Silk Bloggers {Day 2 Recap}

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Introducing… the Silk bloggers!!!

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Hey, what can I say? We’re a fun bunch! I absolutely loved meeting each and every one of the Silk bloggers in Colorado last week. We all have different kinds of blogs and audiences, so we all bring something unique to the table. It’s a really great mix, and I am excited to work with everyone!

Day 2 of our “blogger immersion” at Silk headquarters kicked off with a focus group where we had a chance to share our thoughts and opinions about the brand, its products, and various social media and marketing initiatives. Even though Silk had a number of questions planned to ask the group, the session was very much a roundtable discussion with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and bounce around ideas. As a brand, Silk was very interested and responsive to our feedback, which I really appreciated.

After the focus group, we headed to lunch at the Silk cafeteria, which offered a ton of healthy options.

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And lots of Silk (and Horizon) products!

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I love a good salad bar, so I went straight for it and loaded up a bowl with all sorts of goodies, including grilled salmon and chicken, marinated tofu, and roasted veggies.

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I also ate a banana with peanut butter spread on top. It was the perfect lunch: nutritious, delicious, and satisfying.

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After lunch, we learned all about Silk nutrition, which focused on a number of soy myths, including:

  • Soy contains estrogen
  • Soy will give you “man boobs”
  • Soy increases cancer risk
  • Soy is a major cause of food allergy
  • Soy is not safe for breast cancer patients and survivors

All of the information we discussed is on the Silk website, so be sure to check it out, but, I have to admit, I was really surprised by some of them. I actually stopped buying soymilk for my daily iced coffee at home (I still drink it in my Marylou’s) because I was worried about the cancer risk because of the estrogen, but that’s not the case at all. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer patients can safely consume soy foods like soymilk, tofu and edamame. In fact, a recently published study involving nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients found that higher soy consumption was associated with a 25% reduction in cancer recurrence [source].

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I also stopped buying Silk soymilk because I assumed it was made with GMO soybeans. I mean, it’s mass-produced and you can buy it at Target, so I just figured it was made with GMO soybeans. Well, it’s not! In fact, ALL of Silk’s products are free of GMO ingredients. Silk is certified through the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit (third party) collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, farmers and consumers, who work together to ensure the availability of non-GMO foods and beverages. (You can find the Non-GMO Project label on the front of their products as seen below.) Currently, 93% of all soybeans in the U.S. are GMO. Isn’t that crazy? Silk’s commitment to only using non-GMO soybeans in their products is helping to keep that number from going to 100%. Awesome, right? Yay, Silk! Now that I know Silk doesn’t use GMO soybeans in their soymilk, it definitely makes me feel comfortable buying it again.

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After the nutrition session, we had a little smoothie competition between the Silk bloggers.

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We had all sorts of fun ingredients to choose from and each of us created our own special smoothie for the contest.

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My smoothie included crushed pineapple, frozen banana, honey, mint, and Silk Vanilla Pure Coconut Milk.

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Once everyone made their smoothies, it was time to vote. We poured our “entries” into sample-size cups and starting tasting, keeping in mind our top three favorites.

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My smoothie ended up being a big hit with everyone, and it won first place! Woohoo! Sadly, I don’t have the exact measurements of what I used, but I will definitely make this smoothie again and blog about it on CNC. It was so, so tasty””sort of sweet, creamy, and tropical, which would be perfect for summer!

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So this concludes my recap of my trip to the Silk headquarters. I’ll be working with the brand until the end of the year, so you’ll see a few more posts on CNC that feature Silk products, news, and other fun stuff.

And I haven’t forgotten about the carrageenan question that a bunch of you asked. It concerned me too, and I actually asked it within five minutes of meeting the Silk team. I was like, “Hi. I’m Tina. What’s the deal with the carrageenan in some of your products?” Ha! Silk gets this question a lot, especially on their Facebook page, so they’re going to provide me with some more detailed information as well as links to research and all that jazz, so we can get the real deal on carrageenan.

Question of the Day

What is your favorite milk-alternative (almond, soy, coconut, hemp, etc.)?

Disclaimer: Silk is compensating me for my participation in their blogger program, but, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed on CNC are honest and all my own.

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84 Comments

  1. I started off with soymilk, but I had the same concerns about the estrogen! I’m glad to know it’s not true. I’ll have to look into it! I now use almond milk in my coffee and cereal. It’s great in things, but I do crave a big glass of milk sometimes!

  2. I’m an almond milk fan 100%. I got off of Soy product in general (occassionally will have a little bit but very infrequently) due to the hormones and estrogen levels. Honestly, I would be hesitant to believe everything they tell you at a Silk sponsored event about soy products. Most research on this topic and confirmed that soy products do in fact have an impact on estrogen, especially on children. Granted, alot of these studies are based on high amounts of soy, so the occassion addition to coffee / smoothies, etc is probably fine 🙂 Everything in moderation!

