How do you survive the holidays while still keeping you diabetes under control?

valentine lady
By valentine lady Latest Reply 2012-07-03 09:44:38 -0500
Started 2011-11-10 16:34:32 -0600

You've been invited to Thankgiving or Christmas dinner. Your host may or may not realize your a diabetic. How do you handle this? Do you speak to your host ahead of time so they can have a tray of vegies and crackers for you to snack on? Do you bank you carbs and calories until the day, then shoot the works? Do you have a well-meaning family like I do? A family who thinks 1 day won't hurt you. I have…can you help me…Valentine Lady

103 replies

Anonymous 2012-02-11 18:17:04 -0600 Report

Everything moderation. You know what you can and can't eat.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2012-02-11 19:52:27 -0600 Report

I resent someone addressing me anonymously/privately. Where you may be shy or afraid to show yourself on DC, you need not be. We are a bunch of loving, warm, understanding people. There's no need to remain anonymous. As for your reply it doesn't answer my question's. Of course I know how to eat in moderation and I know what I can and can't eat. Please reread the opening and answer me again and I'll have a better answer for you. Valentine Lady

jennylouise 2012-02-11 18:01:54 -0600 Report

i would always bring your veggies your something sugar free you love and let the othe people try them getting used to different food isnt that bad.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2012-02-11 20:04:12 -0600 Report

Dear Jennylouise: That is exactly what I did. In fact I made 3 platters, well 2 platters and 1 dish. They went over big and only I knew they were diabetic friendly. I just kept my mouth shut and did my thing. It's a great suggestion, thank you for answering. Hugs to you, Valentine Lady

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2011-12-16 14:34:57 -0600 Report

What I am doing this year as I always bring a dish when invited to someone's for the holidays is I am bring a broccoli salad so I know there will be something there I know I can eat. In fact, where I am going this year nearly everyone there is diabetic & I have already been told I am the only person who will bring something healthy that everyone should eat. Always bring a dish big enough for everyone to sample and know you will be able to eat that and just take very small amounts of things maybe not so healthy, but you want to try. The holidays are not easy for us, but we do the best we can and I love the company of people I am so glad to spend sometime with and try to focus on that as much as possible. Thank you and good luck. Merry Christmas and hope 2012 is better for everyone.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-16 20:18:30 -0600 Report

Sly Kitty: Thanks for replying, and your idea is one for all of us to learn by. When I bring the healthy food, my family wants to know what I'm trying to say, exactly. I am the only diabetic in my family and don't let me forget it. Thank you for the good luck, I'll need it. Merry Christmas to you and 2012 will be much better. The war is over…Valentine Lady

pifkus 2011-12-17 04:38:50 -0600 Report

My family is like that when I go to their homes. They don't let me forget about diabetes. It is like "Oh you can't have that it has too much carbs" That is why I host the dinner and fix the food. No one ever knows it isn't loaded with fat and sugar. I just say that it came from the garden and they all enjoy it.

pifkus 2011-12-16 20:14:38 -0600 Report

I am hosting a holiday dinner for family and friends. I am having many of the "traditional" dishes. What I do is cook with the no sugar and the low fat addatives plus our gardens bounty that is frozen. I am also preparing a nontraditional venison shoulder roast instead of ham or a bird. For the "Sweets" I am doing the rum cake and the pecan pie since I am a Southern girl. Now that you know my menu I wanted to tell you I am doing as much as possible for the health of guests and myself. I am trying ot do the small taste of this and a small taste of that. By a small taste I mean a tablespoon or two. By the time I have tasted everything and cooked I am full and ready for a glass of wine and a rest.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-16 20:44:36 -0600 Report

pifkus: sounds to me like you have it together for your dinner. And as well for the health of your guests. That's realy neat. It's sad though that we are forced to eat a bite by teaspoon or tablespoon. But I suppose that atleast we're smart enough to try and keep our diabetes unde4r control. Have the brightest of Holidays, Merry Christmas to you and your faimly. 2012 will be a good year.
Valentine Lady

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-18 17:36:30 -0600 Report

pifkus: what a wonderful post, thank you so much. I too want to wish you the best of Christmas Blessings and Prayes for a brighter 2012. For you and your family. Hugs to you. Valentine Lady

christelly 2011-11-15 07:58:06 -0600 Report

This is a very important query especially as for me because I wind up bringing some of my own food to my son's house - they eat stuff I don't touch. For holidays I tend to have a small bite before going and always carry an apple or two with me and this was before I was diagnosed with diabetes. Now that I am, and can manage to control it with diet and exercise and not have to take insulin or other meds, I notify where I'm going that I have dietary restrictions. My downfall are the devilled eggs - simply cannot resist them!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-13 23:32:33 -0600 Report

Valentine, if it is a relative, I know what they are having. We have traditions and we have the same thing every holiday. What I do is find out of they have a desert I can eat when desert is served, if not, I take my own. If it is anyone else, I don't ask or ask if I can bring my own desert.

