For most people, the first thought is food. The second thought is “oh, no I am going to gain so much weight”.
Passover is just two days away and if you celebrate this holiday, you probably understand when I say that preparing for Passover is exhausting. Cleaning the house, planning the holiday menus, writing your shopping lists and finally “turning over the kitchen” so you can begin cooking even before the holiday begins can really take a toll on your energy level.
For those reading this who might not understand what “turning over the kitchen” means, let me take a moment to explain. It is required on Passover to use different dishes, silverware and pots than you use all year round. One has to clean out the refrigerator, oven, stovetop and microwave of all leavened bread and crumbs before using it for Passover food and cooking. So when someone says “I am turning over my kitchen tonight”, that means from that night forward until the end of Passover, only Passover dishes, pots and foods are in the kitchen.
Needless to say, this is a lot of work! And, cooking for the 8 days of Passover is a lot of cooking. Many of my clients tell me that by the time Passover begins, they are exhausted and they don’t make healthful food choices. Exhaustion is definitely a feeling/emotion for many people that triggers poor food choices.
But for the chronic dieter, this goes even deeper.
I see one of several scenarios in the chronic dieter and how they handle Passover. Here are just two that come to mind now:
She arrives at the Passover Seder exhausted and over hungry, having not eaten all day due to Passover preparation. She overeats on the appetizer and then says “I blew it already, so forget it. I’ll start again after Passover”.
She enters into the holiday with the mindset of “I am not going to eat anything I am not supposed to”. She says no to her favorite traditional holiday foods for the first 4 days of Passover, and then BAM, she can’t do it anymore. On day 5 she says: “I just want to taste a sliver”, which leads to a second sliver, a third sliver and so on until she says “Forget it, I’ll start again after Passover”.
So, what’s the best way to stay mindful and intuitive over the Passover holiday?
- Banish the rules. Be rid of the “I won’t eat anything I’m not supposed to mentality”. That is a dieters thought and will keep you struggling.
- Remember to eat! I know this sounds funny, but it is very important to be sure you are eating meals on Friday so that you don’t arrive at the Seder starving.
- Take it slow. There is no need to rush the meal. Take your time and savor each bite of food, really exploring the taste and texture so you can have great pleasure in your meals. You will be less likely to be on the prowl looking for snacks later in the evening.
- Forget about deprivation. If you have a favorite Passover food, enjoy it. Deprivation leads to overeating, keep that in mind. If you are interested in exploring traditional Passover foods with a healthy twist, check out my cookbook Passover the Healthy Way!
Your turn to take action: Which scenario above do you resonate with, or share a different scenario you have found yourself in. And, how will you stay mindful this Passover? Let me know in the comments below.