I’ve been pretty hungry, 24/7, most of my life. I’ve assumed it’s related to my history of hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. I figured with pregnancy just about every day would be a surprise for me – so many new things, feelings, emotions, challenges etc. But I 100% underestimated how much more hungry I could be some days. It’s dumb; I know.
I was also completely blindsided by my sudden onset cravings for lemonade and cheese (separately). It was definitely frustrating – I was hardly eating any dairy before pregnancy and then suddenly baby wanted cheese to be it’s own food group. I’m not a nutritionist, but I can guess cheese should not be so prominent in one’s diet that it becomes it’s own food group. Luckily, I’m making progress on my way to cutting dairy most days for the remainder of my pregnancy (like with my surprisingly delicious and healthy cheese free enchiladas).
I knew I had to keep my eating under control for several reasons. I want my baby to be healthy. I want my good health streak to continue. I want to maintain good habits where I can so they may be easier to maintain once baby is born. I don’t want to gain more than the average pregnancy weight. And of course – I wanted to pass my glucose tolerance test. I don’t want any excess insulin or sugar in our bloodstreams.
A few pretty awesome things happened earlier this month…
I mustered up the strength to get my glucose tolerance test over with. I planned it for a day when I was not working. I had the proper macronutrient ratio of foods ready for my husband to bring me when he picked me up from the lab. I had a pillow and a blanket with me. I tried to think positively – at least this was only a 2 hour one (and not my first one many years ago that was 6 hours). I was prepared. I was prepared to guzzle down that ominous orange liquid like a champ. Having learned my lessons years prior, I pinched my nose so as to not taste the super saturated sugar infusion.
I sat patiently with two other mamas to be as we waited out the test. I was pleasantly surprised to find after 2 hours, I was only slightly dizzy. My husband picked me up, I ate my well proportioned meal and waited. I waited to feel worse. I waited to pass out – comfortably on my couch. I waited for the inevitable.
Two hours later, I was still feeling pretty good. 3 hours later, also feeling pretty good. By the late afternoon, I was confident I wouldn’t in fact pass out in a “nap” like years past. Instead, I went for a long walk. And I felt fine the rest of the day (not as great the next day, but beggars can’t be choosers)
I had been hopeful that my hard work and reducing stress over the years would pay off, and the next day I got the results. I passed. Not just passed, but not even in the insulin resistance range! Better than my last previous glucose tolerance tests, the last of which taken when I was younger, thinner, running 15+ miles a week and on the max therapeutic dosage of Metformin. WTF? Whatevs, I’m thankful. Some things aren’t meant to be understood. My before and post 2 hour glucose levels were much lower than I’m comfortable with, but I just took that as I sign that I should test my glucose more often and watch out for hypoglycemia unawareness. Overall, my body seems to be agreeing with the hormonal changes of pregnancy and we’ll just have to re-evaluate after pregnancy.
Glucose tolerance test over with, I know I still need to be good for the health of the both of us.
Do I try to have most of my snacks be fresh fruits and vegetables? Absolutely! Do I succeed at that? Sometimes/most of the time. Am I human? You betchya! So I’m always looking for the best snack alternatives to have on hand. I not talking about snacks I make I’m talking about craving striking, I’m an impulsive human type of snacks. I’m really trying not to eat processed foods, but once again, I find myself being human. Here are the best I’ve found.
Hail Merry Review: The Most Decadent and Moderately Healthy Sweet Snacks You Will Ever Encounter
I picked up some vanilla and lemon bites by Hail Merry on a whim the other week, and now I’m a fiend for any and all Hail Merry products.
What’s not to love about the scrumptious coconut based treats? Let me blow your mind: They are dairy free, vegan, gluten free, kosher and non-gmo. And they are just sweetened with maple syrup. The only sweeteners I can really tolerate is maple syrup or dates. I hate stevia, don’t do well with honey or agave and obi avoid artificial sweeteners. Regular sugar is sometimes OK (I mean not OK but OK, you know what I mean 🙂 ). I prefer to eat sweet things I make myself because I can control the added sweetener but these are just right: not too sweet at all.
Could you make the Hail Merry bites yourself? Probably. They are mostly shredded coconut, coconut oil, almond flour and a few other ingredients. But if you’re like me, you don’t always have time to DIY or to DIY correctly.
All of the bites I’ve tried are amazing. I can’t wait to find the chocolate chip flavor. The Hail Merry chocolate almond butter cups are beyond device. You will never want to eat Reese’s again (but if you don’t want to another alternative I would suggest are dark chocolate sunflower seed butter cups). And the Hail Merry tarts are just giant versions of the cups, so, obvi they are amazing.
