UPDATE: Please make sure to double check ingredients each time you buy. I hope I never overlook anything but it’s possible and ingredients can change. A lot of my posts are over two years old and since I have gone back dairy soy free I have discovered a few items I use to buy all the time that now have soy in them.
Living dairy & soy free is hard. You might miss dairy the most; the cheese, the ice cream, the sour cream, the cream cheese, the ... well you get the point. But soy will be the part that breaks you from this lifestyle if you are not committed. Soy is in everything. I had to give up eating out, questioning my friends & family relentlessly to see all food labels, and basically cook everything at home. I read the statistic that only 10% of moms who try to go dairy and soy free for their babies make it. I really hope this blog helps raise that percent. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it for your baby's and your health? YES.
If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or if like me your baby has a dairy and soy intolerance (which is very common but don't worry most will out grow around 1 to 2 years) switching to a no dairy no soy life can seem overwhelming at first. I have now been dairy soy free for 392 days (that's right I keep a count widget on my phone). At first I thought there is no way people can live like this, I can't eat anything! Well I'm here to tell you minus the pain Annabel was in for the first few months of her life (till we figured out what was going on) this was the best thing to ever happen to me. If your baby seems to cry non stop except for feeding and sleeping, and hurts when going to the bathroom ask your doctor to check them for a dairy soy intolerance. All they do is check a poop diaper for dairy protein, it does not hurt your baby at all. My family is saving money, feeling better, and eating healthier. I not only dropped all my baby weight but 40 more pounds (of coarse breastfeeding has helped too). There is so much to tell when it comes to living dairy soy free but in this post I will start with some basics that have helped me. I know this is a long one but it has some great starter information on living dairy soy free so stick with me.
1. Stop eating out. Soy is in almost everything (most breads, sauces, etc...). If you are doing this because a baby needs your breast milk to be dairy soy free I would not risk eating out. If you are doing it for health reasons, and can't seem to avoid eating out, be very careful and realize you will probably be eating some soy without knowing.
2. Get use to reading labels on everything all the time. Don't worry it becomes 2nd nature quickly. Plus Googleing all of those ingredients you don't recognize will give you a better idea of what you are putting in your body. Some of them are pretty scary, especially when you find out some things are also used to remove stuff from roads (seriously and we eat that!).
3. Toss out all vegetable oil. Most has soybean oil in it plus vegetable oil is not that great for you anyways. Use coconut oil, grape seed oil, and olive oil for sauces, marinades, and pan frying. Use 100% corn oil, canola oil (check label sometimes they have soy), and peanut oil (if you can) for frying. Also check your cooking spray even some of the olive oil spray has soy. Pam for Grilling is one of the only ones soy free I have found.
4. Learn to love coconut oil. It's incredibly good for you in so many ways. Plus it can be substituted for butter in almost any recipe. It comes in a solid form that melts easily. Also it tastes great. 101 uses for coconut oil.
5. Check your medications, spices, and drinks too. Most multivitamins (even prenatal) have soy because soy is an inexpensive form of Vitamin E. Some allergy medicines have a form of dairy (adult Claritin but not the kid version). A lot of the spice mixtures you find have soy (like the grill version of lemon pepper from McCormick). And I found soy in Orange Crush so just be on the lookout (see #2).
6. Be prepared to cook at home fresh foods. Most processed foods and junk food have soy. You might have to go out of your way sometimes and allergy free processed foods are more expensive but you will be eating healthier and feeling better so it's worth it. There are a few great allergy free brands. Udis has great bagels and muffins. You can find Udis in the frozen section of the grocery store under Gluten Free. Then Enjoy Life is an awesome brand and everything they make is free of the top 7 food allergies. You can find Enjoy Life in the Gluten Free section. They make hard and soft cookies, some crackers, and my favorite chocolate chunks and mini chocolate chips so you can still make chocolate chip cookies (and candy fudge, I'll post a recipe later). Then you can find things like Sweetpotato Fries (most frozen regular fries use vegetable oil with soybean oil, I have not found any regular frozen fries soy dairy free yet but you could make your own). The Gluten free section is a great place to look. A lot of times if the company goes to the effort of making a product allergy free for one allergy they will do it for several but not always so read your labels.
8. Realize it gets easier and soon it's second nature. I have almost no headaches, more energy, and have lost tons of weight. This really is a great lifestyle and one I plan to keep even after I stop breastfeeding. If my Annabel out grows her intolerance I won't make her follow it so she is not so restricted when not at home. It is a huge commitment but one that takes almost no effort after a few months. It truly becomes a lifestyle.
9. It can take 4-6 weeks to get dairy out of your system so give it time and don't get frustrated.
10. Learn your terms for dairy and soy I have listed some below.
Here are some terms for dairy and soy that you might find on labels.
Label Reading Terms that indicate the Presence of Cow's Milk Protein
Butter, Buttermilk, Casein, Cheese, Chocolate, Cottage Cheese, Cream, Curds, Dry milk solids, Ghee, Half and Half, Ice cream, Lactoalbumin, Lactoglobulin, Lactose, Milk, Milk protein, nonfat milk solids, Sodium caseinate, sour cream, whey, yogurt.
*Non-dairy does not necessarily mean Milk free - read label.
Label Reading Terms that indicate the Presence of Soy
Hydrolyzed soy protein,Miso, Soy (listed as Soy albumin, Flour, Grits, nuts, milk or sprouts), Soybean (granules, curd), Soy protein (concentrate, isolate), Soy sauce, Textured vegetable protein (TVP), Tofu.
Also - hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavoring, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch and flavorings.
I hope this helps. I know it's a lot to take in at once but it gets easier and I bet once you start you won't go back.
You can also find me on Pintrest @DairySoyFreeMom