Holiday Tips to Keep Patients Healthy
The holidays are a wonderful time of family get-togethers and office parties. However, they can also be very stressful, particularly for patients that are on diets or have cardiac or diabetic complications. This can also be a very difficult time for patients with weak immune systems. Our TriageLogic nurses have provided a few tips that will help your patients and staff stay safe, healthy, and happy this holiday season.
Substitutes. To add flavor to dishes, try replacing salt and butter with herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves. To replace sugar and butter for deserts, extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint can be used. When baking, applesauce can be used as a butter alternative. Use low-fat or skim milk for any recipe that requires milk. It is always healthier to bake, grill, or steam dishes instead of frying them.
Desert. Everyone has their holiday favorite. Just think of all the different versions of pie this time of year. An easy way to cut a few calories is to pass on the big dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream. This will cut the desert fat/calories in half! Or pass on desert all together.
Drinks. Hot Chocolate is a treat any time of year, but especially during the winter months. Look for brands that have less added sugar. Also, skipping the marshmallows or whipped cream saves calories and fat. By making your own cider, you can control the sugar and calories in this seasonal treat. Try child friendly eggnog, it has all the taste without the alcohol and significantly fewer calories.
Exercise. Exercise to burn some of those extra calories from holiday treats. Start a family tradition of walking in between courses or after the meal. Getting off the couch may lead to quality family time. Or get away from the family with some quality gym time.
Tips for patients with Diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association suggests that if diabetics choose to have a drink, limit it to two for men and one for ladies. They advise to never have a drink without balancing it out with food, to prevent blood sugar from dropping. A small desert or a piece of pumpkin pie is acceptable, if it is planned for and carbs are reduced or alcohol avoided. Remember to stay balanced.
- Wash hands multiple times daily. Hands must be washed in water continuously for 20 seconds. A great tip is to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” for 20 seconds while scrubbing to ensure a job well done.
- Use a tissue or elbow for a cough or sneeze. Not using your hands when you sneeze will help prevent passing germs on.
- Manage stress, try to stay balanced both in your diet and checkbook. There is nothing that lowers the immune system like stress.
- Travel safely making sure your car is winterized, buckle up and don’t drink or text and drive. Dress warm and keep water, food and emergency supplies in your car.
The holidays are a much needed time for everyone to have a little break to be with family and friends. Good health and diet habits will allow your patients to be ready to take on the new year. If your staff needs a break, TriageLogic’s Nurse Triage On Call is a service that provides 24/7 access to an experienced registered nurse to assist your patients and ensure that they get the appropriate level of care.
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