Healthy Habits for Pesach

It’s that time of the year again… the holiday season. Perhaps nothing is more challenging than enjoying Pesach with your health and weight intact. As daunting and challenging as this may seem, a few little tricks, and just a little self-discipline, can go a long way.

Pay attention to portion sizes

It seems that during the holiday where we celebrate going from enslavement to freedom, we manage to enslave ourselves to many unnecessary calories. There is a mitzvah to eat certain foods during the Pesach, such as Matzah. There is no mitzvah, however, to consume mass quantities of anything.

Tip 1: Take a reasonable portion on your plate.  Wait a few minutes to see make sure you are actually still hungry. If you are truly still hungry, take seconds of a cooked/raw vegetable or fruit. (If you are permitted to eat legumes, try a brown rice dish).

Tip 2: Remember that drinking water may also makes you feel full. So, drink up before you start your meal.

Tip 3: For all you Matzah lovers out there… Remember that  one square Matzah is equal to two bread portions, and  one round Matzah is equal to three bread portions. So be careful!


Create a menu with healthy choices

Everyone can make some subtle, but significant, adjustments in this area as well. Even though meat and chicken dishes are more popular at this time of year, you can trim the fat from your meat and order lean cuts to begin with. matzahRemove the skin from chicken and turkey, preferably before cooking, and keep in mind that the white meat is much leaner than the dark meat.

Tip 1: Keep the emphasis on vegetables, and try to use whole grain Matzah.

Tip 2: For dessert, go for fresh fruit salads, melons and sorbets. Cakes and cookies are often full of sugar and fat. Also, keep in mind that most pareve ice creams contain chemicals and high-fat based whips.

Stay active!

We find ourselves sitting a lot during Pesach. A long Seder (or 2 ), holiday meals with guests and family…but do try and stay active!  There is nothing worse than throwing yourself into metabolic rigor mortis by falling asleep immediately after a meal.

Tip 1: Try and take a long, brisk walks, after your meals. particularly after your meals, are a great idea. When you are finished with the walk, stretch a little and then you can take your nap.

Tip 2: Choose activities on chol hamoed that require walking and enjoying the fresh air.

This is a time of year in which to be joyful and happy, and to celebrate together with our families. We need not create more stress in our lives than we already have. Instead of saying “After Pesach”, resolve to get started with good and healthful habits right now. Watching serving sizes, eating healthful choices, and staying as active as possible over the Pesach holiday are all ways to “add hours to your day, days to your year and years to your life.”


Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.