Thanksgiving is just around the corner and marks the beginning of a few months of special meals and indulgence. It’s easy to brush it off and think “Oh, it’s just one meal, it won’t matter!” But, between Thanksgiving, Halloween and the holidays in December AND all of the leftovers, it could be easy to get off track and result in a higher A1c (3 month blood sugar average). Let’s start this holiday season off right and keep your stomach full and blood sugars in check. Here are some tips to help:
1) Keep the appetizers to a minimum. You’re already in for a larger meal, so the appetizers likely aren’t needed! Try not to starve yourself all day in preparation for the main event so that you aren’t tempted to overeat before the meal has even started. If you are a little peckish, opt for crudités (raw veggies) or a relish tray (pickled cucumbers, beets, onion, etc.).
2) Keep the plate method in mind when you’re building up your plate. Whether you are doubling down on your favourite side dish such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, or bread or having a little taste of everything, try to keep these high carbohydrate foods as ¼ of your plate.
3) Fill up with a half plate of veggies! (potatoes and corn don’t count). Whether you’ve chosen a salad, raw veggies, roasted or all of the above, veggies will help fill you up with nutrients and fibre. You’ll get fuller faster leaving less room for temptations later on.
4) If you are not hosting, consider bringing your own healthy vegetable side dish if you aren’t sure what types of foods will be available. Here are a couple recipe ideas:
Shredded Brussels sprout and lentil salad: See Here
5) A common problem we hear is pressure to have more dessert or snacks. Learn to be confident and comfortable letting your family members or friends know you will not be partaking in their dessert or snack, despite their best efforts to get you to! Be polite and gracious: “Thank you so much but I couldn’t eat another bite!” will hopefully do the trick.
6) Build in some physical activity into the festivities. We are not “punishing” ourselves for over-indulging, but it’s a great way to add balance into our lifestyle by adding a walk after a large meal and a fun way to spend time with family
7) Dessert! It’s hard to say no and once in awhile dessert is acceptable. Consider making a healthier version of your favourite. Here are a few ideas: