Two Month Soy Update

I looked back through my old blog posts and realized that I’ve been off soy for over 2 months and haven’t had any stomach trouble since I had a reaction to the strawberry cake I made for Bug’s birthday at the beginning of February.  I think I’ve figured out what that was all about.  There was no soy involved yes, but my stomach hadn’t healed from the damage I’d previously inflicted my body reacted to the butter.  Since then I haven’t had any issues with butter.  This means that maybe I can start making cookies again (provided the other ingredients are soy free) with butter rather than shortening!  Yay!  Happy Dance!  I’ll eventually (hopefully) blog about it, but I recently made homemade crescent rolls (from scratch) with a lot of butter and eaten quite a few of them without issue.  The recipe I used needs  little tweaking, but hopefully I’ll have it right before tomorrow night as I’m making several dozen to bring to Easter dinner at Darling Hubby’s Grandpa’s house on Sunday.

So, what have I been eating?  Well, I’m still making my own homemade breads.  I’ve learned to make 2 one pound loaves of white bread at a time using my bread machine for the dough and then baking it in my oven.  I freeze one and slice the other for immediate consumption.  It’s so good!  I generally have 2 slices for breakfast with a cup of Rooibos (African – pronounced roy boss) tea with honey, often topped with orange marmalade or kerrigold irish butter.  Yum!  Sometimes for lunch I’ll make a Fluffernutter sandwich (made with Peter Pan PB and the original marshmallow fluff) with banana and honey.  Yum!  I’ve been eating  a lot of fresh fruit – plums, nectarines, bananas, grapes, strawberries.  We always have a veggie with dinner.  I’ve also started finding new ways to cook potatoes and I’ve been making myself sweet potato fries, too.  I’ve found a brand of panko bread crumbs that are soy free – only one of about 7 different bread crumb brands on the shelf!), so I’ve been making my own breading for chicken and fish (yes, I’ve started buying fresh fish from the fish counter rather than the dried out or greasy soy laced battered things that come in a box.)

I’m still making my own taco seasoning and seasonings for chili and all my meats. And, just cause it’s less fat, I’ve been rinsing my browned ground beef before I add seasoning or put it in my other dishes.  It cuts down on the amount of fat that my family is ingesting.  We’re still eating a lot of pasta.  It’s yummy and everyone eats it, either with homemade spaghetti sauce or plain with just butter and sprinkle cheese.  I also make my own homemade pizza dough, topped with my own seasoned tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni and skim milk cheese.  I only use olive oil or corn oil, now, as well.

Oh, we’ve even been making our own homemade bagels.  Darling Hubby usually has a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and since I’m soy free I can’t have the bagels from the grocery store.  I found a simple recipe in my bread machine book and we’ve made several batches.  It took a bit of time for us to really figure it all out, but now it’s easy, though time consuming, to make homemade bagels.  Darling Hubby enjoys Asiago cheese bagels, so that’s what we’ve been making as of late.

I’ve found a few treats for myself that are soy free.  I found some yummy sweet potato and beet chips (I think the brand was Terra) and even some kosher for Easter chocolate chips that have no unnecessary ingredients.   The grocery store decided to no longer carry my Equal Exchange organic chocolate bars, so I no longer have those to snack on.  They were delish!  Oh, and the No Pudge! brownie mix, made with only good stuff is yummy made with Stonyfield’ No Fat French Vanilla yogurt.  Oh, and we bought an air pop popcorn popper so we can make batches of fresh popcorn for snacks and always for movie night!  Both my kids can polish off an entire bowl of popcorn all on their own!  lol  They love their popcorn!

So, there you have it.  The things I’ve figured out while on a soy free diet.  It just takes a little consistency and several days of eating the same thing over and over til you find what works, but it can be done!

If anyone has any questions about going soy free or has anything to add to my growing (thankfully) list of foods to eat, please comment!  I want to help others who may be going through the same thing I am!  Now I’m off to make soy free tacos!  lol


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!