The manly man’s mushroom diet

The manly man's mushroom diet

Or…How I Beat Candida and Incidentally Lost 60 Pounds

As a manly man, it’s a bit shameful to admit you count anything, let alone something as vain as carbs or calories. In reality, a manly man has many layers. On the surface, it’s important to pretend you can’t count anything. You face what comes, whether it’s the next beer or the next opponent, without worrying about long-term issues like being outnumbered or running out of beer. Under that surface, a manly man is highly intelligent, of course, and understands exactly what’s going on — it’s only for honour’s sake that he doesn’t allow himself to access that information.

Still, even a manly man eats. And that eating includes choices. As the author of The Ugly, I tried for a long time to keep my body as close to that of Muzhduk’s as I could. I was unable to reach 300 lbs, but so long as I was over 260, with enough muscle to perform parlour tricks like lifting Honda Civics, I was happy.

Then something happened that dropped me down to 205. I lost most of my body fat while retaining all my lean muscle mass. To my chagrin, I can now count eight individual muscles in my abdomen. The good news is I haven’t lost strength. The bad news is that now I look, well, thin.

But the other day, someone asked me how I lost so much weight without losing muscle. And I realized that some people might actually want to be thin. Well, as a writer, if you spend over a hundred hours researching something, eventually you’re going to write about it. Nevertheless, I would like to stress that this diet was purely accidental, and that even if the writer side of my brain now knows about things like insulin-mediated increases in tissue glucose uptake, hormones like leptin and ghrelin, and so on, the manly man side blames it on the grass roof.

I went through a rainy season in Ubud, Bali, with an old grass roof that had ten leaks. I counted. Buckets everywhere, books moulded through like I was one of those hard-core mycolatrists who have personal relationships with their psilocybin and can name, by the nature of their trip, exactly which book of the bible their ‘shrooms had been grown on. My clothes were unwearable unless they’d just come from the laundry, and I eventually discovered that the bottom half of my mattress was purpler than the prose in an MFA class, completely consumed by mold.

At the same time, my standard dinner at the time was two large pizzas (from Pizza Bagus) and one lasagne, followed by a litre of ice-cream and three beers. Meanwhile our neighbour was collecting plastic from 12 hotels and burning it next door, directly upwind.

Between the weakened immune system from the constant yellow haze of dioxin gas, the fungal invasion, and my sky-high blood sugar, the mushrooms decided that my blood would make a nice bungalow. Unhappy bubbles grew all over my skin, staring on my shins and finally finding a comfortable niche in the dark spaces around my upper thighs.

My first response was to sit naked from the waist down all day with a fan under my desk, blowing on my moist parts. But it was too late. The candida had already rooted in my blood, and drying out my skin was not enough. Sporanox, an antifungal with bold all-caps warnings about occasionally causing liver failure within a week of use and congestive heart failure otherwise, was not enough. Coconut oil, praised as a miracle antifungal was not miracle enough, though rubbing it on myself before bed was interesting since the other thing about Bali is that ants swarm any food within minutes and my bed was on the floor. Pots and pots of dark, bitter, Chinese herbs every day were not enough. Garlic, pau d’arco root bark, resveratrol, reishi, oregano, cinnamon, and a dozen herbs were not enough. Doctor’s orders to take only cold showers evoked nostalgic memories of childhood, but seemed a joke as a treatment of mushrooms given that I was living in a sauna. Clotrimazole, Terbinafine Hydrochloride, Ketoconazole, Isoconazole, Fluconazole, Salicylic acid, Disalicylic acid, gentian violet, and a long list of antifungals the names of which I’ve forgotten were not enough. And then finally I got this email from a friend: “See you in Hell! Look forward to an eternity of birdseed, twigs and tempe.”

He was right. As long as I had sugar in my blood, I was feeding the candida. I had to stop all foods that lead to glucose spikes in my blood. I had to starve the bastards out. And of the three macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs), carbohydrates cause by far the greatest and fastest blood sugar spike. So, without having any interest in losing weight, I found myself on a near-ketogenic low-carb diet. I, Atkins. Meat with every meal, daily fish, low-carb veggies (any edible leaf I could find, and a few inedible ones), with the occasional cheat of berries once I got to North America. Except for right after a workout, when the rules are different, my only other source of carbs was plain yoghurt and kefir, since the probiotics in there more then compensate for the lactose carbs.

