by Jinjee Talifero.
In answer to all the emails about how I cured my candida here is my candida story. I've been on and off the 100% raw vegan diet for 13 years now. Before I went raw I ate a SAD (Standard American Diet) and I had really bad candida (a sugar related condition). When I went 100% raw it became worse at first but then went away entirely. Then I went about 75% cooked vegan and 25% raw vegan and my candida symptoms returned. When I went 100% raw again, the symptoms again got worse at first but after a few weeks went away completely again staying away for as long as I was 100% raw vegan. Then I slowly fell off the wagon back to about 50% raw. AGAIN the candida returned and stayed with me until two years later when I was able to go 100% raw again. This time the candida worsened for about six weeks and then did the complete disappearing act once again.
What to make of all this? Well, first of all I noticed that the longer I had been off the 100% raw diet the longer it took to get well once I went 100% raw again. So I developed a few ideas about what was happening. I think that the increased fruit sugar is part of what made my candida worse when I started back onto a raw vegan diet. My first theory was that the fruit sugar must be somehow combining with the processed refined sugar that must still have been in my system. Then I read the first chapter of Dr. Gabriel Cousens book "Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine" all about how the French scientists determined that it was our inner terrain rather than microbes that caused disease. And I realized that my inner terrain must be so different on a raw-vegan diet vs. a cooked-vegan diet that it caused me to have COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REACTIONS TO FRUIT SUGAR.
In other words what seems to be true for me is that when I am cooked I can not tolerate fruit sugar. But when I am 100% raw vegan after a short time (three to six weeks) I can tolerate any amount of fruit sugars and even honey! I mean, it is as extreme as this: when I'm cooked I can eat a few extra pieces of fruit a day and have an enormous negative candida reaction. When I'm 100% raw for over two months I can literally live on orange juice and eat spoonfuls of honey on their own and feel fabulous with no sign of any candida.
I have been 100% raw (with only very occasional cheating) for 5 years now and haven't had a single candida symptom in that time. I eat about 60% fruit, 20% nuts and 20% vegetables, although this can vary somewhat; some days I might eat 70%, 80% or even 100% fruit. I do use a few condiments: Celtic unrefined unheated sea salt, cold pressed extra virgin organic olive oil, raw unheated unfiltered honey (the best honey I've ever tasted! - imagine butterscotch but yummier), and raw tahini. I almost never have dehydrated foods, focusing instead on eating foods as fresh as possible, including a few simple recipes and a lot of whole foods.
I have been on and off the 100% raw vegan diet four times and each time I had the same experience. First the candida got worse but then after about two months it cleared up completely, even though I was still consuming just as much fruit. My conclusion is that when you eat 100% raw your internal environment (perhaps in the intestines) changes so completely that it responds to fruit sugar differently. With a "cooked" internal environment any and all sugars are harmful. With a "raw" internal environment fruit sugars are welcome and healthy.
So if you have candida and want to overcome it you can go raw and suffer through the worsening knowing that it will clear up soon. Or you can be smart and go 100% raw vegan with no fruit for the first two weeks to two months depending on how long it takes for your internal environment to heal. That way you may find instant relief from candida symptoms. You can test by eating fruit after two weeks to see whether you are ready to incorporate it into your diet.
Although I think we are all different and what works for one of us might not work for everyone, I hope that my experiences may be helpful to others.