Damn Yeast, Damn It To Hell
July 5, 2006 8:38 PM   Subscribe

CandidaFilter: I am being treated for Candidiasis. I know I should not eat dairy, sugar, black tea, white bread, fermented stuff like soy and wine, mushrooms, etc. However, I am kitchen challenged....

as in I use my stove, toaster oven, and the microwave and that's it. I have only myself to cook for and most recipe books either 1) call for way too many servings than I could eat (yeah I could freeze leftovers, but after a week of the same thing for dinner I want to scream) or 2) have ingredients that I am not supposed to eat.

I need recipes or a basic shopping list that I can use easily for a 2-week basis. Relatively simple stuff to cook. I need to eat simply, healthily and without any yeast foods or anything that "feeds" or produces yeast. Are there any candida cookbooks out there?

Oh yeah: I don't eat shrimp or pork either (kosher). I am not vegetarian really, but don't mind eating a veg diet.

Anyone else out there being treated for Candidiasis?
posted by miltoncat to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
If it helps, you can almost always just halve or quarter recipes. Just make sure you're using an appropriately sized (ie, smaller) pot or pan when making the smaller version.
posted by occhiblu at 9:10 PM on July 5, 2006

Are you taking antifungals also, or endeavoring to treat it by diet alone? Without knowing anything about your particular situation, I will try not to make any assumptions about it, but a friend of mine was once diagnosed with Candidiasis by a... um... less-than-reputable party, whose only treatment advice was a course of dietary restrictions like the ones you mention. As I recall, this recommendation was later laughed out of the room by a real doctor.

So, just in case you are consulting a non-traditional healer of some sort rather than an accredited doctor, why not read up on Cadidiasis a bit (start with the HMS guide); notice that the treatment regimen involves anti-fungal agents, not dietary restrictions, even for internal infections. Sorry if this is a misreading of your situation.
posted by rkent at 9:14 PM on July 5, 2006

Systemic candidiasis is definitely real. but the only place it's seen is in masively ill, immunocompromised ICU patients. Not trying to be snarky. You might try to get a second opinion.
posted by docpops at 9:37 PM on July 5, 2006

Response by poster: Oops, forgot to mention... yes, I am being treated with antifungals as well.

I'm not massively ill, but was hardly the picture of health for a long time. As in the past 15 years, and I'm only 33. I've come a long way.
posted by miltoncat at 10:00 PM on July 5, 2006

Do you have a serious immune problem? AIDS, post-transplant, etc? If not, you almost certainly don't have candidiasis. It's a diagnosis that, as noted above, is handed out by a number of disreputable practitioners as a we'll-cure-what-ails-you kind of diagnosis. Diet is pretty irrelevant to actual candidiasis, whose treatment hinges on antifungals (often IV) and treatment of the immunocompromised state.

Even if you've had some serious health problems in the past, candidiasis is really unlikely unless you're immunocompromised. If your candidiasis diagnosis is confirmed by a good third party, you need to undergo workup for other stuff, most notably AIDS. I don't mean to be overly negative, but that's really important.

Good luck.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 4:08 AM on July 6, 2006

>Are there any candida cookbooks out there?

If you search on "candida cookbook" on amazon, there are several cookbooks that might be of use to you. When I worked at a bookstore, we used to sell a lot of this one.

Although I personally tend to agree with the above posters, I know some women who have followed the sort of diet plan you describe (to help treat recurrent yeast infections). As I recall, they ate a lot of plain yogurt, and, as you mention, avoided alcohol and dairy products.
posted by slenderloris at 11:30 AM on July 6, 2006

Response by poster: THANK YOU, slenderloris.

I just needed a question about cooking answered and didn't expect the "it's a crock and you're being lied to" messages instead. Had I asked "Is Candidiasis real?" then yes, fire away, but I didn't.

I don't have to explain, but I will anyway: I was gaining weight despite faithfully doing Weight Watchers, was antibiotics like candy due to ear infections and recurrent strep, had unreal dermatitis and fought migraines and depression. I could barely work; prior to that I almost lost two semesters of college due to mono-like episodes of pure fatigue and illness. I went to an ENT, internist, psychiatrist, gynecologist, dermatologist, and every other -ist out there. Had every test run in the universe. The most explanation I was given was 'viral infection', next to 'we can't figure out what's going on, but take this and see if it helps.' I did not enjoy or get any satisfaction out of feeling so crummy and not getting answers. Trust me.

I suppose I could have rolled my eyes at Candidiasis and walked away, but I figured cutting out certain foods and taking in an antifungal wouldn't hurt. I'd tried everything else, why not this? If it didn't work, no harm done. I hated giving up white bread, but there are worse things.

