How I survived on milk-only for 8 whole days!

This is a story of health.
Of change. Healing. Curiosity. And desire.

I grew up in meat + potatoes country.
Though I may be ½ Japanese and grew up with plenty of raw tofu and sushi, I still grew up in the Midwest.
Which meant, lots of Imo’s Pizza, roast beef sandwiches and toasted ravioli (if you’re from the ‘Lou you’ll know what I’m talking about).
The stuff of my childhood still comforts me to this day.
Even when it sends me into multiple days of digestive distress, it still comforts.

As I’ve gotten older, my diet has gotten “cleaner” – less refined sugars, mostly organics, and no more hormone-filled meats. But even still, my health has always remained rather . . . “touchy”.
I relate this to a poor diet growing up. Along with large amounts of stress. And also being an HSP.

I’ve suffered from IBS, severe PMS, gluten sensitivity, seasonal allergies, recurring sinus infections, leaky gut, depression, acid reflux, adrenal fatigue, thyroid & endocrine dysfunction, and an immune system that’s virtually non-existent at times.
I feel like for most of my life, I’ve had “something wrong with me”. Always feeling low on energy. Or just flat out moody and not well.

Since 1999, I’ve been on a quest to heal myself.
I’ve tried just about every different kind of healing modality you can imagine (and then some)!
Ayurveda. Naturopathic medicine. Western medicine. Chinese medicine. Acupuncture. Herbs. Homeopathy. Chiropractic. Energy work. Bodywork. And too many diets and cleanses to count.

It would seem that I had tried everything.
Exhausted every option.
But, there was one woman that I hadn’t consulted with yet.
A naturopathic doctor who had been on my radar for the last 5 years.
I had heard she was a miracle worker (of sorts).
No nonsense.
And filled with knowledge.

Fast forward to October 2012.
I made my appointment with Dr. Linda Lancaster.

I saw her in person in NYC.
And within 2 minutes she was able to tell me what she believed might be going on – that I had parasites, adrenal + immune system depletion, heavy metal and mercury toxicity, residual radiation toxicity and deep stress rings (a.k.a. a lifetime of heaviness that was weighing me down and in part, causing me to be sick).
I mean.
After looking at my blood, she confirmed all of the above and put me on a deep cleansing and healing regimen for at least 8 weeks.

Now, for anyone who is reading this that might be a critic of cleanses, healthy diets or the like, I want you to think about something . . . a simple quote that made me start to take my health seriously.

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”

Dr. Linda’s protocol started with the Raw Milk Cleanse.
As you might have read in last week’s post, I got a lot of interest (positive + negative) about the milk cleanse when I posted about it online.

Here’s the deal:
The raw milk cleanse is to rid the body of parasites.
It’s estimated that more than ½ the world’s population (that’s 3+ billion people!) are infected with parasites. Crazy right?
Most of us think that parasites only affect those in rural areas or third-world countries. But it’s much more widespread than that.

Parasites wreak havoc and can even take up residence in organs like your lungs, heart, and brain.
They get into your system in a variety of ways: via drinking water, unwashed lettuce or veggies, undercooked meats, sexual contact (even kissing) as well as from something as innocuous as shaking hands or drinking from someone else’s glass who is infected.
It’s super easy to “catch”.
And the worst part? They’re even harder to eradicate.

Hence the raw milk cleanse.

From what I understand, raw milk is sweet and happens to be parasites’ favorite food.
They are drawn out from hiding by the milk and then killed through a special formulation of ingested herbs.

My daily routine consisted of this:
Drink one glass of raw milk every two hours (taken w/ my herbs) for a total of at least six glasses per day.

I could drink more if I felt hungry. And I could drink moderate amounts of water too throughout the day.
To be honest, I never felt hungry. Not once.
In fact, it was great. I loved the taste of the raw milk (a huge surprise since I usually loathe milk).

For the record, it’s important to drink RAW milk as opposed to pasteurized milk (the kind you find in most grocery stores).
Raw milk contains a lot of bacteria and enzymes, including the ones that digest lactose, which are mostly killed off during the process of pasteurization.
You can find out more about the benefits of raw milk here.
On this cleanse it was preferable to use raw goat’s milk, however, the flavor was too intense for me, so I stuck with Organic Pastures raw cow’s milk.

As a sorta side-note, I want to emphasize that this cleanse is Doctor supervised and prescribed specifically for me.
I personally don’t believe that deep cleansing without consulting a health professional is a good idea.

