Our holiday season is a time for celebration with social gatherings and special meals. It can be a difficult time if you are trying to eat healthily to keep your blood glucose managed or if you are concerned about your weight. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the season without derailing your attempts to keep on eating healthily.
Do not starve yourself before a dinner party—that will just result in overeating once you get there! Here are tips to manage during the holiday season:
Make your breakfast and lunch high in protein and fiber, and consider eating a small high protein snack an hour or two before your party.
- Breakfast: Check out some of the breakfast ideas on Centraloregonnutrition.com/blog: Baked egg cups; oatmeal pancake; Cottage cheese + fruit + toast or eat some type meat/poultry or fish with vegetables and sweet potato or other high fiber starch. Remember—there is nothing magic about American breakfast foods!
- Other ideas: /2014/09/eating-breakfast/
- Lunch ideas:
- Green salad topped with a can of tuna or salad and ½ cup beans (black, pinto, garbonzo, kidney…) and your favorite vinaigrette dressing, or anything that gives you some protein and high fiber carbs: recipes for hearty salads
- Soups are great ways to fill up and be satisfied for hours, you want them to have lots of vegetables, some high fiber carbs and some protein. They can be made ahead and frozen for quick lunches, here is a chicken and butternut squash soup recipe. Here’s how to make your own soup recipe: /2011/10/soup-basics/
Once you are at a party, there are a few things you can do to enjoy the wonderful foods there and avoid overeating:
- Check out the buffet table before you go through with a plate. Choose the foods that look really good to you, and then go through the line and get just those things you really want. Don’t worry about the calories in the foods you choose! If you just choose low calorie foods, you will feel cheated and will more likely end up going back to get the food that really looks good and eat more than if you got that in the first place!
- Watch the alcohol! Alcohol is high in calories—try having a glass or two of water or seltzer water in between alcoholic beverages. For some fun ‘mocktail’ recipes check out this: /2014/10/moctails/ .
IF you take mealtime insulin, you do need to estimate the carbohydrates in the foods you choose, and take your mealtime insulin 5 to 15 minutes before eating.
DO NOT TAKE INSULIN UNTIL YOU KNOW YOU WILL BE EATING SOON!
How can you have festive foods at home without overdoing the carbs and calories?
- Keep a big bowl of nuts in the shell with some nut crackers out for fun holiday snacks. It is nearly impossible to overeat nuts when you have to crack them and dig them out of the shell.
- Buy mandarin or satsuma oranges for healthy, but festive snacks.
- If you make cookies, keep a small amount at home for your family and give the rest away, OR freeze them in small packets for treats later.
For more ideas on healthy eating over the holidays, check out our holiday newsletters from previous years. /2015/11/central-oregon-nutrition-open-house-appetizer-recipes/ ; /2014/11/maintaining-healthy-weight-holidays/ ; /2012/12/your-weight-and-the-holiday-season-how-to-keep-from-going-backward/