Monday, September 30, 2013

My NOLA Beatles Baby Shower...

Greetings, my Blogosphere friends!
I am super excited about this post! Today marks the end of week 34, which means that tomorrow I am officially on a one handed weekly countdown to baby's arrival! Wow! Where has the time gone? Even with the diagnosis of the GD, I have loved being pregnant. I wouldn't say it is the easiest thing I have ever done, but it is certainly one of the most exciting, joyous, exhilirating, exhausting, wonderful, beautiful things I have ever done! God is so good, and each day that passes that I feel my mischka growing in my tummy, I am reminded that He is the creator and in control of all things. I feel so blessed to get to be a mommy, and I pray for God's continued grace throughout the rest of my pregnancy.
On to the awesomeness of this post: with later babydom comes the love so generously poured out by others in the form of baby showers. September 21st marked Baby Muller and my first baby shower. I had been kept in the dark about the theme, and I was BLOWN AWAY!
Here in my NOLA family, we have a group of eight women we call the NOLA Mammies. They are the crew that gets together to throw all of us girls these AMAZING bridal/baby showers, and this one was no exception. Not knowing the gender freed them up to unleash their creativity in brand new ways, and they not only rose to the occassion, they blew it out of the water. Let me preface this by saying I am, and have been since I was little bitty and my dad played me their old albums, a HUGE Beatles fan. Welcome to Baby Muller's Beatles Baby Shower!

 Pulling up into the driveway, guests were greeting with a high flying British flag; and at the front door, they were given direction to exactly where it is they were arriving.
As you walked in, you were greeted by the Abbey Road album crosswalk instead of a pink or blue or red carpet.
I couldn't believe everything I saw when I walked up and in. It was so fun to walk my pregnant self across my own "Abbey Road Crosswalk" as I entered into the party. The front door had beautiful tulle wreathes with music notes interlaced into them. I got to take the two home for our front door and hospital room door when Baby Muller arrives. :) 
Beside the front door sat my guest book, but it wasn't just any guest book. The Mammies had taken an old record (not a Beatles album...don't worry...) and printed a new center for it that gave the date of my shower as well as mine and Prince Charming's names. Guests signed it on both sides with white paint pens. I LOVE this guest book. Most guest books get filed away on a shelf. This one will be displayed in our nursery.

As a favor for guests, the hostesses had set up a fill a bag candy station, and EVERYTHING had been given a Beatles twist to its name. It was adorable and beautiful!

Here is the display of delicious candies. I was able to make a bag to take home to keep in my hospital bag for the day Baby Muller arrives since I can't partake due to the GD right now.

The display boasted an array of "John LemonHeads," "Ringo StarrBursts," "Lucy in the Sky with Ring Pops,"

"Helter Skittles," "Pay Day Trippers"

"Hey Ju-Ju Bees," "Hello, Goodbar,"

"All You Need is Dove," "Twix and Shout," and "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-dots." The candy bar was precious...and there was more!

Here I and my 33 1/2 week pregnant belly are with five of the Mammies. Two were out for family reasons, and one is my mother-in-law who just got to enjoy the festivities since it is her grandbaby on the way. My hostesses wore pink and blue Beatles shirts since we don't know what we are having! (Side note: I totally didn't plan to wear anything fitting with the theme, but the blue and red dress I got at Motherhood Maternity worked perfectly for our British theme.)

In the front foyer was the cutest little drum set ever. They had taken a children's toy drum set with a Sesame Street theme and covered it strategically with black paper and printed a printed Beatles logo. It looked so legit! And there were bright, colorful frames like these filled with some of the best Beatles songs and lyrics all over the house.

The cake table was set up in the formal dining room, and the spread was perfect and adorable.

The cake was a yellow cake with vanilla filling, and it had the most perfect yellow submarine cake topper!

Next to the cake was this stand full of Twinkie yellow submarines. These were so adorable to look at and served as much a decoration as a treat!