For one, it can be dangerous.
And secondly, I think cleansing is much more effective when you know what supplements, activities or diet will encourage healing and multiply the benefits of the cleansing process.
The prevalence of juice cleanses, the master cleanse and assorted other fasts and diets, might work for some, but in my experience, they are band-aids that never get to the root cause of most health issues. They make you feel great for a while, but it’s not a lasting solution.

In other words, please don’t try this at home. Call Dr. Linda or another healthcare professional, experienced in cleansing.

I digress.

In addition to milk drinking, I had to take a total of four assorted detox baths each week.
The health benefits of water therapy are well documented and have been used since ancient times.
Therapeutic bathing is used to cleanse and neutralize assorted pollutants that enter our bodies every day.
Everything from radiation to heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
For an in-depth look at the reasoning behind the baths as well as the exact recipes, check out this article written by Dr. Lancaster.

Though the milk phase is over, I’m still doing four baths per week (as instructed by the Doctor).
The baths are intense, especially at the beginning.
Everyone’s body is different, but mine reacted pretty strongly, especially to the sea salt and baking soda bath.
I felt agitated, incredibly restless, anxious, and at times deeply sad.
It was bizarre, uncomfortable, and strangely comforting – all at the same time.

I’m into my 4th week of baths and they’re still not a cakewalk, but they’re getting a little less intense.
And they’re working. The morning after a bath I feel lighter and more mentally acute.

I’m curious, do you have stories of healing and cleansing? Have you ever tried a parasite/raw milk cleanse?
I’d love to hear your experiences on your path to achieving good health. Leave a comment below and share your story!

Viva Le Milk!

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  1. HEY MAMA! I have been on a similar journey that last few years when I found I had Hpylori and Candida over-growth. The only milk and cheese we consume at this point is raw. My husband had issues with dairy when I met him, but since moving to raw cheese he can enjoy it without any discomfort! I have read a lot about the raw milk cleanse and will be working this type of cleanse in soon. This was a great read and I look forward to reading about your results! Your ROCK!

    1. Hi Alison!! Thanks so much for reading, great to see your name here in the comments! 🙂
      I had H-Pylori + Candida as well, so I feel you. Raw milk is really awesome (especially the cheeses, yum!). Keep me posted on your plan for the milk cleanse and if you need resources let me know. xo

  2. Love this post Steph. I’ve totally been there with trying to find the thing to put my health back on track and even did the raw milk thing for a bit. As you said, it’s all individual. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. XO

  3. Hi, I also saw Dr. Lancaster in October 2012. I’m actually doing the milk cleanse and baths now. I’m on my 7th day. The baths although different ones are something I started about a year ago on recommendation from my dentist (who removed all my mercury fillings) when I first started the baths I was so exhausted I could hardly make it back upstairs to bed. Lots of rapid heart! These baths are pretty serious, for me the Clorox bath seems to be the most reactive. The sea salt and baking soda is probably the least effecting physically however mentally it’s very soothing. I’m looking forward to the next steps in this journey. Best of luck to you.

    1. Thanks so much for being here and sharing your work with Dr. Linda. I agree, the baths can be very reactive. I guess that’s to be expected when we’re making such radical shifts in our health. I hope the milk cleanse and subsequent dietary cleanse go well for you too. Feel free to share how things are going with you and let me know if I can support you in any way. Cheers!

  4. wow- this article is SO interesting. I’ve done lots of parasite cleanses and I am so interested in all there is to know about living with them. (and working with them) since we all have them!!! How are you feeling? Thank you for being so honest. I’ve had lots of the same symptoms, and it’s awesome that you’ve gotten to the root cause. Never heard of a raw milk cleanse though!! xx

    1. Thanks for finding me here Carly! Truth be told, I didn’t adhere to the follow up diet for the recommended time, but even still, I definitely don’t feel hungry all the time like before. I also don’t have the stomach issues as much anymore either (only when I eat gluten do I notice it). I definitely think the cleanse worked. If you want more info you can look up Dr. Linda Lancaster, the woman I work with. 🙂

  5. thank you so much for sharing this! i am working with dr. linda too and I am starting the goats milk cleanse tomorrow. Your blog really made me feel better.


