The Breakfast Blues—The Hardest Meal of the Day When You Have Gestational Diabetes
I hate breakfast when I have gestational diabetes.
Confession: I love carbs and sweets. I love breakfast foods such as omelettes, pancakes, French toast, waffles, donuts and cereal. Man, I love cereal so much I’ll eat it for dinner.
But I hate breakfast when I’m pregnant.
I developed gestational diabetes early in both of my pregnancies (early being before week 20). Once the placenta took charge, it messed with my hormones and increased my insulin resistance. (At least that’s how one specialist explained it to me.) Both times I had to manage my blood sugar levels with diet, exercise and insulin.
The hardest meal of the day was breakfast. I had to keep the carbohydrate count lower at breakfast than lunch or dinner. Do you know how carb loaded traditional breakfast foods are? I didn’t until I was forced to examine labels and limit them.
Even staying within the allotted amount of carbs didn’t guarantee good numbers. I measured out my favorite cereal and milk, but my glucose test would be too high. Lunch was generally fine as long as I counted them. And dinner rarely gave me high numbers, even if I went a little over on my carb count. I learned that it’s not unusual for your body to be more insulin resistant in the morning than later in the day.
The other issue I was facing was a high fasting level. It was a known issue when we were trying to conceive, but my fasting numbers were within normal range at the start of each pregnancy. It’s like an uphill battle to eat and expect normal levels when you wake up with high fasting numbers.
No wonder I’m not a morning person.
It took some trial and error to figure out what I could eat in the mornings. It was important to eat! However, not all carbs are created equal and our bodies can react differently to the same foods. Cereal, juice and fruit were out. I could safely eat some fruit for lunch or dinner, but not at breakfast. Once I found something that kept my numbers in check, I decided to stick with it.
So for breakfast I had one slice of peanut butter toast with one 8 ounce glass of milk nearly every single morning for not one, but TWO pregnancies.
To say that got boring is an understatement. Occasionally I mixed it up and had eggs and bacon with buttered toast, but most mornings it was easier to stick with my tried and true peanut butter toast.
So, yeah, sometimes we had breakfast for dinner. I liked it, but not as much as breakfast for breakfast.
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