Jewish gatherings are synonymous with food – good nostalgic food, and lots of it! So, we are all prone to eating too much, and eating the wrong things. Even those of us with the strongest will power have been known to wither in the face of a Jewish mama scooping a big slice of kugel onto our plates while she says “Have you lost weight? You’re too skinny! Eat something!”
What makes Rosh Hashanah so different is the singular focus on foods that are only sweet: challah studded with raisins or stuffed with honey sweetened apples, sweet potato, caramelized carrots, brisket, taiglach or apple strudel.
As difficult as it seems, it is possible to enjoy the holiday’s traditional meals without sacrificing good nutrition or putting on a few kilos. So here are a few tips how:
Some people starve themselves during the day, thinking that it will balance out the large dinner they know is coming. Think again. This will actually leave you feeling hungrier and make you more prone to eat even more! Avoid this by eating a healthy snack before you leave home – a protein and fibre combination usually does wonders!
When the meal is about to start, blessings are said on various fruits and vegetables. Take advantage of this! Indulge in the fruits and veg – they have a high water and fibre content allowing us to begin feeling full before we get to the heavier foods later on in the meal. This will be sure to help in combatting the urge to dump 3 spoonful’s of mom’s legendary tzimmes onto your plate.
Use your plate to help maintain portion control and nutritional balance. Imagine it divided into 3 sections – fill one quarter with protein, one quarter with starch and the other half with vegetables and salads. Start by eating the veg and salads, then the protein and finally the starch!
And, as it is the Jewish New Year it’s the perfect time to set some new year’s resolutions. September is the new January! September has an air of excitement – its spring and we have the opportunity to hit the reset button. You don’t have to wait four months to give it another go – the perfect time is now! Imagine what you will accomplish by January if you start today.
So, write down your goals – it can be anything, for example “I would like to lose 5 kilograms.” It is important not to just stop there. Ask yourself, why your resolution matters – what we plan to do is just as important as why we want it! So, you want to lose 5 kilograms? Why? I want to be healthier, I don’t enjoy where I’m at now, I feel guilty every time I eat, I can not eat this way forever, I’ll be happy with how I feel…
Now you have compelling reasons to stick to your goals. And, they will help you through the inevitable stumbling blocks (like the chocolate aisle at the supermarket).
So this Rosh Hashanah, take a tiny piece of Bobba’s kugel to be polite, set your New Year’s resolutions, and have a Shana Tovah Umetukah!