Well guys, tomorrow’s the big day: Thanksgiving! I think everyone fears this day a little, knowing our pants will fit a little more snugly come Friday morning…

Overeating seems to go hand-in-hand with Turkey Day, but for those of us living with diabetes, that sort of indulgence can put our health in peril. So I'm here to share some great—and delicious—ways to stay on track!


How to Stay on Track at the Holidays 

With the arrival of the Holiday season, stores and homes are filled with indulgences that could easily throw your diabetes out of whack!

Never fear—just check out my 6-step Diabetic Thanksgiving Survival Guide. Hope it helps and don’t forget to schedule regular foot exams with your Houston podiatrist!

1. Opt for individually wrapped desserts Work fruit into your Thanksgiving menu to help stay on track with diabetes

Instead of digging into a thick slice of pecan pie, pick up a small, individually wrapped treat to pack along for dessert time. When you have to stop and remove packaging, it’s much easier to stay mindful of your eating and exercise portion control.

2. Consider dark chocolate

And while we're on the subject of dessert. If you're going for a chocolate turkey, opt for good-quality, dark chocolate. It will have less added sugar than milk or white chocolate. And be sure to choose a dark chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa to enjoy some of chocolate’s purported health benefits.

3. Sneak in some fruit

Better yet, instead of ending your meal with chocolate pieces, try melting some dark chocolate (see above) and dipping in fruit like berries or banana bites. Or skip the chocolate altogether and opt for a Turkey-shaped fruit platter for dessert. 

4. Make home a safe place: remove temptation

Unless you're hosting the Thanksgiving meal, allow other people’s homes to stay full of treats—limit the amount of indulgent holiday treats you allow into your home, or at least avoid keeping it out on display after the feast is over.

5. Balance things out

If Thanksgiving festivities have become an all-weekend celebration, pick one day on which you’ll ‘indulge,’ then scale back on the other days and up your movement to compensate.

6. Work the alternative Thanksgiving prep

Instead of spending the entire day getting ready to eat, why not start your holiday with a 5K Turkey Trot, or some other form of cardio? It's a great way to kick off the holiday season, and to balance out some of the extra carbs you're likely to take in on Thanksgiving. 

Check out this Bonus Tip for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Now that you've got our basic survival guide, check out this bonus tip for getting through the holiday: start your meal with soup! It’s full of nutrients, usually low on calories, and the liquid will help fill you up before the fat-and-carb laden holiday staples even make it to the table.

Squash soup is a healthful and delicious addition to your holiday menu

Try this Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup from Diabetic Living. It’s so delicious, you won’t remember it’s a diet winner!


  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4 medium carrots)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks or chopped onion
  • 2 14 1/2 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup regular or fat-free half-and-half or light cream
  • Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter or margarine. Add squash, carrots, and leeks or onion to pan. Cook , covered, for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.
  2. Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover; process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg. Bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half or light cream; heat through. Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon. Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
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