Earlier this week, I began my journey into the world of veganism. It has nothing to do with politics or saving the cute and fuzzy little animals. It has to do with SOY and how it is slowly but surely breaking me. In the past, I have posted here of my freakish allergy problems and skin ailments. While I have always been VERY careful in avoiding my allergy/intolerance triggers, I have never been completely soy free due to the fact that soy is in EVERYTHING these days. My long standing theory has been this: If a mother is told not to eat or drink dairy when her baby seems to not be able to tolerate it, does that mean if a chicken is fed soy feed all of its life and then I eat the chicken, will I, too, react in the same manner? Same goes for cow’s milk? So, as of Monday, I am completely soy free. I have purchased a few bags of food from Whole Foods to get me through this journey. I have only purchased items that say soy free and when in question, I have double checked with the companies. I have removed all animals products from my diet. And due to my existing nut allergies, I am basically subsisting on fruit, vegetables, legumes (I’ve chosen to eliminate peanuts as well since on the first day of this journey I ate all natural peanut butter and my ears itched like hell) and grains. It has been a tough go, but I am determined to try this for a few weeks to test out my theory. I’m still not totally convinced that my skin won’t just get better because I’m not eating a bunch of crap – no additives, no preservatives, no dyes, very little sugar, etc. I’m sure there are other factors involved for me, as well - first and foremost, the hard water in New Jersey is awful. My skin problems are always worse in NJ. When I went to college in PA where the water was soft, I never had the same issues I have now. Secondly, I still take a birth control pill which many doctors have told me is enemy #1 because of the overgrowth of yeast it causes in the system. Over the past 20 years (yes, I’ve had skin problems for 20 years with no reprieve), I’ve seen hundreds (literally!) of doctors, dermatologists, allergists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, etc. Most of them tell me they don’t know what is wrong with me because I look great on paper (my blood is awesome, my skin…..not so much). Others tell me I’m crazy (yes, I actually had a dermatologist tell me that I needed psychiatric help because it was all in my head). Many people think my life story is crap (and have documented it via comments on this blog) because I don’t have an immediate, anaphalactic reaction to soy. They say that we all know our own bodies best. Well I know this, something is wrong with me. I may not be a doctor, but I know and feel that I am not a healthy person. SO, I will continue to test my theory. It will either be the medical breakthrough I’ve been waiting for or another failed self-diagnosis. I will tell you all this, though. In the 3 days since I’ve been on this special diet, I’ve felt better than ever. I have more energy, I haven’t had many migraines and I’ve even lost 3 pounds. My skin seems to be getting better, but I haven’t seen an overnight miracle. Only time will tell. I’m not going to make any judgements until I’ve done this for at least 2 weeks. I want my system clear and I want my skin to have time to heal from its existing blemishes/lesions. Wish me luck on this potentially life changing journey. After a few weeks of this, I will attempt to reintroduce animal products one at a time. If I’m still fine, I will stick to the natural diet with the addition of meat. If I’m not, I will attempt to try no-soy fed meat. If that doesn’t work, it looks like I’ll be the newest member of the Vegan crew.