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hello everybody.  i have the sneaking suspicion that i may very well have a soy allergy. Up until now, I've been gungho about becoming vegan, but an allergy to soy could be a terrible blow, especially since its commonly associated with allergies to several other legumes.  a wheat intolerance may also be present  :'(  any suggestions for substitutions for soy and wheat in recipies?  i want to be able to get enough protein and all, and I'm unsure that its feasable anymore...

Good luck. 

Have you tried the elimination diet thing?  i.e. eliminating soy and wheat and seeing if your symptoms go away and then adding one back in and seeing if your allergic?  I thought I was allergic to soy and wound up not being true.  I would not be a vegetarian without soy.  Period. 

Good luck.  I don't have any advice, because without soy and wheat, that's a lot of my diet. 

Look for "gluten free" recipes, there's a lot of resources on the web and what not, there's potato bread, rice pasta, all kinds of alternatives for wheat.  Good luck!


thanks for the support.  i think im going to get an allergy test, because im really worried about this.


hey. don't be scared if you end up having a wheat allergy. i'm gluten free/vegan & it hasn't been that hard because there are so many options available. there are actually more grains that you CAN eat than can't.

quinoa is a complete protein grain and it supplies all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern. it contains more protein than any other grain and has more fiber than any other grain (with the exception of oats). Quinoa is considered a "super grain" because of its nutritional benefits. One cup of quinoa has more calcium than a quart of milk and has twice the protein of barley or rice. The entire plant, including the leaves, stem, stalk, and seeds is edible. and grows from three to six feet high. Its seeds, which look like a cross between millet and sesame seed, are in large clusters at the end of the stalk. Quinoa is available as a whole grain that cooks in about 15 minutes and can be substituted for almost any grain in most recipes. you can also buy it in flour form for baking/etc.

Millet is third behind rice and wheat as a principle grain for many societies. Millet is exceptionally nutritious and is rich in protein, phosphorus, the B vitamins and iron. Some individuals find millet to be bitter, while others feel it has a sweet, nutty flavor. Millet is available as a whole grain and follows similar cooking methods as to brown rice or bulgur wheat. Millet meal is coarsely ground flour that is used in baking or porridge, and puffed millet is similar to puffed rice and is used in cereals or bread. millet flour can be used for baking/etc.

Spelt is related to modern wheat but is significan'tly higher in protein, B complex vitamins, and fiber. Individuals who are gluten-sensitive are often able to include spelt-based foods into their diets. Spelt was reintroduced into the U.S. market in 1987 and can be found in health food markets. It is common to the cuisine of Tuscany where it is known as farro. Spelt is a versatile grain that can be used in casseroles, soups, cereals, and breads. Commercially, spelt is also processed into
assorted pastas, hot and cold cereals, muffins, breads, and pancake mixes.

buckwheat is not really a grain. It is actually a cereal grass similar botanically to rhubarb. It's almost identical in nutrient quality to wheat. It has a distinctive three-cornered tan seed and is available either roasted or unroasted. Roasting intensifies the flavor, imparting a dark, nutty quality to the grain. Unroasted buckwheat has an off-white color and a more delicate flavor than roasted buckwheat. It is available as groats, grits, flour, or pastas. Buckwheat grits are similar to Cream of Wheat and can be used in desserts or other delicate dishes. Buckwheat flour is often used in pancakes, breads, crackers and other baked goods. Buckwheat is relatively low in calories and is an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrate, fiber and magnesium

Teff is a a grass crop that produce grain. It's very similar in nutritional value to wheat & other cereal grains, but it's higher in the amino acid lysine and is an excellent source of iron and calcium. it can be used in place of other grains, nuts or seeds in baked goods. it's very small in size (1 kernal of wheat = 150 grains of teff) therefore in substitution you could use 1/2 c. teff to 1 c. seeds/nuts/grains. it can be bought ground into flour or or just the gain itself, and it adds a mild, molasses like flavor.

