Meal Planning from the perspective of a Type 1 Diabetic

(Learn tips and tricks about meal planning from a type 1 pregnant mama perspective)

I have type 1 diabetes. Which causes many complications and challenges for me when it comes to food. In fact the condition has caused me to have quite the love/hate relationship toward meals in general. I was diagnosed at 17, two days before my high school graduation. It is difficult to control at times, and when you throw pregnancy into the mix, it becomes a whole other ball game.

There is so much stigma and misconception about diabetes that I would love to explain a little more about it. Basically my pancreas (a very important organ that creates something called insulin) decided to stop working one day. When I was in the hospital being diagnosed, the doctor explained it to me like this:

We eat carbohydrates and our bodies decide based on the amount of carbs eaten how much insulin to produce. The body needs carbohydrates as they are it's favorite source of energy. As food is broken down, the carbohydrate pairs with insulin in order to enter the cells and turn into needed energy. Without the correct amount of both, it simply does not work. And if the body isn't able to use the carbohydrates for energy due to a lack of insulin, it starts breaking down muscles and other important organs until it eventually dies.

Type 1 diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar as a child, or living an unhealthy lifestyle. It is a condition that causes a person's immune system to attack the very cells that create insulin and destroy them completely. And once the body is unable to create it's own insulin, it must be injected instead. Blood sugars must be carefully managed and every carbohydrate eaten must be accounted for in order to give the right dosage. Many factors can affect how sensitive the body is to insulin, making management extremely challenging.

(Want more info on Type 1 Diabetes? Click the link!)