself anymore!), here's a list of stuff I CAN'T eat (I thought that was easier than saying what I can).

In fact I have written about this before, but here's a recap/update (rationales follow):

I have been advised to avoid
  • sugars*
  • yeast
  • fermented food (smoked and cured foods)~
  • cow's milk, cheese#
  • grapes/raisins
  • citric acid
  • caffeine%
  • alcohol
  • mushrooms
  • red meat^
  • refined carbohydrates$
  • peanuts
  • oranges and orange juice

*I am now allowed many fruits, including some dried fruit like apricots and prunes (though no more than three a day). Grapes and raisins are prohibited though (high concentration of fruit sugars). As are oranges (apparently it is quite common for people with candida problems to be sensitive to orange - don't know if I really am though). Maltitol, rice syrup and fructose are acceptable, but not in large quantities. To a large extent, since I've been on the diet, I have 're-educated' my tastebuds - on the odd occasions I have had something sweetened with refined sugar I've found it sickeningly sweet and get a sugar hangover the following day (very unpleasant). All sweeteners (bar maltitol) are prohibited, i.e. sucrose, sucralose, aspartame, dextrose, maltodextrin, etc, etc (food manufacturers are very canny, they often claim something has 'no added sugar' when it's just called something else - it's imperative to check those ingredients lists closely). I am now allowed fruit juice (except orange) providing it is diluted (1 part juice, 1 part water) and unsweetened.

#I was allowed to re-introduce goats/sheeps milk and cheese into my diet after a few months. I am also allowed young cheeses made with cow's milk (less lactose), like mozzarella and cottage cheese. I often eat paneer, which is a South Asian firm cottage cheese. Cow's milk bio-yoghurt is okay (I'm not sure why, but - for some reason - the levels of lactose are reduced), though I now find I prefer goat's milk yoghurt anyway. At first I was advised to have unsweetened soy milk, but I prefer not to consume that now for ethical and health reasons.

~ Foods which are fermented, or smoked/cured, are thought to attract yeasts and moulds. Peanuts and shelled nuts are prohibited for the same reason. However, I did successfully re-introduce products like soy sauce (I had always been allowed miso) and cyder vinegar after a few months. I occasionally have smoked and cured meat/tofu too. I figure the cooking process will kill off any yeasty-beasties, assuming any are present in the first place given modern food safety and hygiene standards. Mushrooms are a bit of a contentious issue. My current nutritional therapist has banned them - my previous one allowed me to re-introduce them. I love mushrooms, but I'm not prepared to take the risk at the moment.

% I am supposed to avoid caffeine as much as possible because it puts a strain on the body's immune system. I gave up 'normal' black tea, but still drink green tea (but usually no more than three-four mugs a day). I never drank coffee - so no problems there. I've always been tee-total too (except for the very odd occasion), so giving up alcohol was quite easy too! ;) Unsweetened fruit and herbal teas are acceptable.

^ Red meat is supposed to be inflammatory. I avoid it primarily because of my problems with asthma - it's not so much a candida issue, and in fact, good iron intake is thought to be useful in combating candida infection. I was largely vegetarian for about six months last year, but I lost far too much weight, which I believe was affecting the regularity of my periods. Not a good thing, so I started eating some meat again. Mostly free-range, traditionally-reared, organic chicken though.

%Refined carbohydrates, like white rice, white flour and white pasta, are turned into sugar quicker by the body than their brown versions. I don't have a big wheat/gluten problem, so I don't have to avoid these types of foods too readily (though I have given up eating my home-made soda bread, cos it made me bloat up so much).

That's all the 'banned foods' I can think of at the moment...hope it's helpful!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Recipe: Potato and Onion Fry

Well the name just about sums it up. I'd completely run out of food this evening, so had to cobble dinner together from the odd thing I had lying around. I came up with this. Add a tomato sauce and a drizzle of yoghurt (in place of soured cream) and you'd get a candida diet friendly Patatas Bravas.

