Healthy Weight Week was created 23 years ago to help people understand that health really isn’t about a number – on the scale or otherwise – and to encourage people to stop dieting and pursue livable and sustainable healthy lifestyles through eating well, living actively and feeling good about themselves.
Your healthy weight is your natural weight, which is largely determined by your genetics. If you come from a family of larger or smaller people, you are likely to be larger or smaller. Achieving and maintaining your healthy weight is supported by healthful, enjoyable living that includes mindful, pleasurable eating and physical activity, effective stress management, adequate sleep and more. It is not a weight that is achieved through restricting what you eat or excessively exercising in order to lose weight.
We all know that food tends to be front and center on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, the majority of people eat well over 2,000 calories during their Thanksgiving meal. Think about it… between the appetizers, rich side dishes, and desserts – the calories can add up quickly, and so can the carbohydrates!
If you have diabetes or are trying to manage your weight, don’t let food stress you out this year. You can still enjoy the Thanksgiving feast and even some dessert (since it’s a special occasion). It just requires a little extra planning and self control on your part. Read on for more tips about how to create a healthy plate this Thanksgiving. We’ll also give you some examples of how to fit in a serving of your favorite holiday treat!
Create a Healthy Plate
One of the biggest problems that people have on Thanksgiving Day is portion control. Not only do we overload our plates with everything on the table, but we often go back for second and third helpings.
Remember that Thanksgiving is all about choices. Think about which dishes you can’t live without and which ones you don’t mind passing on. Then adjust portions to keep your carbohydrate and calorie count similar to what you usually eat at dinnertime.
When filling your plate, you can use the diabetes plate method as a guide to keep portions under control. From the start, you should only plan to fill your plate once instead of going back for more.
Navigating the Feast
Turkey is usually the central part of the Thanksgiving feast.
It is a high-protein food and has no carbohydrates. A portion is about 3-4 ounces, which is about the size of your palm.
Remove the skin on your turkey before eating it and choose white breast meat which is the leanest part of the bird.
Roast your turkey instead of deep-frying it. Roasting is a cooking method that requires little-to-no added fat. Just make sure you add some seasonings. Looking for a good turkey recipe? Try our Herb-Roasted Turkey this year!
The main ingredient in most stuffing recipes is bread, so it is high in carbohydrates and will need to be counted in your meal plan.
½ cup of stuffing usually has about 15-30 grams of carbohydrate. Because it can vary, be sure to check the nutrition facts for your recipe.
Add extra non-starchy veggies like onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to your stuffing and use whole grain or 100% whole wheat bread.
Potatoes are another staple food on Thanksgiving Day. From buttery mashed potatoes to sweet potato casserole – these dishes can really pack in the carbohydrates, saturated fat, and calories.
Keep portions small, especially if there is a lot of added cheese, butter, or cream. One-half cup of mashed potatoes usually has about 15 grams of carbohydrate.
At the table, there’s no need to add a lot of extra sour cream or butter to your potatoes. Simply season them with a bit of freshly ground pepper or some trans-free margarine. Instead of sour cream, try non-fat Greek yogurt which is a much healthier alternative.
Sweet potatoes are especially flavorful on their own – there’s no need for alot of extra sugar or butter!
Green Bean Casserole is also a very popular Thanksgiving side dish. You might be thinking this is a great option since green beans are a non-starchy vegetable. However, as with all casseroles, it can be packed with unhealthy fats and calories from ingredients like creamy soup, butter, and fried onions. Here are some tips when it comes to vegetable side dishes:
Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Choose vegetable side dishes that include roasted or cooked vegetables without creamy sauces.
This Thanksgiving, show your loved ones how much you care by cooking up a nutritious holiday celebration. Choose from our collection of scrumptious diabetic side dishes to create an indulgent feast while keeping your eating plan on track. After all, Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most delicious meals we enjoy all year!
World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
Activities and materials in 2015 will focus on healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes and a cornerstone of health and sustainable development.