This year for Thanksgiving, we were at friends who know I am diabetic. They had a sit down dinner (my family is too large to do this depending on how many people come to dinner) I take a teaspoon and fill my plate with potatoes, gravy, dressing and sweet potatoes if they have marshmallows. I use a serving spoon for veggies and eat turkey as I normally would. I find that I get more than enough to eat and my numbers are not whacked out. I don't eat bread or mashed potatoes if the desert isn't something I can normally eat.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-16 20:24:01 -0600 Report

Just Joyce: Yours is the best idea of all. I never thought of using a teaspoon to spoon out those dishes and a regular spoon for the rest. I knew I can eat the right amout of turkey. The rest is a fantastic idea. Thanks and have a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years. Valentine Lady

pifkus 2011-12-16 20:34:47 -0600 Report

I know this is a bit late but hopefully it will help with other situations. Try doing this and see if it works for you. Try a small bite of between one or four items that tempt you on the menu I mean a small bite of a tablespoon or two at most. Then drink plenty of water or sugar free beverage not the alcoholic beverages as this may drop your sugar and that isn't a good situation. By the time you have mingled with friends and family and the small tidbits of morsels you will be full of food, friends and especially the family that you love.

RosalieM 2011-11-22 15:49:13 -0600 Report

Deviled eggs are great, raise blood glucose almost not at all. They are what you should eat. My plan is I simply eat a lot of turkey and deviled eggs, vegetables
and salad. I may take a very small serving of potato or other carb. It is very satisfling. Pumpkin is very low in carbs. I bake it in a caserole without a crust.
I use Splenda sweetener.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-22 15:59:22 -0600 Report

Rosalie: I think your plan is wonderful and I am in agreement with all you had to say. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Valentine Lady

Type1Lou 2011-11-15 17:23:31 -0600 Report

Actually, deviled eggs are a pretty safe food for us diabetics…as long as you don't need to watch the cholesterol…they hardly have any carbs.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-15 17:53:09 -0600 Report

Type1Lou; Actually that's what I said, eggs have 0 carbs as the same for mayo and mustard. They do have calories. I think you must have miss read what I wrote. I know this because I eat eggs every morning. Thanks for your concern…Valentine Lady

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-15 13:39:03 -0600 Report

christelly: Your doing great, keep it up. Don't worry to much about the deviled eggs, their 0 carbs, so is the mayo and mustard. Everone deserves an extra calorie or two, espically on the Holidays. :-) Hugs…Valentine Lady

RebC 2011-11-14 15:26:45 -0600 Report

You guys are inspiring. I'm usually the one who brings the stuff you are all avoiding. Rolls, pies, various baked goods…Not that I eat it (okay, I might eat a little bit of it), I just like to make it…

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-15 13:42:35 -0600 Report

RebaC: It's hard to resist, espically when you make them yourself, the goodies I mean. Just be very careful or you'll end up paying for days all because of a sweet tooth. Just have your best at heart. Hugs..Valentine Lady

Jan8 2011-11-14 13:54:21 -0600 Report

I usually eat befor i go and then just the meat and veggies. Usually others meal times are not in sync with my own insulin and meal times. If they are, i take my insulin then eat the things I am allowed. I can't cheat because I pay for it for days. It's not worth it.

Young1s 2011-11-13 12:36:50 -0600 Report

I do the majority of the cooking for the holidays, as my mom has retired her apron. My children are my prep cooks though; I have four of them. And I need all hands on deck because I cook alot. This is my first Thanksgiving as a diabetic and I am not looking forward to having to restrain myself. Cause I looove to pig out this time of the year. I am not a big sweets person but I do make them for the family…and sample the goods on occaission. How much do you wanna bet that Murphys Law is going to kick in this year and make that dessert table look reeaally inviting.

princessbeiter 2011-12-13 14:05:08 -0600 Report

I know this is too late for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is just around the corner. If you are the main cook, plan more healthy veggies like asparagus, broccoli, green beans, etc. Make fruit salads without all the marshmallows and whipped cream.

