Thanksgiving Survival Guide
Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. How can we not look forward to it? For most people with type two diabetes however, it becomes a day filled with mixed emotions. While we look forward to the to the holiday festivities, we become anxious about the guilt of indulgence. Yet, there are ways to enjoy the holiday responsibly and healthfully, without the added guilt. Here are seven tips to enjoying your holiday.
Yes you’ve heard it said before and today is no different; make sure you eat breakfast on this big day. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast will help you curb the cravings that develop throughout the day.
Thanksgiving morning is a great time to get your morning exercise in. Going for a walk or a run will help to boost your energy for the day and get your day going on the right track. It sets the tone for the rest of the day so you become more mindful of your dietary choices. It’s also a great way to get some alone time with either yourself or that special family member that you’ve looked forward to seeing for so long. If you happen to live in a city that holds the turkey trot, all the better. This is a great opportunity to get your physical activity in while still maintaining in the holiday spirit. Who knows, you may also be starting a new tradition in your family.
Make it a potluck
If you are hosting make sure you prepare special dishes for yourself that are specific to your dietary needs. Set these aside so you can ensure your aunt Millie are your uncle Bob does not eat the whole thing before you’ve even set the table. If you’ll be attending Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s or family’s home, make sure you bring along one of your favorite dishes that is specific to your dietary needs. This way you’ll ensure that you at least have one item that you may enjoy without sabotaging your health. Most hosts will consider the dietary needs of their guests in meal preparation. Don’t be shy about sharing your health concerns with your host prior to the day of the event. You may even consider offering to help with the meal preparation. Believe it or not most people have the same concerns you do and would love to be able to enjoy their meal in a more healthful fashion.
Don’t forget your portions
Okay so it’s the holiday, it’s only once a year and the food is delicious. Who’s not going to go for seconds or pile their plates sky high? I get it, it’s okay to go ahead and indulge. While you’re indulging let’s at least make sure the portions are still appropriate. One half of the plate should be veggies, one quarter proteins and the and the rest starches. So while our calorie count maybe higher due to that second (or third) helping, the nutritional proportion will remain the same.
To Drink or not to drink…
Now we all know that alcohol wreaks havoc on diabetics. Every effort should be made to avoid this. If however, you choose to indulge in alcohol, let’s find a way to minimize the damage. After all we’re all human. First, let’s make water the primary beverage of the day. So when you’re having the large meal that may take several hours to consume let’s stick to water during that time. Let’s save the cocktails for when we really need it-for those spirited conversations around the fireplace. That way our time spent with an alcoholic beverage in hand is cut short. Second, be your own bartender. Make sure you chase that drink with that sugar-free beverage. And I would also add, double the portion of chaser to the alcohol. So if you typically drink a one to one portion of rum and coke. Consider drinking a two to one portion, where you double the coke and half the alcohol. It may take some getting used to but it will be okay. And by the way diluting the alcohol does not give you permission to drink twice as much.
Relax and enjoy your day
This is probably the most important advice of all. Seriously, relax and enjoy your day. I don’t know about you but stress and makes hyperphagic. And trust me, today is not the day to have those cravings. Not with all those goodies around. So relax, make self-care a priority on this day. Do whatever you need to do to keep your spirits high and your anxiety level low. This may include your morning run, meditation, daily devotions or a massage. Be sure to take care of yourself on this day.
Forgive yourself; tomorrow is another day.