The holidays are an exciting time of year filled with anticipation, hope, family, and many of our favorite foods. These very foods play an important part of the family and cultural traditions that make us who we are. Here you will find a few mental approaches to enjoy the holidays fully and with health in mind.
- REMEMBER THE WHY
Why are you choosing to support your health through lifestyle choices in the first place? People choose to eat and move for all different reasons.
What are the long-term goals I have set?
Are there any interactions between the holiday foods I like and the medications I take?
How will the foods I eat affect my blood sugar/blood pressure/kidney health/heart?
Yes! These special foods come around once a year – so they should be enjoyed. And yes! These special foods will come around again next year. Here are a few thoughts to reflect on before heading to that holiday gathering
Do I enjoy that second helping of (fill in your favorite holiday foods) as much as the first helping?
How might my body feel if I take a small scoop of the items I enjoy instead of a full serving?
What is the purpose of this gathering? Is it for food only, or am I here to enjoy friends and family?
3. KEEP ‘ER MOVING
If exercise is part of the daily routine, keep it moving. Sometimes putting the shoes on is the hardest part. If exercise is not a part of the daily routine, you may find any type of physical activity may be helpful in managing stress and keeping the GI system regular.
What extra movement can I get in if my normal routine is not possible?
How can I combine spending time with family and physical activity?
4. HYDRATE WISELY
Choosing zero or low-calorie drinks provide hydration while avoiding excess calories. Adding sparkling water to a high calorie drink adds exciting bubbles and reduces calories.
5. GIVE GRACE
It’s important to be gracious with yourself if a day or a meal doesn’t go as planned. Many people living with diabetes report similar experiences of feeling judged by their food choices. Giving grace to those who don’t understand can be just as helpful to you as to those receiving.