Boot Camp: Cause We Want Our Health Back

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

BOOT ‘EM TO THE CURB CAMP is our top priority this summer. How about  you? Would you like to join in? Have you considered the possibility that parasites might be the cause of your appetite and bloating? Are you consistently feeding more than just you? Do you have an actual diagnosis of an auto-immune disorder that is leaving you feeling exhausted, in pain, infertile and afraid of a dismal future? Is Candida Albicans rearing its ugly head – AGAIN!? Didn’t we all clear that years ago? Is inflammatory “itis” of any and every variety (colitis, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, etc.) leaving you feeling old and more and more limited in what you have the energy to do? Welcome to the club and join in on the fun.

In our household, Clare has done all the hard work and Annie and I are gratefully going along for the ride. We’re going to boot it all to the curb at the summer health camp Clare has designed to restore our health and optimize our energy. Join us behind the scenes for just a glimpse. We started our journey with a visit to the Integrative medical doctor, got the requisite tests and witnessed lots and lots of preparation on Clare’s part. Now it’s one day at a time for the next three months – or for as long as it takes.

CLARE IS TAKING THE LEAD: When a physician used the words Clare and Advanced Lupus in the same sentence I could feel the bottom drop out of my world. The journey this year to get Clare and that bottom both restored has required big changes and plenty of soul searching for the sisters. While Annie and I had fought our own battles to live healthy lives in a sick world, we had always believed Clare had somehow miraculously escaped the dreaded auto-immune diagnoses so many of our family members have been given. Of course, that was wishful thinking.

Too many scary symptoms and lots of pain in recent years demanded an end to the denial. It required a renewal of our commitment to addressing the underlying causes of auto-immune; and of course our commitment to each other as sisters. For better or worse, we are in this crazy DNA-love-genetics-sisterhood together. And it’s time to get serious sister-style: which generally means the food has to be really delicious and the form of medicine has to make sense to sane people. We know from family, friends and supporters just how many of you are suffering as well with these baffling and scary conditions. So won’t you please join us, as we enter level one preparation for life as health warriors. We’re calling it Boot Camp cause it’s gonna hurt and it’s gotta work.

THE DAILY DRILL – Clare spent months preparing us for the big good-bye to coffee, wine, sugar, vinegar – the list goes on and on. She took us so gradually to the big day that it ALMOST didn’t hurt. And she got us to focus on what we are adding in to our daily lives – not what we are eliminating. The add-ins are substantial and discipline is the order of the day – that is if we want the sweet reward of restored health. Sweet yes, but sugar free.

The Big Voice when we, as sisters, first took on Candida some 25 years ago was Dr. Crooks. But so much more is now known about getting and staying well. Fortunately because every year we seem to collectively have so much more at stake as the dreaded “itis” surfaces in each of our lives in different disguises.


Ann Boroch, N.D.s The Candida Cure is the travel guide for our most recent adventure addressing the infections, parasites and Candida that underlie inflammatory conditions (think “itis”) and auto-immune disorders of every description. So while we are collectively dealing with Graves, Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Ankylosing Spondylitis and a few more friends from the Itis School Of Leaky Gut know that there is room for everyone in our club – it’s wide-open enrollment folks. It really doesn’t matter what “version” your body is manifesting. Whether you’re battling RA, MS or any other letters of the alphabet, the challenge remains largely the same: how to take on and take down the underlying causes. Our guts are all leaking and healing them is necessary for wellness. The granddaddy of all offenders is the yeast and parasite duo, so we will start there.

Dandy Blend

We love coffee and we are very careful about it being fair trade organic and made with filtered water and all that good stuff. But this Spring we have reduced, dwindled and finally curtailed altogether our love affair with our favorite wake-up and smell the coffee bean. In it’s place we are truly enjoying Dandy Blend, a Polish blend of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and sugar beet. It is dark, sweet, satisfying, completely not bitter and delicious. I have to hold a mug of something hot and rich in my hand in the morning, so this has been the perfect coffee substitute.

Our Summer day then goes into anti-fungal mode with our first of three cups of Pau d’Arco tea. I am now three weeks into this diet and cleanse and I have to admit that I can feel the kick from the herbal delights of Pau d’Arco. Having endured the dreadful, and ultimately unsuccessful rigors of Nystatin and Diflucan 25 years ago, I am enjoying this yeast killer way more than those pharmaceuticals. I am still experiencing plenty of die-off, but the need for extra sleep and occasional headache are way more manageable. I have sipped on Pau d’Arco for years and felt nothing. Combined with the sugar free, corn free, blah, blah, blah diet I am feeling its kick.

