How to maintain Your Health During the Holidays

The holiday season for many is a special time for family gatherings, gift-shopping and spiritual renewal. For people with diabetes, the joy of the holiday season may also have its challenges, including difficult-to-manage blood glucose levelsextra pounds and fatigue and stress associated with trying to engineer the picture-perfect celebration.

When you’re managing diabetes, a condition affecting over 30 million Americans, maintaining good health and keeping stress at bay are important. The easiest way to do this is to plan ahead. Here are some tips to help you maneuver the holiday maze while maintaining a healthy, diabetes-friendly lifestyle.

Eat, drink and be wary

Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and often plays a major role in most holiday celebrations. However, contrary to the popular belief that a person gains 5–10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, research shows that the average person gains only about one pound each holiday season.

Although it may not be the best time to attempt a serious weight-loss program, it is realistic to set a goal of maintaining your weight and blood glucose control. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Cut the fat and sugar. Make your holiday recipes healthier by reducing their fat and sugar content.

Bring a healthy dish to holiday get-togethers. That way, you can ensure there will be something tasty and nutritious for you to enjoy. Many of your fellow guests will thank you.

Focus on activities that don’t involve food. Attend holiday musicals or plays, plan caroling parties, get friends or family together to wrap gifts, decorate or shop.

Avoid holiday grazing. Calories consumed tasting food while you’re cooking, clearing the table and socializing still count. A handful of nuts, a few cheese cubes and crackers and a bite or two of candy can quickly add up to almost 500 calories. In fact, you may end up eating as much carbohydrate and calories as you would if you sat down and ate an entire meal.

Keep carbohydrate consistent. If you’re going to have a holiday treat, substitute it for other carbohydrate in a meal; don’t just add it to your regular foods.

Skip the second helpings. Remember that limiting portions is the key to preventing weight gain and helps prevent blood glucose from going out of control.

Plan for parties. Having a small snack before a party will take the edge off your hunger and make you less likely to overfill your plate or return to the buffet table for seconds. Once you’ve eaten, focus on socializing with other party guests. Be sure to move your socializing away from the buffet table, where the sight or smell of food might tempt you to eat more.

Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol contains calories and sometimes carbohydrate, depending on your choice of drink. It also lowers your inhibitions, possibly making it harder for you to say no to food you wouldn’t otherwise eat. To sidestep such problems, ask for a no-calorie sparkling water with a lime twist.

The power of physical activity

Staying physically active during the holiday season can relieve your stress, improve your mood, lower your blood glucose levels and help with weight control. While your busy holiday schedule may not allow you to participate in as much daily physical activity as you might like, there are ways to stay active. These tips can help.

Encourage active holiday events. Plan parties around caroling, house decorating, holiday card making, snowman building or walks to see neighborhood decorations.

Your gift shopping trips can help burn calories and lower blood glucose. Park farther away from the mall entrance. Use the store’s stairs, not the escalator. Arrive at the mall a bit early and speed walk around the mall until the stores open.

Exercise. If it’s impossible for you to find a block of 30 minutes each day for physical activity, split your activity into two or three intervals of 10–15 minutes each.

Find something to laugh about. Laughing is a great tension reliever. It burns calories, reduces stress and usually means that you’re enjoying yourself. Research shows that laughter actually lowers blood glucose after meals. The study suggests that the positive effects of laughter may be due to increased calorie consumption or changes in the neuroendocrine system. Other studies note that laughter helps lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system and release endorphins.

Keeping spirits bright

Overscheduling, overdoing, overspending…holiday preparations often lead to stress rather than serenity and satisfaction. Stress can affect blood glucose levels in several ways. The stress of overdoing and overscheduling may lead you to neglect your usual self-care plan. The body also reacts to stress by producing hormones that cause the liver to release a surge of glucose, leading to high blood glucose levels. On the other hand, if you are too busy to eat properly, your blood glucose can drop too low.

Holiday stress survival kit

Avoiding fluctuations in blood glucose during the holidays can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help keep you on the right path.

Schedule time for self-care. Regular exercise and time for stress management are a must. Use a pedometer to track your steps, keep an honest food diary for a few days, be sure to continue to check and record your blood glucose results. Find the tools and techniques that work best for you and put them to work.

Taking a few deep, slow breaths goes a long way toward helping your body unwind and clearing your mind. Set a timer or post sticky notes in your kitchen or on your computer monitor as a reminder to breathe deeply at least three times a day. Transcend tension in traffic or on your way to a holiday party by taking a few deep breaths, making sure to exhale completely.

