• Catrina Gardner

This Picky Eater got Gestational Diabetes

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a medical professional. I am sharing my personal experience with Gestational Diabetes, but I cannot offer advice or expertise. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.




I felt the blow. When I got the call that I failed the 1-hour glucose tolerance test a wave of emotions hit me. Surprise, guilt, annoyance, sadness, confusion… It was a much tougher pill to swallow than my daily prenatal. I felt like I became the butt of my own joke, after saying for months how easy and enjoyable my pregnancy has been. Aside from 3 weeks of food aversions, it has truly been smooth sailing. Everything about my pregnancy has been easy from the very start. My initial worries about a family history of diabetes slowly vanished as the months carried on. My weight gain was steady and minimal, and I’d been feeling great for 7 months.


When I got the call that I failed the tolerance test it was a huge wake-up call. I immediately accepted the fact that I most likely have gestational diabetes. I went to the store and bought green veggies, brown rice, chicken, ground turkey, Greek yogurt, and some balanced snacks. I went home and did some research. I followed @Gestational.Diabetes.Nutrition on Instagram… and then I fell into a quick and silent depression.


I would wake up, prep my healthy meals, go to my office, and work my little butt off. As soon as I clocked out I would hit a wall. I cried and blamed myself for putting my baby at risk. I scolded myself for not being more careful, knowing that I have a family history of diabetes and gestational diabetes. This carried on for a few days and then… I accepted it. I no longer felt depressed and stopped beating myself up. I gave myself the time I needed to be sad and then took action to make things as great as I possibly can.


Keep in mind – I hadn’t even done the 3-hour glucose test yet. I tend to take action quickly. I once learned in an emotional intelligence training that I have a “producer” listening style. The other two listening styles are “detailer” and “analyzer”. As a producer, I don’t ask questions, I don’t ask why… I just take the information and get to work straight away.


So I took the 3-hour test and found out I failed 2 out of the 4 blood draws. Not terrible, but it was now confirmed: I have gestational diabetes. My doctor’s set up an amazing telehealth appointment with a diabetes clinic to help me determine the next steps.



How I handled the Diagnosis as a picky eater:


As a picky eater, I was concerned about the diet change. Especially during my pregnancy, green veggies are the last thing I want to eat. If there are any mommas out there like me I have good news: you don’t have to completely stop eating your favorite foods! The key to keeping blood sugar levels low is to balance the carbs with fat and protein. I can even have chocolate chip Eggo waffles for breakfast, as long as I pair them with sausage and a protein shake!


Foods I removed from diet (it’s a short list):

· Chips (Doritos, Cheetos, ect)

· Juice

· White bread

· Ice cream

· Candy


Foods I started incorporating (almost) daily:

· Peanut butter

· Whole grain bread

· Brown rice

· Spinach and broccoli

· Chicken

· Ground turkey

· Cheese

· Nuts

· Additional fruits and veggies


Meal pairing tips:

· Carbs are not your enemy and make sure you don’t cut them out completely! If you do you won’t give your body the energy it needs to grow your babe! Avoid the simple carbs (like white bread) and stick to complex carbs.

· When you consume your carbs, pair them with a fat or protein. This will help your body slow down the processing of sugar. If I really want a treat, like a cookie, I have a spoonful of peanut butter to go along with it. The balance is super helpful for your body to absorb the sugars.

· As a picky eater, I made a lot of smoothies to sneak in those vegetables that I have no interest in eating. You can add a lot of spinach to a fruit smoothie and it will still taste fruity! My favorite smoothie recipe is for this avocado smoothie. Avocados are a great source of healthy fat and the other vegetables and fruits provide healthy fiber and complex carbs.

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