If You Don’t Plan Ahead, You’ll Fall Behind…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a bunch of fun, celebratory things that we all enjoy. These things can include, but are not limited to baked goods, carbohydrate-heavy meals and the consumption of alcohol or other high-sugar beverages such as hot chocolates and egg nog.

I’ve never been much of a fan of egg nog, myself. But it happens to contain an average of about 8 grams of carbs for every 100 millilitres you consume, with all 8 grams being pure sugar! So if you consume an average cup or glass with about 250 to 500 mL of the stuff, you’re looking at 20 to 40 grams go carbs just on that one glass of nog alone! It can add up quickly.

Eggnog with a touch of cinnamon

Baked goods and meals are a special kind of bastard, because they can be extremely difficult to calculate insulin requirements for them. A good rule of thumb is that the average “homemade” cookies or square usually runs at about 20 grams of carbs. This has been my own experience of course, and doesn’t necessarily reflect any specific baked good you may be consuming. For example, when looking at chocolate chip cookies (an old classic) you would be dealing with anywhere between 16 grams to a whopping 30 grams of carbs per cookie depending on the ingredient content and the size of dough you put on your pan.

Last but not least is the consumption of alcohol. I’ve written about this often, because alcohol is such a difficult creature to control and bolus for. Drinking, in some respects will cause your liver to work overtime and your blood glucose to drop. Other types of alcohol may cause your blood glucose to spike, depending on what extra ingredients are included. There’s also the aspect that every person is different and what causes a drop for me, may cause an increase for you or vice versa. It really falls to you to know your body and your resistance to alcohol in order to best prepare for it.

Diabetes Canada posted a fantastic chart on Diabetes.ca that provides a general guideline on the carbohydrate count for most commonly consumed alcoholic beverages. The chart can be found here: https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Managing-My-Diabetes/Tools%20and%20Resources/alcohol-and-diabetes.pdf?ext=.pdf

This chart is only a guideline and may not relate to exactly how your body deals with its holiday booze, so monitor yourself carefully. For example, my favourite drink of choice is a rum and diet coke, made with Kraken Rum (the best damned rum in the world). 1 ounce of Kraken Black Spiced Rum is about 1 gram of carbs. My favourite beer is a locally brewed craft IPA that has almost 22 grams of carbs per can. Quite the difference between a drink of one or the other.

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year to spend quality time with family and enjoy some of the little indulgences that you perhaps restrict during the rest of the year. The key to enjoying these indulgences is being prepared. Test your blood sugar often, know the carbohydrate count of what you’re consuming and as is the case with almost everything, moderation is key! ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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