This is a public service message for anyone following Whole30 or attempting to eat within Paleo Guidelines - EDAMAME is NOT an approved Vegetable - it's a Soy BEAN. . . A.K.A. a LEGUME.
This is common knowledge to most, I know - but I made the inadvertent mistake of eating a half of a bowl of edamame on Day 28 of my Whole30, thinking that I was eating a vegetable! I know better. . . I really do. . . .but for some reason, it didn't compute to me that I was eating a legume until I was about half way through the bowl. . . crap!!
The final day of my business trip (yesterday), I was invited out to lunch with several of the employees from the office I was visiting. Building rapport and working relationships with other members of my company is very important to me both personally, and as a part of my career. I did not want to be the person to order a dish with 15 revisions, and give them the impression that I was high-maintenance!
Explaining my choice to follow a Paleolithic “diet” to friends and co-workers doesn’t bother me at all – it’s just that it usually centers the conversation around me and turns into a 45 minute discussion/debate – not the kind of first conversation you want to have with co-workers that you just met over a casual lunch meeting!
We went to a very nice Sushi restaurant (I told them I was unable to eat Gluten that morning when I passed up a bagel in the breakfast meeting, so they were gracious enough to find a place that I could easily find a gluten-free option).
I used to LOVE Sushi Nigiri & Sushi Rolls, but am happy to say that the rolls/etc on the menu didn’t even tempt me!
I scanned the menu, and found the “Seafood Salad”, which was a bed of fresh greens topped with Avocado, Sautéed Shrimp & Calamari, and an Asian dressing. I was easily able to make this Whole30 compliant by simply asking that they hold the dressing and sauté the Seafood only in olive oil. (And by the way – it was DELICIOUS!!)
As an afterthought, I also ordered a bowl of steamed edamame as an appetizer so that I would not appear “rude” or go into a 15 minute explanation by refusing food as everyone else was sharing appetizers of Sushi Rolls & Tempura. I thought to myself – “Hey, I’m increasing my veggie intake to boot – Yay!”
I had eaten about half of the Edamame when I suddenly had the realization that I was eating . . Soy BEANS. . . which I’m pretty sure are legumes. . . CRAP! Here I was thinking “veggie” and instead was eating “legume” . . . darn it!
I did some research to see just how much I may have screwed up the Whole30 “reset button” that I’m trying to press.
Here’s what I found about Soy Beans/Edamame:
Apparently, Soy beans contain a ton of “anti-nutrients” – more so than most legumes. To make matters worse, the particular kind of anti-nutrients contained in soybeans are not removed by cooking them. . . yikes!
My research informed me that Soy beans contain Enzyme Inhibitors which block the action of enzymes that are needed for protein digestion. In other words, these prevent our bodies from absorbing proteins and amino acids in our foods – No Bueno!
Additionally, soy beans contain Phytic Acids which block the uptake of essential minerals in the intestinal tract – blocking absorption of these minerals by our bodies. In other words, the good minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, and Zinc that we would normally obtain from our foods is not able to be absorbed by our bodies when Phytic Acids are present, and instead is passed straight through in our waste. . . Ick!
Finally, Soy beans contain Goitrogens, which can suppress thyroid function . . . again – Wow – Who knew?!?!? And these things are legal, and toted as “healthy”???
So I’d say that my inadvertent slip up yesterday definitely broke my Whole30, as I’m sure that there were some negative reactions within my body as a response to the Edamame, which interfered with the healing cycle that I was trying to complete – but that’s okay – upward and onward – I’m going to stick with it the remainder of the 60 days, and I’ll just call it a Whole 28/32!
Oh, and I looked at several different sites when researching this info, but most of it was found here: http://www.mercola.com/article/soy/avoid_soy.htm