'My Candida Was Hungry, So I Fed It Pizza and Beer'

03/19/2015 09:26 am ET | Updated May 19, 2015

My friend said that to me recently, and I laughed out loud. She wasn't joking, either.

Ever had food cravings? Felt like you'd fight someone for the first and last piece of pizza? Felt like if you didn't eat that entire pint of ice cream you were going to lose your mind?

You're not alone.

Inside your GI tract are billions upon billions (for real!) of bacteria (both anaerobic and aerobic). Some people have parasites, or bacteria whose job it is to make you miserable, and many of us have yeast growing in our intestinal tracts.

Now, it's not enough to land us in the intensive care unit, but it's enough to make us have bloating, gas, constipation, brain fog, acne, and recurrent yeast infections.

Sound like fun yet? It gets worse. Those pesky molds feed off sugar, and when they get hungry, you get cravings. The kind you'd stick a fork in someone over, if they even thought about touching your cake/candy/pasta/bread/pizza/cereal or beer. The kind of craving that makes it impossible to resist the aroma of the cookies you smell in the mall.

Ever thought to yourself something along the lines of: "Ugh, I have NO willpower?" You're right, but you're also innocent. When your candida gets hungry, you're a goner. It'll lure you into betraying your New Year's resolution, your doctor's mandate to lose weight, and your healthy eating goal more powerfully than you can resist. And before you know it, the bag of chips, the pint of ice cream or the entire pizza has disappeared into the candida vortex, with you feeling satisfied, yet simultaneously terrible.

So really, what's a girl to do?

First, I don't recommend you do this alone. Find a functional medicine physician who can support you, and likely you will need a functionally-trained registered dietitian or nutritionist, too.

Get yourself onto a sugar-free, processed-food free program. Essentially, if it doesn't look like its normal state in life, or you can't readily recognize all the ingredients, don't eat it!

The first two weeks are the hardest, and depending on how much those guys in your GI tract have grown, you can have some serious food cravings during those two weeks. You can also essentially detox and have a candida withdrawal as they die off from not being fed. Don't panic, and don't give in; this is the hardest time.

It's important to make sure you get enough protein during this time, so that you aren't craving carbs due to plain old hunger.

This is going to require some substitutions: cauliflower pizza for regular pizza (see recipe below; my kids have eaten this, and while they prefer the carb one, they'll eat it!). Mung bean pasta (20 grams of protein anyone?) for regular pasta. Corn crackers instead of bread.

I can go on and on, but the most important thing is to get through the two weeks.

Then do two more.

That makes a month.

Once you've done a month, you can totally do another month, right?

Keep going until you've finished six months.

See how you feel. I'd be surprised if you didn't notice an increase in your energy, bowel function and food cravings.

You can do this! Stop being dominated by things that won't do anything for you but make you bloated. Your candida won't thank you, but the rest of your body will!

Cauliflower Pizza

4 cups raw cauliflower rice
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of salt


1. Make the cauliflower rice/dough

Pulse batches of Raw Cauliflower florets in food processor until a rice-like texture is achieved

2. Cook and strain the "rice"

The trick is to wring it out in a dishtowel

Strain, transfer the rice to the towel, squeeze all of the moisture out

3. Make and shape the dough

Mix up rice, beaten egg, goat cheese and spices

Press the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (not wax)

Keep the dough 1/3" think and make a crust to your liking

4. Bake, 35-40 minutes on 400F

Add all the toppings, pop it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is hot and bubbly.