Monthly Archives: June 2015

PKU challenge – Days 6&7

Day 6 – Saturday 27th June

Today is Saturday and this means one thing….a lie in? Wrong! No in our house, this is ‘gymnastics’ day! My youngest daughter is very keen on gymnastics and she gets incredibly excited about gym at 8:45am on a Saturday! You can tell how excited I get….!

So it was all rush, rush, rush as usual to get out of the door by 8:30am on a Saturday. I only had time for a few sips of tea with milk before we left. I grabbed a LP cereal bar and some fruit as we left. I also remembered to bring my flask with the rest of my tea so I can sit and drink tea with all the other mums/dads whilst we watch the gymnastics!

Mid-morning: PKU cooler when we returned home

Lunch was salad, hummus (1 exchange), cream cheese (1 exchange), LP mevalia toast.


I tried a Lophlex powder (orange) this time – my daugher made it up for me with lots of water…300ml! But it was very refreshing and tart and reminded me of an effervescent vitamin drink.

In the afternoon I had a “treat” snack of a cupcake (0.8g protein) with Betty Crocker icing…I know I am a dietitian and not supposed to eat cakes but everyone needs a treat sometimes (everything in moderation!) I also had a cup of coconut milk.

7pm: PKU lophlex LQ – yellow top + 2 slices LP toast with spread before going out for the evening.

Evening out: The food at the party we went to was a Hog roast…it smelt soooo delicious and took all my willpower to resist it!

I had boiled potatoes, couscous salad and a green salad. There were a few blocks of feta cheese in the salad so that was a bit of extra protein. I estimate that I had 5 exchanges in total in this meal.

So that means I went over on my exchanges (total of 9 ex’s for the day, instead of 7)

Very late (early) night home….

Day 7 Sunday 28th June – International PKU day!

I would definitely not recommend this but I skipped breakfast as I only had time for a cup of tea before heading out to take my daughter out for a sports activity. Ooops! Not a good way to start the day and I wouldn’t recommend it. I did remember to take a LP cereal bar and a Lophlex LQ pouch along with me to eat/drink whilst I watched Lily.

When we got home, there was only a short break before we were all out again to meet friends in London. We stopped at Wagamama’s for lunch and I found a very PKU-friendly meal at Wagamama’s….crumbed aubergine and sweet potato with rice and salad (Yasai Katsu curry) with a ‘Super Green’ drink which is a mixture of celery, apple, mint and lime. It was absolutely delicious. I normally have the Chicken Katsu Curry when we go to Wagamama’s but I have also had this vegetarian dish in the past. I estimated the rice to be 3 exchanges and the crumbs probably another 1g protein, so about 4 exchanges for the meal. I also had 2 vegetable dumplings which I estimated as another 1-2 exchanges, so a total of 5-6 exchanges for the whole meal.

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I took a ‘PKU air’ along with me but forgot to drink it at the restaurant! By the time I remembered to drink it, it was warm and was not very nice! I only managed half the pouch as it made me feel so nauseous drinking it warm.

The afternoon was spent on a ‘Duck Tour’ of London….a “car” which also goes in the water. There was much excitement when we “drove” into the river Thames!! We then went to Pizza Express afterwards and now I have a HUGE confession to make….I ate pizza! IMG_9953IMG_9954



I am sorry but my PKU challenge ended at 5pm on Sunday as I could not give in to the temptation of a delicious cheesy pizza. I know I am terrible, I apologise, I am only human!

An option at Pizza Express for people with PKU is a gluten-free base without cheese…adult GF base has 5g protein and a children’s (piccolo) GF base = 1.2g protein.

salads are also an option…

Lessons learnt…

This week has taught me so much, not only about PKU and keeping to a strict diet, but about the feelings that it brings out in you/me…feelings of guilt, shame and temptation.

I am filled with the utmost admiration and respect for all of the children and adults out there with PKU or any other restrictive diet as it is very challenging indeed, especially as life tends to get in the way (as I found this weekend!)

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my experiences this week during the ‘7 day, 7 exchange’ challenge. It has been both an interesting and humbling experience for me.



Paula x




PKU challenge – Day 5

Day 5 – Friday 26th June

Today did not start well as the whole family woke up late…everyone was tired as we had a disruptive night…rushing for school…mufti day…”Mum, what can I wear?”….rumaging around the house for summer fair donations…the last thing on my mind was sitting down for a good breakfast!

Breakfast – cup of tea and a banana on the way to school! (not ideal)

For my supplement today I decided to try  Phlexy-10 tablets…I managed 6 in the morning before I started to heave/wretch! (The target for the day is 60 Phlexy-10 tablets!)


