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I did have another account here but it seems I can't remember my old password so I made a new one. Anyways hello all! This post is kinda long so my apologies in advance.

Coming up on my 3 year vegeversary and can't believe I've been at this as long as I have!

At first, I admit I did eat a lot of fake meat products, soy cheese, and soy milk, and gradually moved away from eating these foods as time went on but still ate them in moderation a few times a week.

Last year doctors found a lump in my throat which scared the living **** out of me. After tests it was determined to be an enlarged thyroid, which for now isnt an issue. Turns out that soy products are a huge aggrivator of the thyroid and I had no idea. Any coincidence that I'm eating more soy and suddenly have this growth in my throat out of nowhere? Don't think so.

I've also had two broken bones in the last two years which is a record for me, and neither were from a serious trauma. In addition to this I've been having a really hard time sleeping more than 4 or 5 hours a night, always waking up feeling displaced and groggy. At first this wasn't bad but seemed to get worse as time went on. I thought it was from needing less sleep due to my "healthy" lifestyle change but when I started realizing I was waking up feeling like crap red flags went up.

In addition to that my sex drive was at an all time low, and my memory was going to the point where it was worrying me. I would be at work and totally forget what somebody had JUST told me like there was just this fog that would not lift. At this point I'm starting to think that this has to be something with my diet.

Ive read soy is an antinutrient that can prevent absorbtion of vitamins and minerals, and if it was preventing me from digesting calcium, that would explain the sleeplessness and broken bones. I've also read that in old times chinese women used to make their husbands eat tofu so they wouldn't cheat on them hahaha. I guess there is some truth to it as testosterone is lowered by soy products, which would explain my lack of a sex drive, and normally mine is on the very high side. Not to mention I actually got unattractively fat and spent this last summer almost 25 pounds overweight eating a strict vegan diet which included tons of fresh fruits and veggies, and nuts, beans and legumes? I've never been disgusting looking like that ever. My friends were like Eric you cant even eat anything how are you gaining weight? hahah Make sense? I dont think so.

I decided to eliminate soy products from my diet for a couple weeks to see what would happen. I'm sleeping amazing like I haven't in a very long time, 8-9 hours a night! The fog in my head has cleared. I once again feel sharp and on top of things. I seem to have deflated some and just overall feel way better. I'm fully convinced soy products were the heart of these health problems which I didnt investigate until I had a health scare. Now that I feel so much better without them it's telling me my assumptions are correct.

Problem is, I now feel lost at the grocery store. No vegenaise. No tempeh. No tofu scramble!!! NO TOFU SCRAMBLE. My saturday morning routine def wasn't the same. Pancakes are good but I'm more a savory guy than sweet. No gardein. No veggie crumbles for pasta. Definitely can't have any fake meat at all. Like I'm really scared to eat soy at this point, and hell its even in pita bread and all kinds of other stuff. Does it REALLY need to be in seitan too?

Grocery shopping already stresses me out because it's so expensive and now on top of that it's expensive and I don't feel like I can buy much apart from staple ingredients. Nothing "fun". Dont get me wrong I'm happy eating salad, stir frys, wraps, casseroles and all kinds of stuff that doesn't include a meat or dairy analog, but those few times a week I was eating it I really enjoyed it, and moreso than a pasta dish made with a sauce of walnuts and peas or something. Like it would be really fun to have subway night with tofurkey slices and make a big giant sub with all the fixins and some vegenaise.

Veganism is getting to be a real pain in the ass and it just gets worse the longer I do it. It's like how many dietary overhauls can I do? I really don't know what to do, I'm strongly considering cycling animal products back into my diet. I've been craving eggs really bad, and real cheese. Yeah Daiya's good and all, but I'm still not fooled. Problem is I've educated myself and I know about the cruelty and health hazards, but honestly an egg never gave me an enlarged thyroid, and for that matter neither did a steak, so how hazardous can eating organic eggs or dairy a few times a week be?

I just dont know what to do. I feel like this is causing more stress in my life than not. I get angry when I grocery shop. I get pissed when work gives out chik fil a for "employee appreciation" I get upset when I'm low on money and eating substantial vegan food puts such a hurt on the wallet (what costs my friends 5 dollars to eat costs me like 25). Like its a source of anger! This is supposed to be happy time for me and the animals, not a stressor right? Then I think of eating these animal products I'm craving and I feel sad that I'm even considering going back that way. It's like I'm in this awful middle spot and don't know what to do.

