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 18 years old I started working in Manhattan and moved into an apartment that had a visible mold problem. That is when 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 five 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. I went to see an infectious disease doctor who wanted to place a picc line in my arm and I would receive IV antibiotics. My gut told me no. The doctor did however convince me to take antibiotics for 6 or 7 out of my 9 months of pregnancy. Even though my son is healthy this is something that bothers me to this day.
Along with chronic sinus infections, I also battled with acid reflux (more specifically laryngopharyngeal reflux), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia pain, 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 as to why I got sick and 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 television show called Know the Cause, did the lightbulb go off. He was discussing sinus infections and the 1999 study out of the mayo clinic which states that approximately 94% of chronic sinusitis is fungal and that the antibiotics we are given only fuels the fungus making you sicker. In fact, Doug’s mantra 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 staph)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 CT 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 and supplements like oil of oregano, colostrum (this made a huge difference as it heals the gut which in turn helps heal sinuses) and microchitosan, into my routine and watched my world transform. All of those former health issues are in my rearview mirror however, I still can have issues in my sinuses if I eat too much junk food. I believe everyone has a weak spot in their body and mine happens to be my sinuses. Now I spend my life helping people discover how to help heal their bodies. I have been featured on many television and radio shows and God has blessed me with this platform. For me, my past hurts and illness are now being turned into something beautiful as God displays his promise in Romans 8:28.
I took this picture below of the food on my lap 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 didn’t have a weight problem 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 I 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. My story also includes overcoming a difficult (some may say abusive) childhood and my journey with God to healing from emotional scares as well.
All of my recipes are free of PROCESSED SUGAR, WHEAT, GLUTEN, PEANUTS, YEAST, CORN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS AND COLORS.
UPDATE– My book, Eat Pray Get Well ~ A Journey from Chronic Illness, Brokenness & Junk Food Junkie to Wholeness & Wellness has been released.
It’s a story of overcoming chronic illness, a difficult childhood, and food addiction… with60 recipes free of gluten, wheat, yeast, peanuts, refined sugar
If you are sick and running from doctor to doctor in search of the “cause” of your mystery illness . . .
If you feel stuck from past hurts and in search of emotional freedom . . .
If you are a junk food junkie or have an unhealthy relationship with food . . .
If you simply need a great recipe book to help you face ingredient challenges . . .
EAT PRAY GET WELL IS AN EYE OPENER!
I 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/
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor, I can not recommend any supplement or treatment plan, I can only share what works for me. Also, I was not compensated in any way for this post. My opinions are all my own. Check with your doctor before starting any new diet or supplement. I was not compensated for this post, but there are affiliate links in which I get a percentage on sales. Opinions are all my own, and I would never recommend any supplement or brand I didn’t personally love and benefit from.