11am – LP loops with prozero and strawberriesIMG_5535I tried to take some more tablets…I managed 4 more and I just couldn’t take anymore (what a wuss!) so that was 10 tablets in total and I would need to take 60 tablets for the day + 5 Phlexy-vits tablets for all my vitamins, minerals and trace elements. I am back on the liquid supplement…

 11:30am – Xphe Jump and glass coconut milk

 1:30pm Lunch – I had a friend over for lunch

I made a salad for both of us – lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, avocado

Hummus as 3 exchanges for me + Mevalia LP crostini


My friend also had the crostini and she added smoked salmon and cream cheese

4pm – Lophlex LQ

After getting home from school, I started preparing the aubergine and potato curry….the smell of the spices frying in the pan was delicious. I added chicken to the curry for my girls and hubby. I weighed out the potatoes (160g boiled potatoes = 2 exchanges) for me and then added the chicken for the rest of the curry.


This was a delicious meal… the recipe was sent to me by Polly O’Connor (adult with PKU) last year…I remembered it as being one of my favourite meals during last year’s PKU challenge so I decided to make it again.

I added a dollop of Coyo coconut yoghurt/cream (45g = 1 exchange) which made the curry deliciously creamy.


2 x Xphe Jump as my supplement tonight – the girls tried their own supplements too, to encourage me!

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Today was all about trying out the Phlexy-10 tablets and I failed miserably! I thought the tablets were terrible and I am full of admiration and respect for anyone who takes the tablets as their supplement.

Tomorrow night I am going to a party with a Hogg roast….let’s see how I cope with that one!

Paula x



PKU challenge – Days 3 & 4

Today I have decided to combine two days so this blog post is about Day 3 and 4 of my PKU challenge….keep reading to hear how I coped over the past two days with the PKU diet…

Day 3 – Wednesday 24th June

Today was a “work day” at Great Ormond Street Hospital, so this meant that I had to be super organised…I packed my lunch for work the night before… LP penne pasta + salad + hummus (45g hummus = 3 exchanges) + carrot sticks + avocado. I also packed a banana + LP crackers for snacks.

Despite my good intentions from the night before, the morning and breakfast was extremely rushed – trying to get everyone ready and out the door for work/school is no mean feat!

I didn’t manage to finish all of my cereal loops and I had 1 exchange of milk in my tea but again half of this was left! I had a banana on the train on the way to work (no photo of my breakfast here as I was in too much of a rush!)

I started feeling hungry again at about 11am and had a few LP crackers which didn’t really hit the spot so I reached for a Jaffa cake (1/2 exch per biscuit) and black Rooibos (“Redbush”) tea.

Lunch was the same as yesterday as I enjoyed it so much…LP penne pasta + salad + hummus (3ex), as prepared last night. I had a PKU air as my supplement and it was  very smooth and went down surprisingly easily.


In the afternoon I was seeing patients in the PKU Clinic…by 5pm I was extremely hungry! When I got back to the office I ate the other half of the avocado with a little leftover salad and ate a whole punnet of strawberries!

For dinner: I had leftover Risotto (3 exchanges from ordinary rice) from Monday night as I had put the leftovers in the freezer. My husband had salmon with his risotto and I had 2 XPhe Jumps as my “protein”.


Today was a bit of a crazy day and I was not as organized with my meals as I would like to have been! I should have eaten a better portion at breakfast to prevent myself getting so hungry during the morning. But I guess that is real life and things don’t always go according to plan…!

Day 4 – Thursday 25th June

Breakfast was 3 slices LP toast – 2 with Philadelphia (1 exchange = 17g) and one with jam, a grapefruit and a glass of Alpro coconut milk. I had a PKU cooler as my supplement.


Exercise – 1 hour session

mid-morning snack – glass of coconut milk

Lunch: Today I decided I needed to change my salad slightly from the previous two days, so I had corn on the cob (about 2 exchanges) with a salad. I still felt quite hungry after this meal, so I decided to have a pudding of LP carrot cake with slices banana and a dollop of “cream” as Coyo coconut yoghurt – it is very thick and creamy, more like a cream than a yoghurt (45g = 1 exchange). I then had a Lophlex LQ 20 as my supplement and felt a bit nauseous while I drank this.


At school pick up I had a fruit ice lolly as it was really hot this afternoon!

Dinner: Rice noodles and vegetable stir fry with Chow mien stir fry sauce…I really enjoyed this meal and it was filling/satisfying.

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I had Lophlex powder as my supplement tonight and I was really pleasantly surprised at how drinkable it was! I mixed it with cold water and it wasn’t nearly as sickly sweet as the liquid supplements. I think I’ll be trying the powdered supplements again this week.

Tomorrow I am going to try Louise’s idea and take my supplement as tablets…let’s see how many I manage to take!

