I was never comfortable with the imposed accusation that I am a âhealth nutâ thatâs on a âspecial dietââaccusations usually made in condescending laughter by members of my family. But I know that my peoplesâmany of them devout Americansâknow when we meet at the funerals, many of our beloved relatives died in no small part due to the effects of eating habits. The big ones for us include diabetes and circulation disorders related to cholesterol levels. When the father of my father died after his stroke that was enough family talk for meâŠ
I can tell you two reasons why I am not comfortable with suggestions that I am some kind âexpertâ in the field of nutrition. My intake of sodium remains too high and, for years, I was ingesting massive amounts of soy. An article by Mary Vance Terrain is revealing:
Epidemiological studies have shown that Asians, particularly in Japan and China, have a lower incidence of breast and prostate cancer than people in the United States, and many of these studies credit a traditional diet that includes soy. But Asian diets include small amountsâabout nine grams a dayâof primarily fermented soy products, such as miso, natto, and tempeh, and some tofu. Fermenting soy creates health-promoting probiotics, the good bacteria our bodies need to maintain digestive and overall wellness. By contrast, in the United States, processed soy food snacks or shakes can contain over 20 grams of nonfermented soy protein in one serving.
I trust my feelings and take action because of them. I was not measuring those grams of Soy in my dietâbut I could feel that something was wrong. Thereâs no way I can prove that soy was the cause of:
- Problems with maintaining solid stools. You donât really need any more detail than thisâŠ
- A lack of balanceâI had serious trouble riding with no hands on my bicycle. After I stopped the high soyâafter a few weeksâmy sense of balance improved.
- Strange feelings in the âbreastâ areaâbut I donât have breasts!
Keep in mind that these subtle effects took years to reach levels that provoked me to change. Hereâs a terrifying sentence in the Mary Vance Terrain article: âIn men, soy has been shown to lower testosterone levels and sex drive, according to [clinical nutritionist Kaayla Daniel].â You knowâŠ I was eating crazy amounts of soy when I was shackinâ up with the mother of my third child years agoâŠ hmmâŠ this explains a lotâŠ
Now for those of you who are deep, deep into soy like I wasâconsider my first suspect, soy milk. Get rid of this entirely. Mary Vance Terrain warns us that, âSoy milk is second or third level in terms of processingâŠââso we might agree that soy beans are not evil. We need to be wary, however, of processed soy.
To keep the story short, letâs just say that my âstep oneâ was replacing soy milk with almond milk and hemp milk. Yes thatâs right, you weed-smoking young ladies, I drink hemp milk. This is the first move to steady hempinâ (and I will never smoke weed unless you pull it right out of the soil on your palatial estate and I am somehow deeply infatuated with you). And this milk can be the nastiest shit in the world when you are not choosing brands carefully (unsweetened soy milkâand almond milkâcan surprise the uninitiated as well). The only way you can âdefendâ your use of cow (or goat) milk with me is when you know the name of the cow (or goat) that was milked for your tall, cool glassâotherwise donât waste your time.
Actually, now that the memory has come back this is how my milk transition went (over almost two decades): industrial cow milk > skim milk > âvitamiteâ > soy milk > hemp or almond milk. For those of us who ate Capân Crunch, we may recall how special and sweet the milk tasted at the bottom of the bowl. This is what the âright brandâ of hemp milk tastes like to me (but I respectfully warn you that my sensitivity to sweetness and saltiness may be too much for your taste).