Like most of us, I grew up on the Standard American Diet (SAD diet). We ate Sugar Smacks or Captain Crunch cereal for breakfast, bologna sandwiches for lunch and dinner was normally cheeseburgers, tacos, mac and cheese, etc. Not much different from what most American families consume. Then of course there were also plenty of empty carbs and sugary snacks like chips, cookies, and bagels. How was my health growing up? I had pretty severe asthma and terrible allergies as a child. I also grew up in a house that unbeknownst to us had mold issues. Then when I got sick I was put on round after round of antibiotics. The combination of terrible eating habits, excessive antibiotic use, and living in a moldy environment really caught up to me. At 19 years old I moved into an apartment that had a visible mold problem and I came down with my first sinus infection. That marked the beginning of a 25 year downward spiral of bad health.
I was immediately put on more antibiotics. My infection would go away for about 30 days only to return stronger and so I was placed on stronger antibiotics. This went on for years. I was not aware of it at the time (this was in the 80’s, early 90’s before the internet) I was destroying my health with the endless rounds of antibiotics. With my immune system compromised I was plagued by the Epstein bar virus. Instead of the virus running its normal course, my body started attacking my nerves and I had nerve pain as well as a host of other problems. I had to have a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, followed by more antibiotics, then went on to have FOUR separate sinus surgeries over the course of ten years when the antibiotics were no longer working. My infection also became resistant to some of the antibiotics I was taking because of the overuse.
Along with chronic sinus infections, I also battled with acid reflux, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, restless leg, and heart arrhythmias. By this time I calculated I had probably taken approximately 100 courses of antibiotics in those 25 years. I was a mess! During that very dark time I remember crying out to God begging him for answers on how to heal. I will never forget, as I was crying and praying for answers I was also scoffing down a chocolate hostess cupcake. That’s how far off course I was! That was the first time God dealt with me about my detrimental eating habits. I was always naturally thin so I never viewed what I was eating (or how much) as a problem. The first thing I felt lead to do was go sugar free – yeast free. (I had a high yeast and wheat allergy so I figured this was a start). I wish I could say from that point on I never touched junk food again but I was addicted to sugar! I would try to eat perfect for a day and often succeed only to binge the next day on anything I could get my hands on that had sugar in it. Although I was seeing great improvement with my symptoms, I still didn’t have my eating under control. It wasn’t until I saw Doug Kaufmann’s show (Know the Cause) that the light bulb really went off in my head. He was discussing sinus infections and the 1999 study out of the mayo clinic which states about 94% of chronic sinusitis is fungal and that the antibiotics we are given only fuels the fungus making you sicker. In fact, his manta is FUPO (fungus until proven otherwise). Mine had ALREADY been proven. The sinus culture from my last surgery had come back both bacterial (chronic pseudomonas)and fungal! When I found myself even sicker after my 4th sinus surgery I decided to fly to NY to see an ENT (formally from the Mayo clinic) who specialized in fungal sinusitis. He looked at my Cat scan and said I had a SEVERE fungal infection exasperated by years of antibiotics. Instead of a 5th surgery I went on Doug Kaufmann’s Phase 1 recommend diet (then eventually phase II) and incorporated anti fungals into my routine and watched my world transform. All of those former health issues are in my rearview mirror however, I still had issues with my sinuses but I am not sure if that is the result of too many surgeries. Time will tell. I believe everyone has a weak spot in their body and mine happens to be my sinuses. To see a positive update on my sinus issues click here.
I took this picture back when I was addicted to all things sugar! I ran into my local Barnes and Noble for a book and came out with this! (Carmel turtle cheesecake AND a vanilla cupcake). Of course I ate it right there in my car and loved every second of it only to suffer the consequences in my health shortly after. Back then it felt impossible to walk by sugary sweets as hard as I tried. The crazy part is I could go on to eat an entire meal afterwards. I was always naturally thin so it never crossed my mind eating this way was a problem. By the time I took this picture I KNEW it was a problem but still had trouble stopping. I felt prompted to take this picture not knowing exactly what I would do with it. I hope it helps someone.
All of my recipes are free of PROCESSED SUGAR, WHEAT, PEANUTS, YEAST, CORN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS AND COLORS.
I just married the love of my life in November 2014. We have blended our family and have a teenage daughter and our boys (who share the same birthday) are best friends! Besides my family, my loves are photography, writing, and creating new healthy recipes. All of which I get to play out by having my blog. I am blessed to be living out my purpose!
Just for fun! My photography website is http://www.erinporterphotography.com/