There are a lot of diabetic friendly desserts that you, and everyone else, can enjoy and not even realize they aren't the carb/calorie laden original versions. Use Splenda instead of sugar.

Check out SparkPeople. com for easy diabetic friendly recipes.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-13 14:21:55 -0600 Report

Princessbeiter: Thank for the wonderful tips. I have put a candy recipe on the recipe section called Turtles. They taste like the real deal but only you will know the differance. I'll try out Sparkpeople.come as soon as I'm finished posting with you. Have a wonderful Holiday…Valentine Lady

Type1Lou 2011-11-22 17:53:27 -0600 Report

There are desserts that are more diabetes-friendly than others…I'm bringing a pumpkin cheesecake to Thanksgiving dinner at a friends house. I plan to replace all the sugar in the recipe with Splenda. It's definitely not a low-fat dessert but it is lower-carb than many. I also though about making a pumpkin panecotta replacing the sugar with Splenda.

Type1Lou 2011-11-23 10:15:04 -0600 Report

I just posted these two recipes in the DC recipe section under the names "Lighter Pumpkin Cheesecake" and "Pumpkin Panna Cotta". I haven't tried the Panna Cotta yet but it only has 5 grams of carb…I can't wait to try it out. The Panna Cotta recipe appeared this past week in the St Pete Times and I replaced all but 1 tbsp of the sugar with Splenda and used 1% milk. I wanted to calculate the nutritional values of these altered recipes before I posted. After reviewing my calculations, I had made an error in the Panna Cotta per serving data. Here is the correct info: 136 calories per serving, 5 grams carb, 3 grams protein, 11 grams fat. Thanks for the interest! Bon appetit!

Caroltoo 2011-11-22 18:05:33 -0600 Report

Sounds yummy. Have you shared the recipe with us?

jayabee52 2011-11-22 18:43:40 -0600 Report

I don't think Lou did because I just checked the recipes and here name did not appear in the recipes which came up. But while I was there I copied the URL so you might check out some of the other recipes for pumpkin cheesecake. Me I can only drool for both pumpkin and cream cheese are no-nos on a kidney eating plan. *sobbing*

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-23 14:59:25 -0600 Report

James: I'm so sorry for you, personally I love pumpkin pie and cheesecake. I would sob too. Praying you"ll get better, soon. Valentine Lady

jayabee52 2011-11-23 15:07:51 -0600 Report

Thanks Peggy!

I will be working on improving my kidney filtering function after the new year. Thanksgiving 2012 perhaps I can have a sliver of each if my kidneys are improved enough!

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-13 13:03:33 -0600 Report

pcyoung: You MUST keep first and fore-most in your mind that Murphy's Law doesn't kick in. Or this may be your first Diabetic trip to the hospital. No joke!! Diabetes is such a delicate balance of calories and carbs, espically we (diabetics) can't afford to allow anything to interfere with that balance. Read some of the wonderful advice I got from this article I started…your the only one that even hinted Murphy's Law might step in. Just keep in mind being with family and friends is the most important part of a holiday. Not the food…that was last year, this is a new year and a new you with diabetes. Just have your best in my heart…Valentine Lady

Young1s 2011-11-13 13:08:32 -0600 Report

Said it would look really inviting, didn't say I would give in. Trust me. I have already been on that hospital trip, didn't like the view, have no intentions of going back. Thank you for your concern though. God Bless V.

Dixiemom 2011-11-13 12:12:09 -0600 Report

Even before I was diagnosed I didn't eat dessert, usually too full. Our family has started a new tradition of doing an early Thanksgiving. It's at my home and we do a campfire with s'mores and pigtales. I might eat one toasted marshmallow. The kids have a ball doing their thing. My sons cook the turkey, one in the oven and one in the fryer. We have all the trimmings including pies. I ate sweet potatoes, veggies and turkey. I didn't go overboard and had just a bite of apple and pumpkin pie. My sugar was fine. This was a test for me as we visit kids for the holidays. Go to different ones each year and mom doesn't cook anymore.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-13 12:52:30 -0600 Report

Dixiemom: Sounds like you have it well under control, that's wonderful. Going to anyone's house is always a challenage, espically the kids. But they know Mom has to eat for her health so I'm sure they will keep that in mind. If not, remind them. I have too. I'm Type 2 and my family seems to forget that I have diabetes. So I simply remind my daughters-in-law a couple weeks before the hoilday. They take it well, so does my sister-in-law. Valentine Lady

