Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I found out that I had gestational diabete when I was 6 month 1/2 pregnant. Since then, I have been on a very strict diet. I cannot eat anything with sugar in it, and I must be careful of the quantity of starchy food and fruits I eat.

Here is my diet:
For breakfast: 0.18 lbs of bread or 0.14 lbs of cereal (without sugar of course)+ a little bit of butter to put on my bread + milk + tea without sugar (if needed) + a small fruit (if needed).
For lunch: Meat or fish or 2 eggs or ham + about 10 tbs of starchy food (pasta, rice, beans, mashpotatoes...) or 5 small potatoes, or 0.22 lbs of bread + at least two vegetables raw or cooked + 1 fruit + 1 yogourt or 0.07lbs of cheese.
For snack: 1 yogourt or 1 glass of milk + 1 fruit or 0.09 lbs of bread + 1 fruit.
For dinner: Same as for lunch.

That's what the dietician gave me at the hospital: my special diet!!!

Yes, it doesn't look like a lot of fun! Especially if you consider that I LOVE cookies and crèpes and pancakes and fruits and juices and pies... And I love cooking. My food before I got pregnant was usually quite healthy anyway, but to not eat ANYTHING with sugar in it, that has been really tough for me. I do it though, because it is very important for the health of my baby. But the first three weeks were awful, I felt like a drug addict who couldn't have her dose of sugar. It is amazing how sugar is addictive. And it's in everything we eat! Like, if you buy a pizza at the grocery store, there will be sugar added in it! Why??? Thanks God I love cooking, because you cannot trust the ready-made food or fast food, they put sugar in everything in order to make you eat more!
As tough as it is, I am glad I am on this diet, because in the end I didn't gain too much weight, which I really didn't want to, and I realized that we can reduce a lot of the sugar we eat that is not necessary. Like now I can drink hot milk without sugar and I like it, or I make pear or apple pies without any addiction of sugar and it tates really good. You just use other tricks, like adding cinnamon, or using very sweet fruits.

But I do miss some things, like a muffin once in awhile, or pancakes, or "pain perdu" in the morning, or even a huge smoothie with lots of fruits in it. There are some fruits that I cannot eat so much, like bananas or grapefruits. But my favorite fruit is now khaki. It taste like candy...

Also, I have to check the sugar in my blood very often, which is tough for me because I HATE blood tests, I find that desgusting. I have to check my blook at the clinical laboratory every other week, once before eating anything in the morning and a second time two hours after lunch. And I have to check my blood at home twice a week, six times a day with this thing:

Once I checked my blood, I have to write down my rates 
so that my midwife can see how good a patient I've been :-)

I did have one day off on my diet: I ate one of my FAVORITE things ever: a "galette des rois". This is a traditional French pie that we trationally eat on the 6th of January, to celebrate Epiphany. Quote from the website (I am too lazy to try to explain what it is exactly myself...): Here in France, almost as soon as we are done eating our buche de Noêl, it is time to slice into this frangipane filled puffed pastry. In fact the two cakes overlap somewhat at the grocery store - in one aisle we can buy a discounted buche, and in the next the first of a month's worth of galettes.
Traditionally, the galette des rois is made to celebrate Epiphany, which falls on the 6th of January, twelve days after Christmas. The cake is eaten in celebration of the arrival of the three kings who have traveled from afar with gifts for the newborn baby. In practice, people eat this galettethroughout January and, dare I say, it is a rather unreligious event for most.
A dried bean, known as 
la fève, is hidden in the cake, and whoever receives the bean in his piece of cake, is crowned king or queen for the duration of the party. Other popular traditions, include having the youngest member of the gathering sit under the table and designate to whom each piece of cake should be served.

Me eating my favorite pie, I enjoyed every bite of it!!!
That night I only ate a vegetable soup to go with it 
but I didn't mind. It was SOOOO GOOD!!!
French "galette des rois"

Apart from this ULTRA GOOD pastry, I would die to eat one of those:

Home-made cupcakes with frosting...