The napkins were all a groovy 60s theme tie-dye, and this bowl would house one of my shower favorites: coffee punch! I will definitely have to share that recipe with you. It will win you some new friends and make you the most popular person at any get together you bring it to...thank me later. :)

The living room was the gift/unwrapping station. My glider from our nursery was brought over from our house (thank you, Prince Charming) as it was our gift from SugarPie. It is the gray chair in the corner. I also brought along the baby blanket I sewed with the Carousel Designs fabric, and I brought the yellow crocheted blanket my great-grandmother made for my future children before she passed away a couple of years ago. The mantle was boasting Beatles onesies and t-shirts for mischka in addition to children's books, blankies, toys, and a piggy bank.

Throughout the house, Beatles coasters were scattered on every surface. This was a treat I got to take home, in addition to all of the mantle goodies. Each coaster had a different album cover on it. They were a perfect way to carry the theme all around.

At the station on the kitchen counter where people could make their guess of Baby Muller's gender and give me advice was this cute "Whisper Words of Wisdom" jar. I loved this, and the notes from our guests were priceless!

In the eat-in kitchen, there was a buffet table set up. Just like with the candy bar, every dish was named after a Beatles song or lyric.

We started with "Eleanor Rigatoni" chicken pasta alfredo, and the sweet Mammies had even made a separate batch of whole wheat just for GD me. :)

We had "I am the Egg Man" deviled eggs. These are a GD dream and one of my favorite treats ever!

There were a tower of "Chicken to Ride" croissant sandwiches. I had the chicken salad, and it was divine.

There was also "My Sweet Lord Ginger's Crab Dip" made by Mammie Ginger. It was divine!

This bowl would house our "Octopus's Garden Salad." It was light and fresh and oh so tasty!

And for this GD mama, who couldn't have the cake, they laid out the most darling Strawberry Fields spread. It had fresh strawberries with a sweet dip and powdered sugar, strawberry hard candies, and (not pictured) a platter of chocolate dipped strawberries.
The centerpiece of the buffet was this tiny little baby grand piano. It was a perfect focal point.
As a last detail, the mantle in the buffet area had been decorated with Beatles albums and a Beatles clock. They really thought about every detail!
Here I am in my prego glory, rolling in Beatle-mania bliss!
I had the honor of cutting the cake (even if I couldn't have a piece myself). :)

One of the best surprises of the day was the arrival of my little sister, Cookie. She drove in from Mississippi despite the fact that we had a family situation happening there, so I wouldn't be on my own. I was THRILLED to see her, and it made all the difference in the world having her there!

Cookie was the first non-Mammie to sign the guest book! Yay!
As the guests arrived, I stood at Abbey Road to greet them. Here are some shots of our time together.

My mother-in-law, Baby Muller's Bella, and Cookie at the cake table.

Let the gift opening commence! It was a marathon session, but thanks to Cookie, Kay-Kay, and Nannie Frannie, we knocked it out in just over an hour! I couldn't have done it without you guys!

Every gift was so sweet and thoughtful. We received everything from nursery decor and bedding to bath towels and accessories to diapering and feeding items to toys and books. This is going to be one blessed and loved baby!
Whew! Even just reliving that shower made me a little tired! :) The NOLA Mammies did an excellent job putting this shindig on to celebrate the coming of Baby Muller. It was so me, and it was one of the best showers I have ever been to, hands-down. (Maybe I am a little biased...) From the food, to the gifts, to the Beatles decor, to the Beatles sing-along (yes, that happened), it was amazing! I am so thankful to have such amazing, talented, kind, caring, loving, generous, Christ-like and Christ-centered people in my and this coming little one's lives!
Baby Muller, Prince Charming, and I will be headed to Mississippi this weekend for a shower there. I can't wait to see what Aunt Dolly has in store for us. My mom will get to be at that shower, too, so that will be extra special for me. We also have a couples shower this Saturday night back in NOLA (yes, mommy and mischka have a busy weekend ahead) playing Bunco for diapers. I can't wait to post all about those, too! I hope you enjoy and are inspired by my shower as much as I was, and I look forward to blogging to you again soon.
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gestational Diabetes Menu - Week 2

