Where I'm at
I've attempted to write all last week since starting the candida cleanse, with the purpose of sharing my experience of the cleanse with you all. Everything I wrote so far, now I don’t feel like sharing - ha. I also couldn’t keep up with writing an entry on a day-to-day basis (who did I think I was, lol). It also got to the point where I was writing for the sake of writing and that didn’t feel good either. So, here I am! It’s been forever since I did a blog entry! I wrote this today and it feels right to post - so I post (until that feeling changes). WHO KNOWS, I’m just flowing with it at this point.
I started the candida cleanse last Monday (it’s now been a full week)! I didn’t think I could do it, yet I knew I could do it… it’s these fun little games my mind likes to play. The cleanse consisted of consuming only raw veggies and consuming about a teaspoon of turpentine with sugar 2-3X a day (YES, YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT.. TURPENTINE). I also play with minimal fruits, nuts and seeds on the weekend (and some cooked veggies).
For all the fanatics out there thinking I’m drinking paint thinner, rest assured I am safe, still alive and breathing. Not all turpentine is paint thinner, and I’ve sourced 100% pure gum spirits from the resin of pine trees from Georgia. Turpentine has been used as medicine for a very long time, and after doing a lot of research, looking into Dr. Jennifer Daniels protocol (on how she healed many of her patients via turpentine) and doing the cleanse with my boyfriend who has done it before, I was able to put down the google propaganda and dive right into the deep end! I quickly came to discover it wasn’t all that scary nor was it a deep end I was diving into. There's a lot of scary information out there so be weary, and the warning labels on Turpentine exist because well, it's the law. Oh, the trusting law :)
Why did I do the cleanse?
Well, candida overgrowth is a no bueno situation. I’ve struggled with my gut for a very long time from all the poison I allowed into my temple over the many years. For majority of my life, up until my late 20’s, I’ve consumed a plethora of antibiotics (because of my acne I was popping doxycycline like candy), food immersed with sweet, sweet chemicals (GMO theatre buttered popcorn was my jam and so were sour strips from the nearest crack store, sorry... candy store), and all kinds of medications and drugs that were not good for my body. This past year I really set an intention to do the work and heal my internal world such as my gut and my acne (I've struggled with acne since the age of 14). The journey of getting rid of my candida overgrowth started last week (and continues on for one more week).
Candida isn’t all that bad… in fact, we need it in our internal environment. Candida is a fungus caused by a yeast and when our gut microbiome is thriving, and the candida stays in its place breaking down all the leftover waste in our intestines, then it helps keep the balance of our ecosystem. It's all part of the cycle of life. Once the candida gets out of control and starts to rage (confetti, balloons, champagne and all) then it becomes truly problematic. Furthermore, they seep out of the gut (leaky gut) and leak into your bloodstream where toxins are released, and your immune system goes on high alert. Our immune system has a very hard time getting rid of them because they build a mucus protective barrier to shield themselves. They put up a tough fight. They FEED off sugar, gluten and carbs (since it turns into sugar). They are the first to consume any supplements you take, leaving your body with what's leftover (if anything at that point, rude). They also cause brain fog, anxiety and depression. If it's common for you to get all moody while craving something sweet, you may want to pay tribute to your candida intruders. They release chemicals that make you moody until they get what they want. I have no idea what planet or world they come from, but these aliens seem to enjoy taking over our consciousness.
So, turpentine and sugar it was! I didn’t want to spend my life limiting sugar fearful that a pimple would emerge. I want to enjoy the vibrations that fruits bring.
So, what really led me to doing the cleanse? A 90th birthday bash over a month ago was the catalyst (I know, let’s get wild)!
