Dear Dr. Levister: I’m having Thanksgiving dinner at my boyfriend’s family home. I’m diabetic. Is it okay to inform the dinner host ahead of time? D.K.
Dear D.K.: Absolutely, Thanksgiving is one of the more challenging holidays for those with diabetes. Let’s face it, you gather with family and friends on this day to celebrate and share a Thanksgiving feast.
There is no taking a vacation from diabetes. It’s not like you are on a special diet to lose some pounds and can choose to make Thanksgiving your cheating day…it doesn’t work like that.
Don’t be afraid to remind the host or hostess prior to Thanksgiving Day that you are diabetic and have certain nutritional needs. I’m sure you’ll find that if you ask nicely, the host will offer you some options that don’t involve anything covered in marshmallows.
Here are a few suggestions that will get you through the entire holiday season including Christmas and New Years.
Go for a brisk morning walk. Relax. At the dinner table eat a lot of vegetables this would include a heaping portion of green salad. Avoid anything that has been caramelized or marshmallowed. Like grandma’s marshmallow baked sweet potatoes. Okay if you must, peel away the topping. Keep the portion to a minimum.
Turkey – eat up…just avoid the fatty skin. Mashed potatoes – a half cup size serving is roughly 9g of carbs. Stuffing – I would avoid it but again if you must be aware that a 1/3 cup serving has about 40g of carbs (it seems like a waste of available carbs to me). Say no to cranberry sauce, it’s loaded with carbs.
Bring your own dessert. Not only will bringing your own dessert make you feel like you are a contributing thoughtful guest, it is also a way to ensure that you get a diabetic friendly dessert. Choose a no sugar apple pie or no sugar added ice cream.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you get weak and indulge just remember to get right back on track.
From our house to yours, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!