Soy Free Update

So I’m still sticking with the soy free diet and things are going swimmingly.  I’ve had a few run-ins with some natural flavoring and some issues with butter, but aside from that, I’ve been feeling great!  My moods are still better, I’m clearer headed, and my heart palpitations have declined greatly…My weight has stabilized at around 135lbs (I’m only about 15lbs heavier than I was at my high school graduation).  I’ve also found a few friends who are possibly in the same boat with soy who are joining me on the soy free experiment bandwagon.  Not that I want someone to have a food allergy, but it feels good to not be alone and it feels good to be able to help someone else out.

I’ve also had some run-ins with some well meaning friends who, in a push to be helpful, practically cornered me (or so it felt) on my facebook page and were cramming the whole “gloom and doom, get to a doctor NOW!” stuff down my throat.  I did take a stand and asked them nicely to back off as I was feeling pretty bullied and yelled at and they turned around, kicked it up a notch and pretty much lambasted me for posting about my “ailments” and told me that I shouldn’t post if I didn’t want the comments.   Basically a blame the victim kinda thing.   “Well, she asked for it!”  I wonder if I should start commenting on my friends statuses who always talk about drinking/partying/getting wasted and ask if they need to go to an AA meeting.  Apparently, I post about my health too much and that warrants an inquisition about why I won’t see a doctor.  Maybe those drinking statuses are a cry for an alcoholic intervention…It’s the pot calling the kettle black, really.  In hindsight, I made the mistake of posting about my health on my wall and I’m not going to do that anymore.  Lesson learned.  Oh, and I’m sure I just pissed someone off… 🙂

I’m one of those stereotypical facebookers who post about exactly what they are doing/feeling, etc.  I don’t do it to get comments or pity.  I’m not a troll.  I just put stuff out there.  Most of the time my posts revolve around my knitting or housework and what I’ve accomplished or plan to accomplish for the day.  Same for this blog.  I just write and if my day to day stuff and experiences help others, great, if someone comes here and can offer help to me, even better.  I’m not just posting to get people to visit my blog.  Do I like to see my blog stats go up, yes, because I can only hope that my blog has been, in some way, helpful to those visitors.  I just feel like I’ve lost an outlet for my thoughts.

Anyway, I’ve learned a few more things though trial and error. Most of the teas in my cupboard contain soy lecithin or natural flavors.  I’m down to 2-3 boxes out of the like 8 that are in there.  I’m bummed because I can no longer have the buffalo wing sauce that’s in my fridge.  I love buffalo wings and spicy stuff…Also, antacids contain natural flavors and have a tendency to make my stomach hurt and my heart pound on top of the indigestion….yeah, won’t make that mistake again.  lol  I’ve learned that benedryl helps if I have accidentally eaten something with soy or butter.  Good to know!  I’ve also learned that the hand lotion I’ve been using contains soybean oil.  Nice.  At least I know that it’s not a contact allergy/sensitivity.  I’ve been using the lotion every day since I’ve cut out eating soy and I haven’t noticed any ill feelings or rashes.  I am going to find a soy free lotion as I have terribly dry hands in the winter and I have to put lotion on regularly or my hands will crack and bleed.  I’m slightly germophobic, so I’m always washing my hands and that doesn’t help the dryness.

At some point I have to post about my knitting and Bug’s birthday and birthday party from this past weekend.  I also plan to post about the soy free strawberry cake from scratch that I made…though this cake ended up bothering me…probably from the butter – it used 2 sticks!   I know it wasn’t the homemade meringue frosting as the night before the party I was eating it while decorating the cake and I was fine.  Either way, the cake was delicious, despite it’s density (it was more fudge brownie like than cake like) and the fact that it made my stomach hurt.

So, that’s the update for this week.  I’m continuing to improve and I’m happy about that.  Yay for good things!

Vast Improvement

Since cutting out the soy in my diet I’ve had a vast improvement in both my stomach pain as well as my foggy feeling head and my attitude/mood.   My stomach no longer rebels and hurts me after eating.  I’m in a happier mood most of the time, which is great for Darling Hubby and the boys.  I smile and laugh more than I did mere days ago.  I just feel better all around!

