Healthy Eating during the Jewish Holiday Celebrations

We at Nutritional Solutions wish all of our Jewish Clients and readers a blessed New Year. We know that during times of celebration the social and pleasure components of food are a big focus. It is therefore important that you try to make the best choices despite changing circumstances, routines and environment.

During Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and other Jewish holidays you will be offered a wide variety of delicious foods and snacks. Try to eat mindfully as far as possible during these periods and not be swayed by the visibility and availability of the food. Eating according to your actual appetite is always a good start.

Moderation is key!

  • Only have a small portion of the type of food you chose to eat.
  • Be selective as you do not have to eat everything on offer.
  • Eat food slowly to ensure maximum satisfaction from the food eaten.
  • Avoid going back for second helpings.
  • Limit alcohol consumption as far as possible.

General guidelines for Jewish Holidays

grapefruitBe Snack Savvy

Be mindful of the quantity and frequency of enjoying special snacks such as chocolates, biscuits, and teiglach. There is a wonderful variety of different foods and snacks available, and as a result it is important to be selective about choosing a small portion of desired food and try to focus on 1 or 2 foods and not all that is on offer.

Delightful Drinks

To limit the quantity of drink before and after the meal- choose chamomile teadiet cold drinks or water while snacks are served and hot beverages e.g. coffee during dessert and chocolate time.We can’t stress enough the importance of being mindful and conscious of each decision you make, at all times. When choosing alcohol give preference to alcoholic beverages with a lower energy value, e.g. Whiskey & Soda, Dry White or Red Wine and Lite Beers. Sweetened alcohol such as sweet white wine, sherry, port and liquors should be limited. With regard to other beverages, try to avoid all sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices. Preference should be given to mineral and soda water flavoured with fresh lime/lemon wedges, fruit or mint.The key is to hydrate in between with sparkling water or mineral water to keep track and minimize alcohol consumption.

Energy Savers

Kale 2If you know that you will be eating out or having a big meal sometime during the day, be wise about the snacks and meals you choose to eat before. For Example – If you are going out for dinner, have something small light for breakfast (e.g. one cut up fruit served with yoghurt) and a vegetable or salad focused lunch option (e.g. a Tuna salad).  This means that your evening dinner can still be enjoyed in a portion controlled manner but there is more leeway and wiggle room should you be offered richer meal choices or after dinner treats.

Role Play Rules!

Oftentimes, encouragement from your hostess as well as the visibility and availability of the wide variety of appetizing foods can be quite overwhelming. If you role play the event in your mind before you leave and make decisions beforehand in terms of being selective in the types of foods you will choose to eat and how much, this will help to make the event easier to navigate and enjoy.

Rosh Hashanah Rosh

It’s customary to eat sweet foods that symbolize the good things hoped for in the year to come, but once again be selective in your food choices. Opt for only 1/2 slice of challah and choose fresh vegetables or salad above /rice/potato/butternut bake. Choose one to two small portions of chicken or meat or fish and plenty of salad or vegetables. Choose fresh fruit pieces or a small portion of your favourite dessert. Try to avoid the snacks that are served beforehand by enjoying a glass of fruit infused water. At the end of the meal try to avoid the sweets, (nougat) chocolates and biscuits served by enjoying tea or coffee to end the meal.

PrintYom Kippur

  1. Preceding the fast, aim to practice the above mentioned guidelines of moderation and enjoying meals according to appetite. Fasting for 24 hours will have little affect on normal metabolic functions and thus no additional foods need be eaten to “carry you through”; one’s body does have sufficient stores. Do however ensure that you are well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and do not consume excess salt.
  1. On breaking the fast do not eat to compensate for the meals you missed, but rather eat according to your appetite. You will find that you are more thirsty than hungry, so exercise portion control and enjoy mineral or sparkling water. Be selective in your choices e.g. choose only one sweet treat such as cheese cake, bolka or babka to break the fast. Enjoy the fish and salad; and eat a small portion of the pasta dishes or opt for more vegetables instead.

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