11 May 2010

eat more

I had a consultation with a nutritionist this week. My blood sugar levels have been up and down and my doctor wants them to even out a bit. Not to worry, everything is absolutely fine with the pregnancy. My doctor is just being extra cautious because I’m here rather than in the United States. He found me an American nutritionist who lived in Nairobi for several years, so has a good idea of what kinds of food are and are not available and she knows what life in general is like in this region. She’s also worked with celiac disease and gestational diabetes (ugh, I hate that term, but technically I have it based on a couple unusually high glucose readings).

Basically, I have to eat more. My weight gain has been slow and steady, but she wants to see it increase a bit now that I’m entering the third trimester. I have to stop eating so much dried fruit and stop drinking juice and I have to increase my healthy fats. I should start taking a calcium supplement, since I’m not getting as much dairy here as I would be in the United States. That all sounds reasonable enough. I just have to buckle down and force myself to eat the same foods, day in and day out, until I get back to the States in a few weeks. And see if any other Americans around here have some TUMS I can buy off them, for the calcium.

And the nutritionist knows this, too. She understands that I’ll basically be on a peanut butter and avocado diet for the next month, since they are the easiest of the healthy fats for me to obtain here. She knows I snack on the dried fruit to add a little bit of variety to the limited fresh fruits that are available. And she knows I’ll expand my dietary horizons as soon as possible. It was nice talking to someone who has an understanding of what it’s like here. Other nutritionists I talked to didn’t really understand the living conditions and gave me lists of foods that are impossible to find here, which I can’t really fault someone for if they haven’t been here; but they also didn’t seem to grasp the gluten-free diet, which is troubling.

So, no sugar, no gluten. But eat more. It's hard to do that when your food options keep getting narrower.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Hope you are able to find joy in eating what you can. That is really challenging though! I have had a hard time enough being pregnant and having gluten foods cravings. I can't imagine (even though I have travelled to Burundi)how hard it is. The best wishes to you as you go through the rest of your pregnancy and baby's birth.



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