Conquering Gestational Diabetes: Recipe Ideas for All Six Meals

At 29 weeks pregnant, my 1 hour glucose test came back with a big F. I also was shocked to see that I had gained 12 lbs since my 24 week appointment. At 30 weeks pregnant, I failed the last 2 blood sugar tests of the 3 hour glucose test.

Diagnosis? Gestational Diabetes.

Not going to lie, I was pretty upset at first, thinking I had done something wrong and had been creating an unhealthy environment for my baby. But the doctor reassured me that there was really nothing I could have done to prevent it – it’s all hormones!

Since then, I have been following California’s Sweet Success Guidelines for my diet.

Thankfully, with a change in diet and more walks after meals, I have been able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and do not need insulin shots. Having GD also entails pricking my finger four times a day, logging every meal, meeting with a dietitian and heavy duty meal planning.

My doctor said that for many women, this is a life-changing experience because it really makes you realize how many refined carbs we eat on a day-to-day basis. So true! It’s absolutely insane. I am now that person who looks at the label on every single food item at the store. I have always eaten pretty healthy but there are so many things that I’ve realized have extra, unneeded “fluff” that I don’t need.

That said, I have come up with meal and snacks that I enjoy, fill me up and work for me. Trial and error with testing blood sugars an hour after anything new has helped me to figure out what I can and absolutely not get away with so I can’t say that all of these will work for everyone.

Now for the GD recipe ideas:

Rule of thumb: always pair a carb with a protein. And follow up each meal with a 10-15 minute walk.

1 carbohydrate = 15 grams

1 protein = 7ish grams

Breakfast Ideas:

1 protein + 1 carb

No dairy or fruit with breakfast?? That one really threw me for a loop. Already gone are the days of a runny egg with toast or chilaquiles or all things good with eggs unless they are scrambled due to the whole no-raw-things pregnancy diet.

Breakfast has never been my favorite meal of the day so I typically stick to eating cereal and brown sugar or apple oatmeal packets for the most part. Welp, scratch both of those!

On the bright side, I feel much more full after eating my GD breakfast options. Although I could go for a second slice of avo toast…

  • 2 egg bites + 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 2 scrambled eggs on 3/4 whole wheat English muffin (but who wants just 3/4 of an English muffin?!)
  • 1-2 eggs with salsa and avocado on 1 Mission Carb Balance tortilla. Thank god for these tortillas…I am the queen of flour tortillas and definitely am not a corn or whole wheat kind of girl. I am able to get away with these which totally totally fulfills my love for tortillas.
  • 1 hard boiled egg, + 1/3 avocado on 1 slice toast or 3/4 whole wheat English muffin Top if off with cherry tomatoes, Everything But the Bagel seasoning, arugula, scrambled egg, salsa – the options are endless! I’m not able to just eat avo toast due to it having to much fat and not enough protein but when pairing it with a protein, we are in luck!
  • Bean, eggs and cheese burrito.
  • Peanut butter toast on 1 slice toast or 3/4 whole wheat english muffin sprinkled with cinnamon. Sneak a dash of honey on if it doesn’t make your blood sugar go too high. Mix it up: Use almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed better, etc.
  • Plain oatmeal with 2 TBSP peanut butter and cinnamon. Blah, I know…

Snack Ideas:

1 protein + 1 carb

Snacks, snacks and more snacks. With three snacks a day, it’s easy to get bored of the same thing over and over. But luckily, now is the time to add in dairy and fruit – hooray!

  • Cheddar cheese + whole grain crackers. Mix it up with goat cheese or fancy hard cheese.
  • Dried apricots + walnuts. Switch it up with other dried fruit or different nuts and DIY your own trail mix packs.
  • Fancy cheese (any hard cheese) + an apple
  • 1/2 banana + 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • One apple + 2 TBSP peanut butter. Switch it up with another fruit + peanut butter or almond butter.
  • 1 protein shake with 1 cup milk, protein powder or 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 cup berries, 1/4 banana, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder if you want a chocolate version. Add spinach if you want to be really good. I can’t do milk so I substitute almond milk or oat milk.
  • Celery + 2 TBSP peanut butter + raisins (Kindergarten fav brought back to life!)
  • Carrots + hummus + crackers + beef stick

On-The-Go Proteins 

1 protein

You’re not supposed to skip any meals, even if you’re not very hungry or out and about, which can make it a little harder. Or if you’re like me and need a small second afternoon snack to stay full until dinnertime, carbs may not be the best bet.

So when in doubt, throw down some protein.

