A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

26 January 2010

Being Scanned

I am on a diet.

I know what you're probably thinking, "Oh, little whiney thing...boo hoo...just eat less and exercise, that's all there is to it."

No, it's not that type of diet. I don't even want to do this diet. This one is doctor-ordered.

I go to the doctor the other day and he wants me to get my thyroid checked. In order to get the best results, according to them, I have to be on a diet for three weeks. Three weeks...altho the paper they give me says "TWO". So, I begrudgingly take my sheet of paper and shuffle out the door.

Now I don't know how many of you are on specific diets - I am sure there are Diabetic diets that are no fun...and people without gall bladders and spleens and people without the ability to swallow...and while I don't discount any of these - this diet is pretty darned severe.

First off it states I can't eat iodized salt or sea salt.

I don't typically add much salt to my food, if any, and when I do, it's sea salt. It's tasty and comes in pretty colours like pink, red and black - all the way from far off magical places like France, Australia and Hawaiian volcanoes...which, when added to the food I make, make me think I'm a much better cook than I am. So, no biggie really. I can deal with this.

- No dairy.

Um...okay, you just took away my salt, now you're telling me I can't eat any cereal? How about some lovely oatmeal from Ireland? I make it with water! Nope...contains salt.


- No eggs.

So, wait...I can't eat bland horrible Irish oatmeal...now I can't eat an egg? I can make egg salad sandwiches without salt - I can do that! But you've taken away my ability to eat eggs!

Doesn't matter, they also took away my God-given right to eat bread. No bread??? Wait! This is pathetic...but, there's a catch, I can eat WHEAT bread.

Now, I don't know about you - but I recently became very versed in reading the labels on everything in the store. White bread contains salt...wheat bread contains salt. Am I to believe the salt somehow loses its salinity if combined WITH wheat? The ingredients are the same - only the wheat bread also contains WHEAT!

I can't eat seafood, algae or soy. By reading this list so far, it seemed by the process of elimination, the only thing left FOR me to eat was going to be salmon or soymon or a nice dollop of tasteless white rice on a slab of seaweed. But no can do.

Okay...the list goes on and on - let's just cut to the chase and tell me what I CAN eat!

Fresh meat
Potatoes or rice
Wheat or rye bread
Fresh or frozen vegetables
Fresh or frozen fruit

Great! I know what I'll do - I'll make a baked potato for dinner. I'm almost as happy as a clam...because I know that I can't be eaten! Ha! Clams ARE seafood. (Yes, starvation apparently effects the brain first.)

Ding! My microwave goes off. I reach for my potato about the same time it dawns on me that: 1) Butter is dairy; 2) Sour cream is dairy; and 3) The only salt I have in my house contains iodine.

Have you ever eaten a baked potato with nothing on it? It's like eating a rice cake...but without the flavour.

Oh...I know all about rice cakes. I bought a package. Then I threw away the rice cakes and ate the package (sorry, old joke - I had to). Seriously, rice cakes rank right up there. Wait, let me rephrase that last sentence: rice cakes are rank.

Can I eat olive oil? I could eat wheat bread if I had it - but would I be able to dip it in some olive oil? What am I going to cook my saltless vegetables in? I can't use butter...can I use oil?? So, I call the doctor's office the next day as it makes no mention whatsoever about oils.

"Uh, I'm on the thyroid diet and there's things that I'd like to eat that aren't on the list, can you tell me if I'm allowed to eat them?"
"Eat the things on the list."
"This isn't ON the list...can I eat it?"
"What does the list say?"
"Uh...it doesn't address it."
"Then I'd stick with what's on the list."

Yes, this is getting nowhere fast. A last ditch effort on my part - I decide to be assertive, I'm starving - the only thing I ate all day (and that was yesterday) was a bland potato...

"Can you possibly let me talk to someone who can tell me if certain things that aren't on the list...are okay to eat?"
"I don't have the list in front of me."
"Can you maybe let me talk to someone who has a list in front of them?"
"Well, call up the people at the thyroid scan place, they'd be able to tell you better than we can."

So, I call them up.

