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How can you stick with a healthy meal plan and enjoy all the festivities and celebrations?
The following information may help you plan.
Nashville, Ark. – The holidays are here! November is also diabetes awareness month.
Whether you have diabetes or have been told by a doctor you are pre-diabetic, the
holidays can create special challenges. How can you stick with a healthy meal plan
and enjoy all the festivities and celebrations? All it takes is a little planning
and know how before you face the endless parties and buffet tables.
Make a plan. Before you go to the party, think about what foods will be served. Decide which
foods will help keep your blood sugar under control and which foods you want to avoid.
Look at the buffet once you get there and then choose one or two favorite treats along
with healthier items to round out your meal.
Watch your portions. Many foods on the buffet table are loaded with fat, sugar, or salt. Take very small
portions of deep-fried foods, fatty foods wrapped in bacon, cheesy foods and desserts.
Come prepared. If you are asked to bring a dish, be sure to bring one that is healthy and one you
can eat. Don’t make a big production of it. Many people will never miss the lower
salt, lower fat, or lower sugar variation. In fact, they may even ask for the recipe!
Focus on family and friends, instead of food. When you arrive at a party, don’t make a be-line for the buffet table. Visit with
people. Waiting later to eat, may prevent multiple trips to the food bar.
Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Choose vegetables that are colorful such as broccoli, bell peppers, green beans, carrots,
cabbage, eggplant and spinach.
Choose fresh or steamed veggies. Avoid vegetables or vegetable dishes that are loaded with butter and cheese which
included many of the vegetable casseroles. If needed, take just a small spoonful or
Take 2-3 ounces of protein. If the chicken, turkey or other lean cuts of meat are baked or grilled, then you can
feel good about eating these foods. Avoid over doing it though. 2-3 ounces is about
the size of a deck of playing cards.
Go easy on the breaded meats. Many of the meats on a buffet line are breaded then deep-fried and served along with
heavy sauces. Take just a taste of these foods, if you just can’t resist them.
Look for high-fiber grains. Choose steamed brown rice, whole-grain crackers or whole-grain breads whenever possible.
Avoid loading up on cheese spreads, dips or butter as add-ons to whole grain foods.
Watch out for desserts and drinks. Most desserts and drinks are high in sugar. Choose fresh fruit whenever possible.
Fruit is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals not found in other foods.
If you can’t resist the dessert table, take only a small portion and enjoy it.
The holidays happen only once a year. Enjoy them! However as with everything
else, enjoy them in moderation!
If you would like more information on eating healthy, following the dietary
guidelines or are interested in attending nutrition workshops, contact the Howard
County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second
floor of the courthouse. I’ll be glad to add you to our newsletter list to let you
know when programs are scheduled.
Information for this article was adapted from the National Diabetes Education
Program. Check out their website at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/ndep
It’s not too early to start planning for Thanksgiving dinner. This is
a great recipe to serve alongside other holiday favorites. In fact, this recipe is
great anytime of the year! My family loves it served with pork chops or grilled chicken.
4 cups baby carrots, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons soft tub margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place the carrots in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to barely
cover the carrots. Cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 7-8 minutes,
just until the carrots are easily pierced with a sharp knife.
While the carrots are cooking, combine margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon,
and salt in a small saucepan, and melt together over low heat (or put in a microwave-safe
bowl and microwave for a few seconds on high power, until margarine is mostly melted).
Stir well to combine ingredients.
Drain carrots, leaving them in the saucepan. Pour cinnamon mixture over
carrots. Cook and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, just until the carrots are
thoroughly coated and the glaze thickens slightly.
Yield: 4 servings (1 cup each)
Nutrition information per serving: Calories-130, Total fat 6g, Saturated
fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 160mg, Carbohydrate 19g, Fiber 4 g, Protein less than
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
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