Menu Planning

My mom has commented that I don't post as often as I used to after marrying Murray. She says that I am a lot happier and have less to complain about. While that's definitely true. I think that there's also the factor that when I was single, I had no evening company or schedule, so I'd just sit around with my computer. Now, the computer gets turned off every day in time for Murray to come home. So. You know. There's that.

BUT with gestational diabetes, I now have something to complain about, so my posting is up. Maybe my mom was onto something.

Yesterday I went in for my diabetes education. I thought it was going to be a class with several people, so I was curious as to how they'd educate me about everything regarding my specific needs in a class setting. I was wrong, however. Everything was one-on-one. First I met with a woman who explained my new eating habits and schedule. She gave me a book that has information about all my meals and what foods I can eat and stuff. Fruit juice has been stricken off the list entirely for the rest of my pregnancy, which is ironic since I actually increased my fruit juice intake BECAUSE OF my pregnancy. Anyhoo. What I couldn't help but notice is that in the food index of my book (it's really more like a beefy pamphlet or a wimpy magazine), chocolate isn't even listed. Seriously?

Then I met with a woman who explained to me how I need to poke holes in my fingers six times a day to test my blood sugar. Are you kidding me? And I need to pee on a stick every morning. And record it all. And I need to eat all my meals and prick my fingers at set times.

So last night I entered in six alarms on my iPhone so that I can be reminded when to eat every day, since I tend to be a person who forgets to eat and gets around to it when it's convenient. The first one went off this morning at 8:30. So I immediately pricked my finger, measured my blood sugar, went downstairs, prepared a breakfast for me and Murray, and ate breakfast. And then I realized that I forgot to pee on the stick. After I'd already peed. So I mustered up enough pee to pee on the stick and then I had to compare the stick's color to the color scheme on the pee-stick packaging. Since Murray is the color expert, I called him over to ask his advice and tell me what color my pee stick was closest to. After determining the right color, Murray commented, "You know, all this is kindof fun when you think about it. You get to use a cool little blood machine every day, and then practice color theory with your urine!"

I still have a few questions about my menu, since I was educated so quickly! For example, here are my nutritional requirements for dinner every day. I was pretty stumped about what to do last night while I was looking at them:

3 carbohydrate group
- 1 starch
- 1 fruit
- 1 milk
- non-starchy vegetables
3 meat or meat substitutes (3 oz)
2 fats

So breaking this down for you, it goes something like this.

My one starch that I get to eat at dinner is equivalent to 1/3 cup of pasta or rice, or one slice of bread, or 1/2 cup of potatoes. And other things of the like. But you get that it's a really small portion.

My one fruit is pretty self-explanatory.

My one milk can be either milk or yogurt. I don't drink milk, and yogurt doesn't really seem to go with an evening meal.

I am allowed up to 1 1/2 cups of cooked non-starchy vegetables or up to 3 cups of raw.

My 3 meats means 3 ounces of meat or meat substitute like beans, cheese, eggs, etc. Have you ever seen a 3-oz steak?

My 2 fats means that I've got to add a bit of butter or oil or something to my meal.

So what would you make with these specifications? No, seriously. Please leave comments about what you would prepare given this breakdown. I will love you forever. After I cried a little bit (a lot) about how this was absolutely impossible and it seemed that I'd be doomed to eating mismatched meals for the rest of my pregnancy, I received inspiration. Here's our meal last night:

SALAD NICOISE with Cherry Smoothies for dessert

Salad for 2:
1 can of green beans, drained
1 bag of salad greens (I like the spring mix)
2 small tomatoes
(all totaled, equals less than 3 cups of veggies each)

1 cup of boiled small red potatoes with skins
(at 1/2 cup each, this equals one starch---oh, and I gave Murray more than 1/2 cup because I'm kind like that)

1 can tuna, drained
2 hard boiled eggs, cut up
(all totalled, 3 oz of meat each)

some green olives (for Murray's half, although if I liked green olives, this would have counted as a fat)

homemade dressing made with garlic-herbed olive oil, dijon mustard, and cider vinegar
(two fats!)

Smoothies for 2:
2 cups of light vanilla soy milk
24 frozen cherries
(There's my milk and my fruit!)

After the meal, we were both really surprised to find out that we were both really full. So, as long as I can keep coming up with inventive ways to put my ingredient list together, I may just make it through the rest of my pregnancy without going insane!


Mike Loveland said...

Just remember the silver lining here. You will have a husband at the end of this that resembles a washboard more than a beach ball.....oh and we will have a non obese baby and such....with possibly his own washboard abs.

Okay that's a weird mental image.

Bendel Life said...

good luck with the meal planning. Last year when I was pregnant, one of my friends who was also pregnant had gestational diabetes, but she was only advised to cut down the fruits and sugars, and then she had to exercise after eating, that was the hard part.
By the way, I love reading your blog and getting caught up with you life since it's been forever since we've talked. I hope goes well with your pregnancy.
I also have a blog -
Take care,

Jenny said...

creamy spinach is a good side. I bet it could count for the dairy too, since it has cream cheese in it. I have a recipe that isn't really fattening I could give you if you want.

And then fajitas, with more veggies than meat, roasted pork loin with roasted veggies, cafe rio salad, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. (grandmas delight bread is low calorie and really high in fiber)

I know these aren't exact measurements, but I think they are all nice and safe for you.

