I’d been dithering about sharing my own experiences with Candida, poor gut health and facial rosacea for a while now. I’ve wanted to document my journey (or lack of) for about 3 years to be exact. As ashamed as I am to admit it, that’s the amount of time I should have been trying to improve my gut and overall health, but, I kept putting it off.
I became a victim of the age-old line of “I’ll start on Monday; there’s no point starting before the weekend”. I kept making excuses like “Oh, this snack won’t do me any harm” or this frosty beer for Friday after works won’t hurt – I’ve deserved it!”. Whatever the occasion, I’d make an excuse but suffer for it with a bloated gut that didn’t feel great for the next few days. I refused to see that I was doing myself more harm than good, addicted to getting a sugary fix or a salty snack because I had become accustomed to saying yes when I should have been saying no. I’d been in total denial.
What made matters much, much worse in the past 3 years was when I suffered a horrific leg injury from horse riding. I broke my Patella by being kicked by a horse – and then rebroke it 7 months later. The last thing I was thinking during all of that about a special diet or denying myself of anything when I was feeling sorry for myself.
So here I am. Who am I and why am I writing now? What’s changed? My health and gut hit rock bottom, that’s what’s changed. Plus, when I started this blog, I weighed more than I ever had done. 12kg more. I wanted to start www.thecandidadiet.co.uk because it’s now or never. Not this website, but my gut health and well being. I got fed up, down in the dumps and normally I don’t give up on anything. Normally I had energy but it’s been zapped, something had to change. I’ll be using it as a beacon to navigate myself on a journey towards feeling better, making healthier choices and getting my energies back. I want to feel revived, normal – how I did a while ago and I believe that the only way to get there is to start with what I eat. But it’s not just about me; I want to share my experiences to help others. If I can give some readers some laughs, amateur (and may I clarify non-professional advice) or just share my experiences and they help you out, then I’d be over the moon with that
Who am I & Why I’ve Started The Candida Diet Blog
To explain how I got here, I’m going back to the beginning, so bear with me. I feel like it’s the only way to help explain why I’m writing; especially to myself.
When I was around 23, certain food intolerances started to appear out of nowhere. They weren’t what I’d call severe, but they were there. If I ate certain foods, they would make my stomach uncomfortable, bloated and constipated. Not instantly mind you, it could take a couple of days so it was hard at first to figure out the culprit. I first noticed that it was oats that my gut really didn’t like. I’ll spare you the details but every time I ate oats I’d get some gut nastiness. I was working my Saturday job at the time, on a busy shop floor, and decided to grab a hearty “healthy” flapjack from Holland and Barratt for lunch. I was after something yummy, sweet and above all – filling. Perfect, A huge flapjack! I passed the intolerance that came next off as a one-off, but next time I ate porridge, I noticed the same thing. Haggis at my Brothers wedding? The same thing. I was pretty bummed about that as I love oats, especially at breakfast but I knew then that it was not worth the stomach bloatedness, cramps and the rest that came with it. So I stopped eating them a decade ago. If I had just one food intolerance then that was fine, I thought.
Other intolerances slowly appeared over the next few years. Corn (prepared any way but whole corns are the worst), Maize (no Cheeze doodles) Chick-peas, Lentils, Beans… as it turns out anything with a minute shell on it like Pea’s, would make my gut protest. I slowly stopped eating them, one by one, but generally, as time passed, I felt there was always something wrong with my gut, no matter what foods I avoided, it was always bloated at best. And when I didn’t avoid them because I had a moment of weakness? A phrase I have uttered a thousand times “I’ve got a bad stomach” was constantly said.
In 2017, I noticed a couple of red spots on my cheeks. I’ve had pretty good skin since my teens, though living in sunny Malta for 5 years probably didn’t do the skin much good, I never suffered from what you’d call spots or acne, my skin was always pretty clear. Convinced at the time that my new friends were from a Clarins moisturiser I’d recently purchased, I promptly took it back, explaining that it had given me a bad reaction from the minerals in it, and I got a refund (Kudos to Clarins there). Over the next few months, however, the spots gradually became worse. They were more like a rash. Like I’d got hold of a red pilot pen and inked some tiny red dots on my cheeks. What’s more, my cheeks became inflamed at certain times. From afar, my skin looked pimply but this wasn’t adult acne, they didn’t form like normal spots, this was something else.
After doing some home research a la Google, I had an inkling that it was rosacea. I put one and one together and came up with the notion that this skin complaint had to be linked to my stomach and what I was eating. I had that (ahem) gut feeling. As usual, I got on with life trying to ignore it, hoping it would go away, though now I had taken to liberally applying foundation whenever I went out. My skin didn’t look terrible, but I wasn’t used to a red spotty complexion at the age of 36.
A friend of mine recommended a renowned local dermatologist that she had seen when she developed acne after her first pregnancy. I booked an appointment and went to see her for an initial consultation. What a revelation that was. As soon as we got pleasantries out of the way and me explaining that I ‘thought’ I had rosacea and what can I do to fix it, the first thing she said to me was “do you suffer from a bad gut and food intolerances”? It was like “Yes!” how did you know… Did I have a massive sign on my forehead? She could tell straight away. Why was I always in denial?
She agreed that it was rosacea, that my gut was reacting due to an imbalance and a candida overgrowth in my gut, and that – if I didn’t get rid of it, my skin wouldn’t improve. It was a relief to finally see that I could and really should do something about this. I had finally sought professional help and that was a good feeling. During the consultation, she mentioned the candida diet but also a hunter/ gather diet and that I should cut out sugar and go for very plain, unprocessed food. No coffee and no alcohol. After doing a bit of research I decided to trial the Candida diet for the first time. It made sense to me knowing a little bit about my gut, after several years of trial and error, I felt like this one made the most sense to me. When I left, I was armed with a long shopping list and some very clear instructions on improving my diet which should, in turn, would improve my skin.
Starting The Candida Diet… And Falling Off The Wagon
I started the Candida diet for the first time in January 2019. I did quite well for a good couple of month, especially where alcohol was concerned! I felt better, I lost some weight and the best bit of all: my skin cleared up – a lot! Sticking to it was the hardest part, however. And I was sticking to it, until around April, when I had that horse riding accident; but I cover that in another post. I did not stick to the diet then, and it’s taken me 1 year to get back on track. And here I am, my www.thecandidadiet.co.uk blog is here. My aim? To track my own experience with this diet, to share recipes, lifestyle posts and general chatter and hope you enjoy reading what I put out there.
As mentioned, I am a normal gal and writing about my own experiences with the candida diet among many other things. I am not a qualified dietician, physician, or have any formal training or education or qualifications about nutrition.
This website is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as an educational guide, nor a guide for your own nutritional requirements. I hold no responsibility or accountability over any content on these pages.