Living with Diabetes – How to Make the Most of Your Holiday Feast!
As the holiday season approaches, diabetics face an abundance of old family recipes and cold weather comfort foods, which can pose serious health problems if not served with caution. Zoe Crawford, fitness manager of Lifestyles at OakBend, provides tips to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, without putting your blood sugar levels at risk.
Crawford says that the key is to plan out your meals ahead of time and increase amounts of exercise. Talk to family members about what they plan to have on the menu. If you know that most of those dishes will be challenging to your health, offer to bring some dishes of your own. If you are hosting the celebration, you can do the same thing!
The bottom line is: making small changes throughout the day can allow you to maintain blood sugar levels, without missing out on any holiday festivities.
Here are some extra tips!
• Crawford says to begin your morning with a high protein and low carb breakfast to prevent overeating the rest of the day. An easy egg frittata or quiche with asparagus or broccoli topped with a pinch of Swiss cheese and salsa will start your day off right. Avoid eating breads, donuts, cereals, and other high carbohydrate foods early in the day.
• Begin and end your day with a walk around the neighborhood or park. An easy way to keep your blood sugar in check is to exercise! Grab one of your family members or the dog and go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Making exercise a part of your Thanksgiving tradition will keep the entire family healthy. Sugar Land and Houston host a Turkey Trot every year to get you motivated and moving!
• Swapping out an unhealthy Thanksgiving or Christmas menu with some new healthy traditions, is an easy way to keep you and your family happy and healthy throughout the years. Stuffing, potatoes, and other casseroles are packed with carbohydrates and are the best options to phase out and start experimenting with new recipes!
Some amazing recipes and ideas can be found here.
• Enjoy a small dessert, but choose anything but the pecan pie! If you can, make a separate dessert with a sugar-substitute. There are tons of sweet and savory recipes out there that are sugar free, or use sugar substitutes as sweeteners. Finding your favorite one will make all the difference. This is going to be the most important choice of your day. Let planning ahead empower you to make a healthful decision.
• Do not save the leftovers! Thanksgiving gluttony doesn’t need to spill over into the days following. Having one day of bad choices can be looked over, but continuing to make those unhealthy decisions days after the holiday is a problem. Your health and longevity are more important than throwing away half a left over pie or casserole.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed so don’t let diabetes hold you back! Be the trendsetter of your family, with fun and healthy recipes that keep your carbohydrate intake in check. Being a positive example for eating smart during the holidays will encourage others to do the same. You will be surprised by how many people will love your options and ask for them again next year!