Here I am, rolling right along with dealing with being a gestational diabetic mommy. It still blows my mind that I was diagnosed with this condition as I am a healthy person in every day life. Even so, I know that God has a plan and purpose for everything in life, both the good and the bad...the easy and the difficult...the joyous and the painful. He is in control, and I will still bless His name and thank Him for the opportunity to be a mommy at all...even if there is a hiccup in the pregnancy. Hopefully, this will give me the chance to help other mommies out there who are dealing with the same thing. At any rate, one way I have been using this as an inspiration to help is trying to share my daily menus with you. Again, I am no doctor or nutritionist; this is simply the regiment I am using under my doctor's orders to follow an ADA guided diet.

Week 2 Gestational Diabetes Daily Menu

Day 1
Breakfast - one whole grain waffle (I like Van's) with two tablespoons of Crunch Time peanut butter
Mid-morning Snack - one small square of homemade breakfast casserole with eggs, cheese, and sausage
Lunch - Izzo's Illegal Burrito Illegal Steak Salad  with Cilantro Ranch dressing
Afternoon Snack - skipped this because my lunch was late and large today
Dinner - 1/2 a whole wheat pita stuffed with rotisserie chicken, kalamata olives, cucumber slices, and greek yogurt sauce made with garlic, goat cheese, and sundried tomatoes
Before-bed Snack- 1/2 cup of Cheerios with 1/2 cup skim milk

Day 2
Breakfast - one whole grain waffle with 2 tablespoons of Vermont sugar free syrup
Mid-morning Snack - small gala apple
Lunch - plain smoked pulled pork with a grilled chicken tender, green salad, and chicken and sausage gumbo (This was Prince Charming's ordination celebration, and I allowed myself to "splurge" very sparingly. I kept a close carb count and stayed within the ADA's approved amount.)
Afternoon Snack - skipped today because my lunch was, again, late and large
Dinner - large green salad with turkey pepperoni, cheese, cucumber, tomato, bacon bits, and ranch
Before-bed Snack- skipped because dinner was so late

Day 3
Breakfast - crustless quiche with turkey sausage and parmesan cheese with a slice of Ezekiel bread
Mid-morning Snack - turkey pepperoni with 1/4 cantaloupe and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
Lunch - large green salad with one pack of Tuna Salad Sandwich Ready Chunk Light Tuna Pouch
Afternoon Snack - No Sugar Added Blue Bell Mooo Bar (This is an occassional, decadent treat!)
Dinner - boiled shrimp, large green salad, and baked sweet potato fries (1/2 a potato)
Before-bed Snack- Jello Sugar-free Pudding with Cool Whip topping

Day 4
Breakfast - crustless quiche with turkey sausage
Mid-morning Snack - small Gala apple with 2% milk mozzarella string cheese
Lunch - green salad with grilled chicken tenders and ranch dressing
Afternoon Snack - celery stalks with Supremely Spicy Hummus
Dinner - small square of whole wheat lasagna with tossed green salad and a bite (literally) of garlic bread
Before-bed Snack- Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt with Strawberry (only 8 carbs per serving, guys!) and a slice of Ezekiel bread topped with some whipped JIF peanut butter

Day 5
Breakfast - one whole wheat Fold-It Hungry Girl Flatbread with an egg and slice of 2% American cheese
Mid-morning Snack - small Gala apple with 2% milk mozzarella string cheese
Lunch - two slices of Ezekiel bread with whipped peanut butter and low sugar strawberry preserves with celery and hummus
Afternoon Snack - Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt with Strawberry and two tablespoons of raw almonds
Dinner - 2 cups cubed, roasted eggplant topped with 1/2 c of Giada's tomato basil pasta sauce and parmesan cheese with a green salad with cheese and ranch dressing
Before-bed Snack- 1 cup of Cheerios with 1 cup skim milk and a Jello sugar free strawberry gelatin

