Confused? This post is number 4 in a series. You can catch up by reading:
Candida is supposed to be very difficult to be rid of. This is how I am working to do it.

First, I'm taking essential oil capsules 3x a day for 10 days to cleanse my intestinal tract. These contain oregano, melaleuca, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, and thyme. Next, I'm taking a probiotic 3x a day for 5 days. Then, I will give my body a rest for 10 days before  reassessing my symptoms. I expect to probably have to go through the cycle one more time. Throughout, I am drinking about 60 oz of lemon water a day and turning my diet completely upside down. 

This diet I speak of? I hate it with the power of a thousand suns. 

In order to fully cleanse the yeast, I can't eat anything that would continue to feed them. This includes all sugars (natural and artificial), wheat, grain, starches, gluten, dairy products, or fungi's (like mushrooms). I am not eating fruit. I am not eating bread. I am not eating milk, butter, or cheese. And I am not even eating POPCORN. Just lots of vegetables, eggs, meats, and beans. 

I would never agree to such a strict diet permanently. It is just during the cleanse. Then I will reintroduce the fruit, starchy vegetables like potatoes, real butter, oats, brown rice, sweeteners like honey and molasses, sprouted grain breads, and POPCORN.

Let me emphasize the fact again that I really. really. love. popcorn. And to be without it causes great emotional pain.

The candida gets angry with me each time I cut off another one of their food sources. It really is amazing the way the Lord has given me guidance in bits and pieces...just enough for me to handle at one time. It wasn't until recently that I learned it's best to cut foods out slowly and work your way up to the complete diet. But that is exactly what I did, by accident.

First it was the sugar and white carbohydrates. That withdrawal was the pits. Then I cut the bad fats and used organic olive and coconut oil for cooking. I went on like this for a long time before learning dairy feeds candida. Goodbye milk and cereal. Goodbye cheddar cheese. A few weeks later all gluten grains had to go. This step was hard, but manageable. I could live without my bread and tortillas.

Then, when I decided to cut the fruit and starchy vegetables...I hit the hardest withdrawal yet. That is what I've been dealing with for the last week. Would it be dramatic to say it's been one of the most difficult weeks of my life? Well, that's what I'm saying. And it's been downright hellish.

I think I've finally cut out the last of the food that candida can eat. And now they hate my stinkin' guts and want to spend the last moments of their little lives making me miserable. 

There seem to be a lot of them.
  • My cravings have come back in full force. It's as if my mind CAN'T stop thinking of donuts. Honey smothered toast. Popcorn. Cookies. Cake with an inch of frosting. It's torture. 
  • An interesting withdrawal symptom has been that my face always feels...inflamed. Especially my lips. Like I'm slightly sunburned or dehydrated. It doesn't hurt. It's just weird. But with all the water I've been drinking, I know I'm not parched. But apparently others have experienced this too.
  • The emotional impacts have been the biggest surprise. Cravings this week are accompanied by a miserable depression. The smallest things send me to tears. I had a meltdown after waking up one morning with the intention of making a veggie omelet...only to find we didn't have eggs. Our Valentine's dinner date was a bust. I ate my salad with hearty vegetables, beans, and egg--something I usually love--only to find my low morale turning everything tasteless and unsatisfying. Sitting across from Andrew's plate of pizza and pasta was almost more than I could bare. 
  • I am always eating and I am always hungry. Rarely does my food satisfy me. I eat my veggies with lots of protein and healthy fat, but my body remains unimpressed by anything other than the junk it craves. It's like I will never feel full again without a piece of bread or hunk of cheese.  Then the "hunger pangs" drive me mad...and I find myself hating the entire blasted world. 
  • I'm bitter and angry that everyone else can eat anything they want and be okay. It's not FAIR!
  • My fragile mental state is compounded by a frustration with the many views on what should and shouldn't be eaten on a candida cleanse diet. Just when I think I'm doing it right, I read another contradiction. I've found variances on the following items: green apples, sweet potatoes, quinoa, butter, yogurt, hummus, carrots, and even popcorn. Its especially hard that I really want to eat these things. But I've decided to be safe rather than sorry with most of these. 
  • I'm losing weight. I have definitely found the perfect weight loss plan. However, at maybe 110 pounds and a naturally petite build, I am WELL aware that weight loss is not desirable.
  • People are noticing my change in diet and commenting that I don't need to lose weight. This makes me grumpy. (See above bullet point)
  • I spend every spare moment in the kitchen. The food I'm eating these days all require significant preparation of some kind. I spend hours cleaning, chopping, thawing, roasting, mixing, and preparing in order to have enough to eat for three meals a day. I took for granted how easy it was to spend 3 minutes whipping up a sandwich for lunch. Or grabbing a quick handful of tortilla chips for snacking.
  • Our itty-bitty town has one hole-in-the-wall health food store. Maybe it's easier for others to eat all natural and organic. But we are severely limited 'round these parts. 
  • Healthy eating is expensive. We ate a lot of fresh food before this...but not this much. And all the candida diets stress organic produce. Without being 100% on this point, our monthly grocery bill has already DOUBLED.

