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Saturday, December 12, 2015

From Halloween to New Year’s: Tips for Celebrating With Diabetes

By Joan Bardsley, MBA, BSN, RN, CDE
For someone with type 2 diabetes, managing to enjoy all of the celebrations of the season can seem hard. The Halloween tradition of getting – and eating – candy is just around the corner, followed by the holiday food spiral of Thanksgiving, December holiday parties, the holidays themselves, and then New Year’s Eve. But our message is clear: Type 2 diabetes will not stop you from enjoying the holidays!

Below are some tips from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. But the first tip is this: See a diabetes educator. These are nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals who have additional expertise as diabetes educators. They provide education so that people with diabetes can successfully self-manage their condition.

Diabetes self-management is built around seven core behaviors: Healthy eating, being active, monitoring blood glucose, taking medication, problem-solving, reducing risks, and coping in healthy ways.

Every year, as we begin the “eating season,” the needs of people with type 2 diabetes are increasingly understood and accepted. This is because diabetes is an epidemic (everyone knows someone), and healthy eating has become more common. More and more, people want to eat healthy as much as they can.

*Halloween: Don’t Be Tricked by Tempting Treats
Even adults will be tempted by Halloween candy. The best thing for anyone with type 2 diabetes is to make a plan. Candy can be tempting if it’s in the house, but try other options such as popcorn, sugar-free or low-carb candy, or something homemade, so that the ingredients are known. If you do have candy, choose the fun-size rather than the full-size to eat. Know how much candy you plan to eat right away or save for later and then have fun.

Thanksgiving: Give Thanks to Sticking With Your Goals
Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day as you normally do. If you skip meals, it may be harder to control your blood sugar.

Manage the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate. Mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and rolls could be hard to resist; however, try to choose just one of these items. Or, just take a few spoonfuls or bites of each.

After your meal, take a walk with family and friends. Exercise will get you moving, keep you focused on your goals, and give you a welcome break from being surrounded by treats. Exercise is also a great way to lower blood sugar levels.

*Holiday Parties: Healthy Celebrating Does Not Have to Be a Buzzkill
Holiday buffets are notorious for tempting people into overindulging on less healthy eats. But knowing how to navigate the buffet is key. Choose fruits and vegetables served raw, grilled, or steamed. Avoid vegetables in creams, gravies, and butter. Stick to calorie-free drinks such as water, tea, seltzer, or diet sodas instead of punch or mixed drinks.

The holidays can also mean travel, so remember to regularly check your blood sugar. Adding a few extra checks on a party day may help guide your choices.

*New Year’s Eve: Ring in a New Year Where You Are in Control
What’s a New Year’s toast without the clinking of champagne glasses? If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your diabetes educator about whether alcohol is safe for you. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day and men should drink no more than two.

Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take small portions, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture.

The most important focus should be on enjoying the holidays. Remember to manage the stress that often comes with the holidays, and spend time with family and friends, or some time alone. 
You are in control!


  1. Hi Aunty and Genie ,
    This is a great service you are doing , so many people are learning how to take care of themselves .
    Henry and Charles is glad Lenny invited them to stay with them .

    Aunty , Sha had a wonderful party , she got exactly what she wanted .I will be , Uncle was so proud to whirl Sha across the floor . MeMa said the guys put it together Friday night . Poppa said uncle gave Sha her very own credit card to buy her supplies on .
    Lynn sung Happy Birthday to Sha until she went to sleep .

    Hi Genie ,
    Hope you are feeling in the pink and your family is doing good . 2 more holidays and we are done for a couple of months . Sha was a happy little teenager when she open her big box .Kind of late , I was enjoying the party .have fun with these .
    Your sweet niece

    Dear Maxy ,
    I was expecting a package for a while and eventually got it delivered , by my sheepish neighbor , who had open it ! What ? I was not here when he dropped it off on my porch , but he left a note saying , "Sorry , I thought it was for me . ---Dave." I was so confused and I couldn't believed he had open my mail . Did he want to know what I was ordering ? Was he so excited to get a package that he didn't look at 'MY' name plastered on it ? I am not one for confrontation , but I am definitely fuming . I want to march right over there , but I do not want to accuse him of anything . Maybe he did make a mistake , but my mail has the right to remain private ! I'm worried about this happening again . Should I just leave a note with a response on the back of his door ? I want to tell him to check his mail , and I will check mine , too .
    Mail Bandit

