Weekend Cooking: Life on the Low Iodine Diet. Again.

Weekend Cooking - New

Two years ago, The Husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was one of those life-changing experiences – and, if I’m being honest, not necessarily for the better.

As treatments go, however, thyroid cancer often involves radioactive iodine therapy which requires that the patient follow a low iodine diet for 1-2 weeks prior. In The Husband’s case, his endocrinologist has him go through a round of this before his annual scan to see if the cancer has returned.

This is our third go-around of this.

The Husband is currently on Day 4 of the low iodine diet (or, what we call the Thyroid Cancer Diet in our house) which will last for another six days. For a vegetarian, it’s rather restrictive. I’ve written about this before, but basically the diet permits fresh or frozen fruits; fresh or frozen vegetables; fresh meat (which, obviously, we don’t eat); sugar/jelly/honey/maple syrup; a limited amount of basmati rice and pasta; matzoh; unsalted nuts; oils; herbs and spices; egg whites; and sorbet (as long as it doesn’t have Red Dye #3.)

That means no bread or flour, no dairy products, no eggs, no salt, no food coloring … you get the idea.

Good times.

Let me be absolutely clear: as cancer treatments go, I fully understand that compared to chemo and radiation, this regimen is a piece of cake. (No baked goods allowed, either.) I get that. It’s just that when you have a household of four people, each with their own picky eating quirks, cooking with these additional limitations is … challenging. For dinners, I try to match our meals as closely as possible, even with the diet.

I usually start off with all good intentions, planning meticulously. (As I’ve written before, if you or someone you know have to be on the low iodine diet, the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association (ThyCa) has a free downloadable cookbook in .pdf form that has been a godsend for recipes and helpful hints.)  I also have the approved ingredient list on my phone so I have it with me if I am making a quick stop at the store and need to check a product.

This time around, I intended also to blog each day of the diet, in hopes of maybe being a resource to someone else, but that didn’t happen. I’ll try to recreate what I’ve been making for The Husband here and hopefully continue along with posts into next week.

Day 1 (Wednesday)
Breakfast:
egg white omelet
black coffee

Lunch:
matzo crackers with unsalted peanut butter
apple
banana
baby carrots
Sprite

Aftenoon snack at work:
small pear

Dinner:

Low Iodine Diet - Fajitas

Fajitas –
A recipe from the ThyCa cookbook. I sauteed some onions, green peppers and corn in olive oil, then put it on a soft corn tortilla with basmati rice and topped with tomatoes.

Day 2 (Thursday)
Breakfast:
matzoh with unsalted peanut butter and jelly
black coffee with a small amount of cashew milk

Lunch:
Leftover rice and veggies from last night’s dinner
apple
baby carrots

Afternoon snack at work:
small pear

Dinner:
Pasta with chopped tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and pepper

Day 3 (Friday)
Breakfast
oatmeal with maple syrup
black coffee with a small amount of cashew milk

Lunch
I’m actually not quite sure what The Husband packed for lunch; probably some combination of fruit, baby carrots, and crackers.

Dinner
Since I was going to be up late on Thursday night watching “Parenthood,” I made a version of homemade marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes in the crockpot. It was just olive oil, garlic, about 2 lbs. of chopped Roma tomatoes, a pinch of sugar. Simmered on LOW for 5 hours. The Husband had this with leftover pasta from Thursday night.

Day 4 (Saturday)
Breakfast
oatmeal with maple syrup
black coffee with cashew milk

Lunch
matzoh with unsalted peanut butter and jelly

Dinner
Confetti Rice - Low Iodine DietA simple version of fried rice with onion, corn, and peas. I added some sliced chicken to The Girl’s meal.  This is one of our favorite meals on the diet. So easy. We’ll probably see this at least once more, I’m guessing.

Six more days to go.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

3 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Life on the Low Iodine Diet. Again.

  1. Laurie C

    It’s definitely hard to do the special diets, and this one seems very hard. At least, it’s only for a limited time, and hopefully it will be back to normal!

  2. Beth F

    Rough going, but — as you said — it’s only for a short time and it’s much better than months of heavy doses of chemo. Still, it’s not easy. Thanks for sharing this, I hope it helps inspire others who are facing similar issues.

Comments are closed.