102 Responses

  1. Nancy
    Nancy November 20, 2008 at 4:38 am |

    My daughter and I are new to this, but we have had 2 major family gatherings since her dx. I planned ahead as much as possible by going over with her what she can have and what to stay away from. During the party, she would give me the thumbs up to let me know she was feeling fine. She had some cheese and crackers, and we bring packets of Crystal light that she adds to a water bottle. She is able to look at the dinner buffet and know what she can have, and if her numbers had been level before we eat, she does get a few more carbs than allowed. We then regulate, if needed, when we get home. So far this strategy has worked for us

  2. Kim
    Kim November 20, 2008 at 8:32 am |

    1. Realize that having fun isn’t synonymous with eating until you’re about to explode. Take part in social conversations and other activities that may be going on at the party besides eating. Don’t let the party be only about food.

    2. Eat a healthy snack or meal before attending the party so that I’m not starved and ready to eat everything when I get there.

    3. Allow myself to enjoy the food in moderation. Scope out the food table from one end to another before taking anything. Choose those items which I most want to have instead of taking some of everything. Take small, controlled portions of those items which I decide I really want to have. Once I fill my plate with my choices, that’s it. No going back for seconds, thirds, etc.

    4. If I’m asked to bring a dish, bring something tasty that I know is a smart choice. That way, I’ll know that there is something there that is OK for me to eat. And there may well be others there, like me, looking for healthy alternatives. They’ll be grateful to have something available.

    5. As this is my first holiday season with diabetes, test prior to eating at the party and 2 hours after first bite to understand how this type of event affects me. Knowledge is power; forewarned is forearmed. Having this information will help me to make appropriate decisions at the next party or event.

    6. Drink plenty of water to help my system deal with any spikes. Stay away from sugar-laden drinks and choose diet ones. If unsure there will be something available that I like, I’ll take my own.

    7. If there happens to be dancing or any type of activity at the party, take part in order to move those muscles and help my body deal with any spikes.

    8. ENJOY MYSELF! Living with diabetes doesn’t mean a death sentence; the key word is LIVING!

  3. meg
    meg November 20, 2008 at 9:44 am |

    Every year there seem to be many work related holiday dinners my husband and I must attend. This is the strategy I’ve worked out for those occasions. First, I choose an outfit that gives me easy access to my pump. (Often easier said than done!) Then, I select a small evening bag and pack a small meter and some emergency candy, along with a few other essentials. I keep the bag with me the entire evening. I don’t generally eat before the dinner – I don’t need those extra calories.
    I always test before going into the party , and retest every 2 hours or so. Before dinner, I stick to club soda and low carb appetizers. At dinner, I usually have a glass or two of wine. I skip the bread – I find it hard to estimate the carbs correctly. Other than that I bolus for what I eat after I eat it – that way I don’t have to finish food I’d rather not eat. I try to be very conservative on the amount of insulin I take. I’d rather correct for a high than end up too low. My husband is usually happy to eat my dessert, so that problem is taken care of for me! I do some extra tests later in the evening to look for delayed high blood sugars.

    To sum up my strategy: test before, during and after the event, eat what I want, but underestimate the carb count, don’t overdo the alcohol, and HAVE FUN.

  4. Shirley
    Shirley November 20, 2008 at 10:13 am |

    I keep individual packets of sugar-free drink mix in my purse so I can add to water as needed. I visit lots with people because when I am talking I won’t eat.

  5. Tarra
    Tarra November 20, 2008 at 11:36 am |

    MY strategy for the holiday Parties.

    1. I do not allow my self to pick at foods. If i am going to eat i must put it on a plate where i can be able to look at the portion size ect. This makes it easier for me to determine carbohydrates of the food. I do look at my calorie king book to help me estimate the carbs.

    2. Rule number 2 i must sit down and eat. Most people when standing do not realize how much they have eaten.

    3. I watch out for sugary drinks and will stick with only diet drinks or water. Possibly a low carb beer.

    4. I will allow myself one item that is sweet that i am craving.

    5. I eat a healthy snack before the party to avoid over eating. If i’m still hungry i will allow myself cheeses or meats. That always seems to help.

    6. I check my blood sugar hourly to make sure my blood sugars are still on track.

    7. I always try to remember that the party is not just about food but also interacting with other people. Having a good time.

    8. I am on the insulin pump so i use the dual wave bolus to help with the types of foods i’m eating. Most peoples holiday parties tend to have higher fat foods.

    9. I plan ahead that the next day after the party that i have time to do a workout so i will not put on extra weight from the higher fat food.

    10. Just enjoy the holidays.

  6. nonegiven
    nonegiven November 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm |

    Sugar free Cool Whip has more carbs than the regular kind.

