Danger, Will Robinson! Holiday Food!
Added: Sun. Apr 12, 2009 10:59am
Posted in: Weight Loss
Holidays are dangerous times for diabetics and dieters, and I fall into both categories. Here's how I try to make it through the day without landing myself in a coma.
First, most people don't seem to know that diabetes is not about avoiding sugar. It's about managing carbs. So eating white bread and rice while avoiding cake makes no sense. If you know there will be sweets, just budget them in. Here's how I'm doing it:
1) Cut out all avoidable carbs during the day. This morning I had a breakfast of scrambled eggs (1 whole, 2 whites) with spinach and half an ounce of cheese. This has negligible carbs. For lunch, I'll have something like a dark green salad with 3 ounces of deli meats sliced in and a light vinagrette dressing...lightweight chef's salad. Once again, nutritious and low carb.
3) Choose lower-carb veggie dishes and don't add in carb-laden sauces. Some good choices are green bean almondine, baked or mashed sweet potatoes with a little butter and cinamon, creamed spinach, steamed broccoli or asparagus. The more fiber a veggie has, the lower the carb impact.
2) Make appetizers healthy. Spinach dip made with lowfat riccotta cheese instead of sour cream, served with whole grain crackers, a veggie platter, deviled eggs, fruit with a yogurt dip...all healthy choices for meal starters.
4) Limit or avoid starchy foods. Corn, potatoes, peas, rice...starchy foods are high in carbs and low on nutrition. There's just not enough bang for the buck. If you have to have mashed potatoes and gravy, that's fine, but limit it to a small amount.
5) Skip the bread. Bread is my downfall. I can limit sweets, chips, pies and even chocolate to mere morsels, but put a basket of hot rolls in front of me and my self-control goes out the window. Ask yourself: 2 small biscuits or a slice of pumpkin pie? The carbs are about the same, but the pie offers more nutrition and fiber...even made with sugar.
6) Consider your desserts. Can you make them lower calorie and more nutritious? You bet! Carrot cake loaded with real grated carrots instead of chocolate cake? Oatmeal cookies? Fruit cobbler with nuts in the topping? How about pumpkin pie made with splenda and bottom crust only?
7) Employ natural blood sugar-levelers to help keep from spiking. Cinnamon is a good choice and can easily be incorporated into your meal. Cider vinegar is another. I like to make a salad dish of sliced tomatoes and thin-sliced sweet onions marinated in cider vinegar.
8) The best way to lower your blood sugar is to exercise. Find a time during the day (preferably morning) to go on a brisk walk, and take another walk after dinner.
The real key is knowing what carbs you're taking in and making sound choices. The best-case scenario is being the cook so you can control what you eat, but that is not always going to the the case. If you're going to a gathering, choose filling foods. Hot food gives you a more satisfied "full" feeling. Don't stand near the buffet and graze, you're way more likely to overeat. Instead, visit the buffet, make a plate and find a table furthest away. Have a drink with your dinner, and between bites, put your fork down and take a sip of your drink. Don't even think about going back to the buffet until 20 minutes have passed after you finish your drink and your meal.
Lastly, have one dessert choice after your meal, and if you want to sample others, count them as your daily snacks and wait 2 hours between.
Have a lovely and healthy holiday!