Living Without Yeast

Tip Cups

Tip Cups

When my body decided it didn’t like yeast I was at a loss. Everything my research turned up for yeast allergies or yeast intolerance pointed me to the Anti-Candida Diet (ACD). I wasn’t happy because Candida wasn’t my problem. This was on top of already being gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free plus what I was avoiding for Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (coffee, tea, dried fruit, fruit in the morning to name a few), then getting rid of bananas, pineapple, cranberries, soy, peanuts, crab, sesame, and sunflower.

Food BoardWhen I came to terms with doing ACD, I immediately went to Ricki Heller’s website and went through her Candida FAQs. I figured if I needed anything beyond what she had up I could easily ask her questions. I chose to the follow the Whole Approach and printed everything off that I needed. I used two different boards to write everything down – one board for everything that was absolutely off limits, the other for the okay in small amounts.

I swear it was complete madness.

Then, I was saved by my doctor who does my allergy treatments. He gave me a list that made it much easier for me.

Through all this, I learned right out of the gate that yeast-free does not mean just eliminating things made with baker’s or brewer’s yeast. It wasn’t just a matter of cutting out all baked goods and alcohol. Nope. I had to cut out vinegar and everything made with vinegar like pickles, condiments/sauces, and dressing. I had to say goodbye to everything fermented like alcohol, sauerkraut, and kim chee (miso, tofu, and gluten-free tamari were already out because of my reaction to soy).

Also, mold and yeast go hand in hand a lot. Most of this list is also on a mold-free food allergy list.

Here is what yeast-free entails:

  • No baker’s or brewer’s yeast.
  • No vinegar: every type is off-limits along with everything containing vinegar like condiments – mayonnaise, olives, anything pickled, horseradish, dressings, BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • No refined grains: bread (excluding unleavened or soda bread as long as there is no vinegar or yeast), pastries, cake, pretzels, cereal, and oatmeal.
  • No dairy: cheese, buttermilk, fortified milk, malted dairy.
  • No alcohol. None. Nada. Not negotiable. All alcoholic drinks depend on yeast to ferment.
  • Nothing fermented (other than alcohol): sauerkraut, marmite, vegemite, tofu, miso, tempeh, tamari, soy sauce, kombucha, and any other foods or liquids not listed that are fermented.
  • No malted foods: cereals, candy, and drinks. If you are already gluten-free, you are already avoiding malted products because of the barley.
  • No vitamins or supplements containing yeast. Vitamin B supplements are typically derived from yeast. Yeast is also a common filler for many vitamins and supplements.
  • No canned, boxed, or frozen citrus juices. They can ferment.
  • No mushrooms or truffles.
  • No chili peppers.

When you look at the list it feels interminable. Considering all I already gave up and that I was doing ACD, this was more manageable. I needed a list of yes and no. I need the line to be drawn and everything black and white when it comes to what I can and can’t eat. I can do moderation, but when presented with limited foods like ACD does in different stages of the diet I flounder. This is a yeast reaction I was dealing with and giving me grey areas was not helpful. The list made it cut and dry. No fudging. No figuring out what I already had on the limited list when fixing dinner to make sure I wasn’t having too much of the limited foods.

Get my drift?

There are always ways around the “can’t have”. I figured out how to make dressings without using vinegar. I made creamy dressings and mustard-y dressings without using dairy or liquid mustard. I ate well despite everything I couldn’t have. You can too.

Eggless Egg SaladHere are some of my favorite yeast-free recipes:

Creamy Coriander Dressing

Eggless Egg Salad 

Flourless Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Grain-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies 

Grain-Free Mediterranean “Bulgar” Salad 

Grilled Chicken Salad with Toasted Coriander Lime Dressing 

Lemon Potato Salad

Lola Kale Salad

Mango Mint Fruit Bars

Pumpkin Millet Porridge with Fresh Figs

Radish Salad

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Sauteed Tart Kale

Scallops with Creamy Veg Sauce

Steak Salad with Orange Fennel Dressing

Sweet Beet Salad

Toasted Cumin Dressing 



  1. What a great resource! And I’m sorry you had to go through that–it does look rather daunting when you peek at those two boards!! Glad my site was of some help. Sounds like you are still eating very well–gotta try that sauteed kale or lemon potato salad! 🙂

    • Ricki, it was wild. It’s still a little wild with my reactions constantly changing. I’m just glad I was already following you and didn’t have to wonder what to do! 😀

  2. Hi Debi, I know how you feel. I thought I was alone. I’m intolerant to wheat, yeast and eggs and at the start I found it intolerable (no pun intended) 🙂 Then I found myself writing lists too. I have the lists on my website if it helps.

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