About a few months prior to the 90th birthday party, my skin was relatively clean with occasional small breakouts. I was using toxic chemicals topically to ensure my skin would stay clean (ironically it made my skin worse by destroying all the bacteria I needed on my skin to keep me looking fresh). I did however, stop using oral medication for my skin. At one point I was using spironolactone as I was told that it would reduce the amount of androgen hormones in my body which as a result, would reduce the sebum oil production on my skin that clogs my pores and gives me acne, especially the feel-good cystic ones. The fun ones. The ones you want to pop so bad, but no head exists no matter how deep of a grave you did.... it's like Miss Kathryn from the movie "Holes" digging her life away to find the treasure she never finds (what a life). Throughout the years, I used all sorts of medications and antibiotics to heal my acne – for me, it temporarily made it all better and then it made it all worse. It was exhausting on all levels and a perpetual cycle which made things very confusing for me.
Now let's fast forward to a few weeks before the 90th birthday bash. I FINALLY stopped using all my topical garbage (it was hard for me on all levels, particularly emotional). I was TERRFIED that my skin would wreak havoc after discontinuing all these topical “drugs”, since my skin was quite addicted to it and I've used it for YEARS. I took the risk and threw them away (well, it sits under my sink momentarily because I'm thinking about who I don't like that I could give it away to, JUST KIDDING. I would never do that! But, it is still sitting under my sink. I might sage first and dispose so the vibes don't spread to the trash chute). I discontinued using my benzyl peroxide face wash (makes me cringe now as the chemicals were stripping my skin away), and my M-61 lotion that I was using that cost over $100 (which also had a few good ingredients, and also a handful of harmful ingredients. LIKE WHY)? I could have spent that 100$ at Erewhon nourishing my body. I replaced all those empty products with non-toxic, plant only ingredients such as a face wash by Dr Bronners, Luxe beauty lotion which is magical, pure witch hazel and sea buckthorn seed oil that I sourced from a store in Topanga which I am OBSESSED with. PEEPS, holler and let’s go together because they have everything that you would need (face wash, face oils, toothpaste, cleaning products etc). I’m also obsessed with putting raw and fermented sauerkraut on my face! I believe the deliciousness helps rebuild the bacteria on your face.
OKAY, now let’s get to the birthday bash! I wasn’t proud, but I got down with too many hard and regular kombucha's that I lost count (added sugars, alcohol and fake carbonation is just a no mas), SO MUCH bread because I am bread (AKA I love bread). I made garlic bread and croutons which were just unstoppable to consume! I ate way too many chips and everything else I could find that was edible which all turned into a sugar cloud as I was riding on it, with my hands in the air screaming “I AM IMMUNE, MY GUT IS GOOD, I CAN HANDLE THIS, YAY!” Well, not literarily but that’s energetically how I felt. Evidently, I was disconnected with my body that day. I spent the last year really healing my gut, so I believed I would be fine. I needed that day to be where I am now – thank you Grandma Russo (birthday queen).
That night as I got home, I looked at my boyfriend freaking out about why my face looked like mars. “MISSION CONTROL, I’VE LANDED”.
Within hours my face looked as if I got an allergic reaction and had an immediate acne flare up. My face was puffy, inflamed, red and had bumps all over the place. I started to spiral, it was not fun. For those of you who struggle with acne and feel for me, I feel for you too and I send you love. We’re all in this together which makes it THAT MUCH BETTER. We'll figure it out!
That night I had a difficult time taming my monkey mind, “was it because I stopped my skin regiment, and my skin was purging”, “what’s happening”, “what is my body now telling me”, "am I getting close to death", "I'm going to get down and dirty and pop them all". Acne is a message from the body and it's the bodies way of screaming for help in a place where you witness it most. Your body is a miracle and so whatever is happening inside will manifest accordingly. I just wish it manifested on my butt rather than my face.
At this point, my boyfriend brought up the subject of candida again, and the cleanse he did awhile back. He said, “I really feel like it can be candida now for you”. And so I replied, “I AM ALL IN, let’s do this”. I've known about the cleanse for awhile, but I been ignoring it (not thinking I needed it or knowing I needed it and resisting it), again the mind is a trip lol. So, we picked a timeframe to commit to and that was that.
Just for reference, here’s my skin about 2 weeks ago (it was worse than this after the birthday bash, but I was pissed during that time so I didn't take photos, lol).
