Well, Thanksgiving is next week, and one thing that most Americans will readily admit is that overeating on Thanksgiving (and many other holidays) is almost a cultural rite of passage. So, what's a conscientious diabetic to do?
When faced with mounds of food on Thanksgiving, it's sometimes hard to choose from the array of goodies that seem to be screaming for you to eat them. There are often the traditional offerings like turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and then there are the desserts that can sometimes outnumber the regular foods.
As a diabetic, you know that making smart choices is important, and being careful about what you choose is part and parcel of your lifestyle and self-care. There are, of course, many hidden sugars in so many prepared foods, so think carefully about what you're choosing and how much it's worth to you to have it. There are so many wonderful things to choose from at a holiday table, so making those smart choices is even more of a challenge at this time of year.
One of the big challenges during the holidays can be portion control. With so many tasty and delicious things to sample, the pleasure centers in our brains work overtime in order to convince us that we need to try everything. Now, if you want to try everything, that can actually sometimes be okay, but you need to think very carefully about how much of each thing you're eating.
Especially when it comes to carbs, diabetics must of course be extra careful in terms of intake. So, when facing those piles of sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, bread, desserts, stuffing and other holiday fare, make your portions smaller so that you can manage your carb load wisely. Having said that, it isn't really necessary to taste everything, and it's also not necessary to have seconds either, so conscientious and thoughtful self-regulation is the order of the day!
It's In Your Mind
In the end, the struggle is really mostly in your mind. Watching other people pile those plates up high can potentially make you feel resentful of your diabetes and the limitations imposed on your diet and lifestyle. Maybe you have moments of feeling deprived and sad, and these sorts of understandable feelings can sometimes cause you to throw caution to the wind and just go for it like everyone else. But does this really serve you in the end?
During the holidays, watch your mind closely, monitor your thoughts, and determine if some desires for particular foods are really only based on your thinking, not your true desires. Do you really want that second piece of pie, or do you think you want it or deserve it?
It's Also In Your Heart
The holidays are about connection, warmth, celebration, family, friends and togetherness. Your heart will feel full from the emotions of this time of year, and your body will also crave to be filled by the delicious goodies that everyone has lovingly prepared. Remember that it's really about the connection and the togetherness much more than it's about the food. Maybe if you fill yourself up with love, celebration and gratitude, the need to fill yourself up by overeating or overindulging will fade into the background.
So, enjoy the holidays by being thoughtful, aware, conscientious and measured in your choices. And remember to have fun!