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Nothing to Eat

Since The Whole Soy Story came out in Spring 2005, hundreds of allergic people have told me that they live lives of angry desperation.

Trips to the supermarket or health food store mean hours of poring over food labels and finding little or nothing to eat.  Making matters worse, many react  to soy dust in the bulk bins and/or smells in the cleaning product and cosmetic aisles.  Some of these people use up tremendous amounts of energy venting in letters to the FDA and/or to food manufacturers.  Their entire lives revolve around fear of soy and the frustration of trying to completely avoid it. What they want is the government to outlaw soy so they can be happy again.

WHY AVOIDANCE ISN’T ENOUGH

The mistake most people make is to put all their energy into avoiding soy. Vigilance is essential, of course, especially for those who might go into anaphylactic shock. But the downside is an increasingly limited diet that can precipitate additional food allergies. Think how many soy allergies develop in the first place. A baby, child or adult reacts to commercial dairy products only to be switched to soy infant formula or soy milk. Or parents of an autistic child will go on a gluten-free and casein-free diet and end up using soy flours, soy protein and soy milk. The overuse, of soy then leads to soy-related digestive disorders, allergies, thyroid damage and other health problems. Every week I get letters from people wanting “protein powers,” “energy bars” and other convenience foods free of whey and soy protein.  The food industry’s latest answer is pea protein, but people who take pea protein every day will likely develop allergies or sensitivities to it as well. In any case, 100 percent soy avoidance is well nigh impossible.

A better solution is to reduce – or even eliminate – the sensitivity and reactivity. This is not always easy, but is possible using the combination of right diet and high-quality soy-free supplements. To get started, here’s four tips.

TIP # 1:  IF IT HAS A LABEL, DON’T BUY IT!

Live by this rule and you’ll eliminate the frustration of poring over food labels at supermarkets. Trying to find readymade food products without any soy or other bad ingredients is why people with allergies think there’s nothing they can eat. With the time saved, put your energy into preparing real foods, whole foods and slow foods. Eat a variety of them. This is the best way to avoid soy and will give your body the nourishment it needs for soy recovery.

TIP #2:  BONE UP

People with allergies and food sensitivities almost always suffer from impaired digestion and a “leaky gut.” Heal both with homemade bone broths rich in gelatin, cartilage and collagen. (Canned, packaged, restaurant or deli soups won’t do the trick as they are almost never made properly.) Directions are in Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat Lose Fat. Both books contain recipes but feel free to use any of your old favorite soup or stew recipes after including the three key ingredients of bones, water and vinegar. Chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and fish broths are all good. In addition to making homemade soups and stews, use bone broth as the liquid when cooking rice and other grains to improve nutritional content and digestibility. Bone broths provides good levels of absorbable calcium for people who cannot tolerate dairy,  even raw dairy.

TIP #3:  SUPPORT YOURSELF WITH COCONUT

The number  one question I hear from readers is, “I can’t drink milk so what do you recommend instead of soy milk?” Most people choose rice milk, a beverage that is high in sugar and low in nutritional value. The best non-dairy, soyfree alternative is a homemade coconut tonic made with coconut milk (full fat, not “lite”), water, dolomite, vanilla and a little maple syrup or stevia for a sweetener.  Thanks to the dolomite, it’s rich in calcium and magnesium. The recipe is in Eat Fat Lose Fat on page 220 [or see “Coconut Milk Tonic” posted at www.westonaprice.org]. Use coconut oil liberally as well. Coconut supports the immune system, always a weakness of people with allergies. That said, many people who cannot tolerate supermarket or health food store brands of milk, thrive on raw milk from pastured cows. For information on safety and availability, visit www.realmilk.com.

TIP #4:  BRING IN THE WEE BEASTIES

Improve your intestinal flora and fauna with unpasteurized cultured vegetables, kombucha and other fermented foods and beverages. Problem is that few people do it.  Those who get past the  taste often give up after experiencing uncomfortable detoxification reactions such as bowel upsets, headaches  and flu symptoms. This can be minimized by going slowly but surely. In addition, I recommend working with a health professional who does laboratory testing and can recommend a high-quality probiotic, customized digestive and metabolic enzymes and other gut-healing supplements.  Enzymes are critical because allergy sufferers produce insufficient amounts of pancreatic enzymes needed for adequate digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates.   Enzymes are not only needed to break down the proteins that would otherwise incite allergic reactions but to block the allergic reactions themselves. Furthermore, enzymes boost immune system function by promoting the growth of healthy intestinal flora. While healing can sometimes be accomplished with diet alone, most people need time to implement a full-tilt Nourishing Traditions diet. The right combination of diet and supplements can greatly speed the way.

Originally posted May 29, 2010 at Liberation Wellness; edited and republished here by author’s permission.

 

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN

Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
earned her PhD in Nutritional Sciences and Anti-Aging Therapies from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, is board certified as a clinical nutritionist (CCN) by the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists in Dallas and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. As a clinical nutritionist, she specializes in digestive disorders, women's reproductive health issues, infertility, and recovery from vegetarian and soy-based diets. 

Dr. Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food (New Trends, March 2005), which has been endorsed by leading health professionals, including Kilmer McCully, MD, Doris J. Rapp, MD, Jonathan V. Wright, MD, Russell Blaylock, MD, Larrian Gillespie, MD, Joseph Mercola, OD, Debra Lynn Dadd and others. Larry Dossey, MD, called it "science writing at its best" and William Campbell Douglass, II,MD called it "the most important nutritional book of the decade." 

Dr. Daniel has been extensively quoted in major newspapers and magazines, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Toronto Globe & Mail, Glamour, Oxygen and Alternative Medicine, and has appeared as a guest on NPR's People's Pharmacy, the Discovery Channel's Medical Hotseat and ABC's View from the Bay. Online her book has been featured prominently on mercola.com, the world's leading natural health and dietary website. She has also appeared as an expert witness before the California Public Safety Committee and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.

The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food