    1. Hi Gabrielle – I’m so glad this post was helpful to you + excited to hear you’re working with Dr. Linda and about to embark on the milk cleanse. She’s an incredible healer – you’re in great hands! xo

  6. My son and possible whole family have parasites and need to start milk cleanse and baths asap. I have made an inquiry to Dr. Lancaster but will be awhile yet to see her in New York. Can you be a little more specific about the baths and herbs used for cleanse while taking raw milk?

    1. Hi Victoria – I’m sorry to hear about your son’s parasite issue. It’s definitely not a fun one to get rid of. Unfortunately, I’m not comfortable dispensing advice about my own protocol because it was custom tailored for me. The methods are quite intense and in my opinion require the supervision and “prescription” from a healthcare provider like Dr. Linda. You can actually do a phone consultation with her which is just as effective. Sorry I can’t be of more help + best of luck to your son and your family!

  7. Were the herbs to kill candida/parasites? Also, did your doctor put you on any supplements/minerals? Did you take any kombucha, kefir, or probiotics? I just want to say that I’ve been doing coffee enemas for years and they are not as yucky as may sound. They totally make you feel so much better and are so important to give your liver a break and remove the parasites/candida. It does take a little getting used to, but I always take my iPad for music and a good book to read. It is very relaxing!

    1. Hi Natalie! Yes, the herbs were to kill the parasites (not candida). There was also a follow-up protocol of another type of herbs and such. No supplements/minerals that I can remember. And I’m on a hefty probiotic. This was a few years ago so I can’t quite remember the particulars. Thanks for sharing + stopping by! 🙂

  8. Stephanie, you never mentioned if you had whole raw milk or skimmed. I have read two articles that say you should stick to skim because of the sugar, but can try the whole.

    1. I was told to only use whole raw milk. The sugars weren’t an issue for me and in fact I believe serve a purpose when you are cleansing parasites (parasites are attracted to the sugars in milk and come “out of hiding” for it). Hope that helps Natalie! 🙂

  9. Hi do you have any advice on finding more on raw milk cleansing for parasites or a practitioner that would be “for” it? I have found a source for raw grassfed milk and was thinking of doing a raw milk cleanse along with Renew Life’s ParaGone cleanse. Any thoughts or advice? Thank you

  10. Hello! I’m completely new to this. With my job I am familiar with most Naturopathic doctors and holistic practitioners in town and I’m not sure any of them could guide me through something like this. I’m wanting to do only raw milk for 2 weeks as I do Renew Life’s ParaGone parasite cleanse. Do you have any advice for me?

  11. Wow, Steph! I had no idea. This is so incredibly interesting to me. I vaguely remember hearing about a raw milk cleanse but I’ve never researched. I will now! It makes me want to see your doctor in NYC. I know this was a few years ago but how have you felt since then? Can your body really feel the difference when you’re not on an anti-candida diet? So curious to hear more about this!! big kiss! xx

  12. hi, i just wanted to know if you took the herbs with the milk, after the milk or before the milk.

    1. Hi Jamie, this was many years ago so I’m going strictly off memory here, but I remember drinking the milk at 2-hour intervals and taking the herbs with each glass of milk. I hope that helps (and for what it’s worth I recommend doing this with the support of a physician of healer)!

  13. Wow! I’m 3 days into this raw goat cleanse having “blindly” started it because I trust my healer so much that I ‘dove’ in – and three days later while not hungry, just bored with it – I started to wonder, is this real? What am I doing? Doesn’t raw milk contain parasites? Will I get E-Coli?? And then, I found your site – thank goodness others have tried this crazy thing. I’m also doing the 4 baths a week which sometimes does feel like a chore – and I, like you, react insanely to the baking soda salt – last night I wanted to climb right out of the bath dripping sweat down my face in anger. I have chronic allergies, polyps and sinusitis – I can’t taste or smell 80% of the time so I was willing to do or try anything. Out of curiousity I k now this was from 2011 but do you still see your healer doctor ? Do you still do baths? and do you think it helped?

    1. Hi AP, thanks for leaving this note – and I want you to know I completely sympathize with everything you’re feeling. Getting back to health is a laborious and emotionally painful process. I definitely got bored with the milk cleanse, so you’re not alone there. While I don’t see the same healer anymore (for a variety of reasons), I do think that the raw milk cleanse helped me at that time. I haven’t done it again, however, I do still continue the baths (the baking soda + sea salt and the apple cider vinegar). I use them therapeutically when I feel myself getting sick or just want to “cleanse” a bit. The baths definitely work, so keep doing them (I promise they get less painful the more consistent you are). And remember, this cleanse phase doesn’t last forever. You don’t have to do 4 baths a week forever (unless you feel like it). 🙂

      I too suffered from chronic sinusitis and allergies. And what has worked for me is healing my gut and working on proper methylation (via DNA testing). I work with an integrative practitioner and a nutritionist to address gut health, hormones, candida, etc. and it has made ALL the difference. I haven’t had a sinus infection in over a year which for me is HUGE (I was getting them 4 or 5 times a year).

