Soy foods and soy protein myths explained

soybeanWhen I used to work at the juice bar in Hollywood, girls (for the most part) would come into the store asking about being vegetarian or vegan. I remember one story in particular confessed by a naive customer . She had recently "gone vegan" and she began replacing almost all her dairy and meat items with soy products. She was gaining weight, was moody and lathergic. Why? Wasn't she supposed to go vegan, drop meat, and all the sudden drop the weight along with it?

There are a few common misconceptions about soy that I hope to clear up.

How much soy is too much? Is it dangerous for babies or kids to consume? Are there benefits to consuming soy?

Firstly, a "safe" amount of soy to consume is debatable. Each person is unique in the way we digest foods and what we are sensitive to.

Foods that contain whole soy can be a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans because they provide all the amino acids — a type of nutrient — that people need to stay healthy. (People who eat meat get all their essential amino acids from animal products.) Soy is sometimes added to foods like breads, cereals, and meat products, and used as a meat substitute in vegetarian products such as soy burgers and soy hot dogs.

Here are some common soy products/foods:

edamame Edamame: soy beans that have been boiled in water.

Soy Milk: a beverage made from soybeans, mixed with water. can be a good alternative to dairy. (not for children and definitely not as a formula or breast milk replacement)

Tofu: the white, soft processed soy milk coagulated with a chemical- (such as calcium sulfate) similar process to cheese. Should probably avoid this, almost all is genetically modified.

Tempeh: the natural fermented version of soy. Considered the healthiest of all soy varieties.

Miso: traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus kōjikin. Also safe and considered to have health benefits.

Soy Sauce: the soy contained in this salty mix is actually comparatively low.

Soy Lecithin: a great emulsifier (promotes solidity) for many different products. Research is showing many positive health benefits including lowering cholesterol, improving brain functioning and memory and aiding in the breaking down of fats to be used as energy. Check before using to make sure you are not allergic, allergies can cause many complications and side effects.

Soy protein: unless you know differently, most soy protein is produced in a large commercial factory and is typically in an aluminum container which isn't safe. MSG is often added as well.

Health Information

The FDA has authorized use of health claims about the role of soy protein in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) on labeling of foods containing soy protein. This final rule is based on the FDA's conclusion that foods containing soy protein included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of CHD by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Recent clinical trials have shown that consumption of soy protein compared to other proteins such as those from milk or meat, can lower total and LDL-cholesterol levels.

The real health benefits of soy might lie in its nutritional content and the fact that people often use soy foods as a replacement for less-healthy foods. Soy foods are a great source of protein and contain other important nutrients, such as fiber, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods containing soy protein are also a healthy alternative to meats and other animal products that contain cholesterol and saturated fat.

But soy's greatest advantage may lie in it being a rich source of isoflavones - plant hormones that have been linked to several health benefits. For example, researchers believe a soy-based diet could account for Asia's low rate of heart disease. The leading cause of death in the United States, one of the risk factors for coronary heart disease is high levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol. In recent clinical trials, men and women with high LDL levels were able to reduce them by consuming soy over an extended period. In October, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced that certain foods containing soy will be able to claim that they may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (To qualify, the food must contain at least 6.25 grams of soy per serving, one-quarter of the daily recommended serving of 25 grams). And that's not all. It is possible that isoflavones may help prevent bone loss, therefore lowering the risk of osteoporosis.

Isoflavones have been credited with reducing the rates of certain types of cancer. For example, there is some evidence that eating soy may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. And isoflavones were the primary ingredients in a "smart bomb" - a drug that University of Minnesota scientists believe holds the potential to cure childhood leukemia. Finally, a study by the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii indicates that consumption of soy products may help reduce the risk of uterine cancer.

Soy milk, soy burgers, and soy snacks are available in many supermarkets and specialty stores. When selecting soy foods, be sure to check food labels to be sure that the food is a good source of soy protein and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and added sugar.

