I have NEVER eaten meat. In my life. No joke.
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I've never written about this before. Mostly, I try not to think about it, but it is an inevitable topic of discussion whenever I sit down to eat with someone. I have a metabolic disorder called PKU, which is short for Phenylketonuria. It is very rare. About 1 in 10,000 in Caucasians and East Asians.
What does it mean? Basically my body cannot break down the amino acid Phenylalanine, which is found in things high in protein. So, I cannot eat meat (including fish and chicken), cheese, eggs, beans, milk, nuts, and yogurt.
The next inevitable question- So, what on earth can I eat? All fruits and veggies, bread, pasta, rice, noodles, juice, (most) candy, (limited) chocolate, alcohol, and starchy foods.
Next comment to usually follow- That sucks!
Well, not really. Not for me anyhow. For you that diet may suck, but it's the only one I've ever known. How can you miss something you've never had? You can't really. Although I will admit, the smell of roasting meat in the Halal trucks in NYC makes me feel a little weak sometimes. There's something about the rich smell of roasting meat that entices me. It's so weird, because I have no idea what the food I'm craving tastes like, but the smell is so overpowering. I think I am most likely craving the protein. But the sensation doesn't stick with me for long, and if I drink my shake it all goes away. What is this shake? Keep reading...
So, almost everybody knows you NEED protein to survive, and be a healthy human being. Where do I get that sustenance? From a medically prescribed shake that provides me with all the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that I'm missing from my regular diet. I love this shake, and am one of a very small group, within the population of those with PKU, who actually does. For most children and adults the shake is a drag, but for me, it is a pleasant drug. It awakens my body and mind to the day, and helps lull it to sleep at night. And it's completely legal! Fantastic!
Recently I've been talking to people about what it means to be transparent, and that (in part) inspired me to write this blog. PKU, and how it differentiates myself from others, is something I tend to ignore, or perhaps I've just gotten used to. And I wanted to let you, all of you, whoever you may be, know that I have a disorder, and I'm still loving life!
Although, I am looking to experiment with more creative recipes to liven up my dining experience. If you have one that can accommodate my diet, please share!
For more information on PKU check out this site- http://www.ygyh.org/pku/whatisit.htm
Do you have a disorder/ eating limitations?