I officially went dairy soy free again on July 5th. After 3 weeks back, I feel like I have already learned a ton I did not know the first time around. The first thing I have noticed is in the two years I have been off the diet there seems to be a lot more options popping up for eating out dairy soy free. More and more restaurants are developing larger allergy free menus. We were dairy soy free for over two years as a family, and in those two years I ate out two times and both at the same restaurant. I just did not trust anywhere enough to understand my diet, especially the no soy part. Soy is sneaky and seems to pop up everywhere (from vegetable oils and sprays that a lot of kitchens use to even your vitamins). In preparation for going dairy soy free again I have been looking up allergy menus online and asking in restaurants for options just to see what’s out there. I have discovered everywhere from places like Pita Pit to frozen yogurt places like Orange Leaf have dairy soy free options. Most restaurants have allergy menus online now, and soy has made the list. Dairy was normally included, but to see soy pop up now makes me very happy. So if you want to eat out somewhere Google their allergy menu before going and see what options you may or may not have.
The second thing I have learned is people are normally very helpful with allergy restrictions. Don’t be afraid to ask to see package ingredient labels if you are unsure of the ingredients. Normally people will bring packages right out and let me double check ingredients for myself. I have asked to see labels on things I buy at the deli section of the grocery store (like roast beef, hey you never know what might be hiding dairy or soy). I will be asking Pita Pit to see the package their pita bread comes in to check it for dairy and soy, hopefully they will be as helpful as other places I have asked. Also if you have dairy soy free things you normally like to buy or that you might want to try but cannot get it in your local grocery store just ask. Call the store and ask to talk to the person who does the stocking for the store. If you can give them the name of what you want (and better yet the UPC code) most will try to get it in for you, and if it sells well they might start stocking it all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask, the worst that can happen is they say no.
The third thing I have learned is there are so many more options in the grocery store for dairy soy free items. The larger chip brands seem to be going away from vegetable oil that contains soy unless they are a cheese, sour cream, etc… flavored type of chip. I am also finding options for breads (I’ll do a post on them soon, I am still making my way through all the options), ice creams, sauces, cooking sprays (also a post coming soon), and so much more in regular grocery stores. Before I had to struggle to find some of these items unless I went to specialty grocery stores, the prices are still high compared to the dairy soy counterparts, but I’m amazed at the options out there now.
The fourth thing I’ve learned is I’m still learning. I have done blog posts in the past on soy in vitamins and where to find dairy soy free vitamins (I think the generic Target brand of prenatal vitamins are dairy soy free now, but check your ingredients). I’ve also gotten some advice that the soy in vitamins does not contain the protein that would bother an intolerance. I have not found out for sure either way. I have asked multiple doctors and looked online but no concrete answer on that one. So I guess if you are over cautious like me then look for dairy soy free vitamins. If you have been taking your regular vitamins and have not had any issues then I’d say no need to change them. In addition, you need to avoid MSG. I’m pretty sure I listed it very early on in my blog days as something to avoid but somehow I had forgotten that one. MSG is pretty much soy (others to avoid TVP texted vegetable protein and HVP hydrolyzed vegetable protein). I’ll try to do an updated post on the different names that mean soy soon. I’ve also recently read that soy lecithin and soy oil can normally be handled by people with a soy intolerance or allergy. I’ve not tested this out, but I know soy is now one of the allergies that manufactures are supposed to list at the end of the ingredient list as an allergy. However, they do not have to list if the product contains soy lecithin since it is not supposed to contain the protein that would bother you. Again, I normally cut out anything that says soy or dairy (or any of the other names for soy or dairy) in the ingredients but that might not be necessary. My advice, as a mom not a doctor, would be to cut them all out and then add back in slowly the items with soy lecithin or soy oil if you want to try them. Each person is different and each child is different, it might bother one and not the other. Just use your judgement and do what feels right.
The fifth (and last thing I’ll post on for now) that I’ve learned is even though the new options will make things easier and having been through this before will make things easier keeping a tight blog schedule will be harder now that I have a toddler and a new baby on the way. I have cooked so many things in the past three weeks and only after sitting down to eat realized I took no pictures for the blog. I am in that 3rd trimester tired all the time phase and just getting food on the table everyday while keeping up with a four year old has been exhausting. So please be patient with me. I hope to post on a regular schedule but know that could be an unattainable dream. I do check my comments often and will always try to respond to questions ASAP. I will post my blog here and on Pintrest @dairysoyfreemom each time I post a new one. Hopefully I will have a new blog up each week. I have also finished correcting my old blog posts so all the pictures should be up now. Please let me know if you have any advice, tips, or questions.You can also find me on Pintrest @dairysoyfreemom