I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes not once, but with both of my pregnancies! Similar to type II diabetes, gestational diabetes means that the body is unable to produce enough insulin to keep up with the amount of glucose in blood, or the cells have become resistant to insulin, causing spikes in blood sugar. A registered dietitian helped me make up menus, based on foods I like, that limited carbohydrates and loaded up on fresh vegetables and fruit, lean proteins and healthy fats. In general, I learned to eat and enjoy oilier fish like salmon and sardines for their omega-3 content, switched to whole grains from refined to boost the amount of fiber I ate, cooked more often at home, and limited junk that had no nutritional value. This must be why my babies came out so healthy and beautiful!
Once pregnancy is over most women will return to a non-diabetic condition but 5-10% of us will develop type II diabetes within 5 years. Luckily, after my children were born, my blood glucose levels went back to normal ranges and 16 years after my last pregnancy, I’m still in the clear! But I do have to watch what I eat because having had gestational diabetes and having a family member with Type II diabetes (my dad) puts me at an increased risk for developing it myself as I get older. I also have a weakness for apple cider donuts and mango flavored mochi so even though I limit my sugar intake, if I feel like I just gotta have one of these, I do, maybe every few weeks, and never too much…then I resume mindful eating. Take a look below for an idea of how to eat if you’re diabetic.
SNAPSHOT OF MY PREGNANCY FOOD DIARY
A go-to for me was a soft boiled egg, one piece of whole wheat toast with a spread of avocado or peanut butter, a half cup of berries and coffee with a splash of milk.
I would often have hummus and carrots, and Jenny’s Carrot and Quinoa Superfood Hummus, along with a half glass of milk, would have been a great snack. It’s low in carbs and sugar and naturally filling, perfect for hungry pregnant moms!
A green salad with protein is a quick and easy fix and one I would have often. I would have thrown some garbanzo beans on Elizabeth’s Winter Salad and called it a lunch. Instead of bottled dressing, I got used to just a teaspoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
I’d be famished pre-dinner and to tide me over, an apple and 2 ounces of cheese or Nataliya’s Strawberry Coconut Chia Pudding would have done the trick. It’s a great source of vitamin C and iron, which is needed in greater amounts during pregnancy.
Mostly I ate some kind of meat or fish, like my Chicken with Mango Salsa, a side vegetable or two, and some kind of grain like rice or pasta. I would have loved to have known about Maria Ruiz’s Cauliflower “Rice” since it has more fiber than regular rice. I could no longer eat two whole bowls of pasta as I would easily have done in the past – I had to exercise strict portion control!
Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.