This pregnancy I’m being monitored for gestational diabetes. I’ve handled this a lot more calmly than last pregnancy, when I was only borderline with Liam and cried inconsolably every time I thought about how I “ruined” my baby. With Liam I ended up getting the all clear after the 3 hour fasting test so I didn’t watch my diet at all because I didn’t have to. I felt pretty dizzy and low on energy that entire pregnancy and Liam ended up being 9 lbs. 3 oz., so maybe I should have followed a gestational diabetes food plan.
I am pretty bummed about the kibosh on all of the delicious baking I’ve been doing, but in the long run I feel healthier this pregnancy and I think the baby will be smaller. I’ve discussed this with one of the midwives and she agrees that the baby will probably be smaller, although I shouldn’t hope for a 6 pounder. She said to think about a 9 pounder or maybe somewhere in the 8s. Sounds delightful to me!
I’ve also had to prick my finger and take my blood sugar levels 4 times a day. The first time I was left to my own device with this it probably took 10 blood strips and pricking every single finger on my person, sometimes twice. I had to learn a few tricks, like warming up my hands and literally pushing up the blood from the bottom of my finger to the tip, where I had pricked myself.
The manageable part is that there is a certain number of carbs you need to stay within every day and how you split them up per meal/snack is up to you and perhaps your diabetes nutritionist. I have to stay within about 180 grams of carbs per day. Most of my meals are about 30 g of carbs, most of my snacks are about 15 g.
The bizarre part about gestational diabetes is that after you give birth no one has diabetes. It disappears. However, you stick to this diet because your placenta isn’t able to process the insulin from the carbs you eat which results in wearing it out. This is where possible complications come in at the end of the pregnancy. If the placenta is worn out and isn’t working correctly at the end of your pregnancy then it’s possible to need an induction. As I will be avoiding all medical interventions again this is something I’m really hoping we will not come to. Yet, that means that I may need to cross my fingers for the baby to come a little early or on time. Early doesn’t really work with my maternity leave and graduate class schedule, so I’d prefer a healthy, natural birth right on schedule…please?
For those a little more curious about gestational diabetes, I also learned that if the mother doesn’t control her diet and limit the carb intake then the baby can go into shock after birth because it is suddenly cut off from the constant supply of sugar charging through the placenta. So, even though the diabetes nutritionist showed me that I could sneak in a bit of sweet dessert every now and then, as long as it’s within my carb intake, I’m trying to be mindful.
Mindful without completely making myself miserable. So, tonight I made one of my favorite treats so that I could add a little pep to boring day of proteins and vegetables. (Actually, I was told that research also shows that women who cut out ALL carbs during pregnancy are likely to have babies with birth defects! So, don’t go all Atkins or South Beach if you have GD.) I have a recipe for homemade protein bars using Arbonne’s chocolate protein shake powder. Arbonne is a company I’ve been a consultant with for years. They’re a vegan, botanically-based, Swiss formulated beauty/health/wellness company. So, the protein powder is vegan and botanically-based as well. It’s as natural of a protein powder that you can find.
The bars taste exactly like those delicious chocolate no-bake cookies that you maybe haven’t eaten since your childhood. However, these ingredients are nothing like those ingredients. I’m going to give you the recipe, and if you use another kind of chocolate protein powder I do not guarantee what they will taste like as I’ve never tried another brand. The Arbonne brand makes a delicious treat, though. (If you click on any of the “Arbonne” links it will take you to my Arbonne website, where you can order some of this delicious protein shake!)
Normally I follow this recipe and spread it into the recommended 9×13 pan and then cut it into bars. Tonight I thought I’d use my cookie scoop and mini muffin tins with mini muffin papers instead. I thought this might keep me more disciplined with eating one measured bar at a time as my cutting has sometimes been erratic in the past and several bars can swiftly be consumed at once. The serving size is probably still the same (each scoop is probably about 1 Tbsp, and I was able to make 24, and the recipe says that you can cut 24 bars from the 9×13 pan) but the separation of the individual deliciousness if what is exciting me. And they look cute this way.
Here’s a printable PDF of the recipe: Protein Shake Mix Bar Recipe
Just What Every Body Needs
Protein Shake Mix Bar recipe
• 2 cups organic peanut butter • 1 3⁄4 cups honey or agave nectar • 2 1⁄4 cups arbonne essentialsTM Protein shake Mix powder* • 3 cups rolled oats
1. Mix peanut butter and honey in a microwaveable bowl.
2. heat for 60–90 seconds. Mix well.
3. add Protein shake Mix powder and mix well.
4. add rolled oats and mix gently.
5. spread in a 9×13 pan. 6. Refrigerate 1 hour. 7. Cut into 24 squares.
*Consultants recommend using 1⁄2 chocolate and 1⁄2 vanilla.
2011R01 01 | ©2011 Arbonne International, LLC All Rights Reserved. | arbonne.com
Here’s some pics of the ingredients and my cutesy individual treats:
As you can probably tell, I chose Whole Foods’ 365 brand for everything else besides the Arbonne protein powder.
I’m used to reading Nutrition Fact labels and can easily check the carbs per serving size of anything I eat, but with a homemade recipe I had to add it all up. I have no idea if I did this right for the bars, but by my calculations, each individual protein ball should have about 34-35 grams of carbs. This is a little higher than what I would call a snack, but I do have my last “meal” of the day as being a snack-type item, but more carb-y. This would be perfect. I may have completely done the math wrong, as well…so don’t write that down in stone.
***I DID do the math wrong!! And in my favor too! I’m surprised no one commented and called me out on it from the pictures. I didn’t make 24 individual balls, I made 48! I had two trays of 24. So each protein ball is half of what I originally thought, making them around 17 grams of carbs each–totally reasonable for a snack. Hooray for late night math mistakes!
And, please, grant me the willpower to eat only one.