Pregnancy: My battle with gestational diabetes

My Pregnancy | The Greenwich Mummy
GDpregnancy
Photo Credit: Google

In 2013 when I was pregnant with LO, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was shocked don’t get me wrong but not overly surprised as there’s history of diabetes on both sides of my family (maternal and paternal).

I did my best to make sure I kept my blood sugar levels within the normal range and had to attend a lot of hospital appointments, take medication, get scanned frequently to ensure baby wasn’t growing too big (the only perk if I can call it that!) and testing my blood with a finger-pricking device everyday… 3-4 times a day. That was not a perk at all.

The GD returns…

When I discovered I was pregnant again, I knew in the back of my mind that the likelihood of GD returning in this pregnancy was high. So naturally, I tried to eat well, watched my intake of carbs and sugars, and controlled my portion intake in a bid to not get that positive result.

However it seems that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t defeat the inevitable. The good thing is that my reading this time was only just over the normal range at 8 (last time it was 12!) – I think the top end of the normal range is 7. I can’t really remember what the number represents but it’s something to do with the level of blood sugar in the body.

I am slightly crest-fallen as I was planning to have a water birth with this pregnancy as I couldn’t the last time and now I know for sure I am definitely not going to be able to opt for it again. It’s something I was really looking forward to and feel a little bit ‘stripped’ of my pregnancy privileges.

Exercise

So this time round I am not going to just sit about like the health professionals recommended the first time round, I will exercise and do as much as I can without hurting myself of course.

I am starting my prenatal pilates class this week and I’m still strength training at home but only on a weekly basis now as I think I trapped a nerve from Saturday when I tried to make a dash for the bus… not good. I stopped swimming but may have to pick it back up and go either once a week or once every two weeks. Swimming is a great form of exercise, especially when pregnant too because the body is weightless in water making it a better option on the body and the joints.

Healthy eating

The Greenwich Mummy |
Healthy eating during a GD pregnancy [Photo Credit: Diabetes UK]

In addition to portion control and carb/sugar management, the other ways of eating healthy is to choose “better” options – better carbs means looking for those complex carbs as to simple carbs. So swapping the white bread for brown or wholemeal bread, eating rice cakes instead of bread sticks and so on. It’s an exhausting process sometimes as when you’re pregnant all you want to do is be able to eat without thinking too much about what is in it, etc… *sighs*

This article by Diabetes.org offers some great advice on eating healthy with GD and I highly recommend other mums who have also been diagnosed with gestational diabetes to take a look.

Not the end of the world…

It really isn’t. Best thing of all is that it usually disappears as soon as baby is born too so not all is lost. You get offered another GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) when you are about 6-8 weeks postpartum so they can check that the GD is definitely gone (usually the case).

One “highlight”, if one can call it that, of having GD is the fact that the docs won’t let baby get too big so you won’t have to worry about delivering a 9lb baby. Babies from mothers diagnosed with GD are usually bigger than babies from mothers without GD because as the mother’s body cannot regulate the blood sugar with insulin, the sugar passes straight through to baby making them increase abnormally in size. For this reason, pregnant women with GD are always given an induction date. You will need to be induced before your induction date if they suspect baby is too big or if there are any other complications.

Luckily for me, LO came early (he was born on the day I was supposed to be induced) and was within normal size at 6lb 2oz so my delivery that time was a good one.

I hope this pregnancy ends smoothly like the last one!

Recipe: Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe: The Greenwich Mummy

I love hot chocolate and have been looking for a way to make it a bit less fatty and healthier so I came up with this recipe. It’s still a work-in-progress so I will return to make some tweaks to it every now and then so it can become my very own signature vegan hot chocolate.

There’s a lot of recipes for this drink online and you can take a look at a few of them here however I wanted to keep mine really simple with only a few ingredients to use. The majority of the ingredients you might already have in your kitcken or pantry. 🙂 I have substituted any sugars for a medjool date which is very sweet itself hence why I’ve only decided to use one in my recipe. Feel free to try out the recipe and chop & change it according to your taste buds. To make this hot choc taste more like caramel-like or have more ‘bulk’ like normal hot chocolates you can add a banana to the mix.

banana + medjool date = caramel –> this is no lie!