Day 6
Breakfast - 2 slices of crustless quiche with turkey sausage and one Foldit Hungry Girl flatbread
Mid-morning Snack - 1/2 cup no sugar added pear chunks with 2% string cheese
Lunch - roasted eggplant leftovers from dinner last night with turkey pepperoni and a La Croix sparkling water
Afternoon Snack - small Gala apple with 2 tbsp whipped peanut butter
Dinner - Chilean sea bass with blanched green beans and Caesar salad
Before-bed Snack- Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt with Strawberry

Day 7
Breakfast - Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt with Strawberry and one pouch of tuna salad ready Starkist tuna
Mid-morning Snack - 100 calorie right bite Cheez-It Baked snack crackers
Lunch - Grilled chicken breast topped with bacon and melted pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mayo with a side of boiled mustard greens and a small green salad with ranch dressing
Afternoon Snack - small Gala apple with 2 tbsp whipped peanut butter
Dinner - steak, shrimp, chicken, chorizo fajitas sauteed with peppers and onions with one corn tortilla, lettuce, salsa, touch of sour cream, and 2 tbsp of refried beans
Before-bed Snack- 2% string cheese

I didn't eat a large before-bed snack because my dinner was so late. This past weekend was crazy, but that story will be told in a soon-coming post. Meanwhile, I hope this menu proves helpful! Please feel free to leave questions or comments, and have a blessed day!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Gestational Diabetes Menu - Week 1

Greetings, blogosphere!

Here I am in week 33 of pregnancy, and things are progressing right along. I had an A1C test to determine if I needed to take any medicine for the gestational diabetes, and, PRAISE THE LORD, I don't! The test left a lovely huge bruise on the crook of my arm that is still there (a week later), and I have started to experience what I call my "pregnant marshmallow feet." They are puffing up on the top like muffins. Nothing too terrible at this point, but when you are used to having very long, very thin (think Olive Oyl, people) feet, it is quite a shock to see!

As promised in my last post, I wanted to be sure to post the menus I have been following in an effort to help control my gestational diabetes. AGAIN: I AM NO DOCTOR OR NUTRITIONIST. THIS IS THE DIET THAT IS WORKING FOR ME; BUT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR NUTRITIONIST BEFORE BEGINNING ANY PROGRAM. I built mine under the guidance of my doctor and the ADA website. I use the myfitnesspal website and app to document my food choices and help me calculate my carbs.

I hope these menus will help someone out there who needs some ideas of where to start on their road with gestational diabetes. Let me know if you have any questions or would like any particular recipes. Enjoy!

Week 1 Gestational Diabetes Menu

Day 1
Breakfast - Nature's Own Whole Wheat Thin Slice Bagel with one egg, one serving of Oscar Meyer Deli Turkey, and 1 slice Kraft 2% milk American cheese
Mid-morning Snack- .5 package of Nabisco fresh stack saltine crackers with 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
Lunch- Mexican salad with corn salsa, guacamole, salsa, and Greek yogurt
Afternoon Snack- sugar free strawberry jello
Dinner- Steak fajitas with steak, onions, and peppers on a corn tortilla
Before-bed Snack- Decaf coffee with light creamer, one serving of graham crackers, and two tablespoons of peanut butter

Day 2
Breakfast- 1 large egg scrambled with one slice of Kraft 2% American cheese
Mid-morning Snack- 1/2 cup of Quaker quick cook oats with 1 tsp butter, 1/3 cup of nuts, and cinnamon
Lunch- Cobb salad with no blue cheese and ranch dressing
Afternoon Snack- 2/3 cup of cheerios with 1/2 cup of skim milk
Dinner- Homemade asparagus soup with oven roasted shrimp and Greek Yogurt lemon dip
Before-bed snack- cucumber and celery with spicy hummus and strawberry, sugar-free jello

