Gestational diabetes: What I’ve been eating

Michelle pregnant
Studio 29 Photography

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, then you might know this already — I know I mentioned it right here — but my husband and I are pregnant with our third child, due Nov. 12. It’s an exciting time for our family!

I’ve had fairly standard pregnancies in the past … no complications or extra doctors appointments needed; my daughter came three days past her due date, and my son was three days early. Right on time, if you ask me! I was never too painfully uncomfortable or big, and having easy pregnancies helped my state of mind, too. There’s already SO much to worry and wonder about — I sympathize with women who’ve had to go in for weekly non-stress tests, and extra appointments or ultrasounds.

But well … pregnancy No. 3 has been a little different.

First of all, I’m now considered “advanced maternal age” (35 or older), which isn’t a big deal on its own. I do have to get an extra ultrasound at 36 weeks, to make sure baby is still developing well. But now, second of all, and perhaps more notably, I was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

It was a bummer.

I failed that 1-hour test (they make you drink a super sugar-y drink; it tastes kind of like an orange pop), and then I was referred for a 3-hour version — a nurse takes your blood sugar in a fasting state (I passed), then you drink that same beverage, and you’re tested again at one hour, two hours and three hours.

At the end of the test, I believe your blood sugar has to be below 130. And mine was: I was 110, so in my book, I passed with flying colors!

But at that one-hour mark, my blood sugar still hadn’t dropped as quickly as doctors would have liked.

(I believe I passed at two hours as well, although I’m spacing on some of the details).

Regardless, you can’t fail ANY of the increments, or it’s considered a fail overall, my nurse told me.

So here I am. A failure, overall.

😉 Mostly kidding!

Maybe it’s because of my “advanced maternal age,” or the fact that it’s my third pregnancy — sometimes there just isn’t one reason we can pinpoint. But this is my reality, so with that in mind … my OB’s nurse practitioner and I made a plan: We’re going to attempt to control my GD with diet first, before we consider medications or insulin injections.

The plan sounded reasonable enough to me: Limit carbs, REALLY limit sugars (I’ve just kind of cut them entirely on my own, at least, the blatantly obvious ones like fruit juice), fill up on lean protein and veggies, and don’t start off too restrictive; let’s see what my body can do on its own, before jumping to a super strict diet.

It’s been going really well so far!

So, here’s what I’ve been eating a lot of: And I was thinking you TOPS friends could relate, since many people seem to be following a low-carb/minimal sugar routine these days …

EGGS. They keep you full for *so* long, and I’ve been enjoying them over easy, hard-boiled, scrambled, made into egg salad; and Costco even sells a delish little egg bite with turkey sausage and cheese that’s pretty convenient, if you need something on the go, or to throw in your work bag. You just microwave the bites for a minute, and they’re perfectly fluffy. Here’s a link, if you’re interested! I also like my eggs with this chili onion crunch from Trader Joe’s, for a little change of pace.

Tuna: Add a little mayo and mustard, maybe some dill and/or Everything But the Bagel seasoning, serve over greens or a tiny piece of toast, and there you have it.

These grilled chicken skewers from Costco. Enough said!

Any other easy-to-grab protein: Lunch meat, in moderation (turkey’s a fave), Costco had some garlic-cilantro shrimp in the prepared foods section last week, and I even bought a package of ready-to-serve carnitas (pork), for if and when a Mexican-inspired craving hits.

Pistachios: These chili-roasted ones are currently in my cupboard — a little salty, but they have a nice flavor!

Other healthy fats: I’ll sparingly have some sharp cheddar (one of the few cheeses I enjoy), I also do the organic chunky guacamole cups, Kirkland-brand, to dip veggies into; and I’ve enjoyed some hummus and a few full-fat yogurts, too … I’m just trying to pick the brands/types with low sugar, and I don’t much care for the taste of artificial sweeteners, so this can be a real challenge. (Tell me what yogurt you guys eat!)

And of course … keeping vegetables on hand — cut up, washed, ready to go! — has been really helpful when it comes to actually getting me to EAT said veggies. We have to make it easy on ourselves, right? 🙂 Put yourself in a position to succeed!

Anyway, I have about 8 weeks left with gestational diabetes … the good news is, it typically goes away once you deliver your baby. I will be at a higher risk for developing Type 2 down the line, but I normally live at a healthy weight, and stay pretty active, so my doctor isn’t too concerned about me in the long run. I can do ANYTHING for 8 weeks, right?

I do miss ice cream, cranberry juice + club soda (which had been my go-to “mocktail”), and certain bread products, but the most important thing in my life right now is keeping this little baby on pace! I don’t want him or her to grow too quickly, making delivery a challenge, and it’s a shame that pregnant women’s bodies become a little insulin-resistant … some more than others, as it turns out! But such is life.

My husband, by the way, lives with Type 1 diabetes, so unfortunately, I know this routine pretty well already: What’s considered a “good” blood sugar, what’s high, what’s low, how to work a meter, etc. Although I will say, he’s probably pretty sick of all the questions: “Hey Jim? How many carbs do you think are in a tortilla?”

Wish me luck out there! And tell me in the comments, if you’re so inclined … what are some of the veggie/protein/healthy fat items that you’re loving these days?

*Also, just a friendly reminder: Don’t take anything above as official diet advice from me or the company — I know everyone is on his or her own health journey! I’m just telling you what’s been working for me.

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4 thoughts on “Gestational diabetes: What I’ve been eating

  1. Hey Michelle,
    Great read and I am wishing you the best with GD. While I never had it, my last baby was 10 pounds 6 oz….so I wonder if I did but they never looked at it? Anyways, now I sit with T2 and I have managed to lower my blood sugars and get off of my mealtime insulin as well as one oral medication. My doctor freaked when my A1C went from 12.8 to 7.4. When I asked what else I could do she said NOTHING! Just keep doing what you are doing. Music to my ears since she asked and I told her, I practice intermittent fasting 16:8 and stay low carb, no sugar (well you know) and stick with lots of eggs (we have hens!) and lean protien as much as possible as well as veggies and low sugar fruit. You know what to do, and you are doing it! Weigh to Goal!

    1. Thanks, Kim! I wish we had hens. 🙂 I so appreciate all the encouragement! So far, I’ve only been “high” — blood sugar past 120, 2 hours after a meal — twice. And that’s over the past … 3 weeks, I believe. So I’d like to think I’m on the right track!

  2. Hello! I too had gestational diabetes with my babies! 8#15, 10#6, 9#4.
    I had sections with all three!
    My OB doctor warned me that I was a candidate for diabetes later in life!
    I am now 68 years old & never had Blood Sugar issues until lately!
    I am borderline & have been encouraged to shake some weight & watch my diet!
    I am grateful to have read this article & plan to get on track!
    I am heading to the store to shop for low carb & healthy food choices!
    Thanks for the encouraging nudge to stop fooling around with such a dreaded disease!
    Especially when it doesn’t have to happen “if it’s meant to be it’s up to me”…

    1. Sounds like you’re on the right track, Becky! I’ve found low-carb/low-sugar to be not as bad as I once feared. Good luck staying the course!

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