Healthy Habits is a new series on Sew in Love where I’ll be sharing small changes I’m making to my life. These new “habits” make us a little healthier or more kind to the environment. But most importantly, it helps our family to live a slower life with more intention. I hope you enjoy my experiments and that they help you to make positive changes too.
When I was 28 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. As someone who’s never had any health issues, it was a huge shock. I’d always being intrigued by the I Quit Sugar movement, so this diagnosis was the trigger I needed to try a sugar-free lifestyle.
Goodbye Cane Sugar
By quitting sugar, I mean cane sugar. It spikes up my blood sugar levels, so avoiding sugar is helping me to control my gestational diabetes. Of course, there’s a ton of other health benefits to removing cane sugar from your diet. If you’d like to know more, I highly recommend watching the suitably named movie, That Sugar Film.
After watching this movie, Dave has also come onboard on my quest to stop eating sugar. Our family actually doesn’t consume many sweets anyway, so the adjustment has not been too difficult. We are just paying more attention to the small number of processed foods we already have in the kitchen, such as tomato sauce, cereal and even soy milk. It’s these hidden sugars which creep up on you!
What I Eat in a Day with Gestational Diabetes
My dietitian is happy with my blood sugar levels and my ability to control my gestational diabetes through my diet. It’s important for you to seek medical advice if you have diabetes, but I thought I’d share my typical diet with you to prove that being sugar-free is not all that bad.
- 1 piece of homemade sourdough (courtesy of Dave)
- 1 or 2 poached or fried eggs, depending on how hungry I am
- Cup of tea with milk
- Big salad with lots of protein such as beef, bacon or halloumi cheese. I like making a crunchy salad using a v-slicer. (like below). It’s so fast and totally changes the texture of veggies, giving you more variety.
- Steamed fish
- Huge plate of steamed vegetables
- Tiny serving (1/3 cup or so) of rice
- Miso soup
Snacks (I have two to three snacks throughout the day between main meals)
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Celery sticks with peanut butter
- Small piece of grainy toast with ricotta, fruit and agave syrup (soooo yum)
- Special treat: Homemade sugar-free “snickers” bars and protein balls
- Matcha latte
So Far So Good
So basically, I’m eating my favourite foods like rice and sourdough bread, but just in smaller quantities over a longer period of time. I usually wait a good 1 to 2 hours between meals / snacks to make sure my blood sugar levels don’t rise too much. It takes a bit of getting used to because I’m now 8 months pregnant and therefore super hungry. All. The. Time.
The plus side to all this is that I don’t experience the huge sugar highs anymore. You know when you finish eating a chocolate bar and feel a massive surge of energy and then half an hour later, it all comes crashing down? Well, it feels great to have a steady stream of energy to get me through the day.
Another perk of quitting sugar is that my skin has never been better. You don’t often hear a pregnant woman full of crazy hormones saying this, so it’s a big deal.
Have you heard about the I Quit Sugar movement? Ever thought about cutting back on sugar?