My gestational diabetes diet, meal plan

Published On: Jul 02 2012 01:43:56 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 19 2012 03:26:40 PM EDT

By Nikki, Pure Matters

“No ice cream for you, pregnant lady.” What? Is this some kind of nightmare?

No, actually, it was reality for the last half of my pregnancy -- I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 24 weeks, which I touched on briefly in a previous post. I was shocked.

My activity level had definitely dropped since becoming pregnant, as had my healthy eating habits (thanks to a vomit-filled first trimester), but never in a million years did I think I would fail the glucose tolerance test.

After meeting with an endocrinologist, I was relieved to learn that I didn't cause this diagnosis -- my placenta was just blocking the insulin that my body was trying to produce to keep my blood sugar in check. Womp, womp. So what now?

I had to completely change my eating habits and ramp up my exercise. In the beginning, I had to check my blood sugar THREE times a day, an hour after eating. This would let me know if I needed to make more changes to my food consumption. Once I figured out foods that kept my blood sugar down I only had to test twice a day. Still, pricking your finger with a needle is not fun. Not to mention that I had to give myself shots of Lovenox in the stomach daily … but that’s post for another day.

So what kinds of foods did I eat and what activities did I do? Well, for starters I did a lot of walking and riding the recumbent bike. Those were two low-impact workouts that I was comfortable with. I know people who run throughout their pregnancies, but I can barely convince myself to run at my fittest let alone while carrying around 20+ extra pounds.

As far as foods, I ate small meals every couple of hours. Here’s what a typical day of eating and managing gestational diabetes looks like:

8 A.M.

  • 1 piece of whole wheat toast with Smart Balance
  • 1 scrambled egg
  • 1 piece of 2% colby-jack cheese
  • 2 cups chocolate milk (skim, no sugar)

10:15 A.M.

  • 4 strawberries
  • ½ banana

12:15 P.M.

  • ½ whole wheat peanut butter and low sugar/high fiber jelly sandwich
  • 6 cucumber slices

2:15 P.M.

  • ½ whole wheat peanut butter and low sugar/high fiber jelly sandwich
  • Part skim mozzarella cheese stick

4:30 P.M.

  • ¼ cup pistachios

6 P.M.

  • 1 slice celery with peanut butter

8 P.M.

  • Mixed green salad with tomato and avocado – olive oil & balsamic vinegar as dressing
  • Turkey burger with 1 slice colby-jack cheese and 1 tbsp ketchup – no bun

9 P.M.

  • Jello Mousse Temptations (contains Splenda so keep to minimum)

Looking back, I was a late eater! I guess because I was working so much. I also still eat that same breakfast every single day. I’m such a creature of habit. If you are looking for more variety in your meals just remember to keep your carbs and sugar low. My go-to dinner was always a turkey burger with no bun and a side of veggies. For my sweet tooth I used the South Beach Diet Cookbook -- there are so many great low-carb desserts.

As far as the future goes, I will start on this “diet” the second I see a positive sign on a pregnancy test. I can’t prevent gestational diabetes, as I have a 50/50 chance of getting it again, but I can take steps to keep my blood sugar down and my next baby safe.

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