Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC: "Lifeforce Plan: A Dynamic Plan for Health, Vitality, and Weight Loss" (2002)
Summary of Dr. Jeff McCombs' 'Lifeforce Plan' book. (He later renamed his diet the McCombs Plan.) Dr. McCombs is a candida expert and this book was quite an inspiring read when I first read it. I did the diet back in 2009 and my testimonial together with some notes is provided here: McCombs Plan Diet Testimonial. This book is very cheap to buy second-hand on Amazon and a recommended read for anyone interested in understanding candida and its many symptoms.
The supplements that you would need on the McCombs Plan.
Dr. Abraham Hoffer - one of the leaders in the field of orthomolecular psychology - estimates that 1/3 of the world's population may affected by candiasis. Jeff McCombs adds that most of these people are in the industrialised countries.
The McCombs Diet/ Lifefore Plan
McCombs candida diet is shorter and easier than most candida diets. It includes powerful supplementation which allows you to eat fruit while on the plan - but only in wholefood form, not extracted into juice or dried. The full diet lasts approximately four months, but 8 weeks in its most-strict form.
The McCombs Plan (Lifeforce Plan) has five main components:
- Supplements to kill candida, help detoxification and balance gut flora.
- Drinking plenty of water to enable detoxification of candida and it's toxic excretions. One quart of water per every 50 pounds of weight per day. (1 litre per 17 kgs.)
- Sweating in a sauna 6x per week to detoxify dead yeast cells and byproducts. Bath can be an ok replacement, especially if combined with epsom salts. Exercise sweating doesn't count.
- Yes/no foods list to stop feeding candida yeast.
- Trace minerals, magnesium, a herbal colon cleanser, psyllium, or similar to get the bowels moving IF you have less than 3-4 bowel movements per day - which according to Jeff McCombs is the normal amount.
- Amino acid supplementation for vegetarians or those on low protein diets is recommended to strengthen the immune system.
Foods on McCombs Plan
Candida (and other infections) thrive on sugar, yeast and fermented foods.
- All meats (except pork)
- Fruits (except oranges)
- Brown rice (short or long-grain)
- Brown rice cakes (plain)
- Brown rice cereal (hot)
- Tea, coffee
- Cold-pressed and expeller pressed oils, e.g. avocado oil
- Wasabi paste
- Amino acids (liquid and pills, e.g. Bragg's)
Smoking is also allowed on the plan although it may slow down the immune system.
Note: Colloidal silver can be taken on the first six weeks on the plan but not after that.
- Anything not on the 'yes' list is not on the plan.
- All sugars (malts, honey, syrups, alcohol, etc.)
- All canned and/or processed foods
- All grains (except brown rice)
- Dried fruit and vegetables
- Fruit juices, coconut water
- Sweet vegetable juices
- Nuts, coconut, seeds, etc.
- Legumes (beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, etc.)
- Soy sauce
- Bread (including sourdough and wraps)
- Pastas, pasta substitutes
- Chips (any kind)
- Milk/ dairy substitutes (rice milk, soy milk, etc.)
- Sugar substitutes (stevia, agave, xylitol, etc.)
- Simple carbohydrates, including processed rice products (e.g. brown rice flakes)
Length of the Candida Diet
The foods that are allowed and not allowed are similar to other candida diets but this diet is shorter due to strong supplements which help kill the candida more effectively.
- Eight weeks of strict diet.
- On week 9 you can add in: dried fruit and veg, mushrooms, juices, nuts, coconut (including coconut water), legumes, vinegar, soy sauce, tofu, popcorn, vegetable oil, wheatgrass juice.
- On week 11 you can add in: white rice, quinoa, barley, oats.
- On week 13 you can add pasta, bread (including rye), chips, crackers, flours, etc.
- On week 15 you can add back sugars.
- On week 17 you can add back dairy.
Systemic Candiasis/ Mycelial Candida Symptoms
The book, as well as Jeff McCombs' website talk a fair bit about systemic candiasis - which is a state where candida has overgrown. Candida overgrowth occurs when the candida cells are able to pierce the intestinal walls and spread into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream they can reach every part of the body and grow, causing many problems.
Possible symptoms of systemic candiasis (a.k.a. chronic candida) as detailed in the book include:
Candiasis can also affect the heart and lung tissue.
Jeff McCombs states that many people try to deal with the above symptoms with stress-management techniques. Many are also incorrectly told that their problems are psychosomatic in origin.
Note that candida in yeast form is not a problem, according to Jeffrey Mccombs, but candida cells become problematic when they mutate into fungal or mycelial form when the internal bacterial environment is out of balance (dysbiosis of the gut). Mycelical candida cells are able to pierce the small intestine, entering the blood stream and spreading throughout the body.
Mycelial candida releases about 80 toxins per cell. There can be billions of candida cells present in the body, causing massive toxic overload. The lymph gets overloaded and the liver is under stress.
