Do not neglect your exercise. Try to stick to your routine as much as possible, even though you have so much more to do. Remember, the cleaning will get done. You, however, will feel much better if you get your exercise.
As it gets closer to yom tov, many of the foods you are used to eating on your plan may not be available in stores or hard to find. Keep that in mind and stock up accordingly.
If you can’t make it, buy it. Don’t feel bad spending money on a salad or a healthier dinner if you see that it is just not getting done at home.
Plan your meals. If you’re eating at home, you are more in control and can predict what will be served. If you are eating out and feel close enough or comfortable enough to your hosts, ask what will be served.
Find out the minimum amount of matzah and grape juice you can eat/drink to be yotzeh (exempt) of the mitzvah and stick to the minimum.
Make sure to eat a light dinner and drink water before the Seder so that you’re not too hungry.
Since the eating takes place very late, eat in moderation. If possible, take a walk after the meal so that you don’t go to sleep on a full stomach.
If you can, write down whatever you remember eating. This will give you some form of accountability. For those who don’t write on chol ha’moed, text it.
Passover ladyfingers are a great, low-calorie snack. I like them so much, I buy extra to have during the year.
If you are heading out on a trip, plan accordingly. Just like you pack up everything for the kids, do the same for yourself. Lack of preparation means you will get hungry and munch on non-approved items.
If you cannot make it to your usual exercise class, wake up a little earlier and either go for a jog/walk or do an at-home DVD. Aside from burning some of the inevitable extra calories, you will feel like you are more on track.
Second Days And General Meal Guidelines
Always fill half your plate with vegetables, the other quarter with a protein (chicken, fish, meat) and if necessary, the other quarter with starch if you are not having matzah.
Stick to a kezayis of matzah and just a sip of grape juice if need be, per meal.
If you are having dips, try to limit them to 3 teaspoons in total per meal.
Make plenty of vegetable side dishes and salads.
You can divide your protein so that you have both fish and meat. For example: a small piece of fish as the appetizer and a small piece of meat for the main course along with a salad.
Always try to drink 2 cups of water before a meal so that you do not feel as hungry.
Find other things to do at the meal besides eating. Keep busy with serving and clearing, talking, or even getting up and moving to the couch.
Skip the non-essential extras including soup, appetizers, coleslaw, dips, and desserts.
Remember, if you go off track for one meal or even a whole day, get right back on!
The 411 On Matzah
Whole wheat vs spelt: Whole wheat is lower in calories and fat and is higher in fiber. However, spelt is gentler on the digestive system. If you have any digestive issues or stomach sensitivities, choose spelt. Otherwise, choose whole wheat.
A typical shmurah matzah is equal to four breads. If your plan allows for two breads, have half a shmurah matzah. If your plan allows for one bread, have a quarter of a shmurah matzah. When possible, such as on chol ha’moed, stick to whole-wheat matzah crackers.
A square matzah is equal to two breads. If your plan allows for two breads, have one whole matzah. If your plan allows for one bread, have half.
Unless you are skipping the matzah or just having a bite of it, your matzah is your complete starch so avoid any other starch along with it.
TIP: Find out in advance exactly how much is a kezayis so you can eat that bare minimum at the Sedarim.
Zucchini Noodles (for soup or alone)
2 medium zucchini, peeled
Olive oil spray or 1 teaspoon olive oil
Using a julienne peeler, cut the zucchini into long strands until you reach the seeds. Discard the remainder of zucchini or save for my Chicken Matzah Balls recipe [available at NutritionByTanya.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pesach-Packet-2020.pdf.] Add the strands to the soup and simmer for 3–4 minutes or until softened. Serve immediately so the noodles don’t become too soft.
Note: You can also prepare the noodles ahead of time by sautéing them in the olive oil or spray until soft and refrigerate them until needed. Allow them to reach room temperature before adding to individual bowls of soup.
Count as free if using spray.
Alice Hen is a nutrition counselor and manager at Nutrition by Tanya with 11 locations including a branch in Five Towns right on Elderd Lane (behind Jildor shoes). Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, follow us @nutritionbytanya on Instagram. Check out our cookbook, Cooking with Tanya, available for purchase on Amazon.com or an NBT location near you.