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-12 20:43:05 -0600 Report

One year, a few years back, my sister-in-law, my mother and I wanted to try something different. So instead of anyone having to cook we just did appetizers! We always talked about how we would fill up on those and be too full to eat the meal, so we mixed it up. We liked it, we had all kinds of fresh veggies, deviled eggs, some small sausage links, different kinds of cheeses with crackers etc.
It was fun because no one had to cook, we all brought stuff and we were able to just relax, graze and visit. And you could make any kind's of finger foods to make it D friendly.
My one brother was upset and said it was wrong and wouldn't do it again! Just a thought. It was fun!

kimcavett 2011-11-12 21:32:56 -0600 Report

I have learned to bake with Splenda, at least then I can have some dessert. My brother (who is also diabetic) fired me one yr because I didn't bake his Pecan pie(with plenda). LOL I made sure I baked him one for Christmas. I was re-hired.
I have to make at least 2 pies. Even the non-diabetics like it.

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-13 08:28:46 -0600 Report

Cool! You showed him! LOL

kimcavett 2011-11-13 08:37:10 -0600 Report

at first my family didn't want to try my new desserts, but they discovered that it is really good. Idon't eat the Pecan pies any more since I can't have the nuts but I love making them for the family.

kimcavett 2011-11-13 08:34:01 -0600 Report

I was given a new recipe for Apple cookies, made with unsweet applesause, Splenda and diced apples. I made some yesterday for practice. I added pears inplace of apples since I was out. They turned out really good. My grandaughter even liked them.

flipmom 2011-11-12 17:47:59 -0600 Report

i dont feel the need to be treated special on special occasions… i will just mostly eat meat and a little bite of dessert.. whats important is the company!

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-13 12:00:22 -0600 Report

Flipmom: I do agree the company is what's important, but many diabetics, including myself, need a little more than the meat. To keep my BS up I need a snack like fresh vegies, so I offer to bring the vegie tray. If dinner won't be until later in the afternoon I eat a small lunch before I go and still take the vegie tray. I will go for a sliver of pie but for-go the other goodies. How do you keep your BS up while waitng for dinner? Valentine Lady

flipmom 2011-11-13 23:45:26 -0600 Report

i dont want my bs up.. i usually eat a light snack like cheese and i always have those crackers with pb on my purse.. so no biggie…

Mickey/CCHT 2011-11-12 20:34:26 -0600 Report

Amen to that! That's how i feel about it!

nzingha 2011-11-12 21:13:27 -0600 Report

hasa anybody ever tired this? go to this site and look…

jayabee52 2011-11-13 02:54:02 -0600 Report

I've gone there and the video stalled before it was finished.

I did note that this information was put out by Joe Barton publishing company. I had seen things about this company which were not too complimentary. They offer a 100% money back guarantee on their information, but people who were not satisfied with the information and wanted their money back didn't get their money refunded. I would suggest you save your money, as this seems to be a scam site. You may get some information, but the info is no better than someone can get on Google searches.

nzingha 2011-11-13 05:27:49 -0600 Report

thnks for that and they wouldnt be getting my money… very cautious with my money on the internet..especially with these kinna money back guarantees.. they r scams!

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-11-12 15:55:32 -0600 Report

I spend Thanksgiving at my brothers home. I've done this for the last 20 years or so and know what the menu will be. We star off with an antipasto and then proceed to an Italian dinner where I go easy on the pasta. We then have a salad and then a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner and I go very easy on all the starches. Because of all this food my portions of everything are small. The only weakness I have is desserts. Italinan and American cakes, pies, cookies and pastries. I usually don't eat these things so I kind of go overboard. I always test before dessert and take additional insulin according to what I plan to have.
Christmas is about the same another of my brothers home.
They are not the easiest days but with portion control, especially smaller portions of carb rich food and testing it is very near normal.
Good Luck and Godspeed

nzingha 2011-11-13 05:30:34 -0600 Report

i try the small portions bit.. but still spike like hell at the end of the day. i no longer accept dinner and lunch invitations.. i tell my friends its a waste of time and money.. not to mention buffets… real waste there cause u cant take home the food!