If you're interested in eating more soy, introduce it into your diet gradually. And remember that the key to good health is to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods without focusing too much on any one food.

Possible Negative Side Effects?

More to the point, the real problem is not whether soy is inherently bad (after all, people have been consuming plants with hormones for centuries) but that no one is sure how much soy it is safe to consume. While Asians have been consuming soy for centuries, there have been conflicting claims about how much soy they consume. Nonetheless, since soy is turning up in everything from cereal to ice cream, we may be consuming far higher amounts than is normally found in the Asian diet, without any real idea of the consequences. A related issue is that modern preparation methods for soy products may increase the health risks. For example, some companies use chemical hydrolization instead of traditional fermentation methods to make soy sauce. It's something to think about.

Time to get science-y: Apart from the question as to whether soy even has demonstrable health benefits, there are long-standing concerns that soy may have negative effects on thyroid function and hormonal health. Soy falls into a category of foods known as goitrogens -- vegetables, grains and foods that promote formation of goiter -- an enlarged thyroid. Some goitrogens also have a definite antithyroid effect, and appear to be able to slow thyroid function, and in some cases, trigger thyroid disease. A huge danger is soy infant formula, this should never be given to your child in such a vulnerable age. Infants that consume soy have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen circulating in their blood stream.

Most importantly, soy is rated as the second most allergenic food to humans, with the first being peanuts. So before you go soy crazy, check it out with your doc to be sure you aren't allergic.

Soy-lovely Research

In January 2006 an American Heart Association review (in the journal "Circulation") of a decade-long study of soy protein benefits casts doubt on the FDA allowed "Heart Healthy" claim for soy protein. The panel also found that soy isoflavones do not reduce post menopause "hot flashes" in women, nor do isoflavones help prevent cancers of the breast, uterus, or prostate. Thus, soy isoflavones in the form of supplements is not recommended. Among the conclusions, the authors state, "In contrast, soy products such as tofu, soy butter, soy nuts, or some soy burgers should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat. Using these and other soy foods to replace foods high in animal protein that contain saturated fat and cholesterol may confer benefits to cardiovascular health." -- Sacks et al. 113 (7): 1034

The common amounts of phytoestrogens in soy beans are not to be compared to concentrated estrogen. One study followed over 3000 Japanese men between 1965 and 1999, and that showed a positive correlation between brain atrophy and consumption of tofu.

A study on elderly Indonesian men and women found that tempeh consumption was independently related to better memory.

Lastly, soy contains trypsin inhibitors, which means the proteins in soy are not as absorbent by the body. They block the enzyme trypsin, which is secreted by the pancreas and breaks down protein in the small intestine. Basically what this means is that your body will not be able to properly break down proteins unless you take extra enzymes separately.

Long story short: it's still too sketchy to claim soy is the soy-tastic and start replacing everything with soy. My advice? Eat as many different foods and meat/dairy alternatives as possible. Don't just stick to one kind. It's fine to have a soy yogurt for breakfast with fresh fruit, but then skip the soy burger for lunch and go for a big green salad. There are plenty of milk alternatives, and I rarely use soy unless that's the only thing available. Almond milk is super easy to make and is almost as common as soy milk now. There is also rice milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk and hemp milk. Try different options and always switch it up! Don't ever use soy milk as a baby formula and avoid giving it to small kids, especially boys, when they are still growing. Finally, don't be soy-crazy! Soy isn't the devil and won't kill you. Just eat it with moderation in mind and keep yourself educated with the latest research.

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Heart of the Week: Seed Phytonutrients // Sustainable Choices

This post is in partnership with Seed Phytonutrients, but 100% my opinions!

Earth Day is this Sunday! How are you going to give a little extra love to Mother Earth? I’m constantly looking for new and creative ways I can be sustainable in my day-to-day. Besides making conscious choices while grocery shopping, I choose health and wellness products that follow a more sustainable mission statement.

