Monday, January 28, 2013


I'm now 37 weeks pregnant and just starting maternity leave. I'll hopefully have a little more time to blog now, at least until the baby comes. I've been doing fine with this diabetic diet so far, but I'm certainly missing breads and sweets. I found this great website called Your Lighter Side, which has a ton of low-carb recipes. Some of them are quite ingenious, like these Oopsie Rolls. They have less than a gram of carbs per roll and they actually taste good! They're perfect for burgers and sandwiches and just about anything else where you would use bread or buns.

You can experiment with different spices or make them sweet with a little sweetener and cinnamon.
I tried one with butter, cinnamon, and xylitol on top, microwaved it so it was soft and warm, then rolled it up and cut it like cinnamon buns.

Practically 0-carb mini cinnamon rolls? Yes please!

As far as sweeteners go, I try to limit my consumption of them especially while pregnant, but when I do use them I prefer xylitol because it doesn't have an aftertaste, or not one that I notice anyway. It's an all-natural sweetener that doesn't affect blood-sugar. I like to sprinkle it on my oatmeal or put a little in my tea. I also tried it in these chocolate chunk peanut-butter swirl cookies, also from Your Lighter Side. It calls for 1/2 cup of splenda, but I used 1/4 cup xylitol and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I also used regular chocolate chips. They were amazing!

They're like brownies in cookie-form. They have coconut flour in them, which is very high in fibre, a good source of protein, and low in digestible carbohydrates. It's perfect for diabetics and those on gluten-free diets. I've also used it in Zucchini Bread, yet another recipe from Your Lighter Side. I didn't like that one quite as much because I found it a bit soggy. Maybe I just didn't bake it long enough, I'm not sure. I'll definitely be baking more with coconut flour though. I wonder if it would be good in pancakes?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Finding What Works

It's been about 2 months now since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so I've gotten pretty familiar with what works best for me and what doesn't. For breakfast on weekday mornings when I don't have a lot of time, I usually eat cereal. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk in my cereal because it has no carbs, unlike cow's milk which has about 15g per cup. I like the vanilla flavour better than the regular unsweetened kind which has a funny taste to me. I try to stick with cereals with under 30g of carbs per serving, while keeping in mind that serving sizes vary. Special K is pretty good, and so are Cheerios. Slivered almonds have become my best friends. I throw a handful of them in my cereal for added protein. I also like to sprinkle chia seeds on top because they're high in fiber.

Strawberry Special K with sliced almonds and almond milk

We occasionally eat out, and I always find it a bit tricky to choose from the menu because I'm never quite sure how many grams of carbs are in a meal. I ate dinner on the ferry to Vancouver Island last weekend and had a bowl of tomato-based clam chowder with a small multigrain dinner roll. Sounds ok, right? Wrong! My blood sugar was 10.2! I don't know what the heck they put in that clam chowder but it clearly had a lot more carbs than I had estimated. Another night we went to the Spaghetti Factory. It's pretty tough to find something on the menu that's not too heavy on the carbs. After all, it is a pasta place. But I decided on garlic roasted chicken with linguini. I ate all the chicken and had about half of the linguini. Afterwards we went bowling, and I think that helped burn off some of the sugar because my blood sugar was actually too low (low 4s!). So it's easy to under or over estimate the amount of carbs when eating out, although I've discovered that the best thing for my blood sugar and for my taste buds has been lettuce-wrapped burgers. Most places have no problem lettuce-wrapping any burger from their menu. I've had them at Red Robin, White Spot and Fat Burger, and while they're a lot messier than a regular burger, they're just as tasty! I eat fries on the side (usually not all of them), and my blood sugar ends up being in a good range (mid 6s). Sometimes I'll have a diet pop while I'm out too, because water gets pretty tedious. It's not the healthiest of meals, but it's a nice treat once and a while.

Lettuce-wrapped burger at Fat Burger      

Another meal that I really enjoyed (and one that's a lot healthier than burgers, fries and pop!) was this no-noodle Lasagna made with zucchini slices instead of noodles. I normally don't like zucchini, but in this meal it works. I've written a post about it at Food and Whine if you want the recipe. It's delicious! It's so low in carbs that I can enjoy a little bread with it, or a little dessert afterwards.

My blood sugar levels have been so good that the diabetes specialist has cut down my testing to every second day, but the nurse from diabetes education was concerned about my ketone levels and lack of weight gain. I've tried to work on that by adding an extra meal right before bed. My favourite bedtime meal is oatmeal. Typically I take 1/3 cup of rolled oats with 2/3 cups of water and add 1/4 cup of diced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon and Splenda. I top it off with a couple tablespoons of Coconut Breeze Boring Porridge. It's a gluten-free porridge that's low in carbs and high in fibre. I microwave my concoction for about 90 seconds, until the oatmeal has cooked, then I add a splash of almond milk and a spoonful of natural peanut butter. I look forward to this every day! It's such a comforting meal before bed and since I've started eating it I've had no ketones the next morning, while still maintaining a low blood sugar level before breakfast (low 4s).

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Peanut butter Oatmeal