Abby Blaustein is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian who leads Novo Nordisk’s Garden State Educator team, which comprises 11 passionate Diabetes Educators of varied backgrounds. Below, Abby and the team offer some healthy eating tips and suggestions for the holidays. Most are tips that have helped them get through the holiday season over the years.
- Before heading out to holiday parties, eat a high-protein, low-carb, high-fiber snack so you’re not as hungry and less likely to overindulge.
- Don’t skip meals to save up for a big feast - you may spike your blood sugar and be more likely to overeat.
- Keep track of your nutrition and activity and use resources such as Cornerstones4Care.com or Diabetes 360 to keep you motivated.
- For the holidays and any time of year - to avoid end-of-the-day overeating, don’t wear clothes with an elastic waistband. Instead, wear jeans or tighter clothes as a reminder to keep portions small :)
- Be holiday road ready! Pack healthy snacks while traveling instead of eating at rest stops.
- Embrace meaningful mini-traditions like lighting candles and sipping no-calorie spiced tea.
- When doing holiday cooking, consider healthier substitutions in recipes. For example, look for new recipe ideas using cauliflower instead of potatoes or rice.
- Spritz up your drink - top off a half-filled wine glass with calorie/carb- free seltzer or club soda for fewer calories/less alcohol and a little added zip!
- Drink a glass of water before your meal to help you feel fuller and eat the vegetables and protein foods before the carbohydrates; this can help you eat less carbohydrates.
- You can have your cake and eat it too -just not with your potatoes and stuffing. Make room for the carbs you want at the holiday meal by planning ahead. If you really want the dessert, eat only the protein entree and low-carb vegetables, then add in your dessert carbs staying within your mealtime carbohydrate goal.
Don’t underestimate the impact of holiday stress and excitement on your blood sugar! Among overspending, finding the “perfect” gifts for everyone, and extra to-do lists, it all adds up! Reduce stress by sticking to your holiday budget, asking for help with chores, making time for plenty of sleep and physical activity, and not over-stressing if your blood sugars aren’t perfect.
Most importantly, remember the reason for the season! The holidays are about spending quality time with friends and family and creating new memories!