Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Diet That Just Might Kill Me

I've been putting off this post because while I consider myself a pretty savvy person, I can't seem to find the rhyme or reason behind this new diet designed by Dr. Goldberg.

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 oats
no cream of wheat or cream of rice hot cereal
no cinnamon
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)
no pretzels

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
flour tortillas
plain potato chips
dark chocolate
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 vegetables
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.


  1. I can see I'm going to have to touch base with you once Lily's doctor has given us HER diet. I suspect it will be something like this. . .

    And I know what you're saying, "who invited the godless heathen to comment" . . . you just comment on all the same folks I visit daily TOO. ;)

  2. OMG, I have nothing. I was going to say a quick bread but then you still need oil and eggs. THinking of something is making my head hurt. I have no idea. Oh I hope this diet works so it's all worth it. Keep us posted.

  3. Jim - I would never call you a godless heathen! :) BTW - you DO know we both have Lily's, right? And that we both spell them the RIGHT way! Certainly someone with all that going for him can't be a godless heathen....

    Lizbeth - We can do oil and eggs, thank the Lord. Vegetable oil is ok and eggs are fine as long as Lily doesn't have eczema, which she doesn't, a second praise the Lord. I just got home from Whole Foods, I'm totally worn out, and I still haven't actually baked anything. I think I'll have to save that for tomorrow.... the couch is calling my name.

  4. That doesn't sound like fun! Is there a support group for other parents with kids on the same diet? Maybe they would have recipes to recommend? Either way, good luck and I hope it works!

  5. I strongly suggest that Dr. Goldberg offer a recipe book for this diet!! Being a not good cook (although I really try and watch Food Network!) this would drive me crazy!

    There are websites like where you can enter the ingredients and it will find available recipes for you to try. Maybe that is a good place to start! Sounds like you have it under control though. You may be surprised at just how easy it will actually be...

    Then, you can put together the recipe book and offer it to Dr. Goldberg... for a price, of course. ;)

  6. Until you got to the popcorn, it sounds a lot like the low fiber diet that is used for people with some GI issues. Might try looking for recipes for "low fiber" online and seeing if they are close and need less changes?

  7. (Actually, probably also check under "low residue"... it's pretty similar to the low fiber, but a little bit different on some things that are technically low fiber, but still can bother intestines)

  8. Cecilia - A support group is a great idea. I'll check with the doc and if there's not one, maybe I can get something going online...

    Karen - Thanks for the website info. I do think I might be making it a bit harder than it actually is because I've been focused on really healthy stuff for so long (whole grains, organic, etc...) and quite a bit of this falls into what I consider the "not so healthy" category. So I'm having to adjust some of my thinking and that might be the hardest part for me. And yes, I'm planning to put together something for the good doc to hand out to patients if he's interested. Will you serve as my attorney/agent when we get into contract negotiations??? :) hehehe

    blueraindrop - I will do some low fiber searching and see what I discover. Thanks for the tip!

  9. I am - without a doubt - NOT a whole grain person. Give me my white bread, my bleached flour and lots of it!

    I'll check with my mom to see if she has some good old fashioned unhealthy cookie recipes that might work for Lily. Can she have raisins? That's another sweet and very pack-able snack that might work for you....

    Good luck!

  10. Thanks, Karla! Anything you can pass along would be most helpful. And yes, she can have raisins.

    And while I tend to eat 100% whole wheat bread, I'll be the first to admit that some things are just better on white bread, like cinnamon toast and grilled cheese. :) I feel certain that now there's white bread in the house, I'll be cheating and eating some myself! :)

  11. Wow. I can't even keep up with all that. I'm glad you're in charge.

  12. Wow. We haven't done any diet changes with my daughter, and this scares the heck out of me if it's ever suggested. K would love the wonder bread, though. We do whole wheat and Grammy lets her have the "good", meaning thick, white bread...ha. Who knew I was maybe doing her a disservice buying the healthy stuff. K doesn't like meat at all, though, so we would just not make it.

  13. Brenda - Sometimes, I definitely wish someone else was in charge! :)

    Jen - You might win some major brownie points by giving in and buying the "good" bread - an easy win. My middle daughter is waaaay excited about the white bread since she's feels she's been deprived of the "good" kind for years. Not liking meat would be tough on this diet so let's just hope that K never has to do this one, ok? Ok!


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