  • I've discovered an essential oil blend, DoTerra's Slim and Sassy (with grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon) that people use while trying to lose weight because of its natural ability to soothe appetite and cravings. Well, what do you know? They also soothe the insatiable appetite and cravings of a candida cleansing gal like me. It somehow grounds me mentally and emotionally too--keeping Crazy Rachel at bay. It works. Just ask Andrew. 
  • I am learning some fun new ways to eat. I am becoming a substitution expert and love the recipes I'm cooking with previously untried vegetables, herbs, spices, and other ingredients. I look forward to sharing a few in a future post. 
  • This current bout of withdrawals shouldn't last more than a week before I begin to feel...stable again. I'm almost there. 

So I think I am currently on a road to what I hope...and PRAY FERVENTLY will result in long-term healing. Sorry I'm so grumpy in the meantime.

Wish me Luck,


Marmee said...

Oh Rachel... This sounds just miserable and I am impressed that you added the blessings of your deprivation. I hope you are clinging to the big picture and the promptings you received to do this. At least for me that would be the only thing to keep me going. Bless you.

Breanna said...

Oh my goodness! You are a rock! You are going to through something horrible, and you just keep going! It sounds VERY difficult and you should be giving yourself TONS of props for continuing on and on and on! The Lord knows what you are going through and He has been and will always help you. Keep up the AMAZING good work!

Breanna said...

Oh my goodness! You are a ROCK! Your dedication to getting better is INSPIRING and very intimidating! Everything you are going through sounds horrible! You should be giving yourself TONS of props for continuing on and on and on! The Lord is aware of everything you are going through and He has and will contiue to always help you! Keep up the GREAT, hard work! All this awfulness will be over soon and it will be all worth it!

{krista} said...

I have been tempted to do a candida cleanse, but after this... I'm not so sure. Wow! Sounds SO hard! But I have a question, how do you take the slim and sassy? Do you put it in your water or swallow in a capsule? I've done it in water, and can't gag it down. I rub it on my feet (my sister does as well) but don't notice a difference. There's got to be a better way! Good luck with this. It will all work out in the end.

debsfreckles said...

I am really impressed. You are showing major willpower and I know you will be happier for it.

Anonymous said...

I am SO right there with you!!!!! Candida is a major problem for me as well. BUT, the bright side is that we have method to fix the problem--and it's not pills! I try to remember that during the hard times. I'm about ready to do what you're doing because I partook of the cupcakes and Cadbury eggs a few too many time the past fews week and I am majorly feeling it. I'm in such pain and my stomach is a wreck! I think I'm going to juice to help get the vitamins too. Keep it up--remember it's worth it. Oh, and by the way, I'm a teacher too so I know you need that energy back!

Anonymous said...

I'm also gluten free, dairy free all the time too. If you need any ideas, I'm happy to share ;)


Rachel Ashmore said...


I know that a lot of people can't stand the taste of Slim and Sassy (my husband for one). During that awful week, I put a few drops of it with a few drops of lemon in a large mason jar full of water and drank up. Maybe the lemon helped? Maybe it was just really watered down? Maybe I was too miserable to care? Ha! I don't know...but I was able to handle the taste. But the impact it had on my emotional state was amazing.

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