Gestational Diabetes

Motivation Monday – Mediterranean Dreaming

What is Gestational Diabetes?

A diagnosis of gestational diabetes (GD) often comes with a lot of fear.

This feeling is completely justified.

Having GD means that your blood sugar is too high during your pregnancy, which can happen for a variety of reasons. Blood sugar needs to be strictly managed in order to protect you and your baby from adverse health outcomes. Navigating GD is a real learning curve for some.

However – it honestly could be the best thing to happen to you.

Having a very tangible reason to modify your diet and lifestyle can set you and your family up for positive health outcomes for the rest of your life. So really, you could consider it a blessing in disguise.

The main factor in GD management is keeping blood sugars balanced. Carbohydrates are the only type of food that directly affect blood sugar, so it’s important to focus on moderating the amount and type of carbohydrates consumed.

Realistically, the dietary recommendations for someone with diabetes are pretty much the same as those for anyone wanting to improve their health – low GI carbohydrates, plenty of vegetables and good sources of lean proteins and healthy fats. Continuing to eat this way will do you wonders for years to come.

Here are 5 tips to help you start balancing your blood sugar:

Use the healthy plate method

Make up half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, which includes basically everything except for potato, sweet potato and corn.
Have your veggies however you like them – fresh, roasted, stir-fried, steamed – all are good!

Carbohydrates should make up the next quarter of your plate. This includes foods like bread, pasta, cereal, rice, quinoa, other grains, crackers, potato, sweet potato, corn, fruit, milk and yoghurt.

The last quarter of your plate should be a form of lean protein e.g. chicken, fish, eggs, red meat, tofu, beans, lentils, chickpeas or cheese.

Lastly, include a about a tablespoon of a healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts or olives.

Example: stir-fried greens + portion of basmati rice + piece of salmon + drizzle of olive oil.

Go for low GI carbohydrates

This means choosing carbohydrate options that lead to a slower rise in blood sugar.
Go for wholegrain or wholemeal versions of the carbohydrates that you would normally choose.

Example: multigrain bread, wholemeal or pulse pasta, basmati rice, vita wheats, oats, noodles

Try not to eat carbohydrates on their own

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Protein and fats are slower to digest, so pairing them with carbohydrate foods helps slow down the blood sugar rise.

Example: instead of having toast with vegemite or jam, add avocado (fat) and egg (protein).

Incorporate physical activity wherever you can

Your muscles need sugar to function, so including some form of physical activity during the day, and especially after your main meals can work wonders to reduce the sugar level in your blood.
Exercise also improves your body’s ability to put the sugar into the cells where it belongs.

Example: a half hour walk after your meals, and/or talk to the team or book in a class at Fitwise!

Keep a record of your blood sugar, diet, physical activity and mood

Keeping track of what’s going on is helpful to identify patterns.
This helps when you get a high reading as you can trace back your actions and see where to make changes. Including your mood is helpful because sometimes even feeling stressed can impact blood sugar.

This is only general advice, so for more personalised assistance with GD (or anything else!) please book an appointment. I would love to meet you!

Helena McDonald
Accredited Practicing Dietitian
[email protected]




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Our Values

Our values are the basis of everything we do at Fitwise.

Excellence, Respect, Innovation and Fun – For our clients, for our team and for ourselves.

This is evident with the service we provide, the environment in which we provide it, the way in which we operate as a team and how we care for and value our clients, referral partners and ourselves; we live the Fitwise values every day.

Our culture is one where everyone feels supported, respected and safe. Our clients and our team, experience a leading-edge health environment where we remember to have fun along the way.

Our Story

In 2004, Gen McGlashan and Libby Oldfield founded Fitwise Physiotherapy. They first met in 1994.  Libby was Gen’s physio when she had her first child. Gen then worked for Libby for 10 years in Libby’s previous business, located at the Epworth Freemasons Maternity Unit in East Melbourne. They have been a team working together for a very long time!!

Libby and Gen have always had a passion for empowering women, by helping provide accurate evidence based information and treatment to help women live their best lives. Excellence in all that they do, practising and operating in an innovative way has always been their core. Fitwise was the first multi-practitioner practice providing Women’s Health physiotherapy consultations, exercise classes and clinical pilates in Melbourne.

Gen and Libby

In February 2005 Gen and Libby moved their one room practice to Albert St East Melbourne. They had expanded to 2 treatment rooms, an exercise studio and a pilates studio with a small team of physiotherapists and one receptionist. This was exciting as they wanted to be able to help more people and to grow their team – enabling their other passion: teaching and mentoring clinicians who also wanted to work within the Women’s, Men’s and Pelvic Health arena.

5 years later, they expanded their East Melbourne clinic and in 2015 opened their second clinic in Armadale.

Remedial Massage, Myotherapy and Dietetics have been an exciting addition in recent years, with Podiatry and Exercise Physiology being added in 2022.

Fitwise Physiotherapy | Armadale

The Fitwise team has now grown to include 18 amazing practitioners and 12 wonderful administrative team members and is still growing!

Libby and Gen have always loved providing a holistic service, treating a variety of conditions in consultations and providing exercise appropriate for different life stages. The community of clients that are part of the Fitwise family, (some who have been part of the journey from the very beginning – over 17 years ago), are the biggest reason they do what they do. For Gen and Libby, it is a privilege to be part of these wonderful people’s lives.