4 Blood Sugar Tips for Feeling Balanced This Holiday Season
Blood Sugar Balance | Healthy Eating | Healthy Recipes
We are officially in the full swing of the holiday season! This can bring a lot of fun social activities, family time, and well - let's be honest - potentially a lot of sweets and stress.
With this in mind, I wanted to share some tips on how to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the holiday season, without feeling like you're depriving yourself. When you balance your blood sugar, you simply feel better - less erratic energy levels, improved mood, better quality sleep, and less cravings soon after eating, to name a few.
The idea this holiday season is to switch the script - to think about what you can add around or to your meal (rather than what to restrict or take away). This is all about nourishing and being gentle with ourselves during this hectic (and fun) time of year. Now let's dive in...
BLOOD SUGAR TIP #1:
WALK AFTER DINNER
If you can squeeze in a short, brisk walk post-dinner or large meal, your blood sugar levels will thank you. Did you know that exercise can increase glucose uptake by up to 50 times compared to when we are sedentary? Walking helps move the glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells.
Low- to moderate-intensity activity (like brisk walking) has been shown to be the most effective type of exercise to prevent a blood sugar spike when done after a meal.
But don't get too caught up in the timing and duration of the activity. The biggest takeaway is that simple movement after a meal can support blood sugar balance.
BLOOD SUGAR TIP #2:
EAT YOUR VEGGIES FIRST
If you can load up on a green salad and roasted veggies, then enjoy the mashed sweet potatoes and green bean casserole - this will really help to balance your blood sugar. The vegetables are adding fiber, which creates a "mesh" to help blunt the blood sugar spike.
Food order has been show to make a major impact on your blood sugar. This study found that eating vegetables and protein before the carbohydrates led to lower post-meal glucose and insulin levels. Now you can really have your cake and eat it too!
BLOOD SUGAR TIP #3:
MIX-IN PROTEIN & FAT
Along the same lines as eating your veggies first, you can also think about adding protein and healthy fats as a pairing for your more starchy, carb-heavy foods. Protein and fat help to slow down the absorption of the glucose from the meal. It also promotes satiety (feeling fuller, longer).
Add nut butter and chia seeds to your bowl of oatmeal
Add a side of sliced avocado and fried egg to your breakfast sandwich
A portion of turkey breast with your mashed potatoes
BLOOD SUGAR TIP #4:
START YOUR DAY WITH A SAVORY BREAKFAST OR SMOOTHIE
One really impactful way to start your day on the right (metabolic) foot is to have a savory breakfast, like eggs and avocado, or a protein-filled smoothie. How you start your day can set the trajectory of your glucose for the rest of the day.
SAVORY BREAKFAST IDEAS:
Eggbites w/ Side of Avocado
Sweet Potato Hash w/ Breakfast Sausage or Eggs Over Easy
Avocado Toast (made on fermented sourdough or Mikey's English Muffins)
HOLIDAY-INSPIRED SMOOTHIE IDEAS:
Carrot Cake Smoothie (from 5-Day Reset Guide)
Thin Mint Cookie Smoothie
With your endless to-do lists, it's important to give ourselves a little grace and kindness this holiday season ❄️