It's Thanksgiving Day here in the states, meaning it's time once again to reflect upon past year, the things that have happened and to remember the good things in our lives. Having diabetes, this is not always an easy task.
Nineteen Thanksgivings ago was my first Thanksgiving with diabetes. Thanksgiving always meant loads of food, especially mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pies. I remember feeling very depressed and again, deprived. My Thanksgiving traditions were going to be messed up! How could ANYONE be thankful for a disease that was going to mess with the holiday season? If it's not the same, it can't be as good, and "no one" will want to accommodate my needs.
I had started looking through magazines and cookbooks after I was diagnosed. I had talked to my mother about what we could do to adjust recipes so I could still eat and not run extra high blood sugars. So, we did things like remove the margarine from the stuffing, mash the potatoes with skim milk (remember, I was on a low fat diet at the time), and I made our own cranberry sauce with NutraSweet (no Splenda back then). A few weeks earlier, I'd found a recipe for crustless pumpkin pie.
Much to my surprise, the adjustments were a big hit. No one complained about the missing fat in the stuffing. The mashed potatoes were different, but were still good. The biggest hit, and a huge surprise though, was the pumpkin pie. Even my brother, who does not like pumpkin pie, liked it (well, sort of). It became so loved that I'm still making it. It's actually still requested.
I learned that though I had to make adjustments to accommodate the diabetes, those adjustments did not have to ruin the holiday. In fact, it made it better.
This year, I found a recipe for roasted vegetables. I added that to my list, though I did make some adjustments to it, such as using yellow crookneck squash, and only using a scant 2 cups of turnips (and skipping the rest of the highest carb veggies) to make this treat. I already sampled a piece of onion, and I can attest to you that it is REALLY good!
I am NOT thankful I have diabetes. I AM thankful that I have been able to adapt to the my diabetes. I AM grateful for healthier substitutions I can make in my foods that mean I do not need to be deprived or feel separated from the rest of the family. And I am grateful for family and friends who are willing to be supportive of me and are also willing to try something new.
May all of you remember the things for which you are grateful, too!