  • 1 Protein shake with Protiva scoop + water + dash of cinnamon. Switch it up with a dash of unsweetened cocoa. My doctor had me take Protiva but I honestly hate the taste so I tried it in a bunch of different things. Cinnamon or a little cocoa seemed to do the trick. There are other protein powders that probably taste much better – just make sure they are pregnancy safe!
  • Grass fed beef stick
  • Cheese stick
  • Hard boiled egg
  • 1/3 avocado with Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes
  • 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter. They sell packets of almond butter and the like that will do the trick!
  • Lara Bar (there are a couple with no chocolate if that makes your sugar levels go too high) or Clif Bar Whole Lotta. I am obsessed with the Spiced Almond Ginger one! These also can cover your carb portion too.

Dessert Snack Ideas:

Officially making this a new category because when deprived of ice cream and cookies, us pregos definitely need a little treat…in moderation of course! Trial and error may give you additional sweet options.

  • Almonds + dark chocolate pretzel slims from Trader Joes
  • Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Almonds. I’ve never had these but they are AH-mazing!
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt + one cup of berries. Mix it up: Use raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or mixed berries, and add pecans/nuts and/or a dash of honey if you can get away with it.
  • 2 Bon Bons from Trader Joes + a protein, like 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter. I was lucky enough to be able to eat 2 Bon Bons at 7 carbs each and my blood sugar was fine in the morning.

Lunch & Dinner Ideas:

1-2 protein + 2-3 carb (one coming from veggies)

I find lunch particularly difficult because I have a hard time getting away from sandwiches every day and getting enough protein in. I’ve found the easiest thing is to eat dinner leftovers for lunch or opt for tuna. But not too much tuna because that’s bad too *eye roll*.

I’ve also noticed that eating out

Lettuce is pretty much a free for all so I have it with dinner almost every night with dinner and topped it with different things like tomatoes, cheeses, carrots, etc.

  • 2 chicken + lettuce + tomato + cheese wraps with balsamic vinaigrette on Carb Balance Tortillas. You can get creative with what all you put on these.
  • Baked salmon + asparagus + 1/3 sweet potato. On a baking sheet, I squeeze lemon juice on top of the salmon and rub with dijon mustard, letting it sit for about 30 minutes. Drizzle EVOO over the aspragus and top with a dash of kosher salt + pepper. Pop in the oven at 405 for 13 minutes and voila!
  • Salmon leftover + brown rice + salad.
  • Grilled chicken thigh + caprese salad + brown rice.
  • Tuna sandwich: 1 can tuna with cottage cheese (or mayo) + dijon mustard + celery + pepper on whole wheat bread. Salad on the side.
  • 1/2 Board & Brew Turkado sandwich on squaw bread. This is one of my favorite things ever so I did go against the no-deli-meat rule of pregnancy because I figure their meat is at least sliced fresh.
  • Chicken, beans, cheese and rice burrito.
  • Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with 1/2 banana cut up. Add cinnamon and a tiny drizzle honey if you can.

As you can tell, I go through peanut butter like no other. Cinnamon and other spices are fair game so that’s definitely the best way to make anything taste better and more exciting.

So what am I looking forward to most after baby is here?

Orange juice, BBQ sauce, ice cream sandwiches (these guys right here), blackberry jelly, having more than two Cuties at a time, not having to count out my almonds and Wheat Thins one by one and not scrambling for a protein at each meal, even when it doesn’t “go” with my carb.

However, this experience has been very educational for me and something I plan to continue to a way less strict scale. I will be more diligent about reading labels, adding protein and steering clear of foods with lots of added sugar.

If you have GD, I wish you the best of luck and hope you come away with the many positives that I have. Life altering for sure!

 

ClaudettesCorner

Easy-Peasy Hearty Chili

Let’s hear it for the easiest dinner (yet least photogenic hence no photo) ever: crockpot chili! Matt had quite a few things or moreso “mmMMM” sounds to say about my latest batch so I figured I should add it to the blog.

So let’s get right to it. Easy-peasy recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 package of ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis or jalepenos (or whatever “with BLANK” your heart desires!)
  • 10 oz tomato paste (1/3 of the large 32 oz can)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2 TBSP Kinders BBQ Rub (Matt threw this in when I wasn’t looking – great call!)
  • 2 TBSP Spicy Chili Powder (some sort of mix of chili powder and garlic and some other good stuff)
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TSP sugar
  • 1 TSP cumin
  • 1 few grinds of pepper

Toppings:

  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • tortilla strips

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground turkey in a pan.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients in the crock pot.
  3. Give it a good stir.
  4. Put on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8.
  5. Serve with cornbread! Our fav is from Trader Joes – surprise surprise.

 

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Easy Weeknight Dinner: Oven Baked Hash

I don’t know about you, but I’m super into easy, but delicious weeknight meals. If you have time to wait for dinner to be ready while you clean, shower, or work out, I have the perfect recipe for you. What I call “hash” is definitely one of our go-tos featuring pretty much any leftover veggies or meats that can be baked.

