Ask Jo: The Comment Section

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days. Today’s questions and comments are coming from the comment section.

Pat said, “Jo, After reading the menu, I am concerned that spinach is on it…isn’t spinach high in iodine? You try to hard to do everything perfectly, I am surprised that a low iodine diet would include spinach. Maybe I’m wrong…I think it’s wonderful that you are on top of this appt stuff…so many aren’t able. You’ll be in my prayers!

Oh my. Thank you for saying something Pat. If you’ve been following along my cancer journey and my treatment (read about it HERE) you know I have to be on a low iodine diet as part of my treatment. I am concerned about what I can eat while I am hospitalized. I asked for a menu so I could make a plan for food.

I was sent this…

I Googled it and this is what came up.

Spinach, soya beans, turnip, beet, courgette, baked beans, and garlic are vegetables rich in iodine. These vegetables can also be consumed as a source of vitamins and antioxidants.”

UGH. This is so frustrating to me. Why would they have spinach on the list of approved foods? I think I am going to trash their menu and bring my own food. I just don’t trust it. Maybe I’m overreacting but I want the very best chance of this working. I don’t want to screw something up over spinach!!

I don’t know if I showed you the note that accompanied the “approved menu”.

If you can’t read the note is says, “Hi Jo, This is menu from Mayo Jacksonville, however Mayo Rochester does have similar menu but wasn’t able to print.”

Okay…I was talking to my daughter Kayla. We were all okay with Cheerios (name brand version) being acceptable from place to place…but I feel a little uncomfortable with Graham Crackers without a trademark all being okay. I feel like each company has a slightly different menu so how do I know what company is making them? UGH.

So…with that all in mind, I think I am going to pack some of my own food. I will order Chipotle for suppers through DoorDash. How frustrating.
I know it’s technically a low iodine and not a NO iodine diet but still…I don’t want to mess this up over simple things.

Many thanks for bringing this to my attention Pat.

Deb wrote:
My daughter and grandson have severe dairy allergies but fortunately now there are many plant-based alternatives. We have to buy dairy-free butter, sour cream, cream cheese, many varieties of cheese, soy, oat, almond and coconut milk, and dairy-free yogurt. There are so many non-dairy products now compared to ten years ago. Good luck with your treatments.

This is SO TRUE!! I bought one coconut milk alternative yogurt and it’s very good!! When I did the diet that first time in 2016 there weren’t many choices at all!!

Another thing about my diet…I can eat Uncrustables. A blog reader, Charlotte, told me all the ins and outs of them.
Just an FYI, Uncrustables won’t keep if they are only kept cold. They must be kept frozen. They’re designed to thaw out in about 1/2 hr and if left to sit the jelly will seep through the bread. The ones that are defrosted in the cooler will end up with very hard bread, and I mean really hard. The same thing can happen if they thaw too much between the store and home. I buy them often.”

Leatha wrote:
Some years ago you wrote about a pair of gardening gloves.
You were very pleased with them. I ordered a pair and also
loved them. Somehow those beloved gloves disappeared! I had some
medical issues & periodically would look for them. Still no gloves. If
possible would would you please send me the information I need
to order more. Read your email every morning. Love it!
Thank you

I tried them before and they got hard…now I know why. THANKS. It’s helpful information.

I love these gloves. I garden a lot and wear them all the time. Mine lasted 4 1/2 years. I ordered another pair in purple.

You can find them HERE.

Bonnie said, “What type of thyroid cancer? I had medullary. 35 radiation treatments. No chemo. U got this gf!”

For anyone else wondering. My cancer is follicular thyroid cancer. There are several different kinds. Although mine is hard on me, it is not known to be inherited. For that, I am so thankful. Papillary is inherited.

Many people commented on how useful the wool applique mat appears to be. YES. I’ve used it several times since I wrote about it. I’m in love and highly endorse it. You can read the whole post about the mat HERE.

About the mat, Kathy wrote:
The right tools will make the job much easier and so enjoyable

This is so true. The right tools are priceless. I think too often we take simple things like cutting out a quilt with a rotary cutter for granted. I can’t help but ask myself, how many quilts would I actually make if I had to cut them out with scissors?

I’m so excited about the mat that I’m even contemplating trying fabric applique. I keep thinking about how much this revolutionized wool applique for me. There has to be some method or tool out there that might make me latch onto fabric applique…Hmm.

The right tools really do make things so much easier. Thanks for the reminder Kathy that it’s okay to spend a little money to make things easier and more enjoyable.

That’s all I have for you this time around. Thanks so much for writing in the comment section. It makes the blog fun for me!

17 thoughts on “Ask Jo: The Comment Section”

  1. I am glad others are reaching out about your diet. I didn’t realize that spinach was high in iodine. Thankfully, I do not have any special diet issues so some things I haven’t learned about foods, but I find it is all interesting to know.

  2. You might consider watching Lori Holt’s YouTube videos on fabric appliqué. I have not made anything but her videos and tools make it look so easy. Just a thought.

  3. Love your blog – and sending good thoughts to you in your ongoing treatment journey. Have been trying to order things thru your Amazon link, but it’s been non-functioning lately. If this is somehow on my end, sorry to bring it up. Otherwise there may be a glitch for others as well?

    1. Susan from Michigan

      I was thinking the same. The Amazon link is not functioning, and I wanted to order something so Jo could get some credit.

  4. In my research, I see spinach is allowed on a low iodine diet. has great information on low iodine, pre radioactive treatment menus and food.

  5. Interesting information on the sources of iodine. I’ve never paid attention before. Also never considered how different a simple graham cracker could be depending on who makes it. It must be so frustrating for you!

  6. I use my ironing mat for fusible fabric applique. I build my motif on the mat and then transfer it to my quilt block
    It makes applique lots of fun.

  7. Loved the cat story Jo, lucky puss.. And so many dogs!, shame on the breeders.
    Some medications say to avoid dark green vegetables as may decrease efficiency, that may be the iodine content. But we do need some for our dental health: just can’t win!
    Hope your weather is ok. We are scorching here in NZ.
    Cheers, Dot.

  8. Hi Jo – love reading and I pray your treatment goes well.
    Re applique – there are so many methods that it’s really only through trial and error that you’ll find the one that suits you. You may have seen the expensive Appliquick tools online – I went to a day workshop run by our guild chairperson and she gifted us all a far cheaper alternative….seafood sticks! I don’t actually use it much but it is handy for very fiddly pieces.
    Best wishes.

  9. Susan from Michigan

    I just ordered the gloves using your link. I won’t be using them for several months because we have several inches of snow but I can be prepared. You provide so much useful information through your blog!

  10. Olivia B of Hillside Rookery has posted a few episodes on her flosstube of her process for fabric appliqué. She uses (and sells) the AppliQuick tools for turning edges. Fun to watch!

  11. Kim Diehl also has an applique method that uses freezer paper and then machine stitches them with invisible thread using a very small zigzag stitch.

  12. You’ve got this Jo….I don’t know how you do all you do, but you always manage! Many people will be praying for you on this journey as we have before! It does seem like a hospital should have a reliable food list!

  13. In regards to your diet: Your should not have to buy your own meals. Talk to the dietitian at the hospital about the food items you are uncomfortable with. They need to know what you are eating and ordering in (out) will be hard to monitor.

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