  3. First off, on soy:

    http://www.paleoforwomen.com/phytoestrogens-estrogens-and-estrogen-receptors/

    Second: I tend to tolerate milk decently, and therefore just am ridiculously obsessive about the milk that comes into our house. We’ve done raw (which is delicious and my lactose intolerant husband adores and it DOES NOT bother him at all) but considering how far away I have to go for a gallon that we do not consume fast enough, I try to buy Straus Organic whole milk and recently discovered the wonders of their half and half combined with my Chameleon cold brew for iced lattes. 🙂

    We made our own almond milk once and it was too involved for my lack of patience and I get crabby over all the added stuff in the milks at the store. I do buy canned coconut milk/cream and sometimes that makes its way into things but more often then not we just go coffee black route with just organic yogurt periodically.

  4. I stopped drinking soy milk too because I thought it increased the risk of cancer. I’m very happy to hear that that isn’t the case. I’ll have to start buying it again. Currently, I’m a big fan of unsweetened coconut milk! I like the So Delicious brand. I didn’t know Silk also sold coconut milk. I’ll have to check that out!

    The smoothie contest sounds like lots of fun! I’m such a huge fan of smoothies!

  5. This makes me so sad I’m allergic to soy! 🙁 Everything looks really yummy, and that’s awesome they don’t use GMO soy beans. WTG Silk!

  6. I’m so glad that you are going to share more about that carrageenan because I’d never even heard of it until last week…Looking forward to that.

    Looks like you all had a great time 🙂

  7. I’m glad to hear Silk doesn’t use GMO soybeans, especially because a ridiculous percentage of soy in the US is GMO so I guess I just assumed they would use it too.

    I would hesitate to believe that soy is not at all linked to cancer etc etc. I’m not saying to lean either way, but there is pretty solid research leaning BOTH ways right now. For example, yes it has been proven that Asians (with very soy-heavy diets) have a lower incidence of cancers of the breast, uterus, and prostate, but they have a much higher incidence of other cancers (esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver). However, at the same time, many studies do find that moderate consumption is safe, as you mentioned. It seems to be a pretty controversial topic but I just wanted to mention that the research very much goes both ways still.

    P.S. That smoothie looks delicious!

    1. @Traci: Part of the info that gets left out a lot about the Asian diet is they consume a lot of fermented soy products. Which soymilk is not. Fermented soy products are said to be safer and lend to more studies that show soy as safe. I still stay away from soymilk and tofu.

  8. This was a fun post to read about! I also avoid too much soy, especially highly processed soy, because of the cancer and estrogen myths – good stuff to learn more about. However, my all-time favorite ever nondairy milk is the Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. OMG – it’s to die for. Unfortunately, I can only ever find it at Target, which is a hike for me, so I don’t get it often. But when I do I have to work hard at making it last more than a couple days!

  9. You met my sister-in-law at Silk! She works there and went up to you the cafe because I told her you were there 🙂 She said you were a super sweet person. Small world! LOVE your blog 🙂

  10. I never knew that Silk used non-GMO soybeans in their products! I’m totally adding them back to my list now. I love when larger companies make good choices for our health and the environment! 🙂

  11. After all my reading on soy and the goods vs. bads, I think I’m going to try and stay away from it. Too many question marks. I have a package of tofu in my fridge now and will make that my last (try anyway!).

    I’ve heard lately things about the bad of “carrageenan” which sucks cause it is in my coconut milk AND my almond milk. Other than that, I drink CANNED coconut milk !! (It has guar gum in it, but only that and coconut milk and I dunno, but I don’t want to be a food police chief either 🙂

    Yeah, considering Silk is the source of info…well, you have do a round-table of competing research before landing on the real issues, etc.

    And who is the gal with the blonde hair and pink shirt? she looks like carrie underwood 🙂 Lucky gal!

  12. Wow, thank you so much for the information. This was a very enlightening post. As a vegetarian, I sometimes worry about consuming “too much” soy. I like to believe that in moderation it is fine. Thank you for helping me feel a bit better about my soy consumption!

    P.s. I LOVE the Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk! 🙂

  13. I used to love Silk soy milk, but I realized that it was giving me too much stomach gas for it to be worth it. So I only drink either coconut milk or almond milk now! I gotta say, Silk soy milk tastes the best out of any brand though, by far.

    I am also glad that they are dispelling the soy myths. I believe the myth about estrogen originated from this one company that was spreading that false info around and then everyone started freaking out about soy..

