My daughter Maya has struggled with eczema since she was a baby. After her first birthday, she experienced an enormous flare-up, the first of many. Her entire body was covered with large, red scaly spots. Her pediatrician prescribed steroids and told us to remove cow's milk from her diet and replace it with goat's milk. This treatment seemed to work; she recovered very fast.
However, she soon started getting colds all the time that got progressively worse. We worried that her new symptoms were due to the steroids, since they're such a strong type of medication. We also worried that we hadn't solved whatever underlying problem was there.
When Maya turned four, her eczema suddenly returned. This time, we didn't want to put her on steroids because of how she'd reacted the first time. Instead, we tried naturopathy, eliminating gluten and milk, and sticking to a sugar-free diet. After about six months of following this diet and some homeopathic treatment, her eczema was almost gone, with only small spots left on her arms. We gave her long sleeved shirts and she was good ... for a while.
When she turned 7, Maya's eczema returned, worse than ever. Once again, we turned to natural methods and spent hours researching cures. We had her undergo more testing and finally learned that, in addition to her skin condition, she had candida and parasites.
Our naturopath created a new diet for Maya to cure the candida and parasites. We removed meat, eggs, and sweets from her diet, and she basically lived off cooked grains, steamed vegetables, olive oil, and coconut oil. She also ate seeds, some fruits (like apples, pears, and berries) and a little bit of fish.
But her condition seemed to worsen every week. After months of trying to kill the candida, we almost killed our daughter with all the new diets we tried out of desperation. By then, Maya was losing weight and looking ill. Her gut must have been so damaged and incapable of absorbing nutrition.
I was scared and nervous, and ready to go back to drugs just to get her some relief. Right around then, I discovered a vegan community on Instagram and learned about treating candida with a high-carb, raw foods diet. Though it sounded wacky, I was willing to try anything.
The next day, I started “Banana Island," a 10-day program of eating only bananas. I tested it on myself and surprisingly, it felt amazing. I didn't think twice and put my entire family on this plan. They were happy; I noticed right away a huge burst of energy and a dramatic improvement in their moods.
For the next three months, Maya and her brothers ate mostly fruits, some leafy greens and vegetables with some healthy fats like avocado, coconut, nuts, and seeds in healthy amounts. After three months of detox, Maya’s skin started to improve.
We've been following a raw diet for six months now, and she still has a few tiny dry spots. They fade a little more every day and she is a happy and pretty girl.
For now, we're all sticking to the raw foods diet. Everyone in our family has great energy and feels amazing.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.