See How Easily You Can Have a Diabetes Friendly Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the more challenging holidays for those of us with diabetes. The reason? The entire holiday revolves around food. Let’s face it, you gather with family and friends on this day to celebrate and have a Thanksgiving feast.

As we have come to accept, 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.

As a diabetic on Thanksgiving you are left with a couple of choices:

  1. You can either stay home and not celebrate with your family and loves ones
  2. Or you can make sure that you have a game plan for healthy diabetic eating before you sit down for your meal.

If you choose the first option, be prepared to never hear the end of the “time you decided not to go to Thanksgiving dinner”. If you choose the second option… keep reading.

The ideal scenario would be if you, the diabetic, were having people over to your home for the Thanksgiving day meal. You would be able to ensure a large selection of diabetes-friendly choices to feast on along with having the traditional Thanksgiving day favorites.

But let’s face it, we don’t live in a perfect world. If you are like me, you are probably NOT going to be doing any of the cooking for your Thanksgiving meal. You’re probably going to:

  • Sleep late
  • Watch The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV
  • Take a quick shower
  • Work your way over to the home of the responsible adult in your family that is able to hold a Thanksgiving Dinner

If that sounds more like it, then you are going to have to get a diabetes game plan in place prior to sitting down to your Thanksgiving day meal.

Speak Up

Keep in mind that you were invited to wherever you are going on Thanksgiving because you are more than likely family or a loved one. 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, your Thanksgiving day hostess will offer you some options that don’t involve anything covered in marshmallows.

Working With What You Got

Say for some reason you weren’t able to request that there be some diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving day foods specially prepared for you, it’s not the end of the world. You’re a diabetic, you run into this type of thing all the time. You already have a plan, or at least you will when the big day arrives.

Here are just a few suggestions that will get you through Thanksgiving without having broken any (or many) of the diabetic cardinal rules:

  • Fit a walk into your Thanksgiving morning routine – we’ve already established that you don’t have a lot going on
  • Eat a lot of vegetables, this would include a heaping portion of salad with your meal – avoid anything that has been caramelized or marshmallowed
  • Turkey – eat up…just avoid the fatty skin
  • Mashed potatoes – one cup size serving is roughly 18g of carbs
  • Stuffing – I would avoid it but 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)
  • Avoid Cranberry Sauce – just don’t eat it, it’s loaded with carbs
  • Bring Your Own Dessert

Not only will bringing your own dessert make you seem like a contributing but a responsible adult it will also be a way to ensure that you get to eat a diabetic-friendly dessert.

Here are some options:

  • No sugar added apple pie
  • No sugar added ice cream
  • Peanut Butter Pie
  • Individual Pumpkin Pies – no crust, very low carb
  • Strawberry Shortcake – low carb style

You can kind of see where this is going right? You can either buy some pre-made no sugar added desserts or you can find a great diabetic recipe and actually put a little effort into it. Me? I’ll probably be bringing something store bought…that’s just the way I am.

Once you have a plan in place about how to celebrate a diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving you are going to feel way more at ease this Thanksgiving. The main thing here is to not be too hard on yourself. If you happen to indulge a little too much (hey it happens), the important thing to remember is to get right back on track.

Photo: Pexels

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