Monday, September 17, 2012

How I Kicked My Sugar Addiction

It wasn't that long ago that I was addicted to sugar.  
I was so addicted to sugar that I once pulled over at the dollar store when the craving hit me.  I had to ban Nutella from our house because I would eat nothing else until it was gone.  
I would eat it spoonful by spoonful all day long and even skip dinner.  I asked my husband to stop bringing me chocolates because I would not eat anything else.  

I had absolutely no will power. 

My drug of choice.  (photo credit)
One day I was visiting a friend and I was talking about my acne and about how discouraging and upsetting it was.  I told her how I felt that it was effected by my consumption of sugar.  She told me that an overabundance of yeast in your system would make you crave sugar because yeast eats sugar.  So I spent about 6 months doing research on it and found a lot of information about the candida yeast.  
There is a lot of information on-line about it.  

My favorite web-site for information on candida is  
I feel it is the most comprehensive and they don't require you to buy anything to get the information you need.  
I looked at a lot of sites and this one had it all. 

I started reading about the symptoms of candida overgrowth and decided I needed to follow the candida diet. 
I was worried about what eating so much sugar was doing to my body.  I also have a family history of diabetes and so I was really worried about becoming diabetic.

Using the Candida Diet website, I pretty much diagnosed myself and laid out my own treatment plan. 

I did want to consult a medical professional first, to make sure I was healthy enough to do the diet.  I printed out a list of my symptoms, what I felt happened in my history to cause the candida overgrowth,  and the treatment plan from the website.
When I met with my Nurse Practitioner I thought she'd roll her eyes and think I was an "internet hypochondriac", but she listened to me and looked over the information I'd brought. 
She'd only had 1 or 2 other patients that she'd gone through this with but she felt that my discovery was valid.  
She did want to do a liver function test to make sure I was healthy enough to take the anti-fungals. 

According to, phase one is a cleanse.  
I tried the cleanse for one day and I couldn't do it because it was just too icky for me, so I skipped that and when straight into phase two.  

I have a good friend who went to a doctor for candida herself.
Her doctor told her that you only have to reduce your carbohydrate intake by 80% for 5 weeks in order to kill off the candida overgrowth.  That is because carbohydrates are turned into glucose (sugar) by our bodies.  So cutting out the carbs basically starves the yeast of it's food.  I thought, I can't measure how much I reduce my carbs because I'm just not smart like that. But, if I set a goal of eating no carbs at all, even if I cheat a little bit it would be okay.
On the diet you can only have plain kefir.  But now the flavored kefir is my go to treat.
I started my pro-biotics two weeks before the anti-fungals. 
When I was at Sprouts looking for the anti-fungals, a lady there told me she used Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to help cure her candida overgrowth, so I decided to try that too.  

I started by drinking 1/4 tsp of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in water (with a straw so as not to damage my teeth) and also eating a little chunk of garlic* (about 1cm square) each day.  
Yes, I was pleasant to hang out with :)  
After about 2 weeks I started the other anti-fungals, rotating and overlapping as directed on so that the candida yeast wouldn't become resistant to them.  

I also drank plain kefir.  
It is like a drinkable yogurt and is packed with pro-biotics.  
The plain kefir tastes a bit like sour cream, which sounds icky but I actually grew to like it. I added a few drops of stevia to it and the taste grew on me. It also has a fun, tingly feeling. 

Flavored kefir has carbs, so it's not allowed on the diet, but I drink it every day now that I'm done. 
By the way, my NP said that everyone should take a pro-biotic every day and that you can't over-do it.

Anti-fungals.  The grape-fruit seed extract tasted so bad that I bought capsules to put it in.
I was really excited the first day I realized it was working.  
I was at my friend's house for a birthday party.  
Someone had taken the icing off of a cupcake with the paper wrapper and left it laying on the plate. Just two weeks earlier I would have snatched it up and squeezed every bit of icing out of it.  
That would have been a waste of good icing!  
In the past, I have eaten icing out of a tub I hid in the refrigerator. 
I felt so good when I realized that I didn't even want to eat it.  
I had no desire for it. My friends knew - I would have eaten the icing off of everyone's cupcake if they had let me.

I stayed on the diet for 6 weeks.  
I tried to pick a time of the year when there wouldn't be a lot of temptations, like holiday candies. I did cheat quite a bit at first. 
I had a hard time, but when I realized it was working, I was more motivated to stick with it.

One night we ordered pizza. I did cut a sliver off for myself, but for my dinner I ate a chicken breast with frozen veggies and seasoning.  
 By having that one little bit of pizza, I didn't feel like I was depriving myself.  It wouldn't have been enough for me before, but was plenty after completing part of the diet.  

Even though the diet lasts for at least 5 or 6 weeks, it wasn't has hard as I thought it would be.  I thought it would be nearly impossible to get through, but after starting to see results in a short time, I was encouraged and I was able to stick more closely to the diet and not want the carby foods that I had had before.  

Now that I'm off the diet, I am eating carbs. But, I can say "no" to them.  I haven't wanted a chocolate bar in weeks!  
(My friend shared one with me a couple of weeks ago, but I don't crave it like I did before, and I haven't had one since!)

My acne is noticeably less.  I am no longer having the large, painful zits.  I do still have an occasional pimple though.  
 I think I have other skin sensitivity issues that I need to address. 
I can do that now knowing that one cause is taken care of.  
I am currently recovering from perioral dermatitis
but I'll cover that topic another day.

Now, I'm keeping myself healthy by not going overboard on carby foods (sweets, grains, starchy foods), drinking kefir and by taking my Vitalizer every day.  
I feel GREAT!  My mind is more clear, I have more energy, and I've even lost a few pounds!

I went from piling my a plate full of brownies and treats at parties to being able to take just one and be satisfied.
If I can do it, you can do it!

*If you don't think you can eat straight garlic, you can get a garlic supplement here.


  1. Congrats that's a wonderful accomplishment. I did the same several years ago when I found out I had several allergies. After I kicked sugar vegetables started tasting sweeter. I can enjoy eating pepper on its own. Check out my blog I write about healthy tips including probiotics.

    1. I'm surprised how many people have gone through the same thing when I had never even heard of it a year ago!

      Thanks for commenting :)


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