Friday, March 5, 2010

So what DO you eat?--a How-to manual for feeding me

By now, most of my family is aware to some extent of my sensitivity to soy. And my immediate family is really great about making sure I can eat whatever food we're having. Whenever we get together, I am always fully appreciate the care taken in food preparation.

Don't think this is something that I'm thrilled about it. I feel like such a picky eater, and for most of my life, I've prided myself in NOT being a picky eater. Now I'm one of THOSE people.

Let me first explain how I got here. About three years ago, I started noticing that I was getting these itchy red (and unsightly) bumps on my neck, and was able to make a correlation between the reaction and eating BBQ sauce, which contains worchestershire sauce, which (and this isn't mentioned on the label) ultimately contains soy sauce. I also noticed problems with just soy sauce. I started doing research and realized that soy isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I won't get too deep into the science of it, but basically with the way soy is processed today, it contains a lot of toxins that are bad for our body. If you google search "dangers of soy", you'll come up with a myriad of hits about why soy is not good for you. So not only was soy something my body wasn't liking, I was figuring out that I didn't really want my body to like it, anyway!

It's been a long road, and I'm still figuring out what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I'll get headaches from a hidden soy ingredient, or just plain not feel well.

So, I avoid it as much as possible. And if you read labels, you'll know that this is easier said than done. Have you ever noticed that a lot of food contains soy!? It's a cheap filler. And the product won't always come out and say it contains soy, either. The labelers use sneaky labeling.

Here is a link for a list of soy aliases. A few that may surprise you are:
  • lecithin--found in most chocolate, among other things.
  • mono and di-glycerides--Found in most ice cream. Sad they have to ruin a good thing, but it usually also contains high fructose corn syrup, so I won't want to eat it anyway...
  • MSG--also known as Monosodium Glutamate. Found in a lot more foods than I care to list!
  • natural flavors--most things have this vague item listed among its ingredients. It's usually the last item on the list, so in a pinch, I will usually consume the item, and experience little ill effects.
So what DO I eat? Here, I've got a little list (reference to a Gilbert and Sullivan show...):
  • butter (preferably from grass-fed cows, but since that's super expensive, regular plain butter will do just fine!)
  • eggs (preferably from pastured chickens, but since those are also expensive and not easily found in every grocery store, regular eggs will do just fine!)
  • milk (preferably farm fresh, raw milk, but since that isn't easily available everywhere, I usually just have water. Pasteurized and homogenized milk binds me up.)
  • plain veggies, cooked or raw (and when I say plain, I mean plain. Sometimes pre-packaged veggies contain a filler or spice of some kind that contains soy. And don't put any seasoning salt on it... I'll just put my own salt on it, thanks. :-) )
  • cheese (again, read labels. The fewer ingredients, the better. If it's cultured or aged, it's usually got fewer ingredients.)
  • meat: beef, pork, chicken, etc. all good, just as long as they're not pre-seasoned or processed with additives as in luncheon meats, for example (you can use salt and pepper and some plain herbs, but don't get too crazy. Remember, some herb combinations contain additives with soy being among them...)
  • good oils: coconut, olive, sesame
  • oatmeal (I usually soak it overnight in an acid solution like kefir, yogurt, whey, or lemon juice)
  • most artisan bread in the bakery section of the grocery store (I try not to eat too much of it... too much white flour doesn't like me. I usually make my own bread and crackers with sourdough, sprouted flour, or flour soaked about 12-24 hours.)
  • full fat yogurt
  • fresh or frozen plain fruit
Just to be thorough, here's a list of things I DON'T eat:
  • margarine
  • soybean or soy oil
  • lecithin (this covers most chocolate)
  • most anything processed or pre-packaged
  • worchestershire sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • salad dressings
  • mayonaise/miracle whip
  • high-fructose corn syrup (this isn't a soy thing, it's just a good health thing)
  • white sugar (limited amounts, good health thing)
  • white flour (limited amounts, good health thing)
  • most ice creams (I do eat plain Breyer's and Good Value{wal-mart brand} sometimes)
  • soda pop
  • most luncheon meats, sausages, pre-prepared meats
That's not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a good idea of what I do and do not eat... the closer to how God made it, the better.

So the next time you hear I'm coming to eat at your place, have no fear, it really isn't that difficult to feed me. Give me a slab of cheese, some pot roast with potatoes, and a slab of butter, and call me "well fed"!


  1. Chef Hymie Grande ( ) is the first and only bottled BBQ sauce to carry the seal of the American Diabetes Association on the label. It has no high fructose corn syrup, no processed sugar, it is all natural and vegan friendly. It is produced by Jamie Failtelson, a.k.a. Chef Hymie Grande of Carlstadt, NJ. 5% of proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association.

  2. Hello hondo3777, thanks so much for your response. That BBQ sauce does look fantastic, so I tried finding a list of ingredients. As I've experienced, just because something is labeled "all natural" or "organic" doesn't necessarily mean that I won't have a reaction. The only place I found to list any ingredients was a review of one of the BBQ sauces at this address:
    And while it does have some good things in it like no processed sugar and carries the label "all natural" it still contains worchestershire sauce, aka soy, which is why I want to stay away from it. There's a possibility I could handle naturally fermented soy sauce, but there's nothing on the label to indicate that the soy sauce contained in it is fermented, so I would not feel comfortable using this particular brand of BBQ sauce.