Many are of the believe that to manage diabetes, one must be on medication (such as metformin). While every person’s situation is different, I was able to manage my blood sugar levels from the day of diagnosis until delivery without a single medication/pill. I have summarized below how I managed to do so with Diet, Exercise & Supplements.
Please note that the strategies I used and described below were predicated on:
1 – my understanding of the root cause of diabetes through so much research;
2 – endless reading on metabolic disorders;
3 – understanding the glycemic load and index of foods and effects on blood sugar;
4 – my deep conviction in always trying food & exercise first before pharmaceutical-based medication.
- Protein, Fat & Fiber was my guiding framework for how and what I ate. In every meal, I made sure I had quality source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber rich “whole” carbohydrates
- Quality sources of protein included lean, pasture-raised chicken, wild caught fish such as salmon, sardines, etc. and beans such as lentils and black eye peas. I liked these wild caught sardines from Wild Planet
- Healthy fats included avocados, coconut oil, nuts and nut butters such as almond and peanut butter
- Almost all my fiber sources where “whole” sources (i.e. not processed foods). These included sprouted quinoa, beans, whole fruits (instead of juices) and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin. Fiber was KEY in maintaining optimal blood sugar levels.
- I made sure I counted the “Total Carbohydrates” I ate for each meal and as much as possible to stay within the values provided by the Nutritionist that my insurance company paid for me to consult with.
- This is all about going back to the traditional way of eating whole foods before processing became a thing for our “modern & convenient” lives
- I learned a lot about Whole Food Plant Based Eating while researching diabetes and metabolic disorders in general.
- While I still eat some animal products to a minimal extent, my eating philosophy has changed to eating “whole food” and not “processed foods”
- For instance, instead of drinking apple juice, I would eat a whole apple; I’d have a whole orange instead of drinking orange juice. I would eat bread made with whole grains instead of processed white flour.
- I stopped using table sugar to sweeten anything and would use whole fruits as much as possible – e.g. berries, banana, dates, and sometimes a tsp of natural raw honey.
- Walk, walk, and walk some more - though mountain hiking as shown above is not advised or necessary :). While exercising may be tough and some forms not recommended depending on stage of pregnancy, walking however is one of the generally safe exercise for any stage.
- I used to go for a 15-20 min walk after lunch each day as part of my 1hr lunch break at work. I would eat dinner by 7pm most times and go for another 15-20 min walk.
- I used to do a few dumb bell lifts too whenever my body was up for it, especially the nights I didn’t go for a walk.
- I swapped out my chair at work for an exercise ball and would alternate sitting on the ball and standing while working
- Basically I tried as much as possible to do exercises that would engage muscles groups in order to promote absorption of the sugar from the blood into the cells.
- Magnesium Oil: Besides the prenatal vitamins I was taking, the other supplement I took was magnesium oil. I took it after reading about how magnesium supports the cells mitochondrial function and it’s effect on overall metabolic processes.
- I used this Life-Flo Pure Magnesium Oil that I would spray under my feet every night before going to bed.
- Cinnamon: After reading about how cinnamon promotes stable blood sugar levels, I spoke with my doctor and was given the ok to add it to foods more than I was accustomed to doing. I would add it to beverages such as tea, as well as oatmeal, smoothies, etc.
- I used this quality organic Ceylon cinnamon from Naturevibe
With the above strategies I was able to manage the gestational diabetes without taking medication. I must say, it wasn’t easy especially the times I had strong cravings for foods that weren’t quite good for a diabetic, but I managed to combine the above strategies to control my blood sugar levels. Please be sure to discuss with your doctor before using any of the strategies/products I mentioned above.
Disclaimer: My notes above in no way serve as medical advice to anyone. Please consult your doctor on the best care for managing your gestational diabetes.