Concerns about eating too much soy
I'm a fairly new vegan (about nine months now) and a runner. Latley I've been eating a lot of tofu and tempeh to keep up on calories and protein. I've heard a lot latley about soy and it's large quantity of "plant" estorgens. This has caused me to be concerned about the amount of soy I consume. Are my fears valid?
Yes, they are very valid. I eat very little to no soy in my diet as a vegan because of the concerns for hormonal issues that are tied in with American soy products.
I think one of the things you need to explore is not to think of your meal plans as meat replacements, but finding a variety of healthy sources of plant based nutrients.
Yes, protein is important, but you don't have to buy into the protein is everything propaganda the Atkin's Diet and other diets are pushing.
You need as a runner, a lot of fresh juices and greens, you can find a good amount of protein in raw nuts and some healthy grains like quinoa or in hemp seeds.
If protein becomes that much of a concern and you are starting to feel "off" you might want to look into a good quality hemp protein or pea protein powder for smoothies.
Breaking from meat is hard at first, but it gets better as many of us do feel a lot better without consuming it.
Good luck on your journey!
I'd be more worried about super concentrated processed soy than tofu and tempeh, made from whole beans.
Tempeh is better (less processed) than tofu, but why not try some homemade seitan instead? There's no soy in it and a ton of protein. I also LOVE beans and they have a ton of protein - chili, black bean burgers, chickpea cutlets, etc.
Like IsisDC said, eat a lot of greens - you can make shakes after a run that have tons of greens and fruit, and they're delicious (and raw!)
I once read that it's impossible to eat a well-balanced diet that provides enough calories without getting enough protein. So focus on doing that and you'll be fine!
I really like veganhealth.org for its comprehensive reviews of scientific literature on all kinds of things vegan, this is their soy page: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soy_wth#
I'm not too concerned by what I read there, but I'm not a very big fan of the flavour of most things soy-based, with the exception of tempeh. If you want to eat less soy, I would replace it with more pulses, quinoa, brown rice and wholegrain pastas (have you tried kamut pasta? I've heard that that's okay for some people with only a mild gluten intolerance), and eat more calorie-dense whole foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados.
VibramMan! Sorry I'm late to the party. Just wanted to let you know that all the stuff about phytoestrogens being harmful to your health is BS.
Flax seeds have *way* more phytoestrogens than soy, and other foods but you don't hear the scaremongering about them.
It's ok to love tofu - tofu loves you back.
Please refer to http://www.pcrm.org/search/?cid=145 and all the associated references they make to real studies by actual science people. :)