Balance, Bites, Dairy Free, Eat, Family Food, gluten free, Soy Free

What I Learned from Cutting Out Soy

So we know cutting out soy would be an adventure, but I didn’t know it would be so interesting. Of course I was bummed when I looked on my can of La Victoria Green Enchilada Sauce, and although it is gluten free, I discovered last week that it does contain soy. DRAT! I’m thinking I’ll need to start making my own sauce, and the sweet thing is my entire family is thrilled about the idea of homemade sauce, so that helps. Even if it may be WAY less convenient to make something from scratch, on a busy weeknight, when I just want to make an enchilada casserole. Sigh.

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Our go-to pizza when we are in the mood for something that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Plus we throw on some pepperoni and voila. We ain’t vegan…

So I’ve cooked A LOT. I’m lucky I love to cook. I’ve prepped more than ever, researched until my eyes were bloodshot, but I’m taking it slowly. It sucks, but then it doesn’t. All in all, I’m super hopeful that my body will appreciate my changes, and treat me kindly in return. Please baby Jesus in your golden, fleece diaper, please.

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Follow Your Heart’s Parmesan doesn’t make me miss dairy at all.

My biggest challenge has been eating out. Like, I knew I shouldn’t eat tortilla chips out at a Mexican restaurant because of gluten. Total bummer right? Now I know I really shouldn’t eat anything fried at all, unless I know what oil they use, and even then…

Eating out has been a complicated for the past seven years. We ask for the gluten free menu (if they have one), or if they even know what “gluten” means, and we are often met with a blank stare. Imagine looking at a menu and knowing you can only have three or four items on it when everyone around you is filling themselves with dastardly deliciousness. Luckily, more often now, restaurants are providing information regarding what is in their dishes, and even expanding their menus.

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We used these in our chocolate chip bundt cake and they were delicious!

So, what did I learn this past week? I’ll give you my top five things I’ve learned while cutting soy from my diet.

  1. My skin looks amazing. I don’t usually brag about my skin, but it’s seriously radiant. Even my dad told me so. And I swear I have less wrinkles. Who knew cutting out soy, and whatever else lurks in most processed foods, would make a difference in my smile lines and brow wrinkles?
  2. My tummy has been pretty happy. Honestly though, I’m not sure I won’t have some bad days in the future, but these past seven days have been good, so I will take them.
  3. I’ve been eating more whole foods. And isn’t that what we all should be doing anyway? After the sadness of realizing I could no longer enjoy soy sauce with my sashimi, or edamame for that matter, I realized that no matter what, eating less foods from boxes was going to be a win for me, and a win for my entire family.
  4. I have more energy. Again, this was surprising to me. And again, it may be the soy, it may be some other ingredients I’ve discarded, but I am more energetic than ever. And when I am tired, I’m not like fall-down exhausted, I merely need a quick ten minute nap, or I just go to bed a smidge early. If you’ve known me a long time you are probably asking “MORE energy?” with a look of fear in your eyes. Don’t worry, I’m not going to FaceTime you at midnight or text you at 6am to go on a run with me. I’ll keep my energy to myself, thank you very much.
  5. It’s not as bad as it seems. There are more foods to try, more veggies to discover, and even some fun treats that I can have from time to time. If changing my diet again is something I need to do, all the while deleting some products that may or may not be super great for me in the long run, then I’m all in. I’m all in, with mostly a smile on my face, sometimes with a curse word under my breath, damn you soy lecithin, but overall I’m staying pretty positive. And so should you, no matter what challenges life brings your way.
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Who knew there was soy-free soy sauce? It is much sweeter than regular soy sauce, but it’s tasty on steamed rice and veggies.

I also want to shout out to companies who allowed me to feel normal while cutting out so many ingredients. Huge thank you to Daiya, for your yummy pizzas, Follow Your Heart, for your parm and mozzarella, Enjoy Life Foods, for your cookies and chocolate chunks, Big Tree Farms for your coconut aminos, and Udi’s, for your bread, glorious bread! I look forward to finding and trying even more brands who care to serve up allergy friendly goods.

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Udi’s has been a staple in our home for years and we love how they are constantly improving their products.

I’ll keep you posted on what this journey brings and hopefully if you are reading this, and feel the need to make a switch up in your life, that you do it. Do it now. You can do it! Or you can just yell at me in the comments to “stop asking me to change, damn it and just do your own journey without making me stop eating french fries in public”. I’ll take whatever thoughts you have, and I’ll enjoy them with a glass of soy free, gluten free, dairy free Josh Cellars’ Chardonnay.

Cheers – Stephanie




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