December 21, 2017 | Kayla Valiquette BSN, RNC-NIC
Managing Your Diabetes During the Holiday Season
The holidays are always abundant with rich, sugary and salty foods at work, gatherings, and at home. We have some tips so that you can still enjoy yourself but manage to keep yourself healthy and less tempted.
Make healthy substitutions
- At a party the veggie platter should be the first stop. Filling up on vegetables is a great way to give you nutrients and fill up on food that is low in calories.
- If you’re baking you can substitute some oils in a recipe for unsweetened applesauce. When substituting apple sauce for oil in baking, it is a 1:1 ratio. 1/4 cup apple sauce for 1/4 cup oil (except for cookies).
- For cookies, replace half the amount of butter in your cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. If your recipe calls for one cup of butter, use 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of yogurt. You’ll reduce the calories and the saturated fat. You can experiment with using more yogurt and less butter to see if you still like the taste and consistency.
- Beans in brownies may sound strange, but don’t knock count them out until you try them. Pureed black beans add protein and fiber, and they can be used instead of white flour in brownie recipes. Substituting beans for flour, it is a 1:1 ratio.
Keep portions in control
- The recommended portion for lean meat at each meal is a 3 ounce piece which is about the size of a deck of cards.
- The portion for carbohydrates for rice and potatoes at each meal is about the size of your fist.
Keep up the action
- Don’t give up on activities. 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week is crucial to keep up and shouldn’t be overlooked during the holidays. You can create a buddy system to help keep you on track and if you have a dog they can help keep you active.
- Weather not so great? You can always head to the gym and get some activity in that way. If a gym is not of interest or possible, you can head to the mall and walk laps around.
- However, if you have complications related to your diabetes, like neuropathy or retinopathy, there are certain types of exercise that you should avoid. Tell your doctor what kind of exercise you want to do so adjustments can be made to your medicine schedule or meal plan.
Manage your stress
- Your body has an immediate reaction to mental and physical stress — your blood sugar shoots up and your heart kicks into action and begins working harder.
- Go to bed at the same time each night. Consistency in your schedule helps to ease stress. Choose a time that allows you to get at between six and eight hours of sleep.
- Practice deep breathing or meditation. Take a few minutes each day to simply breathe and visualize letting go of your stress.
- Reducing your stress is not a luxury you have to dream about. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health, especially when you’re managing a chronic condition like diabetes. If you are having trouble managing stress, consider talking to your doctor or therapist.