Holiday Strategy

As many families do, my family gathers in the kitchen and around the dinner table for the holidays. Peach pie, pumpkin pie, breads, stuffing, candy, and pretty much everything carb packed sits on every counter top and table in the house!

Most years my strategy for dealing with the temptation was to simply give in. One day of "forgetting" my diabetes won't hurt, right? But recently I've had major heart surgery and four eye surgeries from years of poor self control. So this year and all years to follow, I'm not giving in, ever!

So, what is your strategy for being good during the holidays?

I basically still have the same opinion as you had. one day of bad BG is not hurting at all. but after that, i go right back to trying my best.
but, you wanted some tips for self control, so lets see:

1. try to arrange for healthy snacks -> veggies, or meat, that stuff is all carb free/ low carb.
2. if you eat the sweets/ carbs, count carbs exactly and bolus accordingly right away!
3. make your relatives aware that you are trying to stay healthy, so that they can help you make healthy food choices through the holidays, not pursuing you to stuff you don't wanna eat and providing low carb options.
4. go walking between the meals, so you still have some exercise and your pancreas/ blood sugar has some breaks.

thats all i can think of right now.
Happy holidays!

Good suggestions. :)

This year, I plan to drink a huge glass of water before I sit down to eat. I’m not much on mashed potatoes and rolls but I do like stuffing. The turkey and veggies shouldn’t cause too much trouble.

We eat an early dinner at my house so there will be a walk afterwards before the sun goes down.

As long as I watch the stuffing, I should be okay, and of course, I will up all my dosing and plan to check and correct often through out the day.

Even with all that, there’s no guarantee. Best of luck to everyone on Thursday.

Oh, I should add that I WILL be having a piece if pumpkin pie. That will be my dinner.

Hey Tamra:

Having to face all of these high-glycemic temptations does not make for a particularly pleasant holiday. I would consider urging your family to be a little more sensitive to your challenges and ensure there is a rich variety of low-carb options for you to enjoy as well. In short, get in there and start influencing the menu rather than having to respond to it. I have been fortunate in that regard. Our large family gatherings have overwhelmingly low-carb options with the sweeter options kept at a minimum. In fact, most end up preferring this as they don't get that bloated feeling after the meal.

Good luck and all the best!


Yeah, you would think coming from a family with five type I's and several type II's and many other health issues, we'd have much healthier holiday gatherings. But I think most of my family still think the way I used unhealthy meal every now and then is a treat.

There are always salads and veggie trays and such, but much more unhealthy things. I for one am bring a salad this year. :)

I have family over for the holiday. My family can make their own choices and I provide lots of choices. But I also provide a wide range of low carb choices ranging from garlic mashed cauliflower to low carb cheesecake. This is a holiday and you don't have to give up treating yourself to foods you really enjoy. They just don't have to be be large servings of high carb foods.

ps. And don't forget that treats like shrimp cocktail, artisan cheeses and Niçoise olives are both very enjoyable and low carb.

Yum!! Great examples of tasty low-glycemic foods, Brian. I couldn't agree more - there are a wealth of great foods and recipes out there that taste great and go easy on your BG. Thanksgiving need not be about carby-junk.

I feel for you Tamra. I would consider adding to your repertoire of low-carb dishes to bring and dispelling the myth that healthy and tasty are mutually exclusive. I love Brian's suggestions below and there are so many yummy meat and vegetable options. Good luck! :-)

I count my carbs as usual.I eat turkey,little gravy, 1/3 cup stuffing ,green beans, and squash. I eat,then walk and play with the dog outside. After our 1 pm meal I space a piece of sugar free cheese cake with graham cracker crust. In between I eat nuts, diet soda, and bits of exercise. I am a type 2 on oral meds and Lantus. Nancy

I don't think of these things as "being good" or "being bad" as that tends to bring out our inner child who feels deprived, entitled or just plan contrary! I think of it as making choices. We each make different choices. Some choose to have a reasonable serving of their favorite thing and the rest healthy. Some choose a bit of everything and (try to) bolus accordingly. Some say "the hell with it" for one day (ditto on the "try" to bolus accordingly). Some bring their own or request low carb options and stick with it. It's all good and all about CHOICE.

Then there are those like me who hasn't much use for Thanksgiving either the food (as a Type 1 and a vegetarian) or the occasion. We are celebrating virtually destroying a culture whose home we invaded?? However, if I'm in a place with friend and family and Thanksgiving is happening I make my own choices (mostly healthy, somewhat higher carb than usual if there is something I like) and enjoy the company and the warmth of the season. This year I'll just make it a day like any other which I'm fine with.

I too make a mashed cauliflower dish. So yummy and resembles mashed potatoes so well! :)

Indeed! I actually prefer it to mashed potatoes.

My own strategy is to not make any holiday about food but about the folks I have the pleasure of spending it with. If some good eats happen to be involved then I choose what I like or can handle and enjoy it with my friends and loved ones.

For me it’s all about moderation. I am carb freak so find it hard to say no. I bolus appropriately and call it a day.

I find that as long as I am feeling pretty full, I am less likely to be tempted by junk, or at least less of it. So I load up on the low-carb stuff - turkey, gravy, veggies, and don't forget those little snack trays of cheese and pickles. Within a few minutes your snackin' vibe will settle down, and you can really savor a piece of pie later or a couple of small sweet things. Also, just put one dessert at a time on your plate. If you really want more badly enough this will make yourself go back and get it!

Being good during the holidays means focusing on folks who need cheer and support…as far as food…i sip diet tonic water with the juice of a squeezed lime in a tall coctail glass that i call my lime ricky…sipping this iced drink makes me feel like a participant in festivities…lovely taste…holiday cheer to all!

Eat, have a good time, do my best to manage my BG, and accept that this time of year the ol' BG control gets a bit wilder. Like accepting a post-meal spike over 200 and just working it down, rather than getting all tweaked about it and trying to figure out "what's wrong".

I simply don't believe that some larger excursions during a one month period once a year is going to cause any meaningful problems.

Stay on top of your BG, but also have a good time. 'Tis the season!

Superb insight, and excellent advice!

When I'm hungry, my brain sees anything carb as the most delicious, necessary sustenance on the planet. When no hunger pangs, not so much.