For the majority of my lifetime I have struggled with my digestion. Constipation, bloating, irregular bowel movements, gas, discomfort, diarrhea & pain were just a daily occurrence for me and I honestly didn’t know any different.
During my younger years, I pretty much ate everything and anything packaged and processed and didn’t look for fruit to snack on or veggies. The only time I really ate vegetables or fruit would be when my Mum made me lunch or dinner.
I saw a gastroenterologist and he basically told me that I had IBS and needed to eat more fibre, which I mean… eating more fibre would definitely be a factor as I was eating horribly.
I started incorporating fibre supplements (because that’s so much easier that actually eating it, right? Haha) and having “Vita Brits” which is a shredded wheat cereal.
Many years later, I started to care more about my health. I joined the gym and started cleaning up my diet. I started eating more fruits and veggies, cutting out dairy and meat and eventually (fours years later) I turned vegan! I originally went plant based for health and then I watched Earthlings and jumped on the vegan wagon for ethics as well.
During the time my digestion got worse. The bloating was really bad and I literally wasn’t digesting anything well, fruit would go straight through me! I tried everything in the books (and by books, I mean what I researched online!) I tried out a FODMAP diet which involves cutting out an extremely large amount of foods (see the list here) and slowly reintroducing them to find the “trigger” foods causing the upsets. I basically lived off oatmeal with one banana and then just sweet potato and that was basically it! I ate this way for quite a few months and hated the whole thing because I just felt constantly stressed about food, tummy upsets and what I could eat.
Further to me not being able to digest fruit, I got tested to see if I was fructose intollerant, and that came back negative.
Lost for answers, I was beyond desperate and decided to finally see a naturopath. My friends who also struggled with digestive issues had been telling me to see one for ages but because I know they can be a bit costly, I was avoiding it. I was recommended by some other friends to see Stuart Main, a vegan naturopath. Having a good, vegan naturopath was really important to me because I wanted someone who’s values aligned with mine and didn’t want to wast time with anyone who didn’t see eye-to-eye with me or would think veganism was the fault for my issues. I speak more about my appointment here.
In brief, he told me that I had a bad bacteria imbalance and candida and instructed me to eat more fruit to flush out the bad stuff as well as take probiotics and some other things to help heal my issues.
I’ve been eating a rawtill4 styled diet where I eat fruit until the mid-late afternoon.Yes, that’s right… fruit for a meal! Generally large smoothies or fruit mono-meals (where you eat a large quantity of fruit in one sitting) are my go-to’s!
Fruit is often frowned upon when someone has candida, but it’s 8 months on since eating a mostly fruit diet and I’m definitely seeing some results! I’m not 100% healed but I am digesting food so much better then I was and am able to eat a (very) much larger variety of food in general! No more cutting out garlic and onion, no more stressing about food and so much less bloating and more regular bowel movements!
This may not sound like your cup of tea and that it’s a boring way to eat, but honestly, your taste buds change and you learn to love the simplicity of foods straight from nature and in their whole form! Just pick fruits that you enjoy and eat them until you are full! People who say “fruit doesn’t fill me up” simply just need to eat more. It can not satisfy you for long though, because you can fill up quickly with the higher water content so you may need to eat more frequently and have some snacks. You don’t have to do mono-meals either, but they certainly digest better.
If your symptoms are bad or have been happening as long as mine have been, then you’ll literally try anything! If you won’t try what sounds hard or scary, then you’re not feeling crap enough 😛 and that’s speaking from experience, haha.