ALSO - I got alien marks on the side of my neck. I tried to own them haha (what else do you do in this situation if not comedy)?
The thing on my forehead looked like I got hit with a baseball bat.
NOW... drum roll..... pictures I took today! HEALING SKIN! I got leftover red marks which are healing because I admit to being a picker! I just can't help myself!
To be real though, I’m not exactly sure what it all means yet because it is a journey.
There are so many layers and I don't believe it was just the candida causing my acne. I do think the candida had a role because I used to have SO MANY little whiteheads and blackheads that started to disappear once I started the cleanse, within a few days. I am so deeply grateful to see progress because that means, for me, that I'm on the right path!
For so long I was looking for a ONE TIME FIX IT ALL, but it's more than that. So much more than that. It’s a process and I have WAY MORE work to do. My journey so far has taught me so much grace and love. I am not what my skin is and my skin doesn't define who I am (for a long time I had those attachments). There is more to me than all of that, and that consciousness is so LIBERATING. The same applies to you, your exterior is extraordinary and yet you are SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! I hope you feel and know that.
This cleanse hasn’t been easy but THANKFULLY I’ve healed my gut to a point where I was able to consume all the raw veggies this past week comfortably and feel one with all the healing plants that I consumed.
A year ago, I couldn’t consume many raw veggies without feeling bloated or bad. When I went to the gastro to see what the heck was going on with me, I was told information that intuitively didn’t feel good to me. They made me poop in tubes and ship via Fedex (sorry Fedex) for testing to only come back with results (all good) and tell me to “not eat raw veggies” and all other advice that I knew wasn't right. They told me it's possible I have a sensitivity ... to the.. EARTH? During that time, I deeply felt the presence of earths plants and I’ve been crying for a long time that I couldn’t connect with them through accepting their nurturance.
It took me almost a year to get to a point where I can consume all the raw veggies that I need (remember intuitive eating is moderation, so you must listen and find the sweet spot). The process of healing my gut and reuniting with my plant family consisted of eating raw veggies (even when I physically felt so bad), consuming a lot of raw fermented foods, water kefir (I started making my own) and taking probiotics in pill form as a supplement to everything I was doing. Now I was eating A TON of fermented foods. There’s more to the story, but all these medicines helped me a lot. It was not a comfortable process (which could feel confusing), but life changing. I'm even at a point where I can comfortably eat raw onions and garlic - and it smells so good on me :)
I was expecting the turpentine to knock me off the candida horse, but it felt GREAT. The sugar you eat with turpentine lures the candida in (suckers) and then the turpentine drives them out! During that process you can become very ill in different ways (headache, tired, flu like symptoms, diarrhea). I didn’t really get any of those bad feels. If I did, they were so minor that they aren’t worth mentioning (a minor headache that lasted a few minutes for example). In fact, I’ve been feeling better and better each day. The brain fog that I NEVER KNEW I HAD seems to have lifted and the clarity has been noticeable since I started the cleanse. It's possible that I didn't have many side effects because of my many bowel movements. In order to do the cleanse, you need to have at least a few bowel movements a day in order to get the candida to exit. You must allow them to pack their bags and fly out of the butt otherwise they'll run to your lungs or your head and it's awful. Thankfully, I’ve never had problems with my bowel movements and yes, you see the candida swimming in the toilet once they exit. It’s actually a nice time to bid them farewell. “Candia, I wouldn’t be who I am now without you, so thank you for teaching me what you had to teach me” …. FLUSH!
Everything is all within alignment, and it's perfect. This past weekend I was ABSOLUTELY blessed to have sat with grandfather Wachuma once again, to reunite with spirit. Wachuma is a beautiful plant medicine derived from the cactus. During the ceremony, after I drank my cup of Wachuma, I immediately got my period (which wasn’t supposed to come for another few days). It was beyond the most amazing release I have experienced thus far in my lifetime. I was able to release SO MUCH tension, more than I can put into words on this blog. I released my own, and my ancestral tension living in my womb. For the first time I could feel my ENTIRE reproductive system relax - it was so potent. I felt so connected to my womb, I felt one with my entire body and I’ve made such peace with all of it. I now know with certainty that some of my hormonal acne was attributed to that tension and pain I was carrying in this lifetime.
