Gestational Diabetes – The Risks, the Dietary Management & a Recipe

Gestational Diabetes

In light of National Diabetes Week, let’s have a chat about Gestational Diabetes.

It is estimated that 10-14% of all pregnancies in Australia result in Gestational Diabetes.

Gestational diabetes (or GDM) is defined as high blood sugars (hyperglycaemia) first detected at any time during the pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes is most common among women who are:

  • Over the age of 30
  • Who are overweight
  • With a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Who are indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Of Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Middle Eastern and Polynesian ethnicity
  • Who have had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies

Being above your healthy weight before pregnancy or gaining too much weight during pregnancy can also increase your risk of developing Gestational Diabetes.  Studies have demonstrated that the most effective way to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes is by looking at dietary patterns prior to pregnancy. This means, during the preconception period or time leading up to becoming pregnant.

Gestational Diabetes management involves a number of approaches. Namely, healthy eating, monitoring blood glucose levels, physical activity and for some women, insulin injections.

What does a healthy diet for a woman with Gestational Diabetes look like? Think….an even distribution of carbohydrates, small regular meals distributed throughout the day, choosing low glycaemic index carbohydrates, all while meeting your nutritional requirements.

Carbohydrates that digest more slowly are known as having a low glycaemic index and are the better choice when trying to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Below is a delicious low glycaemic index meal to help you get started. If you need more support in the prevention or management of Gestational Diabetes, contact Fitwise today to book in for a comprehensive dietetic assessment and management plan. Enjoy!

Chickpea Curry with Pumpkin and Baby Spinach

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 500 g plain tomato pasta sauce
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 320 g peeled pumpkin, chopped into small pieces
  • 120 g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped coriander


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  1. Mix in chilli powder, coriander, cumin, tomato pasta sauce and ½ cup of water. Stir well.
  1. Add chickpeas and pumpkin pieces, and bring to boil. Adjust flavour with extra salt, if desired.
  1. Reduce heat and simmer for around 15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  1. Stir through baby spinach leaves until they start to wilt, followed by coriander, and serve immediately.

Curry goes well with steamed wholegrain and red rice. Garnish with extra coriander leaves, if desired. Store curry in the fridge for several days or freeze individual portions on top of leftover rice.


To make a booking with Emma, click ‘Make a Booking’ in the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the prompts. You can also call our friendly team on 9822 4999 (Armadale) or 9486 0512 (East Melbourne), or email us on [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.