Amaranth is a highly nutritious small seed used as an alternative to grains for people with gluten intolerance and grain allergies as well as those who want to eat more healthy foods. Amaranth has a slightly sweet, nutty toasty flavor to a more robust, full-bodied whole grain characteristic, depending on the form it is in. 1/2 cup of amaranth supplies 28% of your daily requirement of protein, 55% of iron, 60% of dietary fiber and 18% of calcium. And amaranth offers higher lysine, cysteine and methionine (essential amino acids required for cell and brain maintenance) than any grain. It has a better amino acid balance than cow’s milk or soy and is one of the best sources of vegetable protein.

Grain sorghum is native to Asia and Africa where it has been grown since ancient times. Grain sorghum is a small round berry which may vary in color from yellow to cream to white. Sorghum may be ground in hand mills or food processors to the degree of fineness needed (coarsely ground for a cooked cereal, finely ground for flour). Flour should be prepared fresh and used within a few days, or it may be stored in the freezer. Whole grain, if kept cool and dry, may be stored for over a year without becoming moldy or rancid. Each 1/2 cup provides 11.3g protein, 10g fiber, 28mg calcium & 4.5mg iron.

rice is a good source of insoluble fiber, which is also found in whole wheat, bran and nuts. Insoluble fiber reduces the risk of bowel disorders and fights constipation. Among other nutrients, rice is rich in carbohydrates, low in fat, contains some protein and plenty of B vitamins. Rice is an extremely healthy food for a number of reasons. Rice is a complex carbohydrate, which means it's digested slowly, allowing the body to utilize the energy released over a longer period which is nutritionally efficient. Rice has low sodium content and contains useful quantities of potassium, the B vitamins, thiamin and niacin. An average portion of rice (50g) provide about 11% of the abut estimated average daily requirement of protein. On portion also has only 245 cal. Those looking to reduce their fat and cholesterol intakes can turn to rice because it contain only a trace of fat and no cholesterol. Rice is also gluten free, so suitable for coeliacs, and it is easlily digested, and therefore a wonderful food for the very young and elderly. it can be found whole, milled into "grits" or flakes (think oatmeal) for use as a hot cereal or to add texture to baked goods, pastas or flours.

Because of its high protein and carbohydrate content, corn has been an important nutritional resource for thousands of years. 1 cup of corn provides 4.2g fiber, 5g
Protein, 17% Vitamin C, and 4% Iron. It contains the highest protein of any vegetable. it can be found in flours, meal, grits, pastas, and as the vegetable itself.

random baking flours/etc:

water chestnut Edible tuber of a water plant. Used fresh, canned or dried. Dried water chestnuts may be ground to a flour or powder and used as a thickener, or for coating foods prior to frying

taro flour Commercially processed from a starchy tropical root. Used as a thickener, similar to tapioca

tapioca Starchy substance extracted from the root of the cassava plant, used mainly in puddings. Tapioca flour is used as a thickener, especially in fruit dishes because it produces a clear gel. Adds "tooth" to gluten-free breads. (See cassava and manioc.)

sweet potato Tropical American vine of the morning glory family, cultivated for its fleshy , tuberous orange-colored root. Used cooked as a vegetable, or dried and ground into a flour.

soy, soybean (soya, kinako, edamame) High- protein, high-fat legume, which is processed into a variety of food products. Oil is used in cooking and salad dressings. Flour has strong, distinctive, nut flavor. Most recipes are designed to use low-fat soy flours; soy milks and tofu use high-fat soy flours.

sago Starch extracted from tropical palms, and processed into flour, meal, or pearl sago (similar to tapioca.) Used as a thickener

potato starch flour, potato starch Commercially prepared from cooked potatoes that are washe'd of all fibers until only the starch remains

potato flour Commercially ground from the whole potato, used as a thickener. Retains potato flavor

lentils Tiny lens-shaped seeds of a leguminous plant. The three main varieties are: French/European lentil, Egyptian/red lentil, and yellow lentil.

legumes, leguminous Plants with seeds in pods. There are more than a hundred legumes including: peanuts, lentils, peas, soya, beans, channa, garbanzo (chickpea, gram). Versatile served as vegetables, dried and ground into flour, or pureed. May be processed into oils or butters.

kudzu Leguminous Asian plant who'se roots yield a starchy powdered extract, used as a thickener. Leaves and stems are also edible.

