A house party, during the holidays or anytime, always begs the question, “What can I bring?”
If you have diabetes, there is a conscious effort to choose something that you can not only eat, but that will be just as delicious as all of the other goodies on the table. You want to be able to enjoy the spread as much as the next person (albeit with some restrictions), but also adhere to your own health guidelines without drawing attention, or making anyone else feel uncomfortable.
Here are a few tips to help you focus gently on healthy but flavorful food choices, enjoying yourself, and eating mindfully, versus obsessing about what you (or they) can and can’t eat. These are helpful whether you happen to have diabetes or not, and just want to eat a little healthier when people gather:
- Bring what you like. You know what’s good and not good for you, so don’t stress about what your host is serving. You’ve gotten creative with healthy recipes, so bring a favorite! If you like it, chances are they will too – whether someone else at the party has diabetes, or not.
- Know your limits. Eat mindfully and slowly to savor your food; you’ll eat less, and feel full sooner. Exert portion control (if a smaller plate is available, use it), and resist seconds.
- Timing is everything. If the meal is being served around your usual meal time, eat the same amount of carbohydrates as you normally would at home. If that sliver of pie has your name on it, cut back on another carbohydrate during the main course.
- Go sugar free on drinks. Garnish plain water, ice tea, or seltzer with fresh citrus or mint. Avoid sugary, high-calorie, or high-carb drink mixers (like margarita mix, regular soda, or tonic). Many sugar substitutes carry risks, and the use of them should be discussed with your doctor. If you drink alcohol (limit up to two drinks for men/one for women, tops, daily), eat something beforehand to prevent low glucose levels.
- Don’t dwell on missteps, just start fresh! Re-gain control through restraint, exercising, and monitoring your glucose.
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano
Sources include: www.diabetes.org