Thanksgiving with T1D

Thanksgiving with T1D
type 2 diabetes can it be reversed

The holiday season is a total vibe. The food, the friends, the family, and the traditions. Don’t let diabetes drag you down. Here are my tips for a SOLID T1D Thanksgiving weekend.

retro picture of young woman holding a glass of wine and giving the peace sign wearing a photoshoped Dexcom g6 cgm sensor

Thanksgiving with T1D

Please do not mistake this as medical advice. These are things that worked for me. I’m sharing them with you to serve as a great jumping off point for you to create your own custom approach to navigating Thanksgiving with T1D.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump right in!


1. Increase Your Background Insulin

This is a bit easier to do on a pump because you can set times for when your background insulin (basal) will increase. You can also adjust it or turn it off on the fly.

MDI users would just increase their daily (or twice daily) injection by 1-3 units, or about 20-30%.

person with diabetes setting an increased temp basal rate on omnipod insulin pump

I’ve found this increase to be super helpful when I know I’m going to be snacking all day. It’s like a safety net for when I underestimate how many carbs are in someone else’s cooking.


2. Bring a Dish That You Can Gorge On

deviled eggs sprinkled with paprika

It’s hard to calculate a carb count for food you’ve never had before and food you didn’t make, even when you have an idea of what’s in it.

That’s why I like to bring a dish that I know the carb count for. Some of my favorite side dishes include:

  • Garden Salad
  • Guacamole & Chips
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip with Celery & Carrot Sticks
  • Hummus & Veggies
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Three Bean Salad
  • Meatballs in Marinara Sauce


3. Stay Hydrated, with Electrolytes

Being dehydrated will always cause your blood sugar to rise. When you’re dehydrated your blood becomes more concentrated. By staying adequately hydrated you are literally diluting the amount of sugar in your blood.

Hydrating with water is great, but when you add in electrolytes you’re getting more bang for your buck; especially regarding blood sugar. Electrolytes contain potassium which is excellent at bringing down blood acidity, making it harder for you to go into ketoacidosis. Hospitals add potassium to the IV’s of DKA patients for this reason.

My favorite way to add electrolytes to water is a simple at home recipe:

  • 16oz glass of water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup (the real kind! the imitation syrup will not have the electrolytes and minerals needed.)
  • 2 TBSP of coconut water or fresh squeezed fruit juice (like lemon, lime, orange, watermelon, grapefruit, etc)

This recipe only has 3g carbs

If you’re not looking to make a recipe, Drip Drop is a great electrolyte drink powder.


4. Bring it Home with You

almond pulp cookies gluten free

If you really want to try a dessert but your sugars are in the 200’s then take it home with you. Ask the host for a Ziplock bag so you can bring it home and indulge once your sugars are more stable.

Have no shame in your blood sugar game.


5. Go for a Walk After Lunch/Dinner

walking jett

Walking after a meal is a great way to get your insulin working and circulating.  And diabetes aside, I think everyone can agree that taking a walk after a meal feels so good and takes away all that stuffed-to-the-brim tightness.

Ask around after your meal, I’m sure most people will want to join you!


I’ve Got a Question for Ya…

What are some of YOUR tricks for getting a smooth line on Thanksgiving.


Share with a T1D you love Earn good karma points. Share this with a T1D who will be celebrating Thanksgiving.


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