The [Soy] Joy Of Eating

August 8, 2010

I could not have imagined a more fun and delicious way to end our blogable weekend.

SOYJOY hosted a handful of bloghers to brunch to learn about healthy snacking and the benefits of whole soy.

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We walked to the location just around the corner on a beautiful New York morning

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Sparked appetites with the thought of beef liver

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And arrived at our location hungry for food and information

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A quick elevator ride and we were in the heavens of Central Park

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Inside was the most wonderful brunch

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My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach and I took some of almost everything – a roll, an omelet with peppers and cheese, smoked salmon, veggies and hummus and a bowel of fruit with some granola sprinkles.

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It was fabulously delicious but I only ended up eating about half of this

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Along with a single bite of each of these decadent desserts that I shared with Mom and Larbs

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We had the privilege of hearing talks from some of the country’s top Registered Dietitians and authors, Cynthia Sass, author of The Flat Belly Diet, and Jackie Newgent, author of the Big Green Cookbook, along with fitness and nutrition expert Harley Pasternak, author of 5 Factor World Diet. It was quite the panel!!

The talks were great, and we learned that whole soy (yeah Real Food!) has a multitude of evidenced-based benefits as a nutrient-rich, plant-based complete protein source. Other than iron, zinc, fiber, complete protein, healthy fats, magnesium, and calcium, the benefits include a protective effect against breast cancer, bone health improvement, and reduced menopausal symptoms. With the exception of estrogen-fed female cancer survivors (who can still have around 3 servings of soy a day according to the American Cancer Association), we all can enjoy as much whole soy as we like. I love tofu, tempeh, soy milk, edamame, miso and the like, so it’s great that the research has concluded positive benefits.

FYI, SOYJOY is made from WHOLE SOY. I have yet to try the new BANANA flavor – Tina says it’s good!

We’re now at the airport and the men have already sent the menu – they’re preparing a welcome home dinner for us in Hillsborough!!

One conference down, one to go!!

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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg August 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I’m a big fan of soy in the forms of tofu and tempeh. Ya know, I have to say though– I haven’t been crazy about the soyjoy bars in the past :-( Maybe their new flavor is tastier?


2 Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I am so glad you posted this! I get so confused about soy – some say good, some bad. ATM I try and just have whole soy and avoid processed, so it’s great to hear an RD say that’s ok!! *phew* :)


3 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I’ve always heard mixed things about soy, so it is good to know that whole soy is okay!! I’ve only ever had the mango flavor SoyJoy and I didn’t love it, but I’ll have to give some of the other flavors a go. Have a safe trip home!


4 Laury @thefitnessdish August 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

OMG looks amazing!! I need to come next year! My eyes would of been bigger than my stomach too!!!


5 Camille August 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Woah! Soy Joy for the win! What an epic spread :)
Have a safe flight home!


6 holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I have heard different opinions about soy, most specifically about men who consume alot of soy. I’ll have to do some more research on that. Thanks for the info today though!

Brunch looked fantastic — I would have wanted to take alot more than you had! Have a great day today!


7 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is August 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Wow another amazing spread! It looks too delicious.


8 The 50 Best Health Blogs August 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I especially liked the photo of the veggie platter, with crunchy real foods like celery sticks and carrots sticks. I’ve been eating a lot of celery and carrots recently, mixed in with other healthy high-fiber stuff like walnuts, pecans, and red/orange/yellow sweet bell peppers. Yummy!


9 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm

My eyes are *always* bigger than my stomach..always have been, too. haha 😛 Looks fabulous, though! I don’t think stopping halfway through would have been possible


10 Sam @ Holding Onto Healthy August 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

That breakfast looks soo good. I bet it was hard to stop loading stuff onto the plate!