I’m still planning to get a doctor for a physical and get a good once over, but I think I really know what was wrong.  I had a doctor in mind after a recommendation from a friend, but after calling the office I discovered he no longer works there and that none of the other doctors are accepting new patients (figures, since it sounded like a great office – weekend clinic with no appts and it’s right around the corner)…so the search goes on…I just have to wait for the insurance company website to stop having technical difficulties so I can look.

I’ve been thinking about everything anyway and I’ve come to the conclusion that doctors would end up putting me through some nasty tests to rule out allergy, as most likely the blood/scratch tests would give negative results.  I rather not put myself through all that, especially since in the long run the real test is to avoid the offending allergen and then add it back to see how my body reacts after a few weeks.  I’m just skipping all the pokes and prods.  But, don’t worry, for all of you who are pushing for me to see a doctor, I will.

So, until then I’m going to continue with the soy omission and hopefully I’ll keep feeling great.  Some people say it could be a placebo effect, but I’ll take it for now.  I haven’t felt this good in years (nor have I weighed this little…lol)  A friend of mine (Barbara) who also has food allergies and is currently going through a cleanse to see what new food allergy she has, told me that by cutting out the offending allergy, my body is letting go of inflammatory responses  (excess water and toxins) and because of that there is a weight loss.  And it’s not because I’m not eating or because I’ve cut my calories…To be honest, I would go weeks skipping breakfast and eating junk food for lunch and then snacking all night and my weight was pretty much plateaued out at 142lbs.  I’ve actually started eating more daily than I ever was (making sure I eat something for breakfast, even if it’s just a banana) and it’s all healthier stuff (fruits, veggies, et.  I’ve started eating fruit daily and making my own bread and seasonings.  Monday night I made taco seasoning from scratch so we could celebrate Bug’s 7th birthday.  It was yummy, but I’m going to have to tweak it a bit to make it to my family’s liking.

Oh, I did find some chocolate that I can have.  It’s not straight chocolate, but it’s better than nothing.  It’s Dark Chocolate Dreams from Peanut Butter & Co out of NYC.  The ingredients list is peanuts, evaporated cane juice, cocoa, cocoa butter, palm fruit oil, vanilla, lecithin (from sunflowers) and salt.  There’s no hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup.  There’s no gluten, it’s certified vegan and it’s all around YUMMY!  Oh, and as a bonus, the jar is recyclable!  lol  I’ve been eating it for breakfast and snacks on toasted slices of homemade cinnamon raisin bread.  It’s also really good just on a spoon!

So if you think that you might have a food allergy, I encourage you to give an elimination diet a chance.  I know I’ve already inspired one of my fellow January baby mommies to give an elimination diet a try…she also has stomach pain after eating and has some bad food eating habits and wants to remedy this.  It’s actually nice to have a little support group.

You might not figure it out on the first try, but then again you might be surprised.  You might feel like a completely new person!

Perhaps Not What We Thought

So after my milk in the fish mishap and my lunch debacle yesterday I started rethinking exactly what was causing my discomfort…I was stumped.  It wasn’t until Darling Hubby came home, looked at the facts of my day (that I ate an egg salad sandwich on bread with no milk and with Miracle Whip which contains no milk and had a pretty quick onset of pain) and suggested that it might be a soy allergy.

Well, duh, that makes total sense…It’s pretty much after every meal or snack with prepared ingredients that I start having pain…turns out that pretty much everything, aside from the fresh fruit/veggies and made from complete scratch stuff, contains some form of soy.  It’s in the cheese crackers, it’s in my bread, my Miracle whip, my vegetable oil, my ice cream, my cream cheese, my chocolate, my candy…the list goes on!  It’s actually really ridiculous just how often soy pops up in pre-packaged foods.

In looking at my daily meals, I was thinking that milk was the culprit because every time I’d have an attack, I’d have some milk product – flavored milk (ovaltine), hot chocolate, ice cream, chocolate candy, cream cheese, cheese crackers, pizza, Hamburger Helper, coleslaw…turns out that all those things have soy…Even during the last week when I’d completely sworn off milk I still had the occasional twinge of pain after eating…it was after consuming the wraps and salad dressing, the fish, and the Miracle Whip (all contain soy) that I had problems.

