I’ve been following Sherese on instagram for a while, as our healing journeys were on a similar timeline. I’m inspired by her delicious and picture-perfect candida-friendly recipes, and her focus on a healthy mindset while healing. I’m excited to introduce her and share her story here today!
Can you tell me a bit about your health journey and the symptoms you experienced?
My health journey has been full of its ups and downs that span across years. But looking back, I’d say I first started to really take notice of my symptoms when I was in high school. Up until that point in my life, I thought that the quality of life was optimal.
In high school, I ate like my peers which involved a lot of pizza or McDonald’s lunches, paired with a soft drink and candies or chocolates as my snacks. At home I ate more cooked meals, but then again I used to eat foods made from white flour, dairy and sugar. I first noticed the reaction I’d have after eating dairy. So immediately after eating certain dairy products I would experience post nasal drip. After a couple of times of noticing this pattern, I went to Google and learned that dairy can produce a lot of mucus. So I cut that out for a month and the post nasal drip disappeared.
I loved sugar, always had a sweet tooth, but what I’d notice after eating too much of it (sweet fruit juices included) was that I’d get thrush on my tongue. It was always an uncomfortable feeling. I quickly made that association with sugars and reduced my intake which improved thrush. So it’s safe to say I was good at knowing what my triggers were and avoiding them- however I still had to major symptoms like: bloating, weak joints, digestive issues and fatigue.
Many years later of living with these symptoms, I met my Naturopath Doctor (who I still work with now). After telling her my symptoms, she pretty much diagnosed me with candida overgrowth. Shortly after that appointment I made a complete 180 with my eating habits. I was younger when I first made the change to my eating and healed very quickly but I grew too comfortable with this newfound health and retracted back to poor eating habits. Pretty much from that point until this day I have been on a healing journey.
What was your personal catalyst for change? What was the tipping point?
There’s an image of an up and down line graph of what the healing journey looks like and I couldn’t agree with it more. I’ve had many tipping points, but I think my greatest epiphany happened recently where I realized that I couldn’t heal myself until I improved my mindset to believe I can. I also understand the importance of incorporating a self-care routine that takes into account mind, body and soul.
How important is your mindset when it comes to healing?
Even though I knew what to eat (I had taken several tests to filter out what I was sensitive to) and had the professional help along with access to the proper supplements for my body, I wasn’t improving my condition. Looking back on this, it was probably because I was in a continuous state of stress, pressure and resistance that prevented any real healing to take place.
I started looking at candida as an evil enemy that I had to conquer and something that had to be diminished. At the same time, I began to develop an unhealthy relationship with food by praising the foods on my to-eat list and rejecting the foods that I was supposed to stay away from. If I slipped up and ate something I wasn’t, I would be so hard on myself which was extremely unhealthy.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned during your healing process?
I’m still on a healing journey and I learn something new every day to be honest, but I would say the biggest lesson I learned was that I had to reframe the story I was telling myself about candida. I began to identify with it saying things such as, “I have candida”, “I am on a candida diet” or “I am ridding my body of candida”. These were powerful affirmations I kept repeating to myself and others which reinforced the problem. My ND helped me understand this as well, she would correct me when I said “I have candida” into something like “I am healing my body from a yeast overgrowth” – which completely takes the power away from candida in the first place. It’s a subtle shift but it works!
How can someone learn more about you and your story?
I started sharing my healing journey on Instagram about 3 years ago via @sheresenicole_ (formerly called @candidablogger) so you can catch me over there. I’ve started to touch on healthy mindset and self-care practices that keep me level headed and are equally important on this health journey.
On Facebook, you can find me at @candidadieteats and I’ve also started a Facebook group called Reclaim Your Health. I’m working towards building a community of other health enthusiasts that desire to change the narrative of their “illness” and take a more holistic and healthy approach towards healing.
Lastly, you can follow me on Youtube @ Sherese Nicole where I share how I prepare my meals, vlogs and essentially document my health journey.