Sunday, November 11, 2007

Healthy eating

I can't really give breastfeeding all the credit for the weight loss because I have definitely been eating a lot healthier than when Maylin was a newborn. I can thank the people at the John Muir Diabetes Center in Concord for educating me, and I can thank my body for getting gestational diabetes during the end of my pregnancy with Stefan because otherwise, I wouldn't have found myself at that center.

When I had gestational diabetes, I was able to control my blood sugar through my diet. Low carbs, lots of veggies/fiber, some protein. There was a very strict meal plan and I stuck to it. It was tough, and though I don't keep exactly the same regime, I have incorporated the healthier foods into my daily life.

My breakfast hasn't changed too much. Instead of two, I have three slices of yummy Alvarado Street Bakery Essential Flaxseed Bread which has only 6 net carbs per slice ( with about 2-3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (only ingredients: peanuts and salt). I also either have a small banana or fat free yogurt with blueberries and honey. A glass of flash-pasteurized orange juice (Tropicana tastes the best) is my special treat which was entirely off-limits before.

Lunch is oftentimes a two-egg omelette with cheese and veggies, with more veggies or some fruit on the side.

Dinner is some meat (pork chops, roast beef, grilled chicken breast) and veggies (steamed or stir-fried) with brown rice, usually.

Snacks are usually fruit or low-fat string cheese, with an occasional piece of Halloween candy (thanks, Mom).

And as a mommy with little time to cook (plus, I'm exhausted by 5 pm), I find it absolutely necessary to start prepping for dinner IN THE MORNING! Otherwise, you can say "goodbye" to healthy dinners. After I drop off Maylin at the bus stop, I start cleaning and chopping veggies, and marinating meat for a stir-fry or browning meat for the slow-cooker (a.k.a. crockpot). When I realized all my Chinese vegetables (green, leafy type) were slowly rotting in the fridge (no time to rinse those things three times to get all the dirt off), I opted to only buy what I call "easy veggies." These fresh vegetables are perfect for moms who want the lowest prep time possible (quick rinse, quick chop). Here's my shortlist:

(when in season)
- corn on the cob
- asparagus (I can't buy it anymore because Stefan gets horrible gas after I eat it)
- broccoli (Maylin eats this!)
- carrots (Maylin eats this raw with hummus)
- cauliflower (Maylin will eat one piece with coaxing)
- bell peppers (the red ones are delicious raw by themselves or with hummus)
- squash (so many varieties in the winter!)
- tomatoes

(for flavoring, have fresh on hand)
- green onions (scallions)
- cilantro
- onions (yellow and red)
- shallots
- garlic
- ginger

I buy frozen imported French green beans from Trader Joe's because they're cheaper, faster to cook (no cleaning, trimming), delicious, and will be eaten by Maylin (as long as I don't cook them with onion). Frozen peas are good, too.

I don't buy potatoes anymore because they're so starchy (not great for diabetics).

I plan on incorporating some fresh seafood into our diet soon.

I don't have time to plan meals based on recipes, so I've been improvising mostly. It's the most fun to cook creatively anyways.

Maylin and I did have some time yesterday (Stefan was really good) to bake her requested apple pie. I think it was my first crust from scratch and it was easy (1.5 cups flour, .5 cup butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons cold water). Maylin did most of the work, too. How fun for a kid to have permission to get really dirty. She combined the flour/salt and the butter with her fingers until it looked like corn meal. How fun to have permission to get dirty. The filling was very easy, too. Thinly-sliced Granny Smith apples (3 peeled and cored) with fresh lemon juice and sugar. It was a very simple pie, but it was also simply delicious!

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