Life on the low iodine diet (LID) has been rough—and I am only a week in. From starting a few days too early to limiting my sodium intake too much, the last seven days have proven challenging. But I have become more aware of the ingredients in the food I am purchasing and the diet has forced me to prepare all of my meals at home. So even with the adversity, I am trying to reap some benefits.
While I am no expert on the low iodine diet, I am getting by thanks in part to the generosity of a kind colleague who brought me fresh eggs from her chickens and to stumbling across a LID Facebook group that has helped answer a lot of my questions.
This diet has also changed the way I think about eating and food in general. As much as I hate to admit it, I was definitely on a Starbucks diet—if I couldn’t buy it at Starbucks on my way to work, I probably wouldn’t eat all day. I looked at eating as a chore that I was too busy for. But when your diet is restricted, you suddenly miss food and the freedom to eat as you wish. Now, I have to consciously think about my meals, plan meals in advance, and work hard to avoid the office snacks during the day. Although I somewhat dread the bland diet, I feel good about knowing what is going into my body.
Here’s what has been keeping me satiated on the low iodine diet:
- Fresh Fruits: I take 2-3 clementines with me to work and when I feel that I need something sweet, I peel away. I also keep apples, bananas, and strawberries on hand.
- Almond Butter: A lot of peanut butters have salt, but the almond butter from Trader Joe’s that I picked up has only dry roasted almonds in it. It’s been great to slather on crackers, rice cakes, or apple slices.
- Nuts: Unsalted nuts are not my favorite, but walnuts makes a great snack and I can throw them in oatmeal or on top of my salad that I can only eat sans dressing.
- Bolthouse Farms Smoothies: I have been drinking these smoothies for years, and on this diet they are essential. I love that I can grab one in the morning and have breakfast on the go.
- Protein: I have been having either chicken or steak for protein every night with non-iodized salt.
- Trader Joe’s Ciabatta Rolls: Giving up carbs has been hard on this diet. So long, croissants and bagels, for now. But these ciabatta rolls are delicious when warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds. And since they are made with Kosher salt, they are LID approved!
I will be adding to this list as I head into week two of the low iodine diet!