Diabetes Talk With Debbie

I hope each of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for each of you. I also want to extend a huge thank you to those that attended the WGH World Diabetes Day Awareness Event, including my peers and their participation. The event was very successful.

Now, Christmas and the New Year Holidays are fast approaching. Can the holidays be healthy? Yes, they can! The American Diabetes Association has six great tips to help us all through the holidays.

#1 Focus on Friends and Family.

Food does not need to be the focus. The holidays are a time to slow down and catch up with loved ones. Stress increases a blood sugar. Managing stress and including relaxation over the busy weeks is essential.

#2 It’s A Party, But Don’t Overdo It!

Kool and the Gang sang it, “Celebrate Good Times Come On!!! It may be more than one party! Therefore it is important for each of us to eat slowly and enjoy foods we might only have once a year, in smaller portions. Portion control is essential year round. Resist on going back for seconds (or thirds). For example, if you choose a couple of cookies, opt out on the dinner roll(s).

#3 Bring What You Like.

Aunt Bethany wrapped up her jello salad for the Griswold’s Christmas gathering, kitty food in it and all. She certainly didn’t care what others thought. We need to worry less about what we make, bake and serve. The simpler the better. Less is more. Include fresh and organic as options. We need to change past traditions and make new. Green beans drizzled with olive oil with toasted slivered almonds is a healthier option than the traditional green bean casserole.

#4 Drink in Moderation.

Holiday drinks can have a significant amount of calories. All of us should avoid drinks that have high calorie mixers like regular soda, juices, etc. They are packed with carbohydrates and calories. If you drink alcohol, remember to eat something beforehand to prevent a low blood glucose level later on, especially if you have a diagnosis of diabetes. Make the choice to limit your intake to just one or two.

#5 Stay Active.

Make the holidays more active. Plan ways in which you and yours can increase physical activity. Taking a walk; playing football, basketball, or soccer; ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross country or downhill skiing. Dig out that Wii and compete against one another with golfing, tennis, bowling, yoga and just dance.

#6 Overindulged, Get Back on Track!

And last, if you do overindulge, just get back on track. Make a plan and take action. Each day we have the opportunity to make healthier food choices and be physically active for overall wellness.

I have fond holiday memories of watching Bob Hope entertain the troops with my great grandparents. Bob Hope said it best, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! Please contact me for more information regarding the WGH Winter Wellness event. A great way to end the year and start the New Year!

Deb Labesky BSN RN

WGH Diabetes Education Services

723-4973 Ext. 1584