Today, I’m going to deviate from my usual blogging schedule and address a new topic, the Low-Iodine Diet. Some of you know that I had my thyroid removed in December because of papillary cancer. If you’re among those who’ve been praying for me, thank you very much!
On February 15, I need to go on the Low-Iodine Diet (LID) for two weeks to prepare for Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment that will destroy any remaining thyroid tissue. The LID starves the body of iodine, making it receptive to the treatment. Thank God the prognosis for thyroid cancer is excellent! Even if it weren’t, however, I know that my future is ultimately with God, the One who saved me. (See John 14:1-3.)
As you know, I’m not in favor of dieting to lose weight. But this is not a low-calorie diet, and it’s only temporary. Fortunately, a fantastic Low-Iodine Cookbook has been developed that includes specific instructions and a shopping list. So I’ve decided to blog about my eating adventure, hoping that my experience will help someone else.
Basically, I need to avoid iodized salt and anything else that contains iodine. No dairy, no egg yolks, no soy, no soy sauce, no fish, and no packaged foods because I can’t be sure they use non-iodized salt.
Fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, sugar, flour, and oil are okay with the exception of potato skins and rhubarb. The only foods I can safely eat in a restaurant are fresh fruits and vegetables without dressing and the inside of a baked potato without salt, butter, or anything else. It’s back to home-cooking for me!
For starters, I shopped for plain salt, unsalted canned tomatoes, unsalted Matzo crackers, and pasta made without eggs. The LID cookbook mentioned buying Unsalted Margarine, and I looked everywhere, including Asian grocery stores, but couldn’t find any. I’ve used Spectrum Butter-Flavored Shortening, but I couldn’t find that either. I finally made my own Low-Iodine Margarine using the Soy Free Margarine recipe from the LID cookbook.
1 cup Spectrum vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon non-iodized salt
1/2 teaspoon Imitation Butter Flavor
4 drops yellow food coloring
1/8 tsp cornstarch
Melt shortening in the microwave until barely liquefied. Add all other ingredients. Using electric mixer, blend for 1-2 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy. Pour the liquefied margarine into a small container, and place it in the fridge to harden.
Adapted from Melissa Taylor.
For dinner last Tuesday, I made LID Meatloaf. Using my standard recipe, I substituted plain salt for iodized salt, 3 Tbsp Egg Beaters for 1 whole egg, and coconut milk for dairy milk. I got in the habit of using oatmeal instead of bread crumbs years ago when we lived in Africa, and it works fine.
1.5 pounds ground beef
1 med onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tsp plain (non-iodized salt)
ground black pepper to taste
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp Egg Beaters (1 egg white)
In hindsight, I wish I’d spread unsalted pureed tomatoes and some Italian herbs on top of the meatloaf before baking. This is a practice run, so I’ll do it next time.
For side dishes, I made a salad, cinnamon yams, and garlic-mashed potatoes with the skins. But I forgot that I can’t have potato skins, so I ate them and didn’t freeze any for when I’m actually on the diet. The cookbook said people usually make mistakes during the first week of being on the LID. I see now how it happens.
Thanks for keeping me company!
Posted on January 31, 2017