Monday, February 1, 2010

Milky Challenges

I drank soy milk. Copious amounts. It wasn't because I am lactose intolerant (I'm not), or because I am vegan (hello, bacon!), but merely because the majority of the milk on St. Thomas is overpriced and gross. Really. I am talking $7-10 a gallon. Yup. It's true. Occasionally you can buy the St. Thomas dairies milk for like $5.99, but it is gross and tastes like the reconstituted milk it is. Nick and I bought Parmalat and other UHT milk products for a while. Good product, nice on an island with frequent outages, and about the same price as the crap sold in the refrigerated section of the store.

Soy milk is a tad cheaper per quart so I started buying it for my self. It's odd that soy milk would be cheaper than regular milk, but there you have it. I drank soy milk religiously for a good 5 years. Oh the flavors! Yummy (you gotta know the brands), creamy (which is such a bad description since there is NO cream), and super healthy. It has tons of protein, which I crave a lot, so I was happy there. Lots of calcium was also a plus so I became addicted. What I was blind to was the fact that soy has really high levels of phyto-estrogen. This is all well and good for normal people who have normal hormonal levels, but not for me. Add to this the fact that I also really love tofu, veggie burgers, steamed soy beans, soy sauce, soy nuts, and probably inadvertently eat soy as an additive in many things and you got a LOT of excess estrogen. For someone with already high levels like me, that is not good. Well, not HORRID, but not pretty.

I thought I was just cursed with adult acne. Then I read up on soy and got to thinking. I went soy free three months ago as an experiment. No soy lecithin, nothing. My face looks awesome. I always broke out in the "estrogen zone" around my mouth and cheeks. Nothing. My periods aren't as vicious. I just feel good. It's odd. I didn't change anything else except my soy intake. As someone with a strong science background, I can run an experiment pretty well. There were no other changes. I still drink a lot more than I should, but nowhere near the amounts most drink here on island. I stay out late a lot. I still use the same soap, detergent, etc. It's great. The down? I still need a milk substitute.
Today I tried rice milk. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was kinda dry. I don't know how that makes sense since it is a liquid, but it was. Just dry. Also, well, it tastes like rice. Maybe it was the brand: Rice Dream. I had okay luck with the Soy Dream in the past so I gave it a shot. My favorite soy products are Vitasoy and Natura Soy (super yummy strawberry tastes like Nesquick). Maybe the fact that I had it with Special-K (rice cereal) didn't help. I dunno. I will try it later with some cookies or some Nesquick (don't hate).

WOW! This post is getting long! Anyway, now I am asking for your help. Is there a good rice milk product available? Almond milk is a tad too expensive. Any other suggestions? Maybe I should just raise milk goats.

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Maritza S. said...

Luv the post as always. And you know anything in excess is bad. There has to be a balance and you know that. Anyways remember my friend in Naples, John, well he drank rice milk and raised his kids on it. He was always telling me how good it was and that I should try it. But you know me, I rarely try new things. I don't remember what brand he bought for his little son when we used to go to the market tho. And I can understand the thing about it tasting dry when its a liquid because there are wines that have that same effect lol. Anyways I heard goat milk was good but never tried it either. baaaaaa sorry I just had to. lol Do let us know what you come up with in future post.

nat said...

Wow! Thanks for the insight! I drank almost nothing but soy milk from 2003 or so until last year. I was also symptomatic for fibroids, which are related to excess estrogen. I thought it was due to natural cycling or the alleviation of some unknown environment cause that the symptoms had been going away, but I wonder now if it's not because I stopped drinking soy! (My face IS clearer these days as well. Wow.) I know I'm a sample size of one and prone to confirmation bias, but this definitely gives me something to think about!

PS, if you really do want to get into goats, I work with small ruminants at Cornell. One of my closest co-workers used to help with the running of a goat dairy on some Caribbean island about ten years ago, so I could probably be of assistance. :-) (I'm actually writing up a fellowship application at the moment to do extension work with local farmers; outreach is part of the job.)

The Grown-Up Child said...

Hi Mimi. Sorry I can't help you here. I've never even tried any milk alternatives. I love milk so much I would pay that outrageous price for it and tell myself that it was the price of living in paradise. ;) Good luck finding something good!

Mimi said...

Thanks for the insight, Nat. I think I should consider looking into this much more. I really think we may be onto something here. ;)

Mimi said...

Oh, and I totally need to hear about these goats.