Day 3
Breakfast- 2 egg omelet with Kraft 2% American cheese single, Jimmy Dean turkey sausage, and tomato with a 1/2 cup of skim milk
Mid-morning snack- 1 small Gala apple with 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
Lunch- roast beef, steamed broccoli, and black eyed peas
Afternoon Snack- Jello sugar free pudding with 1/4 c walnut pieces and light whipped cream
Dinner- smoked chicken and apple sausage with oven baked sweet potato fries (equal to half a sweet potato) with Greek yogurt sriracha dip
Before-bed snack- thin crisp Triscuits with hummus, 2% string cheese, and 1/4 c cantaloupe

Day 4
Breakfast- Flatout Hungry Girl whole wheat flatbread with one hard boiled egg and a tbsp of mayo
Mid-morning Snack- small Gala apple and 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
Lunch- asparagus soup with a chicken and apple sausage and a slice of Ezekiel bread
Afternoon Snack- 1/4 c strawberries with a 1/4 c cantaloupe and a 2% string cheese
Dinner- 1/2 whole wheat pita with rotisserie chicken, cucumber, tomato, garlic, bacon, and sundried tomato Greek yogurt sauce with a black bean brownie
Before-bed snack-  1/4 c of cantaloupe and blueberries, 1/2 c cheerios with 1/2 c skim milk, and triscuit thin crisps with one wedge of laughing cow light sharp cheddar cheese

Day 5
Breakfast- Flatout Hungry Girl whole wheat flatbread with one hard boiled egg and a tbsp of mayo with 1/2 c skim milk
Mid-morning Snack- 1 small Gala apple with 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
Lunch- chicken and apple sausage with 1 slice Ezekiel bread and roasted brussel sprouts
Afternoon Snack- Blue Bell Moo Bar (no sugar added) with walnuts
Dinner- hot dog with all meat chili and mustard on 1/2 whole wheat pita with 1/4 c broccoli salad
Before-bed snack- 1/4 c blueberries and cantaloupe with 2% string cheese and jello

Day 6
Breakfast- Flatout Hungry Girl whole wheat flatbread with tomato and bacon with sriracha Greek yogurt sauce
Mid-morning Snack- 1/4 c cantaloupe and a small Gala apple
Lunch- chili cheese dog with 1 slice of Ezekiel bread
Afternoon Snack- 1 serving of pear chunks packed in their own juice
Dinner- taco salad with salsa and 1 tbsp light sour cream
Before-bed snack- 1 serving of popcorn

Day 7
Breakfast- 1 slice of Ezekiel bread with 1 serving of Oscar Mayer ham and 1 tsp French's creamy and light mustard
Mid-morning Snack- 2% string cheese
Lunch- all meat chili with cheese in 1/2 whole wheat pita
Afternoon Snack- 1/4 c honey dew melon
Dinner- Chik-fil-a Cobb Salad with buttermilk ranch dressing and medium diet lemonade
Before-bed snack- 1/2 c strawberries with light whipped cream

Remember: an important part of this is measuring out your servings according to the package instructions and carb counts. Good luck, mamas, and I will post week 2 very soon!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quick Bread Perfection: Sour Cream Mini-Muffins

In light of my gestational diabetes, I decided to share one of my favorite recipes for one of my most missed and beloved food groups: BREAD! As a true Southern girl, there are few foods I find more comforting than warm, fresh-baked biscuits. However, I don't always have time to make biscuits from scratch. In steps these amazing little clouds of biscuity Heaven!

