I love this time of the year. Just celebrated Diwali: a festival of lights. With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas around the corner...Just love it. My favourite bit is the Holiday spirit, the decorations and music. It just makes me so happy. I just want to set and stare at the decorations, the candles; the music...simply wow!
Along with decorating my house, I love to cook as friends and family come over for a feast. The word festival means “FEAST DAY”, festive celebration. As kids, when there used to be festivals the only thing that came to our mind was sweets and holidays. Isn’t it?
The word ‘sweets’ raise an alarm if one has high blood sugar. The idea is to enjoy every bit in moderation. Know which food/ sweets/ dishes/ recipes have how much carbohydrate? Knowing the amount of carbs in a dish will help you choose wisely and keep your blood sugars under control. If you have to attend a feast, choose correct portions. Remember the rule of thumb is a balanced plate. Pick roasted chicken/ turkey over the ones with thick gravies etc. That too the size of your fist, with an equal portion of healthy carbs , like mashed sweet potatoes/ pumpkin over pumpkin pies and butter laden mashed potatoes. And fill the rest of your plate with salad or greens or vegetable casserole.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy your festivals without the guilt of elevating your blood sugars:
1 Always eat something before you step out for a feast or a get together or else you will end up eating more.
2 If someone insists on a sweet, learn to say NO / take a small portion. If a small portion of sweet is included in your diet, reduce the amount of rice/roti/ whole wheat bread. Also increase the amount of vegetable/salad, pulses/ legumes or lean cuts of chicken to keep you feeling full.
3 Prefer homemade sweets which are made of skimmed milk rather than deep fried sweets. If lunch / dinner are expected to be heavy, keep the other meals lighter but balanced.
4 Remember to follow strict portion control.
5 If you are taking insulin, you may need to adjust the insulin dosage depending upon your estimated carbohydrate intake of the meal, but only after consultation with your health care provider.
6 Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
7 Always check your post meal blood sugars and update your food journal/dairy
8 Exercise a little longer than you usually do to keep your blood sugar in check.
9 Do not skip meals to make up for a previous or subsequent heavy meal.
10 Inform your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms or discomfort.
11 Keep yourself well hydrated.
Festivals can be an enjoyable experience even for diabetic patients, if you choose the right foods in the right amounts. So, choose smart and enjoy the festivities…