  7. Pamela Sells
    Pamela Sells November 20, 2008 at 1:39 pm |

    i make sure i eat a large salad before i go to any party.

  8. L Knott
    L Knott November 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm |

    Well I tend to go late and leave early. Well wishers handing out goodies are usually done and just point to the food table by the time I get there. And for goodness sakes leave before they divide up the leftovers. Another quick snack food to take is Popcorn! It fills you up even with a little butter or Ranch spices it usually lower calories! Good luck to All!!

  9. L Ferrazzo
    L Ferrazzo November 20, 2008 at 4:39 pm |

    Make sure I take shot of Symlin if I eat carbs…it takes away most of my appetite so I eat less then give insulin
    Also I snack before I attend so I won’t be so hungry

  10. Peter
    Peter November 20, 2008 at 5:24 pm |

    Well I need less insulin than others, so my strategy is different, but i simply eat enough to send my sugar to 160 before i start drinking, and then it’s light beer and hard liquor for the rest of the night. oh yeah. sugar stays the same, BAC gets higher

  11. Karen Y
    Karen Y November 20, 2008 at 6:47 pm |

    I do not drink alcoholic beverages, so that helps. I have a snack before, eat low carb foods, lots of vegetables, have a nibble of a sweet or two and drink lots of water.

  12. b wolter
    b wolter November 20, 2008 at 10:27 pm |

    We always bring something I know I can eat but do not tell People what it is and then they say this is amazing and I tell them about the recipe and suggest they try eating this way also…and I ask People to not ask Me if I should be eating certain foods I tell them I am an Adult and I can make My own decisions…

  13. b wolter
    b wolter November 20, 2008 at 10:28 pm |

    why does this sweepstakes never work after I click submit? My virus system says all is okey but it will not process? that is not cool

  14. Mark Whitcombe
    Mark Whitcombe November 21, 2008 at 8:47 am |

    I concentrate on eating the stuff that only minimally raises my blood glucose level, i.e., protein and fat. (It’s also the satiating stuff!) That means I eat cheese and meat and non-starchy veggies (i.e., cauliflower and broccoli). It means I don’t eat the bread around sandwiches, or the tortillas around wraps. If I eat anything floury, then it has to be excellent, such as home-made shortbreads (and then only one — if I can …)

  15. David
    David November 21, 2008 at 9:55 am |

    It depends upon the size of the party, and what all is going on. But, to avoid standing or sitting with a plate of food in my hand, I try to keep busy. I find that in many cases, the hostess is overworked, and welcomes any help. I generally help out by pouring drinks, taking used plates back to the kitchen, passing around a tray of items, taking coats from people, getting people things they forgot (like silverware or napkins). I always ask what I can do to help, and I always find some task that is needed. Keeping busy is a great way to help, the hostess, (with her permission) appreciates your efforts and it helps everyone have a great time.

  16. Val
    Val November 21, 2008 at 10:30 am |

    OK, this is a party, right? So I scope out the snacks, decide how much of the high carb stuff I’ve just gotta have, set up an extended pump bolus over a few hours to cover that amount plus about 15% extra (high carb foods, like waitresses, appreciate tips).

    Then I keep an eye on my CGMS, graze on any low-carb stuff I want, and throw in one of the pre-bolused goodies every once in a while. Test and correct if needed on the way home – it’s a party, I want to enjoy myself.

  17. Pamela Brint
    Pamela Brint November 21, 2008 at 10:57 am |

    I try to bring a healthy dish, so if there isn’t anything healthy to eat, I’ll have something. I try to nibble on vegetables and not sweet item. The sweet sugary items will just crave you for more sweets you don’t need.

  18. Jason
    Jason November 21, 2008 at 11:16 am |

    I try to test often, stick to water or diet beverages, eat the low to no carb items, and generally enjoy myself. Parties are a time for happiness and fun. In my opinion, its ok to let loose once in a while and relax on the control for a night as long as I stay vigilant the rest of the time.

  19. Andrew Treharne
    Andrew Treharne November 21, 2008 at 11:52 am |

    I am not on meds, so I am footing it all on my own in terms of managment. The best way I find to do it is have a positive look at life. So I hit the gym/pool before I go to the part and make sure I have a good meal before that. That way if I have a full belly I am less likely to want to eat. On top of that I go with what I call the look like I am eat/ taste my wifes stuff aproach. So I find the one thing that I would really like to halve, take have of that and nibble on it for most of the night, while I “taste what my wife is eatting as well. When I get home 30 mins on the bike and 9 times out of 10 I have had a good time and have good BS in the morning.