11 Kelly Michelle August 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Unfortunately, I never liked those bars, at all. The food looks delicious. I think it is important to note that these talks were sponsored by a company with a vested interest in promoting whole soy. I’m not saying that it’s bad but there IS conflicting research ( I personally feel it’s ok in moderation) but as a responsible blogger I think y ou should point things like this out. I understand you are giving your opinion and LOVE that you share things like this talk with us but I think it would also be great if you pointed out the other side since you are about to be an RD you obviously understand the bias that can exist depending on who is funding the research or talks.


12 Luisa August 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I agree totally with you. I eat soy all the time, and also think it’s healthy. But there are plenty of studies on whole soy that state that it should be consumed in moderation. In fact, not all studies even agree on what can be considered “whole soy”–some say tofu and milk are “whole soy” but others think it’s too processed to qualify. It’s kind of hard to take research seriously that’s sponsored by a company that makes its profits by selling soy product.


13 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Well, I didn’t feel the need to state the obvious….but if it wasn’t obvious, everyone please know these talks were sponsored by SOYJOY! I haven’t reviewed all the soy research myself, so as I always do when I go to these things, I summarized the information presented. Take it with a grain of salt, but they did all say their opinions reflected their own experience and were their own.


14 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Although I will add, what I have learned in my nutrition classes and personal readings (light ones) is that WHOLE soy is fine and processed soy (like all processed foods) should be consumed in great moderation (why I no longer eat any kind of Clif or Luna bars). But remember that ALL foods – whole soy, processed or whatever need to be consumed in moderation. This was brought up in the Q&A. If you eat more than 2-3 servings of one food, you’re missing out on other nutrients. So EVERYTHING should be in moderation – even water and kale and oatmeal!


15 Kelly Michelle August 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for responding Kath. I wasn’t trying to criticize you. I love that you share your information and being able to “attend” the events through you. I just think it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of what you’re doing and learning and not think how some people may interpret it. You have an amazing blog and therefore a huge audience of people that are reading.


16 Stacey August 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Looks like an awesome time! And the panel sounds a-mazing..hope you have a safe trip back 😀


17 Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) August 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Dustin has that view of Central Park as his desktop wallpaper, totally awesome. And that breakfast spread, wow. Perfection. 😀



18 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm

I’m not a big soy fan myself but I do know our Dairy Cows like it…..we mix tofu in their daily mixture and they love it and produce high quality milk :)


19 Nikki August 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Your pictures of food look wonderful and I commend you for eating moderation ; however, I am always wondering how much of the food you put on your plate actually gets wasted?


20 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Not much. Esp. when I cook at home. But sometimes you can’t help it. I’m not perfect!


21 Laura August 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Can i just say..the colour of your hair is so gorgeous! x


22 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Thank you!


23 Estela @ Weekly Bite August 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Great info! Its great to know that WHOLE soy is healthy for us :)

Like you said… its all about the real food.


24 Evan Thomas August 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

that Sunday brunch blows all others out of the water


25 Marisa @ Loser for Life August 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I enjoy soy products but, haven’t bee a fan of the SOYJOY bars. Might have to try the banana one though!


26 Jennifer August 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

This was my first year at BlogHer and I don’t think I made the most of it like you did. I need your tips to getting into all these events girlie!


27 Heather August 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

oh my gosh that food looks amazing!
I also love the view form up there of central park!


28 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Wow, that brunch looks amazing! Sounds like great information! So glad you had a good time. Have a safe flight home!


29 Sara August 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm

just out of curiosity, have you ever tried the SOYJOY bars?

in my opinion — they are really disgusting. seriously the worst i’ve ever tried (and i’ve tried a lot) —


30 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I tried them a while ago…they were just OK. Not something I would buy. But I had the banana on the plane and focused on the flavor and thought it was pretty good. But still, not something I would buy.


31 Lindsay August 9, 2010 at 1:11 am

Agreed! Maybe it’s because it’s “whole soy” and not processed nugget things like in Clif Bars, but the texture is seriously vomit inducing for me!


