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Non-dairy, non-soy, non-nut sources of protein?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My sixth child is 11 weeks old. It's a long story, but after much struggle it seems I need to eliminate both dairy and soy from my diet (and we are a nut-free house thanks to the allergies of one of my other kids). I need protein, for obvious reasons as well as my own medical issues (I'm not diabetic yet but I do better when I eat protein with every meal). I'm starving! Anyone know of any quick, easy protein sources (especially for snacks) that have no dairy or soy or nuts? I'm so sad about this... Can I do it... I could wean onto Nutramigen, which she gets one bottle per day of, but it sounds pretty pathetic of me if I can't eliminate dairy and soy (besides, it smells like cat food). It's so much harder than it sounds. On the bright side, maybe I'll lose weight. I'm off to the grocery to look at the selection of protein powders. I heard something about buckwheat protein but I can't seem to find it just yet.

post #2 of 19
Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are all great sources of protein.
We did GAPS for a while to heal our digestive systems, improve our digestion, and improve our absorption. You actually start out with meat and veggies and traditional fats. It was actually rather doable even as a BFing mama.
post #3 of 19
I hear you with not knowing what to eat. We had to take out wheat & dairy at once when my DH developed a wheat allergy, and by the time we figured out that's what it was he had secondary lactose intolerance. And everything I thought of to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner had wheat *and* dairy in it. But we adjusted. You'll do fine.

For quick protein snacks: boiled eggs, snack sausages, deli meats, hummus, black bean salsa. You could even make up some chicken salad or tuna salad to have with crackers as a snack if you make sure the mayo is soy-free.
post #4 of 19
And then there's beans, beans, beans! I'm especially fond of lentils. More of a soup and stew ingredient than a quick snack, but you could make things like 3 bean salad and black bean tostadas and such.

Also for snacks, like in trail mix, use seeds instead of nuts. Sunflower & pumpkin seeds are both terrific in a mix.
post #5 of 19
P.S. I noticed you mentioned protein powders - you might want to try hemp protein. I love it and it's incredibly nutritious!
post #6 of 19
post #7 of 19
tahini (sesame seed butter), sunflower seeds, meats, and you can make your own mayo to insure that it's soy free. You can use olive oil for a flavorful mayo, or sunflower oil for a more neutral flavor.
post #8 of 19
We're vegan and anti-soy, and DD has a raw nut allergy (she tolerates roasted ones fine). We eat TONS of beans and quinoa.
post #9 of 19

You can do it!

You can do it! I'm a vegetarian and couldn't eat wheat, dairy OR soy for the first year of my firstborn's life...I ate lots of quinoa, avocado, etc. Beans are a great suggestion - buy a slow cooker so you can always have some going. BTW quinoa is not that yummy by itself but if you make a wrap with veggies and soy sauce and wrap it all up with Nori sheets it's really yummy.

In my case, I was able to get away with some spelt and kamut breads; not as allergenic as wheat. These are surprisingly good sources of protein. You don't actually need that much protein, but a daily smoothie is another good idea (use rice protein or pea protein.) Just don't make it too sweet. Just fruit, water, protein powder and lecithin granules make a really yummy smoothie. You can also add xylitol for a healthy low GI sweetener or a little coconut oil to make it rich and creamy.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for all the suggestions! I've been gone for a few days. Still struggling but making due so far. Breakfast and snacks are the hardest times for me re: quick protein. (At the end of pregnancy, the diet for gestational diabetes got me into the habit of always having protein with any carbs and I feel sick when I don't. I'm still taking metformin.) I'm already tired of oatmeal, but I can eat it without milk. I found a protein powder at the grocery store made from egg whites, and it's pretty gross. I can mix it into other things though, to disguise the taste. I did see the hemp protein there - while I was googling, I saw something about the hemp being a bit too much roughage for some (causing diahrrea) so I was apprehensive, but if it tastes good I might have to try it.

In case I needed an incentive to continue breastfeeding (and I sure do), I tasted the Nutramigen tonight and it was really gross, much moreso than regular formula. Interestingly, the taste was similar to the egg white protein powder. I haven't seen a huge change yet in her stool - still very mucusy, and more green than it's been. I know I've got to give it at least a couple of weeks, but the frustration is going to increase exponentially if there are more problem foods out there.

I'm so hoping that she's going to grow out of this!!! She has quite sensitive skin and a sibling with a peanut allergy (as well as siblings with asthma, eczema, etc.) so I'm concerned about the long term but I guess we'll get there one day at a time. I am thankful that she has had no trouble gaining weight, knock on wood - in another year she'll probably weigh as much as her brother who's 13 months older than her but below the 3rd percentile (she's in the 75th lol)

I don't know much about either beans or quinoa, so if anyone wants to share easy, *fast* ways to prepare them I'm all ears. Black beans are the ones I'm most familiar with, in fact there are some in the pantry right now, but there must be other ones out there.

I'm clearly eating too much sugar these days... just begging for some thrush, wouldn't that be a wonderful addition to the party.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Dumb question - if I'm avoiding soy, should I not eat spreads containing any soybean oil (Benocal was the one I bought since it doesn't seem to have butter)? I'm planning to use only olive oil but I need the right kind of bread for that and I haven't gotten to the store in a few days...
post #12 of 19
Yes, you should avoid soybean oil. Keep in mind that most margarine has whey in it even if it doesn't have butter, and that for some odd reason "non-dairy" does not mean dairy-free . I don't know of any butter substitutes that are both dairy- and soy-free.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4-1/2 cup oil (traditionally olive, but I usually use canola)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed - if you can't find it, try the hummus without it)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
Mix all ingredients in the food processor or blender until smooth. Add more oil or water if necessary to desired consistancy for dipping or spreading.