From diabetes.co.uk, “the theme of World Diabetes Day, from 2014 to 2016 will be healthy living and diabetes and this year, there’s a focus on starting each day right by having a healthy breakfast.” Here are the key messages that the International Diabetes Federation focused on during 2014:
1. ‘Investing’ in a healthy breakfast will reduce the global burden of diabetes, and save billions in lost productivity and healthcare costs.
2. Ensuring access to an affordable and healthy breakfast is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes.
To supplement our usual CSA Recipe feature and keep in theme with the goal of this health holiday, here are a few diabetes-friendly breakfast recipes for you to try this month.
This month, the Family Care blog will be featuring educational materials and information specifically for people living with diabetes. Our office has held free diabetes education classes for our patients for the past few years because we think it is necessary for patients to fully understand the disease to lower their health risks and the overall impact that diabetes has on their lives. November is designated as National Diabetes Education Month by the American Diabetes Association, so it is a great time to raise awareness of the challenges and help provide a better understanding of how to live with diabetes. The goal of the month, according to the American Diabetes Association:
The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and all of its burdens. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the Association. American Diabetes Month® (ADM) is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease.
Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:
Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
Here is a great video of Republican Congressman Tom Reed discussing his personal reasons for recognizing and promoting National Diabetes Awareness Month in November and the reasons it is really a 365-day-per-year cause.
Throughout the month, we will have more content and specifics, so consider this an introduction to National Diabetes Awareness Month. For final takeaways, here are three messages on what National Diabetes Awareness Month is all about from the American Diabetes Association:
Eat Well, America! This year’s theme for American Diabetes Month in November.
Eating well means more than eating healthy. Eating well means savoring food that is delicious, nutritious and simple to prepare.
The American Diabetes Association will show people living with diabetes and others who want to lead a healthy lifestyle how to enjoy foods that are both delicious and nutritious.
We will inspire Americans to eat well by equipping them with tips for planning and preparing healthy meals on their own.
Diabetesforecast.org/adm and 1-800-DIABETES are the go-to resources offering meal planning, shopping tips, grocery lists, chef’s preparation secrets and delicious recipes.
The Association is leading the conversation that helps the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, as well as their loved ones, achieve health and wellness every single day.
Healthy Eating from Start to Finish. The Association will show Americans how to eat healthy from start to finish, without sacrificing flavor.
Every week in November, the Association will introduce recipes for every meal, including snacks and recipes for the holidays and other special occasions, when indulgences can present a challenge to your healthy eating plan.
The Association will include seasonal recipes and tips from noted cookbook authors and chefs to give Americans the extra boost to incorporate healthy eating into their everyday lives.
We will address the start-to-finish steps that empower people to put together a healthy meal that tastes good and is good for you and your family:
Planning and shopping tips will include mapping out a shopping trip, creating a shopping list and choosing budget-friendly ingredients.
Preparation and cooking tips will include tools and techniques that guarantee recipe success.
Plating and serving tips will guide people with simple steps to create a healthy, nutritious and appealing plate of food—whether at home or dining out.
Complete nutrition information for every recipe so that people can decide which dishes suit them best, based on their diabetes management plan and personal tastes.
Lunch Right with Every Bite! On National Healthy Lunch Day, the Association’s annual celebration of nutritious eating, we will spotlight what healthful, simple and enjoyable meals look like.
This year we’ll celebrate National Healthy Lunch Day on Nov.17, when we encourage everyone to “lunch right with every bite” and make better food choices to counter expanding waistlines, low energy and rising rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity-related illness. To start, let’s do lunch—a healthy lunch.
On this day, we will ask Americans to make or buy a healthy lunch and encourage employers and restaurants to provide healthy alternatives.
In addition, we’ll ask people to share their healthy lunch photos using the hashtag #MyHealthyLunch to create social media buzz. Our fans and followers will inspire their friends and family to make healthy lunch choices that best fit their lifestyle.