32 jane August 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

i tried them too and thought i was going to throw up for hours after. i am the least picky eater ever and those bars were absolutely disgusting. they were being given out for free at the supermarket…eeek


33 Heather (Heather's Dish) August 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm

you’re right, there couldn’t be a more delicious way to enjoy the end of the conference! i’m glad you took a little of everything…at least you got to try it all even if you didn’t eat it all :)


34 Becky August 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Yikes- I hope you didn’t actually eat a “bowel” of fruit! That would be positively disgusting! :-) Brunch looks yummy. I love smoked salmon with capers.


35 Meg August 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Hehe I was thinking the same thing about the fruit 😉


36 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm



37 Emmalinda August 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm

This added a little chuckle to my day! Thanks for the laugh, Kath!


38 Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales August 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Woah, that brunch looks amazing! I don’t blame you for taking one of everything, I’m pretty sure I would have done the same! 😉


39 [email protected]:// August 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

What a great brunch. I love brunch but never get a chance to enjoy it.


40 Mastering Public Health (@MasPublicHealth) August 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Soy Joy is OK in a pinch but the thought of Parmesan cheese as an ingredient in a [sweet] energy bar is a bit disconcerting! However, I do like that it is whole soy in its natural state as opposed to the harmful hexane-rinsed/extracted “soy protein isolate” that is abundant in almost every bar (CLIF, Mojo, Luna, some NuGo, etc.) because of the “soy protein crisps” that are used to increase the protein content. (The same hexane rinse is used in the extraction process for “hydrolyzed soy protein”/”soy protein concentrate” that is used in almost every mock meat product from Tofurkey to Gardein to Morningstar to Boca to Karen & Sisters and health food store prepared foods.) The only problem, then — even with whole soy — is that if it is not organic (as Soy Joy bars are not), it is highly likely sourced by genetically-modified (GMO) crops (i.e. Monsanto), and I’d prefer not to support any aspect of that from health, environmental, social, and moral standpoints. Interesting subject; thanks for bringing up the topic of soy.


41 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Good point about the GMOs :(


42 Amber K August 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I find it weird that a company that SELLS soy bars would say such wonderful things about soy. Oh wait…lol…that makes perfect sense!

In reality, I don’t really care because I find their bars tiny and disgusting.

But that brunch looks fantastic!


43 Meg August 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Wowza! I would’ve taken a ton of food as well, everything looks SO good 😀 Especially the desserts 😉

I’m not a fan of Soyjoy bars unfortunately :( I wish I was! They’re so cute!


44 Angela (The Lady Loves to Eat) August 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Look at all that yummy food! I’ve never had soy joy before maybe I will have to find some!


45 [email protected] August 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for sharing your new nutrition info. I wish the academic conferences I went to served food that look like THAT! :)


46 sarah August 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

thank you for sharing your experience, but i can’t help but be sad about wasted food. were inquires made as to the disposal of all these buffet meals? hopefully community programs (like second harvest) were alerted to send this food to shelters and community groups that could feed the hungry. “Bloghers” hopefully made a stand for a more sustainable convention ethic… hopefully.


47 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

BlogHer the conference has done a lot to control waste and donations (all the leftover swag was going to the Salvation Army). I don’t know about the food, but they seem to have considered all kinds of things in their planning


48 Robyn August 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I’ve had two Soyjoy bars before and each time after I ate them I had terrible stomach pains so painful that it was difficult to walk. Do you know what would cause this? I am a vegetarian so I eat my fair share of soy products such as tofo and edaname, but I have never had that sort of problem except with Soyjoy. I don’t drink a lot of soymilks either because lots of the time they make my stomach full of gas. Any ideas? Did they explain how Soyjoy is processed different or anything?


49 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I have heard that soy is difficult to digest, but if you’re fine with soy milk and tofu, then I’m not sure what it is?


