Friday, July 2, 2010

What to Eat or What NOT to Eat, that is the question!

A few weeks ago I failed my "Glucose Challenge Test". I don't know how long they have been preforming this test but I am pretty sure most women who have children under 20 have been forced to drink that yucky drink and then have their blood drawn an hour later. When you fail that test they make you take an EVEN MORE FUN one, the "Glucose Tolerance Test", you get to fast all morning, then when the lab opens you get to have your blood drawn, this time so they have your "Fasting Blood Sugar Level". THEN, you get to drink another yucky drink, this one is twice as strong and sugary as the first. It is at this point that the real fun begins, you get to wait 3 more hours, still fasting. Each hour you get to give a little bit of you blood again and while you are quite hungry, your baby is Freaking Out from the Pure Sugar you just fed it. And guess what? I failed that test too. I don't know how baby my blood sugar levels were, I only know that I have a 4 hour appointment next week with a Nutritionist who will teach me how to use my new Blood Sugar Monitor and then teach me how to eat for final 7 weeks of this pregnancy.

Because they don't want me to have any problems between now and then, the Nutritionist called me on Wednesday, she was very nice, but after following her instructions for a day I am pretty sure she is trying to kill me. Well not really, but based on the fact that I am now on a really restricted diet, I wouldn't be surprised if I lost a few pounds in the next 8 weeks.

This is what I was told to do/eat for the next week until my appointment, and because I am a very good girl I am doing exactly as I am told. I am to eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks during the day. For breakfast I am to limit myself to 30 total Carbohydrates. For Lunch I get 40 and for dinner I can have anywhere between 45 and 60! Woohoo! I am allowed to eat 2 (that is right 2!) pieces of fruit each day- but never more than a 1/2 a cup of said fruit. For my snacks she recommended String Cheese or other similar items that have no or are low in carbohydrates.

So Wednesday night I made sure that I didn't go over 60 carbs at dinner, it wasn't too hard but I quickly discovered that carbohydrates are in the majority of all foods, that's right a cup of Broccoli has 4 Carbs, a Whole Carrot has 6 so all the little things add up pretty fast. It was a yummy meal, maybe a bit smaller than usual, but filling. I didn't think anything of it.

Then came yesterday, I decided that I would use my trusty on-line calorie counter, MyPlate at It was the perfect choice because not only does it count calories, but it also creates a nutritional breakdown of the things you are eating- including the amount of Carbohydrates. I love it. This tool is going to save me, but it is also causing me to question the sanity of my nutritionist.

Ken and I had read that the insulin intolerance that causes Gestational Diabetes is at its highest in the morning, and as such women who have it should be eating less carbs and more protein for breakfast. So I had 2 eggs (2 carbs), 3/4 of a piece of toast (14.3 carbs), 8 oz of 1 % milk (13 carbs) and 1 tsp of margarine as well as a small amount of seasoning for my eggs- both carbohydrate free. I was happy with my breakfast- all 29.3 of my carbohydrates were yummy. Total Calories- 341.5

Morning Snack! 1 oz of cheddar cheese, yum! 110 cal.

For lunch I had a Salad, remembering that vegetables have carbs too I made sure to track as closely as possible the amounts of each item in my salad. Romain Lettuce (1.3), Roma Tomato (7), Carrot (6), Red Bell Pepper (2.6), Cucumber (1.9), 1/3 cup frozen corn (10.5), and finally a 1/4 cup black beans (10). Just over 39 total carbohydrates, right on track! But still- only 202 calories.

So that puts me at just over 650 calories for the day at lunch time. I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong at this point. I mean has my expected caloric intake also gone down? Should I be upping the amount of meat in my diet? Should I really be on a Modified Atkins regime? Not sure, I kept on with my day, adjusting my normal diet to the rules I had been given.

Afternoon snack- a peach! Well J ate 2/3rd of my peach, I got 10 calories out of that snack and 2.3 carbs.

For dinner I made Beef Stir Fry with Ramen Noodles. Because I knew I had up to 60 carbs, I splurged, 1.3 servings of ramen (35.1), Carrot (6), Broccoli (4), Beef (0), Sesame Oil (0), and 8 oz. of Milk (14) for a total of 59.1 carbohydrates and 717 calories.

