Let’s simplify the real health challenges of the holiday season into:
Sugar & Stress.
In Part One of The Holiday Balancing Act, we will focus on how to prevent sugar from wreaking havoc on your weight, your health, and your sense of well-being. To the right is a simplified look at what happens when you eat an unbalanced diet high in simple carbs (pastas, breads, sugar, candy, cake, pastries, white rice, etc.). This diet, which most of us slip into from Halloween to New Years, is the driving force behind inflammation, weight gain, lethargy, diabetes, and heart disease. Take a look…
Now, the holidays are not a time to deprive yourself of all the amazing foods and beverages that you love, but there are ways to help keep those treats from derailing you for months to come. Here are 8 ways to save your waistline, energy levels, and sanity this holiday season.
P.S. Don’t think for one second that you can’t cook up the most amazing holiday feast and still keep your blood sugar in check!
Asparagus and cheese souffle, Bacon wrapped shrimp, butternut squash soup, sweet potato bacon tots, and Thanksgiving stuffing meatballs are just a few examples of delicious balanced dishes. Here is a longer list of tasty holiday recipes to help keep your blood sugar happy.
8 Ways to Avoid the
Blood Sugar Roller Coaster:
1. Eat a breakfast with 20-30g of protein in it.
Start your mornings with a meal or snack that is high in protein. You don’t have to get too fancy here: Bacon, eggs (scrambled, fried, poached, omelet, etc), sausage, ham, protien shake, steak, salmon, chicken. A high protein breakfast will help you avoid the blood sugar roller coaster all day and help keep you feeling full longer. Bagels, bread, donuts, pastries, all sabotage the rest of your day, don’t let them. For some inspiration to shake up your morning routine, here are some low carb breakfast ideas.
2. Skip the fruit juice and eat the whole fruit instead
Look at the nutritional label of your favorite fruit juice. You might be surprised to see that the sugar content in a glass of orange or apple juice is similar to a can of Coke. Save your waist line and your mood and just eat the apple instead of drinking it.
3. Don’t Go to Bed on an Empty or a Carb filled Stomach
This will cause your blood sugar to go haywire while you sleep and it can wake you up in the middle of the night if your blood sugar drops too low. Eat some nuts, some cheese, a boiled egg, a few swigs of a protein shake (that is low in sugar), or anything else that is low carb.
4. Throw Some Protein or Fat on Your Bread or Pasta
I get it, bread is good. Bread is really good. So, if you just have to have that piece of toast, bagel, or Italian bread (my personal weakness especially if it is made in Brooklyn) make sure you compliment it with eggs, meat, avocado slices, butter and/or veggies. Same thing goes with pasta. **or dare I say try zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash**
5. At a Party, Share a Dessert Plate with a Friend
The holidays bring out some of the most decadent and downright delicious desserts. To avoid a sugar coma, try sharing a plate of desserts with a friend. This way you each get to try a little of everything without feeling obligated to finish it. It also never hurts to think of this quote often said by my office manager in regards to deliciously dangerous treats, “that will look better on your hips than mine”.
6. Snack, Especially before a Holiday Party
Snack to your hearts content but make sure it is full of fat and protein. Plan ahead. Get some zip lock bags and fill them with nuts and or seeds and stash them in your purse/briefcase/work bag/workout bag, desk, night side table, and car. The high protein snacks will help curb your appetite and curb the damaging effects of all that sugar.
7. Take it Easy on the Booze
Alcohol is an incredibly easy way to shoot up your blood sugar. Try cutting back a little and like every other step I’ve mentioned before, balance it out with a high protein/fat meal or snack. The worst thing you can do is drink on an empty stomach! Instead of a glass of wine or a fruity sugar filled concoction, try a white Russian or spiked Eggnog (just make sure they are made with full fat cream or milk).
8. If You Know You Will Need a Little Extra Help, Start Taking Some Gymnema or Glycoberine.
Gymnema is an herb used to help anyone who is struggling with blood sugar levels including those with Type I or Type II Diabetes. This herb helps reduce sugar cravings. Glycoberine is a supplement that has been shown to keep blood sugar levels down. Gymnema is what you would take right before the party and Glycoberine would be what you would take throughout the whole season to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Want to know if you have the symptoms of unstable blood sugar levels? Click on the picture below to take a short quiz to find out!
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