Happy Monday Friends. Hopefully you had a wonderful weekend enjoying some relaxing down time. I got to see my sister so my weekend was perfect. It's been a little over a month since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and I wanted to share some new thoughts, ideas, recipes, and feelings with you. I'm currently 36 weeks and my induction date is set for August 1st. I'm hoping he comes sooner on his own but I'm at peace with the idea of an induction now if he doesn't. If you currently have gestational diabetes, you are not alone. If you just found out you have GD and are super bummed, I totally get you and am here if you feel like reaching out. I'm writing this post today because some days are harder than others. About a week ago I had a tough few days in a row. I would like to start on a positive note by saying, I'm slowly but surly beginning to believe that being diagnosed with GD is a blessing in disguise. A woman told me this when I first learned I had GD and I didn't believe her. Now, I kinda do. Aside from having to prick my finger 4 times a day which is getting really old and annoying and not being able to eat much fruit or any sugar for that matter. The reason I say this is a blessing in disguise is for a few reasons. 1. From this moment forward you will watch EVERYTHING you put in your mouth and if your levels are anything like mine, that means getting very serious about sticking to a very healthy and strict diet. You can do this! The good news is you are only giving your baby and yourself the best of the best nutrients. As hard as it feels and as sick as I am of chicken, eggs, and veggies, I'm sure my baby boy is getting the best nutrients, where as before I was diagnosed, we were kinda on the Carb Queen diet and Cheetos were a huge part of our life, which is horrible for both of us anyway! 2. The weight gain has slowed down, baby is still getting proper nutrients and growing, and I'm not getting much larger everywhere else, which means it will be easier to drop the baby weight once he comes. 3. I have connected with some wonderful woman who are going through this or have already so my community of woman who are in the same shoes as me has grown and makes me feel a lot less alone.
Let me be sure to mention I'm not a doctor and everything I write about in this post is based on my own experience and my doctors advice and the advice I have received from other woman who have been through the same thing.
I wanted to share a few things that have really helped me. I'm not gonna lie to you and say I'm doing fantastic and everything is rainbows and butterflies over here because it has not been easy. I cry a lot and feel very frustrated a lot of the time. Especially when I eat clean and healthy and my levels are still high. I will say however, my doctor eased my mind when she told me it has a lot to do with hormones and my placenta and the chances of me and the baby having diabetes after birth isn't very likely.
What I do not do is read a lot on line because it makes me crazy. What I do do is reach out to people who have had GD. I share where I'm at and I'm honest about my fears and my concerns, so other woman will reach out to me and share their experience, strength, and hope about it. I reach out to friends of friends who I don't even know because it's nice to hear positive stories. My mom is a big researcher and has looked into everything that I refuse to read which is good and bad. One thing she found that I am very happy with is the book Real Food For Gestational Diabetes. It's the only book that has made sense to me and has some good helpful eating tips in it. It explains GD in a way that I could understand. It's not a complex book which I like. Life the last month has felt like all I do is wake up, check my blood, eat, wait two hours, eat, check my blood and repeat this until bedtime when I have my midnight snack with my medicine the doctors have me on. It really begins to feel like groundhogs day but I know the final result of holding my baby will make me forget I ever had GD. My midnight snack is something I really look forward to. I found a gluten free bread I LOVE called Canyon Bakehouse 7 Grain. You can get it at whole foods. I have a piece toasted with whipped organic cream cheese (also from wholefoods). I look forward to this snack at night because it tastes so good. This is one of the only snacks that seems to be very consistant on keeping my levels good in the morning.
I wanted to share a few tips that I noticed have been extremely helpful for me. Before my bedtime snack and before I take my medicine, I have two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with water. I know, gross, get use to it because the health benefits behind it are incredible for now and long after baby comes. Then I eat one slice of gluten free bread with whipped cream cheese on it. The toast and cream cheese was a suggestion from my doctor and through trial and error I found it worked best for me. I also love coconut peanut butter as one of my snacks on toast. Make sure it's a no sugar added brand. I LOVE North Shore Goodies coconut peanut butter the best. It's a bit expensive but if you love coconut and peanut butter, it's worth every dollar. It's honestly magical.
