This article was originally published as an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post (29 March 2023): https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-735721
In part 1 of this article we mentioned different reasonable and attainable weight loss goals for Pesach. We also covered how to maintain our health during the Pesach preparations.
As for the kinds of food we eat, everyone can make some subtle, but significant, adjustments. Put the emphasis on vegetables and try to use whole grain matzah.
Even though meat and chicken dishes are more popular at this time of year, it is still important to keep the portion size small. Trim the fat from your meat. Please remember that even though fish may have omega 3 fatty acids, it is still a source of fat, cholesterol and toxins such as mercury and PCBs. So again, if you are indulging in these foods, keep it to the minimum.
For dessert, go for fresh fruit salads, melons and sorbets instead of cake and cookies, which are loaded with sugar and fat. Also, keep in mind that most pareve ice creams contain chemicals and high-fat based whips.
For a list of 10 Tips for enjoying Pesach with your health intact click here.
Lack of activity
Not being active for a week or more is detrimental to your health. Take nice long, brisk walks. Stay active in any way possible, such as parking your car far away from your destination. If you use public transport, get on and off a stop early. Staircases are always better than elevators.
There is nothing worse than falling asleep immediately after a meal, so even a short outing after eating is helpful. When you are finished with the walk, stretch a little and then you can take your nap.
After it’s all over
How many times do we hear about starting new things “after the holidays?” Now is the time to make plans and take action. After Pesach the weather usually begins to warm up and you can plan now to start walking more—but be specific!
How many times per week and what time each day? How long should your walk be and what course will you be following? If you prefer the gym, take out the membership now and plan now on which days you will be going and what time of the day.
But more importantly, it’s time to learn what healthy eating is and to make that commitment to your health. Nothing will change your ability to fend off, reverse or even cure the typical chronic diseases the Western world is faced with than eat a mostly whole-foods, plant-based diet.
Immediately after Pesach is our busiest time here at The Wellness Clinic. It’s when we receive the most inquiries and when our schedule fills up. For those of you who “let it go” over Pesach and have been overeating throughout the year, it pays to get a head start. We will help you design an individualized program that is geared toward restoring your health. Having the expertise and accountability we offer is a big plus to help you get started or restarted and be able to sustain your accomplishments.
Good planning is always the key to success
Planning is the key! Plan before Pesach, plan for during the holiday, and plan now for afterwards. 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.”