5 things I’ve learnt from 1 month on the Candida Diet
Tuesday the 16th of May will mark one month on the Candida diet, and oh, how much I’ve learnt in this short space of time! A quick Google could solve many of the queries I’ve had while on this journey – but the following are personal learnings that others starting out on the Candida diet may find helpful in the beginning.
Learning 1) Spices will save your life
As pre-made sauces are now off the menu, so are my 5-minute stir-frys and pre-made curries. The shelf that has been empty since we moved in is now filled with herbs and spices, and I am thoroughly enjoying throwing a few together now and then to see what works. I am a pretty quick dinner maker, so knowing what to put together to create the taste I want is vital. To kerb my ‘comfort food’ cravings, I’ve assembled a spicy curry sauce that can be used with any meat or vegetables desired. Having these spices on hand makes curry creation ridiculously easy.
I literally throw about 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder + coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and add as much coconut milk as I’m feeling that day (usually about a cup). S&P to taste. For a super quick meal, I will grab a pre-made mix of veggies and cook these in the sauce for 10 mins. Easy and sooo delicious.
Other herbs and spices that come in handy:
Chinese five spice
Learning 2) Assume your Turmeric Latte has sugar in it
Not being able to drink coffee has turned me into that awkward person who drinks tea all-the-f’ing-time. NOT ANYMORE! I am now an avid Turmeric Latte enthusiast. However, one thing to note is many cafes (in Wellington, anyway) will create a base mix and use this throughout the day for Turmeric Latte orders. This mix usually includes something to sweeten the drink, be it, honey, maple syrup or rice syrup, however, no sweetener (except Stevia) is OK on the Candida diet. I recently had an almost slip where I asked the barista not to include honey in my latte – which he did not. He also did not tell me, however, that in their mix, maple syrup is the sweetener, not honey. It was only when I decided to double check that they mentioned this.
On a better note – I tried my second Turmeric Latte from Moore Wilsons. They use Latte Lab, “A carefully crafted blend of Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom and Black Pepper.” They taste really fresh, and no added sugar! Just be sure to let them know you don’t want honey added to the order.
Moore Wilsons’ takeaway Turmeric Latte
Latte Lab Turmeric Blend is available online here.
Learning 3) People will ask (a lot of) questions
Declining a piece of absolutely-bloody-delicious looking cake, or saying “no, thanks” to a friend offering to buy you a coffee can raise some questions. Okay, many questions. However, I have made the decision to be completely transparent in this situation, in contrast to how I have handled conversations about IBS in the past. Now, if I am asked about why I’m not eating a certain food, or enjoying a sweet treat on a Friday, or a downing a glass of wine when the time seems so right, I explain my current situation and am sure to outline exactly why I am not eating certain foods. It’s actually very interesting encountering people’s different responses, and often, the person I am speaking to has a friend who has been on the diet too. In one instance I was even introduced to said friend who gave me some extremely helpful insights into how the diet was for them.
Learning 4) Your taste buds will adjust
This is a biggie. Food tastes AMAZING AF. Like, everything I am eating is so good. This diet has given me the chance to really taste food for the food that it is. No artificial flavourings, no ready-made dressings, no sugar.
No sugar, for me, has also resulted in an incredible sweetness sensitivity. For example, I have been experimenting with homemade chocolate, made from cacao and coconut oil. In this chocolate, I will add different types of raw nuts, coconut, turmeric, and more recently, boysenberries. Although I’ve never been a berries person, these berries tasted so delicious and sweet to me against the backdrop of the bitter, rich, dark cacao base. In contrast, I had one of my friends try a piece, which resulted in puckered lips and an “I thought that was going to taste like chocolate, that does NOT taste like a toffy-pop”. Raw treats take a while to get used to but are amazing when they’re done just right.
Learning 5) Food is incredibly versatile!
I would never have thought to make porridge with buckwheat, or pancakes with chickpea flour, but here we are! I’ve found through experimenting with recipes online (from Pinterest, mostly) that many of them call for the same ingredients, even if recipes are vastly different. Turmeric, for example, I will use in my sweet treats, my curries, and in my Turmeric Lattes – all of which are completely different in taste, but are equally delicious! Another is coconut. I use coconut oil, cream, milk, pieces, smiles, you name it. My most recent endeavour is perfecting home-made treats, appropriately named “Badass Balls” (because they’re so badass, duh), made from four ingredients; desiccated coconut, coconut oil, stevia and raw cacao powder. No sugar, gluten, yeast, dairy, or dolphin included. The last batch I made was the 3rd iteration, and they turned out pretty heckin’ fabulous, and so, here’s the recipe. Give it a go and let me know what you think below!
Recipe: Badass Balls
For the coconut filling:
1/2 cup fine cut desiccated coconut
1/2 cup thicker cut desiccated coconut
1/4 cup cold pressed coconut oil
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
Small pinch of pink Himalayan salt
1-2 drops of Stevia
For the chocolate coating:
1/2 cup cold pressed coconut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
Extra ingredients for flavour variety:
Turmeric powder + black pepper
Add all ingredients for the coconut filling into a blender or food processor and blend for 10 seconds, then spoon evenly into four bowls.
Bowl 1: add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of ground black pepper
Bowl 2: blend 3 berries + a splash of coconut milk (if berries were frozen, squeeze out the extra liquid) add to bowl
Bowl 3: add 1 tablespoon of cashew butter and 2 roughly chopped cashews
Bowl 4: leave plain or add a heaped tablespoon of cacao
Use a measuring teaspoon to evenly spoon coconut mixture onto a tray, making sure the balls are tightly packed. Put these in the freezer.
Now onto the chocolate coating; boil the jug and fill a big bowl with the hot water about 1/4 of the way up. Add your coconut oil and cacao powder to another smaller bowl and place it in the bigger bowl. Be sure no water can splash into it. Gently mix until the coconut oil and cacao create a liquid ‘chocolate’.
Remove coconut balls from the freezer and place on a spoon to be submerged into the chocolate mixture. As you go through coating the balls, the chocolate will dry, so continue to coat until each has three chocolate layers. Sprinkle with nuts or desiccated coconut to differentiate between the badass flavours. Put back in the freezer for approx 30 mins.
If these are kept in the freezer, they are OK to eat on the Candida diet! I always eat them all within 2 days so don’t worry if you do that, too.
Try this recipe and let me know what you think. Also, hashtag #badasstreats and #badassballs if you share on social so I can find your creations!
If you’re interested in Candida Diet recipes & updates or are just feeling nosy, you can find me here: