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(Mods: I am not sure this belongs here. Feel free to move it to wherever it best fits.)

Some older Rockwellians may recall that I am a thyroid cancer survivor. I had a thyroidectomy in February of 2006, followed by a month of a low iodine diet and then radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy to nuke any remaining bad thyroid cells . To make sure the cancer hasn't returned, once a year I must go on a low iodine diet for a month, receive a low dose of I-131, and then have a full body scan to look for any traces of the element. The idea is to starve the body of iodine so that even a tiny amount of rogue thyroid cells would be picked up by the scan.

To be very blunt, the diet sucks. A lot. Here's a list of what is not allowed:

iodized salt or sea salt

Dairy products (milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese)

Vitamins (most multis add iodine)

Food and meds that contain Red dye FD&C #3

Egg yolks, whole eggs, or food containing them

Seafood (fish, shellfish, seaweed, kelp)

Foods that contain the additives: carragen, agar-agar, algin, algin= ates

Cured and corned meats

Breads with iodate dough conditioners

Chocolate (milk added)

Soy and soy products (soy sauce, tofu, soy milk)

Potato skins

Some beans (pinto, navy beans, lima beans, red kidney beans,)

Restaurant food

Processed foods, since there is no reliable way of knowing what kind of salt is used

Rice is allowed in very limited amounts.

Basically, I can have meat cooked at home, fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade bread, egg whites, and some grain products. Fortunately, booze is not forbidden. laugh.gif

I am going to try to keep a food diary here in case anyone wants to follow along at home, but mostly for my own encouragement. This diet is very very difficult to stick to, and I will have to be very organized to avoid careless eating because I was unprepared.

Forgot to add, the diet starts 4/12, so I have a month to start filling the freezer & get into the right headspace.

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(Mods: I am not sure this belongs here. Feel free to move it to wherever it best fits.)

Some older Rockwellians may recall that I am a thyroid cancer survivor. I had a thyroidectomy in February of 2006, followed by a month of a low iodine diet and then radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy to nuke any remaining bad thyroid cells . To make sure the cancer doesn't return, once a year I must go on a low iodine diet for a month, receive a low dose of I-131, and then have a full body scan to look for any traces of the element. The idea is to starve the body of iodine so that even a tiny amount of rogue thyroid cells would be picked up by the scan.

To be very blunt, the diet sucks. A lot. Here's a list of what is not allowed:

iodized salt or sea salt

Dairy products (milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese)

Vitamins (most multis add iodine)

Food and meds that contain Red dye FD&C #3

Egg yolks, whole eggs, or food containing them

Seafood (fish, shellfish, seaweed, kelp)

Foods that contain the additives: carragen, agar-agar, algin, algin= ates

Cured and corned meats

Breads with iodate dough conditioners

Chocolate (milk added)

Soy and soy products (soy sauce, tofu,

Potato skins

Some beans (pinto, navy beans, lima beans, red kidney beans,)

Restaurant food

Processed foods, since there is no reliable way of knowing what kind of salt is used

Rice is allowed in very limited amounts.

Basically, I can have meat cooked at home, fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade bread, egg whites, and some grain products. Fortunately, booze is not forbidden. ;)

I am going to try to keep a food diary here in case anyone wants to follow along at home, but mostly for my own encouragement. This diet is very very difficult to stick to, and I will have to be very organized to avoid careless eating because I was unprepared.

This sounds very interesting and challenging, Heather. Hang in there, and make a reservation for you favorite restaurant so you have something to look forward to!

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I'll be following along. If you have a chance, post some no/low-iodine recipes that you make. I know I've seen RAI recipes before (friends with thyroid issues), but I'd love to see what a foodie might come up with.

And I'm surprised most multivitamins add iodine. I guess I figured that'd be overkill due to iodized salt and cow's milk.

I suppose this also means you'll get to carry around a doctor's note for a while as well. Airports, DoD facilities...all must be fun with radioactive sweat.

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Yes, I do have to carry a doctor's note when I fly or risk setting off detectors. Also, for several days after I get the radioactive pill I can't be around my kids, have to wash my clothes separately, eat from separate dishes, wash out the tub after I shower, etc.

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Heather,

I'm so glad you posted this, and I will be following this thread with interest. I am one year in on my very strict wheat/gluten-free diet, so I understand the challenges (logistical, actual, mental, and emotional) of embarking on a restricted eating plan. The first few weeks I focused so much on everything I couldn't have that I burst into tears in the grocery store at least twice. I eventually learned to focus on what I could have, and I have learned what questions to ask to safely dine in restaurants (some are safe, others not so much).

