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


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