Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tips & Tricks and Snack Ideas for living with Gestational Diabetes while Dairy Free

Well hello there!  

Nothing like a little hiatus hey?   I’ve been busily growing a little human while keeping up with my almost 3 year old kiddo while running my home based business and living life dairy free!! Life is busy but great!

29 weeks

While it’s been forever – I’m still the same ole gal – eating the same ole foods!  Much to my surprised about 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes – I honestly couldn’t believe it.  I mean I’m the girl that actually LOVES kale and quinoa and eats a pretty good diet!  I cried, I was in denial and have had countless days of major frustration over this.    Now let me tell you… I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes… being Dairy Free and having Gestational Diabetes is TOUGH…  even my nurse and dietician are stuck at suggestions for me.   Most of the suggestions for foods and snacks include cheese cheese and more cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and milk and the dairy free alternatives lack in the protein of the dairy full suggestions.

Now it seems that Gestational Diabetes is a bit different for everyone – so these are some tips that have worked for me to keep my numbers in check but you may be different – so just be easy on yourself and remember it’s normal to do everything in your power to keep your numbers in check and still see high numbers due to our beautiful hormones!  Keep in mind – I’m not an expert, it’s just my personal experience – always check with your doctor/midwife!

tips for gestational diabetes

Dairy Free Betty’s Tips & Tricks for living with Gestational Diabetes while Dairy Free.

  • Take a deep breath (this has been hard for me too, trust me) stress can spike numbers big time.
  • EAT.   For the first few days, because I didn’t know what to eat – so I just avoided it.  Not good for you or baby.
  • Exercise.  I know it’s hard when you have a huge ball of baby hanging out in front of you but even a 30 minute walk can make a big difference.  Of course always check with your doctor/midwife before physical activity though!  
  • Don’t think about what you can’t eat – think about what you can!   Time to pull out those cookbooks (or let’s be realistic go on Pintrest) – you’ll need some great protein recipes.  I always cook enough protein to have enough for lunch the next day. 
  • Stick with your gut.  I was personally shocked to find out that it was suggested to use sugar substitutes such as splenda and aspartame.  I’m NOT judging you if you use these, it’s just something I personally don’t consume. So I did a bit of experimenting to find out that I can tolerate a bit of sugar or honey – not a lot but a bit.  There were many other suggestions from the dietician that surprised me as well – but I stuck with my guns and figured out my own alternatives that felt good to me and that kept my blood sugar levels happy.
  • Eat your veggies & get creative!  Celery and Peanut Butter has became a ‘treat” for me – as have kale chips!  I know – weirdo right?  Try making cauliflower buffalo wings, zucchini noodles or roasting broccoli, or a dressed salad on top of a slice of pizza - something a bit different.  Life doesn’t have to be full of raw or soggy veggies.  I’ve personally noticed if my meal is full of veggies  - my numbers are happy!
  • Now I’m still not sure how I feel about this – but for protein reasons I’ve swapped out almond milk for organic unsweetened soy milk. I don’t drink a lot of it – but it has a whopping 9g of protein per cup – which is great to add to a snack or meal that might not have enough protein to make it balanced.  I’ve been making a pot full of roobois chai tea with soy and have it in the fridge for a quick snack (sweetnted with the tiniest bit of maple syrup or stevia)
  • Gestational Diabetes doesn’t mean “no carb” it means balancing your protein with your carbs (unless of course you’ve been told differently), so be sure to include carbs with your diet!
  • Always always have a snack with you.  Trust me you don’t want to be unprepared.

Protein & Carb Snacks that have worked for me.

  • Nut/Seed butter with apples, celery or carrots.  If I’m in the mood for something sweet and carby – I’ll have 2 graham crackers with pumpkin seed butter (so yummy)   Pumpkin seed butter is higher in protein than many other nut/seed butters. Also tahini mixed with a bit of lemon juice and some salt – SO GOOD!!
  • Homemade hummus with whole grain crackers – my fav has been rosemary and olive oil truscuits!  Topped with cucumbers. (Most store bought hummus only has 2g of protein per 2 TBSP which isn’t a lot – homemade has more!)
  • Whole grain toast with pumpkin seed butter and hemp seeds (full of great protein!)
  • Slivered almonds with pumpkin seeds & hempseeds (sort of like a granola) with frozen blueberries and soy milk.  I add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a small handful of honey nut cheerio's for fun. 
  • Canned salmon mixed with some mayo, dijon mustard, pickles, celery served with crackers and veggies
  • Diced cooked chicken with celery, apples, mayo and a sprinkle of curry powder.  Served with crackers/toast, wrap etc.  Best left overnight for the flavors to mix together.
  • Hard boiled eggs – great protein for on the go.   Add in a carb and it’s a perfect snack.
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Edemame is a great protein source.
  • Guacamole and veggies – bump up your protein by adding in a bit of hemp seeds or sprinkle with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • Roasted or raw nuts make a great protein source – just be sure to not eat too much – a small handful is great.  Also a great snack to pack in your purse.  Mix with 1/2 cup – 1 cup fruit and you’re set.
  • 3 cups of air popped popcorn with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and nutritional yeast!  Add in a small handful of nuts or a soy milk chai and you are set!
  • Chia pudding, sweetened with a tiny bit of a low glycemic index sweetener, topped with a small handful of berries, and some seeds or sliced nuts for crunch!  Need to pump up the protein – add in a small scoop of a doctor approved protein powder.

Now I know this isn’t fun or easy but our babies will be healthier for it and so will we!  Keep plugging along and please feel free to add your suggestions below or on facebook or send me a message if I can help at all and of course congrats on your beautiful baby bump! While being pregnant isn’t necessarily glamorous or even fun at times, it’s so great to remember how lucky we are to be carrying & nourishing our little humans before they come into this world!!

Best wishes & much love.

Jessica

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