I haven't been able to pick up a food label and figure out if it's good for the Bird or not. Every specialized diet Lily's been on up to this point has been fairly easy to decipher. I could look at an ingredient list and determine if there was something she wasn't supposed to have in it. I knew all the words for casein, all the words for wheat, and that kind of thing.
This diet? I can't find that common thread.
I'm afraid it's going to end up being a long list of Yes Foods and No Foods that I'm just going to have to memorize. And Lord knows, my capacity for memorization is exceedingly low at this point in my life. I'm pretty sure the useable space in my brain for taking in additional knowledge is about "full up".
At first glance, the diet seemed to be fairly straightforward.
These were the first instructions I was given:
Avoid all dairy (milk or bovine protein), chocolate, whole wheat/whole grains - while limiting sugars. Push the protein. Restrict starches.
OK - so the dairy's not a big deal for the Bird. She's not much of a dairy fan other than yogurt.
Eliminating chocolate and limiting sugars will be harder for me than for her.
Whole wheat and whole grains? This just seems to go against any kind of nutritional thinking out there nowadays. The bread I'm supposed to feed her is plain ol' white bread with no dairy in the ingredient list. Like Wonder bread. I didn't even know they made Wonder bread anymore. I figured the whole grain industry had put them out of business.
Dr. Goldberg acknowledges that white bread is not the most nutritious product on the shelves and that's why she's not supposed to have much bread. It's really just an excuse to sneak in protein, like in a sandwich.
Pushing protein will be easy for the Bird as she would be perfectly happy to go the rest of her life eating meat. And she doesn't need bread to make the meat attractive. For example, last Labor Day, we invited some friends over for steaks on the grill. Lily sat next to me and ate my entire ribeye. I got not one bite of beef. So protein will not be an issue.
Restricting starches will be harder because she loves pasta and rice as much as she loves meat. Maybe offering more meat and less starch will keep her happy.
But after several phone conversations with the office staff, I'm discovering that the instructions I've been given up to this point are kind of Phase I of the diet. There's more and this is where I'm starting to have some trouble figuring it all out.
Here's a list of No Foods per my last phone call:
nuts of any kind (including nut butters)
seeds of any kind (including seed butter, like Sunbutter)
no goat milk yogurt (but she CAN have goat's milk in place of dairy)
no tropical fruits (coconut, pineapple, mango, guava, etc...)
no berries (especially red ones, but no blue either)
no red, yellow, or blue food dyes
no cream of wheat or cream of rice hot cereal
no Bisquick (it has a cottonseed oil in it - see no seeds above)
no GFCF chocolate chips (even though there's no dairy & technically no chocolate - it has evaporated cane juice, another name for sugar)
Excuse me, but HUH??
I am confident that Dr. Goldberg knows exactly why each and every thing is on this list and I trust him. I just can't figure out the common threads among these no foods.
But, not to only focus on the negative, here's some Yes Foods:
enriched white flour (that I can use for breading or baking)
meat of any kind (but look for grass fed or range fed rather than simply relying on organic)
popcorn (salted, no butter flavoring)
soy milk and soy milk yogurt
plain potato chips
Splenda or Stevia/Truvia
eggs (as long as there's no eczema, but again, from grass fed, free range chickens)
white rice (no brown)
potatoes (small servings)
pasta (again, small servings)
most ordinary fruits - apples, grapes, bananas, raisins, pears, oranges (if not affected by citrus)
Here's what I'm discovering as we're moving through this first week of diet implementation: mealtimes are not that difficult. A meat, couple of vegetables, and a small serving of some starch.
It's the snacks that are killing me. Kids like to snack. Lily has two snack times, five days a week at school. Fruit, popcorn, and chips will work a few times but it's not going to cut it all week. The girl is going to want a cookie or a granola bar, for goodness sake.
So I'll be doing some experimenting over the next few weeks. And I'm calling in some baking assistance, too.
Ryley has a friend, Morgan, who's going to culinary school in the fall and I'm hoping she'll help me out with trying to create some cookies, quick breads or muffins, and "granola" type bars that fit the diet. Something made with white flour, dark chocolate, bananas, raisins, fake butter, and Stevia? Or white flour, fake butter, apple chunks, and Splenda??
Help. Me. Now.