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C Yourself Free - Intestinal Healing with Macrobiotics

by Susan Marque

So many people are affected by Candida, Celiac, Colitis and Crohns, and there are many who would like to know if they too could heal themselves using a macrobiotic diet. There is much confusion as to what to eat, or not eat, to improve these conditions and allow the body to heal. I have seen a modified macrobiotic diet be beneficial for each of these intestinal conditions and watched as my clients, as well as myself, finally became free to eat a wide varied and fun diet and live healthy, vibrant lives.

Each of these conditions is separate and there are some similarities that can make diagnosis difficult.

Candida is naturally occurring in the human intestinal eco system. If its population gets out of hand, the Candida can turn into a fungus that can spread throughout the body and become quiet dangerous.

Antibiotic use is one of the major causes of Candida overgrowth. Sometimes it can proliferate due to stress, Chlorine in the water, over consumption of meats, sugar, other illness or factors that weaken the person's body significantly. The range of symptoms is long and varied. Often someone will have complaints that seem unrelated. Their health care practitioner might treat each symptom and then be baffled when there is little or no improvement or even more symptoms start to appear. Some common complaints that are due to Candida overgrowth are:

  • Yeast infections
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating/Gas
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Skin problems/rashes
  • Feeling tired even with enough sleep
  • Joint aches
  • Chronic sinus problems
  • Chronic dental problems
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea/constipation or both
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low sex drive
  • Weight change without changing diet

    And that is just to name a few.


Celiac disease is intolerance to gluten. The protein in Wheat, Rye, Sweet rice and Barley must be avoided and in some cases oats also need to be reduced or eliminated altogether. This has said to be a genetic condition that is very slow to develop but it can be brought on also by overusing laxatives, getting inadequate protein, anorexia, some other weight loss practices, over consuming coffee, parasites and most likely even more variables.

People with Celiac can suffer damage to the intestinal villi. This creates less absorption of nutrients and can create further breakdown of the person's body. The most common symptom of Celiac is chronic diarrhea. Other symptoms can include abdominal bloating, weight loss, malnutrition, feeling weak, bone pain, anemia and more.

Colitis has different variations that involve inflammation of the colon. Diarrhea is the most common symptom and there can be fever and anemia as well. Colitis affects the inner most lining of the colon unlike Crohns that can affect any part of the intestinal tract and can affect the entire thickness of the intestinal wall as well.

Colitis and Crohns disease have so many of the same symptoms that it is challenging to get a proper diagnosis but the treatments can be much the same. Often with Crohns disease there can be many unrelated symptoms just as with Candida. Luckily a dietary approach can allow the entire body to recover and more often than not, a person will experience their joint aches, rashes, dry skin, weight issues, etc. All subside along with a recovered digestive tract.

Another disorder that statistics say effects about 50% of the western population by the time they are 50 years old is diverticulitus. Many people with Candida, Crohns, Colitis or Celiac can also have diverticulitus.
Polyps or little sacs that protrude out from the wall of the colon are what make up this intestinal disorder. Bits of food and things can get caught in them and become infected. If the disease progresses too far, doctors often remove the colon or the effected parts of the intestine.

I have seen that in every one of these different disorders, a whole food, macrobiotic approach can completely relieve a person and the related symptoms. I personally had experience with Candida and have had many clients with each of the mentioned problems.

I remember macrobiotic counselors, attempting to solve my various complaints, would say that I had a corn intolerance or a wheat sensitivity. I found that neither was true, nor did I have any Celiac but the Candida was growing inside of me and little by little I was getting more and more symptoms. Once I figured that out and solved it, I was free! Each case is very individual so while the following suggestions can be a place to start, I encourage anyone who knows or suspects to be dealing with a disorder of the intestines to seek out some personalized guidance and perhaps from more than one source.

If you are new to a macrobiotic approach, you get to decide how you wish to begin. If your condition is acute you most likely will need to dive in and limit things quite a bit. In severe cases the best thing a person might do is to eat very well cooked, with a lot of water to make a thin porridge, brown rice and in some cases millet with well-cooked vegetable dishes.

This simple food does not require a great deal from the digestive system while providing nutrients so the body can begin the healing process. Depending on the individual, miso soup or kudzu can be very beneficial for Colitis or Crohns. For most people this sort of a fast is not necessary and then you will need to see how much you are willing to take on at once as you begin your new approach.

For Candida, the kinds of grains you will want to stick to would be similar to those with Celiac.
Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and some Brown rice are usually well tolerated. Teff can be for some people unless there is leaky gut syndrome from the Candida burrowing holes in the intestinal wall, as Teff is a very tiny grain and often is difficult to completely chew well.

Hato Mugi Barley can be well worth the extra effort and cost. Quantities are also a consideration, as with Candida as there is often a desire to eat copious amounts of grains or beans that will slow down progress to clearing immensely. With Candida a very wide variety of vegetables are usually great with emphasis being on dark leafy greens like Kale, Collards, Dandelion, etc. and foods that promote a more alkaline blood condition. Raw food ought to be reduced greatly or avoided altogether.

