In terms of beating the candida, it will probably be about the same to wait a few days vs. start, stop, and start again. So, I would base the decision on what you think will serve you best overall in terms of your health and well being. If you choose to wait a few days before beginning, you can still make healthy choices and perhaps use the time to try a few recipes and prepare for the longer term plans.
As far as tea and sweeteners – stevia and xylitol are the two sweeteners approved for the candida diet. Both come from natural sources, and neither promotes candida growth. With that said, I’ve always needed sweetener in my green tea, but I am doing this without any sweeteners (to try to overcome my lifelong cravings) and as time goes on I’m enjoying it more. I am finding that some varieties work better unsweetened than others. And I definitely prefer good quality loose leaf tea to the stuff in bags (I buy mine online and the prices end up just as good for better quality).
It’s really easy to become discouraged thinking about the things we’re doing without. I definitely find my mood is better when I focus instead on what I can have, and on the opportunities to try new things and attempt new recipes. And, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to add back a good number of things that are off the menu for now.
My understanding is that cheese shouldn’t be eaten at all in Stage 1, but that fresh cheeses can be added back during Stage 2. Un-aged cheeses are usually soft or semisoft and don’t tend to have that sharp tanginess of aged cheese – cream cheese, fresh Mozzerella, Neufchatel, and cottage cheese are a few of the most common (in the U.S.) examples.
Also – be prepared for die-off. I’ve been going through that most of this week, and it has been rough to stick with the plan when I’ve felt poorly. But, I’m feeling better today and confident that this is working! And in the end, it will definitely be worth it to feel healthier for the long run.