Planning a PKU Menu

I’ve said this before on PKU Parlor, but the ability to plan and organize is going to be instrumental for me adhering to the low-protein diet. And if you know me, then you know I have affinity for being obsessed with organization.

Allow me to introduce my new chalkboard wall…or as mother referred to it, my command center. 🙂


After 10 coats of magnetic primer and two quarts of chalkboard paint, I have successfully turned one wall of my laundry room into a customizable reminder/menu board.

You may recall that in my last post, I briefly mentioned that I intended to plan-out my menu a week at a time. As you can see here, after I completed my grocery shopping, I jotted down the menu items on this chalkboard wall as a way to remind myself of any items left for eating as I get further into the workweek. At the end of the week, I erase the items and start all over again. The left-hand side of the board has a special section reserved for reminders, both PKU-related and non-PKU related.

Now it’s worth noting that planning a low-protein menu a week at a time can be challenging. Among other items, it demands a ton of fresh produce and an arsenal of spices for livening up what otherwise might be considered bland, low-protein foods. Since I don’t want to lose track of all the hard work put towards menu planning, I also plan on creating an electronic database of meal plans. I haven’t created the database yet, but when I do, I’ll likely create it using Microsoft Excel and include columns noting phe amounts and whether the recipe calls for low-protein products. The last of these discriminators will prove valuable for those moments when I find myself running low on low-protein foods and need to get through the coming week eating whatever is available in local grocery stores.

As I conclude this post, allow me to reflect on what today marks one week since first cutting out all high-protein food items in my diet. I agree that I feel better. That’s hard for me to admit since I prided myself for so long as someone who could eat whatever and still function at a high level. One of the harder things for me to do mentally is to stop counting calories and start to worry more about protein. I realize that eating low-protein won’t always align with low-calorie so I’m having a bit of a struggle letting go of that.

Until next time!



Filed under Lo-pro Diet Management

8 responses to “Planning a PKU Menu

  1. Steph

    Your organization skills continue to amaze me, Nikki. =)

  2. Tammy

    Great idea! I am new to your blog. I would love to know where you are getting the veggie chili recipe and mushroom taco recipe. I do make tacos for my 13 year old daughter. The vege chili sounds really good. Always looking for new recipes and foods to serve my 2 PKU kids. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Tammy,

      Great to hear from you! Both the taco recipe and vegetarian chili come from Cook for Love (see the Food and Formula links on the right-hand side of my blog). You have to create a free log-in to access the recipes but they’re all delicious and Brenda lists all the serving size and phe amounts. Hope your PKU kiddies enjoys them!

  3. debbie

    i have started a similar excel based data base that includes formulas built in to calcualte the phe mine is somewhat simplistic in the iteams on it as i have just started and the pku’er in our house is only 16 months

  4. Lisanne

    Please could you help me- I’m off diet & so desperately want to be able to do PKU diet. Could you send me meal plans ideas & recipies or shopping lists


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