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Posted on May 3, 2012 in Wisdom | 7 comments

Isn’t It Ironic?

Isn’t It Ironic?

In an ironic turn of events, I developed a pretty nasty intolerance to soy around the same time I started dating the soy bean farmer…

In a few months, our farm will look like this…

I’ve never been one to get migraines, so when I got that first killer headache that wouldn’t go away, no matter what I did, I was stumped.  I tried drinking more water, sleeping, caffeine, and pain killers.  Nothing worked.  Then a friend mentioned to me that she gets the same reaction when she eats too much soy.  That triggered a memory – a homeopathic doctor had told me a year prior that my body didn’t like soy at all and I should never eat it.  He had never told me to completely avoid a type of food before, although he had helped me deal with temporary reactions I was having to certain foods.  I used to eat soy regularly when I was a vegetarian, but I didn’t think I was eating any soy at that time.

My friend encouraged me to read product labels and join her amazement at how much food has soy in it.  It’s really shocking.  I’ve discovered that these days, nearly every PROCESSED food on the market is made with soy.  Even vitamins are coated with soy.  Now, this is good news on a business side.  Yay for the success of soy bean farmers like my husband!  On the health and meal preparation side, it’s terrible.

I literally cannot buy a loaf of bread without ordering it online or buying it out of town.  No frozen or delivery pizza, no boxed meal where you just add meat, no crackers, no condiments, even many frozen veggies have sauces made with soy…  The list of “nos” goes on and on.  I made a delicious meal, one of my favorites, a couple months ago and nibbled on leftovers for a week.  By the end of that week, I had the worst migraine of my life.  I laid in bed and cried.  Every time Rick moved, it hurt me.  I ended up sleeping on the couch just to have complete stillness, dark, and quiet.  I knew it was a soy headache, but I didn’t know what I’d eaten with soy in it.  I’d made homemade fajitas, Spanish rice, fruit salad, and cookies.

Well, it turns out that soy was in nearly everything I’d made.  It was in the box of Spanish rice, in the pre-made cookie dough, in a coating on the fruit, a filler in the chicken, and in the tortilla shells!  So it appears that I can handle a little soy here and there, but when I get too much and it builds up in my system, BAD things happen.

As a result, I’m turning into more of a typical farmer’s wife than I thought I’d be.  I’m planning to tackle homemade bread very soon.  I’ve switched to making cookies from scratch.  I have to make sauces for veggies and even barbecue sauce from scratch.  Suddenly, cooking is a lot more complicated than it was as a single woman when I ate mainly pre-packaged foods reheated in the microwave.

The funny this is that a few years ago a friend of mine went to Australia for a vacation and came back with stories about how they eat very little processed food.  They make nearly everything from scratch.  She said the obesity rate there is very low and the food is amazing.  At the time I felt very strongly like that was something I should do – cut way back on processed foods.  But actually doing that with my crazy schedule and working 3 jobs just didn’t happen.

In addition, it’s a well-known fact that having too much soy in your diet can influence your estrogen levels.  While trying to get pregnant, or pregnant, it’s best to seriously limit your intake of soy.  Maybe my body is preparing me for something?

So now I am forced to do so or live with a migraine…

From time to time I will probably share some of my soy-free recipes and the reaction of my junk-food loving husband.  But for now, I’m dealing with my shock at discovering the presence of soy in chocolate chips, the coating of apples, mustard, and frozen chicken breasts.  Oh my!


  1. Do you think you’ll raise your own roasters and layers so you can have eggs and chicken that are not soy fed?

    • I can’t imagine going that extreme, but if it becomes necessary I will. Hopefully not though!

      • Yeah, the whole having to kill the chicken part discourages me from doing it myself. I really like the idea of having a garden, being less reliant on stores for food, that kind of thing… have you read any of the traditional food articles on I made my own whey last month after reading some recipes there. My husband is horrified by my do-it-yourself food projects lol

      • No, I haven’t been on that site. Rick’s parents have a garden and we’ll be enjoying the fruit of their labor pretty soon. 🙂

  2. I feel your pain, Kimberly. I had a very similar experience only the culprit was cheese. It caused very bad headaches that would not respond to pain relievers of any kind. The only remedy was avoidance. Ever try to avoid cheese? It’s found in lots of processed foods and also in all kinds of foods that I used to enjoy. Can you say lasagna, pizza, Mexican foods, Italian foods, cottage cheese, (did I mention PIZZA)? We once went to a restaurant where literally every single item on the menu had cheese in it or on it. Once I’ve gotten used to checking for cheese in the ingredients list, I function quite well, but it was a big adjustment. Hope your adjustment isn’t too painful! I have been enjoying your blog.

    • Oh Colleen! I think that would be worse than soy! I love cheese. That is certainly a big adjustment. I’ve NEVER been a person with food allergies in my life. I get a little congested when certain things are in bloom, and I’m a little sensitive to orange juice, but that’s about it. Suddenly I have a lot more sympathy for those with major food allergies. Yuck.

  3. wow, that is very interesting. i had heard that the processing of soybeans was a problem for allergy sufferers but never realized the beans themselves could cause problems.

If we were chatting over a cup of coffee, what would you tell me?

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