(After a workout you’ve depleted your blood glycogen, and if you don’t eat some carbs your body will catabolize muscle. The flip side, however, is that at this point your body will fight the candida for this sugar, so the harm in terms of the candida infection of eating carbs after a heavy lifting session is minimal. If you don’t have candida, the best thing to drink at this point is milk, which combines carbs and protein in a much better combination than the fanciest post-workout protein drinks. With candida, this is a good time to have that yoghurt and maybe a piece of fruit for the sake of the other nutrients that you’re missing otherwise.)

The effect of my low-carb diet on the candida was remarkable. I quickly went from 300 bubbles to 10, but if I cheated even a little bit, say I ate a bunch of grapes or drank a beer at any time other than post-workout, then dozens would re-appear. Once I got to Canada I had doctors tell me men don’t get systemic candida infections. Because men in Canada don’t live in tropical rainforests. But over the course of four months I inadvertently repeated the carb test a dozen times — each time I cheated, the bubbles came back.

I was drinking cold-pressed coconut oil from the bottle multiple times per day, with hundreds of calories per shot. I was also drinking fish oil daily, which I always do, because it’s the closest thing to a magic pill that exists in the world of nutrition. So I was getting massive quantities of fat each day, as much meat and leafy veggies as I could eat, and the candida retreated. But I also found myself losing weight.

Worried that I’d start losing muscle, I kept increasing my protein intake. As Lyle McDonald writes:

“Now, in the early days of nutritional science, researchers did a lot of work trying to determine things like whether or not carbohydrates or dietary fats were more protein sparing (e.g. did their intake prevent the loss of protein) but eventually someone had the bright idea to just test eating more dietary protein.  In what should not have been a surprise, the most protein sparing nutrient turned out to be…dietary protein.  That is, providing sufficient dietary protein on a diet was truly the key to limiting (or preventing) the loss of body protein during fat loss.

There are, mind you, many other reasons to eat more dietary protein on a fat loss diet.  Another huge benefit is that, of all three macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates, dietary fats), protein is the most filling. That is, it tends to blunt appetite/hunger (the distinction is not important here) the most.

Additionally, research (primarily by a researcher named Layman) has shown that, in contrast to carbohydrate, increasing dietary protein tends to keep blood glucose more stable while dieting.  This is important as falling blood sugar can trigger hunger and specifically carbohydrate cravings.”

Now, this was good. Stuffing yourself is far more manly than attempting to deny yourself, and if what you’re overeating is meat, so much the better. So I stuffed myself with protein and fats from fish and coconut oils, and found that all that protein really did blunt appetite. So much so that I was losing weight at an absurdly fast pace. I wanted to slow down the weight loss, but I simply didn’t want to eat more. No self-denial involved.

Lyle recommends a protein intake of 1.5 g/lb (3.3 g/kg) of lean body weight. But again, that brings in counting, which is for accountants. Much easier to just eat as much lean protein as you can, together with nice oily fish, fish oil, and coconut oil. At some point, you’ll start to crave green veggies to cut the meat.

I’m at the extreme carnivore end of the spectrum: my favourite food is steak tartare, I ate my steak raw even in Indonesia, I even like my chicken bloody. Before this, if I went a day without meat I’d start twitching from withdrawal. As a teenager, I considered celery to be the closest thing a natural plant could be to evil, since it took up more calories to eat than it gave. And yet after a few weeks of straight protein, I was craving celery. Now I go through a large box of mixed greens with every meal.

And throughout, I kept losing weight.

I then opened a new front against the candida by shifting to intermittent fasting (IF). This forced the candida to starve 18 hours out of every 24. I knew people with candida who went on long fasts to starve it out of their system, but long fasts are deadly to muscle. Just as bad, they slow the metabolism and wreak havoc with your hormones and blood sugar. And those juice fasts are like a sugar IV direct to the ‘shrooms. But IF is short enough that it preserves muscle mass and actually increases the metabolism as our evolutionary adaptation gives us a kick in the butt to find food. Eighteen hours without food does no harm to body (it does a net good, but I’ll save this for another post), but the candida lives on a different time frame. Eighteen hours is a lifetime for the little buggers.

It took a week or two for my ghrelin (hunger hormone) to adjust to the new schedule, but after that it became easy. Between 10 PM and waking I fasted, from waking until 2PM I drank my regular two liters of coffee (coffee suppresses appetite and helps with mental clarity) with a tiny amount of fat free milk (it’s a good idea to always break the rules a little, no matter what they are) and nothing else, and then between 2 PM and 10 PM stuffed as much protein, fat and veggies into my face as I could. Coincidentally, after the ghrelin adapted, this did wonders for my concentration. The moment I eat I lose some mental horsepower, and this gave me between 8 AM and 2 PM of uninterrupted clarity and efficiency.

