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Holiday Tips & Tricks..Diabetes Style

How do you feel this time of year with holiday parties and spending more time in the kitchen?

Do you feel prepared? Overwhelmed?

Or maybe you're already expecting to fail at managing your blood sugar, work and family take energy while still trying to enjoy the season.

I know it can be a lot to take on, especially when you toss diabetes into the "Punch Bowl". :). but the holidays are not a time to feel deprived if you live with diabetes.

Holiday food can be healthy and delicious and doesn't have to compromise your blood sugar or your waistline.

Here’s some tips in choosing better foods when you go out while still maintaining your blood sugar.

Start with turning your traditional favorite foods into healthier versions. You can do this by understanding the effects different kinds of food has on your glucose levels.

When preparing food, be sure to combine a complex carb w/fiber + lean protein + healthy fat with all meals and even desserts. This balanced macro rule applies all the time and especially when preparing your favorite holiday recipes.

I know all these fancy terms confuse you even more. Trust me.

When you combine healthy sources of carbohydrates w/fiber along with plenty of good fat and protein, the glucose from the meal enters your blood slowly.

If you're prediabetic or type 2, the pancreas responds by secreting a measured amount of insulin. If you're Type 1 then you'll have to use your carb/insulin ratio to dose insulin if still needed based on portion size.

This Inside Out Almond Joy recipe is a perfect example of how to do this.

Inside Out Almond Joys

Download PDF • 285KB

15 Minutes - 4 Ingredients


  • 4 1/4 ozs Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao, chopped)

  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil

  • 1 cup Almonds

  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut


  1. Microwave dark chocolate and the coconut oil in a large glass bowl at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir well to combine.

  2. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Add almonds to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Use a spoon to drop small, even clusters (containing about 4 to 5 almonds each) onto the parchment paper. The number of clusters you make should be equal to your serving size.

  4. Sprinkle coconut overtop of each cluster immediately. Transfer to the freezer until the clusters are set, about 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from the freezer and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts per cluster:

Calories 72

Protein 2 g

Sugar 2g

Fiber 1g

Carbs 4g

Fat 6g

You can easily make other traditional holiday desserts using this same method.

For example, I use almond flour instead of the processed refined all-purpose flour, which has a higher glycemic index and impact on blood sugar. Also using less sugar and natural ingredients in recipes that will be delicious and your blood sugar will thank you for.

Here's Ten More Party TIPS & TRICKS

  1. Monitor blood sugar

  2. Stay hydrated with water before and after a party

  3. To increase insulin sensitivity, plan to move your body the day of a party

  4. Eat something healthy before you leave, so you don't arrive hungry

  5. Fill plate with vegetables first

  6. Assess your choices before loading your plate: Choose a small portion of different foods

  7. Choose food mindfully and don’t fill plate with food that you won’t remember tomorrow

  8. Use a small plate

  9. Don’t hang around the food table

  10. Mingle and enjoy creating new holiday memories

What about alcohol? Things to consider if you decide to drink alcohol

  • Choose non-sugar drinks and avoid frozen mixed drinks

  • If you're a wine lover, consider the lower sugar options like dry reds or Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are white wines with a bit less sugar.

  • Club soda mixed with clear a liquor (vodka, tequila) with a squeeze of lime is an option

  • Avoid mixed drinks and sangrias with added sugar

  • Drink water! Stay hydrated before and after you decide to indulge

Having a plan will help you feel better after the holiday season

  • Maintaining your blood sugar

  • Avoid feeling ill after eating too much of the wrong foods and drinks

  • Avoid holiday weight gain

  • Stay on track with a regular sleep and exercise schedule

The holidays tend to revolve around the delicious food and drinks served. What is the true spirit and meaning around the holidays for you?

Ask yourself before the holiday season even begins "Am I putting too much focus on this and not enough around how important time with friends and family truly is"?

Remember to celebrate the holidays with healthy food, enjoying social connections and creating memories!

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