Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Everyone experiences challenges when trying to eat and live soy-free. It is inevitable that you will accidentally come into contact with soy and is only natural that sometimes you will get thrown off course and will need to get back to eating right. This definitely happens to us from time to time. Sometimes we accidentally eat something with soy, or we get lazy/tired/hungry, and slip up. Once we’ve accidentally eaten soy, it feels very difficult to get back to being 100% soy-free and can be easy to forget how good it felt to be soy-free. Adding to the challenge, sometimes a small amount of soy won’t bring you down all the way and it can take a while to start feeling terrible.
The actual event that throws you off your game can be a variety of things: Maybe you go out to eat a couple times in a row and accidentally eat something with soy, maybe you didn’t read the ingredient label on a new product that had soy, or maybe it was something as simple as you eating at a friend’s house when they accidentally cooked with soybean oil. Whatever happened, it is important to recover to keep feeling well. Recommitting to a soy-free lifestyle can be difficult at first, but you’ll find that it will feel very normal once you get back into it. The quicker you can recommit and reshape your diet the better you will feel (and the easier it is to re-eliminate soy)!
Before getting to the recovery method, let’s quickly identify some common ways that soy could be introduced into your diet:
- Not Checking For Soy - Sometimes we get lazy and don’t check the ingredients of everything we make at home. We try to read the ingredient label of everything we buy, but this doesn’t happen 100% of the time. It is also worth noting here that sometimes manufacturers change the ingredients they use, so what used to be soy-free isn’t necessarily still soy-free.
- Eating Out - For us, life can get busy and occasionally we find ourselves eating out several nights in a row. We eat out occasionally. Eating out isn’t bad, but since it is harder to control what you eat when eating out, it is more likely that some soy might find its way into your diet. Eating out more frequently can leave you especially vulnerable because you might be tempted to mix up the meals you choose, increasing the chances that you will eat something with soy.
- Making A Specific Guess About A Food - If you make an educated guess about a particular food, it is possible to guess incorrectly and end up eating soy. This situation is distinct from the first “Not Checking” option because you did recognize the possibility for soy to exist in the food, you did your research (as much as possible), and then you made an educated guess about the food. We still make guesses about things that may or may not be soy-free fairly often for things like natural flavors. Sometimes those guesses are correct, and sometimes we accidentally eat soy.
Alright, now that you’ve started feeling bad again, how do you get back on track? Keep a food journal!
Use a food journal to track everything that you eat. Just like tracking food when initially starting to eat soy-free, keeping a food journal will keep you mindful of what exactly you are eating, and help you correlate specific foods to specific feelings.
If a food journal just isn’t cutting it, consider doing a mini elimination diet for a couple of days to help you “reset” the foods you are eating. After a couple-day detox period (very strictly avoiding soy), add foods that you commonly eat one at a time in one- or two-day intervals. Keep a food journal during this process. If and when you feel bad after adding in a specific food, make a note and don’t eat it any more!
Regardless of how it happens, or how you work to get back on track, it is worth recognizing that the recovery effort is really hard! Overcoming small slip-ups is very challenging, but you can recover! Learning to recover from slip-ups quickly and often is a key piece of a soy-free lifestyle and will help you avoid soy long-term.