But now my eating was limited by both time and macronutrient. Protein has a higher thermogenic effect than carbs, it’s inefficient in that you burn 20% to 25% of the calories just in digesting it (compared to 3% for carbs), but most of all, a lean cut of meat simply doesn’t have as many calories as pizza, beer, or ice-cream. Add to that the time limitation of an eight-hour window, and assuming you’re physically active it becomes hard to eat enough calories.

Because, at the end of the day, the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. That’s a fact. Low-carb advocates sometimes lose this intermediate truth by talking about good calories and bad calories. But from a practical results-oriented perspective, shifting to eating only protein, fats, and veggies works in the sense that I eat as many calories as I want, without counting anything, and am relentlessly losing weight. So even if the good-calorie-bad-calorie logic most people use to justify their low- or no-carb diets is wrong, in the end, the approach works.

Lyle’s response to me on this point was “for many people, ad-lib low carb diets DO lead to extra food intake. And once people have gotten the nonsensical idea that ‘calories don’t count’, they refuse to accept that they do. So even if FOR YOU end result is the same, for many, not understanding the mechanism still causes problems. Lowcarb diets reduce food intake which causes weight loss. Except when they don’t. Which is often And that’s when the problems start.”

That’s a fair theoretical point. But I have a hard time imagining anyone who can eat more meat in one sitting than I. And even with an attitude of “if it’s not worth doing to excess it’s not worth doing at all” I simply get full before my calorie intake matches my calorie expenditure.

This isn’t a magic pill. For those who want to use this as a weight loss tool, it requires two things: (1) education about how the human body works, how hunger and glucose and insulin and the rest are all interrelated — and for that sort of knowledge, there is no better source than Lyle; and (2) restraint that is intelligently targeted to allow for excess in other dimensions of the diet — by cutting out certain foods (carbs) I can create the space to eat as much as I want of the others. By fasting 18 hours a day, I again create space to eat as much as I want during the other eight. By exercising like a madman, I give myself a two to three hour post-workout window during which eating a few carbs isn’t going to either add to my fat or feed my mushrooms.

This isn’t a diet for accountants. It’s a diet for extremists, hedons, and those who believe there’s a fundamental difference between balance and moderation. It’s harder to balance two extremes — say, two elephants on a sea saw compared to two bunny rabbits — but it is possible. And it’s far more interesting than living in the middle, counting every calorie.

As for me, as soon as I kick this candida I’m going back to carbs — I miss beer and bread too much. But this experiment has taught me a way to lose weight that works, a knowledge that I’ll save for the day insurance companies convince lawmakers to pass laws about fitting within certain body-mass-index ranges the way they’ve convinced them to pass laws about seatbelts, helmets and let’s not go there…

Update: Candida free for a couple of years now. The good news is once you shake it and keep it shook for a year or so, it doesn’t seem to come back (assuming you don’t go crazy on the sugar). In the meantime, however, as a result of this post I’ve had dozens of readers contact me. Several recommended this candida treatment. I haven’t tried it myself — just passing on the good word of others.


19 comments to The manly man’s mushroom diet

  • The man in the photo is named Dede Koswara.

  • Alan in Sydney

    That was an interesting read on cutting out the carbs. I would normally ignore diet tips but I like your blog and you make a lot of sense. I will give it a go. I agree, giving up the beer and bread is wicked hard. I love bread which probably explains why I need to lose a few kilos. The obesity epidemic is raging in Australia. We are in the race the beat America as the fattest people on the planet. If I feel fat all I have to do is walk outside to get some perspective. It has to be the carbs, sugars and lack of vegetables in the western diet. Something is very wrong because it is an absolute epidemic.

  • Joe

    Hello, very interesting article.

    I do not have your so severe case but I was almost all my life with ups and down in health and finally I discovered by clinical laboratory test that I have Candida Krusei.

    I have 2 months starving, eating only proteins, green vegetables and olive oil, Pau D’Arc, Oregano Oil Essence, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Clove tea, Probiotics, vitamins, minerals and I still see the Candida in the home spit test.

    1.- Have you killed your Candida?
    2.- If yes, how long did you take to get rid of Candida?
    3.- If not, why not?
    4.- Any other advise is very welcome.

    Thanks and Regards

  • Hi, Joe,

    First, I should probably say that that photo’s not of me. And for that matter, the man in the photo, Dede Koswara, is suffering from a variant of warts, not candida. It’s a visually extreme photo, which is why I used it.