I do strongly believe that no animal, human or otherwise, should have to suffer needlessly. It's getting to the point where I'm getting disconnected from that. Any advice is appreciated, as I hate the way I'm feeling about this right now. Thank you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBliss1 View Post

I do strongly believe that no animal, human or otherwise, should have to suffer needlessly. .
I'm glad you feel that way. If you truly believe in the vegan philosophy, then here is some advice for sticking to a plant-based diet despite your (perceived) soy sensitivity.

1. For protein and iron, stick to other legumes. There's NO need for soy. NONE. It's simply more convenient for many people who don't have the sensitivities that you seem to have. Instead of soy, enjoy bean and rice burritos, split pea soup, hummus sandwiches, falafels, 3-bean salads, lentil burgers, and more. Beans are cheap and widely available. Just find a few recipes you like and ENJOY!

2. For milky, creamy things, use these alternatives: almonds, cashews, white beans, coconuts. For example, instead of soy milk, try almond milk. Instead of soy ice cream, try coconut milk ice cream. Instead of soy cheese, try cashew cheese. Instead of soy milk for soups and creamy foods, try pureed white beans. There are lots of options. Just explore vegan cookbooks, vegan blogs, and the grocery store. Many grocery stores now carry almond milk, for example.

3. For meaty texture, you have options: seitan, mushrooms, eggplants. You don't have to rely on tofu. And homemade seitan will not have any soy in it. So learn how to make it yourself if you can't find storebought seitan sans soy. So for all those foods like chili, burgers, gumbo, etc., try chewy vegetables like mushrooms or eggplants.

4. For overall nutrition, read up on vegan health and take a supplement. Most people can drink fortified soy milk to meet their needs, but it you avoid that then you should take a supplement. Here are some good resources for learning more about vegan nutrition...
simple guidelines that cover the basics:
http://www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6374
in-depth, comprehensive articles:
http://veganhealth.org/

PS - I also recommend that you visit a doctor and an allergy specialist to determine your health situtation that may or may not be related to your diet. It would be a shame to learn that you have a disease that's easily treated, yet you neglected health care because you assumed it could be fixed by changing your diet. While dietary changes are helpful in preventing or reversing some diseases, they should be done in association with medical supervision. Moreover, if you really are sensitive to soy, you might also be sensitive to other foods and finding that out sooner rather than later may spare you some agony. Good luck and take care.
 

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Great answer, Elaine.

Beans are actually a lot cheaper than products like tofu - especially if you buy them dried and soak and cook them. And home made seitan is easy to make and really tasty. And I think your thyroid is effected by iodine, so make sure you are getting the correct balance of iodine (found in sea vegetables), or you could take a supplement if your doctor advises.
 

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Just eat healthier. I know plenty of vegans who are soy free (and gluten free and nut free...etc). It can be hard at first but once you get the hang of it it's easy. Do you live by a Whole Foods? If you do you can buy a lot of stuff in bulk like grains, nuts, and seeds. If not you can still probably find some of these things at regular grocery stores, just maybe a little more expensive since they aren't in bulk. Plus, greens aren't that expensive. A bunch of rainbow chard is like 2.99. Processed soy foods are more expensive because they're processed and besides they aren't that good for you. I've read about the soy thing being an anti-nutrient but I think it only matters if you eat a LOT of processed soy. As for tempeh, I think it's ok because it's fermented. Plus, if you have tofu like once a week it's not going to kill you. Just make most of your diet fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, vegetables...etc. You should be fine. By less processed foods and you'll save money. Plus you can make your own vegan mayonnaise:
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=7144.0 or
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6986.0
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBliss1 View Post

I've also had two broken bones in the last two years which is a record for me, and neither were from a serious trauma. In addition to this I've been having a really hard time sleeping more than 4 or 5 hours a night, always waking up feeling displaced and groggy. At first this wasn't bad but seemed to get worse as time went on. I thought it was from needing less sleep due to my "healthy" lifestyle change but when I started realizing I was waking up feeling like crap red flags went up.
I've found it harder to fall asleep since switching to an all plant diet. I think its because i'm getting more calories from natural sources - mainly from fruit, and therefor will have more energy. Theres simple techniques to help you fall asleep, personally I have found reading a chapter in any book before I go to bed. Also aromatherapy http://www.holisticonline.com/remedi...omatherapy.htm And its not listed on the site but if i spray my bed sheets with vanilla body spray I go to sleep easier.
And not sure if your a smoker or caffeine drinker but dont drink caffeine 6 hours before bed and dont smoke for 20-30 mins before bed. (Both are stimulants). Also caffeine blocks vitamins from being absorbed properly, so it could result in you not getting the proper nutrition (thats why I take my suppliments at night when I havent and wont be drinking coffee for a while)
And another thing about coffee I find that when I dont sleep well one night I will drink excessive amounts of coffee during the day then obv cant fall asleep again cause i've had like 6 cups in the morning.
And 4-5 hrs isn't enough sleep, 7-8 minimum (depending on how old you are but thats the rule of thumb).
 

