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Thanksgiving Anxiety

November 27, 2013
Category: Uncategorized
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Well it’s here, the holiday season.What is your main focus?The holidays are stressful for all the obvious reasons.We have more to do than usual.Not only do we have to work our normal hours, take care of our families the way we do all year round, we have parties, shopping, planning, and cooking.For some Thanksgiving is the jumping off point to endless anxiety about food.

Are you dealing with chronic disease, diabetes, or are maintaining or losing weight?Does this leave you wondering and anxious, what am I going to eat at……?You are not alone.Here are some good tips on how to handle these situations so that your day is stress free and fun.

  1. Think about the timing of your meal. Many families eat large meals at odd times on holidays. For example, Thanksgiving dinner may be served in the middle of the afternoon. Plan in advance for how you will handle making changes if your meal does not line up with your regular meal schedule.This is especially true for those who have been following a special diet or are diagnosed with diabetes and/or pre-diabetes.
  2. Be physically active!The best way to compensate for eating a little more than usual is to be active. Start a new tradition that involves moving around away from the food. Ideas include taking a walk with the whole family or playing soccer, catch, or touch football with your children, grandchildren, or the neighborhood kids.If this won’t be possible, maybe before heading out take a walk for yourself.I pop the turkey in and go for a quick run before I have to do anything else.Then I feel ready for the rest of the day.
  3. Have foods to nibble on while you are cooking or waiting to eat.Make sure the foods you choose won’t sabotage blood glucose levels before the meal. Bring a platter of raw or blanched veggies with your favorite low-calorie dip or have a few small pieces of low-fat cheese. Don’t indulge on high-calorie or fried appetizers.I had someone ask in a group if it was “bad manners to bring something healthy to another’s house.”I think actually that would be quite welcoming.
  4. Make selective food choices.Many traditional Thanksgiving foods are high in carbohydrates: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and other desserts. Don’t feel like you have to sample everything on the table.Have a reasonable portion of your favorites and pass on the rest. For example, if stuffing is your favorite, pass on rolls. Choose either sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes. If you really want to try everything, make your portions smaller.
  5. Eat smaller portions.Because high carbohydrate foods are plentiful at most Thanksgiving feasts, watch your portion sizes. If you can’t decide on one or two carbohydrate foods to eat, take very small portions or “samples” of several dishes.
  6. Eat your vegetables.Vegetables are important for everyone! Unfortunately, the vegetable selection on holiday menus is usually limited. We all want to dress up the table with tempting treats. Why not add some colorful vegetable dishes?Veggies come in all colors and are very nutritious. Offer to bring a green salad or a side of steamed veggies that have been seasoned. Non-starchy veggies are low in carbs and calories. They will help fill you up and keep you from over-eating other high-calorie and high-fat foods on the table.

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