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Gestational Diabetes Interview With The Ancestral RDs

Just about nothing makes me sadder than seeing unhealthy children.

I remember landing a scholarship my senior year of high school. I had already decided I would study nutrition and my acceptance speech detailed how I would change public policy on school lunches. At the time I was upset by the rising tide of childhood obesity and I thought that changing the food served in schools would be the ticket to a healthier generation (as naive as it is when I look back).

Well, years later while working for the California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program, I learned something that changed my career path forever. Moms with uncontrolled gestational diabetes give birth to children with a 6-fold higher risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

My jaw nearly dropped when I started to peel away the layers of this complicated and rarely discussed diagnosis.

How does this happen?

Why is this not talked about, especially when up to 18% of pregnant women face this diagnosis?

And, why is the nutrition advice for gestational diabetes sooooo outdated (and frankly contrary to basic nutritional biochemistry)?

So many other nutrition issues get mainstream attention. Just about every other nutritionist is talking about digestive health or weight loss (like me), but gestational diabetes is not commonly mentioned.

I haven’t explored this topic in great detail on my blog, as I felt I couldn’t do it justice in this format.

But this quote kept pushing me to be more vocal on the topic:

Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” -Albert Einstein

Sure I’ve given dozens of professional lectures on the topic, but those are directed to the medical community, who are already aware of the diagnosis. I needed to take this to the big leagues (and I desperately desired to update the misguided dietary advice commonly suggested for gestational diabetes).

So it’s with great pleasure that I share with you some big news!

I’ve been working diligently for the past 3 months on my book, Real Food For Gestational Diabetes, which will be available in 2015. [UPDATE: It’s now available!]

I’ve already had a series of interviews on prenatal nutrition that I’ll share with you on the blog, first of which is a gestational diabetes interview with The Ancestral RDs, Laura Schoenfeld and Kelsey Marksteiner.

Check out my interview about using real food to manage gestational diabetes HERE.

Here’s a sneak peek into what I cover in the interview:

  • What is gestational diabetes? How common is it?
  • Why do women get gestational diabetes? Is this something they caused? What are their risk factors? Does it go away after pregnancy?
  • How is GDM usually treated? Do all women need insulin or medication?
  • What’s the conventional diet recommendation?
  • Why do you take a different approach to gestational diabetes management? What type of diet do you suggest?
  • How does exercise affect the blood sugar? What types of exercise are safe during pregnancy?

If you weren’t sure if I’m passionate about this topic or not, I think you’ll figure it out pretty quickly from listening to this.

It’s funny to look back and see how I went into my career with the intention to tackle childhood obesity and now I come full circle back to this topic, just from a very, very different angle.

Enjoy and please share with any expecting moms you know!

Until next week,

PS – If you have gestational diabetes and need help getting control of your blood sugar, be sure to snag your copy of my FREE guide “5 Tips to Manage Your Blood Sugar, Naturally” below.

PPS – I’m all for celebrating this milestone with you in the comments section. Care to pop a virtual bottle of champagne together? Great! (’cause after all the writing I’ve been doing, I could use a drink!)

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes
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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. Lily, I’m so glad you are tackling this topic that will positively impact so many mothers and children (and maybe even the medical community)! I am excited for your book to come out!!! Celebrating with you – cheers!

    • Yeah, while my book is geared towards expecting moms, I know it will also serve as a resource to the medical community. I can’t wait to release it to the world, Lana!

  2. Congratulations on your new book! (Champagne toast!!) I listened to your interview on the podcast the other day, and you really are a wealth of knowledge. You were so interesting to listen to, and I know your book will be awesome! You are helping so many mothers, and moms-to-be, and that’s so important for our future children! Keep up the great work Lily!!!

    • I so appreciate your support and kind words, Marisa! Glad you enjoyed the interview,too!

  3. Just wanted to stop by and say “CONGRATS” Lily…what wonderful news! This is a disease that impacts so many, and so many expecting moms don’t even know where to start. Pregnancy on its own, without any complicating factors, can be so scary, particularly for new moms! Then add a new diagnosis and sometimes panic sets in…can’t wait to listen to your interviews and hear more about your projects…

    • Absolutely Stacey. Getting diagnosed with gestational diabetes is incredibly scary for most women and I hope to show them it can be a blessing in disguise when you’re given the correct information!

  4. Congrats Lily! Super important topic to write about. Excited to read more about it as the book progresses.

    • Thank you, Lauren!

  5. I love your passion, Lily! You can tell how much you care about the topic. I’ve shared this post with a couple pregnant friends – I know they’ll find it useful (your snacks guide too!).

    • It’s hard to contain, Anne! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Hi Lily,

    Thanks so much for bringing up this important topic. As you say, it’s another example of one of those badly neglected areas in the nutrition world where so much could be achieved if the right information was out there (and research put into practice!).

    Fabulous news about your new book- it’ll be a bit hit, I’m sure!

    • It certainly is, Partricia. I’m happy to raise awareness and bring little-known research to light with my real food approach to gestational diabetes.

  7. I have SO much respect for your work, can’t wait to get the book in my hands next year!

    • Appreciate your vote of confidence, Cindy!

  8. Lily,
    A big, huge congratulations and hug to you! You deserve champagne and flowers for all of your hard work. You have identified a niche that you will serve beautifully and I have no doubt that this will position you to be an influencer for the medical community as well as women with gestational diabetes.
    Cheers to you!

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