    It took me about six months to kill my candida first time around. A combination of Sporanox and the severe dietary restriction I talked about in the blog post. The Sporanox was prescribed by a doctor in Bali (where I got it in the first place), and the pharmacies there have no medieval guild-like prescription requirements, so I could just go get more when I felt like it. Here in North America, it’s more complicated. Doctors here don’t believe in systemic candida, and because Sporanox is hard on the liver, they’re loathe to prescribe it even when I go in with a liver function test in normal ranges to prove to them my particular liver can handle it. I actually had a doctor say, in the voice of a kindergarten teacher, “have you heard of Lamisil?”

    Lamisil is useless against candida.

    Mainstream doctors here tend to treat the pathology and ignore the patient. Naturopaths and alternative medicine types tend to treat the patient and ignore the pathology. It really takes the combination.

    The candida was gone for about two months when I decided I’d “won” and, during a family visit, celebrated with a week binge of chocolate, beer, and all the other things I’d been depriving myself of. I promptly had a relapse, and since I was in Canada, it took me several doctors before I found one who would allow me to self-diagnose, and even that took some creative talking. It’s absurd, since I’d been through this before, that the doctor refused to trust me about my own body. At any rate, I finally got the prescription, and the second time around it took me about two months to beat the candida. I found it much harder to motivate myself to the severe dietary restriction the second time around, but because I knew what worked and what didn’t it took two months instead of six. But it has made me accept the fact that I have to watch my diet for the rest of my life.

    Note that during the two months without candida symptoms, I did have pizza and three or four beers every Sunday, and that was fine, but when I drank six beers a night for a week, it came back. I’ve now switched to scotch when I want to drink.

    Advice, in order of priority: 1. avoid yeast absolutely; 2. avoid sugars, especially liquid or other fast sugars; 3. avoid carbs, especially high glycemic index carbs; 4. get Sporanox, but be smart about it, and get liver function tests once a month while taking it (it’s the only antifungal that works on candida, by the way); 5. exercise, especially very high sweat exercise, to flush out your blood, pores, skin, etc.; 6. find a doctor who trusts your judgment of your own body (a nearly impossible task, which is why I left it for last).

    Hope this helps!

  • Joe

    Hello admin,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your valuable experience.

    I took pharmaceuticals in the past and was no good, it was also fault of doctors, when I had it in the urethra, that did not warn me about the correct diet and life style, that I had to discover by myself, searching the net and filtering data.

    Many years suffering a lot of various illness, visiting many doctors, that was unsuccessful, now I think corresponds to Candida symptoms. I myself requested the lab a stools’ fungus culture and Candida was there. So my approach from now on would be only nutraceuticals and high potency herbs extracts. I did a research and now I’m ready to go and test the results.

    I was worried about for how long can I maintain the animal protein/vegetables diet without getting sick due to a lack of some nutrients. Is there a month limit for this type of diet, or can be very long?

    I have lost 10 kilograms in 3 months, the first month I was eating fruits, then I suspended them. I’m really thin, I try not to pass over 250-300 grams of protein per meal, other wise I get constipated, but vegetables help. Unfortunately I’m hungry and tired very often, specially after exercising and the 2 sets of 15 minutes in the sauna, I do not have much energy.

    Today I got the new products that I will add to the classics, I mentioned above.

    One last question, how do you test for candida and if there is a reliable test for systemic candida?

    Thanks and Best regards

  • Barbie

    Hey guys, I am doing this diet too. It is only my third week, and I have been eating what I thought were the right things but different sites specify different things some of the time.

    Is it ok to eat Spelt flakes? And I have been eating nuts quite a bit in pro biotic yoghurt and as a snack, but they are not freshly cracked… this is bad I read in some places, and not in others. Can any one gimme a hint?

    Thanks and good luck to every one else doing this thing. You have to be so stron not to give in argh !!! :)

  • Hi, Barbie. I don’t pretend to be an expert on Candida, just someone with a pretty good base in fitness and nutrition who’s gone through it. Some of the Candida diet websites get neurotic about specifying what’s okay and what’s not, and most of them have a bridge to sell you at the end. I can’t imagine what difference cracked vs uncracked nuts have unless they’ve been sitting and molding. (Peanuts are different, but peanuts are legumes, not nuts, and peanuts inherently have a lot of mold.) Some people say yoghurt is okay, some that it’s not — I ate at least one bowl of yoghurt, nuts and blueberries every day as my snack. I think I’d have gone crazy without something snack-like. Just check the label on the yoghurt and make sure it has more grams of protein than carbs for any given serving size. I found one, Liberte, that for a 175 gram serving had 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbs, and that’s the one I stuck with. I have no idea about Spelt flakes.

