…and why I still choose to be soy-free
for another 100 years.
It was a long and winding road, before I started to feel healthy again. I was in a state of slight depression at the time, thinking I would never regain access to my former chipper self. Where did I go wrong, how did I become this way, why do I feel so lethargic, lazy and irritated all the time?
That was six years ago. Not exactly a lifetime ago, but just long enough to look back and know how far I have come since then.
Six years ago, I was going through my senior year of high school (I know, I am still a baby). I was captain of the dance team, a straight-A student, and a happy-go-lucky kid. All of a sudden, something had changed during my last year of high school. I started developing abdominal discomfort, GI distress and MAJOR skin irritations. It seemed to get worse with every passing day. Nothing I tried seemed to help, in fact, soaps and other face washes would only irritate my skin more. I had severe acne and blistering skin that itched and throbbed. I was embarrassed to go out in public, letting this condition control my social life. I felt sick after each meal, the abdominal pain and bloating never resolved. I felt as though I was going through puberty all over again, what a wonderful feeling when you’re nearly an adult, ugh.
In and out of doctor’s offices, nobody could seem to help me, nor did they know what was going on. The nurses poked and probed me to assess my blood and chemistry. It turns out my thyroid hormone levels were elevated, but they still didn’t know why. Heck, I didn’t even know where my thyroid was at that age. I began to see other doctors such as dermatologists, all of whom still couldn’t pin point what was wrong. They simply but meticulously shoved antibiotics, topicals, medications and other pill shaped drugs at me. No wonder my body was angry with me. I never once thought it was trying to fight something internally, I never would have guessed my body had internal inflammation.
It wasn’t until I met a professional massage therapist who hinted at the idea of a possible food allergy. Of all things, wouldn’t I know if I had a food allergy? I came to find out that not all food allergies look the same. The symptoms I had were actually classic symptoms for a food intolerance. So I began the hunt to track down my prey, using a food journal and eliminating certain food groups one at a time from my diet. Within a matter of a couple of months I had narrowed it down to soy. However, this really didn’t narrow anything down because soy is actually in the majority of what we consume and use on a daily basis. But I had to start somewhere.
I immediately and deliberately cleansed my diet of anything that contained soy, determined to kick this sickness to the curb. I raided my pantry, refrigerator, freezer, cosmetics, and everything else I consumed and or used on my skin. Within a few weeks I started to notice my energy coming back. I noticed my abdominal pain and bloating subsiding and my skin began to heal itself. I noticed my depression had lifted and I didn’t feel so tired and angry all the time. It was like 10 years had been erased from my life, leaving me renewed and healthy. I couldn’t believe it, I had figured out the curse!
It took a full year of avoiding soy in my diet before I was fully recovered, before my skin was renewed. Learning from every resource I could get my hands on, I was itching for more education on nutrition and how I developed this food allergy in the first place. Hence, began my journey towards being a Nutrition Professional and studying Nutritional Science at Texas A&M University.
Fast forward five years and I am still living a soy-free life, happier than I could have ever imagined. My knowledge and passion for nutrition has evolved over time and looking back on it now, I can’t believe what a milestone I have overcome.
Living a soy-free lifestyle has made my life such a blessing. I’ve learned to enjoy food for the purpose of nutritional healing, instead of gluttony and desire. I enjoy cooking from scratch, adding in every fresh ingredient with purpose. I’ve kicked out the heavily processed foods containing soybean by products; adding back in the fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Simplicity has become the basis for my lifestyle. Since the beginning of my journey, I have more passion and energy for life than I ever thought possible. I have become the person I was truly meant to be during this stage in my life, growing from my mistakes and learning how to tackle speed bumps along life’s journey.
Because when life hands us a doubting moment, we can either allow it’s pressure to hold us down or we can use it’s strength to build our character. I choose the latter, and I hope you do too. I hope you choose to tackle the speed bumps in your life, gracefully yet diligently.
After my self diagnosis, I was professionally diagnosed with a soybean allergy in 2012
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