I think the day after a Holiday Ends should be the Rosh HaShana for Health. Quite obviously, we’ve pigged out (or I’ve pigged out), had a routine that consisted of eating and sleeping and its time to re-commit ourselves to healthy living. Dust off our treadmills, put on our sneakers and get moving.
While I have all these grand ideas of perfect diets and healthy habits, it is only fair that since I am human and nowhere near perfect (shocking, I know) I should also be accountable for when I screw them up royally. And so my readers – here is my Tishrei Health Report Card for the world to see!
(PS – in College I had a 3.9 GPA … this is not even close )
Exercise: D+ (I walked next door to Shul – is that counted?)
Stress Level: A-
Enjoyment of Holiday: A
I wanted to kick off the Holiday season on the right foot and I knew the way to do this was with the right food. The better I eat, the better I feel – it’s as simple as that. With 3 days of an eating marathon, Shul going, and spending time with family – I knew I needed to feel as good as possible.
So, the little planner that I am – I brought homemade Spelt Challah (sugar free) and we ate those during the meal. A VERY smart idea (A+ just for that) Neither me nor the hubby felt that “fat” feeling from Challah, or the need to eat more than one or two pieces. We made small round Challahs, so we never overate. Definitely an idea I will be doing again in the future.
My mother in law was very gracious and she made sure to put food aside for me that were sugar free, and breading free. (if the salmon had a sugary sauce there was a piece just for me that was plain.) I am ever so grateful that she did this, because I have no doubt this helped me feel healthy throughout the holiday. (A+ for that!) I also made sure to bring healthy snacks such as Cucumbers and Chummus, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and fruit to have on hand for those long afternoons when the munchies attack.
I did give myself an A- overall for FOOD because I’m a very harsh grader On the last day of the holiday, there was a sense of “yay I did it!” and so I kind of pigged out on that last afternoon… lots of yummy cake floating around and after Yom Tov was over, I found myself in the Nosh cabinet at my in laws house sampling chips and other evil goodies But overall, not bad on the food front.
I added “Enjoyment of the Holiday” on my report card – because in my opinion this is THE most important aspect of the Holiday. In my last blog post I compared Tishrei to Football. (if you didn’t read it yet, you’re missing out some Duby brilliance!) Many of us dread the holidays and feel like we just need to survive and get through it – this is terrible! We need to re-learn how to enjoy the holidays whatever that means for each of us. I often told my mother in law that I see Yom Tov so differently that I did when I was a teen, or a young adult. As a teen, I loved when Yom Tov was long, or when it ended on a Thursday which meant we go straight to Shabbos – because this meant an extra two days with no school and spending time with my friends. I never remember feeling bloated and barfed from all the food as a young one. And certainly I never remember ending a meal and just an hour later back in the kitchen with the rest of the women to help prepare for the next meal. And this is EXACTLY why as adults – through our adult eyes – we need to embrace the holidays differently than we did as kids.
Food: (break-fast): B- (yay bagels!!!)
Exercise: (if you count turning pages in a magazine exercise)
Stress Level: C
Enjoyment of Holiday: B
The thought of Yom Kippur this past year would make me panic. Fasting – with nothing to keep me busy or distracted (where are you Netflix when I need you?!) well, it all sounds dreadful. But thankfully Yom Kippur was actually pretty darn good. (dare I say enjoyable?) we stayed by the in laws, which meant the hubby walked next door to Shul and was able to come home every so often to rest, read, chill out… it also meant that I was able to go to Shul for a few minutes here and there during the day. With the hustle and bustle at the in laws, there were lots of people there and we spent most of the break chatting and made the time go by in an enjoyable way and the stimulating conversation was delightful.
I would have given myself a higher grade for Stress Level – but going into the holiday I was very anxious over the whole thing… I didn’t even eat! In fact – a few hours into Yom Kippur I was starving because I barely ate that day. Definitely something I need to work on for next year.
Overall, not a bad holiday – and I even felt inspired!
Sukkos: First Days:
Stress Level: B
Enjoyment of Holiday: A –
Originally the goal of the first days of Sukkos was to have a calm, quiet and peaceful time. Recuperate a little from the nuttiness of the high holidays and rest up for Simchas Torah which was going to have a lot of excitement.
But that didn’t really happen
The main reason why — once again — it all boils down to food.
I blame the cheesecake. To DIE FOR !!!!!! it was calling my name!!!!
