Where Do I Start?


fungus-link

Thank you for getting started! There are many reasons for visiting this website. For many of you, this is your first time visiting us and perhaps either our TV show or a friend has referred you to us. This page will help you better understand our diets and the reason for following them. If you are on a special diet because your doctor might wish to restrict certain foods, please check with them before beginning our diets. While on the subject of your doctor, if he or she requires more information on the fungus link to disease, our home page (The Science of Fungus) provides an extraordinary amount of scientific information geared to medical professionals who want more information. Please tell your doctor that this technical information is updated regularly by one of Americans leading fungal specialists, Luke Curtis, MD.

We have long called our phase one diet an "experimental diet." Many people are amazed at how much better they feel while on the diet. Weight loss and sometimes symptom remission will be noticed while sticking to the diet. 

This confirms one of two things; that food allergy existed to certain foods that you are now avoiding, or that by sticking to this diet, you have effectively starved a parasite from your body. Fungi are known human parasites and they must get food from your diet once they are aboard our bodies. Most of us unknowingly feed these fungi when we eat pasta, cereals, bread, sugar, potatoes, or alcohol (to name very few).

For some, experimenting with the diet is done to prove that they can control their symptoms, while for others this diet has become an important part of a permanent lifestyle change. Many feel so good that they begin a regular exercise program. Know that as you exert more energy, two things become very important; hydration (drink a lot of water) and increasing the amount of natural sugar in your diet. Beans offer a good source of both carbohydrates and proteins whereas an increase in fruit intake will increase natural sugar in the fruit called "fructose." As you will learn, this opens the door to our phase two diet.

Generally, improvement is noticed within the first week, but for some people, it may take 2-3 weeks. It took many years or decades for your health problems to begin, so please be patient and give this diet time to work for you.


We appreciate you dropping in! As improvement is noticed, please know that we are vigilant about updating both this website and our presence on social networks. Please continue your education, on us, by subscribing to our free monthly newsletter, called Know This! Also watch our daily show, Know The Cause, to stay informed and updated on living "fungal free!" We know that you are probably 30 days away from sending your family and friends to this very page! We're ready for them! Enjoy!

 

 

Diet

I vividly recall my early days on the then nameless, “horrible, rotten, restrictive diet.” Even though expert nutritionists cautioned me about eating the “too fattening” avocado and “cholesterol raising” eggs, I had learned that fungus disliked these foods and at the time, I just wanted to control this overgrowth of fungus that I thought I had. If these experts were correct, heck I could always run off my avocado induced weight and find an antidote for high cholesterol! Of course, 35 years later, we know that avocados and eggs are absolutely fine to eat in most instances. Many people on this diet find that their health elevates to a level where both they and their doctors are amazed at how good they feel! This can either be chalked up to food hypersensitivity or starving of the fungus that was responsible for the symptoms in the first place. Either way, many are living better because of this breakthrough approach to eating. In 2005, I wrote a recipe book entitled Eating Your Way to Good Health, that included recipes developed through the years that made this diet easier to follow. The book has been yet another hit because it enabled those who chose to make this diet more permanent a feast instead of a chore! I have learned that some people simply cannot afford the books with the diet in them and for this reason I have decided to simply publish the foods that are OK to eat on this diet in an effort to help everyone coming to our website: 

Meats:

Beef, Fish, Poultry, Lamb, Turkey, Pork

Nuts:

Raw nuts, including pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds.  Stored Nuts tend to gather mold, so be careful!
No Peanuts and No Pistachio's 

Vegetables:

Most fresh, unblemished vegetables and freshly made vegetable juice. (avoid mushrooms, corn, and potatoes)

Beverages:

Bottled or filtered water, non-fruity herbal teas, stevia sweetened fresh lemonade or limeade, freshly squeezed carrot juice.

Fruits:

Berries, grapefruit, lemon, lime, green apples, avocado, fresh coconut

Dairy:

Organic butter, organic plain yogurt, ( use the following very sparingly) cream cheese, unsweetened whipping cream, real sour cream


Eggs


Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar

Oils:

Olive, grapeseed oil, flax seed, cold pressed virgin coconut oil, Avocado oil.

Sweeteners:

Stevia,  Xylitol.

Diets Explained

Why is your diet so important?  It is becoming more apparent to people today that their diet is often responsible for either their endurance and vitality, or conversely, their symptoms and diseases.  For 2,000 years, man has been asking, “which diet is the right diet to follow for optimum health?”


