[How to Stay Healthy This Thanksgiving]-- 4 min read
Thanksgiving is only a couple days away! It's times like these where I can’t help but reflect on how grateful I am for the many blessings in my life; one of those blessings being able to write a blog to you, my fellow diabetic warriors (type 3 diabetics included 😉).
The holidays are filled with mixed emotions. For many, it is a happy time to spend with family and friends, but for some it can be an awkward and even emotional time. As a diabetic, it can be tough. THERE ARE SO MANY CARBS that need to be accounted for that it can sometimes be overwhelming. So, today I decided to share with you the some of the methods I use to not only enjoy the holidays, but stay healthy as well.
1. Plan Ahead.
When I plan ahead, it sets me up for success. I ask about what kind of food is going to be at the thanksgiving gathering, I look up common carb counts for those types of foods, and even go in with a plan on what I am going to eat. Yes, I know, this isn’t the most convenient way to live. But diabetes isn’t convenient, and neither is spending the rest of your day in the 300s because you didn’t have a plan.
2. Everything in moderation.
Before diabetes, I used to not eat all day before my family had thanksgiving dinner. I thought the food would taste better if I did this and that I would be able to eat more. I would get 2 full plates of food and eat until I was sick. After a little break from eating, I would go back for 2nds. It was glorious; however, that way of doing thanksgiving is long gone. Now, I eat like it’s a normal day, first of all, because starving myself is NOT healthy or helping my diabetes and secondly, binge eating like this can cause some serious blood sugar complications. I will usually get a little bit of everything, and maybe a little more of the carb free options. What I want to stress here is this: You want a piece of pumpkin pie? Have a small piece of pumpkin pie, but not multiple pieces of pie or flat out a whole pie to yourself. Trust me, those wacky blood sugars are not worth it. A little bit of everything can go a long way and you won’t feel like you are missing out on all the different foods.
3. Test your blood sugars.
Please, please, PLEASE do not make thanksgiving a free for all day. I know it’s tempting, believe me. It’s so much easier to try (key word try) to forget you have diabetes for a day and ignore blood glucose levels. But the truth is—IT’S NOT WORTH IT. Test your blood sugar levels fasted, before you eat and after you eat. It may “rain on your parade” a little but it can also save you from dealing with uncontrolled blood glucose levels and help you gauge how much to eat.
4. Go for an after-thanksgiving meal walk.
In a study published in 2009, researchers found that a 20- minute walk about 15 minutes after dinner led to lower post-meal blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes that either a walk before dinner or no walk at all.
5. Focus on Family and Friends, not food.
This one is very important advice because life is all about relationships and relationships need a lot of TLC to grow. The holidays can be a very good opportunity to be intentional about catching up family and friends. Also, when you focus on the needs of others, you start to forget about those incessant food cravings. So, take the time to be intentional about your relationships this Thanksgiving.
Those are just a few of the ways that I “stay healthy” over the holidays, especially ones that revolve around food! My parting words of advice to you would be to avoid diet discussions at the dinner table and have fun.
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