Can you relate to these thoughts?
“HELP! I am drowning in fried latkes and jelly doughnuts!”
“I am trying so hard to stick to my healthy food plan, and then I am bombarded with all these delicious foods that I know can’t be good for me!!!
“I have come so far and now another Yom Tov is here to set me back!?!”
How can we find the “golden path” in our culture that uses food as means to celebrate and connect?
Hashem has put food in this world both to nourish and delight us. It is pure Chesed that He has given so many choices. The colors, the textures, the tastes….
Each Yom Tov has its own special foods that are associated with it and connect us to its essence.
Perhaps we can take a different approach to the meaningful “foods of the Chag”.
Yes, food tastes good and satisfies us in many ways and on many levels. However, can we get past the purely physical aspect of it and use it as the vehicle of spiritual growth and connection that it was meant to be?
Try to be mindful and think about why these particular foods are used at this time and what they represent. Bring purpose to it. Really try to connect to those ideas.
You have to know who you are and how you deal with food. If you can indulge a little and get right back on the "program", enjoy with those ideas in mind.
Then practically, plan ahead for success.
First, try to make your delicacies as wholesome as possible. There are many healthier recipes using whole grain flours, less refined sweeteners, and heart healthy fats.
Second, make them in smaller portions. 'Less' is definitely 'more' in this case.
Third, always try to make sure not to be hungry when faced with a challenging situation. Drink 2-3 cups of water 20 mins before the meal, serve a big salad for the appetizer, and/or fill up on a nourishing soup. When one is mostly satiated, one can deal with having 'just a little'.
Being around food all the time can be hard! However, when we focus on what is truly meaningful, and why we're doing what we are doing, we can keep growing in the right direction, one bite at a time….
Wishing you a freilichin HEALTHY LIVING Chanukah!