Every nutrition expert in the world has answered this question differently.   Now a fascinating science has evolved that teaches us about a dormant fungal germ that can live inside your body without affecting your health, until your immunity dips.  It can then become disease causing.  Of course, aging, stress, medications and a host of other factors influence your immunity, so using diet as a tool to enhance the immune system and therefore your, health is the best approach.


If immunity dips, this once dormant germ now becomes a parasite inside of us.  Unfortunately, the germ begins demanding the very foods that assure not only its survival, but also its spread throughout our bodies.  Before too long, we wonder why we are craving pasta, bread, potatoes and sugar.  WE ARE NOT…IT IS!  


It sounds like a scenario out of s science fiction movie, but this is all explained in the scientific literature.  Invasive fungal diseases can cause minor health problems like yeast infections or ringworm, or life threatening diseases, including cancer.  


It is not rare for a person who has a fungal infection to have multiple health problems as these fungi induce poor dietary choices.  Soon weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sinus infections and a host of other health problems begin without your knowledge that these very foods you are craving are contributing to fungal growth.   A diet that discourages fungal growth, while simultaneously nourishing you back to health is encouraged, but until recently such a diet was unknown.  


Knowing what foods fungi need to thrive and eliminating them is important.  Knowing what humans require for their health to thrive is essential.  Welcome to the end result of decades of research.


PHASE ONE DIET

This diet minimizes fungal food, because it minimizes sugars that fungi require in order to grow.  Ask your doctor about experimenting with this diet for 30 days and monitor your results.   Many people keep a dietary log each day and share this with their doctor upon their next visit.  Often, people begin to challenge this diet, wanting back some of the foods they miss, after achieving good results within a month or two.  Most find that their symptoms begin coming back as they go back to their regular diets.  This indicates that the fungi were successfully starved, but perhaps not eradicated.  Many people, after reading our recipe books, realize that there are hundreds of wholesome and delicious recipes on this Phase one diet.  With their symptoms much better and their diets now getting more exciting, this diet becomes the genesis of their health program.

 

PHASE TWO DIET

When it is time to begin challenging other foods in your diet, don't throw caution to the wind.  The Phase two diet allows additional foods to be minimally introduced but some noticeable symptoms may return.   This might indicates that the fungal infection was not as severe because your health has not been negatively impacted by reintroducing some sugars (carbohydrates) into your diet.  Be careful however, because eating too many carbohydrates too soon might awaken these sleeping fungal giants!  


LIFEPHASE DIET

At some time, you will have a diet, perhaps somewhere between our Phase one and Phase two diets, that really works well in minimizing or eliminating your health problems.  Some people find that a weekly granola bar does well by them, whereas others find that an occasional glass of wine fits into their diet without provoking any symptoms.  This diet continues to minimize feeding fungi.  Many people refer to this as their “dietary thumbprint” because no two LIFEPHASE DIETS seem to be the same.  A few years from now, the therapeutic diet that you are following will be called your LIFEPHASE DIET.

Weight Problems

Most Americans spend decades wondering why their weight is fluctuating. This is because our healers are unaware that the same germ that makes bread rise can also make people rise! Yeast is so often the culprit! Yeast is a type of fungus or mold. One mold, Penicillin, has been documented for 50 years as making our livestock gain weight. Wouldn't logic dictate that what makes one mammal overweight might have the same consequences for another mammal? Yet the reason for obesity in America eludes our scientists. Fungus is known to be a human parasite and once on board, needs sugar to thrive. The diets mentioned above avoid foods that may be impregnated with fungus (a very common phenomenon) and foods that feed fungus. These diets have helped untold numbers of people to not only lose some of their health problems, but also weight. Challenging the very foods that are avoided on the diet, like alcohol, pasta, breads and sugar, cause the weight to come right back on.

Grains/Sugar

quinoaWhile on the Phase one Diet, we avoid all grains – including corn, and sugar, both of which are grains. Seeds are different than grains and sometimes seeds are called false grains, or "pseudo-grains." Seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and chia seeds are permitted on our Phase one diet. On Phase two, moderate use of certain grains like oatmeal or flour tortillas is allowed while continuing to eat pseudo-grains like buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa-again, in moderation.

