Healthy Holidays To All

By Amy Campbell | December 15, 2008 12:01 pm

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us…and has been since October. Doesn’t it seem like people start decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier nowadays? It used to be that maybe after Thanksgiving, a few brave souls would put up Christmas lights. Now, the lights and lawn ornaments go up a day or so after Halloween.

As you’ve been making your lists and checking them twice for whatever holiday celebrations you’re observing, how many of you spend a little extra time thinking about your diabetes? What happens to your diabetes control over the holiday season? Or maybe it’s not a big deal for you — maybe you stick with your usual routine, no matter what.

Do you take a few days of high blood glucose levels in stride? Or do you curtail your holiday indulging to avoid that happening? My husband, who has Type 1 diabetes[1] and wears a pump[2], seems to enjoy the holiday treats as much as the rest of us, but he boluses insulin[3] appropriately to cover them. His blood glucose levels may not be ideal, but he does the best he can. However, I can recall patients of mine who wouldn’t give in to one holiday cookie or candy cane for fear of potential consequences.


There’s no one right way to “do” diabetes, particularly over the holidays. But if you’ve found some tricks or strategies that work for you, please share! In the meantime, I’ll share some tips with you.

Eating Well, Eating Right

We all know the eating part can be the toughest. Mealtimes are different, and carbs are found everywhere. If you choose, give yourself permission to indulge a bit. If it’s easier to just not go there, that’s OK, too. Whatever works best.

Keep Moving

One of the best things you can do to stay in control — and sane — during the holidays is to be physically active.

Keep on Checking

De-stress and Unwind

Above all else, enjoy this time of year, even if you simply use the time to reflect on the past year and plan ahead for the New Year.

Happy holidays to all!

  1. Type 1 diabetes:
  2. pump:
  3. insulin:

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Amy Campbell: Amy Campbell is the author of Staying Healthy with Diabetes: Nutrition and Meal Planning and a frequent contributor to Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes & You. She has co-authored several books, including the The Joslin Guide to Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association’s 16 Myths of a “Diabetic Diet,” for which she received a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication and a National Health Information Award in 2000. Amy also developed menus for Fit Not Fat at Forty Plus and co-authored Eat Carbs, Lose Weight with fitness expert Denise Austin.

Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College and a master’s degree in nutrition education from Boston University. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Amy was formerly a Diabetes and Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease management programs, including clinical guideline and educational material development, and the development, testing, and implementation of disease management applications. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education Content Development and Training at Good Measures. Amy has developed and conducted training sessions for various disease and case management programs and is a frequent presenter at disease management events.

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