Tip #1: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
I’m starting with this tip, because it’s the one I’ve had the hardest time with. Ikept thinking that my Gestational Diabetes was due to something I was or wasn’t doing. That is simply untrue. As you’ll see in my further tips, I literally did everything I could and I still ended up with it and still will end up on medication/insulin. Sometimes our bodies just have a mind of their own. The constant change of hormones can mess with your body big time!
Also, a lot of what I’m sharing with you, I’ve done slowly over the past 8 months. I didn’t just change everything at once. So, give yourself some grace.
Tip #2: Keep breakfast simple.
I eat the same thing for breakfast every single day with a few variations here and there. The only carb that I consume is in my whey protein and a glass of organic whole milk.
Here’s my recipe:
Breakfast Protein Shake
1 cup organic whole Milk
2 T Whey Protein
1 T Nut Butter of choice (avoid one’s w/added sugars)
1 tsp Coconut Oil
Sometimes I’ll vary it up and instead of having a nut butter in my shake, I’ll eat a scrambled or hard-boiled egg. But, I usually stick to this pretty tightly.
AVOID: fruit & high glycemic vegetables. The blood sugar naturally rises in the morning, so fruit & high glycemic vegetables tend to put your blood sugar numbers above where you want them.
Tip #3: Eat every TWO hours.
Originally, my Diabetes Educators told me to eat every 2-3 hours, but I was finding that the further into the pregnancy I got, the more high readings I’d have if I waited every 3 hours. But every TWO hours, and my numbers would be fine. I know it can be a pain and yes, you do feel like a stuffed pig, but I literally set the timer on my phone for every 2 hours. I always have little snacks in my purse that I can eat, so if we are on the go, I have no excuse.
Here are my typical eating times:
Breakfast – 8:30 a.m.
Snack – 10:30 a.m.
Lunch – between 12:30 p.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Snack – 3:00 p.m.
Dinner – between 5:30 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Snack – between 8:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Snack – between 10:30 p.m. & 6:30 a.m.
Tip #4: Protein is your friend.
If you’re eating every 2 hours, you’re consuming quite a few snacks throughout the day. Your snack should always be made up of a carb serving or two (15-30 grams) paired with a protein. Protein helps you break down the carbs easier. I found that having 2 carb servings was too many for me, so pairing a carb with a protein still gives me the calories, without the extra carbs.
1 small apple + 1 T peanut butter
1/2 c grapes + 1 string cheese stick
2 T raisins + 1/4 c nuts
1/2 banana + 1 T almond butter
My middle of the night snack, I either eat right before I go to bed (if I’m going to bed around 10:30 p.m. or later) or I eat it at one of the times that I get up in the night to use the bathroom (usually only if I’m going to bed later than 10:30 p.m.). This snack is always the same & looks vaguely familiar to breakfast!
1 cup organic whole Milk
2 T Whey Protein
For some reason, having a glass of milk before bed helps keep you from forming ketones during the night. However, I’ve heard that people then tend to have a higher fasting blood sugar reading. So, I add the protein to add calories to my diet and to help break that milk down a little easier throughout the night. It seems to help! My ketones have been great and my morning blood sugars are usually well under what they should be.
Tip #5: Only eat whole food carbs.
I don’t eat hardly any packaged foods, processed foods or restaurant foods. Most of those foods are hard to control your blood sugar with, because there’s so many additives and things that you can’t possibly know how it will effect your blood sugar until it’s too late.
When you know that you’ll be out of town or in the car all day, pack all your food for the day in a cooler & bring it with you. No excuses!
For carb choices, stick with the following options.
- Kefier, organic
- Milk, organic
- Yogurt, organic
- Squash, all types
- Potatoes, organic*
- Sweet Potatoes*
- Whole Fruit
- Rice (Brown, Wild)
- Sprouted Wheat*
*I’ve had some trouble, at times, with regulating my blood sugar eating these items. Every body is different and reacts differently to different foods, so try them out and see how your body reacts.
Tip #6: Fashion your lunch & dinners with a variety of carb choices.
If I try to eat 2 servings of ANY carb at lunch or dinner, my blood sugar is done for. So, I started using the following formula when creating my dinner & lunches.