I have also added a wonderful ingredient in the drink which is maca powder. There’s plenty of health benefits for it which you can check out online too.

Mummy's Recipe: Vegan Hot Choc
Not a great photo but it tasted AMAZING! 🙂

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe

Time: 5-10 mins approx.
Serving: 1-2

Ingredients:

1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp maca powder
200 ml non-dairy milk of your choice (unsweetened)
1 vanilla pod
1 medjool date (leave at room temp to soften)
10-15ml water

Method:

  1. On a low setting, heat the milk up in a saucepan and add vanilla pod to infuse that lovely sweetness into the milk. To make it more festive, you can add a little touch of mixed-spice seasoning in there too. (I tried this and it was amaze-balls!)
  2. When you start to see the milk just starting to bubble on the side, take it off the heat and leave it to one side. Leave the vanilla pod in there to soak for now.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the medjool date, cacao powder, maca powder and water and blend until the date has disappeared completely.
  4. Pour the mix into a glass or mug and add in the vanilla-infused milk.
  5. Enjoy!

NB You can also substitute the vanilla pod for good-quality vanilla extract. One teaspoon would be enough and just add to the milk.

Here is a wonderful video I found on Youtube by Fablunch making her version of a vegan hot chocolate with vegan whipped cream! 🙂

Recipe: Coconut And Mango With Chia Seed Pudding

If you don’t know what Chia Seeds, make sure you Google it and have a look. This superfood is amazing and has been the talk-of-the-town for so long now, there’s hundreds of dessert recipes out there for you to choose from. My favourite use for chia seeds is to make a dessert using coconut and mango with chia seeds. Here are two recipes that I came across a while ago which I think are the best ones I have seen so far.

I have my own version of this dessert however it’s much more simpler and really raw. I will include my own concoction at the end of this post in case you wanted to try my version. 🙂

1. Tales of a Kitchen – Coconut chia pudding with mango and mint

The Greenwich Mummy | Coconut and Mango Chia Seed Pudding
Photo Credit: Tales of a Kitchen

Tales of a Kitchen is food blog owned by Chris. She posts wonderful and super tasty raw recipes on everything from appetizers to desserts and smoothies. This delicious coconut chia pudding with mango and mint is healthy and refreshing. The added sprigs of mint and lime juice gives another dimension to the flavour of the dessert. In this recipe the coconut milk has been made from scratch so the consistency may be heavier than drinking coconut milk that you get from the local supermarkets. If you don’t fancy the topped seeds, lime juice or mint, simply omit it from the recipe – it’ll still taste good either way. 🙂

http://talesofakitchen.com/

2. Snixy Kitchen – Tropical coconut mango chia pudding

The Greenwich Mummy | Coconut and Mango Chia Seed Pudding
Photo Credit: Snixy Kitchen

Snixy Kitchen is a owned by food blogger Sarah. You can find other fabulous recipes on her blog including many gluten-free recipes, meat and vegetarian recipes for appertizers through to snack and desserts. You can even find wedding-inspired recipes too! Sarah uses mango puree for her version of this lovely dessert and has presented it in a tall glass with a layered effect. Very unique.

http://www.snixykitchen.com/


Both recipes are incredibly tasty and easy to make. As this dessert doesn’t require any heating or cooking, it’s really easy to do. If you want an even simpler version, here’s my little concoction.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 100ml drinking coconut milk
  • 2 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 2-3 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
  • 1 ripened mango, peeled and diced (remove large seed)
  • 1 tbs honey, agave syrup or coconut nectar

Topping:

  • 1 tbs desiccated/shredded coconut

Method:

Mango Purée:

  1. Add the diced mango and honey/agave/coconut nectar in a blender or food processor until you have a puree consistency.
  2. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate as you won’t need the purée until the chia seeds have set.

Coconut Milk:

  1. Add the desiccated coconut, chia seeds, and vanilla extract to the coconut milk and stir briskly to mix everything together.
  2. Pour the coconut milk into glasses or mason jars and refrigerate as the chia seeds will need to expand and set.  Leave in the fridge overnight; if you’re in a rush, 3-4 hrs will also work.
  3. When it has set, simply spoon on top the mango purée.
  4. To top it off, sprinkle on the desiccated or shredded coconut and serve.
  5. Enjoy!