Milk: Cow or Goat?

milkMilk is not what it was 50 years ago. Today, cattle are fed or injected with antibiotics and hormones. Whereas the industry claims that we should not worry about this, others offer caution. Dairy foods are lactose (milk sugar) containing and mucous producing foods and as such should be avoided on our Phase one diet. Having said this, the benefits of good bacterial cultures that exist in foods like kefir and yogurt, and the CLA we get from butter, often persuade us to cheat just a little when on this diet. Goat milk and cheese is different than cow milk in many ways; it is easier to digest, has less lactose, is less allergenic and because it lacks added hormones and antibiotics, it is favorable over cow milk when dairy in reintroduced.

Optimally, you would not cheat at all and all dairy products would be excluded during your tests with the Phase one diet. For those of you who have requested occasional dairy consumption, you will note that our recipe books do offer some dairy products like kefir, yogurt, cream cheese and butter, but if you must imbibe, please consider goat milk products over cow.

Soybean

Soy BeansLike cow milk, soybeans are not what they used to be. Soy is a bean and therefore OK to challenge on the Phase two diet, but based on it being one of the most common GMO (genetically Modified Foods) today, one must exercise caution when choosing it as part of the Phase two diet. Modifying the seeds of common foods is purportedly a safe way to avoid the use of pesticides on them, but we are less concerned about bugs than we are the quality of nutrition provided by GMO's. If you challenge soybeans on the Phase two diet, try to find soy products that are not genetically modified (no GMO). This is currently difficult to do, because labels indicating genetic modification are not necessary in America. Health food store are often your best bet.

Medicinal Mushrooms

mushroom

Why We Do Not Recommend Medicinal Mushrooms

What do we think of medicinal mushrooms? We like them, but we’re still not going to be quick to use them any time soon.

Here’s why we feel this way.

Mushrooms are loaded with some compelling chemistry. Such chemistry has led to the development of such drugs as cyclosporin, griseofulvin, cephalosporin, lovastatin, and of course, penicillin.

Medicinal mushrooms – mushrooms that are consumed whole, or as teas or tinctures for their reported health benefits – also have fascinating extracts that have excited researchers. Reishi, lion’s mane, chaga, maitake, cordyceps, turkey tail, and a host of others are among the more popular medicinal mushrooms.

In researching these for a few years, I can honestly say that I’m very drawn to the chemicals that seem to contribute to the medicinal mushroom lore. Betulinic acid in chaga has been shown to inhibit cancer-promoting enzymes. Maitake has natural COX-2 inhibitors. Shitake contains a certain type of glucan called AHCC that is used for its immune-stimulating properties. It’s enough for a guinea pig like myself to begin the experimentation.

So, why doesn’t Know the Cause endorse the use of medicinal mushrooms?

There are a number of reasons, but the primary reason I would point to is the absence of pro-mushroom advocates to talk about mycotoxins, (fungal poisons). In fact, in visiting with many folks in this camp, I have found exactly zero that have even heard of mycotoxins. There may be some, but I haven’t found them yet.

Mushrooms, in general, are incredibly mycotic. Practitioners such as Dr. Robert O Young and Dr. Gabriel Cousens won’t allow their patients to consume culinary or medicinal mushrooms for this reason.

Here’s the worry I have: If you are taking a medicinal mushroom today only to find out tomorrow that there were mycotoxins contained within them, you’re unnecessarily exposed.

All of this eminds me of the Fen-Phen craze of the early 1990’s. Scores of people were taking this two-drug combo to help lose weight. As it turns out, the two drugs don’t play well together, causing mitral valve dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. The scary thing was that if you had ever taken the combo, you were at risk, even if you didn’t have symptoms at the moment. Some people said, “Well, it works to help me lose weight”, and that was the end of the discussion. If “it works”, that’s all some people need to feel comfortable trying it.

When I think of mushrooms, I think of the fruiting body of a fungus. Fungi contain mycotoxins almost by definition. As such, I’m extremely cautious.

One day in the future, there may be a pro-mushroom researcher who definitively shows that medicinal mushrooms are devoid of mycotoxins. Or maybe they’ll discover that they do have mycotoxins, but they aren’t harmful to humans. Today I tell you that if these kinds of discoveries are made, I’ll be the first to experiment with them, myself.

The only problem is that this doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon. If researchers are only focused on the nutritive side of a mushroom, but aren’t even aware of the slow-acting mycotoxins that could possibly lurk below the surface, they aren’t giving the public a full picture of what they could be risking.

Not all dogs bite, but as a daddy, I have to assume that the dog standing in front of my son could. If the owner of the dog isn’t even aware that dogs are capable of biting, his credibility is highly questionable.

