How I Cured Candida and SIBO with Sweet Potato and Maple Syrup

Candida. It's that pesky little fungus that has not only become its own epidemic but created huge confusion in the health and wellness space. But is it as hard to heal as we have been led to believe? Today I am going to share my own gut health journey. From restrictive diets to dangerous detoxes and protocols, I have tried it all. But it wasn’t until I started eating sweet potato and maple syrup that I finally kicked candida to the curb and discovered the holy grail of gut health.
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I am so happy that I get to share this because it has been one hell of a battle. A battle which in 2017 I didn’t know if I could get through. This is a topic I am incredibly passionate about because in my own health journey I have tried it all. And if you know anything about me by now, you will know that I am somewhat of a Pitta perfectionist and if I do anything, I do it 100% all the way, by the book. So when I say I have tried everything, I mean I have really done it properly. Not half-assed. I wasn’t whole plating slabs of chocolate brownie when no one was looking.

And I also want to preface this conversation by saying nothing here is hypothetical. I have the data to prove how bad my candida and SIBO was in the form Urine Organic Acid test results from October 2017, and 2015. This test is the gold standard of determining the state of your gut health. I have not had to do a stool analysis in this final phase of healing my candida and gut.

These results showed me a comparison of before and after doing a well-intentioned, but in my opinion ill-informed gut ‘healing’ protocol. After doing the protocol, in some cases, my pathogenic overgrowth had become around 5 times worse! I had gone from a case of pretty mild candida to severe large intestinal and small intestinal dysbiosis.

The popular thinking around gut health is that you need to go after it hard, either with strong probiotics and fermented foods or with antibiotics. What I have learned in life is that whenever you go after something ‘hard’ there is always a price to pay somewhere else. If you attack one organism like candida, what else are you shifting and allowing in during that process? If you focus so much on the gut while not paying attention to the rest of your body, your mind and your spirit, you are absolutely going to create an imbalance.

Have a think about where in your life you are being hardcore, and then look for the opposites. They will be there. I encourage you to please be gentle with yourself, which is why I did a whole episode on this called exactly that, Please Be Gentle With Yourself.

Don’t look at your beautiful body as something that needs to be attacked. Your body is a beautiful messenger mirroring all the areas you need to work on.
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  All the things you need to work on within yourself.

But I didn’t see that. I attacked it year after year with things that were supposed to be helping me. I could list all the types of protocols I have done, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars I spent, but out of respect for the work of those people who all have very good intentions, I want to just show you what worked.

But let’s talk about probiotics and fermented foods. Imagine you have a blocked toilet pipe, perhaps after taking a massive poo… I am sure we have all done that. What’s the best way to clean that… With more poo, or by finding a tool to clear the blockage?

You are going to reach for the tool right? Well, that’s the purpose of this episode. To give you the tools.

When you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine it makes no sense to be taking more bacteria and putting on top of that hoping you will somehow clear the blockage. How does more bacteria clear a bacterial overgrowth?

That’s where I went so horribly wrong and created severe bacterial overgrowth and SIBO. I was going after it with the wrong tools like fermented drinks, cultured vegetables, cultured yoghurt and various types of probiotics. On top of that, I was following what I believe to be a rather dangerous process of using things like resistant starches to feed the supposed ‘good’ bacteria in my gut. But all I was doing was feeding the good and bad guys, and the bad guys far outnumbered the good. No matter how much good I pumped in, I simply created more overgrowth of the bad.

As I said, this is not hypothetical, I have the results to prove it.

Another thing which I believe now to be so common sense, yet I didn’t see it until this year, is that certain types of bacteria should be in specific parts of your gastrointestinal tract. There are one bacteria as an example that we all want to have healthy levels of, and that’s Bifidobacterium longum. This friendly bacteria is found in optimal levels in the colons of some of the longest-lived people in the world. The keyword here is ‘colons’ which is your large intestine.

If our pipes are backed up all the way into our small intestine and we go putting large intestine bacteria into the small intestine hoping it will make its way to the large intestine and live happily ever after, well, guess what. It can’t. Maybe a little will, but because there is overgrowth in the small intestine, guess where most of it starts to grow? In the small intestine. Now you have a large intestine bacteria growing in the wrong place. Hello SIBO.

I had never had SIBO, I may have had candida, but SIBO was new to me, and that came about after going after my gut with too many ferments and probiotics. What was the result of this for me? I was depressed (of course I was because my gut where 90% of the happy hormone serotonin is produced was a total mess), I had no libido, no drive or ambition, no energy (I can clearly remember walking along Bondi Beach one afternoon in tears because I couldn’t make the distance) and a mind that simply no longer functioned very well.

This meant I was a pretty horrible human for the better part of a year. I was in really deep, and the scary thing is that I was a lucky one. I had so many tools and so much support, that even though I had dug a very deep hole for myself, I just managed to crawl out. Just. I wonder how many people don’t have the support or knowledge to climb out of that place?

I meet them all the time. They reach out to me on social media daily in desperation. That was the driving force behind launching this show, to make sure you have the tools.

So, what do maple syrup and sweet potato have to do with this? Even uttering those words under your breath when dealing with candida will provoke hot debate. And yes, ok, it wasn’t sweet potato and maple syrup that cured my candida, but they played a pivotal role in my body being able to heal.

With a gut in crisis I had wrecked my mitochondria, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not fat that regrows your mitochondria, it’s glucose. In the process of curing my candida and SIBO I was told to get as much glucose in as possible in the form of sweet potato, maple syrup, oats, white rice (not cooked and cooled, regular war yummy basmati rice), berries, banana and other fruits. Maple syrup was used as medicine in my water, in my smoothie and on my oats.

