The main - sorry snack menu is here. For anyone with blood sugar issues who is pregnant or trying.

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"So," said Mr Bea the other day, "you've put on about 7kg since the start of this pregnancy, right?"

"Yep," I replied.

"And, I notice on our detailed scan report it says the baby weighs about 350g."

"That's right."

"So... where's the rest going?"

"Well there's the amniotic fluid, of course, and the placenta. I'm also carrying around an increased blood volume - and gut volume, for that matter, considering my constant appetite and the fact that food doesn't... move through as fast when you're pregnant. I may have the teensiest bit more muscular weight, just from carrying around the extra seven kilos, but that's probably negligible. And then the rest is..."

"Yes?"

"Well, the rest is fat."

"Fat?"

"Yes - breasts, hips, tummy, face. I'm just rounder than I used to be."

"OhreallyIhadn'tnoticed."

I'm not particularly feeling sensitive about it. Presently I'm within a kilo of the most I've ever weighed, and at 21 weeks I think that's allowed. Granted, I was a little concerned when it started piling on at 1kg per week at the start of the second trimester - going from 50kg to nearly 80 in six months didn't sound right, and was bound to be a shock to my system. But since I started the low GI diet (cue daytime TV hairdo and sparkling smile) I'm down to a more reasonable half a kilo a week gain, I have a manageable appetite, more energy, more time in my day to do the things I need to do, and I just feel so much healthier!

Nearly Dawn has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and was asking for snack ideas. And think of all those PCOS chickies with insulin resistance! They need to snack, too. Now, I haven't been diagnosed with either of these as yet, but I did struggle to make the recommended dietary adjustments after weeks of insufferable hunger, nausea, migraines... oh, and a positive glucose test at sixteen weeks. Snacks were a particular problem. It seems what we need is a low GI infertility and pregnancy snack compendium, and who better to get us started than my gracious self? Well, ok, but give me points for actually starting it.

All foodies are encouraged to contribute recipes, and those who've had GD/insulin resistance should add tips or corrections. As always, please also check with your health professional - I'm just some gal who hasn't even been diagnosed with anything rambling on about my personal experiences, so keep that in mind.

For our first installment, here are some General Things I've Learned About Eating Low GI For Pregnancy.

  • It gets easier. I had a several some false starts. For me, once I got over the first ten to fourteen days, I was on a roll. My advice is to be strict in the first two weeks, and if you try and fail, just start again.

  • Exercise every day. I don't do vigorous exercise, but I've made a point of going for my "daily constitutional" walk, even if it's just a matter of taking the stairs when I'm going somewhere anyway. Apparently there are muscle-toning exercises you can do even if you're on strict bedrest, but you'd need to ask a professional about those.

  • Water is your friend. Caffeine, juices, softdrinks, alcohol and milkshakes are not. Plain water is fine, but the sparkling variety is mildly ant-acid, and I find it helps with nausea and heartburn so is good with meals in pregnancy.

  • Mornings are especially trying, because you'll be starving and tempted to go for a quick-fix of carbs, and that'll stuff you up for the whole day. Ditto the midnight snack. Homemade smoothies can work well here - whip up something just before bedtime based on plain natural/greek yoghurt, fruit, milk or cream and perhaps a few nuts, and it'll be there and ready to get you out of bed first thing in the morning. I follow this up with a cooked breakfast - a bit of rindless bacon, eggs, or some sausages. If that's too much for an early start, pre-prepare some hardboiled eggs - you can even take a couple with you on the road.

  • When you make a meal, make a snack, too. Make dinners with a little left over so you can wrap it in wholemeal flatbread plus or minus some added lettuce or cheese for your mid-morning snack the next day.

  • Use different herbs and spices. It will add variety and stop you getting bored. It can also help overcome some pregnancy-related food aversions.

  • Have a weekly "cook-up". Make big batches of things you can store, like soups or casseroles. Store them in snack-sized portions, and use one for a snack or two - plus or minus some wholegrain bread or salad - for a meal.

  • When you eat out, check the starters menu. Main meals are often carb-heavy, and the restaurant carb of choice is usually high GI - potatoes, white rice or white bread. Starters, by contrast, often focus on proteins or vegetables (except for the ones which are exclusively carbs - obviously don't order those). It can sometimes be better to order two or three starters instead of a main - a little more expensive, but then you're drinking plain water instead of wine, so it evens out. You might also be able to ask the waiter about "upsizing" a starter to main course size. In any case, make sure s/he brings your starter at the same time as everyone's mains, because otherwise they'll have to sit and watch you slowly digest your whole meal and no-one will bring their food until it's all cleared away.

  • Keep a snack box ready and waiting to be popped into your handbag. Nuts, cheese, wholegrain crackers, apricots... take it with you wherever you go. Good for emergency hunger pangs or nausea, and it'll keep you reaching for the first (high GI) snack you see when you're out - or even at home!

If you're a low-GI foodie, please send a recipe! You can email me at infertilefantasies at gmail dot com, or leave a comment. I plan to put up a haphazard collection of tasty and delicious low-GI/diabetic-friendly snack-sized recipes with one recipe per post, under the label "snacking for two". If you want to go crazy with sending photos, etc, be my guest. If you want to do a post on your own blog, let me know and I'll link.


5 Comments

Vee said...

Great tips Bea!
One really simple tip is to switch from Jasmine or long grain rice to Basmati, it is a lot lower GI.

Max has made some yummy stuff from his diabetes/low GI cookbook. I will send some recipes over.

serenity said...

I love the tips - I'm starting to get worried about GD myself, so I've been cutting back on the carbs in addition to walking longer distances, stretching, and now squats.

But I'm finding hardboiled eggs a great snack. And when I crave carbs, I will get something whole wheat like a couple of crackers with peanut butter too.

It really is amazing at how many carbs we eat without even realizing it. Even just focusing on reducing the number of carbs I have in a given day seems to have made my weight gain slow down.

Karaoke Diva said...

I credit the low GI diet with my getting pregnant in the first place. I lost 20 pounds in just 2 months. That all went by the wayside once I got pregnant though. ;-)

inconceivablejourney said...

Gosh, 21 weeks already??? Wow. I feel like it's flying by!

21 weeks really??? I'm still amazed! You have me in awe. I love that you are round and lovely.

Shelby said...

This is really fantastic!! I've been dealing with gestational diabetes for most of this pregnancy, and have been having a really hard time eating! If I have to eat eggs for breakfast every day for the next 12 weeks, I'm going to go crazy! This is a huge help! I'll also look through and find a few recipes to send as well.

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