I have just come to end of my low protein diet for phenylketonuria diet challenge for International PKU Day on 28th June. If you want to see why I was doing this, have a read here.
How Did I Get On?
It’s been an interesting, hungry, tiring, eye opening week. I have learnt so much about what my patients with PKU have to do on a daily basis. I was allowed 7g of natural protein a day. Here is an example of a daily meal plan:
Breakfast was low protein bread or gluten free bread, fruit, a cup of tea with low protein milk and my special drink. This drink contained all the parts of the protein I could have and all my vitamins and minerals. They are bitter and very strong tasting but as the week went on, they were easier to take.
Morning snacks were usually fruit and some low protein crackers.I would have my second special drink before lunch.
I carried on with my exercise and was surprised to find I had lots of energy. This may have been due to eating more frequently due to being hungry or eating more carbohydrates. This has made me think about my normal diet really. I need to eat a bit more to perform better in the gym.
Side effect-wise I have been very tired and “out of it” my hubby said. I’ve not engaged as much generally and I’ve been aware of being more snappy with the gremlin. She also reduced me to tears one day (not a good sign!) I wasn’t sure if this was due to hunger, tiredness or being deficient in the part of the protein I was cutting out! We don’t actually know.
I have learnt tonnes about the practical side of managing PKU. It is a difficult diet to follow long-term, especially for anyone going back on the diet. It is so easy to cheat, succumb to habits and to feel frustrated. Support, preparation and organisation are key to succeeding with the diet and I have the uttermost respect for the people that follow this diet and achieve so much everyday.