Big City Belly Posts

Soy Free Foods for a Soy Free Diet

Posted by Erica on October 27, 2011
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Soy Free Foods

While soy beans, tofu, and soy protein isolate are excellent sources of protein it can wreak dietary havoc on a person with a soy allergy. When a person first realizes they need to begin a soy free diet, it is easy to become frustrated. Soy is a very common ingredient in a number of foods, particularly processed food.

Thankfully there are a number of brands that provide numerous soy free foods. They include Amy’s, Nature’s Path, Trader Joe’s, and more. To save you some of the frustration of finding soy free foods and brands, check out the options below.

Soy Free Diet Food List

Soy Free Bread

Soy free bread isn’t limited to sandwich bread; it covers an array of items including bagels, hamburger buns, and more. Here are what some soy free brands have to offer:

  • Rudy’s Organic Bakery: a variety of soy free bread, bagels, English muffins, as well as hamburger and hotdog buns (both wheat and white).
  • Trader Joe’s: organic bread crumbs and tortillas (flour and wheat)
  • Zingerman’s: bread, bagels, cinnamon rolls, hamburger buns

Soy Free Snacks

When an individual first embarks on a soy free diet, they tends to focus on the must haves for meals, and will forget about snacks. Here are a variety of soy free chips and crackers.

  • Frito lay: Tostitos natural tortilla chips and Cheetos Natural
  • Kashi: 7 grain snack crackers
  • Sensible Portions: veggie straws, veggie chips, and apple straws
  • Sunchips: variety of multigrain chips
  • Trader Joe’s: tortilla chips

Soy Free Ice Cream Brands

Like snacks, soy free desserts are often overlooked. While you will need to be more vigilant about checking the labels (some ice cream brands are not entirely soy free), you can still enjoy a bowl of ice cream.

  • Edward and Sons: Let’s Do Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones
  • So Delicious: a variety of flavors and coconut milk ice cream sandwiches

Soy Free Cookies

Looking for a dessert that is a little less frozen? Check out these soy free cookies:

  • Enjoy Life: a variety of cookies and brownies
  • Pepperidge Farm: chessmen cookies

Other Soy Free Food

Now that you have a decent array of soy free options, you may be wondering what about ease of use? Some days you just don’t have time to make three soy free meals from scratch. Thankfully, there are a variety of frozen food brands that offer soy free products.

  • Amy’s: macaroni and cheese, pizza Margherita, and Mexican bowls
  • Trader Joe’s: mac ‘n cheese, ricotta and spinach tortelloni, and spinach lasagna

Soy Free Supplements

Most supplements do not contain soy. Exceptions include soy-based supplements that use soy lecithin in their ingredients such as phosphatidylserine.

If you want to ensure you aren’t getting soy in your supplements, check the label. Or just buy single ingredient supplements. When you buy single ingredient bulk supplements, you aren’t getting filler or a mix of unnecessary ingredients.

Soy Free Protein Sources

Soy is a great source of protein, but it’s not the be all end all. If you’re looking for a soy-free way to add a little extra protein to your diet for those days at the gym, whey protein is an excellent alternative. Whey is dairy based, not soy-based and contains many important amino acids and absorbs very quickly. Here are some steps to assure that your whey is free of any soy proteins.

  • Check the label: It may seem self-explanatory, but many brands of whey protein contain a compound known as soy lecithin. This is actually safe for many people with soy allergies, as their allergic reactions are to soy protein itself whereas lecithin is an emulsifying oil that does not contain this type of protein. Of course, it is best to consult a trusted health professional first to make sure that soy oils are safe for you.
  • Look for a brand that is produced by grass-fed cows: This is often a great indicator of organic sources of whey protein.

Dairy Free Foods

Lactose intolerance is another dietary restriction that can be difficult to manage. While it may feel like the vast majority of foods contain milk, cheese, cream, etc there are actually a wide variety of dairy free foods on the market. The rise in popularity of veganism in addition to companies paying closer attention to special dietary needs has helped expand dairy free options tremendously.

Dairy Free Bread

  • 365 Organic: cornbread mix
  • Archer Farms: beer bread mix, ciabatta bread
  • California: sourdough bread
  • La Banderita: corn tortillas
  • Mission: flour tortillas
  • Nature’s Own: 12 grain, 100% whole wheat
  • Oroweat: 100% whole wheat sandwich thins and 100% whole wheat English muffins

Other Foods for Your Dairy Free Diet

Frozen dairy free entree options:

  • Amy’s: gluten-free non-dairy bean burrito, organic Indian spinach tofu wrap, spinach rice crust pizza, baked ziti bowls, and more
  • Namaste Foods: pasta primavera, say cheez pasta blend, taco and shells

Dairy free snacks

  • Duncan Hines brownie mix
  • Graham crackers
  • Most sorbets
  • Nutter Butters
  • Oreos
  • Poptarts: apple strudel, brown sugar cinnamon, cinnamon roll, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, and wild berry

When on the hunt for soy and dairy free foods, always be sure to check the labels. Companies change their ingredients all the time, so just because one brand carried a soy or dairy free product in the past doesn’t mean it is still that way now.

