I hope I’m not being too controversial when I say that Pesach is not an easy festival. Aside from the religious aspect, which of course is meaningful and spiritual etc, it’s essentially eight long days punctuated by far too many meals and the removal of far too many food groups. Forget challah, come Motzei Pesach I want my overnight oats and lots of fibre. And I suspect I am not alone. So when I heard Charlotte and Anna were hosting an evening on healthy eating over Pesach I couldn’t sign up fast enough. The promise of delectable tasters may also have been something of a motivation. And the ace ladies did not disappoint.
And whilst I cannot possibly distil all their valuable content into a 500-word blog, I will try to outline for you some of their most compelling points:
- Make from scratch
A lot of sauces, syrups and produce from a bottle/packet are full of additives and other nasty ingredients. Rather, try to bake and cook from scratch. When baking, try to substitute white sugar for “healthier” alternatives such as agave nectar, coconut sugar or maple syrup – these won’t make them any less fattening, so still, eat in moderation.
Normally, you can’t really compare bread with matzah. The former is a soft, filling slice of sumptuous heaven and the other….well is a piece of glorified cardboard. However, thinking of one piece of matzah as the equivalent to one slice of bread should prevent any mindless munching.
- Reach for fruit and veg
If you’re feeling peckish, which let’s be frank is pretty realistic on Pesach, try to have fruit and veg cut up on hand to quell those hunger pangs.
- Avoid certain ingredients
Again, I suspect this is true for all year round, but avoiding foods with ingredients like non-dairy whip and margarine can only ever be a good thing. Full of hydrogenated fats (which for reasons I don’t fully understand are very, very bad) try substituting with healthier fats such as olive oil. It would seem Kosher Kingdom are on top form this year and have a whole range of healthy oils that could be used as viable substitutes.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal; stick to complex carbs which will slowly release energy throughout the day. However, brown rice and pasta are prohibited on Pesach so try to go for starchy vegetables like sweet potato, butternut squash and parsnips – you can even spiralize these and use them as an alternative for pasta.
Freezing fruit and blending it into either sorbet or frozen yoghurt (with the addition of Greek yoghurt) can provide a lovely sweet treat without the addition of extra sugar. Use bananas as a base for a child-friendly crowd pleaser.
- Lean proteins
Use lean proteins like chicken, turkey or fish and try hard to avoid those sugary, addictive sauces that add little to any meals apart from calories. Make basic sauces and marinades in your kitchen.
- Stay active
On Pesach, it can feel as if you are spending the entire Chag in the kitchen, either cooking or eating. Try to avoid becoming sedentary and go for long walks (Yom Tov days will start to be getting longer) or maybe do a home workout using one of ace Lifestyle’s fantastic videos on YouTube.
And, of course, if you have any further questions regarding exercise and nutrition then it’s probably best you to speak to either Charlotte or Anna. Give them a ring on 07815 209 112 or drop them an email on email@example.com. They will be taking a well-deserved break over Pesach, however, normally they hold classes at Kinloss in Finchley, the Free Church Hall in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Hendon Leisure Centre near Tesco in Brent Cross at a range of times to suit busy working mums as well as young professionals like myself.