I started getting vaginal yeast infections around the age of 30. When I was diagnosed by a gynecologist that I had a yeast infection, he wrote a prescription for an antifungal cream for me. In fact, he wrote the prescription so that I could get the medicine once a month for the next 12 months. He informed me that it was possible that I might experience an infection on a monthly basis. Candida albicans, a fungus, is often what causes these infections. Candida infections are also called candidiasis. This fungus can overpopulate many areas of the body such as the gastrointestinal tract. In the beginning, the antifungal cream I was prescribed was only available by prescription, but in 1991, it became available over the counter. Over the years, I was very thankful that the creams were easily accessible over the counter, because many times I needed the cream monthly, or every other month. I used numerous tubes of antifungal creams internally, for 12 long years.
One time when I went to a gynecologist in Charlotte, NC, he told me that excess sugar in the diet could encourage the yeast overgrowth. He told me that about a woman who drank wine every night and would get yeast infections. When she stopped drinking wine, it helped her.
I thought to myself, “I don’t eat candy bars and I don’t drink wine every night.” I truly believed that I was not overconsuming sugar or carbohydrates which break down into sugar. Perhaps with a healthy microbiome and/or vaginal tract with plenty of friendly bacteria and a normal amount of candida, my carbohydrate and sugar intake at that time would have been okay? However, over the years, I had definitely ruined my balance of good and bad bacteria. Therefore, it probably didn’t take much sugar and carbohydrate consumption to proliferate the candida.
Over the years, the frequency of infections increased. It was very uncomfortable and made me feel like a nasty person. I BEGGED God for help!!
I decided to bargain with God. What I said to God was so immature, trivial and shallow. I can’t believe I even thought it up. I told God I would sing a solo in church if He would heal me. ..like that is a big deal! However, at the time, I was intimidated to stand in front of the church and sing a solo, so it felt sacrificial to me at the time. THAT IS PATHETIC! I was desperate, and ignorant on many levels, but I believed Almighty God knew my problem and He would show me what my body needed to heal itself.
Finally at age 42, I had a chronic yeast infection. I used tube after tube of the cream. I took some pills. Nothing could clear it up. The rash, burning, itching was never ending. I was uncomfortable 24/7.
I went to a health food store. A lady informed me that yeast feed on sugar. I don’t care how much I loved sweets and carbohydrates, at that point, I decided to change my diet drastically. I went on my own version of a low carbohydrate diet. I consumed a lot of meat. I went gluten-free and I drank a lot of pau d’arco tea. I don’t remember when, but I did take probiotics. I did not cut out carbohydrates completely, I was just very mindful with them. My symptoms vanished. Woo Hoo.
After several years, I developed other uncomfortable physical issues. That’s when I went to George Malkmus’s “God’s Way to Ultimate Health Seminar” in Shelby NC. After the seminars in Shelby, Hallelujah Diet offered a salad bar for $5.00. My husband and I were intrigued by George’s teachings, but could we really eat mostly salads for our diet? The variety of vegetables on the salad bar at Hallelujah Diet (then called Hallelujah Acres) was amazing. We heaped our plates full. It was the best salad we had ever had. To this day, I have never been to a restaurant with a salad that comes anywhere close. What convinced my husband and I to try the Hallelujah Diet was the dressing! I also had been doing a lot of cooking. The thought of simply fixing a salad for meals sounded much simpler and easier.
Wanting to give the Hallelujah Diet my best, I got out a juicer and began juicing, mostly carrots. Within a very short time, I developed a full-blown yeast infection. I was so mad. I thought the Hallelujah Diet was supposed to help me, not resurrect problems from the past. I thought I had regained a healthy balance of candida. Evidently my candida overgrowth problem had never been resolved. My low-carb diet wasn’t feeding the candida with the sugar it loves, so the symptoms were not showing up, but there was still an imbalance. What was I going to do?
I put my thinking cap on and realized it was the carrots feeding the overgrowth. I refused to give up on the Hallelujah Diet concept. I switched juicing carrot juice to drinking green juice EVERY DAY. There is simply no denying the phytochemical power in green produce. I believed in the power of dark leafy greens and taste of the juice was not important.
I quickly realized that leafy greens do not give a high yield of juice like carrots do. Even though Hallelujah Diet recommended two 8 oz. glasses of juice, the taste of leafy green juice is so severe, that drinking 8 oz. of leafy green juice was practically impossible. I proceeded to drink a lot of shooters of things like kale and collard juice. I almost threw up many times with my strong green juice. They were very strong so I couldn’t drink a lot. For example, I might buy a bunch of kale at the health food store and that would be all I juiced some days. On other days, I might use cucumbers and celery, etc. and get a larger yield of juice. I learned early on that each person must make any diet they pursue fit their situation.
I ate a lot of salads. I ate cooked plants, too. I allowed myself grains and beans, but focused on salad items. I partook of minimal fruit, even bananas. I think fruit is cleansing and a small amount is good. Within just a few weeks to a month of my version of the Hallelujah Diet, my candida symptoms, such as itching and burning, were completely gone.
I was still afraid that the Candida symptoms might come back. That was in 2005. So for two years I drank green juice daily and I stayed vegan. If I did not have time to juice, I passed a health food store on the way to work and would get a green juice there. As time progressed, I might add a carrot or two to the juice, but it was mostly green juice. I have not had another vaginal yeast infection since 2005 and it is now 2023.
I will never really know what made my body get back into balance. Was it juice? Juicing is very stressful and time consuming, but it has power. That is why I stuck with it for 2 years. Occasionally, now, I will go on a bout of juicing, but for the most part I have switched over to big “blended salads” with lots of greens in them. All the fiber I ate was probably immensely helpful in cleaning out my digestive tract. Perhaps my body received copious nutrition that it needed. Maybe all the fresh foods with their inherent microscopic bacteria helped to heal me? I took probiotics. Going gluten-free probably helped. I believe that it wasn’t just one thing that helped my body, but the entire repetitive game plan and health driven lifestyle.
Now I can eat carrots, dates, and carb-rich food; Although I have learned not to be excessive.
3 more things I would like to say.
- YES, I sang a solo and church.
- The number one thing that helped me overcome my sugar cravings was almond butter. I kept a jar nearby. When cravings and urges came to eat carbs or high glycemic foods, I would dig into the almond butter jar and quickly eat that instead. Yes, almonds, nuts and seeds have some carbs in them, but they are not high in carbs. For me, they have a great balance of protein, carbs and fats. To this day, nut butters are my go-to food in many circumstances.
- If you are battling a physical issue, you are not alone. Pray, and believe you will receive the answers you need for your body to heal.