You know what’s not a good idea?

Diabetic Living (USA) - - Editor’s Letter -

Try­ing to fit two hol­i­day meals into one day. Yet for years, that’s what my hus­band and I did ev­ery Thanks­giv­ing, and Christ­mas Eve, and Christ­mas. Af­ter fly­ing across the coun­try to Vir­ginia, where both our fam­i­lies live, we’d try to dis­trib­ute hol­i­day time evenly. So we’d sit down with one fam­ily for an early hol­i­day meal, then hop in the car and drive 30 min­utes to the other fam­ily to do it all over again. It was ex­haust­ing and hec­tic. And there was way too much food.

Af­ter a few too many years of groan­ing at the sight of a sec­ond turkey, we wised up and went out on a limb: We in­vited our fam­i­lies to cel­e­brate to­gether. It took some up­root­ing of tra­di­tion and a few more leaves in both of our par­ents’ ta­bles, but we joined forces and started al­ter­nat­ing hosts. And it worked: our com­bined hol­i­day meal is now a tra­di­tion of its own. Sure, half the fam­ily has to drive a lit­tle far­ther to get to the ta­ble, but our meals are more leisurely, con­ver­sa­tions un­rushed, and no one has to eat two serv­ings of ham.

As much as the hol­i­days are a time for cel­e­bra­tion and joy, they are also a time for cre­ative prob­lem solv­ing. Rou­tines are thrown off. Fam­ily takes pri­or­ity over habits. But if we lose sight of our own needs, we can quickly de­rail our health goals. It took years for me to see it, but try­ing to keep up with two fam­ily tra­di­tions meant that I wasn’t tak­ing any time for my­self. Now, I fit in a Thanks­giv­ing run with my brother in-law. I take a Christ­mas Eve walk with my par­ents. I have time to gro­cery shop and cook, and can pre­pare a few dishes to my lik­ing.

We’ve worked hard to pack this is­sue with strate­gies to help you put your­self first dur­ing the busy hol­i­day sea­son. Caron Golden’s hol­i­day sur­vival guide on page 22 helps you nav­i­gate tricky so­cial gath­er­ings. Our 10-minute work­out on page 26 is de­signed for even the busiest of days (re­cruit the whole fam­ily!). And our Nour­ish sec­tion, start­ing on page 64, is packed with low-stress, in­ex­pen­sive, and healthy recipes for the whole sea­son. We also look ahead, with ways to put your­self first well into the new year: You’ll find a guide to plan­ning for next year’s health care costs on page 54, tips to help you ad­vo­cate for bet­ter care on page 48, and ideas to help you strengthen your sup­port net­work on page 12.

From all of us at Di­a­betic Liv­ing, we wish you a healthy, happy hol­i­day sea­son, and a won­der­ful start to the new year.

Take a knee: Lau­ren Las­towka with her in-laws (her fa­ther-in­law is dressed as Santa)

lau­renl@mered­ith.comYours in health,

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