Traditional Thanksgiving table with copy space on empty plate

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Whether you believe it or not, there’s no denying it: The holidays are knocking at our door. For many of us, holidays include physical travel and variation from our everyday diet.

If you have diabetes, the change in routine during this time of year can be one of your biggest holiday challenges. Planning ahead can help you manage the holiday season and your diabetes.

While traveling, it’s important to:

  • Get any recommended immunizations and always carry or wear your medical information indicating that you are indeed diabetic.
  • Pack twice the amount of diabetes supplies you think you will need, in the event of emergencies or delays.
  • When flying, bring all of these supplies in your carry-on bag, and keep medications, snacks, meal replacements, and glucose gels or tablets at your seat for easy access. If a meal is served on the flight, be sure to call ahead to request a diabetic meal. If you take insulin, contact the manufacturer for any special instructions on the pressure change of the plane.

So, what about those holiday meals? Diabetes and the holidays can be successfully comanaged. Having diabetes should not deter you from enjoying the festivities and traditional foods.

Try these tips for enjoying the season:

  • Ask the host ahead of time what will be served and bring a healthy favorite side dish to share.
  • Fill at least half of your plate with colorful vegetables and choose those without sauces and dressing to keep sodium intake to a minimum.
  • Eat a small snack before you go to celebrations, so you don’t arrive hungry and to avoid overeating or poor food choices.
  • Stay active during the holidays. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days per week, for a total of 150 minutes per week.

Finally, it’s important to focus on family, friends and activities instead of just the food. But with some preparation and planning, you can still celebrate with your favorite holiday dishes.

The VEBA Resource Center offers many Cooking & Nutrition Classes. Join us to learn how to blend the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine to optimize your overall health and wellness – all while having fun! Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.