"Hello...um...my thyroid doctor place told me to ask you if I can eat some things for my scan - I don't want to mess my scan up and have to start all over."
"Well, as far as I know, and I've done this for 30 years, the only thing we ask you not to eat are shellfish and iodized salt."
"You mean I can eat an egg?"
"Are you serious, eggs are on that list?"
"And all dairy, and bread...except wheat and rye. And all already prepared food - because they all contain salt."
"I never heard of such a thing."
"We get people all the time from that office and this is the first I heard anyone ask about this stuff."

Then I decide to look online.

Depending on which site you go to...I can eat potatoes but I can't eat rice. No mention of rice cakes and I can see why. There's really not much to talk about when it comes to rice cakes...but if you are hungry enough, putting sliced pears and honey on a rice cake...after you take your Ambien...is remotely bearable. Edible? Eh...the verdict is still out on that one.

But, I have to get this test done on the 1st and I want to do everything in my power to not get disqualified; can you imagine starting all over again? So I'm sticking with my bland "sheet of paper" diet...which, I found out, if you are creative enough, you actually can eat tasty things. You just have to use your noodle.

Which, by the way, aren't listed "for" OR "against" on my list...so I'm eating them!

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  1. love this blog Mariann!!! And I know (kindof) what you are going thru about the "don't eat this and don't eat that" Have you tried hot sauce on your potato?? Not sure if it has salt or anything in it but I have done that before. And there is ketchup out there w/o salt (however if it means "added salt" or not I don't know) have you tried looking into Kosher salt?

  2. Oh, I don't think I can - I'm sure hot sauce has salt. And I bought some non-iodized salt. I wasn't 100% sure on the Kosher stuff - I even read that some Kosher salt contains iodized Kosher salt. Go figure, right?

    But it would be so nice to pop a tasty micro-nuked munchie in my mouth or eat one - yes, I could eat just ONE Lays potato chip...I promise. But I can't. :(

    And there's a lot of "low sodium" food - I went out determined to buy some organic nukey meal which I could eat...but nope. Salt in them - and I'm not sure if it's iodized or not. Several list sea salt, which I can't eat at all. But the low sodium food still has salt so I'm just making everything from scratch. I'm also shying away from the wheat bread anyway - I mean it DOES have salt in it.

    And yes, those conversations were pretty much verbatim - I didn't take artistic license on them at all. I couldn't believe it.

    And again, I can't get a job here. Sigh...

  3. That was too funny! Although I'm sorry you're having to be on this crappy, restrictive diet.

    I actually don't mind baked potatoes with nothing on them. In fact, that's usually how I eat them. And veggies? Delicious just steamed. Don't need salt or butter or anything.

    I'm sure they know that wheat bread contains a minor amount of salt, so maybe it's still okay. Anywho, good luck with your diet. I hope you can figure out enough stuff to eat to not drive you crazy.

  4. Thank you, Screwdestiny (I feel too horrible just calling you "Screw"). I just looked to make sure one of my pills I've been taking isn't on the "red dye" list which is another no-no on this list. But it's not. I totally forgot to check and I've been taking them all week. He didn't tell me NOT to take them - but he did tell me not to take my regular vitamin - I thought it was because it contained iodine, but it's also red. So, yeah, nothing with red dye in it either.

    Do you know how tiny and hard to read those labels are? And they have like 59 ingredients.

  5. Horrible. I went on the Atkins diet a couple of years ago. In case you're not familiar with it, I'll summarize: you can eat meat, dairy and broccoli, and nothing else. I lost about 30 pounds, but actually got desperate for bread and stuff with sugar in it, like ice cream. The bottom line is that diets are hard to follow. Espcially when there's so much good stuff to stuff in your mouth. I hope you pass the test, and can start eating normally again.

  6. Would you be allowed cheese and broccoli for your baked potato? That could work nicely.

  7. Mike - Sounds like something you'd get sick of pretty fast as well.

    Chris - Can't eat cheese as it's dairy - could eat the broccoli, tho. But it's one of those things where, if you didn't shop specifically for stuff, you were screwed.

    I can eat salt - just had to buy the non-iodized kind. Amazing it's still on 33 cents after all these years. I think it was 33 cents when I was growing up. Morton has made more millions selling 33 cent salt than anyone in history I suppose.

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