Holiday Gifts for PWD

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Can’t think of anything to give the person with everything this year?  Well how about a nutrition or exercise related gift to make things easier for the person with diabetes on your list? Of course it shouldn’t be the only gift he or she receives and you shouldn’t use it as a way to nag a loved one into taking care of himself.  That approach usually backfires. Handing someone who is overweight a scale isn’t going to help you win friends and influence people anytime soon.

But there are some things that people with diabetes may find helpful.  For example instead of sending cakes, candies and chocolates, a gift basket of fruit and nuts or one containing fancy oils and vinegars may be more appropriate and enjoyed without guilt.

Or if your friend likes to cook, how about purchasing a heart healthy cookbook that contains the nutritional breakdowns for the recipes.  Here are some recommended by the Joslin.

Complete Quick & Hearty Diabetic Cookbook, 2nd Edition
By: American Diabetes Association                                                                                        (2007)

The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts
By: Jackie Mills, MS, RD                                                                                                         (2007)

Staying Healthy with Diabetes –Nutrition and Meal Planning
By: Amy Campbell and staff of the Joslin Diabetes Center                                                      (2006)

If you have some extra money to burn, look into the purchase of an electronic food scale that calculates the carb counts of food.  These scales take the guess work out of carb counting and they’re great for those analytic, precision-oriented types on your list.

Or maybe a subscription to a worthwhile, patient-oriented magazine such as Diabetes Forecast or Diabetes Self-Management would be a well-received gift for the person new to diabetes or who wants to learn a bit more about the disease and strategies to manage it.

On the exercise front, good stocking stuffers include a pedometer and resistance bands. You can use them anywhere and they aren’t too intimidating for even the most recalcitrant couch potato.  Whether your targeted recipient is walking 2000 steps a day now or is in the 15,000 range,a pedometer’s black and white record can help spur them on to taking the next big step.

Resistance bands come in a variety of tensions and can be used just about anywhere.   If you are willing to spend a bit more money, a stability ball is a fun and innovative way to improve balance and strength. If money isn’t an object and you are interested in making your giftees’ fitness life come alive, spring for a gym membership, sessions with a personal trainer or a treadmill or elliptical.   And everybody could always use an extra personalized workout gear or sneakers.

If gifts with a nutrition or exercise bent don’t appeal to you or your intended receiver then here are a few other suggestions:

Know someone who has been trying to quit smoking for years?Paying for his/her attendance in a quit-smoking program can be the best life-saving gift you have ever given.

Many people with diabetes suffer from dry skin.  A pleasant smelling lotion is always a welcome addition for the stylish women or men on your list.

And if you know someone with diminished vision who takes  insulin, an attractive standing magnifying glass may get you a warm smile when they unwrap the present.

Other possibilities include a cold pack for insulin storage when traveling or carry-alls for pump supplies.

Happy Giving Season!

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