Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sugar Plum Fairies - A Diabetic's Guide to the Holidays

Erica here:

The holidays can be a challenging time for folks who have me. So many yummy, sugary, carbo-loaded foods, so many parties, so many treats!

How can you make it through the season without sabotaging all the hard work you've been putting in to manage your numbers?

I have a few things that I do, that I hope you'll find helpful.

1. Keep things as close to normal as you can: meal times, carbohydrate content, exercise routine. While there are some times when you have to vary your schedule, not every meal in the month of December needs to be a holiday event.

2. When you want to have a special, once-a-year treat, plan ahead. Reduce the carbs you take in during the meal to have room for a small goody. Don't waste this chance on something you can eat any time of the year, like chips and dip. Save it for a little taste of Grandma's Chocolate Yule Log, or a piece of Aunt Jill's Peanut Brittle.

3. Focus on Friends and Family, not Food. Don't fixate on what you can or can't eat. Put your focus on the people and making memories.

4. Don't slack on your exercise. If you're off from school or work, it's easy to fall out of your routine, but this could be a double-whammy to your numbers. Increased carb intake and decreased exertion? Not good. Stick to your exercise routine as much as possible. It's harder to restart than to keep going.

5. Splenda and Truvia are useful in Christmas baking. When possible, use a sugar substitute for your cakes and cookies. Often you will need to lower the baking temperature and increase the baking time. Sugar substitutes can burn more easily than real sugar, so low and slow is your friend. Also, I find Splenda to be sweeter than cane sugar, so I reduce the amount I use in each recipe.

6. Give yourself grace. If you overdo, don't despair. Start again doing the things you know you should.

I hope you find these tips helpful, even if you're not diabetic and maybe just hoping not to sabotage your healthy diet.

What is your favorite healthy holiday tip? 

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  1. This is a good reminder. If only my husband would listen to me. Thankfully, I have found some sugar free treats that he likes. Did you know Pillsbury makes a sugar free brownie mix? This year will be easier for me to control what his treats will be since we are staying home.

    1. It's hard on the family and hard on the diabetic to feel like everyone has to be the food police. I do love Pillsbury sugar free cake and brownie mix. They taste great, and no spike in the numbers!

  2. It seems everyone in our Family is husband, mother, father in law, (I was "cured" with gastric bypass) my father (who is deceased) all type 2 and my daughter in law is type 1 and wears a insulin pump. My mother has diabetic neuropathy and falls a lot! My husband seems to think if he takes his medicine he can eat whatever he wants! Whoa is me!

    1. Oh my! You have lots of experience! Do you have any tips for me?

    2. I think you hit the high Spots Erica. My paternal grandfather also was diabetic and my grandmother had such a hard time trying to keep him on a diet. He got such great pleasure in eating. I still can picture him eating his jello and egg custard pie!
      I worry about my two kids. What chance do they possibly have?


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