Quick recap on Passover: The Jewish holiday of Passover begins tonight, which means those who practice refrain from eating bread and leavened grains for a week. The Holiday commemorates the exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins with two big dinners called “Seders” on the first 2 nights of the holiday. I will be going to my sisters, and we will Zoom with the rest of my family! (FML- i hattteeee zoooom)
I actually LOVE Passover Seders! Delicious food, spending time with family, etc. One thing I don’t love about the Seder is that I ALWAYS leave feeling overly bloated and in a food coma. While this might be part of the fun for many, it’s important to pace yourself so you don’t leave the seder feeling sick. Coming together for a meal is sacred and fun, so please don’t restrict yourself, but find yourself somewhere in the middle. Here are my tips for a healthier seder experience:
- Aim for balance & portion control- Starting with a rainbow on your plate! In other words, fill your plate with veggies (obvs), protein, carbs, and healthy fat.
- Drink lots of water during the seder – The seder consists of lots of wine and a big feast, so drinking tons of water throughout will ensure you don’t feel overly bloated or hungover the next morning 😉
- Slow down – Chew your food, and put your fork down in-between bites.
- Dessert- Something I do is choose 1 dessert and stick with it. Be realistic, don’t give yourself a stupid sliver of chocolate cake if you know you are going back for 4 more slivers + a few cookies, etc. lol Give yourself a portion that makes sense. The idea here is not to deprive yourself, but to be mindful so you don’t over-do it!
- Digestive enzymes – Take them before the meal! OR Arrae bloat pills after the meal if you have 😉
- Hot water with lemon– The best solution for post meal bloat and the ultimate night cap!
- Ditch the food guilt- At the end of the day you will prob eat a bit more than what you are used to, and that’s okay. Be in the moment and enjoy, but if you practice mindfulness throughout the meal it will be a way more enjoyable experience 🙂
Other Passover Tips:
Not eating things like bread, pasta, crackers, etc. shouldn’t actually be so challenging, but for many people it becomes more of a mind game. Some people use it as an opportunity to “detox” and be super clean, while others feel deprived and overcompensate with unhealthy alternatives throughout the week.
The custom of eating matzah with everything, and the mental aspect of “not being allowed” to eat something, makes a lot of people over-do it with dessert, portion sizes, and processed “kosher for passover” snacks. Here are some extra Passover Tips if you celebrate throughout the week!
- Pep talk – You don’t need to diet or detox, and you don’t need to over-indulge either. But you can use this as an opportunity to eat more balanced meals 🙂
- Chill on the matzah – If you wouldn’t eat bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner, treat matzah the same. Matzah might be a thin and seemingly healthy cracker, but it’s still often made of white flour, and can be constipating.
- Plan out your meals and snacks for the week – After the seders, I’ll still be cooking every night and I like to plan in advance. If you’re used to snacking on foods that are prohibited during the holiday, consider what you’ll eat when hunger strikes. I love having cut up veggies, hard boiled eggs, blood oranges (my favourite!), soup, nuts & seeds, etc.
- Stick to some normalcy in your dietary habits – Just because it’s a week with some pretty strict guidelines doesn’t mean you need to eat processed foods for a week. Eating lots of protein, and fruits and vegetables will keep you satiated and is way healthier than matzah pizza for every meal.