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-11-14 08:16:16 -0600 Report

Sorry to hear about the spikes. I had that problem too. I became a fanatic about counting carbs and matching it to my insulin dosage. It really helped me get everything under control.
I agree buffets are a waste. Usually all you can eat of lots of carbs.
Don't be a monk living in a diabetes cave. Accept the invitations and eat the way you know you need to. If the people you are with don't understand and accept the way you eat, well, too bad for them.
Happy Thanksgiving.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-12 16:37:10 -0600 Report

Uncle Lew: As one Italian to another, that meal sounds wonderful. I carried on the tradition until I became diabetic. Now I go to other people's houses, like my brother's. The temptation isn't so great and my siser in law isn't Italian so theres no pastries there to tempt me, just the traditional things and those I can pass up. I too use protion control and always take the antipasto with me. Good luck and Godspeed to you…Valentine Lady

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-11-12 17:56:12 -0600 Report

Happy Thanksgiving (I'll sneak a pastry for you)m :)

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-12 18:21:48 -0600 Report

Happy Thanksgiving to you-enjoy the pastry you choose in my honor, just let me know what it is so I can live through you vicareisly. I guess that's how you spell that. Hugs…Valentine Lady

nzingha 2011-11-12 05:43:11 -0600 Report

I would suggest u inform ur host that u r diabetic so they can make the necessary prep. Otherwuise u stick to the veggies being big deal

pixsidust 2011-11-11 14:34:39 -0600 Report

Update us on how it turns out this Thanksgiving. I plan on taking some really good green beans with me that I can load my plate with along with the turkey they will serve. I have never been a sweets eater by habit. I also plan on having a baggy with cold sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon. Thats so good

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-11 16:59:10 -0600 Report

This sounds wonderful to me, espically the apples…I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for answering my post…Hugs…Valentine Lady

Orien 2011-11-11 12:48:05 -0600 Report

I was told by my doctor a while back that as long as I do my best to keep my sugars within range the occasional slip won't hurt. At the time I might feel like I am failing but I just take a bit more insulin and things are good again. Of course, this does not mean to over do it and compensate with insulin. I have been there and trust me, that just makes a mess of things.

If you have a strong will then only eat what you know you should and skip on the rest. My will isn't so strong and I have asked doctors and dietitians many times and they are all very understanding and offering advice on how to help. But still they have all told me that the occasional slip won't ruin everything.

TsalagiLenape 2011-11-11 12:00:39 -0600 Report

Usually I do the cooking so I vary my meals. Yet with Thanksgiving around the corner I try to have a nice choice of several veggie options. The more the better. Now I do have a yummy stuffed mushroom that is easy and quick. As well as has some scallions and garlic. I like to do cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and corn plus have cranberry sauce for the dressing and turkey. Yet loving to try new recipes as well.

nzingha 2011-11-12 11:50:15 -0600 Report

Is it a fact that when u break out into sweat shortly after eating..its the body fighting/resisting the insulin and how dangerous is this?

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-11-12 13:40:16 -0600 Report

nzingha: If your body breaks into a sweat shortly after eating it can be one of two things. First it can mean your blood sugar has dropped quite low and you need to get it back up quick, But, more than likely it means your blood sugar has gone way to high and you need insulin to try and get it lower fast. I use a sliding scale, that tells me how much insulin to administer to myself. Either way is VERY DANGEROUS. That's why we plan our meals, try and keep our carbs around 125 to 175. That's why we try and plan for a big dinner such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. I hope this has helped you…Hugs,Valentine Lady

nzingha 2011-11-13 05:33:58 -0600 Report

my reading before breakfast was 97. i am eating cooked oats with nothing but a few almonds…i measured a half cup but added plenty water and small amount of low fat milk. i'm sweating now…

nzingha 2011-11-13 06:41:47 -0600 Report

or could it be because it was very hot? lol! let me see what happens when i eat something cold!

Caroltoo 2011-11-11 12:53:39 -0600 Report

Would you be willing share that yummy stuffed mushroom recipe. Love mushrooms and quick & easy is a real plus.

TsalagiLenape 2011-11-12 08:15:28 -0600 Report

Sure I will but not sure if I should post it and where. LOL But can send it to you via a message ok? Hugs

Caroltoo 2011-11-12 11:08:24 -0600 Report

Sure. You can email me using this site via the "Inbox" botton on the top right of the screen or I could send you my personal email. Whatever works best for you.

Gracie40 2011-11-12 09:13:58 -0600 Report

There is a recipe section under Home, Discussions, News articles, Blog Articles, Product reviews, Videos…Recipes! Go For It!

kimcavett 2011-11-12 21:21:25 -0600 Report

but there is no way to upload, you have to type it all in, as far as I could see. I have a great recipe for sugar free cookies. with applesause and pears.

TsalagiLenape 2011-11-13 12:47:36 -0600 Report

No worries there. I did put it under Recipes side dishes. Not sure of the healthy content i.e. fats and what not, but its all vegatarian side dish.

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