It's the holidays again, the season of good will, but what does that mean for a diabetic? Usually, fighting off temptation!
During the holiday the biggest temptation lies in our food and drink choices. At this time there is more focus on the starch filled, fat laden, sugary delights that are, you have to admit, delicious! (clapping with glee!) Having the odd tipple of wine, pint of beer or a shot of spirits also becomes an indulgence that seems to multiply during the holidays.
But edible and drinkable temptations are not all that affect a diabetic during the holidays. There's exercise and blood sugar monitoring. Because of the busy schedules leading up to the holidays sometimes it's harder to fit in regular exercise and follow your regular pattern for testing blood, taking insulin or tablets.
But don't worry, with a little planning you can enjoy the holidays.
It's all in the planning. Make a plan for before, during and after the holidays and you will be fine.
Before the Holidays
Prepare your meals ahead of time. Cook foods that are low in sugar, salt and fat. When cool put them in daily sized portion and freeze them. This way when you are very busy, all you have to do is reheat them quickly. This method of preparing ahead will save you time and help you not to stray and give in to temptation. Becuase if you are hungry and do not have anything prepared you are going to grab whatever is convenient, and its not always a healthy choice. We've all done it, I speaking from experience. So prepare.
Schedule your exercise and stick to the time. Regardless of what you are doing. If you have set exercise for 12 o'clock go at 12. Whatever you are doing will still be there when you return. If you don't plan your exercise time, trust me, it won't happen.
If you are going to be hosting a party, choose foods that fit your meal plan. Do a little research. There are many sources online to help you choose health holiday recipes. http://www.diabeteslibrary.org/
During The Holidays
If you are hosting the party, do as stated above but if you are invited to a party, call ahead and ask what is on the menu. Offer to bring a dish that way you can enjoy and participate in the party without feeling guilty.
If the party is done in a buffet style, survey the offerings before you tuck in. This can be difficult to do but only put on your plate what you should have, not what you want. Then sit down away from the buffet table so you are not tempted to go back. Try and choose foods that are dense and do not spike your blood sugar levels quickly. Once again offer to bring over a dish or two that can mingle in the buffet and you can safely eat.
Alcohol. I know you may feel like celebrating with a glass of bubbly but you should really not drink alcohol without your doctor's permission, but I'm sure one glass wouldn't hurt! Insulin and some diabetes pills do not mix well with alcohol, so be careful and not overindulge in more than two drinks. A serving of alcohol is 1½ ounces of distilled liquor, 12 ounces of light beer, or 4 ounces of dry wine
Go for a walk after dinner, this can count towards your exercise and help keep your blood sugar down.
Participate in any fun games that are taking place, especially ones that keep you active.
After The Holidays
Right it's time to wind down and get back to your normal routine. If you have followed the guidelines above you will not have overindulged and can easily return to your usual schedules. However, if you did partake of a little too much cake and wine here are a few things you can do.
Have a light detox: While it can be difficult to reconcile the recommendations of diabetic dieting with those of many detox plans, there are nevertheless some plans which purport to achieve detoxification effects without compromising the principles of a diabetic diet. Try Jay Robb's 3 day Fruit Flush Detox for diabetics
Resume your exercise schedule. Slowy reintroduce by exercising once a week, then twice and finally back to three times a week. You could also walk for 15 -30 minutes a day, every day, whilst you are building your reginme back up.
What to eat:
Meat/Fish: Roasted white meat of poultry and boiled, baked, broiled, or grilled fish or seafood are lower in fat and calories than beef or pork. If you do eat red meat, choose leaner cuts.
Veg: Eat Raw, steamed, grilled, stewed, or baked vegetables. Only use a little gravy and sauces.
Breads: Choose oatmeal or granary bread before wholemeal, corn or white bread. A small roll or a slice of bread is sufficient.
Watch the fats. One teaspoon of regular margarine or butter can add 45 calories. Choose pure Olive oil to cook with and Olivio spread, using only a scraping on toast.
Fruit: Ftuits are your best dessert. But remember fruit is still sugar albeit natural sugars. A couple portions a day sould suffice. When choosing fruit go for fruits that will not spike your blood sugar quickly, like:
I hope you found this helpful
Further Reading on Diabetes:
The Diabetes Doctor Series - How to Manage Diabetes