2 Hour Glucose Test

Posted by Erica on April 25, 2011
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During pregnancy, it is standard to screen women for gestational diabetes around the beginning of the third trimester. Nearly all pregnant women will experience a rise in glucose intolerance due to hormonal changes; this rise is usually minimal in the early stages of pregnancy. However, as pregnancy progresses and hormonal changes become more aggressive, expecting moms are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. [1]

But why are those pesky hormones causing the problem in the first place? Hormones produced in the placenta are the driving force behind transferring nutrients from mom to baby; these hormones also prevent mom from developing low blood sugar. This directly correlates to an increase in glucose intolerance. To combat this, the body makes more insulin. Unfortunately, sometimes the body is unable to produce enough insulin and expecting moms wind up with gestational diabetes. [1]

Testing for Gestational Diabetes

Due to the complications and risks of gestational diabetes (fetal defects, miscarriage, emergency caesareans, etc), expecting moms are tested around 24-28 weeks gestation. Some individuals in particular are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. They include individuals who are overweight, certain ethnic groups (Hispanic, black, Asian, and Native American), individuals with a family history of diabetes, and more. [1]

The week prior to the 2 hour glucose test, individuals are asked to eat as they normally would. Then, at least 8 hours prior to the screening, individuals are required to fast. When the patient arrives for the two hour glucose test, their blood is drawn for a baseline glucose level. Patients are then asked to drink 75g of a glucose solution and one hour later their blood is drawn. Their blood is drawn a second time another hour later (two hours total, hence the two hour glucose test). [2]

During this time, individuals are not permitted to eat or drink anything other than the glucose solution they are given prior to testing. Some individuals may experience nausea, fainting, and shortness of breath during testing. Should the patient vomit, the test is void and will need to be rescheduled.

Why the 2 Hour Glucose Test?

This screening is relatively new, but has positive implications over its predecessor. The original method for gestational diabetes screening only tested a patient’s blood once after ingesting the glucose solution. If blood sugar levels were higher than normal, then the patient’s blood would be drawn every hour for three hours. However, if the first draw came back in normal ranges, a patient could go undiagnosed.

Furthermore, the range for normal glucose levels during pregnancy has shrunk. One study found “Blood sugar levels that were once considered in the normal range are now seen as causing a sharp increase in the occurrence of overweight babies with high insulin levels, early deliveries, cesarean section deliveries and potentially life-threatening preeclampsia.” [3] The two hour glucose test can catch cases of mild gestational diabetes, which allows pregnant women to make the necessary changes to their diet and life style as well as monitor their blood sugar levels.



Pregnant Yoga and Prenatal Pilates in Chicago

Posted by Erica on April 15, 2011
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Staying active during pregnancy has a number of benefits for both mom and baby. Exercise during pregnancy can help fight fatigue, improve your sleep, and potentially make labor a bit easier. It also helps out your soon-to-be born baby; infants born to moms who exercised during pregnancy often come in at healthier weights and are less stressed by labor. [1]

However, not all exercise is created equal when it comes to pregnancy. High risk exercise that carries a likelihood of falling such as horse back riding as well as contact sports like softball, volleyball, etc should be avoided [1]. Thankfully, there are a number of options available tailored specifically to expecting moms including prenatal yoga and prenatal Pilates.

Pregnant Yoga

Pregnant women can expect to reap a number of benefits from a prenatal yoga class. Some of the best immediate benefits relieve common symptoms associated with early pregnancy: poor sleep quality, stress, back pain, nausea, and more. Plus, yoga classes for pregnant women have the added benefit of not requiring previous experience [2].

While many doctors do not suggest starting new workout regimens that are vastly different from your standard routine, pregnant yoga classes are geared specifically toward expecting moms’ needs. Just bear in mind prenatal yoga and regular yoga are very different from each other. Pregnant yoga does not involve any exercises or stretches that require you to be on your back or belly. Even so, be sure to consult with your physician to rule out any potential problems or risks.

Pregnant Yoga Classes

Now that you know the benefits of of taking a prenatal yoga class, you may be wondering what to expect from a prenatal yoga class. First and foremost, expect a focus on breathing. This can help you manage the shortness of breath that is typical during pregnancy as well as contractions during labor.

There will also be some stretching involved to gently move different parts of your body. This allows you put your muscles through their full range of motion releasing tension without injuring yourself. There will also be some posture work to improve strength and flexibility. Posture work has the added bonus of improving balance, which you will need more and more of as the months progress. Lastly, there will be a cool down period to help your muscles relax. [2]

Prenatal Pilates

Like yoga, prenatal Pilates carries a number of benefits. However, the largest difference between the two is that Pilates focuses much more on core strength. Having a toned pelvic core and abdominal muscles can provide more support and comfort during pregnancy. Prenatal Pilates is also easy to modify as your body and range of motion changes through pregnancy.

As with any new exercise routine, be sure to check with your doctor first. If you’ve never done Pilates before, be sure to take a prenatal Pilates class instead of trying to modify a regular class. Also, listen to your body as you exercise: take breaks when needed, avoid overheating, and drink plenty of water.



Is Graham Elliot Married

Posted by Erica on January 03, 2011
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Q: Is Graham Elliot Married?

Yes, he and his wife have two sons.