Pesach is a time of celebration and observation of the Jewish faith and traditions. Pesach has a lot of food and drink requirements that can make it seem impossible to eat healthy and eat according to Jewish regulations.
A lot of people worry that if they book rooms with one of the Pesach programs that they will have to stop eating healthy for a week. We all know that when you are eating healthy, whether it is to lose weight or just to maintain good health, changing your eating habits for a week can be detrimental to your attempts.
The great news is there are Passover programs that offer versatile menus that allow you to eat healthy, avoid all chametz, and have a great time too.
Healthy Choices on the Passover Program Menu
In order to eat healthy while you are away from home you need to arm yourself with nutritional information so you can make healthy choices. Dieting, or eating right is successful when you make healthier choices at each meal and snack.
Healthy eating is a way of life, and to make that way of life work when you are on vacation you have to know your foods. When you are armed with the right nutritional information you can choose vegan foods, food with lower carbs, lower fat foods, and any other healthy combination you like.
Talk to the Hostess
Before you go into the dining area and begin to order foods, or begin to be tempted by foods you should avoid it is best to talk to the hostess and let them know of your dietary needs. You want to eat healthy so you want foods that are closer to their natural state, and you want less fat, less sugar, and no chametz.
The hostess can either relay your dietary concerns to the chef and kitchen staff, or they can arrange for you to speak with the chef and kitchen staff. This action will let you discover what whole foods and choices are available, and a lot of times the chef will make changes for a guest who has special dietary concerns.
Do not be afraid to speak up and let the hostess know what you need and want. This is your vacation and most Pesach programs are ready to accommodate you in every way possible to make your vacation a wonderful experience.
Things to NOT order
If you are eating healthy then there are some foods you simply need to not order.
If you are eating healthy then you need to avoid highly processed foods. Foods that are pre-made and easy to gulp down are often high in fat content, high in salt content, and loaded with preservatives.
You want to also steer away from:
- Cheddar cheeses
- Potato latkes
- Farfal muffins
- Noodle kugal
- Most dishes prepared using matzo meal
Increase the Protein and curb the sugar
Sugar is an addictive substance. Sugar addiction can be as hard to break as an addiction to illegal drugs or alcohol. Many people say sugar addiction is harder to detox from than illegal substances because people eat sugar all of the time and they do not think it odd when they see someone eating foods containing it.
Sugar is often hidden in foods to enhance their flavor and make people want to eat more of them. Your body will crave sugar rich foods when you are trying to eat healthy. To stave the cravings choose to eat more protein.
When you ingest proteins they are harder for your body to digest so you get the satisfied feeling of being full for three to four hours. When you eat sugar laden foods you get instant energy but the energy quickly dissipates and you have to eat more sugar to bring the energy level back up.
Lean Proteins are Best
When you are selecting a protein or main entrée for your meal be sure to select the lean proteins. High fat content in meats like beef brisket, meatballs made with ground hamburger, and foods cooked in oils can sabotage your healthy eating attempts.
Chicken and turkey are both low in fat and high in flavor. You should choose the chicken and turkey menu options as often as you can. You can even get meatballs and other items that are normally made with ground beef made with ground turkey or chicken.
When you choose the chicken or turkey you want to eat the white meat without skin. You also want the meat to be prepared by boiling, baking, or roasting and not fried or coated with a high fat ingredient.
Gelfilte fish can be an excellent choice of protein that tastes great and seems a little indulgent. Fish is low in fat and high in protein. It is a fabulous choice when you are eating healthy. Be certain if you choose the gelfilte version you understand what is used in the creation so you do not eat too much matzo or unhealthy ingredients.
Eggs are high protein foods that are lower in fat. They can be boiled or poached and the fat content is reduced even more.
Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
When you are choosing the fruits and vegetables you want to select the ones that have the greatest fiber content. Increased fiber makes the fruits and vegetables fill you up and the fiber helps to rid the body of unwanted things, including plaque that can harden arteries and cause cardiac events.
Whole fruits are the best choice. Canned fruit cocktails are loaded with sugar and salt to make them last longer and taste better. After you have been avoiding sugar for a short time a strawberry or an apple will taste sweeter than they ever have before.
Sweet potato is a great food choice and it is high fiber, rich tasting, and better for you. Do not slather your sweet potato or yam in butter.
Eating healthy while attending a Pesach program is not as hard as you might think. With each smart choice you make while ordering you increase your ability to order healthier options the next time. After a short period of time the healthy choices will come naturally to you.