If any of you have had thyroid surgery then you are probably familiar with the much dreaded low iodine diet.
About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid. I had a complete thyroidectomy, was put on medication and went on my way. If anyone has to get cancer, the type I had is a “great” one to get. It almost never metastasizes and almost never returns.
Along the way, I had to have a PET scan to see if there were any cancerous thyroid cells floating around my system. To prepare for the scan I had to go on a low iodine diet. Apparently, normal thyroid tissue takes iodine from the blood stream and traps it within the cell to make thyroid hormone. The reason for the low iodine diet is to deplete your body of any iodine. After a few weeks of this diet, you get a dose of radioactive iodine. The iodine will hunt down any roaming thyroid cells that might be in your body. The PET scan will be able to see them, if they are present. I was a little disappointed to learn that even though any thyroid cells would glow, I would not. There should be something fun that comes from all of this, right? Can you imagine the fun that I could have if I glowed in the dark? <sigh> Oh well, it wasn’t to be so I’ll move on.
The diet isn’t really that bad although there are a lot of posts, on the Internet, that say otherwise. First of all, it’s only for 2 weeks. We can do pretty much anything for 2 weeks. You can’t have anything with iodine in it. I won’t go into all of the foods that you can’t have (and there are plenty) but I will focus on what I could have. I love food and I was determined to eat as normally as possible and still have it taste good. I could use table salt as long as it was iodine free and I could have Kosher salt. There aren’t enough herbs and spices in the world that can take the place of salt, for me. Not all salt free products are iodine free but many are. You can’t eat anything processed because most cleaning agents, that commercial meat producers use, have iodine in them. You can’t have any dairy or egg yolks so that would present a challenge when making cookies and other goodies but I was pretty sure I could figure out something.
In the next few days I will share some of the recipes I have made while on this journey. My goal was to make a few things that would taste good, be easy to make, and use readily available ingredients.
When I am done with this diet, I have to go on another special diet. It seems I have reflux. I want to try to get a handle on it with diet and lifestyle changes rather than medication. One of the things I have to give up when I go on the reflux diet is gluten. To tell you the truth, I’m a little excited about that part because I have been dying to try more gluten free recipes. I have made a few gluten free recipes for friends who have Celiac Disease or who are gluten intolerant but I tend to make the same few things over and over again because I don’t like wasting ingredients on something that might not be good. So, now’s my chance. I will share what I learn in a few weeks.
Tomorrow I will post the best chicken broth that I have ever made (and I make a lot of chicken broth). Until then, be kind to yourself and feel free to ask any questions you might have along the way.