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Food | Healthy Eating

Why I Broke Up with Soy: On Becoming Soy-free Vegan

Why I Broke Up with Soy: On Becoming Soy-Free VeganIt all started in 2009 when I joyfully went to get my annual pelvic exam. Surprisingly I was diagnosed with having fibroids, which are benign tumors usually found in the uterus. I couldn’t believe it. Me?
But I’m known as the healthy one among my peers.

Even though my doctor told me that the exact causes of fibroids are unknown, I was determined to find answers. After doing tons of research, I found out that hormone imbalances such as an over production of estrogen could be a major culprit. So I looked into a vast array of possibilities regarding my hormones. I wondered if there was something I could be doing to contribute to this.

I realized at that time in my life, my soy intake had become more than 50% of my diet for about four years. So I looked into the effects of soy in the body. I was surprised to find out that soy can have an estrogenic effect. Aww darn-it, and here I thought I was doing so well with my diet. I was an on and off vegetarian, having only eaten eggs and some turkey from time to time, with barely any cheese. The rest was lots of veggies and fruit. Well, I guessed, there was more to be done.

After a while, I decided to be a vegan for 15 days, detox my body and divorce soy. When the fifteen days were up, I was astonished at how easy it was and how great I felt. I decided to keep going for a little while longer. After about two months, I had an epiphany. “Hey, I think I’m actually vegan now!”

I had not only jumped into being a vegan but also a soy-free vegan. To top it off, I am a personal trainer that shows her abs in fitness classes all the time, so overeating bread and potatoes were out. I not only have to be responsible for my own health but the health of the planet and my looks as well. It may seem like a lot of work and pressure but strangely enough, looking for delicious and nutritious food options is kind of exciting to me. I realized there are so many awesome ways to get protein and amino acids. The key is variety and timing, which is why I fool around with a lot of different beans, seeds and pea protein.
I love starting my day with a delicious breakfast packed with protein, like oatmeal with cinnamon, walnuts, raisins and almond milk.

Why I Broke Up with Soy: On Becoming Soy-free Vegan

This is my protein and higher carb breakfast prep for gym day:

My ½ cup oatmeal gives me about about 136 gram of carbohydrates and 22 grams of protein after I add walnuts.  Don’t let the innocent friendly fruit fool you, this is a high calorie breakfast.  This breakfast is about between 600-1000 calories, depending on your serving size for each item.

But I go hard at the gym and the rest of my calories for the day will usually only be about another 1000, consisting of veggies and legumes.

I also found a great complete protein powder out called “PlantFusion Complete protein.” It has no soy and no gluten. Dinner is usually spontaneous with about 2-5 different sources of protein.

The bottom line is I don’t even miss soy. I do get a little irritated that soy is everywhere I turn now. But hey, that’s just one of the nuisance you have to tolerate when dealing with such a high-profile ex love.

Also see: 7 Paleo Vegan Snacks That Taste Like Heaven

Why I Went Gluten-free Vegan – Benefits and Results

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Photo: mc559 via Flickr; Ayana

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