It is officially Christmas Eve, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I have far more than visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. Throw some cookies, cakes, and candies into the picture – oh, and some complex math formulas representing how I can possibly maintain good blood sugars while eating these foods – and you’ll have a better idea of what I’ll be thinking about in the hours before Santa Clause makes a stop at my house.
In the past, I’ve talked about how difficult it is for me to deal with my diabetes on holidays. I struggle with wanting to indulge in rich foods and needing to be concerned over how they might affect my blood sugar. For instance, I had to chase highs for most of the evening this past Thanksgiving, and I’d like to avoid having to do the same thing this Christmas Eve and Day.
The holidays are arriving just after I found out that my A1c dropped a half point since my last reading in June, which is spectacular news! It’s an especially huge accomplishment for me because I’ve been with an uncomfortable number of highs lately. Ever since I started my new job, I’ve noticed that remaining sedentary for several hours at a time has a negative impact on my blood sugar. As a result, it’s been really important to me lately to remain diligent and figure out how to address this between tweaking my insulin doses and incorporating an exercise routine into my weekdays.
That being said, I really want to prevent any additional highs so I can enjoy the holiday without having to sacrifice a few treats. So here’s my game plan:
- Figure out what exactly will be served, from dinner to dessert to drinks. That way, I’ll be able to determine which foods I should definitely account for in my meal and which foods I don’t need to worry about. I’ll also know that I’m not missing out on anything – if I didn’t realize there would be desserts, for example, then I might either have to stack my insulin or forgo something that I would’ve really liked to eat.
- Consume fewer carbs. I know for a fact that tonight (Christmas Eve) my family does Chinese food for the main meal. If I stick with higher protein meats and skimp out a bit on starchy fried rice, then I’ll be able to account for more carbs in the dessert portion of the night. The same concept applies vice versa or if I choose to not have dessert and fill up on the main course options.
- Be prepared with Tupperware. If there’s a food item that I really want but choose not to eat due to either a high blood sugar or wanting to keep a steady blood sugar, then I can just save it for later. There’s bound to be leftovers anyways, and just because something is there does not mean that I have to eat it right away.
These steps sound fairly intuitive, but sometimes it’s nice to really think them through so the meanings behind them sink in. I feel better knowing that I’m actively trying to manage my diabetes on tricky holidays, and it makes any potential mistakes feel less aggravating.
With this positive mindset, I’m more apt to get the most out of the most important parts of this holiday: family, peace, joy, goodwill toward men. And so I wish the happiest of holidays to all – and to all a good night!