Thanksgiving with Diabetes is for the birds…so sorry. These things just pop into my mind and I can’t resist.
But seriously, Thanksgiving can be particularly hard on the blood sugars, so this year I’m switching it up. I’m on the hunt for recipes that are simple (since I have picky toddlers), easy on the blood sugars, and still comforting and delicious. That’s a tall order, I know.
I’ve spent countless Thanksgivings calculating carbs, choosing which foods I’d have to skip, and overall worrying about blood sugars. My family’s traditional Thanksgivng meals include things like casseroles, stuffings, rolls, and foods that in general are low on health and high on carbohydrates, plus really hard to count carbs for. And then I spend all kinds of energy just working around it, taking more insulin, and doing my usual “I can eat anything” song and dance.
And you know what? I can. I can eat anything. But sometimes just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
I had this lightbulb moment where I decided, you know what, it’s ok for me to adjust the traditions to make it easier on myself. There is no shame in admitting to myself, or to anyone else, that certain casseroles are just hard on me and the blood sugar. Or that sweet potatoes are just fine by themselves and don’t actually need marshmallows on top. Or that the extra sugar in the cranberry sauce to make it palitable is just not doing me any favors. And dangit, it’s hard to guesstimate how many carbs are in that casserole topped with breadcrumbs…er, wait those aren’t breadcrumbs. What are those? Are those cheez-its?…
Yep, I’m still from Tennessee so these things do happen.
So I’m breaking up with traditions this year and making a Thanksgiving meal that isn’t loaded with breads and unnecessary carbs but is still comforting and delicious.
Here’s my criteria for finding recipes to Charm my Diabetes on Thanksgiving:
- gluten free (I know, eye roll)
- little to know added sugar (which, sadly, eliminates cranberries)
- simple and easy to make (because, toddlers)
- yummy (because, again, toddlers)
Let me clarify: I am NOT gluten free. But the carbs coming from breads and bread based dishes were just too much. I’m cutting out the gluten so I have room for other carbs I love–like sweet potatoes, roasted apples, and maybe even grits.
And let’s not forget dessert. I love dessert.
I don’t want to confuse anyone–I’m not trying to cut out all carbs, or fat, or be particularly “health” conscious on this holiday dedicated to Giving Thanks and Eating. I’m just re-working some of the Thanksgiving regulars that don’t really work for me with Diabetes. I want to get rid of some of the carbs in my meal so that I can enjoy the others more, and dessert.
It’s like editing. And it’s a trade off. If you hate pumpkin pie but really can’t do without a bread based stuffing, then maybe your trade offs will be different.
Or maybe you do what I’ve done for SO so many years and say to yourself “SELF! I love you, but today I trade nothing”! And then proceed to eat all the carbs you want. I won’t judge you. I just know that this year, for me, I want to make some changes so I’m not stuck glaring at my glucose meter in frustration and disbelief later.
So there will be turkey, and there will be pumpkin pie. But where I really struggle with the carb counting is in the side dishes. I wanted sides that would feel traditional, but without all the guilt that normally accompanies my usual holiday side dishes. These are the ones I’ve found so far that look like they could make me a happy girl this Turkey Day.
Best Green Beans Ever (Ree Drummond)
Green Beans With Lemon & Garlic (Food Network) I’ll have to choose between green bean dishes…
Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Martha Stewart)
Roasted Squash with Red Onion, Oregano, + Mint (Food & Wine Magazine)
Cheesy Grits Casserole (Food & Wine Magazine)
Rosted Brussel Sprouts (Simply Recipes)
Sauteed Apples With Thyme (Martha Stewart)
That’s the short list of recipes I’m considering so far. There will be no rolls. That is CA-RAY-ZAY, I know, but I’m trying to reduce the overall carb numbers and save the gluten for dessert only. That means the rolls had to go. That also means these sides have big, carby, shoes to fill! Wish me luck!!
What about you? Are you going all out on a carb-centric or are you looking for ways to charm your diabetes too? Either way, I hope you find a way to eat all the foods you love this Thanksgiving, and enjoy them!!
p.s. those recipe cards are from Rifle Paper Co.