Thursday, July 3, 2008

bye bye, soy

The bad medical news I mentioned earlier hasn't gotten any better. The more I research and look into things, the more I think I need to cut the soy in my diet. Honestly there's not enough information one way or the other to tell if soy contributed to my current problem or could worsen it, but it's a risk not worth taking. This condition is potentially life-threatening and is going to involve major surgery. I have to take everything into account, and think wisely.

So does anybody have any advice on being a (nearly) soy-free vegan? I'm not too worried about home cooking, since I can substitute soy milk easily with nut or rice milk, and opt for grain and bean dishes instead of tofu or tempeh ones. I'm a little worried about getting enough protein that way, but I know it's possible with planning. What worries me more is eating out. I eat out often, and I don't want to have to change that. Chinese and Thai food are staples for me...I guess I could get the all vegetable dishes, but again, it's going to be tricky to get enough protein.

I'm feeling a little sorry for myself right now.


Bianca said...

Damn man...that sucks. I've always worried that I would someday develop a soy allergy and never be able to eat soy again...but don't get too down.

Just think about how hard it was to cut out cheese. But you did it, and you can do this too. You may find yourself feeling way better without being so loaded down with all that soy. Not certain, but I believe Syd at "Vegan on Stage" has a soy allergy. You might wanna hit her up for some tips. Looks like she eats pretty good to me.

federal vegan (kate) said...

Thanks Bianca. On the up side, since it's not an allergy I don't have to go crazy avoiding soy lecithin in everything. And you're so right - when I first thought about going vegan it seemed like it was going to be crazy difficult, but within a few days it was easy. Time to adjust once more!

jessy said...

oh man, what crappy news! you're right - making stuff at home is fairly easy to do without soy products - but dining out might be difficult. i would see if some places use seitan (some mock chinese food is made with seitan instead of tofu), and perhaps some restaurants can throw some beans on salads and in a few dishes for you, too (i know a lot of places have seeds, nuts & beans on hand). broccoli, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, peas, potatoes, and corn are all fairly high in protein. and i would do protein shakes every day. fo 'sho! and i think you only need about 50-60 grams of protein a day - i am thinking nuts, seeds & beans can help ya out, too! and lentils - i always forget those are packed with protein! oh, there are a few soy free blogs out there, too! vegetation ( is a blog that offers some soy free recipes, and i think this one's pretty good, too ( - looks like it just started a while ago.

hugs to you!

federal vegan (kate) said...

Thanks jessy! Those blogs have tons of stuff that sounds great, yay. :)

There's lots of chinese food near me with tvp-meats, but no seitan. Sigh. I think I'm going to ask them to throw some peanuts or cashews into the veggie dishes, and I've started bringing a scoop of peanut butter wrapped in foil with me to brunch. Hee.

jessy said...

oh man - sadface on the tvp, but what a great idea on asking them to add in some cashews & peanuts. what an awesome idea to carry around peanut butter (maybe almond butter, too - mmmmmm)! you could even purchase a few of those tiny rubbermaid containers (the ones that hold like 2 ounces) so they stay closed and so you don't risk the butters getting all over your purse! i actually carry around containers (i have a HUGE bag) for all of my leftovers when i dine out - 'cause i'm a big tree hugger! :)

i will for sure keep you posted on any more soy free vegan blogs i may run in to. while you're new diet is a bit of a challenge - i think you're going about it in such a positive and healthy way! hooray!

Erin said...

Sorry to hear about this, that's a pretty harsh diagnosis for a vegan. I'm sure it can be done though, and like Bianca said hopefully it will be like going vegan - hard at first and then eventually you get used to it, and it's easy! At least you won't have to worry about soy lecithin being in everything, I have a friend who's allergic to soy and she has a really hard time at the grocery store.

yashoda said...

what is your condition? There are two opinions about soy products: you guessed it!
My nephew and his wife are vegan from Harvard Medical and specializing in (OB-GYN) oncology and general surgery. Two more years to go, so we are well informed about soy.
take care