Who is Erica?

IMG_0002 If you’ve wandered on this blog, then you likely know what it is like to live with chronic illness. This struggle became familiar to me when I was 13. What the exact trigger or tipping point was, I will never know. What I do know though is that I was attending water-damaged schools, going through hormonal changes, and experiencing stressful and traumatic events in my home life. Whether it was one or all of those things, my health quickly spiraled downwards.

By the age of 15, I had developed chronic inflammation and tendonitis in nearly every major joint. The pain was incredible and was slowly destroying what I loved and who I was. Out of frustration and desperation, I agreed to see a functional medicine doctor with my mom who herself has dealt with chronic illness my entire life. It was then that I was taken off of gluten, diary, sugar, corn, and soy – the first of many diet changes to come. The next year and a half was a whirlwind of anger, hope, loneliness, and loss of hope. It was out of these emotions and experiences that Edible Attitudes and my book, A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions, were born.

The inflammation did not improve at first and there was no relief from the pain. In addition to this issue, I was dealing with unbalanced hormones, cystic acne, candida infection, weight gain, and adrenal fatigue (to name a few). Finally, at 17 years old, my doctor identified I was sensitive to salicylates, and I limited my diet to 20 foods for three months. The sacrifice paid off, and, by a miracle, the pain went way and I was able to reintroduce salicylates.

But my journey was far from over. While the pain was nearly nonexistent, other health problems refused to relent. So it was more sacrifices, more tears, more not-so-nice words. Since my body was refusing to detox, my health saw little improvements. In July of 2015, I received an email from my mom when I was in Hungary. It said she found mold in the basement of the home I grew up in. Thus a whole new side of this journey began.

Now, as a twenty-something college student with a love for traveling and eating well, in April of 2016, I was identified as a carrier of the multi-susceptible and mold susceptible gene – essentially meaning that my immune system does not identify and remove mold toxins. This is a possible and very likely answer for why I got sick and why I haven’t gotten much better. However, there is a lot learn and it can be overwhelming at times. The difference is though that I no longer grasp at every potential way to get better, but I have focus and direction.

Join and learn along with me in my journey.


Six Non-Health Related Facts About Myself:

  1. I played Division III softball for my university before getting injured.
  2. With the exception of a few friends, I only following travel and adventure photographers on Instagram.
  3. Making me dance in public is a guaranteed way to make me feel completely embarrassed and uncomfortable.
  4. My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 29:11.
  5. If I could travel anywhere in the world just for fun, I would probably go to New Zealand or Iceland. Or about twenty other places.
  6. I am studying Intercultural Studies and Spanish in college with the hope of working for an international relief or development organization.


What does Edible Attitudes Mean?

Our attitudes and mindsets influence every aspect of our lives, including our health. Thesaurus.com provides good, harmless, and nourishing as synonyms for edible. With a focus on clean eating and living, Edible Attitudes is phrase that embodies having a positive and beneficial attitude on health and diet related dealings.

5 thoughts on “Who is Erica?

  1. Shonda Hector says:

    Hello Erica, I am so happy to see how well you have taken charge of your health and being an encouragement to others. I have a 17-year old son who has issues with gluten and “most” dairy. Except we have learned a few things over the past 4 years. We have discovered that more of his (and my) main issue is Candida Overgrowth. The way Candida feeds on sugars, starches, lactose in dairy, and well “gluten” foods is what really has caused all of his issues. We have done the no-grain, GAPS, Paleo etc diets and it wasn’t until I removed all sugars (including fruit) that the issues started to diminish. So, I just wanted to share with you my success, perhaps if you haven’t considered Candida Overgrowth yet in your search for healing. Taking probiotic supplements and eating cultured veggies have helped tremendously including taking natural anti-fungal herbs. Also, my son can drink “raw” milk without problems, but ONLY “raw” unprocessed milk. Keep up the good work.

    • edibleattitudes says:

      Hi Shonda!

      It was great to get to read about another teenager in a similar situation as myself! His situation does actually sound like mine in a few ways as I’ve struggled with balancing out the good bacteria to the bad and have had to watch my sugar intake as well. Thanks for checking out my blog and sharing your story! Best of luck to you and your son through this journey.

  2. Karen@NourishWithKaren says:

    Hi Erica! Food restrictions are a real drag at any age, let alone your age! My son Zach (19) has a rare genetic disease and cannot eat complex carbohydrates without consequences. My daughter, 21, also has food issues and is SO glad that we figured it out early in her life (around 15) so she didn’t have to struggle with aching joints, depression, etc. Unfortuantely, it appears it is more and more common. Congrats on your website and joining the VGN!

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