1 CARB (15 grams) from the list in Tip #5
1 FRUIT (amount varies by fruit choice)
1 c organic Whole Milk
1-2 servings low-glycemic vegetables (those not listed in Tip #5)
2-3 oz meat or protein substitute
0-1 FAT choices
I also start by eating this list backwards, meaning, I eat my protein first, vegetables second, and carbs last (with the exception of milk, which I drink throughout the meal). Eating the protein and vegetables first helps your body break down the carb choices at a slower rate. It also fills you up fast, so if don’t have room to finish all your food, it’s the carbs that won’t get eaten, instead of the good protein and veggies that you need to process the carbs properly.
I also usually save my fruit for last. When you’re Gestational Diabetic, you don’t get to have the luxury of desserts. So, I’ve learned to enjoy my fruit as my dessert! And sometimes I get creative, like my Berries ‘n Cream recipe.
An important note: You’ll notice that I only eat 3 carb choices at my main meals. This is because my body can’t handle the recommended 4 carbs in one sitting. This, of course, depletes calories that are needed in the diet. So, to make up for it, I add in a 2nd bedtime snack. (See Tip #3)
Tip #7: Meat is your friend.
I’ve been a vegetarian for the last almost year, so when my Kinesiologist recommended that I add in meat to help with my blood sugars, I was VERY resistant. Now we eat meat quite a few times a week, but we only consume grass-fed, hormone-free meats. I’m still not the biggest fan, but I havenoticed that when I primarily eat vegetarian, I tend to have more high readings.
Tip #8: Go for a walk.
If you aren’t already (which you probably are) make sure you are writing down what time you eat, what you eat, how much you are eating & when/how long you’re exercising along with the type of exercise. And never skip taking a blood sugar reading. This little log is your saving grace.
You will be able to look back and notice patterns. For instance, I was having a lot of high readings and when I went back through to look and see if there was anything that I could contribute it to, I discovered that there was! I was eating potatoes at those meals. So, this taught me that I needed to cut out potatoes. Or eat less of them. Or don’t eat them at that meal time.
Another pattern you can start looking for is if your high’s are at any given meal time. For instance, a lot of my high’s are after eating dinner. Now knowing this, I add in a 5-20 minutes walk after my dinner meal. It works like clockwork! And yes, even a 5-minute walk can make a big difference in your blood sugar.
Tip #9: Avoid ALL forms of sugar.
I know you don’t want to hear this one. I know I didn’t want to hear this one. I was a “natural sugar” addict! It was okay that I was consuming sugar at almost every snack/meal because it was “natural”; you know, things like honey, sucanat, pure maple syrup, etc. I was in complete denial that sugar and diabetes were at all related.
Finally, I decided it was time to listen to everyone and give it up already. I gave up ALL sugars, cold turkey! My body didn’t respond well – I got headaches and had some trouble with just overall adjustment. BUT…there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s true what they say, the sugar cravings disappear! And it gets easier and easier to say “no” to sugar each time you do it.
If you are Gestational Diabetic, your body does NOT know what to do with sugar. It’s a foreign substance. You simply can not eat the stuff, unless you want to be very sick and you want your baby’s body to be very sick, too.Every time you see a high reading, your pancreas goes into overdrive, trying to make enough insulin. Guess what it’s doing to your baby’s pancreas? Same thing. This information is not given to make you feel guilty, but to let you know the cold hard facts. It is SO important for you to get control of your Gestational Diabetes if for no other reason.
Soak a few seeds (1/4 tsps) of methi in water overnight. First thing after you brush your teeth in the morning, gulp down the methi along with the water.
Jambul fruit is considered as an effective medicine for diabetes considering its effect on pancreas. The seeds too can be dried, powdered and had with water twice a day.
The guava is among those fruits that are available in most times of the year. With its vitamin C property and high fibre content, this is perhaps one fruit that diabetics can fearlessly have. However, a recent study has shown that having guava with its skin can heighten the blood sugar levels, so make sure you peel off the skin before consumption.
Gooseberry/amla juice too cuts the blood sugar levels.
If you can’t do without sugar in your coffee or tea, try and substitute honey.
Studies have shown that black coffee without sugar cuts the risk of Type 2 diabetes
Among other benefits, green tea is also helpful in reducing the blood sugar and insulin levels in the body
Talk to the eldest member in your family and am sure they will come up with a number of home remedies to prevent diabetes. Besides, make regular walk and exercise part of your routine.