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What I Eat {My New C. Diff Recovery Diet}




That's a lot of "no" foods, right? It gets stricter--- wait for it---- so on top of being gluten free, soy* free, sugar free, corn free--- well, I was vegan to begin with (you guys know this). But also, I can't have any super starchy foods (think potatoes/white rice), any super gassy foods (think beans* or cauliflower), or anything cold or raw (think raw veggies/salads/yogurt). And with the exception of almond butter or almond flour, no nuts really. No molds (mushrooms). So what's left? Well, surprisingly a lot. I mean, now there's a lot. It's been a long road. I was restricted to mostly really cooked, pureed foods for a while there (baby food). That was rough. My meal was the same everyday, a pureed or super cooked veggie, pureed black beans, overcooked black rice. Any little thing I ate could and would affect my gut. Even seemingly safe things, would kill my stomach on any given day. And most days, even if my stomach was fine, I would start shaking and feel as if I was going to pass out with each meal. My body was too weak to even handle basic digestion and absolutely was not absorbing enough, so it had to be EASY. Thankfully I've come a long way since the first few weeks/month and I feel like I can mostly eat like a human and not a baby.

SO I guess the way to look at it, is after the c. diff--- I knew there was no way I wouldn't have a candida overgrowth in my gut. That was basically inevitable. If the c. diff had the room to grow, certainly other bad yeasts and bacteria would too. Years of working on a good, healthy, flora-full gut and one short (stupid) stint in antibiotics my good bacteria was wiped clean, my colon was tore up and destroyed, and I was left to do everything I can to mend this body of mine. It hasn't been easy. It's all been incredibly complicated-- and I'm still completely unsure of what else attacked my system. We've thrown away the lyme diagnosis--- and really, stopped looking for other diagnosis' because at this point it seems that the anti fungal + herbs + diet has been (way too slowly) and is getting me somewhere. My body suffered through hell this year. I was awake in bed last night and for whatever reason I started thinking about the beginning of this all-- and remembered how bizarre the start was--- the crazy intense pains in my arms that came out of nowhere. I could hardly hold my newborn niece without thinking I was going to fall over. Weeks later, the c diff came knocking on my door (stomach). I'll never have answers, okay, whatever. But what I do have: a plan. I've obviously been doing every single thing I've been capable of to feel better--- and if that means being on the most restricted (but somewhat diverse at the same time) diet, then fine. I'm into it.

At this point, it's been months since I've had a sip of alcohol, a taste of bread, and even coffee, and honestly? I'm sort of okay with it. I never thought I could or would be, but if it means that I can heal and become healthier, and be alive, then it's worth it. I'd rather be alive, happy, and well than open up the risk of bad bacteria growing. It's just not worth it now--- and probably for a long time. (Though I'll probably bring back coffee soon, because I think my gut is ready to handle that.) There was no way someone was going to convince me to eat ice cream and mashed potatoes after being released from the hospital. What good would that do me? Energy? No. Nutrition? No. Good bacteria? No. It was just going to feed the bad bacteria and leave me sicker and more than likely with a recurrence of c. diff. The recurrence rate is HIGH for c. diff, even after heavy doses of antibiotics to kill it--- and it's not wonder with the ill prep they said patients home with. I'm happy to say that I think I've finally passed the point where they 'clear me' of the risk of c. diff coming back.

But hey, guess what I managed to do? Put back on at least five pounds. Good right? But how? Well, I eat all day. I usually have two meals in the first two hours of waking up. And I eat a good two+ avocados a day. Also, coconut oil like it's my job. Sometimes I just eat a spoonful of oil just for kicks. It helps me absorb my D vitamin, fights off yeast (coconut oil is anti-fungal), and helps me gain weight. I'm into it.

So my diet has consisted of my (gut healing) oatmeal for breakfast. Or some very similar variation of it. And honestly, I often skip the fruit, I just recommended it, cause you guys can and should eat fruit. But since it's raw and has (natural) sugar, I usually skip it. Sometimes I get wild and crazy and throw the (hot) oatmeal in the blender with a touch of unsweetened almond milk and make it a smoothie. Wild, I know.

For first lunch (I have two most days) I typically have a miso soup with some veggies and buckwheat noodle.

And (second) lunch and dinner is usually some version of all the food you'll see below.