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Some of the anti-soy people say that fermented soy is fine, so maybe you can still have that. If you have a true soy allergy, maybe not, so you might wanna get tested. If you can have fermented soy, then tempeh is still on the table, as is miso, tamari and regular soy sauce, except for Bragg's Liquid Aminos which is not fermented.

There are soy-free vegan mayo recipes on vegweb.

Almond Mayonnaise

Cashew Mayonnaise

Real-tasting Mayonnaise
 

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Dude! You are so in luck! I found a chickpea tofu recipe for your beloved tofu scramble! I found a discussion about it on vegweb where someone highly recommended it for tofu scramble. There's a link to it on this page.
 

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I eat very little soy, it's completely unnecessary on a vegan diet!
Switch to almond, nut, hemp, oat, or rice milk. Start making your own nut cheeses. You can have tofu every now and then, there isn't anything wrong with it. But try to switch over to seitan.

Definitely start eating more fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and add seaweed to your diet (super-high in iodine, rich in iron and calcium). Add whole grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth, bulgur, barley, teff, etc. Eat herbs. Almonds are high in calcium. Make sure you eat lots of leafy greens like kale, collard, spinach, and chard. Add some lemon juice to them to help absorb all that iron in them! They're also great sources of calcium!
 

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I'm wondering if you're referring to phytates in soy that reduces mineral absorbtion? If that's the argument, know that soy isn't even high on the phytates list. Phytates are found in nuts, beans, legumes..
Soy has phyto-estrogen. Not the same. I'm not a nutritionist, but have seen enough evidence against the anti-soy agenda (which is largely funded by meat ans dairy interests) to agree.
True, you don't need soy, but you really don't point to anything that says you're that senstive to it. A thyroid condition doesn't happen because of previous months worth of food, it's cumulative.
You also may be feeling better, and loosing the weight, because your thyroid condition is being treated.
Soy isolates are very different than edaname, tofu,tempeh,or soymilk.
I'm not saying go back to soy, just that your info is slanted.

What the heck are you buying that costs more meat or soy anyway?
 

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Hello! Glad to hear you are now feeling much better.

Seitan doesn't always/ usually have soya in it, in my experience. You can make your own, I buy it cheaply from the chinese supermarket.

I'm not sure if/ why soya would have caused all your problems. Nevertheless if you feel better without it you shouldn't eat it. But memory loss would be more likely caused by low omega 3.

As for your bone health, soya has been linked to healthier bone health and reduced risk of osteoporosis.

http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Smi-Z/Soy.html

"Another area with conflicting studies is the link between soy and osteoporosis. One method for determining your bone health and changes in bone density over time is calcium metabolism (a process where a substance, necessary for life, is synthesized or broken down). For bone density to increase, more calcium must be kept in the bones. This retention is measured by tests that look at calcium absorption versus calcium loss as measured in the urine. In studies that have compared a soy diet to a calcium/whey diet, calcium loss through the urine was much lower on the soy diet. Some researchers suggest that the amino-acid content of soy protein, as compared to that of animal protein, is the reason for less calcium loss in the urine."

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soymessina#cog

"Critics of soyfoods say that soy is high in phytates which inhibit absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium. But the absorption of calcium from soyfoods is actually surprisingly good given the phytate content of those foods (20, 21). Not only that, but a number of studies have shown that the isoflavones in soyfoods protect bone health (2) and that soy protein when substituted for animal protein decreases urinary calcium excretion (3). So getting calcium from soyfoods that are either naturally rich in this nutrient or are fortified with it, seems like a very good idea."

Not that I'm saying that you should eat soya- you may be allergic. But as that article says, poor bone health is more likely to be linked to low calcium intake generally.

There is evidence that soya will only cause thyroid problems where there is an underlying iodine deficiency. http://thyroid.about.com/cs/soyinfo/a/soy.htm

It really just depends, the area of health and soya is very controversial and if you feel better not eating it, don't eat it. I'm confused why that would make things more expensive though? Staple ingredients like dried beans, rice, pasta, couscous, noodles etc are usually cheap as are a lot of vegetables. For 'fun' stuff I think you can get rice milk yoghurts, chocolate rice/ oat/ hemp/ almond milk, rice milk or dark chocolate (usually chocolate uses soya lecithin but minimal amounts of soya may be ok?)

