They’re Baaack… Happy Holidays?

May 08 00:00 2001 Print This Article

The bright lights, festive spirit, friendly gatherings - the high prices, high pressure, and high-calorie foods! Love it or hate it, you can't ignore the holiday season.

Inevitably, this topsy-turvy time challenges our daily routine. As Susan Gutterman, RD, CDE and a Technical Service Representative on LifeScan's Health Care Professional Line puts it, "We face large, celebratory meals, events and festivities, goodies brought to offices and homes. People get extremely busy, and sometimes forget to eat at the right time. They may put their execise on the back burner, get very stressed, and do a lot of running around. All of these things can certainly affect their diabetes management." There are ways to help keep the hectic holidays under control, and maybe even turn a challenge into an opportunity. Eat, drink, and be merry!

This year, people with diabetes have more flexibility than ever, thanks to the new nutritional guidelines. The danger is in overindulging. It's vital to stay close to your normal, balanced food routine. You don't need to deny yourself, but use common sense and moderation. Choose foods that you will really enjoy and make them substitutions, not additions to your balanced diet. Ms. Gutterman says it well: "Take the best there is; not all there is!"

Some other ideas:

  • Experiment with a recipe you've been curious about.

  • Try taking just a taste ~ not a serving.

  • Beware of buffets! Go through the line only once, or not at all; ask a friend to fix you a plate with specific items.

  • Prepare for snack attacks by stocking up on healthy treats.

  • Limit your indulgent eating to the day of the celebration ~ not the entire season!

  • What's more fun ~ the "ritual" of drinking or the alcohol? Try cranberry juice and diet lemon-lime soda with a twist of lime, served in a fancy champagne flute.

  • Have an interesting conversation or a chat with an old pal to take the focus off the food.

Attitude adjusters and stress busters:

  • Learn to know your limits, and don't take on too much. Attend only the events that really matter to you. If things start making you altogether crazy, it's okay to let go of some of them or delegate responsibilities to others.

  • Take time out! (Parents and grandparents know this technique). Find a quiet place and just sit a spell. Go to the park, see a movie, or read a book. Schedule time for you and stick to it!

  • Rethink the meaning of the holidays: Family . . . Friends . . . Spirituality . . . Romance . . . Music . . . Fun! Focusing on the true spirit of the season helps put the emphasis where it belongs (and puts food and shopping in their proper perspective!)

Above all, keep Susan Gutterman's excellent advice in mind. "Be a little easier on yourself. Give yourself permission to indulge a bit and don't feel guilty, as long as you take the necessary steps to counteract your indulgences."

Source: Submitted by Marilyn Helton, Editor, Cinnamon Hearts; Reprinted from The Monitor from LifeScan, Inc., A Johnson & Johnson Company, Vol.5, No.3

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