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Preparing for Holidays with Diabetes by Johanna Hicks, Family & Community Health Agent




November was National Diabetes Awareness Month, but for those who have diabetes, they are very much aware!  Living with prediabetes or diabetes can sometimes result in wondering what to do with food around this time of year.  Should you enjoy in bliss or restrict yourself?  Actually, it can be a happy balance between these options.  The holidays should be a time we can feel confident in our choices while still enjoying time together.  The following tips can equip you for handling events that come your way!

  1. Remember to enjoy the season.  This has been a difficult year for everyone, but take time to give yourself a bit of grace.  Enjoy small gatherings without the worry of food.
  2. Does it spark joy?  Take a moment to think about the foods you enjoy the most.  Mushrooms, not your thing?  Then pass on the stuffed mushrooms and choose a food which you have been looking forward to.
  3. Check in with your body.  When you sit down for a meal, take a moment to assess your hunger level.  Did you just eat a snack, and the meal happens to be ready?  Choose smaller portions, and then add more food if necessary. 
  4. Divide your plate and portion to accommodate your carbohydrate choices.  Are you trying to decide whether to use your carbohydrate choices for mashed potatoes or dressing?  Depending on the number of carbohydrates you have for a meal, allow yourself to fit these favorites into your plate.  If you have 3 carbohydrate choices for a meal, look at the portion size and make it work for your plate.
  5. Be mindful of how to fill your plate.  If all else fails, use the diabetes healthy plate model.  Fill ½ of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, ¼ lean protein, ¼ starchy foods, 1 serving fruit and 1 serving dairy.  That will be the same as three to four carbohydrate choices, which can help you keep to your diabetes plan.

     Fitting foods into your meals takes balance and practice.  The tips listed are just a few of the many ways to enjoy the holidays without guilt.  Remember to wash hands often and take precautions to avoid the spread of COVID.


Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes Series

               Many people across the state have participated in Extension’s “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series over the years.  The series helps equip individuals with diabetes and their family members with the skills to manage diabetes on a daily basis.  The year 2020 brought about some changes, but the series is still being taught.  Rather than face-to-face, we are offering another on-line version where you can still interact with speakers and ask questions.  The series will be held via Zoom, an you won’t even have to leave your home or office to attend!  Simply log on from your own device to a live program facilitated by medical experts and professional educators.  We are partnering with Fannin, Rockwall, and Titus County to bring this valuable series to you!  Here are the details:

  • When:  Wednesdays in January
  • Time:  2:00 to approximately 4:00 p.m.
  • Topics: January 6 – How Food Affects Your Blood Glucose; January 13 – Eating the Right Amount of Carbs and Staying Active; January 20 – Understanding Diabetes Medications; January 27 – Complications and Celebrations
  • Registration: Contact my office at 903-885-3443 and leave your name, address, and phone number.  Registration Deadline is December 30.  You will receive weekly log-in information, and materials will be provided for you.  We are asking for a $10 fee to help cover the cost of printing the materials, notebooks, and other items, but if that is a hardship, the fee will be waived.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Closing Thought

Sandwich every bit of criticism between 2 layers of praise – Mary Kay Ash

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