I decided that I deserved to have my second piece of fruit, especially as I had purchased a watermelon on Wednesday before I found out that my fruit would be restricted. As I had had very little of my peach I allowed myself to have a full cup of diced watermelon as an evening snack. It contained 11.5 carbs and 46 calories.

All in all for the day I consumed 1428 calories. Does that not quite seem like enough to you? It seems like a pretty good weight-loss plan to me, but am I supposed to be losing weight? Once again I wondered if I should be upping my meat intake? I am pretty sure I shouldn't be drowning everything in oil. At my first Prenatal Visit I told my Doctor that I didn't want to gain 60 pounds this time, I would be happy with 40. I asked how many calories per day she thought I should be consuming and she told me that I should try to get about 2000 per day, this has worked well and my total weight gain over the pregnancy has been pretty much equal to 1 pound per week, right on target for a 40 pound weight gain. Don't get me wrong, I will not be sad if I lose weight over the next 8 weeks, but it just feels weird that it is even a possibility.

As for my little Butterball, he seems quite happy. He pokes and kicks and I think he even tickles me sometimes. He doesn't seem to be concerned by my lack of calories, which makes me think that he must still be getting enough. I am planning on going without an epidural during the delivery and so I am hoping that my strict adherence to the low carb diet and hopefully my ability to keep my blood sugar under control will keep him from getting too big. Little J was 7 and a 1/2 pounds, just about perfect I think, so hopefully little butterball won't get too far past 8 pounds.

I have hired a Doula to help Ken and I through the labor process, she did make me aware of the possibility that my doctor could want to induce me a week or 2 early, I really don't want to be induced. For one thing, I have heard that induction can cause more painful contractions, and my second reason for not wanting to be induced is that I want this to be as natural of an experience as possible, I want the baby to come when he is good and ready to come into the world. Our Doula told us not to worry about it, if we have to be induced it will be OK and she and Ken will both be there to help me do what I need to do, whenever the baby comes.

And my final thoughts for today! YEAH! I know I have been a little long winded, but I have a lot to say. Anyway. I have a pretty good family history of Type 2 Diabetes. In fact it is a strong enough history that most of my physicians have told me I will someday be a diabetic. I have high hopes of postponing the onset of that disease, but that hinges on me losing weight and keeping it off. I asked Ken on Wednesday night if he thought that I would be able to make the changes I need to make now, while dealing with Gestational Diabetes, and then continue to eat this way after the baby is born and possibly be able to lose the weight I need to lose in order to delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. I don't remember his exact answer, but basically it was something like "Well, it couldn't hurt". Today I was on the Internet trying to come up with different things I can eat right now, (I don't want to eat the same thing every day, that is boring) and I came across the statistic that Women who have Gestational Diabetes are 60% more likely to eventually have Type 2 Diabetes. So maybe, this is just one more thing, one more reason for me to make the necessary changes, lose the weight, (I need to get down to about 140-145) and stay healthy for longer in my life. That is my last thought. I think someone out there is trying to tell me something. I want to tell that someone that I hear them, I will try my best.


Kristen said...

Wow, way to be dedicated!

I have a friend in your neighborhood who just went through all that. Would you like any pointers from her?

I did a natural childbirth this last one. I think it's worth it. I don't like being started. See if you can change the doctor's mind, but in the end I always try to trust my doctor. You don't want to put your baby at risk by being stubborn. =o) Good luck!

Kristen said...

ps - Is that MY stir fry recipe? Oh that makes me so happy! (If you said no, that's okay too.)

mj4toty said...

I ended up borderline on my glucose test which just meant that I had to do a blood test every time I went to the doctor, and that I needed to watch what I ate. The funny thing is that I didn't even have a sweet tooth until I was pregnant! I remember it felt like Sam was doing cartwheels and moves from Footloose after I drank that stuff. One time I couldn't resist this sugar cookie and my numbers were off the chart at my dr. appt. I got in big trouble! ;) Way to be dedicated! You're on the last lap! You go girl! =)