    Dear Maxy ,
    One of my good friends , Kate , and I finished working on an island for the summer season . As the season ended , we had a talk about how although we love each other , we could never be in a relationship without everything going up in flames . We are great friends to each other and we keep in touch the whole year . This year ended any hopes that each of us had of being together . It feels like we always used to be each other's backups for life partners , but now that safety net has been cut . It's been a few months since this conversation , and I'm wondering if we had made a mistake . On one hand , we get along well and feel a deep connection to each other ; however , we are very similar and fight often . I don't want to string her along , but I always want to be close with Kate .
    Is there any way to do that without falling back into the talks of being in a relationship ?
    Summer Love

    1. Howdy my sweet niece , We truly hope we are helping with our series on Diabetes / Ask Maxy / Food for Thought , we also thank you for your time .
      Yes my big girl was so very happy , Gil told her he would teach her how to transact her business . Lynn is such a cutie.
      Thank you sweetie .

  2. Aunty and Genie here are three more ,

    Dear Maxy ,
    My 35-year-old son "Edgar," has been diagnosed with major depression and is receiving disability . He currently lives in an apartment on my parents property .
    Since Edgar is currently vehicle-less , I've been helping him with grocery shopping , etc . Last week , after a bout of extreme allergy symptoms , his depression escalated and he texted me , saying , "I don't care about anything anymore . My life is worthless ." He claimed he had no food left , but refused to let me bring over groceries . He said he didn't care if he wasted away , although he promised not to kill himself .
    Over the weekend I texted him , but there was no response . By Monday , I was frantic . I reached out to his physician , leaving a message with the assistant , emphatically stating that my son promised he would not harm himself . He just didn't want to eat . I told the assistant that it was crucial that I speak to the doctor before an intervention . Well , this inept nitwit conveyed the wrong information to the doctor , resulting in a call to the police inquiring about a welfare check . And instead of talking to me , the doctor phoned my parents.
    Then Edgar called , ranting that I have totally messed up his life because I told the doctor he was suicidal . I phone the doctor , who apologized profusely for the confusion her assistant had caused and assured me that she would call my son and straighten things out . I waited another day and then sent Edgar a text , wanting to open communication . He replied , "Forget it , the damage is already done. I can't go back to that doctor." He said he was going to move far away where no one could find him . What do I do ?

    Dear Maxy ,
    At a dinner celebrating my mother's birthday , one of her friends announced her opinion on the current refugee situation . Our opinions ate polar opposites and my mom's friend , Carol , believes no one should be let into the country . I was the youngest at the table and I did not expect to be brought into a conversation with people 2 to 3 times my age . However , Carol turned to me and asked me if I agree with her . I hate debating and political conversations around the dinner table . I did not want to engage her and was a bit surprised I was being brought into the conversation . I blunted out I that I didn't have an opinion . Carol seemed a bit confused , but i'm not sure what else I could've done to avoid a debate . I am not sure if there's a way to tell someone that I do not agree with them and end the conversation without explanations and rebuttals . Did I take the best route out of confrontation with Carol ? I think we all knew that I had an opinion I did not want to share .
    Not a Fighter

    Dear Maxy ,
    I was volunteering at a church sale my church hosts twice a year . It was a slow day and the head of the sale announced to all the volunteers , "Go out and buy something !" I construed this was an invitation to peruse instead of work , so I admired all of the products for the sale and returned to my station . Then the leader looked at me like I was a moron and said , "I told you to buy something . The day is slow !" Eventually , all the volunteers ended up making a purchase and then we was dismissed because it was evident no one else was coming . I feel used . I volunteered my hours and then was coerced into buying something . I did not like this and don't plan on returning to the sale . The purchases were for a good cause , but we were donating our time to the sale . We weren't planning on being forced to spend money . Should I ask the other volunteers if they feel the same way ? I think the head of the sale should be asked to step down .
    How rude


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