Job's tears Seed of ancient annual grass, resembling large barley. Used as a substitute for pearl barley.

hominy White or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. Used canned as a side dish or in casseroles.




garbanzo (chickpea) Seed of leguminous plant of the pea family. Used whole, pureed or ground into flour. (See besan.)

flaxseed Seed of ancient medicinal herb, with a nutty flavor. Used whole, toasted or sprouted; ground into meal; or pressed into oil. High in fiber

fava bean (faba) Legume. Used whole, cooked as a vegetable or ground into flour.  Unrelated to celiac disease, favism is an allergic reaction to fava beans that can be life threatening. Favism is most common in those of Mediterranean descent.

dal (dhal) Split peas or beans from India; used whole, pureed, or ground as flour.

cornmeal Coarse grade of milled corn flour. (Not a substitute for cornstarch or corn flour.) Found in white, yellow and blue varieties

chestnut Smooth-shelled, sweet, edible nut. Usually roasted, then used whole or ground into flour. (Flour does not bind well.)

besan (gram, chickpea flour) Pale yellow flour made from ground, dried chickpeas; very nutritious, high in protein. Used in doughs, dumplings, and noodles; as a thickener for sauces; and as a batter for deep fried food.

arrowroot Herbaceous tropical perennial. The starch, extracted from the rhizomes, is used as a thickener and blends well with gluten-free flours. Interchangeable with cornstarch

almond Sweet edible nut used whole or ground into flour. This flour, alone or in combination with other flours, is used in breads, cakes and pastries

acorn Sweet edible nut used whole or ground into flour. Flour adds flavor and fiber, but does not bind well

it can be hard to find products that taste good & you can end up feeling very discouraged. i put a list of all the products that i use that i enjoy...i've tried just about everything (i work at a healthfod store in southen NY so we have quite an extensive selection of products, so ts reasonable to say that i've tried just about every gluten free vegan thing that's been in existence in the past year).

tinkyada brown rice pastas (anything from penne to lasagna noodles to stuffed shells)
mrs. leepers animal shapes organic pasta (i only use this in soups or similar things because the textures funky)

food for life brown rice tortillas(wheat & gluten free, they have an awsome texture and although they're a little chewy, it's better than the alternatives that have hydrogenated oils in them)
Enjoy Life gluten free breads (frozen breads, bagels, rolls etc. some contain honey so it's at your own discretion if you're willing to eat them. i know that they are trying to move away from using honey & are supposed to be doing so in the near future)
Pamelas Products bake mixes (they have a bunch of products that are wheat/gluten free & egg/dairy free. some contain honey others do not. they all have directions on the packaging for making the mix without eggs or dairy & they all taste really good. everything from bread to brownies)
Gluten Free Pantry bake mixes (they have mixes for everything & they also have an online store where you can order their products as well as wheat/gluten free organic soy sauce, hoisin sauce, bbq sauce, etc. the mixes make everything from bread to brownies).

i would do like another reader suggested and try to do an elimination diet, as blood work doesn't always yeild accurate results. when i stopped eating gluten-containing products my migrains that i'd had for a few years stopped immediately, as did my digestive problems & my skin cleared up in a few months even though the blood tests came back negative for the gluten antibodies. keep a food diary and trust what your body's telling you.

if you have any questions or want help w/ product reccomendations shoot me an email: eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%6f%66%67%6f%64%64%65%73%73%73%74%61%74%75%72%65%40%61%6f%6c%2e%63%6f%6d%22%3e%6f%66%67%6f%64%64%65%73%73%73%74%61%74%75%72%65%40%61%6f%6c%2e%63%6f%6d%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')) or send me an IM on AIM: ofgoddessstature. good luck with everything and i hope you feel better & not so intimidated about still being able to go vegan.


:-*  Dear Ofgoddessstature,

This was such a brilliant post that I copied it whole cloth to share with my friends who have to avoid wheat!  Thank you for so much info in one place.



