Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A soy-free, hormone-free adventure.

One thing I'm finding out about cancer is that it affects a lot of your life.  I know that seems pretty....obvious, but I'm still learning a lot about what that means for me personally.  Some things are large-scale life adjustments, like having to adjust our adoption plan and learning to trust God for our family at a whole new level.   Some of them are smaller things, like not being able to get blood pressure taken on my right arm anymore (due to the loss of lymph nodes), which isn't all that life-altering.  Then, there's the medium kind of adjustments, one of which is change in diet. 

I love soy.  I used to eat dry-roasted soybeans a lot, because they were a very lean source of protein and had lots of filling fiber.  I think it tastes delicious, and it's in tons of health foods, in the form of protein, soybean oil, etc.   I even had a delicious low-calorie chocolate-mint cupcake recipe that used soy flour.   Unfortunately, soy also produces estrogen, and estrogen feeds my type of cancer.  It's not like a food allergy - one soybean won't really have any kind of an impact on me.  But, my doctors have recommended cutting soy out of my normal diet.  It's not a big deal if I eat things that contain soy occasionally, but my "routine" food shouldn't contain soy anymore.  I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, until I started checking each item that in our pantry.  Wow....

In addition, I am supposed to switch to hormone-free meat and poultry.  At this point, it's starting to feel like quite the adjustment!

What a blessing it is that God created me with a love of cooking!  I've always liked healthy cooking, but this is really altering my understanding of what's healthy for me personally.   And, now that so many of the healthy pre-packaged foods are off-limits, I'll be making more and more things at home, so I'll know exactly what is (and is not) in them.   In addition, I am working on finding ways to be picky about our food, and be very frugal at the same time.  So, in the upcoming months, I'll be sharing bits and pieces of our culinary adventures. 

For starters, we bought a cow.  Actually, we are buying a cow with several other families, as I'm pretty sure an entire cow would be a lot of meat.  I'll keep you posted with that, as it's an adventure in and of itself!  It's taking a lot for me to to be able to acknowledge/cope with the fact that our beef will actually come from a cow. I've always liked just thinking about my beef coming from the backroom in the store, so it's a pretty big mental adjustment, since I really like cows, and enjoy petting them when I can.  I've had to use the word, "carcass" and, "hanging weight" in sentences, and while I almost threw up once during the conversation with the very kind, patient farmer, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all pans out! I think we get the meat towards the end of this month.

In the meantime, I've been working a bit on the layout of the blog.  In addition to wanting to learn more myself, I want to provide resources for others facing cancer, or looking forward to adoption, so stop over and check it out - and be sure to add any favorite resources you might have!


  1. HI Kelli, Although soy has been promoted as a big health food I have read other research that would indicate it isn't so good for you. You might try doing more research about it. Apparently from what I understand the type of soy that is used in Asian countries is prepared using a different process than what we usually use. Obviously you aren't using it anymore anyway but thought you might find it interesting....


  2. Good thing you guys are getting a Trader Joes soon...that will definitely come in handy with alternative cooking. We don't eat many meals from boxes, so if you are looking for some great recipes, let me know! Can't wait to hear more about your adventure!

  3. Aunt Dawn - I might look into it, but at any rate, at least now I now I may not be missing as much as I thought!

    Clare - I'd love to hear some of your family's favorites!