What’s not to love about Hail Merry products? You still have to pace yourself. Definitely a check-yourself-before-you-wreck-yourself situation. These are not low-calorie items because of all the good coconut and almond fat.
When You have a Salty Craving: Pumpkin seeds, Barbecue Chips and Seaweed
Beanfields Barbecue Bean and Rice Chips Review
One of my many weaknesses is barbecue potato chips. It was hard to break that habit but somehow healthy black bean dip did, for the most part. But pregnancy is a whole new ball game so yes I do indulge from time to time. I was psyched however to find Beanfields Barbecue flavored Bean and rice chips – with supposedly 1450% more protein and 200% more fiber than tortilla chips. These vegan and gluten free black bean, navy bean and brown rice-based chips are still in fact chips: while they don’t contain soy lecithin like so many processed foods (yipee!) they do contain stevia, “natural” flavors and a mix of safflower/sunflower oil. Lot’s of great spices though to get that appropriate BBQ flavor.
SuperSeedz Tomato Italiano Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Review
Have you ever had pizza flavored Pepperidge Farm Goldfish snacks? Yeah I haven’t in a long time but sometimes want them. So sometimes I’ll indulge in Annie’s organic cheddar bunnies that I “buy for my husband”, but trying to curb the whole dairy thing, I found these spiced pumpkin seeds as an alternative. They are pretty good and have the added benefit of pumpkin seed nutrition (yay zinc!). These soy-free non-gmo snackums don’t have any natural flavors or oil mixes like the Beanfields chips. Just lots of great Italian spices and flavor! (perhaps a little too much flavor – I whipped these out on a plain ride and my husband cautioned me that their aroma may be stronger than I realize).
Gimme Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks Review
I used to see roasted seaweed snacks all the time in Whole Foods but I always passed them up – who wants to eat seaweed? But when I was giving up diet coke cold turkey and trying to curb my stress-eating-at-work processed foods addiction, I grabbed these from the work snack bin. Turns out these salty, slightly greasy seaweed sheets are DELICIOUS and you just might trick yourself into thinking you ate some salty chips. I know buy these for home. They aren’t particularly filling and they do have sunflower oil in them, but they get to that salty craving fix. Also I think I heard seaweed is supposed to be good for my thyroid? Maybe?
When You Just Gotta Have that Sugar in Your PCOS Pregnancy (or life in general)
Equal Exchange Organic Fairly Traded Panama Extra Dark Chocolate 80% Cacao Review – Healthy Dark Chocolate
Like most humans, I love chocolate. But I don’t mess around: it’s dark chocolate or bust. I prefer 80% or above (which is supposed to be good for me? right? flavinoids and such?) Finding the right healthy dark chocolate over time has been difficult and left me feeling like Goldilocks: this ones too sweet, this ones too bitter, etc. But a few years ago I found Equal Exchange panama extra dark organic dark chocolate and it totally its the spot. It’s completely satisfying: no need to have chocolate cake or ice cream for dessert when you could have a square or 2 of this organic fair trade dark chocolate. It’s too bitter for my husband’s taste, so I got him addicted now to their dark chocolate salted caramel flavor. I find these at Whole Foods regularly but you can also sometimes find them on Amazon Prime delivery!
SuperSeedz Coco Joe Chocolate Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds Review
When you need both salty and sweet, these cocoa and salt dusted pumpkin seeds hit the jackpot! These soy free non-gmo pumpkin seed snacks are packed with protein, iron and zinc. Like the Italian spiced versions above they are also gluten free, dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free and egg free. It does have coffee (like a good brownie recipe that has cocoa, a little salt and a little coffee) and added (organic) sugar so those you will want to keep in mind.
Torie & Howard Organic Chewie Fruities Review
One Sunday I was grocery shopping and I just needed candy. Fruity candy. Suddenly. Badly. Had to have it. I happened upon Torie and Howard organic fruit chews and bought them on a whim. It’s kind of a problem. My husband and I are both now addicted. They are essentially organic versions of Starbursts, but better. These amazing little fruity wonder chews are GMO-free, organic, dairy free, soy free, corn syrup free, gluten free, wheat free and don’t have artificial dies. But they are still candy. They still have citric acid, rice syrups and things like that. And they are manufactured in a facility with nuts (if you have a nut allergy). But these are by far the best organic fruity candies I have found.