Knowing your spending limits will also relieve holiday stress. Gifts are meant to be symbols of affection; they don’t necessarily have to be expensive or the latest “must have” gadget. If the “perfect” gift is one you’re going to be paying for the rest of the year, it may be time to rethink your plan. Find a gift that is meaningful and personal but doesn’t break your budget.

Keep your expectations realistic. Don’t be disappointed if your celebration doesn’t reflect the fantasy found in holiday carols and television specials. Expect some irritations and imperfections, then relax and have a good time in spite of them.

What is your reason for the season?

Focus on your reason for the season. Is it the decorations, the spiritual aspects, the music or the time spent with family and friends? Perhaps this is the year you start a new tradition, possibly serving a holiday meal to those less fortunate or escaping to a warm vacation spot. With a bit of planning and attention, diabetes won’t stand in the way of your finding the true spirit of the holidays.

Source: Diabetes self management.

Eat right: Best food for diabetes control

 

TYPE 2 diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin, but it can be controlled with medication, and by following a healthy diet. Even though nothing is completely forbidden, a person with diabetes should avoid foods which could increase the risk of complications.
We are pleased to present to you 7 delicious foods that are compatible with diabetes, not only will these foods keep your blood sugar regulated also they will boost your energy and get your body the vitamins and antioxidants needed!

1. Whole grains

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Whole grains are good sources of fiber, which can help slow the absorption of glucose into the blood. Plus, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a better choice than refined carbohydrates for people with type 2 diabetes. Try to include brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, whole-grain cornmeal, quinoa, millet, whole oats, whole rye, or amaranth in your diet.

2. Salmon

 

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Salmon is often very recommended because it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, the “healthy” fats that may boost your heart, skin, brain, and help reduce your risk of heart disease, which is important for people with type 2 diabetes, whose risk of cardiovascular disease is already elevated.

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

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Extra virgin olive oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet, it’s known to reduces blood sugar and cholesterol making it very beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes, it is also a great source of high-quality protein which helps you feel full and increases your metabolic rate.

4. Sweet potatoes

 

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Sweet potatoes are gaining increased attention among people with diabetes, since they are lower on the glycemic index than regular white potatoes. They help to manage blood sugar levels when you eat the right serving size.

5. Eggs

 

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Eggs are not only major sources of dietary cholesterol but also contain other important nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, proteins..The protein will help keep you full without affecting your blood sugar, slows digestion, also slows glucose absorption. Still keep in mind that it shouldn’t be consumed in excess if you have diabetes. In the U.S. guidelines recommend cholesterol be limited to less than 300 milligrams per day for healthy people — and one egg has about 200 milligrams of cholesterol. Those guidelines also suggest that people with type 2 stick to less than four eggs per week.

6. Greek Yogurt

 

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Low-fat yogurt contains high-quality carbohydrates and protein, making it an excellent snack for people with diabetes. Studies also show that a diet high in calcium from yogurt and other calcium-rich foods is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Be sure to stick to low-fat or nonfat brands.

7. Broccoli

 

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It may be time to start adding more of this green super veggie to your daily diet, in fact, according to a new study, broccoli could slow, and potentially reverse diabetes, it is rich in chromium which helps to balance glucose levels in the blood. Furthermore Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C. In fact, one serving of broccoli has twice as much vitamin C as an orange. It also contains plenty of potassium, and fiber , which is essential in producing and maintaining your body’s cells.

“Take that and fold it up and put it in your pocket for a while.”

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Source: Diabetes.co.uk, @Diabetescouk

#MakeInsulinAffordable

Staying alive shouldn’t cost so much. Join the ADA’s effort to #MakeInsulinAffordable for people with #diabetes: http://makeinsulinaffordable.org

affordable-insulin

“Insulin isn’t just a drug. It’s the difference between life and death for millions of people with diabetes – and it’s something they will need every day for the rest of their lives.

When you or someone you love needs insulin and cannot afford it, the choices are scary. With the average price of insulin skyrocketing in recent years – nearly tripling between 2002 and 2013 – more and more of our family members, our friends, our neighbors and ourselves are faced with tough choices to pay for this lifesaving drug.

This is unacceptable. It’s time to stand together and call for change.

Join us in calling for increased transparency and more affordable insulin. More than 188,000 people have signed the American Diabetes Association’s petition to support those struggling with insulin affordability. Add your name today.” – ADA