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

My Sixth HelloFresh Meal Review

This is my third meal from my second HelloFresh Classic Box; the Tabasco Jambalaya with orange and honey chicken. This meal was relatively easy to make but I am not really raving about this meal compared to the others I have made. The main reason being is because it’s very similar to a traditional Nigerian rice dish called jollof rice which is one of my favourite rice dishes and I just couldn’t get the taste of spicy and citrus around my head. The jambalaya is also more ‘saucy’ than jollof rice so it’s quite similar to a risotto consistency which is also odd for me as I’ve only had risotto once. If you like risotto, you will like the jambalaya.

My HelloFresh Meal Review: Jambalaya

My HelloFresh Meal Review: Jambalaya

Click here for the HelloFresh Jambalaya recipe

Images look a bit better with the iPhone now as I have managed to switch it to HDR mode which seems to have made a difference. 🙂 Anyway, back to the Jambalaya I would rate it 3.5/5 for taste – it’s just not for me but it’s a good dish so I am sure others will like it especially if you like using citrus fruits in savoury cooking.

So, after two HelloFresh boxes, I have decided to skip a few weeks and get my next box in a month’s time. Even though the subscription boxes are very cheap, I have a big family and loads of mouths to feed so just 3 meals per box (lasts 3 days) is simply not enough for me as I still need to plan out meals for the other 4 days. The food is great and healthy so I will be still using HelloFresh but more like my alternative take-away option than a regular food source.


Save £20 on your first box with HelloFresh by using promo code: CNU9UV

My Fifth HelloFresh Meal Review

This is my fifth HelloFresh review and the meal I cooked was called Raiders of the Lost Beef and Mushroom Burger which is basically a burger with cheese, beef burger, simon’s leaves, mushrooms and onions. Making a burger at home is so much tastier than any burger I have ever bought before – not to mention it’s also much cheaper!

This meal took a little longer to cook as the burgers I made were quite thick. I could’ve tried to make ‘flatter’ burgers however I wanted the height as I like my home-made burgers to look gourmet 🙂

BURGER

The brioche bun and burger tasted soooo good… and the wedges *blissful sigh*  – it was simply divine. The overall meal took about 40mins to make; 20mins to prep and 20mins to cook. The wedges took the longest, as you can see from the photo they are not as ‘crispy’ as you would normally expect wedges to be but nevertheless they were still really scrummy.

The most perfect meal for a Friday night. 🙂


hellofresh


My Fourth HelloFresh Meal Review

I am now onto my second HelloFresh Classic Box!

I loved the first box so much, I had to give another box a try – just to see what they are going to supply me with and I can tell you, I was not disappointed at all. I also discovered that you can actually log into your online account and see the recipes that they will give you in your next box before it is sent out. This allows you to ‘swap’ recipes you don’t want for the ones that you do – excellent! I’ve never been disappointed so far but it’s good to know that the “options” are there.

The first meal I decided to make from this box was the HelloFresh Pan-Fried Tilapia with Tarragon Sauce – when I say the meal was AMAZING, it was amazing! The sauce was my favourite… The fish was beautiful and not smelly at all like the sea bream (I think sea bream is just naturally more ‘potent’) and the potatoes were super easy to cook as were the green beans. I garnished the dish with tarragon on top but I found it a little over-powering so I just scraped the extra bits off tarragon off the fish and sauce. The tarragon didn’t go down too well with the siblings either – they loved the creamy sauce, they just wished the tarragon wasn’t included so they scraped all of the tarragon off their fish.

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This is a slightly better image of the meal – I think close up photos on my iPhone 4s is a bit better than the far away shots… I still need to invest in a camera so please be patient. 🙂

The first meal I decided to make from this box was the HelloFresh Pan-Fried Tilapia with Tarragon Sauce. When I say the meal was AMAZING, it was amazing!

