Holiday goodness.. and badness, all at the same time.


Man, the holidays can be tough sometimes.

I’m talking about the difficulty of keeping your glucose in a good range despite all of the festive cheer that adorns plates and cups and crock pots full of cider and filing cabinets at the office with cookies, and lions, and tigers, and bears… oh my!

I don’t have any great advice for you on how to avoid the temptations and spikes to your glucose that giving in to those temptations means at this time of year.

Instead, I’ll tell you what works for me (most of the time—not always). Hopefully, there will be a nugget or two for you in here.

First of all, I try to perform BG checks a lot during this time. There are two reasons for this: 1) If I check, I know how to bolus, or adjust basal rates, of course. And 2) If I check, and I’m not in an optimal place, I know I have to wait. This doesn’t always work for everyone, I know, so it’s not advice. But for me, a high number often shames me into just saying no.

That said… Second, I try to never say never to anything. But in my case, I really try to think of less. If I think, “hey, I’d like to have some crab dip on some of that great bread in the basket there”, I’ll give myself about 15 minutes before I actually go for it. Often, that 15 minutes makes the difference, and I don’t go for the crab dip, or maybe I just forego the bread. I don’t do this all day, but if I do it here and there, and it works, I wind up eating or drinking less than I might have in the first place. Every little bit helps. Oh… if I do all this and I still have trouble with my glucose, I try to remind myself where I’d be if I hadn’t done all of this in the first place.

Third, I remind myself that there are certain truths regarding the holiday goodies. They are good. Because they are often things I don’t have the rest of the year, they’re harder to bolus for. Other than a snack in the evening, eating at any time other than mealtime is just not my thing (though, truthfully, you wouldn’t know that by looking at me). And I know that I won’t be tempted by this stuff a month from now. It is the holiday season after all, not the holiday year. It makes sense if our numbers are off from time to time in December. Which makes having a number that’s in a good place really fulfilling right now. I hope you get more than a few of those 80 mg/dL – 120 mg/dL readings this month.

Thanks for letting me write this out. It feels good getting this out of my head. Again, it’s not advice, it’s just what works for me. I’m just trying to enjoy the holidays without a ton of guilt, while keeping the BGs in a place I’m comfortable with. That’s like climbing an icy roof this time of year. But keeping track of where I am, making do with less, not none, and understanding the realities of holiday fare makes things a little easier for me to handle.

I wish you luck with your holiday indulgences. Have any great tips for me?

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  • Laddie  On December 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I love the huge veggie tray in the photo. That is my go-to food to bring to potluck gatherings. At parties I try to stick with the veggies and things like cheese for as long as possible. Then when I finally hit the “good stuff”, I have less time to gorge on sweets and carbs. I also try to start parties just drinking club soda before I switch to wine. Whenever I have too much to drink, my willpower flies out the window. Thanks for some more good ideas on how to handle holiday parties:-)


  • t1dme  On December 22, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Solid advice. The first part is decent diabetes management advice in general: know when your control starts to loosen (such as, in this case, holiday’s), and try to get into the habit of testing and correcting more often. This is good advice for any situation. If you’re patient and persistent (things which I’m often not), and have a good team behind you, you’ll probably do well.


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