Tishrei has begun we are all busy planning our menus for Sukkos. This year, the calendar gives us 3 day holidays as opposed to the usual 2 day festivals. (This is due to the holiday spanning over a weekend – causing it to be 3 days instead of 2). So, on a practical level, this means MORE food… MORE eating … and MORE sleeping. And more inspiration for Duby to blog !! 🙂
And so I present to you:
“Duby’s Survival Guide to Tishrei.”
(I was going to call it my “Survival Guide to the Food Marathon Known as Tishrei” but that seemed a little long :))
The goal of my Survival Guide is to help all of you out there (and me as well) in gliding through the days of Sukkos without that gross, overeating bloated feeling. To be able to walk away from the Yom Tov table without buttons popping or the need to barf every time you think of food.
Many of us don’t have full control of the menus and meal planning – due to either spending Yom Tov at our parents’ house, or other relatives. (of course, if you were making Yom Tov, then you have full control of your menus and you can decide how much or how little to cook!) But for many of us, that is not the case, and so I created my survival guide, based on my experiences spending Chagim at my in laws house (which is where we often end up). And these tips helped me get through the eating marathon while still enjoying time with my family.
And away we go!
KEY INGREDIENT #1:
Planning is everything!
Without proper planning, it is likely that you won’t realize how much you’re actually eating, and feel stuffed to the gills after each meal. So, before Yom tov even BEGINS – Think!
– Think! Think about what types of foods you want to stay away from and what type of foods you want to concentrate on eating. If you know you’re a carb sucker (like yours truly) – then you know what you’re Achilles heel is.
– Be prepared! If you know your host always serves a mad chocolate cake for dessert – plan accordingly. Perhaps your plan will be to allow yourself ONE piece and that’s it.
– Speak Up! Speak to the cook about how you feel about certain foods. If there will be sugary salads maybe there will be a salad that has a healthier dressing and that’s the one you’ll eat. Also, if something will be breaded and you wish to stay away from that, maybe a piece can be made without breading and put aside for you.
– Water Not Soda! Have water on the table as opposed to soda. So many people are still in the dark about how unhealthy sodas are –and fruit juices as well ! It’s a waste of calories AND doesn’t come close to eating a REAL piece of fruit, so your best bet is to stick to WATER. Get a pitcher and fill it before and during each meal.
** if you’re a shy type and are embarrassed to make requests – by all means enlist your spouse to do the dirty work! (or a sibling)
KEY INGREDIENT #2
Checks n balances – have someone spot you
True story: Last year Pesach I made a deal with my 2 sisters in law that every time I ate a piece of cake, they were allowed to give me a “flick.” Granted, I never ended up getting flicked, and I DID end up eating cake, but having that joke between us kept me in check not to eat too much! 🙂 🙂
One Pesach, I followed the Weight Watchers plan – and my husband would help me keep track of my points. Since writing down wasn’t an option, I scheduled ahead of time how many points I was allotted for each meal and then the hubby would help figure it out. (I lost 3 pounds that holiday!)
How should I eat during the LONG 5 course Meals?
Each person is different.
Granted, like I said before –knowing your food weakness is important, and each of our bodies work differently. The trick like I said before – is having a plan of action ready at your disposal. And the goal isn’t to lose weight, or to feel restricted – but the goal really is to prevent over-doing it.
“But I NEED structure! If I don’t have a strict plan, I’ll end up eating everything!”
Ok, if you’re the type that really needs major structure – or else you’ll eat everything PLUS second and third helpings, then I would like to offer that the Weight Watchers plan might be a good idea for you over Yom Tov.
Watching your Weight with Weight Watchers:
Is it possible to “diet” over yom tov ?
Here is my opinion on the matter. Weight Watchers is an excellent idea to do over yom tov because its very structured – meaning you wont overeat, but at the same time it also allows you to partake in everything at the table. (within reason). I have tried doing my old tried and true Atkins over Yom Tov – and I found it to be extremely difficult. It was very depressing to sit at a meal, only to be allowed to eat the fish, chicken, soup, and salad – and let’s face it – sometimes the salad has sugar! It can get a little frustrating – and if you will feel deprived – that’s really not a good way to go – because you’ll end up giving up halfway through yom tov and binging on that mad chocolate cake we discussed about earlier. So, unless you can handle major discipline – I suggest doing away with any of those super strict diets.
If you have never done WW before, this in itself might feel overwhelming and be too much to jump in right before a Yom Tov (never a good idea to start a diet right before a holiday). But, if you are familiar with the WW system along with the general idea of point values of foods – then I definitely think it’s a good way to go.
KEY INGREDIENT #3
Breakfast & Snack times
We tend to forget about Breakfast on Yom Tov – because usually what people eat before they go to shul is a cup of coffee with CAKE ! (yes, the leftover chocolate cake from the meal the night before :)) – and it is HORRIBLE. Starting the day right is practically impossible if you begin with CAKE!!!!! SO, what to do? Here comes the planning idea again.
PLAN for breakfast.
Because it is Yom Tov – map out some ideas of what you can eat in the morning as a sensible breakfast – before going to Shul. (if you go to Shul)
Here are some ideas that are Yom Tov approved 🙂
1. Hard boiled eggs – these can be made before the Chag starts . Easy to peel one and pop it in when youre in a rush to go to shul. (a duby favorite!)
2. Omelette – this might be a pain – but technically this can be made on yom tov – or even made before yom tov and left in the fridge.
3. Cold cereal – Kashi, Fiber One, and other whole grain cereal ideas – I’m not a huge cold cereal fan – but its not a terrible idea either.
4. Yogurt – yummy yogurt with some granola and some fruit –another good breakfast option
Now for snack ideas:
Just like breakfast is a non-issue, so are snacks between meals. Snacks generally are forgotten about because we eat SO much during the actual Yom Tov meals that we often can’t THINK about food afterwards! However, if you plan it right – you should NEVER be eating so much that you can’t move and are bloated. The trick is to eat just till your full – which means a few hours later, you are ready for a snack! (this is the healthier way to eating)
Snack ideas between Kiddush Lunch and Kiddush Evening:
2. Egg Salad (from your hard boiled egg)
3. A bit leftovers from the meal ( a piece of this .. and a piece of that makes a nice snack)
4. A piece of Challah and dip (not crazy about this idea – but it can work in moderation)
5. You get the idea right ? 🙂
KEY INGREDIENT #4: MOVE YOUR ASS!
Taking a walk around after each meal
I did this at my in laws house. I made a rule with my hubby that after lunch we would take a walk – and it was wonderful! The walks weren’t long at all – but just getting out and moving was exactly what we needed after sitting so long at the table! I strongly suggest it 🙂
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Well, there ya have it folks. I’m sure as time goes on, I will be adding to my “survival” guide and I would LOVE to hear from YOU – what YOUR ideas are for surviving the eating marathon! How do YOU deal with so many meals? How Do YOU deal with eating at others’ homes? What is YOUR trick? Submit your ideas in the comments section! 🙂 🙂
Have a wonderful Chag!