(This was a post I wrote 7 years ago before Passover. I decided to share it again for those of you who observe the week of Passover. Funny to reflect back on how my writing style has changed! Nevertheless, the information is still valid.)
For those of us who observe Passover, tomorrow night starts either an 8 day detox or a feast of gluttonous potato starch based (excuse for) food.
It’s your choice.
You are in control of how this week turns out.
Some of you are away on holiday at relatives or in hotels.
Temptations are everywhere.
You can choose to eat the matzo meal laden foods or you can use this week to jump start a healthy clean diet plan.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t diet. I think the word diet unfairly brings up negative connotations.
I prefer to eat clean and enjoy a healthy lifestyle plan. My “diet” is basically eating the same “super foods” in different variations.
(More on which foods later).
For today your focus is to jump start your week and even if you are not observing the holiday – take this opportunity to give yourself a spring cleaning – inside and out.
Starting with removing all white and processed foods from your kitchen.
Eat whole grains (have you tried whole wheat matzo? It’s amazing with lox and avocado! Yum, filling and heart healthy!!) Some brands are “gluten free” for those that need it.
10 Commandments to get you through Passover:
1. Drink ONLY Water, Seltzer (and of course, wine!!!) Use this week to abolish your body of toxins and flush out the artificial sweeteners. Just say no to Diet soda! This commandment alone will make you feel so much better.
2. Eliminate all whites from your diet this week. Try it – what have you got to lose (besides a few pounds)? This means no regular matzo or anything with matzo meal as an ingredient. Try whole wheat or bran matzo. Each “board” contains only 80 calories and 5 grams of heart healthy fiber (helps digestive system too which Passover is notorious for stuffing up!) You can have one exception of a matzo ball in the soup if you so desire after all it is Passover and if you are like me- and look forward to those matzo balls all year then go ahead and indulge – it won’t matter in the end of the day. But just seder nights!!!! Not all week.
3. Choose lean proteins such as chicken and fish. Salmon, although fatty, is considered one of the best protein sources as the fat is unsaturated and loaded with Omega 3’s and does oodles of good for your heart!
4. Did anyone say dessert time? Are you worried about where to go in that tea room???
Grab the almonds and cashews! I know what you are thinking….nuts are SOOOOO fattening. Again, fatty heart healthy foods like nuts are one of my favorite go to snacks or dessert – as nuts are filling. Have some almonds with an apple. I LOVE charoset at the seder table – it is literally the only item from the seder plate that I actually eat – and help myself to seconds and thirds! The crunch and sweet tartness of the fruit is a very good combo. (Noteworthy to mention is an apple also aids in digestion).
- Try a lox and whole wheat matzo sandwich for lunch tomorrow. Have it with a side salad and toss in some avocado (or spread mashed up avocado onto the matzo in lieu of cream cheese.
- Egg whites!! Can’t get enough of them. Make and omelet with spinach or broccoli. You will feel like you are at the Canyon ranch or a spa in Palm beach. Garnish with some orange wedges.
- Blueberries for breakfast? An excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber and manganese (important role in bone strength) Blueberries are one of my super foods. They have antioxidants. Mix with greek yogurt (plain non fat only). Add cinnamon and you’re good to go!
- Go for a long walk after lunch. Take that well deserved break from the Passover table and put on those running shoes. Just 20 minutes will do ya good. (And prepare you for tomorrow night’s seder!)
- Sweet potato fries!!! Cut sweet potatoes into thick wedges and spray with a little olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. They will taste like the real thing. Also good choices are chunks of big carrots. They become caramelized when baked and their natural sugars indulge your sweet tooth.
- Stay away from anything processed or made with more than one ingredient. Those over priced kosher passover fake pizza bagels made from matzo meal and potato starch are loaded with chemicals and will only trigger a sweet tooth. Seriously? You can wait the week to eat the real deal and order your pizza then.
A week off from regular eating habits can be a good thing. Rather than viewing the dietary restrictions as a negative, turn it around and think of it as a great way to jump start your healthy way of life!! (plus will save you some money – Those kosher for Passover products must be laced with gold – based on their prices).