So what CAN I eat? Well,
-most veggies. nothing super gassy or starchy. Or overly sugary (beets). And all must be cooked.
-black forbidden rice, sometimes brown rice in small amounts.
-buckwheat noodles
-quinoa (well cooked)
-eggs, yup I did it, I added eggs back in. Didn't think I would, but my protein options are little to none. I typically eat them hardboiled and chopped into my veggies.
-seaweed
-almond butter /almond flour (its lower in mold than most other nuts)
-sometimes lentils or pureed black beans. I've tried other beans, but they usually don't do well in my gut.
-all spices and herbs (omg thank god)
-coconut products
-steel cut oats
-most oils
-avocados
-fermented + probiotic foods, but only the ones that were naturally fermented--- no vinegar or sugar allowed. I eat a few scoops of sauerkraut each day to help build the good bacteria.
-*soy, I've allowed myself to have fermented soy. Miso: yes. Sometimes tempeh.

I think that's it for now. But hey, I love a good cooking challenge. (seriously). So here we go, the adult version of What Marlowe Eats: What I've been Eating---

*don't expect it to be too pretty-- this is more of the survivalist meals-- get it on the plate and eat before getting loopy.

tumeric ginger coconut soup with carrot, rutabaga, buckwheat noodles, and herbs.

red miso soup, loaded with seaweed, buckwheat noodles, and carrot noodles.

roasted eggplant, avocado.

buckwheat noodles with an almond butter sesame oil sauce, with sautéed veggies. 

we call these my calorie bombs. I'd eat five of these a day. I forget how many calories and grams of protein are in each one, but it's a ridiculous amount. They basically consist of almond butter, eggs, almond flour.

This is what dinners look like for me often. Family eats what they can and what they want and I have my own agenda--- sautéed veggies with a chopped hard boiled egg, pureed black beans, small scoop of black rice. Pasta for all the lucky folks. 

I think I mentioned it, but I've gone out to eat three times. This is one of three--- Ethiopian dinner. Cooked veggies and lentils over injera (gluten free- teff flour bread). (the first day was here)

mish mash leftover lunch. kitchari, black rice, pureed black beans, steamed rutabaga, avocado.

quinoa veggies cakes and black beans and brown rice for M, white miso with buckwheat for me--- I had some quinoa cakes too.

Loads of veggies, quinoa, avocado.

sometimes veggie soup-- this has some beans in it-- so I would have probably done better had it been pureed. And sauerkraut and avocado.
these last two meals are probably most similar to what I've been eating everyday lately. Rice + quinoa bowls loaded, with sautéed veggies, a chopped hardboiled egg, some greens-- seasoned with tons of spices (mostly turmeric, cumin, coriander), fresh garlic and ginger, and usually topped with avocado and some sort of sauerkraut. 

And there you have it--- what I've been eating lately. High fiber + high protein, veggie filled diet. Hooray food! Screw you, c. diff. + candida.

Love you guys. Have a great week!

30 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're finally able to enjoy some delicious food again! All of these meals look FANTASTIC - I am picking up some buckwheat noodles next time I hit the market, can't wait to try them! All of that avocado looks amazing <3 Thanks for sharing about nuts though - I didn't know some were higher in mold than others, but thankfully I'm a fan of almonds as it is :)
    I hope your gut (and you!) continue to heal, hopefully sooner rather than later!
    ~ Samantha

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    1. i really love my buckwheat noodles. Marlowe says she doesn't like them. she says "I like gluten in my noodles" but for me, I could probably stay away from gluten based noodles forever (sorry alex)

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  2. Your diet looks amazingly healthy Drea, you're very good at making delicious meals out of the things you're able to eat. I hope you heal quickly, it's very good that you're gaining weight now - steps in the right direction. CJ xx

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  3. It seems you have found and walk your way through it and I am so glad!
    Plus, you seem really creative, despite your "no foods" :)

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  4. Thank you for posting these. 2 years ago I was on a very very restricted diet due to my infant son having extreme food allergies and a bad digestive tract from being a preemie which caused him to be Failure to Thrive (after continually dropping weight). Since I was breast feeding I had an extreme allergy free diet: no eggs, soy, gluten, sugar, dairy, and colicky veggies. As a vegetarian who had just gotten off 7 weeks of strict hospital bedrest that diet crushed my health. We couldn't switch to formula either because he was allergic to every type. I am going to Pin this to share with other moms on strict allergy diets.