Now, if you know anything about candida elimination diets, you will recognise every single one of those foods would be deemed kryptonite for candida. Well, not so. It turns out that there are foods you need to avoid like garlic and onion (yep I know, you have been told they are good for gut health, which is true eventually, but not when you are clearing the pipes), honey, the skin of sweet potato and other FODMAP foods (you can google FODMAP to see what foods make that list), cauliflower, nuts, celery and Jerusalem artichokes. That’s just a quick snapshot.

But an essential part of this was ‘how’ I ate these foods and in what order. For more information on that head back to the previous episode number 100, How Food Combining Will Transform Your Digestion.

The diet I was prescribed was a total liberation. It was all the foods I instinctively loved. But remember in the healing process if you are not working with your unique body type according to Ayurveda, then you can go awry here. The amounts of natural sugar-rich foods I needed to eat is what my body needed as a severely imbalanced Vata Pitta body type. You may be totally different.

For 12 weeks what I was working on was first clearing the pipes while making my body strong enough to heal while we were doing the work. The first 4 weeks are focused on breaking down what’s called the biofilm which is basically when all types of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi get together and end up growing together in a tight-knit densely packed colony.

So the equivalent of clearing the pipes is all about using various enzymes and herbs to dissolve the biofilm so that you can expose the pathogenic bacteria to the herbs which start to reduce them to healthy levels. In the first four weeks, the only bacteria you take is a type of yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii. This yeast is used like a placeholder which takes up space which was previously being dominated by the overgrowth bacteria and stops them from taking hold again.

You then move onto different types of enzymes and start to introduce a probiotic in the form of acidophilus. And then the last four weeks you are starting to build up the healthy bacteria with various types of lacto and bifidobacteria.

That’s a total oversimplification of the genius of this protocol, but you get the idea. Often to get different results we need to try something different. And let me tell you; right now I feel freaking amazing. I am not so concerned about gut health now as I have the tools. My focus is now about how good can I really be in this body. How amazing can I feel? I feel strong, I have a high libido, I have energy, my mind has clarity, I am happy, I am balanced and I have a strong sense of unstoppable purpose. That is our birthright and what I want for you.

The physical body is one part of the equation. We still have to do the spiritual work, but when you are in deep with candida and SIBO, what you now know may go against popular belief, but it worked for me and has worked for thousands of people at the Cabral Wellness Institute.

If you want to see the exact protocol I did which was developed by my mentor and now friend Stephen Cabral, head to iamnickbroadhurst.com/candida.

I really hope that has shed some light on this confusing topic.

I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @iamnickbroadhurst on social media. Please also leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a review on iTunes I would be very grateful. Tell me what you want more of! I am at your service.

P.S. Always listen to your intuition (and your doctor or practitioner) before trying any new health practice.

8 Comments

    • Hey Nick! Love your podcasts!!! Especially the last one on SIBO and candida.

      I know you left the link to Stephen Cabrals protocol in the show notes, thank you!

      I’m just wondering if you could share the diet protocol? I’m actually doing a SIBO protocol myself atm with my naturopath, though would love to see exactly what the food guidelines were for you at each stage- to compare it to what I’m doing myself!

      Thanks in advance and thanks for creating such an amazing podcast, I love listening!

      Brenna xx

      Brenna
      October 19, 2018
      • Hey there, you can google his Sensitive Gut Guide. I prefer not to link to it as it is part of his protocol, but if you find it then you will get great benefits!

        Nick Broadhurst
        October 20, 2018
    • Hey Nick,

      I was wondering if when you did the CBO protocol if you ate sweet potato,maple syrup, rice, oats while on the protocol from the start or had to avoid for the beginning part stages?
      I am excited for my labs to arrive and to work with one of Stephen’s coaches to quide me through this process of helping my body restore balance, find root cause, and make further progress, after all the protocols I have tried to heal. Also suffering severe weight loss similar to yourself eleven months ago so hoping in eleven months that is different for me too!

      Have a great day

      Thanks
      Kylie

      Kylie
      November 8, 2018
      • Hey Kylie! So great to hear you are on this journey :) Yes, I did include them from the beginning, but that was very specific to my body type. It was hard at first as my body did not know what to do with the carbs, but in time it all came back to equilibrium.

        Nick Broadhurst
        November 9, 2018
    • Hey Nick! Thanks so much for replying! I literally can’t wait till my first skype consult and til labs arrive and I can send them off to get a really clear picture. Pretty desperate right now not knowing where to turn and having tried so many things and yes healed in ways already but equally still declining severely and not doing well. So hoping this sets me on a path towards ultimate wellness.
      I think my body is going through some of that not knowing what to do with carbs this year trying to get them back in. Hopefully my journey with Stephens team will help find what my body needs etc. thanks so much.
      Kylie

      Kylie
      November 10, 2018
      • I know you are on the right track!

        Nick Broadhurst
        November 13, 2018
    • I forgot to ask when you cook your oats do you rinse them before cooking after having soaked them overnight or cook them in soaking liquid? Do you soak rice overnight as well to help break down lectins?
      Literally maple syrup in water? Never tried maple syrup before :)
      Random but
      Your chicken curry what do you put in it? looks like it would be tasty!
      Kylie

      Kylie
      November 10, 2018
      • Yep, definitely soak your oats. I don’t soak the rice.

        Nick Broadhurst
        November 13, 2018
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