The Tale of Christmas Past

ChristmasPast

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. It is truly my favorite time of year. Celebrating with friends and family the birth of Jesus Christ and enjoying each other’s company is a magical time of year.

After it’s all said and done and we start boxing up the decorations for next year, it’s nice to reminisce with family about all the fun festivities from this Christmas and all those Christmases before.

One of my favorite Christmas stories to reminisce about was from last year. I call it, the Eggnog Fiasco of 2013.

Last Christmas, was the first Christmas I had since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and I was not looking forward to the fact that I would not be able to indulge in my favorite holiday goodies without feeling guilty, blood sugar wise. Luckily, my mom, who is a whiz in the kitchen, found this wonderful substitute sweetner, Xylitol.

According to WebMD, “Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables.” It is widely used as a sugar substitute, and dentists like it because it’s not converted to acids that cause tooth decay in the mouth.

We thought we had struck gold! Not only had my mom found a wonderful sugar substitute, so I could eat all my Christmas favorites, but it was also good for your teeth! For me, Christmas had come early.

I would get to spend Christmas with my family, including, my husband, brother, sister-in-law, mom, and dad, and I would get to enjoy all those wonderful Christmas goodies that come once a year.

One of my favorite Christmas treats above all the homemade cookies and goodies, is eggnog. In my opinion, it just isn’t Christmas unless there’s homemade eggnog.

Luckily, we had our secret weapon, Xylitol, so I could have all the eggnog I wanted without any repercussions (except for the obvious high-calorie intake).

So, in a flash, my mom whipped up the best homemade eggnog we had ever tasted. It was rich and creamy, with a hint of sweetness. The whole family enjoyed it, and we all had ourselves a hearty helping of it because Christmas calories don’t count of course.

Unfortunately, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, and we all suffered the consequences of overdosing on that rich and creamy eggnog.

However, as time passed we realized these were not your ordinary stomach pains of bellies being too full, we were all experiencing some dire and unusual tummy issues.

As, we went through the list of ingredients contained in the eggnog we so happily consumed, one word kept popping up, Xylitol. Could this be the culprit of our unfortunate issues?

I grabbed the bag and started to read the fine print on this once beloved beacon of hope for my holiday happiness, and there in red print were the words, “Xylitol can have some unpleasant side effects when consumed in large amounts. The most common side effect is bloating and diarrhea.”

“Well that’s unfortunate,” I thought. With a sad sigh, I went and told my family the reason for our unpleasant tummy issues.

That Christmas, we all celebrated and rejoiced as a family the birth of our Lord and Savior, and we also comforted each other as a family while we all endured and trudged through the uncomfortable and unpleasantness of the Xylitol from our Eggnog Fiasco of 2013.

Lesson learned.

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Thanksgiving & Carb Counting

Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting with friends and family and feasting on those wonderful dishes we all look forward to every year.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There’s no muss, no fuss when it comes to Thanksgiving. It is just all about eating good food and being with your loved ones.

Although, I do truly love Thanksgiving, it can also be a wolf wrapped in sheep’s clothing for those of us with diabetes.

When you get together a smorgasbord of various treats and goodies made from your loved ones, who the hell knows what the carb count is on some of these things. For example, what does grandma put in her secret stuffing recipe; how much sugar does your aunt sprinkle into her famous cranberry sauce; and don’t even get me started on the desserts.

It can be a little overwhelming to say the least. The best thing to do is have a strategy prepared for the day. I’ve read that some write down everything they ate at Thanksgiving with the estimated carb count to make sure they didn’t miss anything (as scary as this sounds, I might try it next year), others just “guesstimate” and hope for the best, and some have an “accountabilibuddy” to help them along the way. This year, I just stared at my plate for an abnormally long time while I calculated the numbers in my head and praying I was at least in the ballpark.

My goal was to just keep my numbers lower than last year, and I guess you could say I accomplished that goal. When the feasting was all over, and I nervously pricked my finger to see what my blood sugar would be, I was surprised to find a 67 blinking red at me.

When I saw this, two things popped in my head, “well that’s interesting,” and “crap, now I have to eat something.”

I guess that’s the life of a diabetic. We can plan and improvise for what’s to come with the holidays, but sometimes we just get it wrong. The only thing we can do is treat, move forward, and know there is always tomorrow to start fresh.

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