Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Soy Allergy and Supplements

There are many types of food allergies, any of which can be a very serious issue with dangerous consequences if not addressed properly. In the world of natural healing this is accomplished not just by simply eliminating from your diet what is causing the allergic reaction, especially since the cause may not be immediately known, but also by incorporating key nutrients into your diet. There have been many books written on this subject, whether you’re healing the body naturally or using them in combination with an Rx; supplements play a key role.

Front and center in the war from within is your immune system. It’s what fights off disease, but when weakened it can be an open door to many unwanted guests. Certain vitamins and minerals are used to help boost the body’s immune system. This is crucial since your immune system is already being taxed simply dealing with an allergic reaction. Some of the key players used to increase immune function within the body are Vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as Zinc.

Certain flavonoids such as Quercitin are used for their ability to lessen the severity of the body’s reaction to allergens. It’s their ability to reduce any and all inflammatory response caused by the allergen, as well as their antioxidant affect that makes flavonoids such an important nutrient.

Lets not forget about proper digestion when it comes to allergies. When the stomach lacks what it needs to properly break down foods during digestion, this undigested food can enter the blood stream causing your immune system to treat it as foreign bodies, resulting in an allergic reaction. There are many supplements used in aiding digestion, whether it’s enzymes such as bromelain, or probiotics (the good bacteria in your stomach).

Whatever the allergy there are many reasons to turn to supplements, but certain allergies can make taking supplements a bit tricky. Take soy for instance. If you suffer from a soy allergy you probably already know soy is in most all processed prepackaged foods, but it’s also important to be vigilant when taking supplements. This is primarily due to the incorporation of vitamin E in the form of mixed tocopherals, which are usually derived from soybeans. Now although I’ve been told that with the process used, there should be no soy remaining in the end product, I consistently have a reaction when vitamin E (soy) is on the label. I have seen soy in one form or another in many popular supplements; omega-3 (especially liquid form), all multivitamins, Vitamin D, and many of the probiotics on the market.

So what to do? In my case I have been able to work around this by maintaining a healthy diet first and foremost, as well as scrutinizing all labels and not just the basic ingredients; all product labeling! I have found allergy free supplements for some of the culprits mentioned above, but others I have not. I am a firm believer though, that nothing beats a healthy diet. Whole foods can be your best source of most all nutrients necessary for optimal health. Although I do take supplements, I always consult an expert in the field of natural healing. This way I get that extra boost of what my body really needs, rather than just walking blindly through my local health food store.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Positive Thinking

The main ingredient in your recipe to overcoming any obstacle is Positive Thinking. Add a dash of that to your recipe of life, and you can't help but to come out on top. But in order to come to terms with what it is you're up against, you made need a little added support, some words of wisdom from someone else who's been dealt the same hand.

  1. Take a deep breath, it could be worse...much worse!
  2. Asses the situation
    • Soy is in most all processed prepackaged foods.
  3. Know Your Enemy
    • Soy goes by many names, so don't just look for the obvious.
  4. Don't Assume
    • Just because soy is not on the label doesn't mean it wasn't processed or packaged on the same equipment.
  5. Educate Yourself
    • The more you know, the better prepared you'll be.
  6. Recognize The Symptoms
  7. Think Positive
    • It's a lifestyle change, not a prison sentence.
      Think outside the box...Be Creative!
  8. Know Your Options
    • Fresh unprocessed foods
      Organic foods (not all so read labels)
      Homemade foods (Soy Replacements)
  9. Take Control
    • It's your health, so take care of it!
  10. Enjoy your new healthy life!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tricky but not impossible

There are a lot of different types food allergies out there making up a plethora of food allergy combinations. Not to take away from any of the others, but a Soy and Dairy allergy combination can make for a tricky way of life.

A dairy allergy by itself is not that hard to work around, but the first thing that comes to most peoples minds as far as a milk replacement is soy milk. As a matter of fact most of the mainstream dairy alternatives contains soy. It's of no surprise considering everywhere you turn there is an advertisement on the tv, the radio, or in a magazine, pushing the benefits of soy.

So add a soy allergy to the mix, and that's where the fun begins. Unlike a gluten allergy, there are not many products manufactured as soy free, let alone soy and dairy free. It may be because it's seen as more of a children's allergy that is eventually grown out of, or maybe its because the soy industry is so profitable.

Either way we can't dwell on the cause; finger pointing won't relieve any of the symptoms or outbreaks...I can assure you of that! I mentioned above that a Soy and Dairy Allergy can make for a tricky way of life, but I did not say impossible. As a matter of fact it is very possible, and it just may be the healthiest move you make.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ginger Snaps

These ginger snap cookies taste as good as they look, and best of all unlike the store bought variety these are Soy and Dairy Free!

Allergy Free living never tasted so good!

(Recipe tip: replace butter with organic palm oil)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

What a better way to celebrate the holidays, than with a pumpkin pie you can actual eat!

This pumpkin pie is both Soy and Dairy Free, and best of all it may be the tastiest pumpkin pie you ever had.


(Recipe coming soon)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Omega-3 Supplements

Unless you live your life completely disconnected from the outside world, you've probably heard on the news or read an article pertaining to the importance of Omega-3 in the diet. Whether it's a supplement being pushed or simply foods high in Omega-3, there's no denying this is one hot topic. Now being a health nut myself I couldn't agree more, but being someone who is allergic to soy I have to constantly travel a different path in order to reach my destination.