You can easily get in your protein, carb and veggie into one easy meal. Just chop, arrange, and add seasonings (salt/pepper, Italian seasoning blend, garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.) to your mix. Then pop that bad boy in the oven at 445 for 40 min or until a fork can easily go through a potato/brussel sprout and voila! Dinner is served…in a bowl.

Below are some of my favs to bake into hash:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Chorizo (or Soy Chorizo from TJs is bomb.com)
  • Chicken apple sausage
  • Green apples
  • Cherry tomatoes

 

ClaudettesCorner

11 Beauty Product Must-Haves Without Breaking the Bank

I’m all about finding good deals and beauty products are no exception. Here are my favorite budget beauty products that I’ve tested and trialed and absolutely LOVE!

  1. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate. For matte lipstick lovers, this is the BEST. It seriously stays on all day, it’s hydrating, smells good AND it’s only $4.99 at Target or Walgreens. My go-to color is 104.
  2. Nailtiques Formula. My mom heard about this through a friend so we tried it out together. My nails have always been a little weak and brittle, but after using this for a couple weeks, they were not only growing like crazy, but also growing out strong! Now, I only need to use it every few times I paint my nails.
  3. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish. Obsessed. I am an avid nail painter as all of my past roommates know, and I have to peel off everything and repaint anytime there’s a chip. While this isn’t as good as getting a real gel manicure, it lasts way longer than normal polish…about a week on fingers (without any chips) and up to a month on toes. Get it from Target since it’s $3-4 cheaper than other stores.
  4. Rosehip Oil. This is seriously a miracle product. I was searching for something to get rid of my melasma on my forehead and have tried both crop serum and lavender oil to no avail. I came across this formula and after about 3 months of using it fairly regularly, not only is my melasma almost gone, but I also have totally noticed that any small wrinkles I had are gone. Just a few drops a day does wonders for your skin and also makes it smell oh-so-good.
  5. Loreal Future-e Day Lotion with SPF 15. I’ve been using this for years because it doesn’t make me feel oily like a lot of other moisturizers I’ve tried. I apply this after the rosehip oil every morning. I only wish it came in SPF 30!
  6. St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub. I love this scrub because it totally keeps blackheads at bay but also keeps my face really soft and smooth. Get it at Target for less than $4.
  7. Benefit Gimme BROW. For someone who just wants a little extra brow definition, this stuff is great and easy to use.
  8. Shikai Color Reflect Platinum Shampoo. Perfect for anyone with blonde hair or blonde highlights that wants to keep that blonde nice and bright. Your stylist has probably used purple shampoo on you before and this is a cheap way to do it at home a couple times a week! Don’t worry, it’s not going to turn your brown hair blonde…it’ll just focus on the blonde parts.
  9. Shea Butter and Coconut Oil Hair Mask. For $4.99 at Trader Joes, this stuff is seriously amazing. My hair was instantly silkier and I ended up stocking up on more tubes because we all know that sometimes our favorite products may go out of stock for months at a time.
  10. Explore Naturals Deodorant. After trying out multiple different natural deodorants, this one is my favorite thus far. It leaves no smell, goes on smoothly.
  11. Loreal Ever Pure Shampoo/Conditioner. I looked for a good sulfate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner for awhile and tried out many different shampoos and conditioners. I have pretty fine hair and all of those I tried tended to leave my hair very flat, while this one leaves the volume but doesn’t come with the toxic ingredients.

What are your favorite beauty products? Comment below!

ClaudettesCorner

Olympic National Park & Seattle 4-Day Itinerary

I’ve been wanting to go to Olympic National Park for awhile and we finally booked a five-day trip into Seattle to go on our road trip. Olympic National Park is a ways from Seattle, especially if you want to check out the Hoh Rainforest, which is about 4.5 hours away.

We spent two nights at Three Rivers Resort and two nights at my good friend’s place in Redmond. A little over two days turned out to be plenty of time in the park.

One thing to note is that it’s a lot different than other national parks we’ve been to in that you can’t really drive around much INSIDE the park. All of the hot spots are located on the outer edges and there are no roads connecting them within the park, so you basically drive a loop around the entire park and enter into different locations.

Day 1

Lavendar Farms

lavender-field

En route to our first stop, Hurricane Ridge, we noticed a ton of lavendar fields in Port Angeles that we could stop at. When I saw the first sign for a farm, I yelled “go right!!” and my awesome husband immediately bee-lined down a side road towards the farm

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricnae-ridge

I was worried we wouldn’t have enough time to visit this part of the park but I am SO glad we made it happen. The drive up was a bit concerning since it was so foggy we could barely see four feet in front of the car, but as we got higher up, the clouds cleared and the sun was shining!