The Vegan Society has a list of products for soya-free vegans: (UK info but some may be relevant) http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyl...ree-foods.aspx

Source of protein/meat replacement:

Lentils; beans e.g. kidney beans, aduki beans (but not soya beans, obviously!); and chick peas are good nutritious and easily available staples to use in the vegan kitchen.
Grains such as quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wa'), amaranth and buckwheat, which are all gluten-free and complete proteins. They can be used in a similar way to rice or couscous. Wild rice and millet are also good protein sources.
Seitan - made from wheat gluten, seitan is a low fat and high protein meat substitute. Most brands contain soya (soy sauce or tamari) but you can make your own - see the recipe below.
Nuts and seeds are nutritious, tasty and versatile for both sweet and savoury dishes.
Wholegrain foods such as wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice make a useful contribution to protein intake.
Meat alternative products:
Redwood's Vegideli Meat Free Southern Fried Chicken Style Pieces and Chicken Style Burgers are soya-free.
Products such as bean burgers and nut cutlets are more likely to be soya-free than 'meat-style' products
Non-dairy Milk:

Rice, oat, almond, coconut, hazelnut, quinoa and hemp milks are alternatives to soya milk. NB If fortified versions are not available, ensure you get sufficient B12 from a supplement such as Veg1 (available from The Vegan Society).
Ice Cream:

B'Nice Rice Cream, strawberry and vanilla flavours only: Distributed by Beanie's Health Foods (Wholesale) Ltd., 23 Brunel Way, Segensworth East Industrial Estate, Fareham, PO15 5SD, Tel: (01489) 574593, Fax: (01489) 582003, www.beanieshealthfoods.co.uk
Booja Booja Stuff in a Tub www.boojabooja.com 01508 558888
Margarine:

Pure (Sunflower), Biona Extra Virgin Olive Oil Margarine, Suma Sunflower Spread.
Avocado, tahini (sesame paste) and nut butters make tasty and nutritious alternatives to margarine for spreading on sandwiches and toast.
Use vegetable oils (olive, rapeseed, sunflower etc) when cooking and baking. Drizzle a little olive oil onto crusty bread instead of margarine.
Cheese:

Redwood Foods make a soya-free variety of Cheezly: www.redwoodfoods.co.uk (01536) 400557. There are also plenty of recipes for home made 'cheeses'. Take a look at The Uncheese Cookbook and The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak for lots of 'cheezy' recipes. The Ultimate Cookbook contains a handy soya-free index with recipes including Gooda Cheez, Classic Quiche and Chedda Fondu.
Cream:

Nut cream - see recipe below
Oatly (oat cream) http://www.oatly.com/

There is also a blog called 'soyfreevegan' listing products and recipes: http://soyfreevegan.blogspot.com/

Hope some/ any of this helps
 

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I'm not trying to dismiss your concerns with eating soy- but the problems you're listing are all due to you thyroid. Weight gain and inability to loose it, decreased libido, hair loss, lethargy are symtoms of an enlarged thyroid. I can't even find anything to suggest correlation to soy.
What is causing you to point to soy as your problems? If your thyroid condition is being treated, that's whats making you feel better, no matter what you're eating.
Can you provide links to why you're concerned about soy?
 

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I'm seriously loving this thread! There sooo much good information out there!
you can definitely eat no soy at all without even feeling like you're missing out. Really, i just fell harder in love with veganism right now. <3
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post

I'm not trying to dismiss your concerns with eating soy- but the problems you're listing are all due to you thyroid. Weight gain and inability to loose it, decreased libido, hair loss, lethargy are symtoms of an enlarged thyroid. I can't even find anything to suggest correlation to soy.
What is causing you to point to soy as your problems? If your thyroid condition is being treated, that's whats making you feel better, no matter what you're eating.
Can you provide links to why you're concerned about soy?
FYI thank you so much for all the informative responses guys. Sorry for the late reply I've been having some login issues that were just resolved today.

I'm not taking any medicine for my thyroid. Eliminating the soy is 100% responsible for the way I'm feeling and lemmie tell you what the difference is huge. Honestly I wasn't expecting much if anything. I feel happier, I'm sleeping better, I feel more focused and "together" like I didn't before. I haven't made any other lifestyle changes.