      If you’re not too keen on your healer, I recommend seeking out an integrative health practitioner, osteopath, or functional medicine doctor (a great place to start is info from Dr. Andrew Weil or Dr. Mark Hyman). The woman I’ve been working with for a few years is Dr. Stephanie Daniel, and she is great!

      I hope this helps. I know it’s frustrating now, but it WILL get better. Part of this journey towards health is realizing that it’s just that – a journey. If you aren’t seeing results, or intuitively don’t know if something is working, or if your healer is a good one – trust that instinct and go somewhere that makes you feel more at ease. You can do this – hang in there!

  14. I love my healer! Just can’t afford her long term. And here’s to hoping I can clear some sinusitis issues with part two of this process- the candida cleanse. Right now all I want is a burger and fries! thanks for all the feedback

    1. Oh good! That’s the first part of the battle – finding someone you trust and love, so yay! Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for you. Sidenote: burger + fries sounds kind of perfect right now. Soon enough…hang in there & good luck!

      1. Hey Stephanie!
        Read your article. I’ve been suffering with a lot of the same things and now joint pain is added to the list. I’m currently making a far off appointment with Dr Linda but have trepidation since you no longer see her and her prices are pretty extreme.
        Would you still recommend her?

        1. Hi Sherrie – I’m so sorry you’re suffering and in pain. These chronic mystery illnesses are so hard to live with. I think Dr. Linda is a great healer, however for me, I wanted someone closer to home, and who I could see regularly if I needed to. And also someone who would look at bloodwork with a trained eye.
          Something you might find helpful – I’ve recently started reading the Medical Medium book (if you haven’t, it’s worth purchasing) and am thinking I’m going to try his protocols next. I think ultimately this is all up to you, but my recommendation is to trust your intuition – if you have reservations, listen to that. And keep searching for an integrative or functional medicine doctor who you love working with. It’s a bit of trial and error (and unfortunately, pricey). Wishing you all the best on your healing journey! xo

  15. Hi Stephanie. This is interesting to hear because i was drinking raw milk for about two years and had to stop to cut back on finances. I had also been feeling really horrible for the past 3 or 4 years. Ive felt fatigued, dizzy, faint, lacking in nutrients, and have had lots of stomach problems. Ive been on many diets and have tried daniel fasts but nothing had worked. One day i noticed i had some weird strings when i went to the bathroom and so i went to the doctor and she gave me some pills and at the same time i went on a fast but this time i hardly ate and drank mostly water and juiced mostly veggies. I cut out sugar completly because i did some research and found parasites need sugar to live. During this fast alot of stuff came out that I was supprised to see. There were times where i even freaked out because it felt like everything came out. Like my whole life had went down the toilet. I had some break downs and anxiety attacks through this fast. I thought i would stay in that mental state at times. It was the hardest fast ive ever done. I was confused so ive been doing alot of research online and ran into this guy who helps people go on water fasts and said they have breakdowns as well because we are so full of sruff we’ve never delt with in our past that food no longer hides that and it is brought to surface. Well getting back to my point…. I dont know where i got these parasites from and i thought it was from the raw milk. I know many things can have parasites but the only obviouse thing to me was raw milk. This milk was organic. So now after reading this im wondering if it is safe to go back to it. Thanks for sharing your story. BTW i feel better than ive felt in years. I feel young again and have regained my energy.

    1. Thanks for your note Jess – wow you’ve definitely been thru a lot, and I so relate to it all. As I’m not a trained professional, I can’t say for certain how you got the parasites, and really, nobody can with any certainty. However, if you eat meat or veggies at all, or have traveled, chances are you’ve picked them up. Most of us have them. If the raw milk was from a reputable source that’s not likely where you got them from. But again, it’s hard to say for sure. Personally, I don’t drink the raw milk anymore. Just because I don’t like drinking milk in general. Have you tried hemp, cashew, almond or rice milk? I’ve found these do much better in my system than any animal milk does.
      So glad to hear you’re feeling better, that’s great!! 🙂

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