This is a simple recipe that was shared with me by a lovely lady from our church family after a dinner on the grounds. She made these amazingly scrumptious, tender, buttery, biscuit like pillows of deliciousness, and I couldn't get enough! The recipe is simple and quick with only three ingredients: baking mix, sour cream, and butter. Combine together and bake in the oven at 375 degrees Farenheit for 8-10 minutes, and you get a bread that is perfect for anything. 

Serve at a shower or party with butter, clotted cream, and preserves. Serve with breakfast in place of traditional biscuits or with dinner in place of rolls. Add in a few other flavors to mix it up: dip in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar for a sweet spin or add some shredded cheddar cheese and garlic powder for a savory version. They keep great in an airtight container or bag and are a great, quick snack! It is one of my favorites, and I hope it will become one of yours, too!

You can find my Snapguide with step-by-step photo instructions at the link below. Make some of these awesome treats this week; you won't regret it, and your family will thank you profusely as they ask for seconds!

Check out How to Make Sour Cream Mini Muffins by Brittney Muller on Snapguide.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 31: Gestational Diabetes

Greetings, my blogosphere friends!

I am officially in the single digit countdown of my pregnancy (week-wise anyway), and with each passing day, stronger kick, and growing bump, I am more and more excited to meet my little mischka. Prince Charming is so excited, too; it makes my heart skip a beat every time he rubs my belly or lays his head next to it to speak softly to the baby. I feel incredibly happy, blessed, and good; which made one of my big events of this part of my pregnancy all the more difficult.

Week 31 brought with it my first pregnancy challenge. A few weeks ago, I had my first, one-hour glucose test. I didn't pass. The doctor didn't seem too concerned and told me the three-hour test would probably clear it without much problem. Needless to say, I found out this past Thursday that I didn't pass that test either; I have officially been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I couldn't help but start to cry as the doctor spoke to me about the condition, assuring me it was nothing I had done wrong but was a genetic predisposition (thank you, heritage of type 2 diabetes on my mom's side) and that both baby and I would most likely be fine. The greatest risk involved is that the baby could be born at a high birth weight due to the excess insulin it produces for my blood-sugar level. This could lead to complications during vaginal delivery or a necessary C-section. There are certainly worse pieces of news an expecting mom can hear, but at that moment, I felt overwhelmed and like a failure. Don't get me wrong; I realize this isn't my fault; but it didn't make it any easier to digest all of the information in that moment. Treatment is quite simple: maintain a strict diet, exercise, and have another round of blood work to determine if there is a need for medicinal intervention. Even that task seemed daunting. I typically try to eat a pretty healthy diet in my daily life, but now every morsel of food I take in has to be meticulously examined and documented for the sake of me and the baby inside my womb. It felt like an incredible amount of pressure to make sure I didn't mess up, and it is a responsibility I took to heart. I was so emotionally distraught when I was leaving, I couldn't remember when I made my follow up appointment for!

Since then, however, I have had time to think, research, and do A LOT of praying, and I am feeling much better about the situation. I mean, I have had an amazing pregnancy: perfect blood pressure (even now), no swelling, and feeling energized and elated most of the time. I really cannot complain, and I know that no matter what, God is sovereign and in control, and He will work out His perfect will for my good and the good of my baby. I have many amazing family and friends and church members praying for all of us daily, and that has been the greatest comfort of all. It has given me a peace, comfort, and strength I couldn't muster on my own, and I am so thankful for my support system! Prince Charming has even adopted my diet with me, so I won't ever have to feel like I am missing anything. (How lucky am I?)