50 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Honestly I’m still pretty skeptical about soy… and considering these facts come from Soy Joy itself…so yeah. Unfortunately there bars are also very tiny and extremely expensive so I’m not too much of a fan.


51 Lisa @bakebikeblog August 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

my oh my – what an awesome spread of food!!!


52 Sims August 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm

is that a baby bump?


53 Kath August 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Um, no!? That’s kind of rude. It’s a folded over skirt. And I attended a 5 course wine dinner two nights ago!?


54 Cyclist Kate August 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm

No worries Kath–I always think “what a cute figure she has” whenever I see a photo of you, and was actually impressed that your stomach was still so flat after all that travel and increased consumption over the past few days!


55 M August 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Lol, what a ridiculous comment obviously meant to be malicious (because it’s so far from the truth…why would you be drinking wine if with child?!). I think it’s easy to get envious of food bloggers at initial glance, especially in light of lavish conferences like this, but then I read the comments ya’ll endure and I don’t think I could take it!! Props.


56 Lorin August 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Wow, I was honestly thinking that your stomach looked really flat. Some people like to criticize others, ignore that person!!


57 Annie (Delicious Wellness) August 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Thanks for sharing the latest research on soy – I’m vegetarian and get that question a lot from others!


58 Sharon August 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I would be interested in how they discussed soy in relationship to folks that are hypothyroid and on meds. I tend to avoid all soy since it is said to interfere with how my body uses the Synthyroid I take every day. It gets harder and harder to find anything processed (mayo, salad dressings, meal replacement bars, etc) that doesn’t have some form of soy in it.


59 Kim August 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I was also wondering if they talked about soy for people with certain health issues. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I keep hearing differing opinions on soy, some say it is okay for women with PCOS some say it isn’t okay. It is so very confusing. Also very frustrating, especially now that I will be beginning an elimination diet for dairy. It is truly amazing how many foods have soy and dairy in them. Sorry about the rant. :)

I hope you had fun with your Mom and Sister. Have a safe trip!


60 Kath August 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Hey guys, they didn’t address these specifically but when someone asked about populations would should be cautious, estrogen-fed cancers were the only they suggested. But I can’t speak for the research


61 Cyclist Kate August 9, 2010 at 8:18 am

I’m hypothyroid too and have gotten the okay from two endocrinologists to consume soy…I was even vegan for a few years (and consuming soy almost daily) and had to problem with my TSH levels. Soy is considered a goitrogen (as are peanuts, kidney beans, cruciferous vegetables, and a host of other foods, so in theory, if you were to avoid soy you “should” avoid all of these other foods for the same reason) and inhibits iodine absorption, which in turn can mess with thyroid function, but apparently this is only really a problem if you’re not getting enough iodine to begin with, so I just make sure to consume iodized salt, take my multivitamin, and get my thyroid levels checked annually. Obviously it’s something you need to decide for yourself, but I’ve decided that I want to keep my beans, broccoli, and tofu! :)


62 Kath August 9, 2010 at 9:04 am

Thanks for sharing Kate!


63 lynn (The Actors Diet) August 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

it’s weird; i’ve tried almost every bar known to man but never soyjoy!


64 Chelsey August 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Yay for real food! There is definitely a difference b etween whole soy and soy as a filler. I’ll take whole soy any day of the week!!!


65 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Ahh look at that giant bowl of granola! Yum!

I’m so happy to hear that about soy! I could never give up tofu.


66 Stella August 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Thanks for allowing/tolerating such open discussion about the benefits/contraindications of soy and soy products. While I know it is hard not to delve into the political with such topics, I do think it is important for all of us to become conscious eaters. (Yes, I just watched Food, Inc. again last night.) Anyway, here’s a link to a report (“Behind the Bean”) put out by The Cornucopia Institute. The report lists SoyJoy as containing hexane extracted soy. Perhaps they have altered their practices since the publication in 2009? Whatever you choose, I have found the report (and the accompanying product lists) to be useful in making decisions for my family.


