Before embarking on a successful new year with a new mindset, we have to restructure how we will go into the holidays. We’re not talking about starving ourselves throughout the day to eat our most favorite things during the main meals, or to save our calories which will later lead to overeating and making choices we might regret later.
Step 1: It mentions in the Torah, “You are all standing today in front of Hashem“. On these holy holidays, we should take advantage of our closeness to Hashem and strive to grow. We shouldn't dwell on the past, or think about the future and how many meals there are ahead of you. Focus on the present moments, and the days will soon add up and make you stronger. By living in the moment we are letting our strengths we gain today be our momentum to strive for a better tomorrow.
Step 2: Getting prepared for the holiday is the hardest things for many mothers and we tend to forget to eat especially when the kids are home or we are running around doing errands. It is extremely important to always have prepared meals or quick bites before the holidays. Sometimes you might not have time to sit down and have a salad, but even if it’s just a grilled piece of chicken, a sandwich, eggs, yogurt, a fruit, or even some vegetables with hummus, try not to skip meals and really focus on eating every couple of hours. Make sure to also drink water throughout the day to avoid those mid afternoon headaches. Try to sit down and be mindful that you are eating. Don’t mindlessly eat your meals while being busy with something else!
Step 3: How to arrange your plate when going out for a meal: Sometimes we can’t control the meals, especially when dining out, and it makes it much harder to make healthier choices. If we know the person that is cooking for us, or if it’s a mother or mother-in-law that you can communicate with, maybe try to ask them to make you one to two options that you know will be the main food on your plate. Even if it’s a salad or some grilled vegetables that they can make, it is always important to ask and communicate. Don’t be shy about it. If you are going out, it’s best to choose vegetable options first. If you know you’re going to eat something that isn’t so healthy try a 1 to 2 bite rule; that will help many get the satisfaction they need and feel better off knowing that they had it instead of limiting themselves (which can lead to bad actions with their mindset and food later on or in that moment).
We sometimes feel that when we cut out categories or foods during diets we are more than likely to eat those things after we finish that diet, so it’s important to know that if you do make those choices not to fight your temptations and give in to your cravings, accept the craving and move on. A bite won’t kill you. Unless that bite is going to trigger you to more bad decisions (a domino effect) then try to listen to that mindset and be strong. Choose foods that are less dressed, saucy, or too salty. Have more foods that are grilled and less portions of Kugels. Try to balance your day. If you know you will be washing on challah try to have individual portion options. Once you are done with berachot put the things you might over eat in the kitchen.
Here is a well balanced plate shown below.( proteins, starches, vegetables , salads)
Vegetable Dip recipe for the holiday that can be used with meals and sides :
Hearts of Palm Dip
1 (14.5 ounce) jar of hearts of palm, drained and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 large garlic clove
1/8 cup fresh cilantro
Zest of 1/2 lime
Freshly ground black pepper
Place garlic clove in food processor and pulse several times.
Add lime juice, zest, hearts of palm (drained), olive oil, and process until thoroughly combined.
Add fresh cilantro leaves and pulse several times. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately (drizzle with olive oil for garnish) with chips or refrigerate and use within 2-3 days.
Step 4: Desserts and fruits: try to make a dessert option you and your family will love. Something like a galette with ice cream, apple cobbler, frozen grapes or even chocolate dipped fruits.
Step 5: physical activity: If it is nice weather, try to go for a 20 minute walk. It’s always important to know that we are mostly sitting down all day, so if we get up and move, it will help benefit you with digestion and so much more.
Here’s a five minute workout you can do outdoors:
10 jump squats
10 bicycle crunches
10 mountain climbers
10 jumping jacks
10 jumping lunges
1 minute plank
REPEAT 3 times.
Step 6: Eat slowly. Eating too fast won’t give your body time to register that it is eating. Saliva production is important for digestion and eating slowler will help you get fuller and more satisfied faster.
Step 7: From Rosh Hashanah until the end of Succoth, be satisfied with a goal of maintaining your weight. Don't expect to lose much at this time of the year. Stay positive and remember: You control your weight, your weight doesn’t control you!
I know all these steps might sound easier said than done but really try to focus on taking care of yourself!
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