Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Diabetes Self Management During the Holidays

By Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, CDE at LMC

Managing diabetes can be a daily struggle. The American Association of Diabetes Educators has a list of 7 Self-Care Behaviors to help people achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors ™
• Eating healthier
• Being physically active
• Monitoring blood glucose
• Taking medication as prescribed
• Solving problems in unusual situations
• Reducing the risk of complications
• Coping with stress and emotional issues

Each one of the behaviors takes time and patience to make apart of your new lifestyle. Let’s look at eating healthier. That can mean many different things depending on your current dietary intake and cultural background. Simply put eating healthier is first about portion control and limiting the number of carbohydrates (starches, fruit, milk/yogurt) per meal. Often, that’s more difficult than it sounds, especially during the holiday season. It’s November which means for most of us we are planning to enjoy at least one big meal with lots of potential carbohydrates. So, how can we eat what we love and love what we eat? Balance and moderation!

ThanksgivingFirst try to maintaining a normal meal pattern of 3 moderate sized meals consumed at approximately the same time. Keeping a regular meal time schedule will help prevent becoming overly hungry; this is especially important during the holidays

Second, balancing carbohydrate intake is important. For example, if dressing/stuffing or sweet potato casserole are dishes you look forward to all year let’s enjoy them! However, since they are a carbohydrate consider leaving the rolls which you can eat any day. This is a good way to help balance and moderate carbohydrate intake and blood sugar. Remember the hidden carbohydrate in the holiday meal – gravy! A little is good; a lot can mean a higher blood sugar and extra calories.

Last but not least, another way to help control and balance carbohydrate intake during the holidays is to remember veggies! Vegetables are very low in carbohydrates and calories and high in vitamins and minerals. One and a half cups of cooked vegetables or three cups raw are equal to one ½ cup of mashed potatoes (no gravy) – so add more vegetables to your plate!

From the American Institute for Cancer Research website: a colorful, lower carbohydrate and tasty addition to any holiday meal.

Photo Courtesy: Pioneer Thinking

Photo Courtesy: Pioneer Thinking

Beet Salad with Peaches and Walnuts
2 medium cooked red beets, sliced 1/4-inch
2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. minced mint leaves (reserve a few sprigs for garnish)
1 tsp. minced thyme (reserve a few sprigs for garnish)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
2 cups sliced peaches without skin (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta)

On platter arrange beets and tomato slices. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In large mixing bowl combine shallot, mint, thyme, oil, lemon juice and honey. Stir well to combine. Add peach wedges and gently toss to coat.

Arrange peach mixture over beets and tomatoes. Top salad with walnuts and cheese, garnish with mint and thyme sprigs and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 197 calories, 11 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 58 mg sodium.

“Tidings of Joy” – LMC’s 2013 Christmas Message

The Lexington Medical Center Christmas Commercial debuts Thanksgiving Day. This year, the commercial features the musical talents of LMC employees. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is sung throughout hospital departments while a family prepares for the miracle of life. Our hope is that this commercial provides a message of comfort and joy, which is what we try to provide to our patients throughout the year. You can watch the LMC Christmas commercial on the hospital’s YouTube channel or during your favorite Christmas TV show this holiday season.

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

By:  Donna Quirk, MBA, RD, LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Today (November 14th) is World Diabetes Day, a day dedicated to diabetes education and prevention.  The International Diabetes Federation works all year long to increase awareness about the ever growing health threat that diabetes poses worldwide.

It also strikes me that World Diabetes Day occurs every year right as many of us start celebrating the holidays.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are filled with fun and family … and food.  Keeping blood sugars in check while enjoying the food and festivities can be a struggle.  But as always, with a strategy and some planning you can do it!  Here are some ideas:

  • Roast winter vegetables to have as a side dish.  Cube potatoes or sweet potatoes, turnips, acorn squash, red onion then add baby carrots and brussels sprouts.  Toss with a combination of olive oil, apple butter, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Spread in a baking dish and roast until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle pomegranates on turkey instead of cranberry sauce.  Use pomegranates in any salad as well.
  • Keep fresh fruit on the dessert table with yogurt for a dipping sauce.
  • To save calories and carbohydrates, make fruit crisps instead of pies.
  • Keep beverages calorie free or very low in calories.
  • Exercise regularly through the holiday season!

Green Bean Casserole is Thanksgiving favorite.  Here is an alternate recipe from this month’s Today’s Diet & Nutrition© magazine that saves the calories and fat from the cream soup and fried onions.

Green Beans With Crispy Topping
Serves 4

For the crispy topping

  • 1⁄2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons chicken broth
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1⁄2 cup rice crisp cereal

For the beans

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag green beans
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme


In a small saucepan over medium heat, make crispy topping by melting the butter then adding the broth, garlic and onion powders, red pepper flakes (if using), and cereal, stirring to coat the cereal. Cook, stirring frequently, until cereal begins to brown and pan is dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Wash and prep the beans, if necessary. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of broth and the olive oil. Add beans and season with salt to taste. Stir occasionally.

When pan becomes dry, about 3 minutes, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of broth. Cook until beans are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, melt the butter with the thyme in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

When beans are done, remove pan from heat and toss beans with butter sauce. Place beans in a serving dish and garnish with the crispy topping.

Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 95; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 11 mg; Sodium: 94 mg; Carbohydrates: 10 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 2 g

Recipe by Jessica Girdwain © 2012 Today’s Diet & Nutrition