My Life in Boston

mostly about food, but also about sneakers and make-up too

Tag: pregnancy

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: Lettuce Wraps

As the pregnancy has progressed, I’ve also noticed that the gestational diabetes has as well. When I was once able to have a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter, I wasn’t able to anymore at 32 weeks. It shot my glucose levels so high that I might as well have eaten some french fries. That was super frustrating.

So, what to do in this new situation?

Lettuce wrap it!

Whether making something from home or when out and about, it can be done. Most burger spots I’ve visited have been very accommodating. So, make the request.

by LILLIAN LEE

Hidden inside this homemade lettuce wrap is some turkey and cheese with a bit of mustard.

by LILLIAN LEE

Five Guys burger with sautéed mushrooms, pickles, and mayo in a lettuce wrap. It did the job even though there wasn’t enough lettuce.

by LILLIAN LEE

Shake Shack‘s griddled chicken BLT in a lettuce wrap. I like how there was so much lettuce that it was actually wrapped around the innards like a package.

by LILLIAN LEE

Mooyah burger with cheese, pickles and sautéed mushrooms in an iceberg “bun.” This was by far the best lettuce wrap I’ve had because there was a substantial amount of lettuce.

The only downside is that you don’t have any buns to soak up all the condiments and/or drippings. They just end up down your hands so be sure to have a pile of napkins at the ready.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 2)

Although I’ve been able to keep my blood glucose numbers well below the 140 mg/dL range, I just couldn’t seem to do it for my morning fast testing. I tried eating different variations of food and quantity (i.e., raw almonds, apple with peanut butter, a slice of whole wheat bread with hummus, and etc.) the night before but nothing worked to keep it below 90 mg/dL.

by LILLIAN LEE

My doctor saw the struggle and started me on glyburide. Actually, she gave me the option of pill or insulin shot. Since there was no way in hell I was going to be injecting myself, I chose the pill option.

So now, I take one pill a day, right before I go to bed. So far, it has been working. The rest of the time I’m able to control my blood sugar levels through diet although…I’m not gonna lie, it gets tough at times. I have had a Shake Shack for dinner one night and some Burger King here and there which have blown my numbers way up for a meal. I beat myself over it when I see the numbers, but I am only human.

Gestational diabetes sucks, but it could be a lot worse.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 1)

Up until I failed my blood glucose tests, I thought I had free reign to indulge in carbs. So, I started eating more bread, baked goods, chocolate – a lot of hot chocolate with marshmallows – and even started baking bread.

I cut all that out as soon as I found out I’d failed. It wasn’t too hard for me since I’d limited my carb intake prior to pregnancy. And, it worked. My blood glucose levels came out well below the recommended max number of 140 mg/dL – except for my fasting blood sugar level before breakfast. For some reason, I kept testing in the high 90s when it should be no more than 90 mg/dL.

Enter my date with the nutritionist.

I just wasn’t eating enough and/or the right combination of foods for my bedtime snack, which I needed to eat whether I was hungry or not. She also instructed me that I needed some carbs for each meal and showed me the best choices and, most importantly, the appropriate serving size and amount.

For example, I can still eat that banana, but I can only eat half at one time. And, if I do eat that banana then I need to pair it with some protein to slow down the impact of the sugar being released.

Since then, I’ve figured out my ideal bedtime snack – absolutely no carbs, but a mixture of raw nuts and protein. By keeping a log of my numbers and what foods I was eating at specific meals, it was easy to figure out what was working and what wasn’t.

Feel free to download my Gestational Diabetes Log Google Sheet I created to keep track of everything including carb counts to hit (although, yours may be different from mine so definitely check with your nutritionist).

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: Testing

When I first found out that I’d failed my 3-hour blood glucose test, I was crushed. I was further crushed when the nurse told me that I’d have to test my blood sugar on the daily – four times a day to be exact.

But, after the nurse showed me how easy it would be, it wasn’t so bad anymore. Don’t get me wrong. It still takes me a second or two to prepare myself mentally to press the button to prick my finger, but I get it done.  Really, it doesn’t hurt…much.

After having done this for the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

by LILLIAN LEE

What you’ll need to carry:

  1. The OneTouch carrying case. It holds the device, test strips, lancers and has a pocket to store either alcohol wipes or cotton balls.
  2. Testing strips. Make sure you have plenty available. I’ve mis-tested a few times and have had to use new ones. What you want to do is insert a strip with the 3 bars at the end facing up into the device to properly test.
  3. An empty case. Any case will do – a plastic container, Altoid tin or, in my case, a Nudestix cosmetic tin to store all the used lancers and test strips. You do not want to store them in the carrying case. I did that in the beginning and accidentally stuck my finger with an exposed lancer. That was not pleasant.
  4. Lancers. These are the needles. You’ll insert one into the testing device and then twist the top off to reveal the needle – keep the top because you’ll be “capping” the used needle with it.
  5. Alcohol wipes or cotton balls with a separate squeeze/travel-size bottle filled with alcohol. You just want to make sure the area you’re going to poke is clean.
  6. Tester + lancer (inserted). My tester is set to 3 but it goes all the way up to 7. This indicates how deep the prick will be. Anything less than 3 probably won’t puncture enough to draw blood. You want to make sure that after you’ve inserted a lancer that you pull back on the switch until you hear a click so that it’s ready.
  7. OneTouch device. My nurse set the device up for me, but all you really have to do is insert a test strip in and wait until it tells you that it’s ready. Once ready, you can test your blood.

How to do it:

I was told by my OB/GYN to take the test an hour after my last bite. However, the nutritionist was of the belief that it should be one hour after my first bite of food. Given that it may take up to an hour for me to eat sometimes, I’m continuing with the one hour after my last bite.

  1. Wipe area with alcohol. You want to aim for the side of your finger and not directly on your finger tip so that it’s less painful – there are more nerve endings on your finger tip vs the side.
  2. Massage from the bottom of your finger up to get the blood going.
  3. Insert lancer into testing device. Place cap back on, pull switch back until you hear a click, and press the button to prick your chosen finger.
  4. Squeeze enough blood out.
  5. Place testing strip with the 3 bars at the end face up into the OneTouch device. Wait for the device to be ready and then dip your blood onto the strip.
  6. To remove the lancer from the tester, pull both switches down and then push up. Record your number and you’re done until the next time

Where to do it:

The first time I had to test myself out and about, I wasn’t sure where was an appropriate place. The bathroom? But that’s kind of gross. In the end, I did a poll and people said my work desk was fine as long as I disposed of everything responsibly. Hence, carrying a tin case to store all the used needles and testing strips.

I will say that the hardest part is when I’m at the gym, a restaurant or bar. I’ve gotten the hang of my diet more or less so I make sure I’m not loading up on carb heavy food when I’m eating out. This way I can get away without having to find a place/remember to hit the timer to test.

Uhhhh…We’re Gonna Have a Baby

After experiencing what I thought was the stomach bug for a few weeks, sore boobs during workouts, and an insatiable 24/7 appetite for plain fast food hamburgers/cheeseburgers, the Mister and I found out that we are indeed expecting.

I seriously thought I just had food poisoning just because I’ve had bouts of nausea before that lasted a few days. But, the Mister thought something was up when I told him I’d eaten 4 Wendy’s hamburgers in a day and also when I said “yes” to him when he asked if I wanted anything from the McDonald’s drive-thru because I never indulge.

So, here we go. Onwards to our next adventure together.

 

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