The meal was very quick to cook – in total, I would say it was about 20-25mins. The prep was super quick (about 10 mins), most of the time was spent on boiling the veggies. This dish was very filling but I kept wanting more! It was such a simple dish to make, anyone can do it! The speedy cooking time and simple HelloFresh instructions makes it so easy and fun that there should never be any problems making this dish in the future for the family… Well, minus the extra tarragon!


If you are looking to give this dish a try, let me know how it goes by leaving a comment on this post. HelloFresh has also give me three free boxes to give away so if you want to give HelloFresh a try, leave a comment for me below. Enjoy!

Click here for the full HelloFresh recipe

My Third HelloFresh Meal Review

This was my third meal from my first HelloFresh Classic box and I can truly say that I have fully enjoyed all of the recipes that was given to us this week. Absolutely delicious! This meal’s review is on the last recipe which I had told you about before in my last HelloFresh review, Lebanese Chicken With Body-Boosting Veggies.

We had extra members of family around this weekend so I had to improvise and stretch out this 4 persons meal to a 6 persons meal and that was done by adding cous-cous to the meal and slicing the chicken into thinner bits for more servings. The meal went down a treat but some family members had mixed reviews and the kids weren’t really into it, probably because the flavours are quite strong and aromatic and they aren’t used to it. I mixed the body-boosting veg which consisted of sweet potato, red onions and bell peppers with simple cous cous that I bought from Sainsburys in a packet (the ‘just-add-water’ kind as we are short on time) and it was perfect. Sorry for the low-quality image, I will be uploading better images soon once I’ve sorted out a proper camera as this iPhone camera is poor.

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The overall meal took about 10mins to prep and 20mins to cook which is ideal when you’re working late and want to be able to cook a quick dinner. I love the chicken and the wonderful seasoning on it however the highlight of this meal for me was the veggies – I really do love my veg, especially when it comes to sweet potato! The cous-cous gave it an extra finishing touch and made this meal very filling.

Click the following link to see the Lebanese Chicken With Body-Boosting Veg recipe

You can also check out HelloFresh’s other delicious recipes that went out last week (Week 13 I believe). I will definitely be keeping my new collection of recipe cards. I think I will need to pop down to WHSmith soon to get a little holder for them to start storing the cards in there. My next Classic Box has been delivered and I will be posting up a review on that meal very shortly. If you would like to have another sneaky peek on what it is, click here.


For all readers, save £20 on your first HelloFresh box using the promo code: CNU9UV

My Top 5 Quick & Healthy 20-Minute Meals

For this week’s #WellnessWednesday I have been trolling the internet in a bid to find healthy versions of the meals that I cook at home and have been able to find a few close matches. Here is my list of the top 5 quick, easy-cook meals that are healthy and tasty for the whole family to enjoy. 🙂

1. Spicy Ramen Noodles With Egg
From Baker By Nature

5 Quick & Healthy 20-Minute Meals #WellnessWednesday
Spicy Ramen Noodles With Egg – Baker By Nature

Cheat tip: You can purchase instant ramen noodle packs from Asian supermarkets or in the world foods section of local supermarkets. Whilst the noodles are cooking in the stock, add sriracha hot sauce, a squeeze of lemon and poach your egg in the stock or fry your egg separately and place top after you plate up.

2. Sauteéd Kale With Sweet Potato
From Joyful Belly

5 Quick & Healthy 20-Minute Meals #WellnessWednesday
Sauteed Kale With Sweet Potato – Joyful Belly

Cheat tip: I swapped ginger for Kikkoman soy sauce and honey for a sweet caramelised taste. Add wild rice like AmuseYourBouch.com has done for a more filling meal.

3. Paleo Low-Carb Carbonara
From Sweet C’s Designs

5 Quick & Healthy 20-Minute Meals #WellnessWednesday
Paleo Carbonara – Sweet C’s Designs

Cheat tip: If you prefer this dish with carbs buy the fresh linguine, spaghetti or tagliatelle to save you time boiling the pasta.

4. Baked Salmon With Lemon, Ginger & Chilli
From The Iron You

5 Quick & Healthy 20-Minute Meals #WellnessWednesday
Baked Salmon With Lemon, Ginger & Chilli – The Iron You

Cheat tip: If you feel you need a bit ‘more’ than just salmon, why not add some vegetables like grilled asparagus with or wild rice to the dish.