Home-made Portuguese pastry called "pasteis de nata"... sooo good!

Home-made pancakes and one with a heart shape...

I can't have French fries (too heavy) or corn (too sweet)...

Too heavy, plus they add sugar in those pizzas... I can't have it either!

I love sashimi, but I can't eat raw fish while pregnant 
(not for diabete but for other reasons) and I can't have soy sauce (there's sugar in it)...

Another of my favorite French pastries: "Pain au chocolat aux amandes"
it is DELICIOUS!!!!
And "crèpe au Nutella", my God, this is the absolute best!!!

Aah, just seeing those pictures makes me dream of the day when I can eat those things again... Normally, my diabete should stop after the baby's born. But I know I will have to be careful not to gain 20 lbs in a week after the baby comes, eating all the stuff I couldn't eat for the last three months of my pregnancy!
But it did me well because I managed to keep a pretty decent body, actually I think I look even better than before I got pregnant, all the fat in my body is gone, not that there was a lot but still, now I have a better face. 
It is rewarding when people tell me that I look great and how amazed they are to see how I didn't gain any weight other than my belly. People from my family and friends, but also people in stores or even in the street. I've suffered from this diet because it is very frustrating, but it's a good thing in the end. Like my man says "it is a blessing in desguise".

The first days were terrible. I felt very angry and depressed. I wanted to eat sweet things and from one hour to the next, I couldn't. I litteraly cried of frustration. I felt so sad when passing by a bakery... Now that I've gotten over the unbearable frustration, I laugh at those moments... It was really like stopping smoking for an addict, it was tough. But I am proud I made it through and my baby is healthy and he will not have any problem like hypoglycemia or excess weight after birth. I held on to my love for him when it was really tough.

Each of my two children relieved me from an addiction: I stopped smoking when I was pregnant with my daughter and this time I regulated the sugar in me, which is a very good thing in the end.

Still, my ideal menu after birth: sashimi, spicy Chinese noodle soup and a BIG carrot cake for desert!!! I love Asian food: Chinese, Japanese, Korean food...

I will try to not go crazy though, I like the way I look and I don't want to lose this image that I have of me now.


Bohemian Life said...

Oh so many yummy food there, I´m curious how tastes the portuguese pastry, or "Pain au chocolat aux amandes" :) But I am sure it is delicious ;) Hope this autumn we can taste all those and many more delicious things in Paris, if everything goes well :)
I am sure, it must be hard for you, but health for you and your baby is the most important! :) How is it now, after you´ve gave birth to your lovely baby boy? Hope everything is fine.
Take care

Anabelle Tess said...

Thank you!!!
Are you guys coming in Paris? If so, you have to try the "pain au chocolat aux amandes" it is DELICIOUS!
I am going to post the recipe for the "pasteis de nata" so that you can make some, it is so good.

My diabete problem is over, is usually goes away as soon as the baby comes. No health problem for him either. I just have to be careful because I could develop a regular diabete later if I eat too much yummy things :-(

Thanks for your concern and take care!

French Cannes Cannes said...

galette des rois! sooo good!!! (how did you survive for your entire pregnancy??) three cheers for your willpower :-)

Anabelle Tess said...

Thanks!!! Yes, it was TOUGH and I still don't know how I survived... Now I think I gained a hundred kilos since my baby came and I can eat whatever I want, I have to think of going back on a diet again, this is sad!!!

I went to your blog and got hooked, but it is super late and I have to go back to sleep if I want to be able to stand up tomorrow... I hope I'll find some time to read more from your blog. Now I am at a moment where I have to choose: to write or to read!

A plus tard!

Bohemian Life said...

Annabelle, yes, we hope that this autumn we will finally visit France :)
ANd the we are looking forward for the recipe, not for both of them, because I trust you-it looks fantastic ;)
So that is great, that both of you are ok :) And variant is also to eat small quantity of the sweets you love most ;) so you can enjoy the best things you love!
Take care!