Not only did it not hurt, but I'm slowly coming back to life. I'm not 'cured', but there is definitely a difference. I am 12 pounds lighter, dermatitis is gone, depression has lifted considerably, migraines have lessened, I can think clearer. My friends (some of which I never told about candidiasis) have remarked how much better I look and how much better I am to be around.

That's fine if you think it's a load of crap; you're not me. All I know is I feel better and I'm living again as opposed to getting through a day and collapsing into bed at night.

Carry on...
posted by miltoncat at 2:46 PM on July 6, 2006 [2 favorites]

Glad you're on your way. To be clear, I never intended to imply that the disease is crap or even that your case of it was made up, but rather, as LittleMissCranky emphasized, that diet is irrelevant to its treatment. The whole basis of the dietary remedy for yeast infections is -- seriously -- "yeast eat sugar, so stay away from sugar." Which totally disregards the entire physiology of eating. Avoiding empty carbs and increasing your protein and fiber intake are beneficial for other reasons, but it's good that you're on antifungals as well if you're having problems with yeast.
posted by rkent at 5:45 PM on July 6, 2006

Disclaimer: I eat like a hippie, so this might not work for you.

I'm pretty sure my recipes can be easily modified to add meat, but I'm a vegetarian so I'm not going to suggest anything I'm unfamiliar with.

My shopping list every week consists of:
* huge varieties and quantities of veggies, mostly for cooking and some to eat raw (buy what you like and what's in season)
* a variety of starches to accompany the veggies (mostly whole wheat bread for sandwiches, whole wheat tortillas for wraps, brown rice, pasta, sometimes red potatoes)
* Stuff to flavor the veggies with (you don't want soy sauce, but there's still tomato sauce in a can, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, fresh basil, whole pepper corns to grind up fresh, dried thyme, rosemary and oregano, huge amounts of garlic and lots of other stuff)
* easy-to-snack on fruits and veggies to eat raw (buy enough to eat at least 1.5 servings or half cups per day of stuff like: bananas, apples, oranges, baby carrots)
* breakfast cereals -- cold stuff like amaranth flakes and granola; warm stuff like oatmeal
* stuff to put on the cereals -- Rice Dream takes getting used to, but it's the best non-soy non-dairy alternative I've found.
* dips for textures -- stuff like mayonaise, hummous, ranch dressing, etc.

If you can eat yogurt, that will help a lot too. Organic yogurt + fresh berries + granola = the best dessert I have ever had. Like the best ice cream imaginable times 1000000000.

Here are a few things to try:

Stir fry:
Start cooking some rice before you begin the stir fry.

Heat up olive oil (maybe a tablespoon) over medium high heat on the stove, when it crackles when you splash it with water, it's time to cook.
First throw in chopped up onion and let it cook alone (or throw in some carrot at the same time). If you have any ginger, grate a little bit in. After a couple of minutes, add diced garlic. After two or three more minutes, throw in other sliced veggies -- stuff like broccoli, bell pepper, peas, squash. After about a minute, add some fresh basil leaves, sea salt, pepper. A splash of apple juice is optional. Then remove the whole mix from the stove and eat with the rice.

Roasted veggie wrap:
Take any combination of vegetables that you like -- maybe carrots, asparagus, summer squash, tomatoes (OK, not technically a vegetable, whatever), broccoli, and chop them up. Make a bowl out of aluminum foil and put the veggies at the bottom. Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil on top, add minced garlic, salt, fresh ground pepper, fresh basil. Fold the aluminum bowl shut so you have an aluminum ball.

Stick this whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Take it out, drain the extra olive oil, and put the veggie mix onto a tortilla that you've spread with hummous or put your favorite variety of canned beans onto. Roll it up and eat.

roasted asparagus and potatoes
Get asparagus and red skinned potatoes. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch-by-2-inch cubes. Break off the thick bottoms of the asparagus stalks. Placean aluminum foil bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, dried rosemary and minced garlic. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

veggie sandwich
Spread some mayonaisse, avacado or hummous (only one, please) on two slices of bread. Add some cucumber slices, tomato slices, a leaf of lettuce, a handful of sprouts, and a twist of the pepper mill's worth of pepper. Combine bread into sandwich. Eat.

Even easier meals:
* Spaghetti and sauce -- buy a box of spaghetti, buy a jar of sauce (read the ingredients, you'll find one that meets your needs). Follow the directions on the spaghetti sauce, top with sauce, eat.
* Soup and salad -- buy soup in a can or a carton. Heat in the microwave. Put some lettuce in a bowl. Top with dressing. Eat.

This is enough for me (plus cheese, I throw in a lot of cheese, but you said no dairy). Some people feel really deprived without more protein. You should google around about how to cook beef, bird and fish. I don't get the impression that it's that hard. These veggies are probably really good served next to meat.

You can find more recipes using the advanced search function at allrecipes.com, which allows you to exclude ingredients.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:05 PM on July 6, 2006 [5 favorites]

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