I am sure that you will find good things to eat, and will get helpful input from fellow Rockwellians. I'll keep my eyes open for suggestions to pass along.

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Yes, I do have to carry a doctor's note when I fly or risk setting off detectors. Also, for several days after I get the radioactive pill I can't be around my kids, have to wash my clothes separately, eat from separate dishes, wash out the tub after I shower, etc.

Staying away from your kids has got to be a hard one!

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I'm a big fan of the Simply Recipes blog, and this recipe for Beet Hummus would qualify as low-iodine if you use Kosher salt. This is the latest recipe on the blog, and I'm eager to try it myself, on cucumber slices.

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I too will be following with interest. Isn't cancer punishing enough without these crappy dietary machinations? Heather, would you like for me to prepare a meal that fits these requirements for you sometime? Could be a fun project if you feel like driving out here.

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Some older Rockwellians may recall that I am a thyroid cancer survivor. I had a thyroidectomy in February of 2006, followed by a month of a low iodine diet and then radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy to nuke any remaining bad thyroid cells . To make sure the cancer Hasn't returned, once a year I must go on a low iodine diet for a month, receive a low dose of I-131, and then have a full body scan to look for any traces of the element. The idea is to starve the body of iodine so that even a tiny amount of rogue thyroid cells would be picked up by the scan.

To be very blunt, the diet sucks. A lot.

Huh. I had that too, diagnosed and treated in early 05. Although I have been lucky - since 07 they have done my followup with thyrogen shots rather than with the evil diet.

Oh how I hate that diet. HATE that diet. I also hate the hypothyroidism they have required with the scans. Although when you're that run down from the hypo, you're not hungry! (Then again, despite the stupid diet and no appetite, I gained major weight from the hypo state last time.)

I learned to make sorbet when I had to do the diet in July and couldn't have ice cream. It goes well with angel food cake. Homemade hummus and pita worked well. Roasted chicken was good. Fruit was good.

Anyhow, I'm interested in the food diary because I will have to do this again some time, and I intend to steal every good idea you have.

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Heather, I hate that you have to do this but it's wonderful that you can! You should start a blog dedicated to this project so that an even wider audience than DR.com can read it. I imagine it would be a good resource. (though definitely post the blog here too...i'm lazy)

Here is one thought, substitute jicama and cucumber where you would use crackers.

Peanuts seem to be okay on your diet, so you could make your own peanut butter to not use salt. I hear it's easy to do and really delicious. Hmm... peanut butter and banana. peanut butter and apple...

Can you have oatmeal? I'll look for a recipe I have for "oatmeal cakes" which are delicious. They aren't cakes per se, more like a potato pancake savory thing.

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WoW Heather! This is quite a challenge -- especially because of what's at stake. If you screw up do you have to start over again for another month? Thank God Booze isn't included, but I guess you have to be careful with that food group too lest you get led astray under the influence. When you're through it you can bang the drum and eat an omelette with charcuterie.

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I too will be following with interest. Isn't cancer punishing enough without these crappy dietary machinations? Heather, would you like for me to prepare a meal that fits these requirements for you sometime? Could be a fun project if you feel like driving out here.

Yes, it is! I would love to have you cook for me anytime. What an incredibly nice offer. ;) Thank you.

WoW Heather! This is quite a challenge -- especially because of what's at stake. If you screw up do you have to start over again for another month? Thank God Booze isn't included, but I guess you have to be careful with that food group too lest you get led astray under the influence. When you're through it you can bang the drum and eat an omelette with charcuterie.

If I screw up once, it doesn't matter too much. If I screw up repeatedly, it will make the scan less accurate and it might miss something. You're right, if I go out for a couple of glasses of wine & decide I'm hungry, it's too tempting to say that "this one time won't matter."

I thought about it after my first time through this, and decided that shrimp fried rice had the greatest combination of forbidden foods (seafood, rice, eggs, soy). So when my scan is over I always get shrimp fried rice for lunch. :P

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Fortunately, booze is not forbidden. ;)

Until I got to this statement I was thinking to myself "How in the world could she survive without a breakdown?"

