Vision Rehabilitation Services of GA wishes each and every one of you very Happy Holidays! May the time you spend with family and friends warm your hearts and remain with you always. VRS looks forward to the New Year and being able to serve our clients and their families. We also appreciate our sponsors and supporters in all they do to help our efforts.
In observance of the Holidays, VRS will be closing at 1pm ET today. We will remain closed Monday, December 25th, and Tuesday, December 26th. We will reopen, Wednesday, December 27th!
It’s the Christmas season and those with diabetes should approach the season with thoughtful planning in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and keep up with hard-earned healthy habits. Creating a four-part plan for eating, drinking, traveling and activity at Christmas is one strategy recommended by the American Diabetes Association. VRS instructors can assist you in developing your holiday plan – feel free to contact us at any time with questions:
Holiday Eating Plan:
American holidays are typically celebrated with excess food, so it is important to have an eating plan for maintaining healthy glucose levels throughout the season.
- Communicate your dietary needs to the event host
- Offer to bring healthy alternatives to add to the menu
- Have a high protein snack earlier in the day to avoid arriving hungry at the event
How to cut calories, without compromising on taste:
- Remove the skin and eat light-colored meat (breast) rather than dark meat (thigh)
- Make low-carb pigs in a blanket. Use low-fat cocktail sausages and pierce the skins. Instead of wrapping in bread, wrap with lean back-bacon (with the excess fat trimmed off) and grill. Do not fry or bake
- Roast your potatoes; minimize fat by dry-roasting or using spray oil
- Use vegetarian sausage rather than high-fat, high-calorie sausage meat in your stuffing
- Keep to the healthy plate rule: 2/3 of your plate should be vegetables
- Be extra cautious with dessert. Check out this link for dessert ideas. https://www.rd.com/food/recipes-cooking/diabetes-friendly-holiday-desserts/
If you have a higher blood glucose level than normal due to overindulging or changing your routine; don’t worry too much as this shouldn’t affect your long-term diabetes control. Do aim to avoid persistently high readings in order to avoid compromising your hard-earned healthy habits.
Holiday Drinking Guidelines:
Alcohol intake can lower blood glucose levels and increase the risk of a hypoglycemia incident. Check with your doctor or pharmacist regarding how your prescriptions interact with alcohol and adjust your intake accordingly.
- Diabetic men should have a maximum of 3-4 units of alcohol
- Diabetic women a maximum of 2-3 units
- Alternate between alcoholic and diet soft drinks or water can help limit the amount of alcohol you consume and keep you hydrated
- Reduce calories and alcohol units by consuming lower strength wine
- Do not to drink on an empty stomach – this can cause a low blood sugar event
Holiday Travel Tips:
Travelling with diabetes requires some extra planning and, at times, extra luggage! List the items needed for your journey; keep an extra copy on your device or with a loved-one.
- Always take extra supplies in case of an emergency
- Plan for the unexpected: storm and airline delays may require longer stays
- Bring extra insulin, meters, strips, pump supplies, alcohol wipes and Skin Tac wipes. You may also want to bring additional ketone urine strips. Use a Frio or other cooling bag for carrying insulin.
- If you are flying, plan for extra time to go through security
- Get a medical note saying you are allowed to carry diabetes- related supplies onto the airplane
- Carry all of your supplies onto the plane – just in case
- Divide supplies between bags, perhaps between other family members, in case a bag gets lost
- Find out about special precautions from your insulin pump company Most insulin pumps and CGMs cannot be removed and sent through the x-ray machine.
- Wear a medical ID necklace or bracelet
- Carry a list of your doctors’ phone numbers with you
- Have a back-up plan. Always carry syringes even if you are on a pump; if your pump fails you will be okay
- Carry Ziplock bags in case something needs to be put in ice so it doesn’t get all wet (such as a pump or insulin bottles)
- Carry candy, granola bars, glucose tabs, and other low blood sugar foods
- Carry extra batteries for your pump/meter if needed
Keeping Active during the Holidays:
There are lots of easy and fun ways to add in some extra physical activities during the holiday season. Grab a family member up off the couch and check some of these off your list:
- Take a brisk walk with your family after your holiday meal.
- Dance to holiday music.
- Go ice skating at a local or pop up ice rink.
