15 Sep 2016

I am definietly a sweet tooth. As a person passionate in food I have read many articles about sugar and how bad is for our health, but it never took me off of eating smaller or bigger treats. But as my dad is diabetic, in my fifth month of pregnancy I had to do blood sugar test. Easy procedure, a bit time consuming, but overall nothing really bad. I ate tons of sugar day before. I don't know why, probably just cravings and then I went on morning for the test.
I was tested first after all night fasting. You are not allowed to have even a glass of water overnight. Once my hungry blood was taken I was given a huge jug of Lucozade. Disgusting. Honestly who drinks that? And then I had two test: after one hour and two hours. That's it.
Believe me I was shocked when I picked up phone same afternoon and midwife said I have gestational diabetes. One of my result wasn't correct and as they need to be very strict I was qualified as a diabetic. Hurray!
I did not know what does it mean at all. I was not even overweight and I never went on any diet. On the very next day I received a letter with few hints about foods which I should avoid. Goodbye  kinder chocolate bars, bye crispy white toast, farewell orange juice... So what I will eat?
In few days I was also invited for lifestyle class. I got a glucometer and started to check levels of sugar few times per day. I was totally down. Remember when I pinched myself with that little needle I was crying like a little child. My husband was the most supportive then ever. He hid all sweets and chocolates and promised after delivery I will get as many donuts as I will want. But for now I had to quit sugar and control all carbohydrates. I got use to it and I actually get in all pregnancy about 12 kg. My weight after diagnosis stopped for about 2 months and over all even hubby lost some kgs as he did not mind to avoid sugar with me. It is a horrible feeling when I just wanted something sweet so much!
I discovered pop corn. I never got a pop corn in cinemas before. I do like more this homemade version as I just buy good quality organic corn to avoid any burnings and I can add as much salt as I want or even some spices. That is the best evening snack which doesn't cause raise of sugar. I have to avoid my beloved beetroots. Watch portions and be careful with white flour. Also I found great low GI breads and if I don't go crazy my sugar is fine. I eat tons of grapefruits as those are the best diabetic fruit and there was even many research they can help in diabetes. I changed in my pantry regular white wheat flour for wholemeal and discovered spelt. After two months I found magic ingredient: xylitol! That's a carbohydrate made from birch, which is sweet like sugar but has very low GI. That meant I could come back to baking. It was a relief. I changed many regular recipes and found some kind of vegan or diet friendly combinations. Even more when I was doing regular recipes using xylitol instead of sugar I reduced the amount even half. I did not have anything sweet for two months so that level of sweetness was always fine for me. Birch sugar has many benefits. Does not have negative impact on teeth and gums so it is recommended for children. Even my mum, who sometimes has liver pains after a small treat did not feel anything. I became a huge fan of this specific and I am sure I will stay with xylitol after pregnancy just as an healthy option. There is obviously a minus: price. It is much more expensive then regular sugar. But if you do not really have a choice why not spend those few more euro?
If you want  give a try I think my favorite low GI cake with birch sugar is carrot cake. I changed my old recipe and found it same good as the previous version. Enjoy!

Carrot cake


100g xylitol
2 eggs
150 ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
200 g whole wheat or spelt meal flour
1 tbsp of mixed spice
1 tsp soda bread
1 tsp baking powder
200 g carrot (peeled and grated)
zest of 1 lemon
1 handful of desiccated 

125 g mascarpone
125 ml fresh cream

Set oven for 180°C and lie loaf tin with baking paper. Mix xylitol with eggs until fluffy and add oil. Stir in flour, spices, soda bread, baking powder to wet ingredients and then fold in carrot, zest and coconut. Transfer batter to the tin and bake for 35-40 min. To make icing beat cold cream until is fluffy and then add mascarpone. Spread on cake when is cold. You can sprinkle that with any kind of crushed nuts or lemon zest. Yumm!

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