Paula x

PKU challenge – Day 2

Day 2 – Tuesday 23rd June 2015

This morning I have planned to go for a run so I made sure I had a good breakfast before heading out for my exercise fix.


I decided to have my exchanges from milk (60ml = 2 exchanges) in my tea as I love my Earl Grey tea so much! I also had Loprofin cereal loops with Prozero milk and a banana cut up over the cereal. I found the taste of the loops extremely sweet. I then had a PKU Cooler 20 – red top and thought it was sickly sweet too.


I must admit I struggled with this breakfast and felt quite nauseous whilst taking my supplement and my children said I was pulling a funny face!

My girls have been extremely supportive of me during my ‘PKU challenge. They have tried everything that I am eating/drinking including the supplements! Funnily enough, they didn’t think the cereal loops were too sweet!! They provided much needed moral support for me this morning…”Come on mummy, you can do it!”


After the school drop off, I went for a 5km run and felt fine during my run, I definitely had enough energy. Phew!


For lunch I had a salad of lettuce, rocket (just a little), tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, olives, avocado, LP penne pasta and hummus as 3 exchanges. I also added olive oil and lemon juice as a dressing.

2 XPhe Jump supplements – these went down fairly easily but still found them very sweet.

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During the afternoon I didn’t get too hungry and managed to wait until (early) dinner time until I had my next meal.

After school, my girls and I had great fun creating “courgetti” with my new spiralizer kitchen gadget! We also made sweet potato “crisps” to bake in the oven and cucumber spirals for a salad. My spiralizer was from Lakeland – see the link below:(


Our dinner was cooked by my eldest daughter Lily – stir fried courgette with garlic. I then made a white sauce with Prozero and cornflour to go with the courgetti and the girls added ham to their courgetti and white sauce; I had peas (25g = 1 exchange) over mine. They both had second helpings of their food (I have never seen them devour courgettes like this before!!) and I really enjoyed my meal.

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My supplement tonight was a frozen Lophlex sensation (berry flavour)…a few days ago IIMG_5494
was at a PKU patient day in Bristol and someone gave me the idea to freeze the Lophlex sensation so I decided to give it a go! I enjoyed having it frozen, but I have to admit I only managed half the pot and had to put the other half back in the freezer. I will finish it later tonight….

At about 9pm I felt quite peckish so had a sneaky snack…fresh mango, fresh strawberries and Coyo coconut yoghurt (45g = 1 exchange), as well as a glass of red wine (thank goodness red wine has no exchanges!)


Bring on day 3…

Paula x

PKU challenge – Day 1


On the 28th June it is International PKU Day…a day to raise awareness about the challenges that families and adults with PKU face (not sure what PKU is? See my post on PK…what?)

A group of 6 dietitians working with children and adults with PKU (and other metabolic conditions) have decided to go on the PKU diet for 1 week as a challenge to raise awareness about this rare condition.

I have decided to keep a diary for the week and write a blog post each evening with my day’s food intake and some thoughts / comments for the day….here goes!

Day 1 – Monday 22nd June 2015

Today is the first day of my 7 day, 7 exchange Dietitian’s PKU challenge’ and I have to admit I am feeling a little apprehensive about the week. Last year I was really hungry for most of the week, so I am determined to keep my energy levels up this week. I am planning to go for a run tomorrow morning, so I will need to make sure I have enough fuel on board for that.

8:20am – Breakfast

1 Weetabix (20g = 2 exchanges) with Alpro coconut milk, fresh mango and a cup of tea with coconut milk.

Supplement = Lophlex LQ 20


10:45am – started feeling hungry

Mid-morning snack = fresh mango (left over from breakfast) + 1 packet Mini crackers with a cup of tea with Prozero

Lunchtime – 1pm

3 slices Loprofin toast

2 slices with avocado, 1 slice cream cheese (17g = 1 exchange)

Carrots, cherry tomatoes



Fresh strawberries with Coyo coconut yoghurt (45g = 1 exchange)

Supplement = PKU air

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3pm – school pick up

Apple as a snack

LP crackers with Violife cheese (at home)

6pm Dinner

Roasted butternut and mushroom risotto (90g rice = 2 exchanges) with grated Violife cheese

Supplement = Lophlex sensations pot (frozen)



Later….Apple cut up with Coconut Collaborative coconut yoghurt (45g = 1 exchange), a sprinkling of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey…delicious!


Thoughts for the day:

  • My favourite Earl Grey tea tastes very different with coconut milk or low protein milk
  • Today I managed to keep my hunger at bay by eating small amounts regularly throughout the day
  • A frozen AA supplement in the evening made for a nice change from the usual sickly sweet liquid supplements

I am feeling optimistic for Day 2 and for the rest of the week’s PKU challenge!