Red Clover three pots

Four cups a day! But it eases some of the aches and pains the three cups of Pau d’Arco tea brings on.

We each sip four cups a day of Red Clover tea.

Bulk is the way to go with Red Clover tea. Which, BTW, cleanses body odor. But I think I am going to keep that under my bonnet. We don’t need a drop in deodorant sales.

With our requisite 3 cups of Pau d’Arco spaced out during “no food” times of the day, we are sipping lots of Red Clover Tea to strengthen and purify all the organs in our body that are straining under these toxic invaders and really hurting during cleanse-season. I love the do-by-self tea bags that Clare got us. They make it so easy to travel and still make a daily quart for each sister. Hot or cold, we’re wetting our whistles all day long with Red Clover – but not too late, or it will keep you up.

Cherry Juice and Aloe

Truth be told, I think the Aloe is nasty. AM and PM! But I have seen disease first hand and it ain’t pretty; so I can handle 4 ounces of tart twice a day to keep the dogs at bay.

But before we begin our soggy tea-soaked day we chug 4 ounces of Aloe Vera juice – to rebuild our leaky little guts – and 4 ounces of Tart Cherry Juice. We load up our cherry juice with 2000 mg of Vitamin C and a product from our doctor that also heals the all-too-common leaky gut. Make sure you have a doc involved so you hit it on every base. We repeat this protocol at the end of the day, as well. The Vitamin C is an important part of adrenal support – and I know very few auto-immune folks who are not also seriously depleted in the adrenal department. Also, this Boot Camp is sure to bring on weight loss; and that means making sure that our collagen production is going full tilt. Sugar destroys collagen so being sugar free will have many benefits. And high dosing of Vitamin C should aid in skin repair. There is nothing uglier than a sagging face (and other unmentionables) following unhealthy weight loss programs.

BR Rinse with brush and scraper

Actually I skipped a step. Before I do anything with my mouth – except maybe squeak out a quick Good Morning to the Sisters – I take a swig of our favorite new tooth cleaning solution. Yep, it’s no more tooth paste for the sisters; not since we were introduced to BR at the recent EXPO West for Natural Products. Folks are always asking us why we don’t make toothpaste. Now that we have discovered BR we know why. Somebody else has already created a remarkably effective innovative way to clean our teeth and gums and tongue and breath – naturally and oh so effectively. We use our BR and our Sonicare before we even swallow our morning Armour Thyroid and B12 tabs. It’s so important to your immune function to not send the toxic crud that has been stockpiling in your mouth all night straight down the trap. Clean your mouth and teeth first and then begin your tea-soaked day. It gives your sinuses a wonderful boost, as well. Closest thing to that fresh mouth feeling you get following an Aryuvedic Oil Pull that we have ever found – and way easier and faster – on a daily basis. We’ll talk Black Hairy Tongue later, in case you are wondering. And yes, if your Chinese tongue scraper has seen better days, freshen it up before boot camp begins – it is going to get quite the work out.

MAKE THE DENTAL CONNECTION: Dental missteps are frequently related to the onset of auto-immune disorders. My parents were devastated when their eldest son was diagnosed with very severe Anklyosing Spondilytis as a teenager. His prognosis was harrowing and watching the progression of the disease was heartbreaking and searing for me as a kid. Years into a crippling and potentially fatal disease he made a complete paradigm switch, restored his own health, and permanently altered how I view disease, medicine and wellness. In so many ways he inspires how I think, heal and move in the world. Years into reclaiming his health he made the connection that his first episode of this RA-like disease followed a visit to the dentist as a really young kid and having close to a dozen cavities filled with mercury fillings! Dental awareness is critical to preventing and healing from all auto-immune malfunction. 


Lake Perch cauliflower dinner

We have steered clear of the inflammation that potatoes feed for a while now. But perch without mashed potatoes? Clare’s roasted cauliflower with radicchio pesto makes it so not a problem.

Turkey Chili Burger meal

Turkey burger with Southwestern chili spices is my new favorite dinner. Follow along on facebook for all the recipes and meal ideas.

Remember cleansing does not mean NOT EATING. Are you kidding? Do you honestly think we could sustain that for any time at all? In fact, cleansing means taking the utmost care with your food and in the case of boot camp following some serious but do-able guidelines. It does not mean nasty food – AT ALL. Clare prepped for months, experimenting with lots of recipes, so we did not get hit all at once with a complete change of cuisine. She was wise in not presenting them as cleanse meals, so we (which means I, Annie is a much nicer and more polite person) did not have the chance to reject and insult them off-handedly.