What are the symptoms of a gluten allergy? How do you know if you have one? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!!!


Also, protein deficiency is nearly impossible to have if you eat enough food-unless maybe if you eat ONLY fruits.


What are the symptoms of a gluten allergy? How do you know if you have one? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

i have been wondering the same thing. I suspect i am allergic to gluten, but before I eliminate it from my diet, I'd like a little more information.


Symptoms to gluten allery can vary from person to person to mild systems to severe malnutrition and intestinal pain.  Look up celiac disease, which is cause by gluten intolerance and there's tons of information out there.  Here's one reference:


i didn't initially think that i had any problems what'soever, actually. i thought my skin was just "bad skin" or too much junk food or whatever, my digestive problems on the fact that i wasn't eaing very well & at that time i was partying a lot so i was like constantly hung over, & my migraines on...i don't know, that people just get headaches sometimes. if you can, check out the book "Prescription for nutritional healing" by phyllis balch & james balch. besides being a handy desk reference fr more naural cures, it also gives brief (between 3-4 paragraphs and 6-10 pages) descriptions about the diseases/etc it treats. it has a huge section in the allergy section about how to do an elimination diet & what to look for. here's just a snippet from the book, but it talks about symptoms that are commonly associated with allergies that many people don't even think of:

"when monitoring your reactions to different foods, it is important to be aware that food allergies can manifest themselves in many ways, not all of them obvious. the following symptoms are the more common manifestations of food allergies:

    Acne, especially pimples on chin or around the mouth
    chest and shoulder pain
    food cravings
    intestinal problems
    muscle disorders
    sinus problems
    unexplained dramatic weight loss or gain

your healthcare provider may also look forthe following signs & symptoms when trying to determine if you have an allergy:

    acid/alkaline imbalance
    bed wetting
    dizzy spells and floating sensations
    excessive drooling
    dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyes
    eye pain, tearing
    fluid retention
    hearing loss
    learning disabilities
    nasal congestion or chronic runny nose
    noises in the ear
    periods of blurred vision
    poor memory and concentration
    poor muscle coordination
    red circles on the cheeks (like wearing blush)
    repeated colds or ear infection
    sensitivity to light
    severe menstral symptoms
    swollen fingers and cold hands
    unusual body odor
    watery, itchy, red eyes
    recurrence of any illness despite treatment"

i'll try and scan the other pages on how to rotate foods to see if you have a problem with them & post them on here if anyones interested. if the post doesn't work anybody that wants them send me an email & i'll email the pages to you. hope all the info helps. it was so hard to find all of it in the first place that i'm so happy that you guys find it usefull & hopefully i'm making it easier for all of you. it was so devestating in the beginning to be like "what the $#@% am i gonna eat then!?" & to have people really not know anything about it so i didn't really have anyplace to go for help except to the library to tough it out on my own. but in the end i'm glad i did because now i think i eat healthier than i did before because i'm trying to incorporate such a wide variety of foods into my diet (some things that, don't laugh, i had no idea existed!) & now i really don't feel deprived or that i'm missing any nutrients. have a great day guys, i'm off to work!


wow!! thanks you guys.  the lists were particularly helpful.  as for 'presription for nutritional healing'...i own it already!! its the reason i became semi-veggie in the first place.  good book. 
im starting to think it might be a wheat allergy rather than a soy allergy, based on my absolutely unchanged/worsened state after going off soy, elimination diet-style... i'll keep off a bit more to see if it just takes a while. then ill add soy gradually back into my diet and see what happens.  if i don't notice a change, i think i might try eliminating wheat from my diet instead.  any suggestions for improving my method of testing for allergies? its a rather informal affair...


There's a book here in the UK by a nutritionist by the name of Barbara Cousins "Vegetarian Cooking Without" which is a good place to start.  I am "sensitive" a couple of things - wheat being one.  It was difficult at first, but now I am getting the hang of it.  Have been wheat/cabbage/chocolate free now for over 8 months and feel great - it's a subtle feeling though, I just feel better! I found the book very useful particularly the w/free muffins!

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