I just finished my fourth time on the low iodine diet. I know how it feels to be stuck with the limited food options, requirements to cook everything yourself and the anxiety of making sure you’re doing everything right. After four times on the LID, I’ve become quite adept at shopping for and preparing for the low iodine diet.
Preparing for the low iodine diet can be intimidating. You know there isn’t much you can eat, you’re concerned that if you stray from the diet it could have a negative impact on your treatment. I totally get it. I’ve done this diet before and am happy to provide you with some helpful tips on how to get yourself ready.
Shopping for and Preparing for the Low Iodine Diet
Please note, I’m not a doctor or health care professional. I’m offering you my thoughts and experience not medical advice. Please speak to your medical doctor for details around your specific diet and treatment.
You can find the basics of the low iodine diet requirements in this post and through reading your doctor’s LID information. I’ve found that sometimes the details can be a bit different based on where you are and who your doctor is.
Getting Started with Low Iodine Diet Preparation
To get started you’ll need to know how long you’ll need to be on the diet and when you need to start.
Every time I’ve done the LID I’ve been on it for about a week before my radioactive iodine treatment. I start my preparation with seeing what is planned for the week – do we have any events that week? Will we be at home for dinner every night?
Once I know what my plan is for the week, I can start planning my meals.
Low Iodine Diet Shopping List
There are a few low iodine diet staples that I always pick up:
- unsalted nuts and nut butter
- chia seeds,
- sweet potatoes and regular white potatoes
- whole wheat flour
- lots of fresh fruit
- lots of veggies
- dried beans – chickpeas, black beans
- quick rising yeast
- pasta – egg and salt free
What to Make to Prepare for the Low Iodine Diet (LID)
One of the first things I like to do is prepare homemade nut milk. You can see my step by step process here.
I use the nut milk for overnight oats, chia pudding and baking. It’s helpful to have a jug of it in the fridge but remember since there are no preservatives or additives it can only last a few days.
Beans & Chickpeas
Then I like to prepare my beans. To cook beans properly you generally have to soak them in water for a few hours or overnight. Once the beans are soaked you can cook them. Since this is a time intensive process, it’s worth planning ahead and doing the job in advance.
Once you have cooked chickpeas or beans you can use them at lunch and dinner or even make chickpea cookies with them.
Bread & Baked Goods
It’s also very helpful to make any bread or other baked goods ahead of time. Personally, I like to bake my whole wheat bread in advance. I often find myself baking more than one loaf during a treatment period but as long as I have the time, it’s a fun thing to do.
Cutting up your veggies is also a helpful way to prepare for the LID. I try to cut up some celery, peppers, carrots etc every Sunday to get prepped for the week so this step isn’t much different than my typical meal plan.
Low Iodine Diet Meal Inspiration and Recipes
To get some LID meal ideas and inspiration check out these posts:
- Low Iodine Diet Dinner Ideas
- Healthy Low Iodine Diet Snack Suggestions
- What to Eat for Breakfast on the Low Iodine Diet
LID Recipe Ideas
After being on this diet so many times I’ve come up with with some low iodine recipes and ways to modify some great easy recipes all of which you can make in advance and have ready for your LID.
If you have any tips for thriving on the low iodine diet please share them in the comments! I hope this helps make the LID a bit easier and prepping for it a bit less stressful.