I’m thinking of a green plant right now. It’s rich in chlorophyll, various nutrients, can have grape-like clusters, and is quite hearty. With all of these characteristics, you may be tempted to add it to your salad. Don’t. The plant is called Toxicodendron radicans. You may know it as poison ivy. (You see, if you only know about the beneficial parts of a plant, you could wind up in deep trouble.)

If I’m lost in the woods, sick and injured, and I come across a patch of shaitake mushrooms, you better believe that I’m boiling them up and eating them. I may not only be less hungry, but I may also feel better. Though it would be great survival food, is it every day food?

Everyone knows that the deathcap mushroom can kill quickly. The concentration and types of toxins in the deathcap are far higher than some more innocuous culinary mushrooms – but is there solid proof that there are zero levels of mycotoxins in them? One theory is that the high level of nutrients in some mushrooms are there to protect themselves from the toxins! Jellyfish are known to have such mechanisms. I’m thankful that the nutrient level is high to protect me from the potential toxins if I do have to eat them in a survival situation. But unless I’m faced with that kind of scenario, I’d be more comfortable eating foods that have no potential for a toxic downside.

I call on all pro-mushroom researchers to give us a clear understanding of which – if any – mycotoxins are found in medicinal mushrooms. Johns Hopkins says that there is no safe level of mycotoxins as we know them, so we’re going to hold off recommending medicinal mushrooms until we know for sure that there isn’t a risk. Until then, I’ll take broccoli, onions, garlic, beta glucans, supplemental AHCC, fish oil, blackberries, and the plethora of other super-nutritious Phase one foods.

Brewer's and Nutritional Yeast

Brewer's and nutritional yeast are one and the same - Saccharomyces cervisae - and only differ in the way that they're processed.  Brewer's yeast is used in the brewing industry, and when the yeast has ingested the sugar and certain nutrients from grains, it is extracted, heated, and dried, and leaves behind vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, along with the carcasses of the yeast, itself.  Nutritional yeast is grown on molasses or some other high-sugar medium, and then it is heated and "deactivated" just as brewer's yeast is.  Afterwards, they usually add a few extra synthetic vitamins to it to make is a more "complete" nutritional product, (kind of like what they do with kids' cereal).  It becomes "fortified".

There is no question that these deactivated yeasts are full of minute amounts of vitamins and minerals.  The first problem I have as an anti-yeast guy is that there are a thousand other food sources of vitamins and minerals!  Why is everyone so interested in getting these nutrients from yeast?  What's wrong with spinach?  What's wrong with carrots?  Why are we forgetting about blueberries?  All of these and a multitude of other common Phase one foods put yeast products to shame in terms of the breadth and depth of their nutritional profiles.  

The second problem I have using these yeast products is that, though the yeast organisms have been killed ("deactivated"), the mycotoxins that the yeasts produce are heat-stable and remain.  The same is true of peanuts, corn, wheat, and all the other no-no foods on Phase one.  All of those crops become loaded with fungi strains, but can be killed when heated.  However, the mycotoxins they produced while occupying the grain remain, even if they are heated.  You cannot heat mycotoxins out, and you cannot freeze them out.  They remain long after the fungus - or yeast - is "deactivated".  In the end, mycotoxins aren't something you want to contend with, even if the yeast that produced them are long since dead.

This is one of the unique features of Doug's philosophy.  All of the anti-Candida writers/researchers before him had great observations, but they knew very little about mycotoxins.  Doug is the pioneer of looking at strains of fungi beyond Candida, and the pioneer at highlighting the toxic effects of mycotoxins.  You rarely see this anywhere in most anti-fungal literature, yet it's one of the most frightening problems with certain foodstuffs, including, in my opinion, brewer's and nutritional yeasts.

Alcohol isn't the only mycotoxin produced by yeast.  Remove the alcohol from yeast, and you've only removed one of many mycotoxins.

Next challenge is very little known but worth talking about.  There is a strange effect that Saccharomyces has whereby components of it's cell (body) is capable of adsorbing nutrients that would otherwise be taken in by our bodies.  Think of "adsorption" like you do magnets.  The nutrients are sort of attracted to and "stuck" to the saccharomyces cells.  This is effect can occur regardless of whether the yeast is living or dead.  So, I don't like the idea of something being ingested that adsorbs the nutrients that I need!  This is why you never take activated charcoal with a meal or with any nutrients.  Charcoal adsorbs everything around it, which makes it great for food poisoning; but it also adsorbs nutrients.  Yeast can do the same thing.