  20. Kristin
    Kristin November 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm |

    I usually declare a “non-diabetic day” at least a few times a year. This means I eat whatever I want and give a lot of insulin, but commit to checking my blood sugar more often. I usually start the party with a nice dual wave bolus and roughly guesstimate the carb counts, giving extra boluses as I go along. I literally eat WHATEVER I WANT. I check my blood sugar more often than usual. But in order to celebrate the holidays, I get rid of the one feeling related to diabetes that I find the most burdensome: the feeling that “I SHOULDN’T eat that!”. On “non-diabetic days”, I get to eat whatever I want and just bolus, check, and correct!! Good thing everyday is not a holiday!

  21. David
    David November 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |

    Some holiday events are sit down dinners with very little choices may by you. You are given the “Standard” meal, what ever the host has decided. Generally when I go to these, I am accompanied with my wife. Over the years we found we have put into practice the English nursery rhyme

    Jack Sprat could eat no fat
    His wife could eat no lean.
    And so between the two of them,
    They licked the platter clean!

    If I find that there are items that I cannot eat, I offer them to my wife. She in turn has severe allergies, and finds things that she cannot have and passes them off to me. Together, it works out well most of the time. When we find things that we both cannot have on the plate. We cut them up and move them around. No one notices we have not eaten all of the item and is not offended.

  22. Shelli
    Shelli November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |

    I make sure that I eat something at home before leaving so I’m not starving when I arrive. I also allow myself to have 1 treat & have accounted for that in my carb count for the day.

  23. vicki
    vicki November 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |

    Eat a good sized handful of almonds before leaving home — or if you’re doing the cooking, eat the almonds about a half hour before the planned dinner. This will effectively take the edge off your hunger, then you can eat MODERATELY. Go heavy on the salad, veggies and turkey, a bite only of stuffing and potatoes. (And pay special attention to that bite!) A very small piece of pumpkin pie at the end is fine but skip the crust. Stay away from the pecan pie altogether.

  24. vicki
    vicki November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |

    A half hour before leaving the house (or if you’re cooking, a half hour before mealtime) eat a generous handful of almonds. This will effectively take the edge off your hunger. At the meal, go heavy on the green salad, veggies and turkey; a bite only of yams or potatoes and stuffing, (and make sure you pay close attention to it as you eat it). You could have a very thin slice of pumpkin pie — but not the crust. Stay away from pecan pie altogether.

    This works for me!

  25. sheila
    sheila November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |

    well what we do is we just dont go! No just kidding a little,,, if we sneak some thing forbeding than we will go out and run it off,, than we go and look for meat, cheese free foods by the night is over we usually either have a good reading or a low! but we have found it was nothing we could not handle

  26. Michael
    Michael November 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm |

    I would never attempt to attend a party without my wife for two reasons….1.I want to stay happily married and 2. She is my walking “Carb Book”!
    I can carb count with the best of them, but she can roll carb numbers for just about everything. She has always been a big supporter of managing my Diabetes!

  27. joz
    joz November 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm |

    You said a party NOT a dinner, right? I set up a challenge for myself to meet at least one new friend. That involves a lot of talking and smiling so of course I don’t want anything stuck in my teeth or smelling on my breath. Focusing on socializing totally takes my mind off feeding myself.

  28. Pamela Brint
    Pamela Brint November 22, 2008 at 6:20 am |

    Drink a couple of glasses of water before you go. You will feel full and not feel like eating the garbage.

  29. Julie H
    Julie H November 22, 2008 at 7:56 am |

    I start the day eating healthy but lighter portions and drinking plenty of water. If it’s a potluck type party (or even if it’s not, I offer), I always offer to bring a large veggy platter with a dip I make with cottage cheese and powdered ranch dressing blended together. I also take plenty of bottled water so there is some to share and I’ll have some to drink.

    Before I leave for the party, I have a healthy snack of some fiber filled veggies and an ounce or two of protein (chicken, turkey) along with a big glass of water. So I never arrive starved and the protein and fiber help me stay in my comfort zone.

    Once the feasting begins, I load up with fresh and cooked veggies first, add a small sample of a few of the most tasty looking temptations, grab a bottle of water and I’m set. I get to try a few new things and don’t feel lousy later. I just eat slowly, really enjoy the few bites of the temptation food and enjoy the conversation with friends and family. I end up having a wonderful time and never come home feeling lousy or bloated like I would if I ate a plate full of the heavy foods….yet I enjoyed all the tastes!

    Since eating healthier, my tastebuds have changed. Often times, the tempting foods aren’t really as tasty as they looked, so I’m glad I only have one bite!! :)

  30. Annie Gourieux
    Annie Gourieux November 22, 2008 at 8:57 am |

    I just stay away from the bad stuff. Another good thing to do is eat before you go to a party so you won’t be hungry. That will help stop the grazing on naughty stuff.

