Last month saw the holiest of Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. And with holidays come food—much of which doesn’t really fit into my nutrition plans. But traditional foods bring back memories of holidays past that are important to experience.
High Temptation Days
Like most years, the temptations were high. But I allowed myself to indulge a bit while sticking as close to plan as I could. I didn’t deny myself outright, and I’m so glad!
It starts with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which we celebrated with my parents at their home. We enjoyed brisket and turkey, kugel (a noodle pudding), Challah bread and matzah ball soup. With bread being my biggest weakness, it was a tough day nutritionally!
When you face a day that you know is going to be difficult, it’s important to have a plan so you don’t over-indulge. I told myself ahead of time that I would try everything and have small servings. I was successful throughout the whole dinner—until dessert. My one piece of mandel bread turned into three. Oops! But again, I only eat it on rare occasions, so I still call this a success. After all, I didn’t eat the whole loaf and saved some for the rest of my family!
Break After the Fast
Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, prayer and repentance, where we fast for about 24 hours—from sunset the night before until nightfall the day of. Then we enjoy a “break fast” meal, to break the fast. I was the only person in my house fasting, which made the day a bit more challenging.
For our break fast, we enjoyed bagels and cream cheese from a local bagel shop. I grabbed the bagels earlier in the day and suffered the whole way home with the smell of the fresh, hot bagels. Have I mentioned that bread is my biggest weakness? I just wanted to sit in the car and smell the bagels!
I opted for a toasted everything bagel with olive pimento cream cheese, Lox and cucumber. And when I took my first bite, I was transported back in time when Jeff and I used to get bagels every weekend. It was a great memory and it helped me to not feel guilty over my indulgence.
I think it’s so important to enjoy your family and traditions—even when they involve food. I used to bring my own food with me to family gatherings on holidays. I’d drive my family crazy and feel deprived at the end of the day. As long as you can control it and not over-indulge, enjoy the time with your family and don’t worry about the extra serving of carbs. Stick with moderation. (and… maybe plan for an extra workout)