In addition to coming up with new things that I CAN eat, I also had to go through items already in my cupboard to see if there were any “bad” ingredients lurking. Several really surprising foods that I had to get rid of were some of my instant oatmeals, a few soups, and couscous. Several of the different brands and flavors of oatmeal had soy protein, some of the soups had wheat and/or soy, and who knew but couscous is actually made out of wheat (called semolina, which is the hard part of wheat)! My husband was also very surprised that margarine is in fact not 100% vegetable oil but does contain some milk, hence why I had to go with the coconut spread.
Eggs were unfortunately in some of the GF breads that I was checking out at the store, which I guess is because this helps them to rise, but it means that I can’t have them! Just one of the many reasons why having these multitude of intolerances can be difficult- you find something that omits one thing, but it uses another “bad” ingredient to replace it!
Soy is in WAY more things than I ever imagined as well! Even if some of my old granola/protein bars had been wheat-free, I guarantee they all had soy in them. And the majority of the fake cheeses out there are soy-based, as are a lot of alternate forms of protein (fake meat, etc). Two soy-based items that show up in a lot of foods that I was confused about were “soy lecithin” and “soybean oil.” I asked my aunt about these to see if I needed to avoid them, which could have proven pretty difficult, but she said these items are separated from the soy protein and therefore, since I’m not allergic to soy, only intolerant to the protein, that I should be fine. Good thing too because that soy lecithin is in all the different brands of dark chocolate I looked at! Unfortunately, the dark chocolates still listed milkfat but to heck with it, I gotta have a little tiny bit of indulgence, right?? Many items will list that they contain soy, so I always have to read the ingredients list closely to make sure it is just the soy lecithin and not some form of soy protein.
So, lesson to be learned: read ingredients lists carefully and watch for those sneaky ingredients that show up where you least expect them!