Anchored Health Routines
‘Tis the season of disrupted routines, yet it’s also the time for social gatherings that can create everlasting memories. Managing your blood sugar levels during the holiday season is essential, and here are some secret weapons to help you stay on track:
- Prioritize Protein: Regardless of the season, it’s crucial to include adequate protein in every meal, especially as you age. This supports your metabolism, helps with weight management, and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Aim for 25 grams of protein per meal for women and 30 grams for men.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is key to making your hormones more sensitive and efficient, including insulin. Start your day by staying well-hydrated to set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
- Stick to Your Routines: Consider which routines, such as a morning routine, you can maintain during this busy time without sacrificing sleep. Morning meditation, or even enjoying a warm mug of coffee, can be a valuable way to kickstart your day. If you’re an early riser for workouts, find ways to continue them while still getting 7-9 hours of sleep. You can also streamline your daily tasks by purchasing pre-made meals from services like Daily Dose or Factor75.
- Embrace Daily Movement: You don’t need to push yourself to the limit in the gym, especially if you’re feeling the holiday rush. Walking is an excellent way to enhance insulin sensitivity, and remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing.
- Prioritize Sleep: Protect your sleep as much as possible. Consider using magnesium glycinate before bedtime to improve sleep quality. Essential oils, an Epsom salt bath, or even a warm-cold shower can help you fall asleep faster.
Advocate Your Needs
If you’re new to diabetes management or have been dealing with it for years, now is the perfect time to advocate for your needs and set yourself up for success. Here are a few examples of how to do so:
- Offer to Contribute: When invited to a holiday party, express your enthusiasm, and ask about the menu. You can offer to bring a dish that suits your dietary needs, ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable option. For instance, you could prepare a veggie and meat platter with hummus that doubles as your meal.
- Take Charge of Plans: Suggest arranging the holiday dinner this year. This allows you to choose a location that accommodates your dietary requirements and schedule, ensuring your insulin needs are met.
- Communicate Dietary Needs: When dining out or visiting friends, express gratitude for their offering and politely mention any dietary restrictions, such as being gluten-free. This can help you navigate menu options that work for you and maintain a comfortable and enjoyable social experience.
Even with your best efforts, you may find yourself stretched thin during the holiday season. Here are three tips to help you relax and recharge:
- Practice Deep Breathing: Try box breathing, inhaling for a count of 4, pausing, exhaling for a count of 4, and pausing again, repeating this cycle for four rounds.
- Restorative Poses: Taking a moment to sit with your legs up a wall can be as restorative as a 20-minute nap. Find five minutes to strike a pose that helps your body restore.
- Batch Cooking: Utilize your slow cooker and prepare whole-food freezer meals to simplify meal planning during busy times.
Wishing you a healthy and joy-filled holiday season. Embrace the chaos, seek ways to make it the best holiday season of your life, and live fully.
Kelly Schmidt is a registered dietitian, fitness instructor, wife, and mom to 2, and owns a functional nutrition virtual practice, Kelly Schmidt Wellness, LLC helping ambitious men & women support their metabolism and nutrition with proven functional strategies. She guides clients by blending her background in dietetics with her life of type 1 diabetes, paving the way for others to thrive using integrative nutrition approaches and programs. Stop by on IG and say hi to Kel at @diabeticdietitian