I searched everywhere for a candida cure. Here I’m gathering noni fruit with friends in Honduras.
Many of you know that I experienced a pretty awful candida infection a few years ago…
It ravaged my digestion, it gave me acne, it weakened my immune system. I tell my story as a part of this post (below the interview.)
I would say it was one of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had in my life.
The reason why was because the candida was so ridiculously stubborn.
It just wouldn’t seem to go away.
Today, I wanted to share an interview with a mentor of mine who helped me get over the infection with her protocol that’s known all around the world these days.
It’s called the Body Ecology Diet and my guest today is Donna Gates.
In Part 1 of 2, she’ll discuss how pervasive candida can be, how you initially get it (you might be surprised!) and what issues it can cause in the body.
This is an important one, so be sure to check it out (my comments in writing follow!)…
Listen to Part 1 here:
Click the play button to start the call:
Click here to learn more about Donna’s work: www.BodyEcology.com
Kev’s comments on Part 1 of this interview with Donna Gates…
Today, I’m not going to do a list of items because that style doesn’t really fit with the way this interview turned out.
I, of course, like any interview that we do, would love for you to listen to the entire thing to get the most from it.
Anyway, I wanted to share a little more about candida experience so you can understand what my symptoms were and how I got over them.
I would say the first indication that something was wrong was when were in Fort Bragg, CA for the Vibrant Living Expo in 2008. We were filming the videos for the Rawkathon and I noticed that my face was exceptionally oily. It almost felt like someone had spread a thin layer of almond butter on it — a real sticky, greasy feeling.
What followed — and embarrassingly while I was at the event — was my first acne breakout. It was awful. It started on my temples, then moved to my forehead. Then my cheeks.
It was acne that I hadn’t had since high school and I started to freak out. At first I wasn’t concerned about my health. Initially, it was an ego thing. How could I, a health blogger and figure get acne — and worse, how could I go in public with it?
So I retreated.
After Ft. Bragg, we stayed in Connecticut for a while as my acne got worse. I didn’t want to leave the house.
My diet at the time was completely 100% raw. I was doing an experiment with the 80-10-10 diet. Apparently, it wasn’t working, but I wanted to stick it out and give it a fair try, so I kept eating that way. My acne got worse.
I would stand in front of the mirror for at least an hour a day, cursing the situation. Annmarie, my wife, would tell me to stop picking or to get out of the bathroom — that it would eventually just pass.
I appreciated her support, but it didn’t pass.
I talked to a few colleagues who ran some tests. My IgA, IgG and IgM levels indicated that I had an infection. We suspected it was candida.
Then something pretty gross started to happen.
I started to see (please skip if you have a weak stomach) weird cotton ball like puffs in my stool.
I Decided that I Needed to Do the No-Sugar Approach to Candida Right Away…
After this, I stopped the fruit diet (it also was leaving my mouth in pain on a regular basis) and I immediately took a no-sugar approach.
This diet was just as painful as the candida. It was hard for me to get energy from my greens and fats. My body just didn’t burn them like they did protein and carbohydrates. But, my acne got a little better.
I incorporated an herbal rotation into my diet. One that included oregano oil and other herbs with anti-fungal properties. My acne got even better, but I’d always end up having a good week then I’d have a flare up again and it would set me back in my protocol another few weeks — emotionally it was worse.
I was having a very difficult time dealing with this. I was supposed to be voice for great health and my face looked like pepperoni pizza.
I wondered why this all happened to me. I cursed all the experiments I had tried — I was healthy before, I’d tell myself, why did I even bother?
I didn’t want to leave the house at all and I started to wear a hat that would cover most of my temples and forehead so that I could hide the acne there. I wouldn’t shave so I could hide the acne on my cheeks (I also don’t shave, because I’m lazy… LOL!)
A Suggestion that I Wasn’t Ready to Digest
A friend told me about Donna Gates one day at lunch. She noticed that I was only eating lettuce and some nuts. She asked what was wrong. I told her I was tired of my acne and that I hadn’t eaten any sugar in a year. I told her my mineral levels were down, even though I was eating a massive amount of greens. I told her I was having mood swings.
She told me I looked sick.
She told me the Body Ecology could help. She also told me that I should try some goats yogurt. I laughed at her.
I had been a vegan for a while now and I was particularly un-open to eating anything from the breast of another animal — humans aren’t supposed to do that, right?
So I ruminated on her suggestion for a while — and at the same time I introduced fermented foods into my diet. They seemed to work a bit, but not enough.
I thought about all the other options that I had and there were very few.
I didn’t want any more tests or to try any more crazy diets that restricted me — I had already done the no-sugar thing for a year and I was broken, tired.
The “Hide the Milk” Grocery Store Technique
So one morning, we were in a local health food store and they had raw goats milk. I looked at it through the glass of the refrigerator. Then I looked around to make sure that there was no one around that may recognize me (we do tend to get recognized in health food stores!) and put a bottle in my basket, making sure that I hid it underneath a few heads of romaine and a bag of apples.
I went home and made my first yogurt. My body couldn’t get enough of it. I don’t know why — and can only speculate — but I think that last year of stress and acne and no sugar and candida took a lot from me. It seemed like yogurt or kefir was the most perfect food for my rebuilding.
And it was, my acne improved rather dramatically — it didn’t completely clear up my face, but it was the best that I’d seen it in quite a while.
I was elated, and also ashamed.
I had eaten something from an animal, but I had done it to heal myself. I wondered what the ethical considerations of this were.
Could I eat something from an animal — without killing it — and still be an OK human?
Would my body suddenly turn into a mucus-y, constipated mess?
Would I get cancer and heart disease in a few months — since I had believed dairy was one of the most toxic foods on the planet?
There were more questions than answers, but none of this happened.
In fact, I ate a large amount of fermented dairy for about 6-8 months, then decided I didn’t want to eat it any more. My body didn’t want it.
My acne had gotten better, my digestion improved and the outward signs on candida were almost gone.
A New, Adapted Candida Diet-World View
Since then, I’ve experimented with eggs and fish — at times with guilt and at times without. Each additional food that I’ve added back to my diet has given me more energy and cleared up my face even more. (Some can be due to increased hormone production and essential fatty acids.)
Now, I can proudly say that I’m on the other side of it. The acne is a thing of the past — with exception to a rouge pimple once a month or so either on my face or back — but I’m pretty sure that’s more than normal.
It’s quite a relief to be introduced on a stage these days without having to worry if someone is close enough to see the breakouts on my face.
It was also a relief to see my mineral levels back to normal, my mood swings almost eliminated (I still am a little firey, but I think that’s just my nature!), and my faith in natural healing renewed — with a few minor adjustment.
Anyway, I initially set out to tell this story to demonstrate the power of fermented foods — even fermented dairy — and show how Donna’s work may be able to help you, but I also think it will probably open up a discussion on the ethics of eating animal foods to save your own health.
I’m sure those who already do eat them will have no issue. And for those who don’t, this will likely insight you a little. But I know there are a bunch of you on the fence about which way you lean, so I’d love to hear your thoughts about this…
Your question of the day: Is it morally OK to eat animal foods to save your own health? Or if you don’t want to go down that path of burning coals, have you had an experience with candida that you’d like to share?
P.S. If you want to get more details on how I overcame my own candida including the protocols I used, please check out the Perfect Digestion Plan.