Recipe Recap: Paleo, Non-Paleo and Gestational Diabetes Edition

As some of you may know from our last post, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the final trimester of my pregnancy this time around. While the diagnosis was scary, emotional and unfamiliar (I didn’t have this with Q), it has been a learning experience over the last 10 weeks. I know that I’m not to blame for this – thank you hormones and placenta – but I have come to grips with the pokes and adjustments to my diet. With this diagnosis, I’ve had to say goodbye to cereal and spaghetti, but it really isn’t that much different than how we eat on a regular basis. Plus, I’m feeling really great because I am eating so healthy!

With that, I’ve compiled some of the recipes that we’ve enjoyed over the last few months. I’ve noted those that have worked really well with my GD diagnosis…just in case some of you find yourselves in this position in the future. With a few adjustments, you can still enjoy fabulous foods while keeping your blood sugars in check.

PALEO

Orange Sriracha Chicken Bowls – This is better than takeout, and much better for you as well. The spicy sweet sauce is amazing, and when served over cauliflower rice (or real rice) you won’t know that you didn’t pick this up from your favorite takeout spot.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole – This is another one that is surprisingly good. We’re not huge on squash, but we’ll down this entire recipe in 2 sittings between the two of us. The casserole is creamy, spicy and filling. It’s best served with sliced avocado in my opinion.

Paleo Chocolate Pudding – OMG you guys. This was amazing! When you haven’t eaten anything sweet or chocolate for weeks, and you’re pregnant, a recipe like this breathes new life into your daily routine of eggs, chicken and veggies. I may have eaten the entire recipe myself over the course of 4 days…only because I would have gotten in trouble with the doctor if I slammed the entire recipe in one day.

Bacon and Egg Bombs – Okay, so with the GD I’ve been eating  a TON of eggs for breakfast because they give me great numbers. I am soooo sick of eggs. This was a fabulous way to keep those protein packed beauties in rotation for breakfast, but with a twist to make them palatable to me again. I will say that they fell apart when I tried to cook them, so I’ll be giving it another shot. I only had one slice of bacon per egg, so I think that may have been the problem. Let me know if you have better luck at keeping them assembled.

NON-PALEO

Cajun Shrimp in Foil – This would be perfect for the upcoming summer BBQ season! Super simple, easy clean-up and fabulous taste.

Cheesy Chicken and Veggie Rice – This one was a lifesaver as I worked through the third trimester of pregnancy with gestational diabetes. It’s super simple, reheats well in the microwave or oven, and tastes delicious. It’s super low carb, healthy and even T told me that it was surprisingly tasty. And for me, the combination of broccoli and cauliflower rice worked WONDERS on my blood sugar numbers at 1-hour post-meal. That’s a true winner in my book.

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A few notes about my journey with Gestational Diabetes: This diagnosis was completely unexpected. I was scared and emotional and frustrated. I thought I had been doing everything right, but it turns out that doesn’t matter. Gestational diabetes gives zero shits if you are overweight or a marathon runner, it can happen to literally any pregnant woman. It is caused by the combination of hormones and placenta, which is why you can have it one pregnancy and not the other. Once I got over the mom-guilt that I somehow caused this, I was able to focus and tackle the diagnosis head-on. We adjusted our diets, met the dietitian, got our supplies and off we went. My daytime numbers are completely managed by diet and exercise, but a week after my diagnosis, they added a nightly insulin shot to the mix to make sure my overnight numbers were managed as well. Needless to say, that caused a second round of pregnant-lady-emotional-meltdown to occur, but I put on my big-girl maternity pants and stuck that needle into my stomach. I was bound and determined to make sure that this blood sugar problem didn’t give us a 12 pound baby come June.

I have been eating generally low-ish carb meals, trying to get my carbs from ‘real food’ rather than junk. We eat mostly paleo, though I add in full-fat dairy and low carb tortillas as well. I’ve done extremely well with broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Not sure if that’s true for everyone, but if you find yourself in these shoes at some point, give it a shot. I also survive on cottage cheese with berries or applesauce for snacks, Atkins protein shakes when I can’t stomach another egg for breakfast, and protein bars for bedtime snacks. They are lifesavers! My lunches usually consist of a hot ham/cheese on a low carb wrap with spinach and avocado, or a very full beef/chicken taco on the low carb wrap with lots of cheese and avocado. Easy, transportable and I get great results an hour later.

Just know that you can do anything for a few weeks if you have too, and yes, it is hard, but the benefits to my own health and the health of this baby have been more than worth all the pokes, extra appointments, denied cravings and adjusted diet. I’m happy to provide tips and recipes if you ever need them.

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