There’s so much magic that was dispersed this past weekend, and I don’t have the words yet to articulate the whole experience, and it’s A LOT for this blog. It would literarily take forever to TRY and write it all down, maybe one day I will – maybe next experience I will. Or maybe we can kick it, have a latte and I'll tell you all about it. I love sharing experiences and I love LATTES (I have a divine connection with coffee, I really believe in its healing properties). Also, there's a new spot I discovered called "Little Lunch" in Venice and they make their own raw almond milk in house and its.... FIRE. Let's go.
Wachuma brought me home. There were many lessons in which Wachuma gently planted the seeds within my consciousness for when I was ready to journey there.
One new discovery from this past weekend I do want to mention was my new relationship with food! I finally understood what it means to become what you eat. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! It’s a beautiful exchange and a gift. I could literarily feel the personalities of the different fruit I ate during the ceremony and connection with the essence prior to ingesting, during ingestion and after. It was so simple, and they spoke to me so clearly. I was able to feel the playfulness of the blueberries and the grounding and deep knowledge of blackberries. I just wanted to sit at a table with all the loving fruits, plants, nuts and seeds and have a conversation with them. I wanted to get to know them all. I also realized that I was eating more than I should be which also contributed to my break outs.
I realized that our minds complex relationship with food may be attributed to the excess and convenience of all the food we are surrounded by. It becomes easier to get disconnected from the food we eat. This is why I believe eating what’s seasonal is incredible and I'm only just now opening up to that understanding. I have a LONG journey to discover this newfound relationship I have with food and I can't wait to explore more. WACHUMA, I'm ready to feast with you once we reunite again :)
Please note that this entry is not telling you to do a candida cleanse or take turpentine, obviously. I’m not a medical professional and I know nothing (lol). This is just my experience and you might think I'm absolutely crazy, and I love it. I’m just exploring and trying to let my heart guide me to be and feel better. It feels so good to live your truth! Please let your heart guide you home, thats my prayer to the world.
Before I PEACE OUT....
and If you know me, you know I LOVE FOOD!
Here's a few photos of the food I've made during the cleanse that I'm proud of!
Excuse me while I drool and come back. This was during the weekend where I incorporated some fruit, nuts and cooked veggies. I found this DOPE coconut wrap (which I will now forever eat) that only consists of coconut meat, coconut water and coconut oil. SIDE NOTE, coconut oil contains 3 kinds of acid that DRIVE THE CANDIDA AWAY. It has so many anti-bacterial properties, it's wonderful. It's such a pure fruit. I wrapped it with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and carrots. Finally, I topped it with some olive oil and vegan cheese made purely from cashews, coconut and salt. Surprisingly, this is one of my favs.
NOW THIS! I did get tired of essentially eating the same salad everyday. I wanted to liven up the meal so I made a a spread in order to make a vegan nori wrap! I got my seaweed and wrapped it with cabbage, avocado, cucumbers and tomatoes! The dipping sauce was freshly squeezed lemons, olive oil and some salt. IT WAS DELIGHTFUL and the nori made a complete mess. I always forget how messy seaweed can be so I'm indifferent now, lol.
The things I will be eating after the cleanse, WHO KNOWS!
Although I've been using the word CLEANSE throughout this whole bog, I personally don’t like the connotation that carries with the word “diet” or a “cleanse”, To me, it implies that it is temporary and to then revert to patterns that essentially led you to the diet or cleanse. I see it as a transformation. This cleanse has supported my transformation to be and do better. You are amazing and let's all support each other. THIS JOURNEY OF LIFE IS AMAZING. Be in your journey, be in your truth and be here in this moment.
Thank you, thank you!