Managing the (Too Much) Sweetness of the Holidays

We are quickly marching into the season where sugar abounds, and the temptations feel almost unbearable. For those wanting to manage blood sugar issues, those wanting to lose weight, or those who want to get off sugar for the health benefits, this time of year is trying, to say the least.

But there are some tips that can help.

Substitution is great. For instance, for Halloween, I give out small trinkets: bracelets, spider rings, small games, gooey skeletons, fake bugs, erasers, pencils, etc., instead of candy. I don’t like the idea of contributing to the poor health of kids with sugar, and I don’t like having the temptation of left over candy (and Trick or Treating candy) in my house. Whatever is left over of the trinkets, I just give out next year. The kids think it’s pretty cool!

For Thanksgiving, I like pie, but I do a reduced-sugar version, or make a compote (crustless pie) instead. At Christmas time, I am the queen of baklava! I’ve been making it for almost 40 years after learning from a family in Spokane when I used to live there. Baklava is almost sickeningly sweet. When I make it, I use about 1/4th of the honey. It’s so popular that I have to make some for family members living out of state and ship it to them!

I also feel that if I eat well year-round, the occasional holiday treat isn’t going to kill me. However, I keep it limited in size and amount. I also will bring bread to Thanksgiving or Christmas events that is shaped like a turkey instead of pie.  Rhodes, that makes frozen bread dough, has a whole wheat bread dough, and has a book with how to make lots of animals from frozen bread dough – it’s fun and also popular.  There are also many substitutions you can do for your holiday treats such as fruit or dried fruit.

One of the important things when planning to have holiday treats is to balance it out with fiber, protein and fat. These 3 nutrients slow the rate that sugar enters the blood stream. This is important because if sugar enters the blood stream quickly, insulin and cortisol, 2 hormones that control your blood sugar levels, surge in response. That’s when you get into trouble with your health. So if you plan to have pie, make sure you also have protein in the relative same size as the pie, and a salad and/or vegetables. You’ll get fiber from the salad and vegetables and fat from either the meat or the butter on the vegetables or salad dressing. When your dessert mixes up with all that fiber, protein and fat, it will be slowed down in its travel rate. There are also herbs, acupuncture and many other things you can do to help with sugar cravings and sugar diseases.

©2020 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic.

Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article or podcast should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article or podcast. Readers/listeners should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers/listeners who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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