  31. karend1
    karend1 November 22, 2008 at 10:02 am |

    Okay the bigtime guilt I feel afer reading all these responses is overwhelming, but I know me and I am sticking to my original answer above.

    I just eat whatever I want and keep my finger on the bolus button.

  32. Kristy Riley
    Kristy Riley November 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm |

    I make Christmas cookies with splenda.
    They turn out just as yummy!

  33. carriej
    carriej November 22, 2008 at 3:29 pm |

    I was diagnosed in October 2007 so last years holidays and parties were my first. I didn’t do so good then but this year I’m prepared, a little planning goes a long way.

    I’ll make sure I eat before any parties so I’m less tempted to graze, I’ll bring a green salad to potlucks, I’ll know that a bite can be just as yummy as a slice, one glass is enough and that perfection is overrated.

    Most importantly, I’ll try to remember that as hard, frustrating and confusing this past year has been for me, I am so lucky to be here this year. My diagnosis wasn’t a death sentence, it was a wake up call.

  34. MaryC
    MaryC November 22, 2008 at 6:49 pm |

    I like to have a large glass of water with some carrots, broccoli, and green pepper slices before I go. When I get to the party, I make sure that I mingle with people for at least 20 minutes before I go to the goodie table. By doing this, most people have already hit the table and have taken all of the “good stuff” and I am able to limit my choices a bit better. I also allow myself 2 bites of two of my favorite things. on the table. I also grab a bottle (or 2) of water and some lemon to go in it, if available.

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  36. Pamela Brint
    Pamela Brint November 23, 2008 at 8:19 am |

    Fill up on protein and water. You will be too full for anything else.

  37. Hi-Lo
    Hi-Lo November 23, 2008 at 12:37 pm |

    1. FIRST know your numbers !!!
    2. test test test test
    test test test test every 20 minutes test and adjust
    bolus accordingly
    3. I over-bolus one hour before I eat (I have very-low-insulin-sensitivity, please don’t try this yourself)
    4. low-carb munchies
    5. drink lo-carb beer (BYOB) or wine

  38. Randee
    Randee November 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm |

    I test often & eat the lower carb (& generally healthier) options to keep my bg in check. Plus, I stay away from sugary drinks & test often. I aim to figure out what I plan to eat in advance, to avoid stacking up the insulin from my pump (which causes problems later on). Finally, I do not let diabetes take over the fun and so have a good time because focusing on enjoying the festivities puts me in a good mood!

  39. jane jakins
    jane jakins November 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm |

    great web site

  40. Sandra
    Sandra November 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm |

    Definately eat a small well balanced meal before you go to a party. Then nibble on the low carb items available and watch alcohol consumption.

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    jane jakins November 23, 2008 at 6:10 pm |


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  43. Al
    Al November 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm |

    Over the past 45 years of T-1, my 2 most successful strategies are to have a bottle of water in my hand all times, this keeps me from grabbing a plate; and at family gatherings, I make my water bottle round with the adults and then go find the grandkids and join them in play. They love to hear and tell wildly crazy stories where they are some object like an eyeball, a tree or a ball. This keeps my mind busy and I seldom think about the carb loading going on upstairs.

  44. Al
    Al November 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm |

    Holiday parties can be a challenge, but why should we miss out on the festivities, the fun, and the relationships? I find a few strategies to be very helpful. FIrst, I make sure I stay on my healty diet plan throughout the holiday season. Parties are no exception. If I know I’m going to be at a party, I work it into my plan for the day. I’ll add an extra workout before a party if I’m able, or even better (for me) after, even if it’s only 30 minutes on the exercise bike after the party and before bed. Second, I’ll adjust my eating schedule for the day prior so that the meal at the party is in line with my meal schedule for the day. I make sure to test before going into the party, and set my carb limit accordingly before I ever enter the party. I steer clear of alcohol, but don’t mind having an extra diet cola or two (diet soda is my one remaining vice). I’ll spend as much time as I an at the party mingling and talking, enjoying the people. I’ll do my best to let the high carb, high fat apetizers pass by, and use the usual tricks to minimize the quantity of those that I do take (small plate, one at time, nibble and eat slowly). Most of those the people that I spend time with do not know I’m diabetic, they just know that I am trying to eat healty and live a healthy lifestyle. They know I don’t eat sweets/desserts, so it’s no big deal when they come and say “no thanks”. I won’t lie and say it’s easy to watch others eat the sweets that I used to love so much, but it’s the right thing for me now. I find the busier I stay visiting with the people at the parties, the easier it is to avoid the food. One other trick; I’m an avid amature photographer, so I always bring my camera. People at the party love posing for pictures with each other, so it is really easy to keep busy and away from the food by spending my time taking pictures. Good luck this holiday season.

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