While I stuck to my plan (click here to read my Tishrei plan for this year) – we had ONE meal in the afternoon and only soup in the evening – it didn’t help that some of the foods on the menu weren’t healthy. So after my meals I often felt like crap… at nights I had trouble sleeping from the sugar and as we all know it’s a vicious cycle of eating:
Unhealthy Food= Feeling Bad = Getting Hungry = Craving Bad Food Again.
Therefore, the resting, recuperating and peaceful holiday didn’t exactly go according to plan. (how can it when you’re preoccupied complaining that your stomach hurts ?) But I have to admit, the cheesecake was sort of worth it
We did take a few short walks in the afternoons after eating… no major marathons, but a leisure stroll down the block… better than nothing, right?
Overall, I enjoyed the holiday greatly. It’s always awesome spending time with the hubby… our Sukkah was beautiful, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect and I was proud of my little menu. I only give it an A- because at times I felt kind of sick from the sugar overload
Stress Level: Before Children’s Program: C / After Children’s Program: A-
Enjoyment of Holiday: A –
Simchas Torah for me had 2 parts.
Before my Children’s Program
After my Children’s Program
I coordinated and ran a Children’s program for the kids in Shul on Thursday night. (it was a great success for those wondering –we had between 25-30 kids!!) Anyway, before the program I was on edge, nervous, anxious (for those who know me – it comes with the territory… I need to learn how to chill out)
However, after the program I was a lot more calm. I was thrilled at its success and was wired and hyper from then on. I was relieved that it was over so I felt free to enjoy the holiday and not have to worry. Oh and I also no longer gave a hoot what I ate – so if it was junk food, It was probably in my mouth. And then I had seconds.
Healthy Cookies For Lunch?!
I told my 4 year old brother in law that on the last day of Yom Tov I didn’t have lunch because I ate too much nosh!!! He asked me what nosh was so I explained to him that nosh is stuff like candies, chips, cakes – things that aren’t healthy for our bodies. He reassured me that the cookies we ate during Shabbos party are healthy. Hmmm… could sandwich cookies be considered one of the food groups?
That concludes my report card for Tishrei 2011…
Action Points for Next Year:
a) Spelt Challah: Great Idea!
b) Veggies for Snacks: (i.e. baby carrots, baby cucumbers, grape tomatoes) Great Idea! – I would add that they should be more accessible – I kept my snacks in the basement fridge right near my room (which is good) but in the afternoon when the cake was calling my name, my baby carrots were nowhere to be found!
c) Bribing the mother in law to put food aside: Great idea! (this year I bribed her with baked goods… next year chocolate )
d) Exercise: I did NOT do well on the exercise front… too lazy perhaps? But a walk after the meal is imperative to get the food to digest and to feel normal. Gotta work on that.
e) Stress Level: Coordinating to stay at the in laws house on Yom Kippur was a Great Idea – and I “reserved” a spot for next year as well. I need to work on those anxious feelings that surround Yom Kippur.
f) Enjoying the Holidays: This year – I give myself 100% improvement on enjoying the holidays. It takes conscious effort to thrive and not just survive the holidays and I think each of us needs to find ways that will help us find the spirit of the season. The new shoes and clothes I bought definitely helped… knowing I had something nice to wear always puts me in a festive mood. Maybe for you, getting extra cooking / cleaning help or going away for Yom Tov, eating out for meals would help stress less.
My point is: there are many ideas. The question is:
what works for YOU?
g) PLAN PLAN PLAN. I discussed this in my Tishrei plan and it worked out very nicely. The Holidays are the same day every year. Let’s not fool ourselves. There is a lot to do. There is no point in waiting for the last minute – because the only thing that will do is ensure we begin the holiday season exhausted. Pacing ourselves, step by step – from the menu planning, to the shopping, to the little errands that are very important but often trivialized (i.e picking up the dry cleaning) the last thing we want is to be frazzled. Planning definitely helped things run smoother and obviously meant less stress all around.
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Well my friends – there ya have it. I definitely have what to work on for next year, but I’m definitely headed in the right direction. Maybe next time I’ll blog about some of the inspiration I gleamed from all this Tishrei stuff… (maybe)
In the meantime, time to get back to uber healthy eating… and I think I hear a detox in the very near future. (who wouldn’t want to do a detox now? After all that food?!)
Now its your turn…. How does YOUR report card look from Tishrei?
Feel free to share in the comments on things you did RIGHT and things you would like to IMPROVE for next year holiday season.