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!

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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.

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.

A Health Experiement

Since around the summer of 2007, I started having pain in my stomach after eating.  At first it was tolerable, not happening that often, but now, it seems to happen several times a week.  The question is, what is the culprit that’s causing the issue?

I have a feeling it’s dairy, or at least milk.  I began noticing that when I’d have a big steaming mug of hot chocolate, my stomach would start to hurt almost instantly, well, at least within 30 minutes.  The reason that I don’t think it’s all dairy, including cheese and yogurt, is because for a while I was only eating yogurt and was fine and sometimes I can have mozzerella cheese either sliced or melted on pizza and not have any issue.  I also have a feeling that there is a cumulative effect going on.  If I have milk in the morning, in say a cup of tea, if I eat a yogurt or some pizza later in the day, I’ve already exposed myself to whatever was in the milk that’s bothering me so when I eat other dairy it causes the pain to return.

My plan now, for the next couple weeks at least, is to cut out dairy as best I can and see if I have any improvement.  If I start seeing a decrease in my stomach pain, I’ll gradually add in the yogurt, since it’s easier to digest, and provided there is no issue again, I’ll try cheese.  I also plan to keep track of what I’m eating on what day to see if there is any other correlation between other food and the pain.  Over the summer I seem to remember a week when I ate nothing but homemade chicken Caesar wraps and I never had an inkling of pain…maybe I should eat nothing my wraps and salads…

Oh, and I’ve already cut caffeine out of my diet.  I’m only drinking caffeine free Pepsi (and that’s only for Craft Night…I really only have Pepsi then), which I drank all through Bug’s pregnancy and I’ve switched to decaf chai tea and caffeine free herbal teas.  I’ve noticed a slight decrease in the amount of energy I have most days, but I’ve found that I no longer hit that 4pm wall of exhaustion when my body crashes.

If I fail to determine the cause of the pain, I guess I’ll have to break down and visit a doctor.  I really should go see one as I haven’t been to a non-OB-GYN in years…Bad, I know, but I’m always afraid they are going to tell me the worst…and I just don’t want to hear it.  I’m like my mom and prefer to suffer in silence, even though that silence has a tendency to affect everyone around her.