Thursday, July 02, 2015

LID Day 1: Anica starves to death

Yesterday was my self-inflicted Day 1, but I was too weak at the end of the day to tell you of it.

Why self-inflicted? I'm waiting on insurance and assistance to go through, and usually they schedule stuff out after that's situated. However, since I'm only in Vegas another five weeks, and the process from starting this diet to getting treatment results from the doctor are about a month, I am running out of time. So, I started yesterday, so that when they do get everything squared away, I'll be ready to go without delay.

So, Day 1 was...painful.

Day 1 Plan:
  • Breakfast: Egg white and veggie omelet
  • Lunch: Salad with homemade Italian dressing
  • Dinner: Chicken stir-fry
  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts

Day 1 Actual:
  • Breakfast: Egg white, bell pepper, onion, and potato scramble
  • Snack: Apple
  • Lunch: More egg white, bell pepper, onion, and potato scramble
  • Snack: Pecans
  • Dinner: Chicken "fajitas"
  • Snack: Bite of a biscuit

What happened:

Well, I was definitely not quite prepared, and the snafus in the system certainly didn't help.

Lunch plans got derailed because the last time I bought some key spices I bought the ones in little tin cans (they were on sale). I'm not supposed to eat anything canned, since the linings contain iodine, and wasn't sure if the tin cans did or not, so using them was out. Since this would have turned my salad dressing into just olive oil and white vinegar, I had to nix the lunch salad.

Would you want this to be 2/3 of your meals
for the day? Yeah, I didn't either. 
Breakfast wasn't bad, though it would have been better if I crisped the potatoes up a bit more. It wasn't, however, good enough to eat for two meals of the day, so I only ate half of what I should have for lunch.

By the afternoon, while I was chomping on my pecans, I felt pretty crappy. It's hard to judge how much is from not being on my thyroid meds for a week, and how much was from being under 1,000 calories for the day at 5pm, but neither are exactly conducive to dancing a happy jig.

I was out of food at that point, unfortunately, until I got home to make dinner. Downside to this diet is I have no outside the home options, with the exception of a piece of produce from the grocery store. Any other kind of diet attempt and I would have broken down and eaten a myriad of things after work and just restarted the next day, especially since I was running on empty and that's not healthy. However, turns out wanting to do everything to kill all your residual cancer cells is much more motivating than trying to look better for swimsuit season. Willpower prevailed.

Made it home and cooked dinner, which was pretty good. The "fajitas" were boneless, skinless chicken thighs, bell peppers, and onions, eaten out of a bowl. I had forgotten to buy a lemon and it turned out my chili powder had salt in it, so the marinade was missing a couple ingredients, but overall it was good. I mashed avocado into it as a lazy guacamole and for some added calories, but it just made me think how much better it would be with sour cream. I made double, so I have something for lunch tomorrow, though it'll mean a meatless dinner since I put all of my meat allotment for a day in each serving. (6 ounces is not that much.)

I wanted to make bread, for more food options for the next day, but it takes too long for a weeknight, so I tried biscuits. Took a sample bite when they came out of the oven, and they are surprisingly good for not having any butter or milk in the recipe. Add some honey and it should be great as a snack tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow:

  • Go to Whole Foods and get fresh ground peanut butter (forgot when I was buying the chicken)
  • Find and make some kind of granola bar as an emergency ration for the afternoon
  • Find more recipes/options for meals

Problems on the horizon:

Getting enough calories in a day. Contrary to people's assumptions due to my size, on days when I don't eat out, I most likely am not eating enough calories. Last time I sat down and calculated I was only getting ~1600 day, which for my size is rather low. Now that we've more or less cut out meat and all dairy products, most of what I'm eating is pretty low on the calorie scale. I'm going to have to get creative to probably hit that 1600, let alone an amount I should be eating.

I made it though - Day 1 down! :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Low-iodine Diet: The Basics

As part of my cancer treatment, I'm getting radioactive iodine. Basically they take out all they can when they do surgery, and while my surgeon got it all out, since it had spread to two lymph nodes and my tumor was "stuck to my trachea," I need the radioactive iodine to kill off any pesky cancer cells left behind.

It's not bad, from what I've read; take a pill, be in quarantine for three days while you're radioactive, body scan 7-10 days after, and you're good. Possible side effects most people seem to complain of is nausea and things not tasting right for up to six months. (One man said everything tasted soapy. Let's not do that one.)

In order for it to be as effective as possible, you must be on a low-iodine diet for two weeks ahead of time. Since your thyroid cells absorb iodine, if you starve them of it for two weeks, they will suck up that delicious radioactive version like a cult's death kool-aid and cease to exist.

So, you ask, what has iodine in it? The short answer: EVERYTHING.

It's actually shorter to write what I can eat, versus what I can't. 

I can eat:
  • Fresh vegetables, frozen ones if there's no added salt...Minus spinach, cruciferous vegetables, celery, potato skins, soybeans (and everything made from them), and most regular beans that I luckily hate anyway
  • Fresh fruit...Minus cranberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and dried fruit
  • Fresh meat from the butcher case with no processing (outside of grinding) and no additives (Hello Whole Foods)...Minus all seafood and organ meats and only 6 oz a day :(
  • Egg whites
  • Unsalted nuts and nut butters
  • Grains and cereals that are unsalted, unprocessed, and additive and preservative free
  • Bread, if I make it myself with no bad ingredients (like milk, eggs, etc)
  • Oil
  • White vinegar
  • Natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, up to 2 servings a day...Minus molasses
  • Spices...Minus any with salt in them or in their title
  • Herbs!
  • Small amounts of non-iodized, non-sea salt
  • An assortment of beverages I don't drink anyway. (That's right, I can't eat 2 of 3 ingredients for ants on a log, but I can drink Sprite and coffee. Not right I tell you.)
It actually looks like a lot of variety when you put it that way. A lesson on trying to see that glass as half-full, perhaps?

Today was my self-inflicted Day 1, which I will delve into tomorrow! :)