Day 4 of our 7 day 7 exchange Dietitians PKU diet challenge!

I have been a working as a metabolic Dietitian since 2008, yet I think I have learnt more about the PKU diet in the last 4 days than in the last 7 years! I am having to stop and think about my food all the time, I realize I often graze on food during the day at home, especially around my kids eating up the bits they leave behind and trying their food to check it is cooked and tastes nice. This week I can’t do this, I can’t nibble on their high protein food. I am doing extra work as I have to make different versions of meals for myself, my husband and my kids (plus extra work tweeting and blogging about it – don’t come round to my house this week it is a mess!!).

So day 4…

I reverted back to having 2 exchanges of loops today with low protein milk and blueberries. I tried the low protein version yesterday but it was to crunchy and sweet for me!

2ex cereal weighed

2 exchanges was only 23g of cereal, so this didn’t fill me up.

2 ex cereal

I had a little more time this morning before the school run, so had some low protein toast (made with Fate low protein flour mix in the bread machine) and jam. This was really filling as my slices were quite thick.

LP fate toast


Today I decided to try the tablets as my protein substitute. I would estimated that about 5-10% of the adults at our centre take the tablets daily. An average person would need 75 tablets a day (usually split into 3 x 25 doses) plus an extra 5 vitamin and mineral tablets…. which is a lot! I don’t mind taking tablets, I am sure I will be able to do it…

phlexy 10 tablets

After breakfast I tipped the tablets out on the table to count out and divide into 3 doses, got my glass of water and started taking the tablets one at a time. By tablet eight I was really struggling to take another one, so decided to take a break. I came back to them an hour later, managed 4 more and then gave up. They have a funny smell and taste to them. The only other place I have smelt this smell is on the way into work when I pass a lab with no windows and the smell wafts out and makes he heave…. so the association of this smell is not good for me. I gave the tablets up as a lost cause. Before this challenge I was amazed that people take these every day, I am even more amazed and full of respect to these people now!


Sarah and I both have a day off on a Wednesday so I invited her round for lunch with her toddler to make low protein pizza. We had some Juvela pre made bases and I decided to use some Fate low protein flour to make bases as well.

The Fate flour has a different texture to normal four, it is very fine and sticky once added to water. Sarah read the packet for me and only told me afterwards that I was meant to put some flour on my hands to stop the batter sticking to them! I left the base to prove and it hardened enough to add the toppings.

fate mess

We had 2 sides to our pizza – a more adult side with more veg and a salsa sauce and a more child friendly side with tomato puree and veg. We topped it with some grated violife (vegan protein free) cheese.

pizza party

We got the kiddies to help to put the toppings on the pizza’s! You may have seen there is a packet of ham on the table… we added ham to the kids pizza, not ours!

fate pizza

The Juvela ready made base was much easier to prepare – just add the toppings and put in the oven.

juvela pizza

The Fate pizza gave us a thick bread type crust and was very filling, but maybe I didn’t make the base thin enough. The Juvela base was better than I expected it to be. I expected it to be a bit cardboard like as we always see them breaking up in the packet at work! I had some salad on the side including 1 ex of sweet corn (35g).

fate pizza squares


Lunch felt a bit hectic, making and eating pizza with 2 two toddlers and a 4 year old, so sarah and I sat down with a nice cup of tea with LP milk and a slice of my fate carrot and pineapple cake I made earlier in the week. Around 2pm I had a liquid pouch protein substitute as I couldn’t bring my self to have any more tablets…


My hunger was fine in the afternoon, even when I was making my kids their dinner of fish pie I stopped my self tasting the sauce and potato as I usually do. The hunger hit me at 7.30pm after the girls were in bed and the dinner was cooking so I had a celery stick and salsa dip to keep me going.


Dinner was a Green Thia vegetable bake (3ex), sweet potato wedges and veg. I had kindly bought my husband a steak to have instead of the vegetable bake!


I was still hungry after diner, so had more Fate cake, tinned pineapple and blueberries.

fate cake dessert

I had one exchange left so treated myself to having 30mls of normal milk in my tea. I was still hungry so had a couple of LP cookies, then I realise I still had my last protein substitute to take. I chose a pudding style one out the fridge. After that I was well and truly stuffed…!