Potato and Onion Fry

1 large potato
half a large onion
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
soft goats cheese
seasoning: freshly ground pepper, salt and paprika

Peel the potato, cut into quarters and boil until just tender. Meanwhile, grate the garlic and dice the onion. Fry in the olive oil until golden. Drain the potatoes and dice into pieces roughly an inch-cubed. Add to pan and fry gently until golden brown on all sides. Add a sprinkle of paprika and season to taste.

Serve with a couple of chunks of goats cheese just starting to melt on the top of the potatoes and boiled/steamed broccoli.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Recipe: Quick and spicy Chinese cabbage tsukemono

Lovely recipe for a Japanese style 'instant' pickled cabbage on Just Hungry. I made it this evening, and had it with a piece of salmon, jacket potatoes and purple-sprouting broccoli (kind of East/West fusion!). It was very good, quite piquant, but the lemon juice cuts through the spiciness - and anti-Candida diet friendly. Just substitute the orange rind for lemon.

Planning on having the remainder as a salad for lunch tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Candida Chronicles

I'm finding loads of good stuff at the moment. This is the lblog of someone just starting out on the anti-Candida diet. Only had a quick read so far, but looks good.

Candida Chronicles

gluten free, sugar free, dairy free = candida-friendly chocolate cake recipe « Friends Keep Saying I Should Blog…

Why haven't I come across this before??!!!!!!!!!

gluten free, sugar free, dairy free = candida-friendly chocolate cake recipe « Friends Keep Saying I Should Blog…

Several of those commenting have expressed doubt over the suitability of rice syrup for those following the anti-Candida diet, but as doth points out, everyone's body is different, and I've certainly not experienced any obvious problems as a result of consuming rice syrup in the Village Bakery bars I get from Sainsburys.

I must try this recipe out as soon as possible - especially as I'm convinced diabetic chocolate with maltitol doesn't just give me wind but spots as well! :S

Intriguing Ways to Add Zest to your Menus...!

Nothing to do with the anti-Candida diet, but everything to do with food, an American friend recently sent me a recipe book dating from 1961 and published by the The Chun King Corporation (manufacturer of (loosely) 'Oriental' foodstuffs). It's a wonderful document; it has fantastic kitsch appeal and ties in with my current research with is looking at Western images of post-1949 China.

Quite honestly the recipes sound revolting: Most are standard American fare, 'orientalised' by the liberal use of soy sauce and crushed noodles (???!!!). The colour photography makes the dishes look particularly repulsive.

Fancy any of these appetizing dishes?!!

I particularly like the 'For Men Only' section, bless 'em. ;)

It's all fun. :)

Recipe: Asparagus Soup

For inspiration, have just been having another look at Cooking Cute: a bento site. The writer links to what sounds like a really good asparagus soup, made with yoghurt and lemon juice, which is perfectly anti-Candida diet friendly (subject to the omission of the parmesan, of course). As soon as asparagus comes into season (mid, late-April) I might head down to Leicester Market, buy a bunch or two and try this recipe out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

.: evil jungle prince :.

There's some gorgeous sounding recipes here:

.: evil jungle prince :.

Mostly Far East and Middle Eastern inspired. And better still, at first glance, several look to be anti-Candida diet-friendly.

(I'm catching up on food blogs - can you tell? ;))

Saturday, March 17, 2007

♥ Cooking Cute ♥

Truly amazing.

♥ Cooking Cute ♥

I wish I had the time and the vision to do this sort of thing. I'm sure the whole bento box concept would work really well for the anti-Candida diet, particularly as I always find lunches - particularly 'pack-ups' (as they do say in my part of the world ;)) - so difficult as I tend to like to graze all day long. Something worth investigating...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Smoked Salmon

I know that smoked products are frequently prohibited for people following the anti-Candida diet, but occasionally I indulge. I figure it's better than eating a slice of chocolate cake! So, the other day, I bought some wafer-thin smoked salmon slices from Marks & Spencers. Yesterday, I had several slices with soft goats cheese on oatcakes for lunch, and this evening I finished off the rest of the pack in a pasta dish, the (slightly vague - sorry) recipe for which follows. (and jolly tasty it was too!).

