1. Bring your own healthy dish. Think vegetables!  Without the veggies, your plate will likely be higher in calories and in carbohydrates.  A veggie platter for an appetizer, a salad, or a tray of roasted vegetables are always nice options to have available. Check out the recipes and substitutions below for some great ideas!

2. Be aware of tiny tastes. Lots of high carbohydrate, high calorie treats come in small, bite-size forms.  One chocolate truffle could cost you 100 calories and 10-15 grams of carbohydrates.  Now imagine if you ate 10 of them!  Plate your food before you eat it so that you can bring a greater sense of mindfulness to what you are putting in your mouth.

3. Stay active! Exercise can help you to better manage calories, blood sugar, as well as well as help with holiday stress!

4. Eat a healthy breakfast. This will help to reinforce positive choices for the rest of the day and also help avoid additional calories in the morning.

5. Be wary of alcohol. Not only can alcoholic beverages be loaded with sugar and calories, but it can also lower your inhibitions to limit other foods that may lead to big blood sugar spikes!

6. Control the amount of treats that are available in your home. There are treats everywhere during the holidays!  If there are too many available in your own home, you may overindulge much more often than you originally had planned.  In other words, skill power vs. will power! 

In addition to those tips, make sure to check out these recipes to make your holiday a bit healthier!

Cauliflower Rice Bake*

Serves 5 at 1¼ cups each.  – 195 calories, 25 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 9 g fat per serving.


  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large can diced tomato
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried or fresh basil
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice


Preheat oven to 350oF. Sauté cauliflower and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened. Add garlic, tomato, lemon juice, basil, and cayenne, and continue to cook, stirring constantly for about 3-4 minutes. Add rice and mix well.  Spoon into ungreased, 2 qt. casserole. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Green Beans Almondine*

Serves 4 – 108 calories, 8g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 7g fat per serving.


  • 10 oz. bag of frozen French-style green beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 c sliced almonds
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon for garnish


Steam green beans until softened.  While green beans are cooking, in a medium skillet, sauté onion in oil.  Add almonds and continue to sauté until just beginning to brown slightly.  Stir in cooked green beans and mix well.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve the reheat briefly.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Wise-Recipes for Healthier Living, Firstline Therapy by Metagenics 

And, if you are planning on baking, Here are some healthy substitutions you can use in your holiday cooking!

  • Use fat-free plain yogurt or cottage cheese, not sour cream or mayonnaise
  • Use healthy, PLANT-based fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil instead of shortening and lard.
  • Use crushed all bran cereal or oats, not bread crumbs
  • Use fresh herbs, not seasoning salt
  • Use quinoa or “cauliflower rice”, not white rice
  • Use ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt, not cream cheese

This week’s Diabetes Management Tips brought to you by Allison Vernet, RD, LD, CDE. 

Allison earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire in Nutritional Sciences.  She also completed a Dietetic Internship at Saint Joseph College in Connecticut and is a Registered Dietititian (RD).  She currently works as a dietitian and certified diabetes educator (CDE) in the Nutrition Program & Diabetes Care center at DMC Primary Care.  She is passionate about promoting nutrition and health and enjoys helping people reach their health goals. Allison is currently seeing patients in the Derry 6 Tsienneto RD and Windham locations.