Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This Soy Thing...

Since I've found out that I have problems with soy (it causes breast pain) I've been trying to eliminate it from my diet. It's a real challenge! I am gaining a new respect for people with food allergies. I can't compare my issues with soy with life threatening allergies by any means, but I am finding that trying to avoid a product that seems to be in EVERYTHING is a huge job. Since I’m new at this, I am just starting to read labels looking for soy. Things you would never think of have soy or soy bean oil listed as an ingredient.

I started reading labels more closely because I was reacting when I didn’t think I had eaten anything with soy in it. Now I’m figuring out where I was messing up. Pizza dough. Tortillas. Bagels. The whole wheat bread from the grocery store bakery. The jambalaya mix that was a go-to quick dinner for the family. Something I put on my salad at the salad bar, probably several items, actually. It seems like even the least little bit of soy is causing problems, too. I’m like a walking soy detector.

I have a girl in one of my Girl Scout troops with severe food allergies. Peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and eggs in even the smallest amounts could kill her. I worked with a woman once who had celiac disease.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for them. (For the mom, in the case of my Girl Scout, since she’s still a child.) You have to question every bite of food that goes in your mouth. Eating out must be a nightmare. Waiters don’t take food allergies seriously since people will say they have allergies when they really don’t, so the waiters don’t bother and nothing happens. Then when someone really is allergic, they can die. Then there’s the woman I heard about when I took a first aid class a few years ago. She had no idea she had a food allergy and went out to eat in a seafood restaurant. A waiter walked by with a plate of steaming shrimp and the SMELL of it sent her into anaphylactic shock and killed her. Just the smell! It’s scary.

But for me, I don’t have an allergy, I just have some minor pain and discomfort I’d rather avoid. I’m counting my blessings.


Anonymous said...

Soy is everywhere! My little guy and I have an enzyme deficiency that we were just diagnosed with and soy is one of the things that causes anemia in both of us. I have been avoiding it for a little under a month, and while I wasn't really up to cooking before (I'm really tired and undergoing chemo to treat rheumatoid arthritis) now I have found that in order for kiddo to eat, I have to make bread for him daily and reconfigure our life to avoid bringing any off limits stuff in the house (all legumes are off limits)...

Isn't it enough to make you nutty?
I do agree though- we are lucky that reactions to our respective soy related things are not immediately life threatening. So scary and so amazing what kiddos (and adults) that do have life threatening reactions to various allergens have to know at a young age, just to stay alive. I honestly don't know how I would handle sending my kiddo to school alone... I guess I would then definitely have him at home, virtual or home schooling...

Anyway, please pardon my rambling comment! It's 4am and it is finally quiet here!
Best wishes!

p.s. I don't know where in Florida you are- we are in SW Florida, near Ft. Myers... do you have Toufayan (sp?) pita at your local market (we use Publix)? No soy, though it is processed on shared equipment.

Kim said...

Thanks for commenting; I LOVE rambling comments! :) Until I had to start avoiding it, I had NO IDEA how many food items contain soy. It’s not just in the whole wheat bread but in practically all bread products, which is so hard since I LOVE bread. The plain white baguettes at Publix are soy free but all of their other bakery breads are made with soy bean oil. I don't normally use pita bread but I bought a pack of the pita bread you mentioned for an activity for a Girl Scout meeting. (They broke them up and we made baked pita chips, which were pretty good!) Even our highly allergic girl was able to eat those. I’ve realized I’m going to have to start making bread at home too.

I can't believe, with all the gluten free products, that it is so difficult to find soy free products as well, but yet "contains soy" is frequently listed on ingredient labels. That means manufacturers know there are people out there who can't eat it, so they must realize there's a market for soy-less foods. I guess soy is so cheap and readily available they don’t feel it’s worth it to make products for the soy-avoiders. Thank you, federal government subsidies. ~:-P

I had no idea chemo was used to treat rheumatoid arthritis; wow. Is it helping? How much longer will you have to go through the treatments? I’m hoping it’s not too long and that you’ll be able to get your energy levels back up quickly. We mommas need our energy!