5. Tomato and Spinach Linguine
From Simply Recipes

5 Quick & Healthy 20-Minute Meals #WellnessWednesday
Tomato And Spinach Linguine – Simply Recipes

Cheat tip: I like this dish really simple and minimal so I omit the brie and basil and keep the rest.

Happy #WellnessWednesday!

My Second HelloFresh Meal Review

So yesterday I made my second HelloFresh meal; Black Sesame Teriyaki Beef with Bok Choy served with brown rice and it was simply divine! Full of flavour and very filling on the tummies so many satisfied people! There was even leftovers which was a surprise as when I made the Sea Bream Oreganata, there was no food left for leftovers. The whole meal was relatively simple to make. I would say the actual cooking time took like 15mins however the prep time took longer, about 20mins. It took me ages to finely slice the beef and dice up the garlic. The marinade was so easy but I had to add more honey and more soy sauce because in my opinion, I didn’t think there was enough. Here’s a photo of the final thing. 🙂

My Second HelloFresh Meal Review
Black Sesame Teriyaki Beef with Bok Choy

Like the previous menu, the recipe card was extremely easy to follow and easily set out with photos so you can see exactly how to do it. My dish ended up with a different presentation from the original as I decided to stir everything together in the end using the wok so that’s why it looks more like a stir-fry. I am also surprised I had used hardly any oil at all! Usually when I fry beef I usually use quite a bit but didn’t have to this time and because the beef was thinly sliced, they cooked in literally seconds – amaze-balls!

I cannot wait until I cook the third and final meal from my first HelloFresh Classic box. It’s been brilliant so far so I have no doubt that the last meal for this week will be satisfying. If you want to have a sneaky peak of what it is, click here to see the original recipe – it’s going to be amazing. I will be posting a review of this third and final meal on Monday so don’t forget to check it out. All the recipes are super quick, easy and healthy to make so definitely give them a try if you are looking to eat healthier but lacking inspiration. Follow the instructions or improvise and make your own version of the dish, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.


Click the link to get £20 off with your first HelloFresh order

HelloFresh Meal Box Review

I received my wonderful HelloFresh box on Tuesday and was so excited to start cooking! We had a takeout on Tuesday so I decided to make the first meal yesterday night. HelloFresh advises to cook the fish recipe first so that it stays fresh which is what I did. The recipe I used was ‘Sea Bream Oreganata with New Potatoes and Carrots‘… it was really delicious. 🙂

Not sure who HelloFresh are or what they do? Click here to see a previous post I wrote on the company.

All of the ingredients were really easy to prep and the meal took no longer than 20-30mins to make which was one of the main reasons why I wanted to use HelloFresh. My only complaint would be how horrible sea bream can smell when it is fresh – as I’ve never cooked with it before, I assumed it wouldn’t smell as bad as I’ve cooked with sea bass, mackerel and salmon before I really thought the fish was gone off but it was completely fine, it wasn’t gone off or bad, it was just my over-sensitive nose putting me off.

The instructions were super easy to follow and the only ingredients that I needed to add which wasn’t included in the food box was black peper and salt – a household item so no biggie. The fish was a big hit with the family and despite how ‘healthy’ the meal was it was very filling. I cannot wait until I cook my next meal!

The classic box with 3 meals per week for 4 people costs £59.00 including free delivery which is not actually expensive when you break it down. It works out to about £20 per meal for 4 people which is £5 per person per meal – excellent price for good-quality, healthy meals. The only downfall is that the maximum number of meals I can get for 4 people is 3meals (3 days) so I still need to do my food shopping for the other 4 days of the week. When you look at it like this, it’s then not as cheap as you think. However, Hello Fresh allows you to be able to change and pause deliveries which is extremely handy as I can choose to pause which weeks I do not want a delivery and set deliveries on days that I do want to receive a box.

Overall, I am really impressed with the company and will continue to use them but on an occasional basis rather than a regular weekly subscription as I need to be practical and think about meals for the whole week instead. The website has delicious recipes so I will keep looking on there for ideas and order a box 1-2 times a month and substitute a take-away for a food box.