Smoked salmon and broccoli pasta
(makes enough for one generous portion)

half a pack of wafer-thin smoked salmon slices
a handful of purple-sprouting broccoli
wholewheat pasta tagliatelle or spaghetti
wholewheat flour
goats milk
olive-oil spread
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Trim and cut the broccoli stems in half. Boil or steam until just tender. Meanwhile cook the pasta and make a white sauce (flour, olive-oil spread and milk) in a saucepan. Add a bay leaf and a sprinkle of paprika and cook gently until the flour has cooked, whisking all the time to create a smooth sauce. Season to taste. Meanwhile, slice the salmon into strips. When al dente, drain the pasta and return to a low heat. Add the drained broccoli, sauce (remember to remove the bay leaf) and salmon strips. Stir to combine and serve with a rocket, spinach and watercress salad, dressed with a spot of Olive oil.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I'm trying some 'no added sugar' biscuits that I bought at my local health shop the other day. Sunflower & Sesame biscuits manufactured by Prewett's. They have an...err...interesting flavour, but it's a taste I'm becoming accustomed too. They are sweetened with date paste, but are still not very sweet. I almost wonder how they might taste topped with a slice of hard goats cheese? Might try that out sometime...

EPA and brain power

BBC NEWS Health Supplement 'boosts' brain power

I note that my nutritional therapist has included EPA in my most recent stash of (ridiculously expensive) supplements. I'm a PhD student - I need all the help I can get! Anything which could improve my concentration is great. Though I wonder exactly how much benefit it will have for someone in their (early!) thirties.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Soup, luverly soup!

Just tried another of Marks & Spencer's candida diet friendly soups: Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato. Not bad - bit lumpy for my taste. My favourite remains their Butternut Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa, which is smooth and thick, but not too gloopy. Oh, and they've still got their buy-one-get-another-half-price offer on.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ginger, Lemon and Ginseng tea

One of the things I've really missed since I went on the anti-Candida diet is Twinings' Lemon and Ginger tea. Not least because it's a great 'cure' for sore throats and ticklish coughs. Unfortunately, it - and every other similar tea (apart from the version I make myself) I've since come across - has added citric acid. That was until I came across Marks & Spencer's Organic Ginger, Lemon & Ginseng tea yesterday. I'm just brewing a cup now. It smells gorgeous. Hopefully the taste will match it.


I chickened out. I didn't dump my nutritional therapist when I talked to her today on the phone. I was in the office, and a bit distracted and I let her talk and talk and then suddenly the conversation had finished and she'd gone, all without me addressing any of my concerns. Oh well - there's always next month.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The pros and cons of nutritional support cont...

Further to yesterday's post I came across this very timely response from Bix at The Fanatic Cook about the same report. I'm feeling infinitely less concerned now, but think I still need to be careful about the level of dose of each vitamin I'm taking. So, I've resolved to suggest to my nutritional therapist on Monday that I cut down my supplement intake to the barest minimum, say a probiotic, lower dose anti-fungal and broad spectrum, A-to-Z kind of vitamin and mineral supplement.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The pros and cons of nutritional support, i.e. supplements

I'm thinking about ditching my nutritional therapist. Not only is she advising me to take very high doses of several of the things highlighted as potentially damaging by the article in this post, but she keeps changing my supplements which means I've ended up with a backlog of stuff I can no longer take, which cost me a fortune to purchase in the first place. I have a suspicion that she has started to regard me as a bit of a cash-cow. My symptoms have stabilised, so she's just chucking anything at me now to keep me as a client. I want to see whether I can maintain my current state using just the anti-Candida diet. And until I come off the anti-fungals, I won't know where I'm at in my recovery. But, on the other hand, she - and my previous therapist - were really the first people after more than a decade of problems, who took my symptoms seriously without question. And it's reassuring to have that support. I'm really in two minds what to do at the moment...


I'm so glad I'm allowed to eat diabetic plain chocolate on this diet. Cos every now and then (approximately once a month!) chocolate is a complete necessity. Better still, the newsagents near my office quite unexpectantly sells a good range of maltitol-sweetened Belgian chocolate. The manufacturer is Cachet and they make an orange flavoured and plain dark chocolate, which is fairly bitter; almost like cooking chocolate. And I love it!