Updated: Jul 28
Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) can be overwhelming. First, yes, you have to follow a fairly strict diet. Luckily, by "strict," I don't mean restricting your food intake. You get plenty of food on GD diet plans. And, you are even allotted some carbs. (But, sugar is out!) It's strict in that you have to eat according to plan in terms of what and when you eat. I had to eat 6 times a day! Additionally, whatever medical professional is managing your case will ask you to write down everything you eat, and take/record your blood sugar several times a day. I had to do it at least four times a day. They also want you to exercise. BLEH. Who wants to exercise in the third trimester? Not me. Finally, even if you do all of these things perfectly, you may end up still having to take insulin. (Which actually wasn't SO bad.) Oh, did I mention the extra doctor visit every week! For more information on GD, read here.
Now, all that being said, after a week or two, it becomes very routine. You will be busy fitting this all into your daily life, but it will be over before you know it. And, you may pick up some healthy habits!
Before I get into the food, let's start with some disclaimers.
I am not a medical professional. I do not have any training in nutrition. These are things I ate that I believed fit into my plan. You might be able to adapt these ideas to your plan if you have GD. Please make sure you are following the plan provided to you by your medical professional. Talk to a nutritionist and your OB, Endocrinologist and diabetic nurse team about what foods and portion sizes work best for you.
Breakfast (I could not eat fruit, yogurt or drink milk.)
1 boiled egg, 1 piece of whole grain toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on it. Instead of peanut butter, occasionally I swapped out for half an avocado.
1 boiled egg, 1/2 whole grain waffle with cream cheese spread on it.
1/2 of a whole grain English muffin buttered, with fried egg. I think sometimes I may have added some cheese and or salsa.
2 scrambled eggs + veggies, whole wheat toast. (This was usually only on weekend when I had extra time.)
1 French toast made with whole grain bread with peanut butter on it.
*As you can tell, basically eggs and a whole grain were my staple. Something your health professionals may tell you is that once you have a meal that results in blood sugars within range, repeat that meal. It can get boring but at least it's short term.
1 string cheese, crackers. (I was allowed something like 6 crackers, and I usually had Wheat Thins.)
1 small tortilla with 1 piece of American cheese wrapped inside. (Or, you could make a little quesadilla.)
1/4 cup of cottage cheese or hummus with crackers.
Kind Nut Bar - I'm not sure if this exactly fit in my plan because they do have 4 grams of added sugar, but I saw online some other moms were doing it and I wasn't having high blood sugar from it. Talk to your doctor.
Green salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado and chicken. (Sometimes my carb was that the chicken was breaded.) Oil and Vinegar. Small apple.
Spinach salad with boiled eggs, mushrooms and beets. Oil and Vinegar. Sometimes for my carb I had a few croutons. 1 1/4 cup of Strawberries
Taco Salad: Iceberg lettuce with ground turkey, black beans and corn. Small tortilla. Apple. (If we ever had McDonald's I would get the Southwest Salad and use a little dressing. I don't think McDonald's has salads anymore though...BOO!)
Fajita Pita: Pita shells, chicken, bell peppers. 1 Kiwi. (A Fajita Pita from Jack n the Box totally worked for me when we had fast food.)
Kale and cabbage salad. 3 plain meatballs. 1 Roll. 12 Cherries.
*So, same thing here. Salads seem to work for me for lunch, so that was my go-to.
Greek Yogurt and pretzels. Finally, getting in some dairy besides cheese. I love Oikos Zero Greek Yogurt. You have to do your own research as to what sugar substitutes you are comfortable with.
Greek yogurt sprinkled with shelled sunflower seeds.
Apple with almonds.
Protein Bar. (I cannot remember which brand I ate.)
Open faced turkey burger topped with veggies like avocado and tomato. Mayo.
1/2 a banana.
Diabetic Chili recipe with tortilla.
Chicken with Brussel Sprouts. Roll. 3/4 of a cup of blueberries.
Pork Chop with Broccoli. Beans. 12 Cherries. (I know this sounds like the weirdest combination but I actually had it several times.)
*I totally looked forward to my fruit "dessert."
I don't totally understand the dynamics of the bedtime snack and the pancreas. I do know you need it and some of it has to be carbs.
Protein Shake. I am completely in love with ice cream, and even more so pregnant. Unfortunately my blood sugar could not tolerate it at all. 😢 So, I looked forward to a protein shake blended with ice whenever I could. I linked my favorite below, made specifically for pregnant moms. Talk to your doctor before adding to your diet. It does have added vitamins. https://amzn.to/3nCkkJA
Greek Yogurt & Popcorn - you can actually have a decent amount of popcorn. Great for movie night. (I do not recommend microwave popcorn when you are pregnant due to chemicals in the bag. Get an air popper here.)
Yasso Bars- I did not try these but my sister enjoyed them and did not have high sugar in the morning.
Primarily, I drank water. Probably not nearly enough. I did not drink juice, punch, or any sugared soda. Once in a while, I had a LaCroix. My two favorite treats were Coke zero on occasion and unsweetened black tea from Starbucks. I ordered a Keto version, adding two pumps of sugar free vanilla and light heavy cream. The sugar free syrup is sucralose- ask your doctor about that. If I had more than a couple of these a week I would order it with Stevia instead.
What if I was hungry between meals? What if my lunch was a little lower calorie than usual and my next snack wasn't going to cut it? There were certain "free foods" such as sugar free Jello and pickles that I could eat.
Did I ever cheat?
Rarely! Not because I'm extremely self disciplined but I would literally feel sick if I had sugar. I could immediately tell if my blood sugar was high and I did not like the feeling. I did have a scone at my baby shower and I think I had some type of dessert on Easter.
Low Blood Sugar
After I started taking insulin, sometimes I experienced low blood sugar. Ask your medical team if you are at risk, how to recognize it and what to do about it. I carried a bag of M&Ms in my purse once it started happening to me.
My little guy was born healthy and happy at 8 pounds 14 ounces. It's an annoyance, but following your doctor's instructions will help you and your baby stay healthy and a good size.
Email if you ever want to talk GD!
Check out this cute blood sugar and food tracker!
Thanks for sharing!