Hurricane Ridge is absolutely stunning from all angles. Not to mention, the visitor center overlooks snow capped mountains in the distance. I think this has to be the prettiest place I’ve ever eaten a PB&J.

There are multiple trails – a couple long ones and a few right around the visitor center, to get a feel for the area. We took all of the short ones and thought it was a perfect mix!

Elwha River

I’m all about random stops when I see something beautiful and this river definitely deserved it.

elwha river

Lake Crescent & Marymere Falls

Lake Crescent

I absolutely loved Lake Crescent! The water is a stunning mix of blues and greens and there are plenty of trails to tour around the area. We hiked to Marymere Falls and got a peak at the rainforest portion of Olympic National Park, before taking the trail down to the lake and back to our car.

Forks

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Accommodations are limited near the park, especially if you are wanting to go to the Hoh Rainforest. We ended up staying in Forks at the Three Rivers Resort, which I highly recommend. We were able to get two last-minute cabins – one being a “tiny house” complete with a bed located above the kitchen a bathroom, a mini hot tub and a large deck with a fire pit just outside. The second night we spent in a regular cabin which was also great.

The Twilight series took place in Forks, although our Indian friend said that it had to be filmed in Oregon. Forks is ALL ABOUT Twilight. Our resort in particular had an entire Twilight menu, a “beware of vampires sign” at the property. While I haven’t thought about Twilight in years, it was pretty cool to see how much of an impact a movie can make on tourism.

Rialto Beach

In July, it was super chilly and breezy here so make sure to dress accordingly. There were a ton of rocks on this beach and huge pieces of “driftwood”. By huge, I mean you stand on them and look small.

La Push

Fun Fact: In watching twenty minutes of Twilight in our cabin, La Push was referenced a couple times in regard to where Jacob lives. Other than that, I would recommend bringing some beer or wine and taking a seat on some driftwood. The one and only restaurant/bar for 20 minutes is located right next to the water, but good luck getting in! There was a two-hour wait on a Tuesday.

Day 2

Hoh River

Hoh Riverimg_5608

We booked a trip with a local Indian to fish the Hoh River. He gave us the choice of fishing at the hatchery or taking a “float” down the river. We decided to go with scenery over high odds of catching fish and the scenery did not disappoint! Even if you don’t want to fish for 6 hours, definitely make sure to walk along the river – it’s incredible

Hoh Rainforest

Hoh Rainforest

After our fishing trip, we drove back up the road to the entrance of Hoh Rainforest and into the park, which took about an hour. The main reason I wanted to go to Olympic National Park was to see the Hall of Mosses. And boy, they were amazing.

It was pretty crowded but luckily not too bad! There are a couple longer trails that have way less people on them as well. If you can’t make it all the way to Hoh Rainforest, you can check out Marymere Falls for a slightly less amazing rainforest.

Kalaloch Lodge

Okay, this was hands down our favorite place outside of the park. After a long day of fishing, visiting the Hoh Rainforest, and then exploring a couple more beaches nearby, we were pretty pooped and ready for a drink.

We got seated on the outdoor deck overlooking the beach and got lucky with t-shirt and shorts weather. We ended up hanging out on the deck for over three hours – quite possibly the longest we’re ever stayed at a restaurant.

Day 3

Quinault Lake Lodge

On our way back to Seattle, we stopped by Quinault for breakfast, which was excellent. The restaurant overlooks part of the lodge, a peaceful large lawn and the lake. Pretty much all you can ask for.

Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Landing

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I’m a big Nirvana fan, so we obviously had to stop by Kurt’s bridge in Aberdeen.

Tinderbox Coffee

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While in Aberdeen, I also found out I’m a big hemp milk fan. Not to mention lavender lattes…omgggg.

Seattle

Old Stove Brewing Company

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Surprise! Drinks with a view yet again. We met up with our friends and spent a couple hours enjoying the sea breeze and beers.

Kirkland

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When I think of Kirkland I think of Costco, of course. However, the town of Kirkland is anything but cheap and economical. It’s quite possibly the cutest town I’ve ever been to. Situated on the water, there are a few streets “downtown” with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. We had dinner at Cactus, a super hip Mexican place that makes dishes like Butternut Squash Enchiladas, which was to die for.

Day 4

Seattle

Portage Bay Cafe

Started the day off strong with a big brunch at Portage, which was bomb.com. With options like Burrito Nayarit featuring uli’s chorizo and a sunny-side up egg, or smoked salmon benedict, there are plenty of yummy options to choose from.

Fremont

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After breakfast, we continued on to Fremont, where Seattle’s famous Troll and Fremont Brewery lives.

Lake Washington

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For a small fee, you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and boats on Lake Washington. We settled on two canoes and spent an hour paddling around the lily pads, seeing turtles and tons of birds. Great way to end our trip!

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