I’ve been following the gestational diabetes diet for just about a week now, and so far, things seem to be going great. I know one of my biggest fears was being hungry all the time, but with the regularly scheduled snacks, I’m hungry a lot less than I was before the diagnosis, even if I have lost a pound or two because the choices are so much healthier than some of the choices I was making before my diagnosis (goodbye handfuls of chocolate chips…).
I’m going to talk a bit about my diet and what I’m eating, but please note that this is not advice for folks with GD. This is what my doctor and dietician prescribed for my specific situation. Seek the help/counsel of your medical professional if you are suffering from the condition.
Since I get up really early (usually between 4 a.m. – 5:15 a.m.), my dietician allowed me to follow pretty much the same schedule I had already been in regard to morning meals. I eat something about a half hour after getting up, work out, and then get to eat a second small breakfast about two and a half hours after the first. Right now, I’m loving Arnold Whole Wheat Sandwich flats with either two tablespoons of natural peanut butter or the sandwich flats with two tablespoons of soft goat cheese (pasteurized!) and a quarter to half cup of berries. I usually have one earlier and the other later. And if I sleep in, instead of eating two breakfasts, I just eat the one. I’ve also added an occasional decaf coffee with half and half — glorious!
I have a snack around 10:30, and was advised to mix a protein and a carbohydrate for all snacks/meals. I’ve typically been eating a small red delicious apple with a piece of string cheese. If I’m really hungry (we did a lot of yard work this weekend, and I was), I add a hard boiled egg (organic, from our chickens) to the mix. I’ll include a great way to hard boil fresh eggs later this week!
Lunches tend to vary, but I usually eat salad – two cups of greens and about a half cup of other mixed veggies (cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes). I add to that a half serving (sometimes a whole) of carbs in the form of organic, whole wheat croutons (Olivia’s from my home state of Vermont are my favorite and so close to homemade without the temptation of snacking on them while they’re baking), a full serving of carbs as fruit (sometimes one and a half), and usually a serving of carbs in the form of dark chocolate – lately I’m choosing Green & Black’s Mayan Gold. At times, I’ll substitute in bread or leftover rice or grains, but getting a legitimate chocolate fix in the middle of the day helps me feel less deprived and has kept me from even thinking about cheating. I top the salad with either a hard boiled egg or three to four ounces of grilled, organic chicken to add some protein.
My afternoon snack varies between a few favorites. Right now, I’m loving three graham cracker squares smeared with a thin layer of peanut butter. If I’m in a pinch or on the go, I resort back to the apple and cheese. If it’s super warm, or I’m not feeling very hungry, I throw three quarters of a cup of 1% milk in a blender with half a cup of frozen blueberries and a tablespoon of flax seeds. There are TONS of other options, but these have kept me pretty happy so far. I also just read about Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Kind +Protein bars, which I’m thinking about picking up tomorrow for those days when I’m on the road and can’t grab an easy snack (16g carbs per bar – 1 serving). We’ll see how they do!
Dinners are pretty standard. I can still eat almost everything we were eating before, but I just have to watch my carb serving sizes. Honestly, though, sometimes it’s hard to get enough of them. I’m thankful for the Eating Well cookbooks I’ve accumulated over the years because they have TONS of great and interesting recipes. I’m also scouring the internet for new things to do with some of our favorite old veggies to spice things up a little because lean proteins get a little dull after a while when I have to incorporate so many of them throughout the day! After dinner, we take Abby for a nice, long walk – a new ritual that I’m finding really soothing (and great for my blood sugar levels!).
I’ve tried a few bedtime snacks (a must with GD), but the only one that I’ve found consistently keeps my morning, fasting blood test around 80 is a half cup of fat free, plain Chobani Greek Yogurt with a half cup of berries and a quarter cup of nuts. I haven’t really had a problem with other bedtime snacks and my fasting sugar test, but this one is satisfying and on hot nights, I make it at dinner time and throw it in the freezer for something that tastes a little more like ice cream. The only rule I have for evenings is that I’m not allowed to do simple sugars – so no ice cream or chocolate or other quick fixes. But, really, everything else is still on the table in small portions.
If you’re dealing with GD, what are some of your favorite snacks and meals?