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Making healthy life choices during the holiday season can be a difficult thing to do, but it is not impossible! With all of the stress and temptations that abound this time of year, it is easy to say “it's okay this is a special occasion.”
Careful thought and preparation are necessary especially when you are tempted by all the sweets, snacks and big meals that come with the holidays. It is important to make the choices that will keep you healthy.
Keep the following tips in mind when planning your diet and exercise schedule during the holiday season. Please note that is best to check with your healthcare provider to make sure that any of these suggestions would be a good fit for you.
The first thing you can do is map out your schedule and timetable for the holiday season. Once you know what you will be doing and where festivities will take place, it may be easier to plan healthy choices for yourself.
Next, begin to think of foods that will be served. Are there traditional family dishes that are a staple of your holiday celebrations? If so, rather than avoiding these special dishes, you may be able to make a few simple changes to include healthier food choices in the menu. Consider volunteering to bring a dish or dessert or adding a new dish or dessert to the menu that will accommodate your special diet. Having additional healthy menu options may help all the people gathered at the table.
Take a step back and think if there are other ways to prepare the foods that your family enjoys every holiday season. You may be able to substitute one ingredient for another. There are a plenty of ways to lower the fat, carbohydrate, or sugar count in favorite holiday recipes and still keep the taste and flavor in the dishes you look forward to at this time of year.
If there is one dish that is an absolute “must have”, and it cannot be prepared any other way, it does not necessarily mean that it has to be omitted from your menu. Speak to your physician or dietitian about ways that a special food might fit into your holiday meal plan. It may be as simple as indulging in one treat and omitting another.
Finally, it’s very important to keep an eye on the amount of food you eat during the holidays. You can stick to your diet plan and feel more satisfied if you allow yourself to have small tastes of several of your favorite dishes instead of over indulging in one. Splitting a serving of a dessert with a friend instead of eating the entire portion yourself can also make a positive difference. Another important tip is to not allow yourself to be pressured into eating more than you would like to. Do not be afraid to speak up and say “no thanks” when offered seconds.
To empower and educate people affected by diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD), the National Kidney Foundation provides information about a variety of different topics related to diabetes and CKD. Click this link to hear recorded presentations.
For additional information about preventing and living with diabetes please visit the website for the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) http://www.ndep.nih.gov/.