Not To Soy

While I was in the midst of my juice fast last fall I wrote a post about soy and whether or not I should be eating so much of it. After a few inexplicable allergy attacks I was wondering if I might be developing an intolerance for it. The theory was that I had basically consumed a lifetime supply of it in my first thirty-two years and my body was screaming “Enough already!”

It’s now official that I am indeed allergic to soy. A few weeks ago when I was on the east coast I went to dinner with my parents at our favorite Thai restaurant in Norwalk, CT. I always get the fried tofu appetizer and the tofu red curry entrée and this time was no exception. Knowing I might have a mild reaction, I decided to go for it. I’ve been eating hardly any tofu at all recently so I figured it was no big deal. Delicious as ever, I ate every last bite.

It’s a twenty-five minute drive home from the restaurant and about ten minutes in I was scratching my head, not deep in thought but literally clawing away at my scalp. Then my arms starting itching and my eyes started watering. Next came the scariest of the telltale signs, my throat started to swell shut.

I’ve had enough scary allergic reactions in the past year that I now carry Benadryl on me at all times. By the time we got home my body was covered in hives, my eyes were puffy and my parents were ready to drive me to the emergency room. The Benadryl did its job though and I quickly passed out on the couch and awoke groggy but fully recovered the next morning.

A few days later back on the west coast and back at work, I had a Vanilla Banana Soy Milk smoothie from the store and bam! it hit me again. Not nearly as severe but just as quick.

Now though, I think it’s about more than the original “Enough already!” theory. I think it’s about tolerance. Consider this: if you drink a beer every day soon you’ll start drinking two, then three. As your tolerance for alcohol goes up you’ll need to consume more to get the same effects as one used to give you. Before you know it you’re up to five or six drinks at a time. If you then take a month off from drinking, what happens? All of a sudden one beer gets you wasted again.

It seems the more cleansing I do, the lower my tolerance for any food that causes me allergic or digestive issues. My body was stuffed to the gills with soy, sugar and simple carbohydrates. Before I started cleansing those were my staple foods. Over the past few years I’ve spent close to 100 days cleansing everything toxic out of me. The effect has been my tolerance for those foods coming down to an all time low. On the whole this is great and I feel much better, but when the desire to consume them wins out against the knowledge I have in my head, I now have to be prepared for drastic consequences.

I’m glad to have a definitive answer for the allergy attacks. I’m also glad to have a solid push in the direction of healthier alternatives and better eating. Not sure if I can say the same about the added accountability I’ve created for myself though… just kidding.

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3 thoughts on “Not To Soy”

  1. Hi! I know this post is very old, but I just found out a few weeks ago that I am allergic to soy, and I have started a blog (soysurvivalist.wordpress.com). My doctor has asked me to completely eliminate soy for now in hopes that maybe one day I will be able to eat soy if it’s a very small amount in an ingredient list. Did you decide to completely eliminate soy, and if you did, have you been able to add any soy back into your diet? Thank you!

    1. Hi Alanna! Thanks for writing 🙂
      I completely eliminated soy – which is an arduous task! It is in everything!! But the great part about that is it got me eating much less processed foods. I have not been able to put it back into my diet without having at least a small reaction. I notice it very quickly now – if I eat something with a bit of soy sauce I’ll be really itchy and get hives and I immediately know to stop eating it or it will lead to a full blown reaction.

      I miss tofu like crazy! But I’ve just had to get used to it.

      On a side note, my mother became allergic to red wine and sulfites (like in sun dried tomatoes) in her late 40’s. She’s now in her 60’s and can tolerate them again. Eventually we may be able to as well, but it’s gonna be a while.

      I’ll definitely check out your blog, good luck!

  2. Thanks, Jennifer! It really is in everything, and much of it is from non-food sources! You’re right though…I am eating so much better now, and I am in the process of eliminating some medications that I thought would be life-long prescriptions. Good luck to you as well!

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