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    1. Sounds exactly like my diet! I'm sorry you had to go through that! I imagine it was quite frustrating with a newborn. I hope you feel new again and better than before. And I do hope it helps other moms and people in general. It's really scary when you have to do a complete diet overhaul.

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  5. Love your spunk, love your spirit, and damn are you ever kicking illness in the ass, yo. Everything looks so tasty!!!

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  6. Somehow you even manage to make this food look extremely appetising! I suffered really badly from candida once upon a time (it took the doctors year to figure out why I was constantly eating like a horse but my weight was plummeting, I slept all day, was turning a disturbing shade of grey and I would be in excruciating pain from anything remotely acidic) so am well acquainted with this kind of diet. Not much fun but wow it made a difference in the long run. Even these days I try to make sure to really limit my sugar/ white flour intake. Oh on a side note, you do know the injera (the Ethiopian bread) is made with yeast right? It's basically a bread mix of teph, yeast and water left to ferment for a day or two.
    xx

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    1. It is absolutely crazy how awful candida can be--- I had it once before but my biggest issues were rash and cravings--- this time it's been totally different, the brain fog, the dizziness, the pains. Did you ever use an anti fungal? Or just stick with natural methods? The anti-fungal was great for me--- but all the die off and bacteria toxins have been really over working my poor liver so I had to stop for a bit.

      injera: you know, now that you brought it up, I remember learning about that years ago-- but COMPLETELY forgot. In my head http day I was like "oh, it's flat, there's no yeast" Doh. Thank you for telling me! I wont make that (delicious) mistake again.

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    2. I was on a whole bunch of homeopathic/ natural pills and potions at the time. I don't think I used any regular anti fungals because it seemed that no conventional doctors would actually admit that candida could make you that sick! I'm just a month off giving birth and have had all kinds of candida related flare ups suddenly (first time in years) so it looks like I'm back on a stricter diet too! Think I'll use some of your food ideas ;). Bummer about injera, if I had to choose one last meal it would absolutely be that!

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  7. I'm sorry you're still dealing with this. It's a good thing you're creative; everything you made looks awesome. I hope you're feeling better soon.

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  8. Wow, you're amazing. Somehow you've managed to eat chef-like-meals even with your strict diet. I'm having an IBS flareup and I have only managed to eat 1 egg and chicken soup (only the liquid). How did you find what foods are more easy to digest for you? Can you recommend some reading material? Because the advise that I got from an IBS book I got was to eat potatoes,sourdough bread and tortillas (and that didnt work well for me :( )

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    1. YES I CAN. Email me, I'll send you a file with a list of foods! I think potatoes would be fine if your only problem is IBS--- they are low residue, I can't eat them because of the bacteria/candida issues I have--- and since I have a hard enough time digesting everything, I just try to stick with nutrient rich foods. Sourdough IS better than your typical bread--- I will say that, though I would stop gluten all together for IBS. And for tortillas, I personally don't think flour or corn would be a good option. Both are high allergy foods (ie. harder to digest). I have bought some brown rice flour ones that I use SOMETIMES, but even those, since processed, can be a bit tough to digest. And if you haven't def. try florastor or other probiotics--- they help a lot. And please do email me, I'll look for that list I have. It's REALLY great.

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    2. Thank you for writing this blog, the meals you've created look amazing and it gives me a world of hope. I've also took antibiotics and now I'm recovering from c diff. I've started taking Florastor and that's been extremely helpful. At first I could barely eat anything but I can now have chicken and eggs and teas. I'd like to add other items into my diet but I'm not sure where to start. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.

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  9. I am also on what others would call a restricted diet. I can't eat much of what you eat, but eat some other things that you didn't list. My meals also look like the ones you posted in that they fill up the plate with all sorts of colors and textures (and more nutrients than those who don't think twice about restrictions). So restricted? I think not.

    Have you tried seeds, though? I can only do almond butter in very small amounts (and prefer the artisinal soaked/sprouted kind), and sunflower seed butter doesn't go over well, but I can do pumpkin seed butter. Maybe tahini?

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    1. so for seeds, I can't have that because they irritate my beat up gut. And I've read mixed things in general. I'm pretty sure I could have them in pureed form, like the almond butter, but I haven't actually tried it! I'm def. going to consider it!

