Passover is almost here and you’re probably gearing up to give up breads, pastas and anything made with chametz. If you’re from a traditional Jewish family, you may be used to spending eight days eating brisket, meatloaf or roasted chicken alongside matzo brei or potatoes. If you’re like the average person, you’re likely expecting those eight days to bring with them bloating, constipation and an overall feeling of sluggishness.
Many people ask how they can make Passover a healthy experience for the whole family without leaving anyone feeling deprived or unsatisfied. Follow these 3 simple secrets and see how easy it is to turn Passover into a delicious and nutritious holiday for everyone.
- Don’t overload on matzo. Just because you’re allowed to eat matzo, doesn’t mean you have to. If you find matzo constipating or simply hard on your digestive system, keep Passover without relying on matzo to fill you up. Incorporate more vegetables with your meals either as salads, roasted veggies or stir-fries. Instead of eating chocolate covered matzo for dessert, serve dark chocolate covered strawberries or berries on their own. Keeping Passover is essentially like following a Paleo-Diet. You can find tons of incredible recipes on Google or Pinterest that are Passover friendly by searching “Paleo Diet ideas.”
- Read the ingredient list. Pre-packaged foods should say Kosher for Passover, but is that all you notice when buying boxed foods? It’s important to read the food label when buying convenient foods and always read the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in order of most used to least used and if you can’t read, write, say, spell or explain what an ingredient does in the body, your body won’t recognize it either. Ingredients that end in -itol or –ose as well as caramel, flavouring and syrups, are all different names for sugar and should be avoided or strictly limited. Ensure foods are low in trans and saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium and high in potassium and fibre. The best thing you can do is shop on the outskirts of the grocery store and load up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Consider a Detox: You’re already giving up breads, pastas and pastries so why not go the extra mile and remove dairy, eggs, soy and added sugars and sweeteners from your diet. Most people associate Passover with spring-cleaning and if you can take the time to clean your home, can’t you take the time to clean your physical and mental/emotional self as well? Spend the Passover holiday indulging in fruits and vegetables, nut and seeds and grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and organic or wild fish. You’ll likely notice a number of health benefits!
The bottom line is that Passover foods don’t have to be boring or bland. Getting creative at meal times can reset, recharge and revitalize you and your family.