As I've mentioned before many supplements contain soy due to the added Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheral) which is usually derived from soy beans, and omega-3 supplements are no exception...especially in the liquid form. Manufactures use it to "help preserve the fish oil freshness", but for someone who has a soy allergy this can be a problem. I've been told by certain manufactures that do to the process used there should be no soy remaining in the end product, but for myself I have found that if Vitamin E is on the label it means soy. This causes us to look for food sources high in omega-3 instead of getting our daily intake through supplements, and there are many out there.

One of the biggest things I've learned since finding out about my allergies, is that there is no substitute to a healthy diet when it comes to getting all of the nutrients our body needs. I'm not saying people should not take supplements, I take some myself, but it is my belief that supplements should not be a substitute for a healthy diet.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homemade Pizza

This is a multigrain thin crust pizza that is Soy and Dairy Free.

You can be as creative with the toppings as you like. As you can see my wife and I don't see eye to eye on the side is more colorful!


(Recipe coming soon)

Friday, December 19, 2008

What's for Dessert

Click on any of the links below (Coming Soon) for a brief description.

All of these desserts are Soy and Dairy Free!

Menu Ideas for Breakfast

Click on any of the links below (Coming Soon) for a brief description.

All of the meals below are Soy and Dairy Free!

  • Buckwheat Banana Nut Pancakes
  • Western Style Scrambled Eggs
  • Oat Groats / Pearled Barley (See Whole Grains)

Menu Ideas for Dinner

Click on any of the links below (Coming Soon) for a brief description.

All of the meals below are Soy and Dairy Free!

  • Homemade Pizza
  • Chicken Cordon Blue
  • Asparagus and Garlic Stuffed Flounder
  • Garlic and Mushroom Mashed Potatoes
  • Chicken Soup
  • Chicken Quesadilla
  • Enchiladas

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Baker

For those who find themselves having a soy reaction due to 'cross contamination' in products that do not have soy listed on the label, but were processed/packaged on the same equipment as products containing soy, take caution when buying breads made by 'The Baker'. Although they have a number of varieties of soy free breads, I was told by their customer service rep that all their products share the same equipment.

I am not entirely surprised by these findings, but I am baffled as to why company's still do not recognize a soy allergy as being worthy enough to put some sort of allergy warning on their product. I guess this is just another reminder that just because soy is not listed on the ingredients, trace amounts may still be present in the product.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Season Seafood Products

*I have removed the name of the customer service rep for privacy purposes. The most recent reply is listed first, with a bullet mark beginning each individual correspondence.

  • Thank you for your suggestion. We keep trying to update the packaging.

Consumer Affairs
RAB Food Group
1 Harmon Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094
  • Consumer Affairs,
Thank you for your quick response and taking the time to investigate the matter. Because soy is so commonly used in products, but not easily seen in the ingredients when I get a soy reaction, I make a list of all the possible suspects and try to determine which one could be the cause. Due to your findings I have to assume that your product is a possible source, and will have to stop from making any further purchases.

Just a word of advice, since a soy allergy is one of the 8 most common allergies with some reactions being deadly, I would recommend that your company consider noting on the package that this product was packaged on the same equipment that also processes products containing soy. It would be very helpful for the many people suffering with this allergy.

Thanks again for your efforts, and I hope my advice is useful.

  • Dear Mike:
We have been told that the same equipment is used to pack all the Sardines.

Consumer Affairs
RAB Food Group
1 Harmon Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094

  • The UPC number is 0 7030302216 0.

Thanks for your support.

  • Please share the upc number of the product so we are sure to get information about the right product.
Consumer Affairs
RAB Food Group
1 Harmon Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094

  • Hello,
I have a soy allergy, and was wondering if your sardines packed in "pure olive oil" are packed on the same equipment as those packed in "soy oil". My allergy is sensitive enough that I've noticed allergy symptoms due to cross contamination in other products; peanut butter for instance.

Thanks in advance for your quick response,

Product Alerts!

Below are some product alerts due to recent findings concerning Soy/Dairy allergies.
I have recently found that Season's sardines "packed in pure olive oil" are packaged on the same equipment as there products packaged in "soy oil". If you are like me, and are sensitive to cross contamination, then you will want to be aware of this finding especially if you are searching for packaged tuna replacements. Click on company name above to see email chain pertaining to this finding.

Click on the company name above for product alert information.

Click on the company name above for product alert information.

Click on the company name above for product alert information concerning vitamin supplements.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Blessing In Disguise!

I honestly believe that, for me, my soy allergy is a blessing in disguise. My friends and family who on occasion have me over for a meal may disagree, but when it comes to your health thinking selfishly (what's best for you) is probably the smartest way to go. I stress "for me it's been a blessing" because thankfully I do not have the most severe of reactions (anaphylactic shock) to this allergy, but I do have many symptoms/reactions that I do not take lightly.

For years I was showing many signs (some subtle, others not) of a body under attack, but I never put all the pieces together. I would get swollen, red, itchy, painful knuckles on both hands and feet, to the point where if I didn't need them I would have cut them off long ago. I would get stubborn acne on my face and arms that the strongest of commercially marketed cleansers couldn't clear up. I would have heart palpitations, not to the point where I thought I was having a heart attack, but enough that I knew something wasn't right. All were warning flares being shot off by an immune system in a sinking ship of a body, and somehow I wasn't seeing the light. That is until I had myself tested for allergies, and soy was one of the culprits.

It was tough at first. There's so much out there telling you what to avoid, but not much in the way of how to cope. I am proof though that it is possible to live soy free, with emphasis on LIVE. I don't miss my old life style, as healthy as I thought it was, not for a second! Since I've cut all processed, prepackaged meals out of my diet I've watched all annoying symptoms of this allergy disappear. I can assure you that if you're ready, willing, and creative, then you will see it's not so hard.

AllergyFree Search Engine