The eight days of Passover are a special time for most of us. Think: family bonding time, school vacation, and often a getaway of some sort. If you’re spending the holiday at home, there’s cleaning, prepping, cooking, cooking, and more cooking. And, like all good Jewish things, the holiday is centered around one thing: food.
Everyone I talk to says they love the anticipation of this special spring holiday, except for one annoying side effect: weight gain. Yeah, basically there’s too much eating, not enough moving, and whole lotta baggage leftover from feasting.
I remember the years I’d stuff my face at the buffet and go back for flourless chocolate cake seconds until my belly hurt. But, listen up. There is hope. In fact, I sometimes even lose a pound or two on Passover. Yup, it’s such a healthy holiday for me that I wanna keep the diet up year-round.
So here are my secrets for a bloat-less Passover. Yes, you can!
Focus On Fresh Foods
When it comes to the Passover diet, I recommend avoiding the packaged junk and all those sugary carbs. Instead, focus on filling your plate with naturally gluten free, fresh foods. If you eat the way my family does, Passover can actually be a great way to ease into a healthier way of eating. In my house, we basically enjoy a week full of eggs, smoothies, chicken, fish, beef, grilled veggies, salads, sweet potatoes, quinoa, nuts, and seeds. Sounds like a decent diet right?
Modify Cooking Method
If a recipe calls for frying something, try baking or roasting in a generous amount of oil on a super high heat instead. Try to avoid relying on potatoes to stuff into a meal and instead, swap with my favorite side dish, cauliflower!
When you’re trying to eat healthy on the first night passover Seder, one of the worst things you can do is show up with an empty and grumbling belly. Instead of fasting during the day to prepare for the upcoming feast, eat your regular breakfast and lunch. Plus, drink lots of water throughout the day.
Make Better Choices at the Buffet
If you’re going away this year, beware of the buffet. Covid may have eradicated buffets altogether (not a bad thing!) but if you’re presented with too much food in some way, it could even be a massive portion of a dish served to you at a restaurant or a friends family-style dinner, be prepared. Start with veggies and salads so you fill your belly on nutrient-rich foods. Then work your way to lean proteins. If you fill up on the healthy stuff, you won’t have room for dessert.
Wear a Tight Dress
This may sound weirdly materialistic, but wear the dress that shows off your bloated belly if you overeat. This is a trick that reminds me to fill up on foods that are going to compliment my waistline, not kill it.
With so much food around us, it’s important to keep up your regular workout routine. Think you won’t have time? Schedule fitness classes into your calendar as you would any regular meeting and commit to it. Go for a brisk walk or run or, at the very least, unroll your yoga mat and work up a sweat right in your own home. Check out THIS workout that you can do from anywhere! Your body will thank you later.