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Diet starts a week from Monday, so I am concentrating on cleaning out the fridge of convenience food that might tempt me. The Giant in downtown Silver Spring on East-West Hwy used to stock a brand of bread that used kosher salt and no conditioners - I need to go and see if they still carry it. I also need to make a trip to Whole Foods and get a jar of no-salt mustard, and stock up on their no-salt canned chick peas, tahini, and peanut butter. Next Sunday I'll shop for meat. Since it's one of the few treats I can have, it's a good time to indulge in things like lamb chops which I normally pass up as too expensive. Also on the plan are a few batches of homemade pickles & relishes, since they use non-iodized pickling salt.

I also need to look for a multivitamin w/out iodine, and double up on my calcium citrate (rather than carbonate) and vitamin D supplements. The thyroid & parathyroid are essential for regulating calcium and vitamin D levels in the body, and removing them mandates lifelong supplements. Part of the bloodwork my doc orders every three months tests my levels of vitamin D, and the last round showed that my levels were very low. I have some mild symptoms of Osteomalacia, so she has doubled my supplements, and they will have to be upped again while I can't have dairy. It will help that the weather is nicer now & I can get more sunshine, because the vitamin D we make naturally through sun exposure is better than pills.

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Heather, you might want to investigate Bethesda Co-op. I don't know if they carry exactly what you're looking for, but they do offer a wide range of diet specific foods (a section of gluten-free products, for example), and a large selection of supplements. They don't carry meat, though. ;)

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If the Giant doesn't carry the bread anymore, try Magruder's in Kemp Mill, or Shaul's in the same shopping center (albeit not open today.) Passover is a great time to get breads without soybean oil, but I don't know about the other ingredients. Some of the La Brea breads carried at HT also do not have soy, but again, I don't know about the other ingredients.

Thanks for doing this blog; I look forward to keeping up with it. As a matter of fact, because of this I have found about the role of the thyroid with Vitamin D. I had extremely low levels last year and needed an Rx supplement. While I was told this was becoming a very common occurrence with T1 diabetics, the connecting line was never drawn for me between the also common Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and low levels of Vitamin D.

I thought I had heard about a store that carried no-salt products in Rockville--was that you who mentioned it? And yes, you couldn't ask for a better forecast this week, so enjoy the sunshine!

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Heather, you might want to investigate Bethesda Co-op. I don't know if they carry exactly what you're looking for, but they do offer a wide range of diet specific foods (a section of gluten-free products, for example), and a large selection of supplements. They don't carry meat, though. ;)

And some late-breaking news: I was there yesterday and saw bison (Gunpowder Bison & Trading) in the freezer along with a few other selections.

Heather, thanks again for these postings.

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I recently began making bread, using the 18-hour rise, no-knead method that a number of people on DR have talked about. It's simple enough that I have been doing it every few days. If you start a batch after dinner, you can bake it the next day when you come home from work. That way, you can have bread you know has no dough conditioners or iodized salt in it.

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I recently began making bread, using the 18-hour rise, no-knead method that a number of people on DR have talked about. It's simple enough that I have been doing it every few days. If you start a batch after dinner, you can bake it the next day when you come home from work. That way, you can have bread you know has no dough conditioners or iodized salt in it.

That's a good idea, Zora. I have made bread during previous low-iodine stints. The store-bought handy to keep in the freezer just in case. I will look up the no-knead recipe.

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How is it going, Heather???

Diet starts on Monday! I'm spending this week eating all the stuff I can't have for a month.

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I was traveling for the morning/afternoon, so diet starts tomorrow. I went to the grocery, and the bread I was able to eat is no longer stocked, so I will have to make my own. Stocked up on fruit & vegetables. I also picked up some calcium enriched orange juice. I don't usually drink juice, but will for the next month since milk is forbidden.

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www.thebeautifultruthmovie.com has anyone see this? :lol:

No, and I don't intend to.

Day 1. Breakfast time is the worst, especially if I'm unprepared. So far today I've had meds & 2 cups of coffee, which have made me nauseated and unmotivated to cook anything. A trip to Whole Foods has to happen this morning, to get fresh unsalted peanut butter & unsalted matzoh. Those are my emergency convenience foods, along with homemade hummus.

I can feel the frustration and depression starting already, but can't give in to them.

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Lunch: grilled chicken breast, orzo & green bean salad dressed with olive oil, meyer lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper.

Since butter is a no-no, I use this diet as an excuse to buy excellent olive, walnut, pumpkin seed, and sesame oils for flavoring.

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