67 Kath August 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I always welcome discussion so long as its respectful, polite and doesn’t make assumptions, so thanks for your comment!


68 Ana August 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Hi Stella, could I have that link? I don’t see it on your post… I am interested to learn more about the issue you posted about.


69 Ana August 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Oh wait, I think I found it on google… was it this one:
Thanks again


70 christina cadden August 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I have not tried any soy based products that I am aware of but I will be checking out Soy Joy’s website!


71 Ana August 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Like Sharon I was going to ask if they talked about soy and hypothyroid, I also have hypothyroidism and take Synthroid daily and have read many articles and studies saying that soy interferes with the medication.
I love edamame, tofu, tempeh and soy milk. I do eat soy every week, but I try to limit my consumption. I am hoping you learned something about this issue so you can tell us too!
I crave tofu weekly and wish I could eat lots more of it.
So fun to see you with your mom and sister having that much fun together, seemed like an awesome conference!


72 trang August 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Kath, I discovered your blog through the chic life and have been reading it daily for some time now. I just wanted to say that I love that you post daily and have been documenting the blog conferences from what you get, eat, and do. Can I say that I have lived vicariously through you this past week?!? I even recently purchased that vanilla extract you swear by at a local grocery store here last week to make my vanilla bean cheesecake(based on Junior’s in NY). I wish you and Matt well and look forward to reading more about your daily eats and adventures. :-)


73 Kath August 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Thanks for stopping by!!! :)


74 Marianne August 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Just wondering if anything was mentioned about soy and thyroid problems??

And I enjoyed your posts on the conference too. And I never realized how much flak you can get in your comments till I just read them to see if anyone had inquired about soy and thyroid issues. Love your retorts!


75 Marianne August 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

ah, now I find the comments dealing with hypothyroidism….didn’t see them earlier!


76 Kat August 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I loved your post, Kath, and the comments actually helped me get a little more educated about the soy debate, along with your article…I eat a lot of whole soy so it was good to know. Omg that food really looks AMAZING! I saw that cut fruit and the smoked salmon and just started salivating! (It doesn’t look like you have a baby bump, you look trim and fit as ever!)

Thanks for the awesome post 😀


77 Hannah August 8, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Oh, I wish I had a platter of smoked salmon like that greeting me every morning! It’s way too far out of my budget these days… ah well, at least I can have granola and fruit, and live vicariously through you 😀


78 Victoria August 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm

wow I just got schooled on soy research just from reading all these responses! I’ve been sort of clueless about the soy controversy for a while – it’s so nice to see so many different sides of the argument all in one place


79 Lorin August 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Wow, you definetely had a lot of good food this weekend. I know you said eating whole soy is okay, but I still believe everything in moderation because there are other studies out there that still say the negative effects it can have on our bodies. I’ll still eat tempeh and veggie burgers two or three times a week though.


80 Simply Life August 9, 2010 at 5:16 am

oooh what a fun meal – that granola looks great!


81 Jocelyn August 9, 2010 at 6:14 am

I was told to stay farrr away from soy with hypothyroidism :( It prevents the meds from fully being absorbed or something.. :S


82 Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear August 9, 2010 at 6:26 am

What a feast, lucky girl!


83 Erica August 9, 2010 at 11:04 am

Thank you so much for mentioning that it WAS brought up about avoiding soy if you have a history with estrogen-fed cancers. This applies to me and was a very confusing topic for me when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I went straight to my doctor and asked him about soy, his response was much like your experts said…that it was ok to occasionally consume foods with small amounts of soy, but to stay away from any type of soy-based foods or supplements. He said that small amounts aren’t shown to be a huge deal, but that there’s also no really “safe” level of soy for me and others who have been diagnosed. I’m struggling with what I feel I CAN safely eat, it’s really hard when you think about something you put in your mouth can trigger something. Thanks for mentioning it!


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