Can we Have a Diabetic Holiday?
Remember the old song “Sleigh Ride”?
“There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world
When they pass around the chocolate and the pumpkin pie . . .
It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.”
Has a friend or someone at work offered you a sugary confection this month? I’d be very surprised if you said no.
We all know that optimal control is key. That keeping blood sugar in range is the best thing for staving off complications. And that limiting carbs is important. But all that talk can go right out the window during the month of December, when chocolates, fruitcakes and eggnog seem to appear everywhere you look.
Creating Healthier Family Traditions
When I was growing up, holiday foods were connected to love. With warm feelings, we ate all kinds of sugary treats. And I was fat. It’s so easy as an adult to fall back into unhealthy familial habits, especially during the dark months of winter.
My goal for my family is to get the love out of the dessert kitchen. We don’t hang raw carrots on the tree, but we don’t buy candy canes, either. This year, we are making more time during the holidays to play outdoors.
Do You Take a Holiday During the Holidays?
A few years back, we asked a lot of you how you survive during the holiday season, “Toeing the Line or Taking a Holiday?”. Your answers were terrific.
One reader said she simply “takes a holiday” from her eating routine in December. Another reader told us that she skips the stuffing, yams and pumpkin pie, saying, “I just think of how I’m not going to get diabetes complications from indulging indiscriminately, and I’m perfectly happy.” Yet another said he eats whatever is put in front of him during the holidays and compensates for any indulgences by counting carbs or using a correction bolus.
Techniques That Work for Me
I have developed some strategies that work well for me. I’ll take just one bite of some dishes (like my sister’s famous fruited ricotta cheesecake), or I’ll get one of my kids to give me just one bite of the dessert they are having. When I bake a pumpkin pie, I use Splenda and stevia to sweeten it. And I try to take a walk after dinner or arrange to meet a buddy at the gym. For me, taking extra insulin to cover extra carbs puts on extra weight. I worked really hard to lose each pound, and I sure don’t want them back.
I hope you and your family have a joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!
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Type 1, 31 years (and counting)
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