Jeff McCombs states that most medical doctors now acknowledge that candida exists in many forms but they fail to recognise systemic candiasis. McCombs explains that candiasis is a modern problem because of antibiotics, steroid medications, and oral contraceptives.
McCombs Plan Detox Essentials Ingredients (Right-click and choose 'view image' to see larger.)
One method of diagnosing systemic candiasis is via applied kinesiology, another one is live blood analysis. However, Jeff McCombs is not convinced that extensive testing is necessary. He is instead guided in his practice by the following principles:
- Most adults and children in the USA have been treated with antibiotics. Millions of women have taken oral contraceptives. Millions of men and women have been treated with steroidal medications, such as cortisone-based formulations and prednisone.
- Exposure to antibiotics and other drugs opened a pathway for candiasis to take hold.
The Importance of Protein & General Diet Advice
The plan encourages a diet rich in protein and McCombs also states the following:
- Low-fat diet is not healthy.
- High-carbohydate, low-fat diets are dangerous.
- Vegetables oils are a huge problem due to partially hydrogenated trans-fatty acids.
- Cholesterol theory of heart-disease is not an established fact.
- Reducing animal protein consumption may make you protein deficient, which causes tiredness and lethargy as well as makes you vulnerable to other health problems.
- The body needs proteins to manufacture enzymes, antibiotics, and hormones.
- The word 'protein' comes from Greek meaning 'first importance'.
- The membrane that surrounds cells is comprised of proteins.
- When you adopt a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight, it is especially important to consume adequate protein because the body will use muscle mass and even organ tissue to meet its needs.
- Whether you can be a healthy vegetarian or not is a genetic issue, depending on what your ancestors ate.
- Digestibility is a key factor in determining the quality of protein. "Animal protein is considered more easily digestible than plant proteins because enzymes must break through cellulose that surround protein in plant cells."
- Edema - the accumulation of fluid in the cells - occurs when protein consumption is inadequate. Proteins are essential for maintaining a fluid balance within the cells. Plasma proteins in blood provide a mechanism by which fluid is drawn out of tissues rather than accumulating. Within a few days of increasing protein in the diet the protein-starved tissues of people start functioning nromally and the fluid imbalance is corrected. Quick weight loss results from losing water weight.
- Your body needs protein to maintain a favourable pH balance - adequate proteins in blood prevent the accumulation of acids which affect the pH balance.
- Protein deficiency causes the body's antibody production to slow down. Antibodies fight infections so protein deficiency worsens infections.
- For many people milk is not the best protein source because it causes allergic reactions. Milk is also a concentrated source of pesticides and other toxins.
- Research has shown that calorie-restriction may slow down the aging process. The reason for this involves the glucose metabolism. When glucose combines with oxygen it forms free radicals, which damage cells. High-carbohydrate diets are high-glucose diets.
- Vegetarians can find it hard to get enough of the protein and all the different amino acids needed in the diet.
- During detoxification the protein demands on the body are increased, but normally 60-100g per day is enough.
- Eating enough protein and not worrying about fat consumption immediately leads to increased energy in many of McCombs' patients.
- The liver acts as a communication centre as it interacts with other organs. It can become overburdened with cellular waste products and chemicals. McCombs Plan decreases toxic load on the liver.
- McCombs Plan allows the colon to heal.
- If your digestive system doesn't work well, the vitamin supplements won't be absorbed.
- McCombs recommends taking acidophilus and digestive enzymes.
- There is no good quality control on nutritional supplements.
- The body will not burn fat if the fatty tissue is storing toxins, it's a protective mechanism. Detoxification is important for weigh loss and the McCombs Plan accomplishes this.
Benefits of McCombs Diet
When I did the McCombs diet I lost a lot of weigth and felt better and more energetic towards the end. My menstrual cramps also disappeared. However, the chronic cough I had (possibly aspergillus mold related) and tonsil stones did not disappear at that time. My full testimonial can be read here.
The claims made in the book for the diet include the following:
McCombs Diet is a succesful tool for detoxifying the body, re-establishing normal flora of the tissues, and re-awakening the body's innate ability to regulate, balance and protect itself. It reverses the damaging effects of antibiotics. The diet is a way to achieve better biofeedback from the body and to increse vitality. "It allows us to activate the endless life-force potential that resides in every cell of our bodies..." - Jeffrey McCombs
I felt very good on this diet, perhaps better than on any other diet I tried. I also felt stronger emotionally and got good moods which some might call spiritual benefits. This was not to the same extent as on later raw food diets and juice fasts, but it was definitely there, nevertheless, at points and much more than when eating normally. What I mean by 'good moods' is in fact quite a bit more than that: inspired state of mind, where my mind is not bogged down by fears, insecurities, worries or boredom, but I have an upbeat optimistic thoughts streaming through my brain and my body feels very good at the same time.
The downside of the diet is that the supplements become expensive due to the sheer quantity that one has to take. In the testimonial article I discuss some alternatives if you prefer to purchase the supplements locally rather than ordering from Jeff McCombs' company in the USA.
Jeff McCombs' blog: Candida Plan
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