As of a couple months ago, I am soy-free…ish. The reason I say freeish is because I’m still eating a few things with soy or soy protein in them, it’s just not the main ingredient like tofu. I am 100% tofu-free and here’s why:
Back in 2008 I developed a hard lump in my left pec muscle right under the nipple. It had happened right after someone jokingly pinched my nipple really hard. It puffed up and I would have to drain blood out of it from time to time by sticking the swollen area with a needle. This helped and made the swelling go down. Well, for a whole year it would swell up and go down. I never really knew why. It hurt all the time and the pain got worse. I couldn’t even lay face down on the bed or really even have the bed sheets over me as this would touch the area and hurt. Anytime someone came at me playfully or even potentially bumping me, I would guard the area with my hand (and my life it seemed).
I finally went to the doctor around the 1 year mark of it initially starting thinking that it may be breast cancer. Weird as it may seem, men do get breast cancer. I thought I was going to be one of the unlucky ones who got it. As big as the lump was and as hard as it was, the doctor didn’t quite know what to think of it. He asked if I was taking steroids and I respectfully told him I was drug-free. If I’m not going to put meat in my body Im certainly not going to put muscle-enhancing drugs in it. The doctor asked me to wait it out to see if it went away on its own. I almost yelled at him stating that the lump had been there for a year, it was getting worse, and that I wanted it out of my body. He was hesitant, but decided to do the surgery anyway. The surgery went well and you cannot even tell I’ve had surgery. Come to find out it wasn’t cancer, but a case of gynaecomastia. He’d never seen such a hard mass in someones chest before and being the size of a golf ball.
Fast forward to a couple months ago:
My right nipple had been hurting and slightly swelling for a while. I thought it’d go down on its own and sometimes it did go down. I thought this time maybe it was the pre-workout I was on because I had been taking it and a couple other supplements (protein and glucosamine) for a few months straight. It was time to prepare for moving and our anniversary vacation. Since I wasn’t going to be in the gym much, I thought it’d be a good time to take a break from all supplements and see exactly what was causing this “puffy-pain.”
Vacation time comes and we decide to take our entire stock of tofu (about 12 bricks) so we aren’t stuck with crappy options from the grocery store at the beach (they usually have horrible produce selections). So we have tofu and fruit for breakfast, tofu and a salad for lunch, and tofu and brown rice for dinner. The whole time we were there, both Tonya and I were bloated beyond belief. We thought it could have been the raw cabbage that we were eating (since we had not consumed it in a while), but now I’m thinking it was the soy-tofu. Now I know, tofu is what had been bloating me.
We moved in August (last month) 2013 and I had no time to cook. We were so busy with packing, moving, unpacking, raising 3 kids, getting the kids prepared for school, and our vacation with them, that I had no desire to get out the tofu to cook. I mostly had bananas drenched in peanut butter & jelly for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. I forgot about the tofu because it always took about 20-30 minutes to cook it the way we like and another 10 minutes to prepare it for cooking.
After a month of being off tofu I noticed I had no more pain. Something bumped my chest and I noticed no more lump as well. I thought the only thing that I haven’t had recently was tofu and that had to have been the cause of my pain and discomfort. Since I had been eating up to 3 bricks of tofu a day for years now, my lump was now gone after a month of not having it. Ive decided that the soy has indeed been the culprit. I have been vegan for many years now and always an advocate of tofu since nothing “bad” has ever happened to me, but now I must say I’ll never touch it again. I know I’ll here “but just a little bit won’t hurt” but until you have issues and allergies with foods like I do, the pain and discomfort is not worth even trying out “just a little bit.”
When I’ve been leaning up in the past year I’ve been bloated from time to time. I always blamed it on the broccoli, cauliflower, onion/garlic, because these foods typically do cause some sort of gas when eaten. I would even be bloated waking up and chock it up to just having poop-in-the-shoot. Since cutting it out I have had no morning bloat or even daytime really (unless I’ve eaten too much then I have the “full” look). I’m even more limited with my foods now and will continue to eat what I can, train as hard as I can, and continue to prove to people that a person on a plant-based diet doesn’t need certain foods people think one needs to function and succeed. I will miss tofu, but will not miss the side-effects associated with the phytoestrogens.
Today I got to workout with a gym regular, Charlie. We decided to start with squats and go a little bit lighter but with a higher amount of reps (per the Breathing 20 workout). So here is my workout:
warmup: 2 sets of bodyweight squats x 50reps
135lbs x 20reps x 3 sets (don’t stop until you’re done with the 20reps. You’ll be breathing hard!!)
185lbs x 10reps, 205lbs x 5reps
Barbell front Squats
95lbs x 10reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell Walking Lunges
10lb x 15 lunges up and 15 lunges back (a specific path in the gym and a 10lb dumbbell each hand)
20lb x 15 lunges up and back
30lb x 5 lunges and back (this wasnt too easy)
Calf Raise machine (seated)
100lbs x 20 toes straight, x 20 toes pointed out, and x 20 toes pointed in
150lbs x 20 straight, x 20 out, and x 20 in
250lbs x 20 straight, x 20 out, and x 20 in
100lbs x 1 minute
Leg Extention machine
150lbs x 10reps, 200lbs x 10reps, 75lbs x 10reps (only used one leg)
Sissy Squats x 12reps
(This was the first time I’ve done sissy squats. I did a few to begin with just to perfect form then could only perform 12 reps as my legs quit working)
My legs actually buckled on me a few times today. Feels good man!
I hear the phrase “…but I got the whole-wheat wrap or whole-wheat bread” all the time. If whole wheat is so good for you then why do you look down at your stomach and wonder why those 5lbs+ wont budge or why your six pack isnt there (oh yes everyone has a six/eight pack)? There’s a reason for it:
Your body wants nutrients and vitamins. You can actually eat a lot more food thats dense in nutrients (whole food based–fruits, veggies, and beans) and lose weight compared to eating very little junk food or small amounts of fast-food (I also group restaurant food into the fast-food category) and the weight not budging.
So when youre thinking about eating Subway or Zoe’s Kitchen look down at your stomach and ask yourself if its worth it.
I am logging all my daily foods on MyFitnessPal app again. My name on there is Broseph82. I have everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks so everyone who is interested can see exactly what I eat to achieve my current physique.
Lately Ive been mixing my exercises up. Some days Ill be in the gym doing weights and others Im at my sons football practice doing calesthetics on the playground and running on the track. I get bored doing the same ol’ same ol’ and hate being in a stuffy gym when the weather is nice and cool. Ill post some updated pics of me training next week or so when I can get Tonya to take them.
Results=Respect. If you aren’t respecting your body you aren’t going to see the results you want. We are not meant to be obese and sick. We are supposed to be healthy and respecting what we were born with. If you don’t like someone else disrespecting you then why would you disrespect yourself?
If you’re not seeing results then you’re eating something wrong.
Stay positive to remain fit