For breakfast a lo of the time I'd make a breakfast burrito (eggs with stuff in them and salsa in a high fiber/low starch tortilla with salsa) and that was normally fairly filling.

Ice cream makes a good dairy/fat substitute at dinner. :)

Jenny said...

ooh. It's granny's delight.

brinestone said...

I would imagine that a veggie-heavy stir fry would fit the bill pretty well. You'd just have to eat less rice than I usually like.

Also, what about soups?

AzĂșcar said...

Generally, you need to worry about your refined sugars and flours. I wouldn't necessarily worry about getting each specific item in, unless you find you can't control your blood sugar.

I generally consumed lean protein, all the veggies I wanted, actual fruit (no juice) and whole grains. I'd have veggie omelets or oatmeal with dried fruits and nuts for breakfast. I had to remember to eat often but smaller meals. Apples and PB, pears and a little cheese. Whole wheat toast. Southwestern soups with beans, chicken, tomatoes, corn, etc.

I also used splenda in my Pero con leche every morning. Switch to brown rice at dinner and no sweets. With those simple changes I was able to control my sugar levels.

I've been craving salad Nicoise for a couple weeks now, so thanks for that reinforcement!

kip said...

Your post reminds me of my last dog-sitting gig for a dog who had been newly diagnosed with diabetes. I got to chase him around with a pee cup at 5 am in the dark, cold Maryland winter every day. It could be worse. Your dog could have diabetes, too.

TOWR said...

Or you could just eat Salade Nicoise until the wee one is born. ;)

As I was reading this I thought that I would just ignore it all and eat whatever I wanted--until I realized that would result in a huge baby.

God bless you. I'll eat twice as bad to cover for you. :)

Sarah said...

Tacos? Fajitas? Stir Fry?

Kristeee said...

My doc put me on a no sugar diet and I'm now 7 weeks in. It's honestly not too bad. At least you can still eat fruit. My friend has gestational diabetes and said she has two choices: either she can break the rules and end up with her birth dictated by the doctors, or she can follow the rules and have the birth she wants.

One fun recipe would be Jenny's chicken tikka masala (listed on her sidebar under main dishes) - there's no sugar in it and the chicken's marinated in yogurt. It's very tasty.

Whole wheat pasta will be your friend. The more you stay away from white flour, the better.

You could make baked rigatoni - use any whole wheat pasta, hamburger, and Ragu no-sugar-added spaghetti sauce (the only one in regular grocery stores without added sugar). You could either cover it with cheese or mix in 1 C cottage cheese and one egg and nix the cheese on top.

Taco salad is a great one. At Macey's or the Sunflower Market you can find Imagine chicken broth (and other broths) that doesn't have any sugar to use as a base for chicken soup (one of my favorites during pregnancy). And have you ever tried mashed potatoes with plain yogurt mixed in? Yum!

Oh (and sorry this is so long), but you can sweeten drinks and things with an herb called Stevia. It's at Smiths and the Sunflower Market (and probably other natural food places). It's the only sweetener I'm allowed to have. You can also use the juices from the fruit you have as a marinade for your meat. A postal scale can help in weighing things (and they're way cheaper than kitchen scales).

Rynell said...

You will get used to it and you will get better at eyeballing portions.

I try to have a salad every night, along with protein and the right amount of carbs. My quick breakfast is whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a cup of milk. I feel best when I have some sort of egg dish for breakfast along with toast though.

An easy lunch is a sandwich with plenty of vegetables in it--I like to use up salad greens, avocado, leftover chicken, tomatoes. Then I add a fruit. I find I am pretty full on that.

My favorite whole wheat bread is Miltons. It was exactly the right carb/fiber for me and was sold in a 2 pack at Costco. I haven't been able to find it for a couple of months there.

I also love having homemade vegetable soup this time of year. It is broth based (chicken broth & stewed tomatoes) and is so tasty. I fill completely satisfied with a soup and sandwich.

ok I've babbled a long time--eeek. It is so exciting after you deliver to be able to eat a meal without counting everything!

Rynell said...

I meant "I feel" not "I fill." I couldn't just leave that.

Sarah said...

Hi Alma,

I like to make a pasta salad with any kind of pasta (you could use whole-wheat pasta, maybe) and then different veggies, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and yellow or red peppers. Go heavy on the veggies, of course. I usually sprinkle on a little dressing of some sort--you could really do whatever flavor you like for this. Grill a little bit of marinated chicken for a side dish and you've got yourself a delicious meal.

I also love beef vegetable soup. You can put almost any kind of vegetables in (with just a little bit of beef) and it ends up being as healthy as you want it to be. Really, I don't think there is much fat or sugar at all in the kind I make. If you want my specific ideas for this soup, feel free to e-mail me or DP.

You're definitely on to something with the smoothies, by the way! I also like to buy frozen mango chunks from Sam's Club--I just snack on them all the time or put them on the table for a side dish.

Also, Hawaiian haystacks could be pretty good for your situation if you like that kind of thing. Just use brown rice, of course, and then go heavy on the toppings. I doubt you would use more than three ounces of chicken anyway, and all the other vegetables will feel you up.

Man, I'm getting hungry just writing all this stuff. Good luck!

Sarah said...

You probably don't want vegetables feeling you up, though, so maybe they should fill you up instead.