Everyone has their own minhagim and chumros (customs) when it comes to Pesach. If I write down all of the diverse customs I won’t have room for anything else! (And I don’t even know them all…)
I’m going to give you a very basic and general run down of how to stay healthy on Pesach.
First of all you might be wondering how it is even possible to stay healthy on a holiday where there is nothing to eat. Well actually, that isn’t true. Nope, not at all. Because there are some things that nearly everyone can eat and are 100% healthy and delicious!
Ok, so what are they???
– Fruit and vegetables. (Yes, some people only eat them peeled- so peel them!)
Apples! Apples are so familiar and we see them all the time so some of us might forget about them. But don’t! There are so many things you can do with apples and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like apples.
Some other fruits and veggies that are easy and fun to snack on (and are easy to peel) include- bananas, oranges, tangerines, cucumbers, avocado, carrots, and pear, among others. You can look up good recipes that include these fruits and veggies or have them plain.
– Roasted vegetables are sooo good. Choose vegetables like potato, sweet potato (you can make colourful fries), carrot (you can make carrot chips!), beets, and if you can have pepper, them pepper. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, olive oil and spices of your choice.
– One day I was at a friend’s house and they made something they called “potato eggie”. (Cute name, no?) All you do is boil potatoes and then slice them and fry with an egg. (Or two.) It’s as simple and delicious as that!
– Do desserts by you mainly consist of things with sugar and potato starch? (And more potato starch?) They don’t have to. Substitute sugar for kosher for Pesach honey or maple syrup or silan. (Date honey.) Substitute potato starch for almond flour or coconut flour. (Almond flour has a good consistency in things like cakes and cookies.)
– Fish/chicken patties. Find a recipe and get cooking! Please note- some hold not to eat fish and chicken together.
*At the Seder:
– I’m sure you drink mostly grape juice and not wine. (I definitely do!) Four cups is a lot of grape juice. If you want to eliminate some of that high fructose sugar, you are allowed to water down your grape juice provided you are drinking more than half a cup juice. (Or wine. But watering down wine sounds downright disgusting to me… not that I drink it anyhow…)
– Try to have a nap before the Seder. (Forgive me for sounding like your mother, but she is right.) That way you will have much more energy and stay awake for longer. (Since this is a day where the parents actually want the kids to stay up, take advantage of the opportunity!) If you can’t fall asleep (I never could fall asleep in the daytime, still can’t), just rest. It helps give your body a crucial cool down so you can have energy for the important night ahead!
– Don’t fill up on Matzah. Eat it- it’s probably going to be your main carbohydrate, but don’t fill up on it. Have it like you would have bread.
– Remember to drink! Over here in Israel it’s basically already summer during Pesach (ok, not quite). And even if it’s not hot it’s still important to drink.
– Get outside! Get some fresh air and go on walks.
I hope these tips help and I hope you have a wonderful Pesach!