Black Bean Burgers
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 slices dairy-free bread, crumbled
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil for frying
Sweat the onions in the oil until soft. In a mixing bowl, mash the beans. Add the onions and remaining ingredients, except the oil. Form the mixture into patties (makes about 6), and fry in a small amount of oil until slightly firm. Most hamburger buns I've seen have dairy, but if you can't find dairy-free buns you could just use bread.
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by snowmom5 View Post
...I'm already tired of oatmeal, but I can eat it without milk. ...
We've found that Rice Dream tastes really good on cold cereal. I eat it on my granola, which is a nice way to get your oats if you're tired of oatmeal. Rice milk also substitutes nicely in most quick bread recipes that call for milk.

To vary your oatmeal, try this:
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 Tbs dried fruit (we usually prefer raisins, but using different fruits on different days will help combat the monotony)
  • 1 Tbs roasted sunflower seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon(or other spice)
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar or black strap molasses
Cover with 1/2 cup boiling water and stir. For quick oats, let stand 1 minute. For rolled oats, cover & let stand 5 minutes.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Diyan, it was so kind of you to post your recipes. I really appreciate your taking the time to do so!!! I'm anxious to try the black bean one

And thanks for the oatmeal tips. I have been using Rice Dream for a couple weeks. unfortunately I had been eating a lot of Kashi, which has a ton of soy protein LOL, duh. So now I'm eating my kids' cereals. I still miss the protein of milk, but at least I can get a little fix of sugary cereals. And I do top off my oatmeal with a little of the rice milk.

Thanks again. You inspired me to search for allergy cookbooks and I ordered a couple today.
post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by Diyan View Post
Yes, you should avoid soybean oil. Keep in mind that most margarine has whey in it even if it doesn't have butter, and that for some odd reason "non-dairy" does not mean dairy-free . I don't know of any butter substitutes that are both dairy- and soy-free.
Earth Balance just came out with a sunflower based one but it's still hard to find.
I have no other ideas for you, OP. Everyone's already covered all the bases, I believe.
Are you keeping a food journal to make reactions easier to track?

ETA: There is also a rice protein powder but I haven't tried it. Yet.
post #16 of 19
Hi snowmom,

Quinoa is SO easy to prepare and it is great because it is a grain that has a good balance of carb and protein ( I think the most protein of any grain in fact). Moreover, it keeps really well for a few days so I often make a big batch and keep it in the fridge and it can be eaten in a cold salad or heated up quickly.

Quinoa initially cooks really fast as well. The ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cup water. BUT, I substitute veggie or meat broth for half of the water to infuse it with flavor. I actually make it in a rice cooker - so easy but it's easily done on the stove as you'd cook rice though it takes a lot less time.

I eat it with canned beans (I love aduki, black beans and chick peas) and a little Annie's Goddess Dressing, sometimes a little hot sauce. I will throw in whatever veggies I have too.

Beans, well I always go for organic canned but it's so economical to buy dried and soak the and cook up a huge batch. Cooking those in a broth gives them a lot of flavor too.

Another quick keep in the fridge snack is organic canned refried beans (black or pinto). I open up a can, and smear it on an organic grain tortilla, add some salsa, any veggies lying around like steamed sweep potatoes or kale and then voila! I put the rest of the can in a container in a fridge and repeat when I need a snack.

I also second Hemp milk - expensive but ridiculously tasty!!
post #17 of 19
we do a lot of lentils. so easy, they cook in 30 min and you can throw garlic, onion, potato, carrots, broccoli, anything in it if you want more veggies.

My favorite lentil soup:

bring 6 cu water to boil and add 1 tsp salt
add 3/4 cu lentils
add 1/2 cu bulgar wheat
**Cook 20 min**
Then add 1/4 cu brown rice
1 lg can diced tomatoes (or two small) good w/ plain or italian seasoned
add 1 onion chopped
add 2 cloves garlic minced
add 3 tbsp oil of your choice
**Cook 1 hr.**

turned out so yummy my DH asked for it twice in one week and again the next week (hes big on protein and its really hearty with the extra grains)

Also, bean soups (white bean/tomato, 15 bean soup, tons of options) , black bean burgers, beans and rice....

***On the Whole Foods website there is a recipe for Black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. no dairy no soy- and they are DELICIOUS.

***We do this thing called "haystacks" that involves no cooking and is a one dish meal. start with brown rice and layer the following as you like- beans (heat on stove and season if you have time) fresh tomato, lettuce or spinach, avocado, salsa, red onion, you get the idea, pile all your favorite fresh tex mex or salad toppings, and eat! traditionally this was piled on top of corn chips but we started the brown rice to be healthier. so occasionally we'll crush some chips on it too. its kind of like chipotle but better =). it doesnt sound like much when listed out but you'll find you end up with a huge plate full and the rice and beans make a great protein. will fill you up for sure!

Good luck!
post #18 of 19
I eat a lot of meat, beans, quinoa, etc. I can not eat eggs, dairy, or soy. I was a vegetarian for 8 years and began eating meat again recently because it was the only way I could keep breastfeeding.
post #19 of 19
Didn't see it posted here yet, but we drink coconut milk. My DD1 is dairy/soy/peanut intolerant. Turtle Mountain also makes a delicious coconut yogurt and coconut ice cream that are both soy/dairy/peanut free. HTH!
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