Happy Herbivore Blog

August 8, 2013

Herbie of the Week: Sarah S.

Meet our Herbie of the Week, Sarah S.! Back in March, I heard from Sarah S. on Facebook  — she had beaten gestational diabetes after transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle! I knew I wanted to share her wonderful story in our Herbie of the Week series, and she graciously agreed. Sarah found success with our meal plans, losing 40 pounds, and has more energy to chase after her two little ones. Enjoy Sarah's story, in her own words.


Lindsay, I want to share my story with you. I had such fantastic news this week that my heart is bursting with happiness!

In 2011, while pregnant with my first child I found out I had gestational diabetes. As a GF vegetarian, I was pretty shocked with the diagnosis. Although I was overweight, I considered myself healthy. Mothers with untreated gestational diabetes are at risk for having large babies necessitating c-sections, high blood pressure and delivering babies with a higher risk of juvenile diabetes. Just the diagnosis of GD itself puts a woman at higher risk for developing Type II down the road.

I monitored my blood sugar carefully and with the help of a nutritionist and doctor gave birth to a healthy, normal sized baby girl, Loretta, in May 2011. Determined to get myself on a healthier track, I had a few trial runs with veganism during my daughter's first year of life. After watching Forks Over Knives at the suggestion of a friend, I became permanently plant-based just after her 1st birthday.

With the help of your meal plans and cookbooks, I found this new, healthy path easy to walk. My energy level continued to grow and I felt and looked better than I ever had in my life. In September of last year, 40 lbs lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight with Loretta, I joyfully found out that I was pregnant again.

My midwife who I hadn't seen in over a year commented immediately on how great I looked. We talked about my lifestyle change and she remarked that GD shouldn't be a problem for me this time considering my weight loss and dietary changes. I was doubtful. Everything I read cautioned that once you have had a GD diagnosis, the likelihood of having it with subsequent pregnancies increases.

Fast forward to yesterday when I took my glucose tolerance test. I choked down the syrupy sweet orange drink and waited an hour. Back to the lab and within a few minutes, the nurse scurried in and said, "You are good to go, mama!" My blood sugar was 82, well under the cutoff of 135. I had passed with flying colors!!

Thank you for the significant part you had in my journey to a healthy self. I am looking forward to the last 14 weeks of my pregnancy (especially since I won't have to stick myself 4 times a day). And I'm especially glad the cloud of developing Type II diabetes is no longer hanging over my head.

I'm still about 20-25 lbs from my ideal weight. But I have full confidence I can make that happen after the baby is born. It's not a race or a diet, but a lifestyle. One to which I am very committed!  And best of all, plant-based living is going to give me the energy to keep up with two kids under 3!  :)


UPDATE (July 10): My son was born June 14 at a healthy 8lbs 10oz and measured 20.5 inches long.  I'm adjusting to life with two kids (my daughter is now 2). Thanks to breastfeeding, I'm hungry ALL THE TIME!  In the immediate weeks post partum, I'm listening to my body and eating constantly but focusing on lots of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and avocado for healthy fats and lots of oatmeal for carbs (and to boost milk production!).

I'm confident that the 20 lbs or so I gained with this pregnancy and the additional weight I still would like to lose will come off as I continue my plant-based journey. Best of all (and despite the lack of sleep), I have more energy than I can ever remember having.  And  boy do I need it with these two!

Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah! You rock, mama!

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