Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Surviving the Pregnancy Glucose Test

The one test that I am terrified of...THE GLUCOSE TEST! Since I am overweight, and I have PCOS, I am "more likely" or prone to develop diabetes in my lifetime. Or so I have been told by my docs. I have taken 5 glucose tests. 2 before I was pregnant at the very start of our fertility treatment back in 2004. I failed the 1 hour test (I had a cookie before I went in. I didn't really understand what it was for!) And I had to do the 3 hour fasting test. It was awful. I was starving, and my veins kept rolling so they stuck me about 7 times instead of the typical 3. I was covered in bruises on my arms because of the test for weeks! I passed it just fine and was relieved to know that I wasn't any where near being considered pre-diabetic. Turn that to pregnancy though where 1 in 10 women develop Gestational Diabetes and I am still over weight...Needless to say I have been a bit nervous to get my test done! 

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar control gets worse during a woman's pregnancy. The test is generally given between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. The screening test most commonly used in the United States is an initial 50-gram 1-hour glucose challenge test. If the result on the GCT is abnormal (greater than 140 after one hour), the expectant mom will be given a 100-gram 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test. Where the blood is drawn multiple times over a 3 hour period to see how the sugar is absorbed by the body.

My doc gave me a little sheet of paper with the dos and don'ts before the test. So first of all...listen to your doc. All docs are different. Some might have you fast before the 1 hour test, some might not. Do what your doc says. But if you are looking for info with what it is like, or about...keep reading! 

Plus Size Pregnancy Guide To Surviving The Glucose Tolerance Test

What To Expect: 
You will arrive at your doctors office or out patient facility and be given a super sugary drink and then have to wait 1 hour for your blood to be drawn. The drink has different flavors; orange, fruit punch and lime. The office might not have the different flavors to choose from. I have only had the orange flavor and was never offered a choice in flavor. To me it tastes like a flat orange soda from McDonalds. Overly sweetened and just blah. You have 5 minutes to drink the entire drink. I chug it as fast as I can because I just don't like the orange flavor. The other two flavors would be similar to flat Hawaiian punch for the fruit punch and sprite for the lime. 

What to do:

1) EAT
Depending on the test you are taking and If allowed and doc approved. EAT SOMETHING in the morning. I will do whatever I can to make sure that I have my test first thing in the morning so that I don't have to fight any temptations during the day or the foods that I do eat don't affect my levels. I made sure to wake up at 7am, have a nice big glass of water, and I made 2 eggs over medium and that was it. I don't drink coffee and I didn't want to eat any carbs at all. Good or bad. If you see below here is what my doc said to do and do not do.

Ok to eat: 
black coffee
peanut butter on a whole wheat muffin

Do Not eat: 
Sweets, treats. 
White bread 
Fruit (I know, but fruit has sugar in it and you don't want it to affect your score)

2) Drink Water
Did you know that drinking water before a blood draw helps the blood come out easier. I have hard veins to find. Thanks to fertility treatment and the hundreds of blood draws I had to take, I learned the perfect vein that we have called "Old Faithful". You can tap that vein multiple times and it will always be faithful. But I have to always point it out and tell the tech, "it is super deep but it won't let you down." And every time I am right!  I was told during my fertility treatment to always drink water before blood draw to help make it easier for it to be drawn. Blood is about 50% water so the more water you drink the plumper your veins are and can be easier for the tech or nurse to locate your vein and draw your blood! 

3) Bring A Book
Come prepared to sit and wait for awhile. First of all you have to register, and often times you are allowed to pre-register for labor and birth at the hospital. Which can take some time. I was lucky this time around that they brought me my drink before I was registered. Because it took 45 minutes for them to call my name and register me. 

4) Use The Bathroom
If you have to go, go. Since you already had a big glass of water before you arrived chances are you are going to have to need to pee again, and hey you are pregnant. So if you need to go, tell the attendant that you need to go and go! 

5) Be ok with whatever happens
Trust your body and your baby. As nervous as this test makes people there really isn't anything you can do to ensure that you pass. The only thing you can do is to not eat sugar before the test to ensure that the results are as correct as possible. But it is your body that does the processing of the sugar in your blood stream and it will do what it does no matter what you do. You might be average weight, eating a healthy diet and still not pass the 1 hour test. And have to do the 3 hour test where you pass. Our bodies all respond in different ways when we are pregnant. Regardless of what happens it is best to adopt a healthy diet for you and your baby eating protein, good carbs, fruits and veggies and limiting the sweets that you do eat while pregnant. That will help you control your weight gain while pregnant and make it easier to lose the weight after baby arrives.

