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Five Ways You Can Fully Enjoy This Holiday Season

Keeping up with diabetes self-management during the holidays can be challenging, but rewarding. Here are some ways you can thrive during holiday feasting, stay active, keep up with treatment—and have fun. 

Enjoy your meal without feeling overwhelmed. 

 Who said you can’t indulge and still pay attention to your dietary needs? Sure you can! Consider the plate method (https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/articles/what-is-the-diabetes-plate-method.html). Using a 9-inch dinning plate, fill up one-fourth with carbohydrates (think sweet potato or your favorite holiday starch), one-fourth protein (this is where the turkey would typically go) and then one-half a plate of veggies. In the mood for some dessert? Go for it! Try to use the palm of your hand to guide the portion size. Load your plate with whole grains and vegetables. Save up for dessert by eating about 15 carbs fewer than the 60 to 90 carbs recommended for a full meal. 

When in doubt, bring your own diabetes-friendly dishes. 

Not everyone you visit over the holidays is well versed on preparing low-carb or diabetes-friendly meals. In that case, you may want to consider bringing your own recipes. Look up recipes for diabetes-friendly stuffing and other low-carb versions of holiday staples like cranberry sauce and cornbread. 

Remember, if you go over your carb limit. 

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday, recognize you may not be perfect all the time. You might eat more carbs than you were planning to or skip your exercise routine.  It’s okay! Life happens and navigating food intake during the holidays can be tricky. Remember, you can always start fresh the next day with sensible meals and a brisk walk. 

Start new, active traditions for you and your family. 

It can be hard to fit exercise into a busy holiday schedule. Take that challenge head-on by encouraging your family to create a new activity to enjoy together. Tag football, foot races, and a game of charades are all fun holiday activities the family can bond over. 

Set realistic goals for the new year. 

New Year’s resolutions are a fun way to get into a positive mindset to help start the year off on the right foot. Consider setting SMART, (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely), goals that can help guide your progress throughout the year. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely. Not sure where to start? You can learn more about those here:  https://www.atlassian.com/blog/productivity/how-to-write-smart-goals

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