When I was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I was at a loss. I thought I could have no more sweets, that fruit and starches were off limits, meaning, essentially, i was living a pseudo primal diet. And let me tell you, it SUCKED! I was depriving myself of any form of carbohydrate because I was afraid that my blood sugar would spike horribly, that my baby girl would be harmed, and that carbs were the devil.
Until one day I got chewed out by my diabetic nurse, Sue.
I started this diet completely unaware of what I needed to do. No one told me that carbs were actually healthy for me and BabyBear. I thought that my blood sugar should indicate what I could eat, so instead of indulging in a sweet potato (I love sweet potatoes, almost as much as I love lions or the color teal, and that’s saying something), I ate non starchy veggies. My lunch was consistently a big salad with goat cheese and meat of some sort. I thought that was what I was supposed to eat.
Then Sue told me that carbs were my friend. I needed to eat carbs and proteins every time I ate anything, snack or meal, because it would help my blood sugar stabilize and it’d be a more accurate indicator to my doctor about how my personal body handled carbs than the meat and veggie diet I told myself was best. She sat me down (or as close to it as she could over the phone) and told me how many carbs I should eat when. I suddenly felt free! I wasn’t limited to meat and salads! Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I love salads! But having had nothing else for what seemed like forever, I was happy that a peanut butter jelly sandwich or apples with cheese was back on the menu. I love my fruit. If i crave anything, it’s fruit (except that one time I craved peanut butter and chocolate and begged Brandon to pick up a shake from Sonic on his way home from work). I suddenly had the freedom to eat what I hadn’t eaten since my initial diagnosis, and it… was… beautiful!
So now I have a new perspective on my whole gestational diabetes “diet.” It isn’t low carb (roughly 160g a day, give or take) but rather it focuses on more healthy proportions! For every carb unit I eat, I need at least 1 protein unit and i can pile on as many salad greens as I want. Non starchy veggies are “free” up to three servings, at which point they count as a carb unit. I report my numbers daily, and while, yes, it’s tedious poking myself 4 times a day for sugar readings and insulin, there is great freedom! I wish I’d realized this earlier! I wouldn’t have made myself stress out about carb intake or my numbers being too high. I understand there is absolutely nothing i could have done to prevent this. It’s hormones and the placenta and even if I had no risk factors (my only one was my age, no diagnosed type 2 or any other issues known in my family) it still could’ve happened and probably would have. It’s life!
I’ve learned a lot about how my body works with this whole thing, and I’m thankful for that! It’s been an adventure and isn’t always fun, but it’s ok. I can do this for 10 more weeks.
Ten weeks until I meet my baby girl! Excuse me while I go a little crazy.