6) Prepare for the rest of the day
You might not feel too well the rest of the day. Don't plan anything strenuous throughout the day. Take it easy and eat sugar less foods and drink lots of water. I honestly ate more protein following my test and didn't have really any carbs. I just didn't want any more sugar. 

What If I Fail the 1 Hour test? 
Then you will be asked to come back in and take a fasting 3 hour test. Where they will draw your blood, then have you drink the drink and check your blood levels 1 hour and 2 hours after the drink has been consumed. Based on the levels presented during the following draws will determine if you have Gestational Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes can be maintained through a healthy diet and implementing exercise for the remainder of the pregnancy to even possibly testing your blood sugar levels throughout the day. You might have extra appointments and even ultrasounds to watch the growth of your baby and to make sure things are going as planned. And often Gestational Diabetes only affects the mom while pregnant and insulin levels can return to normal after the baby is born.

Alternatives to the test: 
I have heard, but haven't talked to my own doctor about possible alternatives to taking the test. By doing a banana challenge, eating a bunch of bananas and then having your blood drawn the same way. Or through other blood draws. If you don't want to take the test you can always discuss with your doctor if there are alternative tests you can do to avoid drinking the drink. Talk with your doc and see what they say!

Hope this helps! Oh...I never did say, but I passed my glucose test. I found out yesterday! I have now passed with all 3 of my pregnancies. YAY! I am living proof that you can have a fit and healthy plus size pregnancy! 

Good luck to all you mommas. Just know that your body is going to do what it does. And remember your body is already doing amazing things. It is making your baby for you! Eat right, exercise and know that you are doing everything you can do to have a healthy and fit plus size pregnancy! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bump Update: 26 Weeks

 Here we are! It is kind of flying by which is weird because the first 14 weeks crawled by and now it is like it is super hyper speed. I am sure that the last 10 weeks will crawl by too. It is just how it works I guess. I found out this morning that I passed my Glucose Tolerance Test! YAY! You have no idea how happy that makes me. It is seriously the one test in my entire pregnancy that I worry about. Since I am overweight and have a higher BMI I am pre-disposed to develop it but with all 3 of my pregnancies, I have never had it! YAY! I will have a post on how to survive the test up soon!!!

This week, I have been suffering from my pulled round ligament that I pulled while pregnant with Collin. As my belly is growing the round ligament is getting more and more stretched. I just get these super sharp pains that suck! They really are horrible. I have to take it easy when I squat down to pick stuff up. I just have to be careful when I move sometimes. I am also not pushing my body as much during yoga so that I don't over stretch it. I feel so flexible right now (thank you to the hormone relaxin!) but I know that if I overdo it again, then I won't be able to MOVE! Listen to your body! That is the best advice!

Total Weight Gain:  13 pounds total weighing in at 250.6 pounds.

Symptoms: Lack of sleeping well. Tired a lot of the day, and round ligament pain from my pulled ligament from my last pregnancy. It sucks! 
Baby’s Size: Eggplant (~9.2 inches, 2 pounds)
Maternity Clothes: Yes, bottoms need to wear maternity or stretchy pants. Tops I wear maternity now and my bigger t-shirts. I am really on the hunt for good pregnancy exercise pants to wear, as I don't have any and I just stretch into my old ones. Oh and a good nursing sports bra. Yeah, I'm on the hunt! (Wearing my new Fabletics tank and sports bra in these pictures.)
Stretch Marks: I already have a ton that I got when I gained weight years ago. So nothing new. I am using Honest Company belly balm right now though to help my belly stretch so I do not get any new ones.
Gender: GIRL!!! 
Sleep: HORRIBLE! I have been tossing and turning, and I have restless leg syndrome. I am just kicking like crazy while I sleep. Plus she is starting to move at night more and it wakes me up, or when I flip over it wakes her and she kicks me to tell me to go back to sleep. She is a feisty one! I have been trying to combat poor sleep with listening to my hypnobirthing as I fall asleep. It seems to be helping, I am having better nights than bad.
Miss Anything: Sleeping comfortably flat on my belly or back! Sleeping through the night. 
Cravings: Veggies. Anything with lots of veggies looks amazing to me. It is kind of insane that I have turned into a veggie craving lady! I mainly have just been trying to make sure I am eating what I am supposed to be eating. Shakeology everyday. Enough veggies, protein, fruits and right kinds of carbs and so forth. And some indulgent treats here and there.
Aversions: nothing yet
Excited About: 3rd Trimester! We are getting so close to the final stretch! 
Workouts: Got in almost all my workouts 4 days a this past week, which is awesome! Still trying to get in the nightly walks. Workouts included: 21 Day Fix yoga & pilates Beachbody On Demand Active Maternity and Diary Of A Fit Mommy's Fit For Two 2nd Trimester workouts in daily.
Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fit Tip Tuesday

Think about this just for a second. Because it really is true! If you stay committed in what you want to achieve you can! You just have to be disciplined! 