I’m so excited to share this brand with you, beauties. Not only do their products feel amazing on my skin, face and hair but they’re completely recyclable + compostable. Amazing, right?!

Seed Phytonutrients hair, face and body products are completely sustainable and full of phytonutrients, making them extra beneficial for your health. I 100% support their mission to protect organic farmers and seeds from over-commercialization, while promoting natural beauty + healthy living. Living sustainably doesn’t just only mean recycling or minimizing your waste (although, yes!) but also promoting and supporting brands that are fighting to protect Mama Gaia and all her wonders.


Lately, I’ve been using Seed Phytonutrients hair + body products in the shower. I love their Daily Hair Cleanser. It feels so natural and light. When you’re a girl that can go days without washing your hair this product is your best friend. I also pair it with their Body Cleanser. All their products are paraben free, non-GMO and all vegan. So magical.

These products really stand out because of their shower safe and downright beautiful packaging. Seed Phytonutrients have bottles that are compostable on the outside and recyclable on the inside. There’s absolutely NO waste with them. I feel so great doing my part while treating my skin + hair at the same time.

Beyond the products that you use and the foods that you buy, you can make little Earth conscious choices in so many ways! Here’s how I practice sustainability on the daily.


Compost, compost, compost - Some people think this is impossible when you live in a city like LA, but the city offers green compost bins all over and you can request to have one for your building/house. All you have to do is keep a small compost container in your home and take it out with the trash.

BYOB (bring your own bag) - It’s so easy to do this now in LA where grocery bags are now banned. No one wants to pay 10 cents a bag and it makes so much sense to leave your favorite totes/reusable bags in the car for the next time you have to run to the store.

Less waste - Go to grocery stores that offer grains, nuts, etc. in bulk and bring your own jars. It’s so cute to see them around your home, too! Turn to reusable products like our Philosophie Smoothie Jars. I’ll be going reusable with all of baby girl’s diapers and I’ve cut out sack lunches/ziplock bags for the boys.

Happy Earth Day, tribe!

Do you use environment friendly products or make conscious choice in your daily life? I want to know! Share with me on Facebook. Use #PhilosophieLove or #MyPhilosophie

Spiralized Squash Noodles Recipe

Spiralized veggies make my ♥ so happy and the boys love them too! Squash makes delicious “pasta” especially mixed with superfoods.

If you pair spiralized squash with our Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend, you’ll have a simple, raw, gluten-free, + vegan dinner packed with protein, fiber, heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin C, + manganese (an essential mineral for bone health and brain and nerve function). Be sure to make extra—it’s beyond delish + makes a wonderful lunch for the next day!

 

Gather This:

Spiralized squash

½ sprouted beans

1 bag of Organic Spinach

1 cup Sun Dried tomatoes

¼ EVOO

1 tsp Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend

2 tbsp Hemp Seeds

1 clove of garlic chopped

S+P


Do This:

Cook spiralized squash in a pan for 3-4  minutes with 1 tbsp EVOO. Add chopped garlic, bean sprouts, spinach,  and Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend then cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer to individual serving bowl. Top with Sun dried tomatoes, sprinkling of hemp seeds, and salt+pepper, also more green dream if desired!

 

How do you sneak superfoods into your family dinners? Share with me on Twitter using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEveryFoodASuperfood

Sacred Pause // Time After Birth

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I had a consultation with an amazing postpartum Ayurvedic doula, Jenna Furnari. She was gentle, understanding and so helpful as I prepare for the arrival of our baby girl.

Here’s a look at my transition into labor/birth and the plan for when baby girl arrives. As always, thank you for being a beautiful community that allows me to share in this space.

 

TRANSITION

As I progress through the third trimester of this little angel's pregnancy, I am starting to prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for what's to come.

We are preparing our home, making sacred space for baby girl, clearing out what we no longer need, and getting everything organized for the boys. I am working with the brilliant Dany from Spatial Soulutions who really understands our home and the inner workings of a mother (she was a preschool teacher for years). Taylor has also been helping us get organized and prepared by helping me pack my hospital bag, ordering candles for the birth, and making sure all our ducks are in a row.

