I’m on this candida/anti-candida diet at the moment. This means no gluten, no sugar, no dairy, no caffeine, no alcohol. 1 portion of carb a day and bone broth as meal replacements when possible. No fruit. A handful of blueberries or half a banana, if I MUST have that sugar hit lol. It means almonds but not cashews, brown rice but not white rice, spinach but no cabbage. Sweet potato but only half a cup and meat but preferably organic. 3 tbsp of coconut oil a day and cider vinegar in your water before meals. And trying not to take my supplements, that look exactly the same, at the wrong time of day. Avoiding processed foods – which means avoiding spreads, bread, biscuits, crisps, ANYTHING THAT’S BEEN THROUGH A PROCESS. It means preparing my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in advance and not really being able to buy anything on the go.
Why am I doing this I hear your ask. I am no expert but I’ll tell you what I think I know. There’s an overgrowth of bad bacteria/yeast in my stomach causing an infection. These infections are quite common and can also occur in the mouth, throat and vagina. My gut bacteria is super imbalanced. This bacteria thrives on all the things I listed above so when I eat these foods, I’m feeding it. This ‘diet’ is to starve the bacteria of its fuel, to lessen the awesome symptoms I’m getting from them. We all know the link between the gut and brain by now blah blah blah. Poor gut health can cause depression, anxiety, mood swings etc. The gut is apparently home to around 80% of your immune system too (please don’t quote me on this) which means this yeast is changing my body in all kinds of fun ways.
This candida infection and other gut problems are not uncommon in people with eating disorders. Whether you’re depriving your body of essential nutrients (which I have most definitely done) or destroying your stomach lining binge eating (*puts her hand up again*), it causes a lot of strain on the innards. So my body has been malnourished, fed wayyy too much or been overexerted over the past five years – big woop (Note: the far from healthy internal monologue which unfortunately has, will or is plaguing a LOT of people out there in this universe, for me, existed long before that – but more on that juicy stuff later).
So right now, I’ve got all sorts of things going on mentally and physically because of this infection that the nutritionist thinks I have. I have a love-hate relationship with food and I can’t wait for food to return to something I enjoy and love and make for the people closest to me. Binge eating disorder comes with urges and triggers and at earlier stages, viscious cycles of restricting and binging. I use food for comfort, to celebrate, to socialise, to express myself, to relax and have fun. I eat when I’m sad, happy, stressed, lonely, bored. Being prone to anxiety and overthinking and stress and worry is an understatement for me and makes this whole thing a tad harder, but I am well on my journey to learn how to manage all of that!
I’m still learning how to face and tackle my problems without using food as a coping mechanism, so call me over the top, but it feels like every few minutes, I have to consciously manage my thoughts and feelings and not turn to food. And right now, if you’ve seen me lately, I’m a bit of a hot mess. What’s really good is this whole gut-brain link is exacerbating the situation by making my emotions even more intense and out of whack than what I have achieved on my own yayyy. Not only are there cravings that come from this awesome brain of mine, but the bacteria are living things and they are causing these physcial cravings – I have been feeding this ‘monster’ for a long time now and giving into these cravings but now I need to stop and he’s not even a little happy about it. I’d never thought it was a physical thing too, I always thought I just didn’t have any self-control but my cravings for carbs, sugar and processed foods are a real thing and my nutritionist says so and she seems cool so I trust her.
I’ve been writing this on and off for a few hours now so don’t remember what my point was, but I guess it’s a good introduction to the “breaking the diet” and “erggh this is so hard”- themed posts that are coming.