So...what workout are you doing today, and do you really love it and love doing it? Need help finding your perfect workout? Let's chat because I am love matching people with their perfect fit program!You can email me here and get started TODAY

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Is Fear Stopping You From Reaching Your Goals?

If you want something bad enough...GO FOR IT and give it all that you have in you to accomplish it! No matter what! You just have to take that first step, decide you are ready for it and go for it without give up on your dream or you in the process. It takes daily work. But in the end you will be able to look back and be so proud of yourself for what you accomplished!

If you aren't reaching your goals there could be a HUGE 4 letter word stopping you from them. FEAR. Fear can stop anything dead in it's tracks before you even get a chance to try something new. I would love to go skydiving someday. It is actually on my bucket list, but I am terrified of heights. I have talked myself out of skydiving so many times just because of my fear.
A couple years ago when I started this leg of my journey, it wasn't the first time I had tried losing weight. I was still scared to try again because I "failed". I seriously thought I had failed before and I didn't want to fail again, but I got over my fear of failure and started again. And I am so glad that I did because it has led me to here and to recognize that I have never failed before. I stumbled. Do not let fear get in the way. This time is different because you have more support, more motivation, and more determination to kick butt and make this work!

If you are not getting the results you want, I want you to find sometime today to think about what might be holding you back. And Fear might be one of those reason. You have to release the fear and once you do you will see changes going.

How do you release the fear? 

1) Make a list of the things that give you fear. Fear of failure. Fear of hitting a plateau. Fear of not following the food plan. Fear of actually losing the weight and life being different. These are all normal fears.

2) Look at your list and write down the opposite of fear. What good would come out of your fears in the end.

3) Don't be defined by your list. Because FEAR can be overcome! 

4) Work everyday to overcome your fear to show yourself that you can do it! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ratatouille by Julia Child

Yay! It is summertime! This expectant momma is actually craving VEGGIES! While searching for a yummy summertime recipe this popped up! Ratatouille! It literally uses everything you can grow in a summer garden! Yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic. This is chalk full of veggies and perfect while on the 21 Day Fix! I would use this as a side dish and pair it with a red container of Herbes de Provence seasoned roasted chicken breast sticking with the French flair! (a goal of mine is to have a garden big enough to grow all of these items in it one day! Right now I only have the bell peppers and tomatoes.)
by Julia Child

8 servings

1 lb. eggplant
1 lb. zucchini or summer squash
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 sliced green peppers (about 1 cup) 
2 cloves mashed garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced (about 1 1/2 cups; could use canned tomatoes)
3 Tbsp. minced parlsey

Peel and cut the eggplant. Make sure you cut eggplant into lengthwise slices that are about 1-inch wide, 3-inch long, and 3/8-inch thick. Scrub the summer squash and cut into piece the same size as eggplant. Take a bowl and put the vegetables into it. Toss the vegetables with one teaspoon salt. Set them aside for 30 minutes. Drain every slice and dry with a towel.

Take a skillet and put four tablespoons of olive oil into it. Sauté the summer squash and eggplant, one layer at a time, for about one minute until they vegetables are slightly browned. Take them out into a dish.

Cook pepper and onions in the same skillet. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes until they are tender. Add the garlic and season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Take the tomatoes and slice its pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Layer the tomatoes over pepper and onions, and season them with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and let the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes on a low heat until the tomatoes start to render their juice. Check the seasoning and raise the heat. Boil the vegetables in the tomato juice until the juice evaporates entirely.

Take a casserole, about 2½-inch deep, and put 1/3 of the tomato mixture into it. Sprinkle the freshly minced parsley over tomatoes. Next, arrange half of the summer squash and eggplant on top. Layer the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put the remaining summer squash and eggplant, and finish off with the rest of tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and put it on a low heat. Let everything simmer for about 10 minutes. Check it after 10 minutes, and season it if necessary. Raise the heat a little and cook everything for 15 minutes uncovered. Cook until all the juices evaporate. Be very careful about the heat. Avoid the vegetables getting scorch at the bottom of casserole.

Take it out, and serve!

21 Day Fix Containers: 2-3 greens. 1 tsp. 1 red if paired with roasted chicken.

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!
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