When working with clients who are beginning a healthy antifungal lifestyle, the number one concerns that I hear are the significant cravings they have in the first few weeks. Carbohydrate and sugar addiction is very real and can be hard to break for some people. Fungi crave sugar and as you begin the diet the fungi will start to die-off and their cravings will become your cravings.
I know this “addiction” well and was a carbohydrate/sugar junkie from childhood until my late twenties when I was eventually diagnosed with a string of autoimmune health issues. I would eat boxes of sugary cereal, rolls of chocolate chip cookie dough, donuts, pancakes, soda, etc. as my daily diet. My daily bike rides in the neighborhood would be straight to the local gas station to buy as much penny candy as my piggy bank would allow. Fungi build-up in my body was demanding to be fed and I eventually ended up down a dark road of seeking doctor after doctor for answers to my health problems.
When I met Doug 12 years ago I was so ill that I spent much of my time in bed. Starting the Phase 1 diet was a challenge for me with the cravings that I experienced. Today I am wonderfully well thanks to Doug’s guidance and have learned through my own experience and mistakes how to help others make it through this difficult stage.
Tips For The Phase 1 Portion of the Kaufmann Diet
I find that without planning most of my clients will make this a low carb diet. They are overwhelmed with the different flours and foods that are allowed and stick mostly to meat and veggies. This, I believe, is a mistake because they miss their comfort foods and the cravings are magnified.
First of all ask yourself what food is it that you will miss the most on Phase 1.
I highly recommend starting with one of the simple dessert recipes on our website. One of my personal favorites is the Almond Butter Cookies by Kristin Kons. You can’t go wrong with this delicious recipe. Just a few simple ingredients and they taste a bit like peanut butter cookies and they can be frozen to have on hand when a craving hits you.
After years of looking for the perfect Phase 1 bread recipe I have tweaked a few ingredients in other “Paleo” type breads to bake what I consider to be the “Perfect Phase 1 Bread” recipe. This bread is fantastic with the perfect texture and may be used for sandwiches or as a dessert bread with butter, cinnamon and xylitol on top.
Buckwheat makes a great substitute for oatmeal. You can make it plain with stevia or xylitol and a little cinnamon or check out another great recipe by Kristin “Creamy Berry Buckwheat”.
You will find a recipe that I love from Denni called “High Protein Pancakes”
Whatever food you are missing on Phase 1 I think you will find a substitute for in our recipe files. Start simple, but make a plan and you are half way there.
What to do for special events, parties, family gatherings, etc: Plan, plan, plan!
Usually before an “event” like this I will eat something ahead of time so I am not too hungry and more tempted to cheat. Then I am more likely to choose what is available on the menu that is Phase 1-friendly. I also like to ask the host if I can bring a dish or appetizer. That way I have control of something I tend to crave and don’t feel deprived. If this is not possible I have a treat waiting for me at home. It is a rare occasion that I find the need to “cheat” if I follow these guidelines.
Boost that Serotonin!
During the first four weeks or so of going Phase 1 I like to recommend 5-HTP to my clients. 5-HTP is an amino acid that is a precursor to the neurotransmitter “serotonin”. Serotonin is nature’s own appetite suppressant. This powerful brain chemical helps to curb cravings. Specifically, cravings for the types of foods like sugar that feed fungi. However, please discuss this with your doctor to make sure it is right for you.
Exercise will also help boost those serotonin levels. Don’t get overwhelmed! Start at your comfort level; maybe a walk around the neighborhood as a start. Any movement is a HUGE plus!
Keep Your Attitude In Check!
My last, but maybe most important tip is to work on the right attitude. The mind is a powerful tool when starting a healthy lifestyle. If you focus on being deprived you will feel defeated and have difficulties with success on the diet. Try to keep your perception on how good you are going to feel in the future. Commitment is key!