If you Google it, there are like... a thousand sites and publications offering tips for staying healthy (and keeping the pounds off) during the holidays. But none are better for folks living with diabetes db_piethan the tips that come from our very own community, we believe.

That's why for our 2013 'Aware-lidays' five-week giveaway series, we asked all of you to share your personal "best practices" in this carb-loaded season. Thank you to everyone who participated!

For prizes, we were delighted to distribute some great goodies from Sugar Medical Supply (carry cases), Level Foods (glucose products), Sweat-Betes (exercise coaching), Extend Nutrition (D-friendly snacks) and Jerry the Bear (T1D teaching toy). And we're just as delighted to share some of our top picks the DOC tips submitted with all of you today:

 

On Traveling Smart

"I would say get the Calorie King or Myfitnesspal app on your phone or iPhone. My daughter is 12 years old and has type 1 diabetes. Many restaurants have calories readily available, however many do not have their carb information, which makes it extremely difficult if you have to count carbs. So both of the above apps have all the nutrition information available you can think of including homemade dishes, which makes it nice when you are eating at a family member's house. Just a tip that works for me and my daughter!" -- Jessica Daughtery

"For car travel, we keep backups of backups stashed around the car in easy to reach places, mostly snacks & all with different carb amounts. Fast acting, slow digesting, free snacks, high carb, it's all there. We also keep a list of food orders at each fast food place. There's pressure in a drive-through to order, and you don't want to be surfing through a book or phone trying to tally up carbs." -- Samantha A.

News nuggets from around the diabetes community

NEWSFLASH: FDA Clears Dexcom Share Direct
Dexcom gets regulatory approval of its 'on-the-go' mobile apps for CGM data-sharing.
Snail Uses Insulin to Poison Fish
New study shows these slow-moving creatures use toxic form of insulin to capture prey.
A New Square Patch Insulin Pump
TouchéMedical's new Bluetooth-enabled patch pump is supposedly the world's smallest and cheapest.

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Traveling With Diabetes

"My biggest tip for traveling is always pack extras of batteries, snacks, strips, meds, pods or infusion sets... Whatever you need for diabetic health management, take extras and then one more just in case. Better to bring back what you didn't use than to need and not have or have to hunt for." -- Nancy

"All hail the extra snacks. I pack a box of nutrition bars in my checked bag and an extra bottle of glucose tabs for those times when the hotel shuts down room service before you check in...or those late night lows. Don't forget to put snacks in carry on bags as well... You never know how long you could be stuck on the tarmac!" -- Christel

 

On Exercising Effectively

"I have just started the Couch-to-5k program (again) and find that intermittent running & walking seems to keep my blood sugars in range, compared to either just walking, or a longer 'huff and puff,' exercise of harder exertion." -- Kristin W.

"The best exercise for me is either an anaerobic weight lifting exercise which doesn't move my blood sugars too much during exercise but will afterwards or a nice power yoga which helps me relax while managing my diabetes and my daughter's diabetes. I just wish it was all easier!" -- Melissa K.tai chi

"I'm currently taking karate classes but that's difficult when I'm at home with family. I've found pulling out ancient exercise videos and having family time doing them together helps most. This allows us to be healthy and happy together and still stay active!" -- Rebecca

"Most effective holiday BG management exercise for me is the 'push up... and away from the table.' It's more of a quick, reflexive move that requires attention to those bringing: 1) second helpings, and 2) excessive, un-carb-countable desserts. Very important move.  However, starting holidays with some basic Tai Chi warm-ups and forms gets things moving and balanced. And when I can I'll sneak a 30-minute jog in between family visits and/or visitors which involve more fooding." -- Bob

"This is my first holiday season with diabetes and I plan to continue a combination of weights and cardio that I'm currently using. I find Jillian videos help drop my blood sugar consistently. I jog some but for whatever reason, it usually makes my BG rise." -- Breck

 

On Good Snacks to Curb Hunger

"If I'm craving something sweet, I go with sugar free Jell-O or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. If I want salty, I have beef jerky, mixed nuts or Smart Pop popcorn." -- Sarapopcorn

"I'll eat cheese or some type of nuts (sunflower seeds are my fave!)" -- Heidi

"I try to keep carrot sticks or celery sticks on hand for days when I just want to go nibble on the YUMMY stuff! But it is hard when what you really want is chocolate!" -- Nancy

"I enjoy snacking on Fiber One bars. They aren't too many carbs and they taste good." -- Mike

"I like to make chocolate-covered almonds with 85% chocolate and dust them with cocoa powder. This is a surprisingly low-carb treat if you don't 'go nuts.' And placed in little glass jars they even make a festive holiday gift!" -- Debbie

 

On "Staying Level" in General

"The way I try to stay level is to NEVER have carbs in what I drink. I want to have plenty of room for as many decadent side dishes as possible." -- Tim Steinertlevel life logo

"I stay level with lots of moderation: no complete denial, but a lot of insulin and keeping apple cider handy for lows" -- Jasmine

"To keep my son's levels even, we bring his scooter everywhere so that he can move around during breaks, and include other physical activity in our days whenever we can." -- Heike

"I stay level with consistent checks on my blood sugar levels and correct amounts of insulin. I try not to overeat during the holidays but that never works. I also go on walks if I ate too much (and always bring my level up gel pack or a juice box just in case)." -- Rosemary

"What is this level you speak of? Lately everything has been spiking my daughter's BG super high. One thing we always try to do is pre-bolus. Usually it works, just not right now." -- Joanne {Editor's Note: insert empathetic sigh}

 

Ideas for the Best New Interactive Diabetes Toy (!)

We all love Jerry the Bear! But here's what else y'all thought up:

disgruntled-elf making toys

"I think this is a great platform and would like to see the same system used in Cabbage Patch dolls or something similar -- boys and girls with different colors and features." -- Kristen

"Maybe also add a friend... perhaps a puppy to interact with the bear... The puppy could be the bear's support team?" -- Stan Smith

"I would like to see a game based off Operation." -- Mike Forbes {insert giggles}

"A Leapster game or nutrition magnets" -- Candi

"A diabetes Galaxy app would be great for parents and nutrition tracking!" -- Levi Hanson

"I would love to see a tabletop arcade style game that also serves as a medical station where levels can be checked and meds adjusted" -- Angel

A huge thanks to all for "bringing the real" on these D-tips for the holiday season. Personally, I'll be doing lunges around the buffet table to avoid loading up on the brie (my weakness).

Happy Partying, PWDs!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.

This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.