Diabetes Diet: Keep a Daily Food Journal
Pregnancy Tracker: 9 weeks
Size of the Baby: 12 pounds
Biggest Obstacle: Making time for diabetes care!
In an effort to reign in my eating habits since delivering baby Sienna, I've decided to return to the basics of healthy eating and diabetes management. This entails a focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and avoiding high carbohydrate meals and snacks.
I'm keeping a food journal with daily allotments for protein, dairy, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and treats. As I fill in the categories each day, I can see at a glance whether I need to eat more vegetables or an additional piece of fruit. Also, by allowing myself a small "treat" each day, I don't feel the need to snack all day knowing that I'll get my little piece of chocolate after dinner!
So many articles and books on diet advise keeping a food journal. Having to be held accountable to what you ate by seeing it written down is a powerful deterrent. Also, in my experience, the kind of diary I'm keeping encourages me to eat healthful foods in place of junk food. Items like pizza, chips, and baked goods don't have a place in my daily journal, since they don't fit neatly into any of my assigned categories. For an A-type personality like mine, it's important that the diary read accurately and neatly!
Limiting my carbohydrates and favoring low glycemic index items, I am keeping blood sugar fluctuations in check. However, since I'm now eating quite a bit more protein, I'm learning to adjust my insulin differently. Protein does affect blood sugar, just not as quickly and severely as carbohydrates. High protein meals such as turkey meatloaf, chicken breasts, or a steak require either an extended bolus or an increased basal rate for several hours after eating. I've had good luck with setting a temporary basal rate of .75 units per hour for three hours after consuming a high protein meal.
Since life with an infant is hectic, I enjoying this simplified eating plan. Eating low carb and focusing on produce means that meals can consist of protein, veggies, and fruit only. Keeping vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes washed and sliced in the refrigerator makes snacks a snap. Having a fully stocked fruit bowl and several protein options on hand rounds out my basic meal plan. For protein, I'm particularly enjoying almonds, chicken breasts, salmon burgers, tuna salad, eggs, and ground turkey. Cheese is a good treat, and I tend to count it as dairy as opposed to a fat exchange, which I've justified by keeping my portions low. A one ounce stick of cheese is a great diabetic snack!
I've enjoyed the process of simplifying. Having a baby realigns all of your priorities and slows down the pace of life. Now that I'm preparing to return to work and anticipating a more hectic day to day lifestyle, meal planning will require additional preparation. By maintaining my focus on protein, fruits, veggies, and dairy, it'll be simpler to plan meals and make sure I always have something healthy and diabetic friendly on hand.