I'm about to share the holy grail of diabetic deserts with you, a pancake recipe that didn't raise my insulin levels, and a cookie recipe! Massive shout out to my dear friend Julie Mangus, a wonderful therapist who gave me this mousse recipe because it will be with me for the rest of my life. Side note, for anyone struggling with fertility, Julie is your gal! She started a support group around the topic. And thanks mom for the coconut pancake recipe. I will be happy to go back to regular gluten free pancakes after this is over but this has been a nice substitution. Keep in mind the pancakes are more like a biscuit but with organic maple syrup and butter they do the trick just tine. Be sure to eat eggs or some sort of protein with any carb you eat! I also found a cookie recipe that didn't raise my levels!! I have been able to eat something that gives me my sugar fix and doesn't mess with my levels. Again, everyone is different so please try this and see how you do. I eat a few bites of the mousse and it kicks my cravings. The pancakes I had 3 and I had eggs to add more protein and my levels were fine and the peanut butter cookies are a good snack. Just have one or maybe two ;) Hope this all helped and that these recipes make you as happy as they did for me!
Coconut Cocoa Mousse
Dairy Free Cocoa Mousse
*Coconut cream scraped from the top of 4 (13.5 oz) chilled cans of full fat coconut milk. Use BPA-free coconut milk
* 5 tablespoons cocoa (adjust according to taste and/or desired thickness)
* 3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
* a touch of Himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
When you are ready to make the mousse, open up the cans and scoop the thick coconut cream into a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer or with an electric hand mixer fitted with whisk attachment (try to keep as much liquid out of the cream as possible)
Add cocoa, honey and vanilla extract (if using) to the bowl and beat, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks become visible, about 5 minutes.
Divide the mixture evenly among ramekins and refrigerate until ready to serve. Mousse will become thicker as it chills in the fridge.
One serving yields 243 calories, 19 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein.
This mousse has been a huge lifesaver for my sweet tooth. I served it to friends as well and they fell in love.
Flour-less Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
I have been craving cookies and can't have them and it has been so upsetting. The carbs turn to sugar and the sugar raises my levels. I found a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction and I changed a few ingredients to make sure I wasn't effected by the sugar.
- 2/3 cup (58g) old-fashioned rolled oats1
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (250g) peanut butter at room temperature or cold2 (I tagged my FAVORITE Peanut butter)
- 6 Tablespoons (90g) packed light brown sugar3 (SUB 2/3 Maple SYRUP INSTEAD OF BROWN SUGAR)
- 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (SUB COCOA NIBS INSTEAD OF CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
- In a medium bowl, toss the oats, cinnamon, and baking soda together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the peanut butter and brown sugar with a large rubber spatula until combined. Pour in the dry ingredients and slowly mix until everything is combined. Depending how thick and/or cold your peanut butter is, you'll have to use some arm muscles. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Scoop the dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake two batches - 7 cookies on each baking sheet. Gently press down on the dough mounds with the back of a spoon to slightly flatten as pictured in this recipe. If you find the cookie dough balls are oily-looking from your peanut butter, blot each with a paper towel.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked, but that's ok. For crispier cookies, bake for up to 11-12 minutes. Sometimes I press a couple more chocolate chips into the tops of each cookie immediately after coming out of the oven. This is optional and only for looks!
- Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh stored covered at room temperature for up to 7 days, if they last that long!
- Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze the cookies for up to 3 months then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Coconut Flower Pancakes
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/8 t baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 - 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
- 3 eggs
- 1-2 T honey ( I USE MAPLE SYRUP BECAUSE THE HONEY RAISES MY LEVELS)
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- Maple syrup to taste on top
- Grass-fed butter for cooking
- Thoroughly mix the eggs, coconut oil, and honey together.
- Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract.
- Throw in the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix, but remember, not too much!
- Melt a dab of butter in your skillet and then using a measuring cup, add a little batter to the pan. I recommend figuring out how many pancakes you’d like to make beforehand so that you can use an appropriately sized cup or ladle.
- Remember that you aren’t likely to see many bubbles forming on the top, so carefully check the underside of your pancake before flipping. Extra kudos points for those of you who can flip without a spatula!
- For best results, serve your pancakes right away.