Some people do well with Tempeh but not tofu or tofu products while others need to eliminate soy completely. Small amounts of wheat free soy sauce are often okay but Ume Vinegar is an even better seasoning to use. Ume vinegar is alkalizing and is the only vinegar I would recommend for someone clearing themselves from Cadidiasis, as it is not true vinegar but actually the brine from making Umeboshi plums. Ume concentrate can be quite helpful for most of these intestinal disorders as is anything that helps to nourish and strengthen the kidneys.

The best sea vegetables for those with Candida are Nori, Arame, Hijiki and Dulse. Toasted Nori and Dulse are the easiest to start with as you can use them right out of the package and do not need to cook them. I think these are great for most everyone as the wonderful minerals they provide can really help with alkalinity, strength and vitality. They are fun to add to a sauce or dressing as then you will not notice them but they do add some interesting flavor without it being overpowering as they can sometimes be on their own. I enjoy Dulse or Nori sprinkled in a salad or sandwich.

Of course with a healing course of action you would not want to be eating sweets in general but especially with Candida you must cut out all sweets. That means fruits as well. This in itself is a challenge but with a macrobiotic approach there also needs to be caution as to how much salt is ingested because a person can become too tight over time and create other problems later on.

As a person is feeling better and better they can gradually re-introduce foods like fruit by using a little green apple at first, branching out if it right for that individual with berries and then even sweeter fruits and sweeteners. For all intestinal disorders I would also recommend to eliminate all dairy products right from the start. There have been studies that found inflammatory diseases such as Colitis or Crohns only seem to effect people in places where dairy is consumed regularly.

Usually adding in a small amount of bean food into the diet can ease cravings for dairy products. The best beans to make for Candida suffers are aduki, mung, baby lima beans and small amounts of brown lentils. These can be useful for Crohns and Colitis sufferers as well with Celiac patients doing quite well with most beans. There are far more dietary suggestions that would be useful here but too many for the scope of this article. This is just a beginning.

For many with intestinal compromises feeling hungry all the time or not being hungry at all seem to be common complaints. An interesting thing to note is that in just about every case I asked the client to stop taking vitamins and other supplements that they were taking mostly for "insurance", they found not only did their condition improve immediately but their hunger seemed to normalize.

A few other things that can really help are taking brisk walks and/or enjoying your favorite exercise. Walking is especially nice on the intestines. A huge key to improvement is chewing all food very thoroughly, and maybe the most important, working with someone to let go of limiting beliefs or anything that keeps you stuck mentally and emotionally.

Every time I've seen Michio Kushi, he would say to "Sing a happy song every day." I guess that would be very "The Secret" of him now-a-days. Find what brings you joy and cultivate it into you life. You will acquire gifts from clearing yourself of your troubles that will far out reach the time and effort you take to become free.

Recipes below From Susan's Candida Free Cookbook available at

Millet "tostadas"

This dish works great for most all conditions even Candida.

1 C. millet cooked in 3C. water
1 recipe Carrot Salsa
1 recipe Cauliflower "Sour Cream"
Avocado slices
Cooked beans (anasazi, pinto, black beans or smoky aduki's are all good choices)
1 recipe Water fried greens (collards chopped fine are nice)

Spread the cooked millet evenly in a baking dish. (The bigger the dish the thinner you will be able to get the millet. Let it cool. Cut into 3"-4" squares and fry in a small amount of oil on each side.

Place a millet square on a plate and top with beans, greens, avocado slices, carrot salsa and the white sauce on top. Also great with fried onions.

Carrot Salsa

2 large carrots
1 clove garlic chopped fine
1/2 small onion sliced fine
sea salt
lemon juice
parsley chopped

Grate the carrots and mix with onion, garlic and a couple pinches of sea salt. Let sit for an hour to overnight and then rinse if too salty. Add cumin and lemon juice to taste and some fresh chopped parsley

Cauliflower "Sour Cream" Sauce

Although not exactly like sour cream this wonderful dressing is good both
hot or cold and is great for those who do not tolerate soy.

1/2 Cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Ume vinegar

Sauté the onion and garlic in a Tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the Cauliflower florets and water to about 1" inside the pan. Simmer until soft. Transfer the ingredients to a blender and add Lemon juice and Ume vinegar to taste. Blend until smooth. If your water has simmered away too much you may need to add some to get your desired consistency. Feel free to add any herbs or spices to make it your own dressing. (Fresh Dill or chives or Parsley are just a start)

Susan Marque is a food coach based in Santa Monica, California. She has been teaching her whole foods approach to health since 1997 while helping people to achieve their goals through the choices they make in diet and mind. Her distinctions have helped people with easy weight loss that stays off, creating more vitality and energy, clearing ailments and looking & feeling better on every level.
Susan has written four Fast and Easy Cookbooks, and co-created the Beyond Weight Loss™ seminars. Susan is certified in NLP, Hemispheric Therapy™ and Belief Relief.
Contact: or call (310) 453.7525.

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