  14. The bad kind of soy you want to avoid is the highly refined soy called soy protein isolate. Anything with that in it avoid. There are good kinds of soy though….tempeh, misso, and natta, soy in a more natural form. I’m very careful with soy because I suffer from superficial thrombophlibitis (superficial bloodclots) and even though I won’t die from this, it’s terribly painful when i do have an episode. Some soy products=rise in estrogen=a rise in the chance to develop bloodclots. I still drink soy on occasion when I get an iced coffee at Starbucks. According to the label of the soy milk they use, it does not contain soy protein isolate. I rarely watch Dr. Oz but within the last couple of months his show addressed this very issue of soy being good or bad for you. It helped me understand how it affects your estrogen levels.

  15. I agree w/ Jenny!! Of course Silk is going to say soy is not bad for you! Do the research and then make a wise decision on soy.

  16. Tina, you did an awesome job of relaying the information about the “myths of soy!” No matter what, some people will believe what they want, and are always going to tell you that something is bad for you, causes cancer, gives you man boobs, whatever. The research that the Silk team (and the 2 RDs in attendance) was pretty solid, and you know what? I’m going to choose to believe it. I’ve been a soy consumer for almost 30 years and have a clean bill of health.
    Like I said, people will ALWAYS try to tell you that SOMETHING is bad for you (soy, gluten, legumes, dairy, meat… what’s next?). I think moderation is key and trusting your own body and how it reacts to certain things.
    Oh- and the salad bar was incredible. Can I eat there every day?

  17. I’m glad they don’t use GMOs but it is simply not true that soy isn’t a big food allergen. Soy is one of the top ten food allergens. I’m someone who is so allergic to soy that even soy lechitin is dangerous for me. As for the hormones, I think just like everything else, so in moderation is healthy and safe. Sounds like an interesting trip!

  18. Personally, I’m a cow milk drinker, but I’ve never tried soy milk. I would like to taste it to see what I think. I stay away from almond milk because it only has 1 gram of protein in 8 oz vs 8 grams of protein in cow’s milk (I have medical reasons for needing to eat a high protein diet).

  19. I still really don’t know what to think about soy. I have to say that I am extremely impressed by the fact that Silk is completely non-GMO. That is amazing.

    Still though, I’m not against soy exactly, but just reading the opinions of how soy isn’t bad for you from a soy company isn’t enough to convince me fully. What about all of the information that has been published and the studies that have been done in the past? I’m not say that all (or even any) are accurate, but that doesn’t mean that soy (or anything else for that matter) is safe. Again, not dissing Silk, I just would like to see more clinical evidence.

    1. @Eating 4 Balance: Me too. Sorry, but any information coming from Silk is going to have a built-in bias and agenda. Not criticizing their business (or condemning soy!), but they are in fact a *business* and therefore not impartial.

  20. I get very frustrated about the back and forth about soy safety (and all foods for that matter). I think its interesting that the industry has no problem with you eating multiple servings of dairy (which has been linked to various diseases) but the safety of a couple of servings of soy per day, or even week, is in question? It’s all political. For what it’s worth, I’ve been on a steady diet of soy for years and my blood work and estrogen levels have all come back normal.

  21. Almond milk all the way! I just made a peanut butter, banana and chocolate (I used unsweetened cocoa powder) smoothie with Silk Almond Milk. It was so good! It was so thick, i ate it in a bowl with a spoon! Soy milk upsets my stomach so I avoid it.

  22. I do use their almond milk and coconut milk. Soy doesn’t agree with me and from research I’ve done I won’t eat anything with soy anyways. I’m very happy to hear they are GMO free! That is awesome!

  23. I usually really enjoy your blog, but this post bothers me. I am a dietitian and yes, much of what you said is true- new research is showing that soy (pure soy, not foods with soy isolate) can reduce the risk of cancer. There is still research, however, that certain forms of breast cancer, particularly women genetically predisposed, may still have an increased risk of cancer if consuming too much soy. Moderation is generally okay. I too, occasionally, use Silk products. Not bashing them, but you can’t take all of their debunked “myths” to be absolute. Of course Silk is going to say all these great things….they are trying to promote a product….
    I am happy to hear though that they do not use GMO soybeans 🙂

    1. Of course, everyone has an agenda, and there’s a lot of research out there. But, even the Silk bloggers, who are RDs and not part of the Silk team, agreed that soy is safe and even healthy for most people to consume.

  24. The only milk I will consume is raw milk and if I can’t get that it will be organic whole milk. That fat free stuff isn’t on my health radar!

  25. “In fact, a recently published study involving nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients found that higher soy consumption was associated with a 25% reduction in cancer recurrence” <– if this "source" was a link to a legit study from scientific literature, and not a link to the Silk website, it would have a lot more credibility. Do you have a more primary source?

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