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.

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