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Routines & Planning
betes Corner
by Maureen Sullivan, RN, CDE*
*(CDE-Certified Diabetic Educator)
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ummer is over, and Fall has arrived. With its ar-
rival, we are made aware of the value of rou-
tines- routine school schedules/after school
activities; routine daily meal planning; the impor-
tance of preplanning for the upcoming holiday sea-
son. For persons with diabetes (PWD), preplanning
diet and activity now will ensure safe, healthy and
happy holidays.
Fall often brings changes in weather, derail-
ing the best made plans for outdoor activities, such
as a daily walk/run. Simple changes to your routine
activities will assist in controlling your blood glucose
levels. You can bring your outdoor walk indoors
(gym, mall, or even a home treadmill). To avoid the
boredom that may occur from staying indoors too
often, though, change up your routine. Consider
Indoor swimming, or dance classes. Did you know
that the average 150-pound person will burn about
235 calories in 45 minutes of leaf-raking? Indoor lei-
sure swimming, in comparison, can burn 223 calo-
ries in a 30 minutes session.
The holiday season is a very challenging
time for the majority of people. It is reported by
the media that 5 pounds of body weight is gained
during the holidays. Some research has found the
weight gain is closer to one pound. Unfortunately,
most people do not lose that pound; thus, year after
year, holiday related weight gain can worsen health
problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes or
Yet, preplanning now for holiday meals can
put you in control of the menu, including everything
from choices, carbs and calories. Start looking for di-
abetic friendly recipes. Plan the holiday meal menu.
Make the list now for necessary cooking supplies
you don't normally stock (avoid those last-minute
runs to the local store). Look for healthy snacks and
main meal choices that are nutritious and easy to
Are you the cook? Consider reducing sug-
ar or using a sugar replacement in sweets and use
pureed fruit as a substitute for fat in baked goods.
Are you the guest? Consider bringing a food item
that is diabetic friendly, ensuring yourself a safe op-
tion. Eating at a buffet? Take a smaller plate, and fill
it up with fresh vegetables, lean protein, and some
complex carbohydrates. Drinking alcohol during
the holidays? Diabetes medications do not interact
well with alcohol. Never have more than one or two
drinks. A serving of alcohol equals 1 and 1/2 ounces
of distilled liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or 4 ounces of
Keep the focus on the importance of fami-
ly and friends (not food) during the holidays. Take
time now to plan your events: diabetes should not
prevent you from enjoying the holidays.