New mamas know — the hunger that accompanies breastfeeding is a force to be reckoned with! For us sweeter (diabetic) mamas, things get tricky. You may want to eat all the cookies and high-glycemic snacks you can muster (especially following a super-strict pregnancy diet with serious glucose control), but it’s never wise to just go hog wild on your cravings at the risk of skyrocketing your blood sugar. Of course, even non-diabetic mamas can benefit from snacking healthier!!! Everyone wins when you eat foods that will satisfy more than just a quick fix and stabilize blood sugar / mood / energy. (Ahem, who doesn’t need more energy in the early newborn days?!?!)

low carb breastfeeding snacks

These are a few of my favorite filling, healthy fat containing, lower-carb combinations:

  • A handful of almonds
  • Mixed nuts
  • String cheese (I like the swirled kind)
  • Caprese skewers (cherry tomato + mozzarella ball + basil leaf… bonus if drizzled with balsamic vinegar)
  • Salted pistachios with a square of 92% dark chocolate from Ghiradelli
  • Greek yogurt with almond butter stirred in (especially if it’s crunchy!)
  • Greek yogurt with raspberries
  • Carrots & hummus Ezekiel or Dave’s Killer Bread sliced toast with avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt & pepper
  • Ezekiel sprouted or Dave’s Killer Bread sliced toast with smoked cheddar
  • Frozen raspberries or blueberries with almond butter stirred in
  • Almonds & fresh blueberries
  • Cocoa almonds (not chocolate-covered)
  • Greek yogurt with cacao nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut, slivered almonds, and raspberries (any mix-ins work — I just love lots of texture and crunch!)
  • Two eggs fried with avocado and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
  • Pink lady or Golden Delicious apple and 1-2 tbsp crunchy almond butter
  • 1 oz Gouda and handful of gluten-free crackers (I love the ones at Aldi!)

Anything you love?!

One of the bummers of a diabetes diagnosis is the realization that your drink choices will forever be more limited, due to the fact that liquids absorb into the bloodstream faster than food (so sugary drinks = instant blood glucose skyrocketing). It’s convenient if you’re ever treating a low (“Shelby, drink your juice!”) but sucks if you have a taste for fruit tea.

I was diagnosed with T1D the summer after my first daughter was born, so naturally as a 20-something social drinker, I was curious as to how my beloved wine and Corona Lights would fit into my new dietary restrictions. It was a pleasant realization to discover I could still stomach drier wines and less-sugary booze with little impact on my blood sugar (sometimes, it even lowers my levels!).

I consider myself to be moderately picky when it comes to wine. I’m not a wine connoisseur but I have had plennnnnty of gross bottles that have ultimately been poured out (both before diabetes and afterwards). I’m also a loyalist, so if I find something that’s really good, I stick with it.

Red wine has never bothered my blood sugar in the past (convenient, since I like the taste!), so oftentimes I’ll reach for a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. Those varietals tend to be light enough to not feel like my mouth has been swabbed by cotton but still taste good (and more grownup than a saccharine dessert wine). I’ve had plenty of tasty red blends (my favorite is Barista, but I also love Heavyweight Petit Syrah), but for casual get-togethers, we like to go cheaper. We did an Italian wine tasting class a few years back sponsored by our favorite local spirits shop and they turned us onto good boxed wines. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an actually GOOD boxed wine at my favorite grocery store… Trader Joe’s!

The cheap, the good, the bad…

I initially tried out the Sauvignon Blanc (which happens to be my standby white varietal), and once I realized it was actually good (and they have a stellar return policy if you hate something you get there!), I had to try out the red. The store assistant told me they tried all the boxes when they came out and the Shiraz is apparently super gross, but I can personally vouch for the Cabernet Sauvignon — it’s excellent! PLUSSSS at only $12.99, you get 20 glasses per box, which comes out to less than $0.70/glass.

It’s perfect for drinking with Italian food at home (so good stirred in homemade marinara, too), or to complement low-key burger/steak dinners. I skip the bun when we do burgers and opt for spaghetti squash or zoodles to make those meals more #diabeticanddelicious.

trader joe's red wine

I was reading the other day about the carb count in certain alcohols, from a diabetic perspective. Dry red wines are (as a generality) considered to have an insignificant amount of carbs, so you don’t need to bolus for them! #winning Of course, take heed that booze can lower blood sugar levels; so drink smart (i.e. not too much, only drink with food, check your levels, stay hydrated, etc etc etc).

Any other really great cheap-o wines I should know about?! Or good boxed varietals? SPILL!