Monday, April 25, 2016

Living life by the numbers, and a recipe

So, last time I mentioned that I'd have to start daily blood sugar testing for gestational diabetes. I went off to diabetic education, which actually helped me a lot. I was given some guidelines on what foods to eat. (Thankfully I may not have to continue all this later after the baby comes, but my risk for type 2 diabetes is now higher.)

Essentially, I'm limited to 30 grams of carbohydrates for breakfast, 15 - 20 for snacks, and 40 - 50 for lunch and dinner. I test my blood sugar when I wake up, and then an hour after each meal. (Thankfully the little lancet I use to draw my blood is so tiny it barely hurts. I've done worse with a sheet of paper or a loose staple.) My numbers need to be below 95 first thing in the morning, and below 140 an hour after eating. I'm encouraged to continue exercising in whatever form I can manage, and to take a little walk if my sugar reads high.

Now, the human body is an amazing thing. I could start the day with the same reading, eat the same breakfast all week (which I did - eggs and two slices of gluten free toast, 30 grams of carbs exactly), and come up with radically different readings based on my stress level alone. If I sat down for a cuddle with Tristan after breakfast, my sugar level might be only 115 an hour after my eggs. If I ate my eggs and hopped in the car and drove for an hour in stressful conditions (happened) my sugar level might be 155! How is that fair?

Not to mention we've been continuing to deal with very heavy, stressful, difficult problems around here, and it came to a head the same week I got my monitor and had to start testing. I begged my doctor not to hold that week's numbers against me, since we were barely home and my stress level was through the roof.

I got tired very quickly of eggs for breakfast - anyone who's done a low-carb diet for long will understand - so I started seeking out high fiber, low carb, gluten free baked good recipes. Who knew that would be so tough?  ;)  Actually, it was pretty simple - baking with almond and coconut flours is pretty easy, and stevia is an acceptable sweetener. The trick is the consistency - I made some excellent, high protein, high fiber, low carb, gluten free blueberry muffins. The only issue is that they don't hold together as well as "standard" muffins. Maybe they need more eggs? But they taste SO good, and I don't feel like I'm gagging down dry, rubbery, or greasy food to fuel my body. And unlike other gluten free muffins, I don't eat one and say "hmm, maybe I'd better eat something... oh yeah" - these are pretty satisfying.

I used this recipe if anyone wants to try it!

  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour, 1 1/2 cups coconut flour (or 3 cups almond flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups water (less if using only almond flour)
  • Sweetener to taste -- I used 20 packets of stevia (not the baking mix, the straight stevia. The baking mix is half sugar and will double the carb count)
1) Preheat oven to 350 F.

2) Grease your muffin tins. This recipe makes 2 dozen, because with my family making less is just a waste of time. I freeze some to make sure I have breakfast all week.

3) Mix dry ingredients together well.

4) Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly (You don't want strings of egg white in there and you don't have to worry about "tunnels" when you are using almond meal).

5) Put in muffin tins (about 1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm and golden brown. They don't rise a whole lot, so don't worry if they seem small.

Variations: Add 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries for blueberry muffins.

3 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 185 calories per muffin. It's less carbs if you use only almond flour, but coconut flour is slightly cheaper, so I'm trying to make it stretch. If you use only almond flour, you can use less water - coconut flour is very thirsty and absorbs a lot of liquid.

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