So, today was the first day of a soy free diet.  I had a cup of Chai with honey and lime juice and a banana for breakfast.  My snack was a Yoplait light yogurt (key lime) and I didn’t have any pain…My lunch was a big bowl of plain pennette pasta, my mid-afternoon snack was an apple, dinner was oatmeal with maple syrup and brown sugar (there’s really nothing left in my house that doesn’t contain soy, so my pickin’s are pretty slim!) and my evening snack was a box of apple flavored raisels and a cup of chamomile tea.  Nothing…I’ve had yogurt and not a twinge. Again it makes me think we’re on to something.  The weird thing is that now I’m actually hungrier more often…probably cause my stomach doesn’t hurt anymore and I’m not afraid to eat.

I’m going to have to do a lot of research to see what all contains soy and what I can substitute for it.  It seems that soy isn’t as well labeled as milk, nuts and wheat allergens are and there are several names that you might not consider to be a soy product.

I’m not 100% sure that we’ve come to the right conclusion, but I’m fairly certain Darling Hubby is right.  My big concern is that soy is found in everything…I’m going to be very limited in what I can eat and I hate to deprive the rest of my family of the things they enjoy eating simply because I can’t have it.  Darling Hubby has already said if I’m going soy free then we are all going soy free for meals where we all sit down together, snacks are a horse of a different color.  I think if this pans out and I really am sensitive or allergic that I’ll be making my own bread for me in my bread machine (everyone else can still eat the store bought bread).  I might look into a hot air popcorn popper so I can have some healthy popcorn rather than the microwave/bagged stuff that I’m sure is laden with soy.  We’ll probably be eating a lot more pasta.  I’ll love eating more of my homemade spaghetti sauce…

As for substitutions, I’ve already found out that the margarine I’ve been using has soy…as well as the unsalted butter in my freezer.  Salted butter is, oddly enough, soy free.  I’m going to have to switch from the vegetable oil, which is made solely from soybean oil to olive oil, which is probably a better switch.  Darling Hubby suggested we could make our own mayonnaise in addition to our own bread.  Even tuna canned in water contains soybean oil.  I’m still planning to do lots of fresh fruits and veggies and make my own sauces and gravies from scratch.

The whole thing is actually really overwhelming.  I’m dreading going to the grocery store Saturday…I’m going to have to look at everything and probably take notes!  Gah!

Ouch, That Hurt

So I’ve been doing pretty well with avoiding all things with milk.  I’ve still had a few twinges of the usual pain, but they’ve been few and far between and don’t last as long as usual, usually just a few minutes

Last night I made the mistake of not looking at the label of what I was eating for dinner.  I made fish fillets, fries and mixed veggies.  Stupid me didn’t look at the fish fillet bag until I started feeling funny about 30 minutes after I polished off 2 fillets and the rest of my plate.  Yep, the breading contained milk.  DOH!  I’m also concerned because it has wheat in it as well…makes me think that it could be a gluten/diary combo issue as I’ve had twinges after eating the wraps, which also contain wheat and soy.  Those twinges, like I said, didn’t last long but they were there.  But, I know I can eat white toast without having issues and I know that contains wheat and soy…

Darling Hubby is on my case to start trying dairy products again.  I really wanted to give myself a couple weeks to 1.) keep track of what I’m eating and when (and if) my stomach hurts again. 2.) to give myself time to adjust to not having certain foods. and 3.) to give myself time to possibly feel human.  When my stomach hurts I’m miserable and end up making everyone around me miserable.  I really just want to curl up in a ball and sleep and not deal with anyone when I’m not feeling good and I just can’t do that, not with 2 kids and a house to keep up on.  I end up being short with everyone, I yell a lot more and I don’t have motivation to do anything, even my beloved crafts or reading.

