Making Easter and D-guilt more manageable

Guest Post Sally Marchini, Dietitian

As you would know, the Easter long weekend is coming and you will have noticed all the Easter so called ‘goodies’ in the supermarkets set out to tempt you.

 

As we have four days off, it’s also a time of year, similar to Christmas time, when we spend time with family and friends socialising and celebrating our relationships.  These are such precious moments in our lives, so it’s really important to be mindful about the importance of enjoying every moment and not letting negatives enter and spoil such special times. One particular emotion that often marks a scar on such moments we’ll call the ‘g’ word, and it can be easily avoided with a little bit of mindful planning.

In one of our Facebook groups, we were talking about how people in the group celebrate Easter.  We were discussing family get togethers and of course the topic of ‘getting the balance right’ popped up. We all agreed too, that on these special occasions it’s quite acceptable to have a ‘bit of a splurge’ to be in the moment, and enjoy it!

One of our members explained it so well. She said, “There are some times of the year…Easter and Christmas where I make the conscious decision to relax a little bit and not feel guilty about my food choices.” This is so perfect and so empowering for many of us to know it’s actually really good for us, and that it’s about celebrating our relationship with food!

If we can view these little splurges in this way, it will make the recovery much easier and in terms of our diabetes we’ll just work that little bit harder for a short time to get our numbers back to ‘normal’. One of my favourite sayings is that Diabetes is NOT a game of Perfect, and it’s occasions like Easter that it’s so important to remember that.

It doesn’t mean that we should go crazy, but with a bit of planning we can afford to tip the scales a little to the ‘other’ side knowing that it’s good for our emotional wellbeing which is all part of the big picture of ‘Wellness’.  I believe that the key to such a delicate balance is Moderation.

 

Tips to help you balance your celebrations

  • Starting in the supermarket in the build up to Easter, avoid buying your Easter goodies until the very last minute. As with Christmas time you’ll remember that there’s never any shortage of the ‘special’ items. This means you can avoid a ‘pre festival’ splurge!
  • Plan to take some healthy contributions to your celebratory events, such as homemade dips made on legumes and fresh herbs with a colourful variety of veggie sticks for dipping (always very popular), veggie laden frittatas, fabulous salads with low-GI carb sources built in such as barley, brown basmati rice, quinoa and legumes.  If it’s a barbeque, you could contribute marinated vegetable skewers and lean meats to help you avoid those you know you’d be better without. A lovely fruit platter to share for dessert works well too!

fruit and yoghurt

  • Instead of buying big Easter eggs, go for the tiny and extra quality individually wrapped chocolate eggs, so if you’re really feeling like some Easter chocolate it will help you to manage portion sizes and still provide you that special Easter sweetness.
  • For Easter gifts, rather than giving chocolate, swap to something like a pot of herbs or a bottle of quality olive oil or a homemade jar of harrisa  that will last the recipient a longer time and will mean so much more.
  • When it comes to alcoholic beverages, remember to take it easy as not only will it affect your diabetes but it also adds unwanted calories.  You may like to refer to one of my favourite blogs to consider that alcohol contains almost twice as much energy in weight as carbohydrates and protein do.  Another of my blogs on healthy drinks provides some great ideas for drinks to make swapping from the alcoholic ones easier. You could make up a bottle or jugful to take along with you to share, and you may be surprised how many are keen to give it a try!
  • Last, but not least, I’d like to mention physical activity. We all know that moving is good for our diabetes in many ways, and Easter provides the perfect opportunity that is so often used an excuse not to do as much as we should – spare time!  Why not engage the family/friends in a game of backyard cricket, or a game of piggy in the middle, or go for a group walk/bush walk/beach walk. There are many possibilities. You may be surprised how energetic you feel after having fun in a game or activity like this, and  hopefully you will be inspired to keep it up in your ‘everyday’ life.

 

Do you have any other ideas or tips to share? We’d love to hear them if you do. Remember, there is no need to let negatives enter and spoil such special times. Please leave a comment right after this post!

Wishing you all a happy and safe Easter period, and be mindful of  enjoying every moment because of your thorough preparation & planning.

Sally 🙂

Sally is owner of her private practice (Marchini Nutrition), and has had type 1 diabetes for close to 40 years and coeliac disease for many years too.

12 Comments

  1. Maureen Grantham on April 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Easter is no problem, who, other than children, want to eat cheap chocolate Easter Eggs which are mainly fat and sugar. A nice bbq with salads and a fresh fruit platter is a feast, leave the chocolate for the children.

    • Sally on April 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Maureen. Happy to hear you feel that way 🙂

  2. catherine on April 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you sally,that was a good read,gave me some idea’s

    • Sally on April 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Catherine. Happy to hear it gave you some ideas 🙂

  3. Laurie on April 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Kids all grown up now can’t remember last time I had a chocolate

    • Sally on April 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks Laurie – do you celebrate Easter with family and friends? It’s not only chocolate we should be mindful of. How do you manage the ‘socialising foods’ and drinks?

  4. Miriam on April 8, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Just wanted to mention that there is another option here that is also very empowering. That is, silently thinking “I could have that if I want, but I choose not to”. Or stating out loud, “That cake looks lovely but what I really want is a bowl of strawberries”. (First, make sure the “alternative” is available, even if you have to bring it yourself!) Also, why not use this opportunity to build new, non-food traditions? Children are a lot more flexible here than you may think and even small steps that lead away from sugary junk benefits everyone.

    • Sally on April 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Excellent point Miriam. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Simon Carter on April 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    If you use insulin, get yourself onto a carb-counting course and learn to inject for when and what you want to eat, not what your insulin dictates.

    Also remember that injecting prior to eating is still very beneficial even for rapid-acting insulins like Humalog and NovoRapid, especially if you’re going to hoe into a stack of easter eggs.

    Chocolate is about 60% carbs by weight.

    • Sally on April 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Simon. Are you a diabetes educator or a doctor? The main idea behind this blog was more about raising awareness to avoid excess energy consumption. Our readers include all kinds of people with diabetes, and our main focus is really about overall wellness. 🙂

  6. Miriam on April 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Any explanation as to why my comment is still awaiting a moderator’s approval?

    • Helen-Edwards on April 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

      yes – we are a small charity,one of our team has been at the International DAWN (diabetes attitudes wishes and needs) summit, one has been severely ill and unable to get off the bed and almost hospitalised, and I have been interstate and just arrived back at 10.30 pm last night and had to go have my cat put down today. So we are always doing the best we can with a free service to people with diabetes across Australia and even overseas

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