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  10. I am dealing with some health problems and I know eating better would help.. but finding the energy to make the food (even shop for the food) is almost impossible.. tips please?? I love your blog :)

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  11. Hi Drea! My boyfriend was diagnosed with C.Diff a year ago. He had waited a month of having diarrhea before going to the doctor, and we ended up having to rush him to the ER. He had you same symptoms—incredible pain, shaking, convulsing, worst migraine of all time, crying uncontrollably from pain). it was the worst time in my life to watch him go through this. He was hospitalized for 7 days, sent home, and the C. Diff returned weeks later. Now a year later, he's C.Diff-free, but now he has Chron's-like symptoms everyday. It's like the C.Diff gave him Chron's. I was wondering if this diet did in fact heal you completely or it you still struggle with symptoms and pain somedays? He's stubborn to give up his breads and sweets, but I'm trying to convince him o go Gluten-free with me (I've been GF for 2 years) and see if it helps....

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    1. in terms of my stomach, yes, its A LOT better. I still have to be careful with what I choose to eat, but I've been able to expand it a bit since this post (corn is fine, some beans, greens are good), but I do know that certain foods will trigger unwanted reactions. I rarely have stomach pain or diarrhea or anything like that. Now the no foods will cause some head symptoms, but really thats one of my only complaints these days. Rarely in pain anymore. At the very least, I'd def. suggest giving up breads for bit--- just even for two weeks or so if he can to see if it helps! Also, I started taking primal defense probiotics (garden of life brand) and that helped a lot! probiotics are touchy person to person, but they def. helped me. DGL and licorice root are also good for gut healing <3<3

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  12. I had c-diff last summer and I'm still struggling to gain weight and find what to eat. Thanks for sharing your post.

    www.eatdrinkshoplove.com

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  13. I am in such a similar situation. Your MBG article bought me here, It is reassuring to know you are not alone. I can't tolerate coconut products or avocado, but I do include some salmon in my meals a few times per week. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  14. Thank you so much! I am in such a similar situation (your mbg article bought me here) and it's great to know there are other people who can empathise! I can't tolerate coconut products or avocado but I do eat salmon and bone broth (no meat though). Thank you so much for sharing! PLease keep us updated xx

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  15. Drea, I am so happy to find you and your blog! I just went through ovarian cancer- surgery, chemo and pelvic radiation- four bouts of c- diff and four bacterial transplants while in the hospital for a month- lucky to be alive- but I still struggle with my upset gut- I am eating the same foods every day

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  16. I've been stuck in a (less severe) version of your stomach issues, although I've been yet to be diagnosed with anything after four years. I've done a 180 on my diet basically, while its not as restrict I've as yours, i relate to what you're going through. I love your positivity throughout this post, despite the issues you're going through. You make me feel strong. Keep it up lady 💕

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  17. Hi Drea - I just (literally yesterday) got home from the hospital after a 5-day stay with c. diff. They were feeding me a liquid diet at first, then "soft foods", which included overcooked broccoli and grilled cheese and caused lots of gas and pain; I think they were at a loss due to my having been raised vegetarian, so just threw vegetables and bread at me.

    My amazing fiancé and I have been trying to figure out what I can eat that won't send me reeling with gut pain. He bought all the pudding and crackers in the world. I'm in no shape or state to cook for myself right now, so it's been yogurt (or pudding, or crackers) when I'm home alone. I don't really have the appetite for much though I know I need more.

    Two questions: First, how long did it take you to get back into "real food"? Second, how did you figure out what wouldn't hurt your gut/give you bad gas? I just know I'm feeling pretty weak and that most food sounds like a bad idea.

    Thanks so much.

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  18. I too just came home from the hospital with C-Dif....due from an antibiotic..😬..Do you have any recipe's that you would share ??? I am at lost as to where to start!!!! Hope to hear from you soon.And I pray you're doing well these days😊.... Thanks, Angie Reneau

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  19. I too just came home from the hospital with C-Dif....due from an antibiotic..😬..Do you have any recipe's that you would share ??? I am at lost as to where to start!!!! Hope to hear from you soon.And I pray you're doing well these days😊.... Thanks, Angie Reneau

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  20. Thank you for sharing! I was recently diagnosed with babesia. The antibiotic and antimalarial has wreaked havoc on my body (and my gut), making each day a struggle to stay upright. I'm currently waiting on the lab results to find out if I have C. Diff or not, but I've decided not to wait to change my diet to something that will help heal me while still providing my weakened body with the nutrtion it needs to get through this. Your blog is truly inspiring and has given me hope! Thank you again!

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