    I’ve also seen websites that throw in the kitchen sink in terms of the writer’s personal nutrition biases. For example, I can’t imagine how coffee would exacerbate Candida, and yet lots of Candida websites say no coffee. When pressed as to why, they say because milk has lactose (a sugar). But coffee is not equivalent to milk, and a tiny quantity of milk in your coffee is not likely to cause an outbreak. Especially if you drink it first thing in the morning, when your body has used up its glycogen stores overnight, or after a workout, for the same reason.

    Basically, this is something you have to figure out over time yourself, and base yourself on principles rather than strict rules. Simply put, avoid mold, and avoid foods that will spike your blood sugar and thereby feed the yeast. But what causes a blood sugar spike is a complex nutritional question that has to take into account factors like exercise, when you last ate, etc. Also, keep in mind that this is something you’ll have to do for months, so a certain degree of flexibility and common sense is necessary.

    It is tough, but the silver lining is that other than the limits on fruit, this diet is very healthy in other ways. Good luck!

  • Joe, there’s no reliable test for candida. Or rather there is, but everyone is positive. This is why western doctors have such a hard time accepting a diagnosis of systemic candida. They open their big book and read that systemic candida — in the sense of rashes, etc. — is only present in immunosuppressed patients. Everyone has candida on their skin, in their stool, etc., and it causes 99% of the population no problem.

    The difficulty is that for all their arrogance, most doctors are quite rigid thinkers. A dermatologist or GP will equate immunosuppression with AIDS, and will say if you don’t have AIDS you can’t have systemic candida. Talk to a psychoneuroimmunologist, on the other hand, and he’ll go on at length about how stress suppresses the immune system. Similarly, environmental stressors can do the same thing, including (in my case) living in the jungle in a pile of mold. The problem is that the dermatologist learns what he learns in school, and even if you’re lucky enough to get one who keeps learning after graduation, he’ll be reading dermatology journals. Good luck getting one who bothers to talk to anyone outside his field like, for example, a psychoneuroimmunologist.

    The problem with Candida is that once it’s established a pathway to, say, your skin or your joints, then even if you eliminate the stressors and bring your immune system back up, the Candida continues to travel along the pathway. But the immune system is still your only real defense, so if whatever you’re doing is making you weak and listless, change what you’re doing.

  • Barbie

    Hi thanks for replying, I will do my best and yes, since the diet is so healthy I am feeling lots better already :)

    I can see what you mean about peoples personal diet regimes on the web, I will try not to take too much notice of that.

    Ok again thanks for your insight !

  • Another Fantastic write up, I will save this in my StumbleUpon account. Have a awesome day.

  • Lorelle

    I also have suffered from candida symptoms. I came across a diet which is located at this website There is a book that comes with it called the body ecology diet. I followed it strictly for 2 weeks and my symptoms disappeared, and I subsequently lost 10 kg’s. The priciples are pretty much the same as the diet talked about here, but also adding a probiotic drink called keifer that you make yourself, and adding cultured vegetables that you can also make yourself.
    I would strongly recommend this diet to anyone with candida symptoms .

  • Karen Briggs

    I too have wrestled with candida and mainstream medicine is of no use in my experience. Seek help from a doctor who practices alternative medicine such as a naturopath or someone who is experienced in chinese medicine. Of course, as in anything, you must find someone who is good at what they do in order for them to help you.
    If you choose to go it on your own, do proceed with some caution, as the diet and some of the products used to deal with candida can be dangerous. If you detox too fast this can cause liver problems.
    There is a good stool test that you can order from the states that tests well for Candida. It can be ordered from
    Oil of oregano can be very helpful in killing off candida, but it is good to support your liver while using this with a homepathic product. Bentonite clay can also be very effective, but again start slow and don’t detox too fast because not only can it make you feel like hell, it can make you very sick.
    In response to the above remark about cracked versus uncracked nuts, it makes a difference. Cracked or shelled nuts will go rancid quickly unless refrigerated and this causes yet more toxins for your liver to deal with. How anal you get depends upon how sick you are and just how quickly you’d like to get better.
    Probiotics are essential during this process to increase the good bacteria in your system.
    Lastly – practice patience. It can be a very long haul – months even years to recover from candida.
    Best of luck to you all!