I’ve held a couple new moon circles with my soul sisters. Welcoming in sacred, positive energy and clearing out the old, stagnant air. I’ve focused on a full mind + body connection as I work to create a magnetic and welcoming home for baby girl.

Watch my YouTube video for more about my third trimester of this pregnancy.


THE PLAN

My plan for postpartum is starting to become more clear. Since my life is so chaotic and FULL of beauty, work, passion and magic, I need to really set intentions that surround what I want to create.

I want to take a full month to bond with baby girl. Both in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, they promote taking a full month to 40 days to really heal and connect to this new chapter in your life.

I will be continuing to work with Jenna Furnari. She will be working with me two days a week for around 5 hours each session. During the days she is with me, she will help prepare Ayurvedic nourishing foods, help me with emotional and physical recovery, support me in breastfeeding, babywearing, and spending time with baby so I can rest. She will also do Ayurvedic birth recovery bodywork and help with the transition for the entire household to adjust to new roles (this will be very important for Kai and Leo).

She will make us lists of what to purchase and then we will get all our groceries and stock the fridge so she can come and help prepare nourishing foods for me. She has mapped out a food plan for everything from the first 24 hours that includes warmed/spiced milk and panchakola ghee to 3 days postpartum that includes stuffed dates, stewed fruits, Mama Chai tea, and Lactation Tea. She’ll also be delivering to the hospital for the first day or two. The time after having a baby needs to be nourishing as the body has undergone extreme trauma giving birth and the 9 months of growing the babe. I'm excited for a slow, mindful recovery.

During these 40 days we will only allow our inner circle family and close friends into our home. This will be a sacred time full of love, bonding, sweetness, recovery and intimate moments.

I'm so grateful Adi works from home now and will be on summer break from teaching at UCLA so he can be really present to this new addition into our world. Kai and Leo will be at a sports camp close by so they will be happy and exhausted when they get home and I can really get the time I want with this sweet baby.

Jenna sees clients virtually via phone and skype, if you would like to schedule a pregnancy consult with her pre or postnatal! I highly suggest it, she's an absolute angel.

Did you take a sacred pause after giving birth? If you're pregnant, are you planning on doing something like this? Would love to hear from you!! Please share x

Cacao Magic Smoothie Recipe w/ Kitchfix Grain-Free Granola

We're deep into a spring cleanse mood! Smoothie bowls are NEEDED and so freakin’ good. This Cacao Magic smoothie is a perfect brekkie loaded with superfoods, fruits and topped with my fav Kitchfix Grain-Free Granola.

Remember, we offer Philosophie cleanses and you can start anytime! They’re available here. If you have questions, concerns or want to talk it all out, please message us below!

xoxo

Gather This:

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter)

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1 tsp Coconut Magic Coconut Butter

1 tsp Vital Proteins Collagen (extra magic!)

1 tsp Sun Potion Women with Superpowers Powder

¼ cup dairy-free vanilla yogurt (we love Kite Hill)

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½ cup granola (we used Kitchfix)

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Do This:

Blend all ingredients into the blender, saving the yogurt, honey and granola for the toppings!

Pour smoothie into the bowl, spread a bit of yogurt on top, a drizzle of Cacao Bee Honey, and a sprinkling of Granola.

Are you joining the Philosophie spring cleanse? Let us know on Facebook using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEveryFoodASuperfood

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How did I transform it into a sanctuary?

I worked to create a space that activates all my senses while also limiting distractions and disturbances. It’s important to create an environment that doesn’t encourage overstimulation. That’s why my room is largely white and clean except for pops of color. I strive to create a space for relaxation, restoration, intimacy and deep, beautiful sleep.

