How My Life Has Changed

The term “lifestyle change” has become a household term.

A lot of folks choose a diet plan,  join a gym, and suddenly they’re in the midst of a lifestyle change. For those of us with food allergies, a lifestyle change takes on a whole new meaning.

When I met my husband, I was concerned with dating, my family and my career, and that was about it. While I could cook when I needed to, it was certainly not something that I could ever see see myself doing every day, not less three times a day. My husband still teases me to this day about a kitchen towel I had that said,

“Divas don’t do dishes.”

After we got married, I certainly did more cooking, but we enjoyed eating out A LOT.

I have known for years that I was allergic to red dye, sulfites, tuna, salmon, and cod. Those allergies didn’t change my life very much. However, It has been a mere few weeks since I found out I have a soy allergy, and I feel like I am leading a completely different life. This morning, I spent a good chunk of time looking through cookbooks to help me find something to eat other than the same 4-5 soy free meals in my rotation. What’s even more funny is that I was actually EXCITED about looking at cookbooks, because I knew this could be the key to unlocking a delicious and nutritious diet.

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Below are just a few of things that I have experienced so far in dealing with my
“lifestyle change”:

  • Throwing out every beauty product, household product, bath & shower product, toothpaste, hand soap, dishwashing and laundry detergent, and many medications.
  • Throwing out almost every pre-packaged food in my house.
  • Spending countless hours reading labels and making phone calls right in the middle of the grocery store, hoping to find something I can eat or beauty/household products I can use.
  • Learning to cook all kinds of vegetables that I didn’t even know how to pronounce, much less cook.
  • Spending countless hours trying to figure out if there is even one restaurant in my area that can make a soy free meal.
  • Loss of spontaneity. My husband and I would go somewhere every weekend at a moment’s notice, and now it takes hours of meal planning and preparation to take a day trip.
  • Figuring out how to carry soap with me so that I can wash my hands in a public restroom.
  • Worrying about how I will handle my new lifestyle when I start a full-time job and if my coworkers will think I am a weirdo. (“Sorry, I can’t go out for lunch.” “Yeah, I know it’s weird that I have to carry soap to the bathroom.” “Sorry, I would love to try your homemade cookies that everyone raves about, but I have to pass.”)
  • Answering all the questions from people that really do care, but just don’t understand. (Can’t you just take an antihistamine and eat/do what you want? Are you sure you are allergic to soy?)
  • Sitting in a restaurant while your friends and family eat something you still CRAVE while everyone in the restaurant stares at your home cooked meal like you’re a freak.

Here’s the thing though. For every ONE item in the list above, there’s TWO things that have made my life SO MUCH BETTER. Here’s a few of them:

  • I sleep like a baby.
  • I never have to get up during the night anymore, and I always did before.
  • My acid reflux went from needing surgery to being completely controlled with medication (and maybe eventually without medication.)
  • I went from needing sinus infection antibiotics every 2-3 months for the past 1.5 years to having completely clear sinuses in the middle of pollen season.
  • I feel INCREDIBLE.
  • I am getting to the point that I can cook meals that make restaurants look like amateurs.
  • Learning to see cooking as an opportunity for creativity and loving it.
  • The “chicken skin” on my upper arms is gone, and in its place is skin that looks way younger than I actually am.
  • I have lost enough weight to go down 2-3 dress sizes.
  • Having people walk up to you and say, “Wow! You look ten years younger!” (And feeling 20 years younger!)
  • I am empowered by knowing that I am aware of and am familiar with every ingredient that goes into my body.
  • There’s a lot of toxins and harmful chemicals that my body will never have to process again, because now I know what can happen when you eat too many packaged foods.
  • We have saved a ton of money by eating at home.
  • My husband is also eating healthier and losing weight.
  • I am in tune with my body, and I know now exactly what I need to be healthy.
  • I have started this blog, which gives me a great sense of purpose for helping others thrive with their food allergy.

Considering it has been a mere few weeks since I began my soy free lifestyle, I cannot even imagine how the list of benefits will grow over time!

Calling All Soyvivors: What other lifestyle changes have you experienced? What are the good things that have come from it?

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9 thoughts on “How My Life Has Changed

  1. This is Alanna’s parents. It is absolutely amazing to see the transformation that has taken place with Alanna’s knowledge that she has a soy allergy. She looks like the daughter that we used to know again. She seems to be getting more healthy. We hope that she gets to the bottom of all the rest of
    her allergies and that her new life will be far better than she ever dreamed!

    Like

      1. Definitely! After reading this I definitely want to cook a lot more than I do right now, especially after seeing all the benefits you listed down!:-)
        I hope you enjoy reading my blog as well.:-)

        Like

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