Secrets to a Healthier Purim
By Mussy Raitman, Lubicom Staff
I thought I’d pop in and ask you for your top tips on getting through Purim without eating a tremendous amount of junk. I think a trap that a lot of people fall into is that Purim day is so hectic. How do we tackle this?
Yes, it's a very busy day. You’re getting up early in the morning, there's the Megillah to hear, the kids need help getting in their costumes, you’re shlepping around the Mishloach Manot, the house is flying, the kids are cuckoo, and you also have to worry about preparing for the Seudah. It's just a very hopping kind of day with a lot to do, and it's very unstructured.
Raising the topic as you’re doing is actually the first step. If you recognize the potential pitfalls that lie ahead, you’ll be able to plan for success. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you don't go into this situation with a game plan, then you are setting yourself up to do what you would do without planning right. Without a plan, we tend to act on autopilot, as opposed to being proactive and making conscious choices.
Set aside time in the morning to have breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. We talked about that in our last article. (Read: Why You're Hungry for Lunch at 11 a.m.) That's definitely going to be compounded on a day like Purim. When you’re already unsatisfied and your blood sugars drop, it just makes mindless noshing inevitable.
Plan ahead to make breakfast happen on Purim day. Just like you make sure to hear the Megillah, make sure you eat a balanced meal. If you can't sit down to a real breakfast, just make yourself a shake in the morning. I come home from Megillah and as everyone is scrambling to get their costumes set, I’m scrambling eggs. Everyone in my house likes that breakfast, so it works for me. Find what works in your house, just try to make some sort of real meal happen. It'll make a huge difference in your whole day.
Keep a water bottle with you and stay hydrated. I try to fill up at least two big water bottles with ice and water to keep in the car when we're running around delivering Mishloach Manot. Encourage your kids to drink water throughout the day; I do not believe in restricting their Mishloach Manot but I do encourage drinking water. Having a sugar-loaded, dehydrated kid is a recipe for a major meltdown. (Read: The 5 Worst Ways to Deal with Your Kids Purim Candy Cravings.)
Another good tip is to make sure that your Purim Seudah has real food. People tend to serve tons of finger foods at their Seudahs and forget about making healthy vegetables and stable proteins. Make sure to plan out your meal. If you're going to someone else’s Seudah, offer to bring something healthy. If you're making your own meal, try to plan a balanced menu with tasty, healthy options available.
Throughout the day, when all the goodies come in and you see something that you really want to enjoy, my best tip is saving it for a moment when you can actually savor it! Decide on a time either on Purim day itself or another day when you can sit down and thoroughly enjoy it. Don’t just eat the treat in the car in 20 seconds. You won’t even remember you had it!
Part of being satisfied is also an emotional experience. When you sit and have something that's enjoyable and delicious, if you actually taste it and savor each bite, one or two treats is enough. The reason we keep going for more and more is that we never really experienced it the first time around. So when you're going to enjoy a treat, really pay attention to the food – taste it, smell it, be in the moment. Enjoy the experience fully, and you will feel much more satisfied!
Hope these tips help you all experience a full ‘n free Purim!