- Shoot a few hoops
- Enjoy the colors or smells with a holiday hike
- Walk the neighborhood and look at lights
- Take a caroling walk in the neighborhood
Introducing activity into your holiday season can help control both blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It also helps us make memories with our families and friends that will last a lifetime. Take some time to make your plan for staying healthy over the holiday season and then go enjoy!
It was our pleasure to host the annual VRS Holiday Party today. While the weather was not working with us, we still had a great turn out, wonderful food, and a fabulous entertainment.
Our guests were treated to a traditional holiday meal of ham, turkey, and all the trimmings. We would like to thank Belinda Green of Akoma Events for catering our event and weathering the roads to deliver our delicious meal!!
We had some fun holding a raffle where a number of gift baskets were won as well as a beautiful wreath. We’d like to thank Cook’s Christmas Trees for the wreath donation. They are setup right across the street on South Cobb Drive for those still looking for a Christmas tree, wreath, or other holiday décor.
We were also grateful to be able to send a mini key lime pie home with each guest thanks to the support and donation from Kenny’s Great Pies. Kenny’s is a great alternative for your holiday pies and offer a variety of flavors if key lime is not on your list. We also enjoyed the live entertainment from Tina Knight, who’s voice was beautiful!
Many thanks to everyone who joined us today! The VRS staff and Board wish each and every one of you a very Merry Holiday Season and Happy New Year!
Vision Rehabilitation Services of GA wishes a very Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! As families and friends gather and share past memories while making new ones, we at VRS wish you a day of happiness and gratefulness. We are thankful for our clients and the ability to assist when needed. Our capability to be there for our clients is not possible without our sponsors and supporters who we are very appreciative to and thankful for having. With much gratitude, Happy Thanksgiving!
In observance of Thanksgiving, VRS will be closed Thursday, November 23rd, and Friday, November 24th. We will reopen, Monday, November 27th!
November is American Diabetes Month, a month set aside to educate the general public about this serious, and sometimes debilitating disease. One of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled.
One in 10 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 30 million people. Another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, people who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes in their life – such as eating healthy, getting more physical activity, and losing weight. Those with diabetes in their family tree should be especially aggressive about making these changes as the risk of diabetes increases dramatically based on genetics.
Here are some tips for “tackling” Thanksgiving, football, and diabetes:
One of the most important considerations for those of us managing our diabetes or similar health issues, is to keep your blood sugars balanced during the day. Stable blood sugars ensure that your visual functioning remains consistent and at its best. The most effective way to balance blood sugars is to eat vegetables and proteins. So, on Thanksgiving Day, plan to eat small balanced meals at your regular meal times –breakfast and lunch –before the big dinner meal. Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner by eating small portions of the food available for the meal. Leave the leftovers. Go back to your normal healthy eating the next day. It’s also an excellent idea to get up and move a little. Take an after meal walk and reminisce with loved ones, stand up, stretch, and move during commercial breaks of the football and basketball games or better yet, go outside and toss the football yourself with the kids!
Even if you are already a diabetic, you can limit the progression and impact of the disease by carefully monitoring your health and following your doctor’s plan of action to diligently treat your diabetes. Further information about the prevention and treatment of this disease can be found on the American Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes.org.
Living Well with Diabetes and Vision Loss is a United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta sponsored program run by VRS. Each month we work to provide information that we feel is helpful to those living with diabetes and vision loss.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects how the body uses food for energy due to insulin resistance. Diabetes affects the metabolism as well as the immune system. The disease causes the immune system to destroy insulin producing cells within the pancreas. The immune response is also much lower in people who have diabetes so they are more susceptible to getting infections that could result in the loss of a limb.
Many of us will remember the days of toting our children to the doctor to get their recommended immunizations and protect them from various diseases. As adults, however, we often neglect much needed vaccinations which are recommended and help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses, adults need to get vaccinated too. Shots such as the flu vaccine, are recommended annually for all adults and other shots such as the pneumonia or Shingles vaccine may also be recommended by your doctor.
Take this short quiz below to determine what shots you may need to take, then talk to your doctor about each. Don’t neglect the steps you need to take to be at optimal health.
The Adult Vaccine Quiz from the CDC: https://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched/
To stay healthy this winter also be sure to eat well, get some exercise and plenty of sleep. The immune system fights best for you when it is healthy and taken care of. Allow for time with family or friends playing games or sharing stories and leisure activities. Laugh a lot. Our emotional health is tied directly to our immune system and when we feel a part of a community our immune system works its best.