Speaking of this new diet, it has been quite an adjustment. My doctor told me to look up the ADA's guide to diabetic eating and apply those principles to my diet for the foreseeable future. I came home that night from the doctor and immediately got online. The research portion of this realization has inspired me to do a series of posts: each week, I will post the menus I have eaten with links to recipes when applicable.  As a disclaimer: I am no dietician or doctor and cannot say my diet is the perfect solution for me or any mom-to-be who is experiencing gestational diabetes! I have built my entire food system off of the American Diabetes Association ( website's food tips and recommendations per my doctor's instructions. I would encourage anyone to discuss their specific needs with their doctor and/or nutritionist before diving into any plan. My hope in sharing this information is that it will give someone a tangible starting point for foods they can prepare and eat as they deal with this condition. It can be very hard online to find any super specific food plans, and I think having access to several weekly menu ideas could be helpful for anyone looking for a starting point for their own plan. Here are several general tips I have picked up: (again: I am NOT a dietician or doctor and this post is not meant to replace having a conversation with your doctor and/or dietician about what is right for you and your baby.)

  1. Having the right kind of carbs is important! The point of eating a diabetic menu isn't to cut out carbs altogether. Carbohydrates are important for you and baby! Instead, you should try to eat the good, complex carbs that are found in items like whole wheat bread (I like Ezekial 9 bread - found in the freezer section), beans, and whole grain foods. Steer clear of the simple sugars found in white bread/pastas, whole milk products, and the obvious sugary sweets! The first thing I did when I got home was bag up my rice cereal treats, Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, and sweetened cereals for Prince Charming to take them away. Out of sight, out of mind! (almost)
  2. Eat 6 small meals (or the way I interpret it - three small meals with three snacks) per day instead of three big meals. By spreading out your food intake every 2 1/2-3 hours helps stabilize your blood sugar so that you aren't experiencing big dips and highs as the day goes by.
  3. Schedule your meals to be about the same time EVERY day! This is another trick to help your blood sugar stabilize. I allow myself about a half hour "leniency" for my eating times, but here is my general schedule: Breakfast (7:30 a.m.), Mid-morning snack (9:45 a.m.), Lunch (12:00 p.m.), Afternoon snack (3:00 p.m.), Dinner (6:00 p.m.), and Before-bed snack (9:00 p.m.).
  4. Plan and prep your daily menus ahead of time, especially if you work. One of the keys to making this diet work is portioning out your food so that you get a pretty close to accurate calculation of your carb intake for each meal. I bought whole fruits and vegetables and spent about a half hour after coming home cutting, portioning, and storing everything in easy to access packs. This is helpful when I need to make a quick decision about what I will be having for a snack or meal.
  5. Get a food tracking app! I use My Fitness Pal. It is free, and it calculates food values quite easily. You can even scan the bar codes of foods instead of looking up each item by name. I have also input recipes into the app for quick daily additions to my menus. You can keep a written food diary as well, but an app makes things so quick and easy for on-the-go documentation.
  6. Breakfast and Before-bed snacks are critical! I am not a huge breakfast eater, but having gestational diabetes makes it absolutely necessary to have a high-protein, low-carb breakfast at the start of each day. Everything I have read so far says that the insulin levels are lowest first thing in the morning, so it is important to make this meal one of your "lowest carb" meals of the day. I try to keep this one between 15-30 grams of carbs. On other meals, I allow myself somewhere between 30-60 (according to the ADA guidelines). The Before-bed snack is my highest carb snack. I allow myself around 30 carbs for this snack because from what I have read the stretch from bedtime to waking in the morning needs an extra little kick of carbs to make sure your sugars stay relatively stable throughout the night. Again, I am NO EXPERT, but this is my best interpretation of a few reliable website suggestions, and it seems to be working for me.
So far, this is what I have figured out for myself. I haven't felt really deprived so far, and I will definitely be sharing my menus with you from week to week as I can. I will try to link to any useful recipes along the way as well.

While my diagnosis has certainly turned into the primary focus of week 31, it is certainly not all of the babydom I have experienced! I have also been able to sew my baby's nursery blanket from my Carousel Designs fabric, gotten all of the big furniture for the nursery in the room, and am getting geared up for my first baby shower next weekend! I cannot wait to post all of those happy things for you to see as well. Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have. I hope that my working through this on my blog will help someone out there as they work through some of the same things. As always...

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