I know the topic on the blog here has been centered around my GD diagnosis the last week or so, and that's mainly because that's what's consuming a lot of my days right now--trying to get into a slightly different routine with eating.
I had a couple of people ask me to post about what a GD diet entails, etc and since I was searching high and low for information when I got my diagnosis, I thought I'd do a post on it. If you're not interested, feel free to X out now--I understand.
The first thing you need to know about a GD diet is that it's going to be customized for you based on your weight and what nutrients you need in order to stay healthy for you and baby. So my plan is likely going to be different than your plan.
The GD diet is all about carb counting, and how many carb counts you can get for each meal and snack throughout the day. Each carb count=15 g of carbs (give or take). My meal plan looks like this:
I was told that if I have a lighter carb lunch or dinner, I can have a higher carb snack in the afternoons and evenings.
One of the things I didn't realize at my class was that I HAVE to eat this many carbs a day. It's not a "you can have up to this many" thing. 12 carb choices is the lowest plan they give. If I don't have this many carbs in a day, my body starts breaking down fat which produces ketones in my urine, and ketones are bad for baby, signaling that both of us aren't getting enough nutrients. So I'm definitely walking a tightrope in this thing. Too much--sugars go high and baby gets extra insulin. Too low--I get ketones and baby is lacking nutrients (See why I've been stressed?!?!)
A lot of my normal dinners (which then become lunches the next day) already fall within the 3 carb choices, or 41-50g of carbs. For instance, the Mexican quinoa I make falls in that because of the beans, corn, and the quinoa (and the serving sizes).
I can also have a burrito bowl from Chipotle with chicken, rice, beans, the tomato salsa, cheese, sour cream and lettuce--but I can only have HALF at a time (which is fine because that's how much I normally eat for a meal anyway). No chips, though, which is a bummer.
If I have my broccoli cheddar soup, I have to eat it with two slices of toast to get at least 2 carb counts in, since this meal doesn't have enough carbs in it to count as a carb count (and then I can have a full Klondike bar for my evening snack! woohoo!)
I was surprised that 1/2 C of quinoa is 1 carb choice because everything you hear about quinoa is that it's good for you, full of protein, etc. But I still have to limit that. I was also surprised to find out the corn and peas are the more "carby" vegetables, along with potatoes which I already knew were carb busters.
A snack for me now that has 1 carb count is a small apple and a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. The apple holds most of the carbs. Another good sweet treat are the Outshine Fruit bars which are 1 carb count. 1 Cup of blueberries, strawberries or raspberries is 1 count, also.
I can snack on things that have no carbs whenever I want, so if I'm hungry, I can have some veggies, or some cheese, or a tablespoon of peanut butter. But for the most part, I'm not really hungry between snacks and meals since I'm eating so frequently throughout the day.
I have to test when I first wake up before I've had anything to eat (fasting), and then 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't have to test after snacks, thankfully.
Pricking my finger with the little pricker thingy I have isn't bad. Does it feel good? Well, no...but it's seriously not bad and totally manageable. Hell, after IVF this is a walk in the park! Testing as a whole takes me about 15 seconds to get the testing strip out, in the machine, prick my finger and then get it on the testing strip, and writing down my number.
The Hard Stuff
The hardest part for me is eating out. I will follow the guidelines they set and try to order within those parameters, but the tricky thing about eating out is that you don't know how something was made, all of the ingredients, the size of things, etc. Without nutrition labels, it's a guessing game (one in which my numbers are usually higher).
The good news is I've been able to control this without medication so far (and hopefully that continues). I also have very good fasting numbers which is usually more difficult for people. I just can't grab that handful of potato chips like I want, or a couple of things of chocolate because I'm craving it. It has to be factored into my snacking (chocolate) or not at all (potato chips).
I'm not sure if that answers all of the questions that were out there, but hopefully it at least helps to explain the process, especially to someone who has been newly diagnosed and hasn't taken the class yet.