Tuesday, November 5, 2013

GD diaries Part 3: What I've learned on my own

This post is part of a series on Gestational Diabetes. The posts were written in August - October, but are just now being published. While I was too upset and conflicted about this situation when I was first dealing with it, I want to share my experiences with other moms that may go through something similar. Check back for another installment every Tuesday! Catch up on the other posts here: Part 1 | Part 2

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Since my appointment with the specialist is so far in the future, I turned to Google for help. What's crazy, is that as a member of BuffaloMommies, I could just hop on the forum and ask a bunch of mothers who have probably been through it themselves for their best tips, but I'm still too embarrassed to have them all know I have GD. I know, I know...it's my own problem. But at least there's still Google to turn to!

I sifted through so many menus, do's & don't's lists, and tips from strangers that don't know I'm borrowing their knowledge because I'm too embarrassed to simply speak up and thank them for it. I'm sorry for that, ladies - but thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I learned a lot from these women, braver than I, and here's what they've taught me so far. You can probably tell by the wording of some of these that I was quite fearful of what a GD diet would mean for me!
  • You can have fruit, just don't have it for breakfast, and always have protein with it (like peanut butter or cheese).
  • The best fruits to have are berries, cherries, apples, pears, and grapefruit. Under-ripe bananas are okay, too, and that's how I like them, anyway!
  • Have protein all day long - every meal, every snack.
  • Taking a walk shortly after a meal (even a quick 10 min one) will help process the sugar.
  • Drinking water is really important, despite it being something I've always sucked at.
  • I can only drink water, water with a splash of lemon, unsweetened iced tea (with or without a splash of lemon), and decaf coffee with unsweetened creamer or milk (no sugar, no flavored creamers).
  • Microwaved lunch meat (ya know, pregnant and all) and turkey bacon are quick meat options for breakfast and lunch.
  • Eat every 2 hours. Small amounts, but every 2 hours.
  • Breakfast sandwiches are a really perfect way to start the day, as long as you put it on a whole wheat carb (english muffin or tortilla).
  • Having milk just before bed can help regulate blood sugar overnight.
And based on their awesome tips, I even have some new favorite snacks! Sneaky sneaky - if you go back to my August Favorites, you might find that one of these made the list - I just didn't say why!

My FAVORITE is cottage cheese with cherries. I've had cottage cheese with many different fruits in my lifetime - mandarin oranges, grapes, raspberries, to name a few - and I never thought to try it with cherries. But ya know what? It's a match made in heaven! It almost tastes like dessert! Which is awesome, because dessert is just not in my life right now.

I also love apples with peanut butter. It almost tastes like a healthier, nuttier caramel apple. Which I think will be especially welcome when Fall arrives and I still have to wait a few weeks before baby gets here before I can indulge in any fall cravings!

You know what else is really yummy? A whole wheat waffle (just the frozen kind), with peanut butter spread on top and 1/2 of a sliced banana. It's so, so delish!

I eat a lot of cheese and whole grain crackers, too - with or without pesto. But the three above are definitely my favorite go-to snacks. When I'm totally clueless but just need something to put in my stomach, I reach for shelled peanuts, or a can of mixed nuts (I don't eat the whole can, of course!).

I still feel very restricted, and it's really a struggle to plan every meal and snack ahead of time - it just doesn't really fit my lifestyle to be quite so specific about things. But I'm happy to at least have a good handle on it before I even see the specialist. It gives me hope that I'll be able to keep this under control without needing any more help. 

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