HF 8301

Enjoy the Holidays with Diabetes

Check your calendar. Look at the number of days between Thanksgiving and the first workday after New Year’s. It’s almost 40 days! Circle the days you will be celebrating the holidays. Most people will have about 5 circles when they are finished. That means you have as many as 35 days where you can follow your routine, if you set your goals before the holidays start.

Aim for getting your blood sugars in goal range as soon as possible. Holidays can be stressful, so take the time you need right now to get your blood sugars in your goal range.

  • Practice healthy coping to manage stress.

  • Get plenty of daily exercise. Schedule your exercise before you schedule your holiday activities.

  • Manage your carbohydrate intake now, so that you can enjoy the holiday foods when it really counts.

Be prepared. Start at the beginning of November. Reflect on last year. What kind of foods were around during the holidays? Make a list of these foods and find out the carbohydrate content. Home recipes can be evaluated for carbohydrate content. Everything that has carbs in it counts. Add any new carbohydrate values you find to your carb-counting lists.

Take the best and leave the rest. Decide what you want to eat during the meal and ask for some to take with you for later if it doesn’t fit into your carb budget at the time. Practice saying “no thank you” to foods that you can do without.

Plan for days of celebration. Think about how you can split up your carbohydrate “budget” over the whole day. If you are saying to yourself, “I want to eat real food,” there is a one-day sample on the back side of this page. Use this as a menu guide. You can hang it on your fridge. Amaze yourself, your friends, and relatives with your “carb smarts!”

Plan for family activities that do not focus on food. Examples include games, setting up or viewing others’ lights or decorations, taking a walk and even shopping!

Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, have it with food.

Set your goals now. Ask yourself:

  • What diabetes self-management goal will I focus on during the holiday?

  • What healthy recipes can I fix ahead, so I can eat well while I am busy?

  • How can I get more exercise during the holidays?