The Good, The Bad, and Soy

There is a reason I haven’t posted in a while (Isn’t there always?). Something happened that I’ve been wanting to share. There’s been a few nights when I wanted to write a post about it. I decided to wait until after this morning, when I knew for sure. Don’t worry- it’s good news, great news. Fantastic news, even!

Little tummy has seemed to have shaken off these food allergies of hers. Something her allergist told us, “is rare, but it happens.”

Last month, we took both girls to get allergy testing done. We tested tiny tummy for all the allergies we knew little tummy had to make sure they didn’t share any. Then, they retested little tummy for all of her previously positive allergies plus a few extras that we couldn’t do last time. Tiny tummy didn’t react to anything they tested her for. Yay! What shocked the doctor was that little tummy didn’t react in the slightest to any of her known allergens. She didn’t believe it and even asked the nurse to double-check. The only thing she did react to (and somewhat heavily) was cats and dogs. Boo! Not surprising, though. We knew she had become very sensitive around pet dander. She traded her food allergies for animals. It’s not ideal, but it’s still a trade-off I don’t mind.

We still were instructed not to let her have anything that she was allergic to. They wanted to do a series of oral challenges to make sure that the scratch test was correct. This morning was her first oral challenge and it was for soy. We challenged her with some blueberry soy yogurt and she did great! Papa tummy took her while I stayed home with tiny tummy. They were there for about 2 hours and she didn’t show a sign of any issues or symptoms. We only need to keep an eye on her for 24 hours and then we can start giving her soy.

Her next challenge isn’t until July and that’s for peanuts. Her final challenge will be cashews- since it was her biggest enemy. Once she passes the next two challenges she will be clear of her food allergies!!! We feel this may have happened because we were so vigilant about avoiding her allergies. Or maybe she’s just an awesome little kid with great luck.

As wonderful as this is, it has brought on a new set of overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Avoiding food is tough and it requires a lot of learning. Adding a food back into your diet is like going through all that mess again. I have been so out-of-touch on the soy spectrum I don’t even know where to start. It has been over 2 years since we’ve had soy in this house! Within those two years an incredible amount of new products have surfaced, new recipes have been created and shared online, and new restaurants have opened. I have ignored all of these things because I didn’t want to feel like I was missing out on any of it while I was trying to keep my little girl safe.

Well, now I have a list of everything I have missed over these last months:

  1. 50% of my cookbooks– I can now use ALL of my cookbooks and ALL of the recipes in each of them. Now I feel like I have TOO MANY options. It’s going to take me hours to make my weekly menu. Isn’t that great?!
  2. All the convenience– Pretty much all of the frozen, pre-packaged, already made for you “not healthy” stuff that makes life a tad bit easier on days you just can’t bring yourself to lift a spatula or whip a whisk around. Now I can enjoy all the crap I want!
  3. Dining out– This was once one of my favorite hobbies. The only times we ate at any restaurant these past 2 years was when we “cheated” and had stuff with soy in it. Now, we can expand our eating out beyond the allergy menus at Native Foods, Chipotle, and Noodles and Co. Those were the only places we trusted because of how they dealt with allergy warnings. I can’t wait to go to a real restaurant and not feel guilty and not worry about the potential death of my child.
  4. Tofu– It is literally crazy how much I have missed tofu. It is the one thing I kept getting cravings for. That and tempeh. I cooked tofu for the first time tonight in I don’t know how long and it was sooooo goooood! I shared my meal with tiny tummy and she couldn’t get enough of it. This was her first time trying tofu and she loved it! Little tummy has never had tofu either. Remember, we found her soy allergy when she was 2 months old so she never even had a chance to try anything. I can’t wait to make her a tofu scramble after this 24 hour wait period is up!

One other problem that has surfaced with this news- what to do with this blog. I was working my way toward being the vegan allergy queen. I wanted to be known for altering any recipe to make it nutritious and delicious so that everyone could enjoy it. Now I just don’t know what to do. I know that I can be allergy-friendly by providing substitutes for everything with little asterisks, but is that really what I want to do? I just don’t know yet. This is something I have to mull over for a bit while we navigate this familiar old territory. As soon as I figure this out you will be the first to know.

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