Almond Cake with berries

And yes, we are living without sugar, or corn, or vinegar (and a few more items) but no, we are not living without dessert. I swear Clare’s Almond Coconut Cake is now one of my all-time favorite cakes. Not cleanse cake. Just delicious cake. And I am a cake nut. And yes, we’ve had blueberry crumble and the most delicious coconut macaroons – too. And I think this is so important; because it makes it possible to take it one day at a time – for a considerable period of time.

Bubbie's and almond butter

This is a crazy delicious snack. Trust me. And I am normally not a dill pickle gal.

And we are not living without snacks either. Our dear friend, Lorraine Williams, from Washington, Iowa’s amazing Cafe Dodici, turned us on to the gut healing, appetite suppressing delight of pairing Bubbie’s Dill Pickles with Raw Almond Nut Butter. Try it. You’ll like it. And so will your less and less leaky gut. It’s a yummy, creamy-crunchy, sweet and sour delight of a snack.

Okay, that’s a good start on the nutrition and supplement front. Next, let’s talk about the other ways in which we detox. Coming up: colonics and other fun stuff. Okay, fun is maybe not the right word for colonics. But essential is. And so is invigorating. And so is effective. You get the picture. Fun is all in your outlook. And life gets way more fun as the inflammation clears, and the gut heals, and the pain lifts and bright, whole energy returns.

Don’t forget. Follow our Candida Boot Camp (#CandidaBootCamp) on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing recipes and healing anecdotes. I promise there will be NO photos of us undergoing hydro-colon-therapy. Unless, of course, I can get Annie to agree.

PS: A big thanks to Clare for always being such a good sport about photo illustrating all my blogs.


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About the author: Mary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks. And that was just the beginning. We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring to experience their spirited approach to wellness through their natural products and healing stories.

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4 Responses to “Boot Camp: Cause We Want Our Health Back”

  1. Karen Ethier says:

    You guys need to start an actual cleanse boot camp where we can come to take part. It would be nice to go somewhere, having someone else cook the foods we need. Maybe a bed-and-cleanse camp! (Instead of bed-and-breakfast.) I would come!

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Karen,
      Let us know when you locate this dream camp. Three months of being waited on sounds wonderful to three hard-working deodorant makers. And I think you’re right, lots of folks would take part in a health camp like that. The first month of the cleanse, in particular, can be really rough. Your body is going through so much detoxifying that some days you can hardly hold your head up. But finally you have to learn how to feed yourself because the food part of the cleanse does not go away at the end of the 3 months. We will always be on some sort of natural anti-fungal and we will have to maintain a sugar free, corn free, soy free, grain free, blah, blah, blah lifestyle. And I don’t imagine we will go back to the coffee and wine either. Except for VERY special occasions. So I am particularly grateful that the food has been sensational. Clare is swamped right now but as time permits I know she will gladly share recipes. She has clocked in lots of time researching recipes and testing them; and that makes all the difference. I hope you are following along on facebook. These issues are just so dominant in our culture right now due to environmental pollution, antibiotics and hormones in our food, and unhealthy dental procedures that we know lots of folks need the good news. You can reset your health – you just have to have the “guts” to do it. Be well, Mary

  2. Linda says:

    I totally agree with Karen. I would do a boot camp like that in a second. I just found you girls yesterday, and I am trying to read thru your blog as much as possible. Until I get thru it all, would you mind sharing with me why you chose a cooked route over an all raw philosophy? I have been working on these kind of health challenges for a long time, and I am still trying to sort out the best way to come back into balance. You girls are so very fortunate to have each other to do this kind of program with. I will be watching closely to see what you all have to say about this when your three months are up. I am keeping my fingers crossed for all of you. Linda

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Linda,
      Going for anti-inflammatory over raw was not too hard a decision. We had done a 22-month long raw diet a few years back. It was insanely challenging and very effective. However, I am now 60+ years old and experiencing some GI distress. Every time I attempted to re-engage raw it just wasn’t working. But mostly, there were still lots of sugars in our raw regimen and we knew to conquer the candida-parasite duo we had to be impeccably sugar free. I am not ruling out a return to raw in the future but right now this cleanse is insanely effective. Each sister has lost 15+ pounds to date and we are feeling so much better. I think Dr. Anne Boroch’s book made all the difference in establishing a comprehensive cleanse that leaves no stone unturned. The food is amazing, the supplements are highly effective and the results are so visible. Be well, Mary
      PS: Like I said to Karen, you CAN do this cleanse. Just get the book, see a doc, and follow along. And yes I am insanely fortunate to have two sisters who keep me on track and motivated with this important self-love-cleanse regimen. And as things stand right now there is very little we will discontinue when the cleanse ends in a week or two. The trick is to continue the lifestyle to keep the good feelings going.

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