I did say in another post that I wasn't even eating soy products every day or as my main sustenance. I drink almond milk and use soy-free daiya for my cheese exclusively. I loved my tofu scramble on the weekend though, or the tofurkey slices and vegenaise so I could make a loaded subway style sandwich to dig into after work, or would eat gardien products a few times a week for dinner as it was very easy to prepare, and have always eaten lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, seeds and legumes. I eat a huge salad with at least 5 or 6 different veggies in it every day for lunch and always have fruit for breakfast. Even though it wasn't every meal or every day soy products were still in my diet regularly, and now that they haven't been, I feel much better. Trying to figure out a big savory breakfast to eat is really seeming like a huge chore. I don't wanna have to make my own tofu or mayonaise, I tried making mayo a few times and I suck at it. Certain culinary things have just never gelled with me and that sure is one big one. Here it's 3:30 afternoon on Sunday and I haven't eaten breakfast yet solely out of frustration.

I also said I love the "true" vegan food, without any cheese or meat analogs. I REALLY love diner style food much better though, comfort food, and soy was my link to enjoy things that I used to enjoy without the animal cruelty aspect. I feel like my options for "treat food" are really going to be far more limited without soy products to help with that. A good friend in town's mother has her own chickens, and the only eggs they eat are from those chickens. They don't shoot them up with hormones, they roam freely, their eggs aren't going to produce baby chickens, and they seem as happy as chickens can be. At this point I'm really not seeing whats wrong with eating an animal product like that. It wouldn't solve the other issues I'm having with soy but that would at least make figuring out my sunday breakfast easier and my baked goods wouldn't crumble apart and taste like **** anymore. I'm very strongly considering ovoveggieism.

I've looked up things numerous places online about how soy affects the thyroid and overall health, and from what I read, soy products cause a lot of those problems. I can get some links to things I've read but I'll have to look around to find exactly what I was looking at.
 

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Some people can become so worried about the soy issue that they can experience psychosomatic symptoms like insomnia, lethargy etc and believe that it is caused by eating soy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBliss View Post

I've looked up things numerous places online about how soy affects the thyroid and overall health, and from what I read, soy products cause a lot of those problems.
It doesn't seem to be affecting my health. I eat a lot of soy products and so I've been monitoring my thyroid function for the last few years and my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level is completely normal as my blood tests showed last week. But I do ensure that I get enough intake of Iodine which can affect your thyroid. If you think you feel better without eating the soy though, I guess you have to stop eating it.
 

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I'm sorry about not feeling well and glad to hear you are feeling better. I don't have any advice really but your posts have made me consider further eating less soy. I don't think I have any health issues related to soy except perhaps weight. But I do think having soy as more of a treat is a good idea.

Here is a recipe for sausages that are soy free. I'm with you on that comfort food comment. This is a really nice blog if you don't know about it already. And it has mostly soy free recipes.

http://www.myvegancookbook.com/recipes/recipe.php?id=69
 

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Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. You say you love diner-style foods, and that's fine. Many of us probably do/did. I went from typical junkie omni to a low-fat raw vegan, and I wouldn't trade my food choices for anything. Can't beat the produce section for energy/nutrition!
 

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Originally Posted by Nishani View Post

Some people can become so worried about the soy issue that they can experience psychosomatic symptoms like insomnia, lethargy etc and believe that it is caused by eating soy.
Agreed. The same thing happens to newbies too. They are so afraid of change they ascribe every little thing to some sort of deficiency from giving up whatever it is they just gave up. An awful lot of it is simply caused by the mind. Fear, anxiety, and expectation.
 

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with egg stuff like that, i basically just think that what animals produce isn't ours for the taking, regardless of whether they suffer.
i have one suggestion of epicness for vegans everywhere: chocolate oat milk. it is the best thing on the planet. im obsessed! you can get it in a lot of health food shops and a few supermarkets. its awesome!
and it was weird. my aunt is a farmer, and i was doing work experience on her farm last week. she kept lecturing me and it was awkward...but anyway, beef cows live about 12 years with her style of farming (this is in the UK, from what i know the US is completely different). thats 5 years longer than in the wild, and they have a pretty decent life (not saying that makes meat eating excusable) but she said dairy cows have massive amounts of strain put on their bodies, and have really stressful lives, and the moment they stop producing milk its straight to the slaughterhouse. she said they live about 5 years, and they suffer a lot more than beef cows. so actually, and i find this hard to comprehend, it is actually better for animals, if you arent prepared to go vegan, to eat meat but not eat dairy stuff. again, this is in the UK. Theres stuff thats used in america that is illegal here, so i guess it doesnt really apply there. but this is just food for thought...
 
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