My bed is at the heart of this and I’ve transformed it into the purest cocoon for Adi and I. We have a new Buffy comforter and I’m obsessed with it. It’s a literal cloud. Nights have been tough during this pregnancy and when baby comes, I know I’ll need to cherish the little sleep I’ll get that much more. You need a comforter that holds you, but doesn’t suffocate you. Buffy is also sustainable and environment friendly. It’s made of silk-soft natural eucalyptus fibers which is so soothing. Buffy also uses rejuvenated microfiber instead of down, which makes it ultra soft and light. No sweating during sleep here!

Use cofe “SOPHIEJ15” which expires at the end of April!

On my nightstand, I’ve put objects and treasures that each serve a purpose and work to soothe me to ultimate relaxation and sleep. The nightstand itself is from Joybird, which complements my sleek, clean style so effortlessly.

Here are my other treasures on my nightstand:

Books: Mastery of Love, The Book of Awakening, Nurture (a much better alternative to late night TV)

Crystals: Rose Quartz (a stone that promotes love + compassion; you can find them in our Magic Moon Satchels) + Crystal Quartz

Himalayan Sea Salt Lamp: Besides being so beautiful, it generate negative ions which help to improve mood + energy levels

Flowers: simple answer, spring!

Palo Santo: I light it when I’m feeling anxious, stressed or worried and need to regulate my energy levels.

Chrysalis Water: I spritz it on my pillows, in the air in my room or on myself in the mornings for an instant refresh

Flower Essences: Scleranthus, which is good for indecisiveness and tapping into your higher self + knowing (which I've been having this pregnancy)  

How do you create your own sleep sanctuary? Share yours with me on Instagram using #PhilosophieLove or #MyPhilosophie.

Beauty Obsession: AHAVA

AHAVA has always had a special place in my heart thanks to my strong ties to beautiful Israel where my hubby, Adi, was born and raised. It’s also where we spend our summers with our own family. I’ve been using this whole line from head to toe for over a decade now, so I can truly speak to the incredible benefits that the nourishing Dead Sea mud packs in. Kai + Leo have the best time putting the magical Dead Sea mud all over each other and us. It's the one time in life we FULLY allow them to get us dirty since it’s the most hydrating mud on the planet!

One thing that's been keeping me sane during the first and second trimester of this pregnancy was having at home spa nights. Lathering up with a yummy mineral rich face mask and moisturizer mentally and physically makes me feel like I’m transported to the beaches of Tel Aviv.

I immediately notice a glow after using the Brightening & Hydrating Facial Treatment. The natural green pigment in the Brightening & Hydrating Facial Treatment Mask cancels out any redness I’m may be experiencing for a more even + refreshed look. As you babes know, I'm a busy mama on the go so finding natural products that work wonders are a lifesaver.  I have to be on camera a lot for work so I majorly rely on this to keep my skin looking even and polished.

Key Ingredients:

Dead Sea mud purifies the skin targeting oil and debris while hydrating

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Natriance Brightening Extract prevents and corrects uneven skin tone creating a beaming glow

My skin has changed a ton during pregnancy! Any other mamas out there feel the same way? (HORMONES!!!!) My skin is so dry as baby girl sucks out all the hydration. The major hydration I’m getting from the AHAVA Extreme Night Treatment has been a game changer.

Love that its loaded with antioxidants that protect against environmental aging, reduce wrinkles, and help with firmness. All seriously needed, plus I adore the fact that they use REAL ingredients like goji berry and Himalayan Raspberry Root.

BONUS: try the matching Extreme Firming Eye Cream for those same benefits but for the sensitive skin around your eye area. It helps me look awake when I’m feeling far from it!

You know I am all about standing behind brands of integrity and only put my stamp on products out there that I truly believe in. AHAVA products are so pure and magical I feel so lucky the boys (and soon to be girl!) get to experience them, as well. Treat yourself to the beauty that is the mud from the Dead Sea!

These products have been amazing for me during my pregnancy but always check with your doctor for questions on trying new products.

What natural beauty products are you obsessed with lately? Share with me on Twitter using #PhilosophieLove or #MyPhilosophie.

 



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