Finally, according to the research, regular consumption of Saccharomyces in any form is associated with breast and prostate cancer, liver challenges, Crohn's disease, colitis, heart and kidney challenges, cirrhosis, and osteoarthritis.  I'm not excited about these conditions no matter how many micro-doses of vitamins and minerals the yeast may contain.  The same deleterious effects aren't associated with consumption of spinach, broccoli, onions, garlic....or any of the other highly nutritious Phase one foods.

My observation in visiting with many pro-yeast and pro-medicinal mushrooms advocates is that exactly ZERO of them have even heard of mycotoxins, other than alcohol and possibly acetaldehyde.  This is extremely worrisome to me.  It would be like talking to a tobacco farmer who promotes cigarette smoking because the tobacco leaf contains high amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.  If you only know one side of the story, you could be seriously hurt.  If you only know the positive features of yeast, mushrooms, tobacco, or anything else, but havenever even heard of the toxic features of those things, you leave yourself vulnerable.  I my opinion, these "experts" disqualify themselves from credibly recommending those items for human consumption if they are utterly ignorant of the toxic effects of the things they recommend.

In short, I won't be actively trying to consume yeast products - deactivated or not!  I know too much of the whole story beyond the vitamins and minerals to be excited about it

Glycemic Index

You'll find that some of the permitted foods on the Phase one Diet, such as carrots, are moderately high on the glycemic index. The Phase one approach isn't about glycemic index, however because we contend that some sugars are not problematic. It's about choosing foods that discourage fungal overgrowth. In cases where a Phase one food is permitted in spite of its glycemic index, it is because its antifungal components are so impressive. Carrots, for example, contain a powerful antifungal called "falcarinol", and berries contain high levels of antifungal "phenols". These natural antifungals are crucial to this lifestyle.

Coffee

coffeeCoffee can be antifungal, depending on how it's processed. However, we've found that many coffees contain worrisome levels of mycotoxins because of inexpensive processing methods. We're also interested in breaking intractable food addictions, and coffee is one of America's greatest addictions. If you're someone who has no addictions to coffee and have found one of the few coffee brands that is serious about limiting mycotoxins in their end product, you should be fine with moderate coffee consumption. Otherwise, we feel that it is better to avoid coffee altogether.

Calories

Nicolas Clement defined the word "calorie" in 1824 and for almost 200 years it has remained the primary focus of nutritionists. We would rather move on rather than count calories. Motivated by the singular desire to reduce calories, many popular diets limit calorie intake and permit the use of artificial sweeteners. The Phase one Diet, however, isn't primarily about calorie reduction. We believe that the best health strategy is one that discourages fungal overgrowth while nourishing the body. Nourishment simply isn't found in low-calorie artificial foods.

Sugars

sugarThere have been mixed reports about the safety of some artificial sweeteners. Therefore, the diets do not contain any of the popular artificial sweeteners. Stevia is a plant that has a sweet taste. We like it because it doesn't contribute to fungal overgrowth. The whole plant does contain bitter principles, so many brands deal with this either by removing bitter components or by adding other sugary sweeteners, like maltodextrin or fructose. Our first choice would be whole stevia powder, followed by stevia extracts by make certain that the ingredient list says only STEVIA. If a stevia product adds sugary sweeteners it is not permitted on the Phase one Diet, as those sugars will feed fungus.

Xylitol is another natural sweetener that has antifungal component of many foods, such as berries and some vegetables. Xylitol can be extracted from foods and used as a natural sweetener. Phase one permits the use of moderate amounts of xylitol. However, some people have found that over-use of xylitol can cause some mild stomach upset.

Nuts

almondsRaw nuts are a terrific snack, but some nuts have been found to contain an inordinate amount of mycotoxins, (fungal poisons). Therefore, peanuts and pistachios are not permitted on Phase one.

Coconut

coconutCoconuts contain some of nature's most powerful natural antifungals, including caprylic acid and lauric acid. Raw, unrefined coconut oil has high levels of these antifungals, and is permitted on the Phase one Diet. However, when coconut oil is refined, fewer healthy components remain in the end product. Therefore, we recommend that if you use coconut oil, choose the least processed, unrefined versions for maximum benefits.

Dried Fruits

apricotsSugar and sulfur are often added to dried berries, and in those cases they would not be a Phase one food. However, if the berries are unsweetened and unsulfured, they are acceptable as a Phase one snack.