I tried to stop eating meat 4 years ago, after my trip to Australia. I'd do really well for a few days, but then usually broke down and ate some chicken wings or a burger. Boy, do I miss hamburgers and bacon and wings and, I think you get the picture. In the fall of 2014, I thought I found the solution to my problem of constantly falling off the veg wagon. Fake Meat! There were so many brands out there now selling plant based meat alternatives. There were fake chick'n nuggets, beefless ground crumbles, and facon! It was great, the Morningstar nuggets were great, their facon made great BLTs, and the BOCA crumbles made for great tacos. I was in heaven, all the satisfaction, none of the guilt! I was pretty pleased with myself, but then I started getting sick.
I usually got a sinus infection yearly in the fall or early winter, so I wasn't too concerned, it was normal. Then a few months go by, and I'm still congested, so I try some home remedies, finally go to the doctor, get some antibiotics, the usual drill. By January, I still wasn't back to 100%. This was probably the sickest I've ever been in my life. I won't get into the details, but I ended up with a sinus infection that lasted for months, congestion that lasted even longer, and a deviated septum resulting in surgery to fix. After all that, my ENT recommended I be tested for food and environmental allergies.
The results came back and he told me I was allergic to soy! I laughed at him and told him he was funny. I thought he was joking because he knew I was trying to stop eating meat and be a vegan. Most of the fake meat I was eating was soy based, I was also eating a lot of tofu, sometimes an entire block in one meal. I suspect the soy allergy in combination with the seasonal allergy led to the worst sinus infection I've ever had because the combo was a 1-2 punch to my immune system.
My allergy is mild. I've always eaten soy products and never gotten sick or even noticed any uncomfortable side effects. However, I wasn't eating it in the quantities I was ingesting in late 2014 which is likely what led to getting really sick. Despite the allergy to soy, I still eat it. I just limit how often I eat it and avoid it when I'm sick and it seems to be working out. I still crave meat and my willpower is weak, so I have to find a way to satisfy it. You may think it's nuts to put my health in jeopardy to avoid eating animals, but, for me, it all comes down to making a compassionate decision. I won't die if I eat soy, but animals would if I didn't have that alternative.