  • I should include an addendum here. I don’t generally believe in magic bullets, but I did seem to find one for candida. At least my candida. I started making my own kefir. I drink two liters of kefir a day — that’s more probiotics than you could get if you ate a jar-full every day. As long as I drink my kefir, I have no candida-like symptoms no matter what else I do. I drink beer, eat bread, chocolate, etc. Basically negating my entire post. I do drink the kefir every single day, though. I use it as a post workout protein drink — milk, being 80% Casein 20% whey, is a perfect protein. The downside for anyone with candida is the lactose (a sugar). The kefir grains, however, feed off the lactose, converting it in the process into probiotics, alcohol and various acids. Thus, people who are mildly lactose intolerant can often drink kefir.

    For me, at any rate, kefir has been the magic bullet that ended my candida nightmare.

  • Will Durrant

    “By fasting 18 hours a day, I again create space to eat as much as I want during the other eight.”

    Which planet is that?

  • Wishful thinking, I guess.

  • stevie

    This is probaby one of the most informative sites I’ve come across. I too sffer from systemic candida. I live in new york and my doctors here actually think I’m crazy. They totally don’t believe in systemic candida. So its impossible to get the sporonax. I’m also seeing a naturopath which is fairly new and I’ve been given candiloosner, candiscrub and a couple others which supposedly over time will slowly and safely rid my candida. Its too eary to tell if that regimen will work but I have plenty faith or maybe I’m just desperate. I cut sugar out although I do sweeten with stevia and xylitol. I read on a few sites that xylitol will actually inhibt the growth of candida. I also cut out bread, vinegar and alcohol. Now I’m only eating meats, veggies, eggs. I recently discovered dinner rolls that were made with tapioca flour which isn’t glutenous nor does it have sugar, yeast, wheat, corn or oats which are common allergies and sould be avoided while candida cleasnsing. Also, once a week I make a batch of cookies using ghee, coconut flour, a bit of amaranth flour, unsweetened carob chips, celtic sea salt, and coconut flakes. They are really good and I have abut two to 6 per day. I wonder if that is preventing me from getting better faster. But to me, it seems to be helping me. I recently came across a product Aquaflora. It seems promising but so did threelac and many other products I tried on myself. I’m very very very thin. Ok I’m quite underweight and I fear that dieting too long will end up causing me more harm than the candida. I would love to actually gain weight but I have no idea how to. I know you don’t have all the answers but id love some insight and if possible advice as well. Thanks

  • p

    Stevie…eat FAT, lots of it! The Iniuts eat 80% fat in their diet! Without carbs in your diet your body switches to fat burning for fuel, which is a ‘high octane’ fuel at 9 calories per gram.

  • Franco

    Can you tell me exactly how to make the keyfir mix please? Also, is there a way to know if you definitely have candida. I did the spit test and it had legs like a jelly fish and specs that eventually all sank to the bottom of the glass. But how accurate is that test? I recently had multiple antibiotic treatments in the past 2 months and worry about a yeast infection. Thanks

  • For kefir, you need to buy some kefir culture. There are kefir afficionados in nearly every city. If yours has a craigslist, check there — I’m sure someone will be selling it, or even giving it away for free. Not all kefir cultures taste the same, though, so you may need to try several. Once you have the kefir culture, you pour milk into it, keep it in a dark place, and wait a few days. I can’t tell you how long because it depends on the ratio of kefir to milk. As the kefir grows, it’ll consume the lactose in the milk at a faster rate, and thus ferment faster. I was at a point where a quarter of my gallon jug was the kefir germ, and it could turn the other 3/4 of a gallon into kefir in 24hours. If you want to slow it down significantly, put it in the fridge. Also, make sure it can get air. I use a cheesecloth over the container to keep fruit-flies out but allow air in. One of these days I’ll write a health and fitness book and will explain in detail what I do with the kefir, but for now I can only point you to other people’s links. This book on raw food diets, and this one on using food to fight type 2 diabetes include sections on kefir and kombucha. Please note that I don’t endorse their position on everything. For the raw food book, for example, I agree with eating raw whenever possible, but absolutely disagree with their position on meat — sashimi and steak tartare are probably my two favourite foods. (Note I said “sashimi” not “sushi.” Avoid the white rice, especially Japanese sticky rice. To your body, white rice is nearly indistinguishable from pure sugar — terrible for anyone with candida.)

    And since I’m in link mode, I’ve had several readers of this post write me that they found this candida program to be a big help. (I haven’t tried it myself, since I only learned about it after curing my own.)

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