I might have to go with a fresh fruit/veggie and tea diet…lol  That seems to be the only stuff that I know for sure doesn’t bother me!  I’ve had a cup of chamomile tea today for the first time and I actually really enjoyed it.  I also ate a banana and I’m feeling pretty good (aside from being tired, aching all over and the headache I woke up with, but that’s a whole other issue!)  I know I can eat apples, bananas, fruit cocktail from the can,  strawberries, grapes, tomatoes and lettuce without issue.  I know I can eat mixed veggies (carrots, corn, peas and green beans) and baby carrots.  I’m fairly sure broccoli (cooked) doesn’t bother me.

Tonight I’m double checking that pasta doesn’t bother me.  I’m cooking for craft night again and making pasta, some jarred sauce and some Italian bread.  We’ll see how that affects me. Better make sure I check that pasta and sauce first, huh…you never know now a days.

The major downside of this diet experiment is that fact that I can’t have chocolate…that’s what I’ve been craving lately (it’s like me being pregnant…I wanted nothing more than a big cold sub with lots of turkey and cheese, and  since cold lunch meat was on the banned foods list, it made me want it all the more!)  A friend suggested that I try dark chocolate, but even that contained milkfat.  It’s probably for the best that I’m not eating all the junk food like I was.  I’m gonna lose weight!  lol  I’m already down to 137lbs…that’s 3lbs lower than my weight loss goal when I was doing the 30 Day Shred and 11 lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Fidget, 3 years ago.  I just wish the new size 12/14 jeans that I bought weren’t too loose already!

This is a crazy journey…I’m really hoping that I can figure it out and be able to live a happy life.  I do hate being miserable and not feeling well.

Hair We Gone!

I did it.  I had my hair chopped off this morning.  Went to a sweet girl named Tori at the Joli Salon and Spa.  She was great!  I showed her my picture and she looked at my hair and we talked about what I wanted.  We chatted about her son and my kids and her training and work. She did an awesome job and I’m loving my new hair style.  It’s gonna be so much easier to manage, though it will take a little extra time to style, but it makes me look different, which is what I was going for.


Here is a before picture of me with Fidget.  You can see I’ve just got it all twisted up and clipped on the back of my head.  That’s pretty much how I wore my hair…all the time!

Here’s the new do!  I’m really loving it.  Now, hopefully I can recreate the same effect when I wash and style it on my own.

What a Difference a Day Makes

So yesterday I decided to cut out all dairy to see if it was the cause of my stomach pain.  Since around 10am yesterday I haven’t had a single drop of dairy, despite everyone in the house scarfing down the homemade macaroni and cheese and the buffalo wing potato chips that contain milk.  My stomach has been totally pain free.  Yay!  *doing a happy dance!*

I’m really hoping this will be the answer I’ve been looking for.  I know I really shouldn’t get my hopes up since it’s really only just been 24 hours, but it looks promising.

I just hope it’s not a placebo effect and I’m just convincing myself that I’m feeling better cause I want the pain to stop.  I’ve been told before that it’s all in my head and while I don’t really think that’s the case, I could see how others would see it that way.  It’s one of the reasons that I tried not to complain about it often…I figured no one would believe me.  Even when I was a kid, I can remember from 3rd grade on that there were many days when my stomach would hurt for no apparent reason and I was forced to suffer though school because no one believed me that my stomach could hurt all the time.   The school nurse and I were practically best friends I saw her so often!

I’m sure the time when I was 14 when I went through my “not eating anything phase” to impress a boy didn’t help matters any.  I lost like 10lbs in a little over a week that way and after a while got to where I felt horrible no matter if I ate or didn’t eat.  So not healthy, that’s for sure!  But then, I started dating Darling Hubby and things improved.  I found a love of food again, started eating regularly, gained back some weight and didn’t feel sick all the time, but I still had days when my stomach just hurt for no apparent reason.  Maybe all the time it was just milk that was doing me in.  I’m still holding out hope that I after a couple weeks I can go back to having some dairy…not having yogurt is kinda depressing.  That’s all I really wanted last night for a snack, that and those buffalo wing Ruffles that Darling Hubby brought home when he stopped at the store to get me some lettuce, a tomato and some wraps so I could make a chicken caesar wrap for lunch today.  I adore Buffalo wing food and sadly, they contained milk.  😦  But, I made due with some fruit cocktail, some lemon flavored raisels and a spoonful of peanut butter.

I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I have a good feeling about this exclusion diet.