Passover is the one week each year that gets us to clean out our kitchens, restock our refrigerators and rethink our menus. In a way, the physical work involved in scrubbing down our counters and getting rid of clutter mirrors the spiritual work of the holiday: scrubbing our characters until they shine, and dealing with the clutter we ignore most of the year. You can call it a spiritual detox.
At the end of the day, though, we are still doing all the physical stuff. So why not let Passover be an opportunity for a physical detox, too?
Throughout the year, so much of what we eat is loaded with processed ingredients, chemicals and sugar. There’s a reason that the acronym for the Standard American Diet is SAD. Today, the typical American eats lots of foods that are produced in “plants” – and not enough plants themselves. The typical ingredient list consists of dozens of words we cannot pronounce. The typical body is deprived of nutrients it needs and bombarded with chemicals it cannot process.
Refined starches and sugars are cheap, yummy and always around to fill up on. The more sugars we eat, the more conditioned our taste buds get to sweetness – so we need even more to make them happy! But our bodies were never meant to handle the large amount of starch and sugar the typical 21st-century American consumes. When we crowd our bodies with too much junk, we crowd out the healthy proteins, fats, fruits and vegetables and whole grains we really need to function at our best.
Most importantly, read the ingredient lists on those dressings, sauces, baked goods and snacks, and if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, leave them in the store.
On this holiday of freedom, we can all take the first steps toward freeing our homes and our bodies from the nutrition-poor foods they get too much of. We can free our taste buds from the never-ending cycle of always needing sweeter. We can and we will have a Full ‘N Free holiday!
Some tips that always help:
1. Read labels. Look out for ingredients like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, artificial colors and sweeteners. Aim for ingredients lists filled with whole grains and natural ingredients.
2. Shove out the sugar. Look for unsweetened yogurts, cereals sweetened with fruit juice rather than cane sugar, and stock up on honey or coconut sugar instead of the white stuff.
3. Get creative. Your family’s expecting some differences this week… so try out that new healthy recipe! You might just hit on a favorite and fall in love.
May this Passover rejuvenate you both spiritually and physically.
Rorie Weisberg, CHC, is the author of the newly released cookbook, Food You Love: That Loves You Back. Her passion? Making a healthy lifestyle doable and delicious, favorite foods included. Certified in integrative nutrition, Rorie is the health ambassador of Kosher.com, popular health columnist, lecturer, and founder and CEO of Full ‘N Free, LLC, an exclusive line of better-for-you baking essentials. To learn more about Rorie’s story, product line, courses, and live demos, visit www.fullnfree.com or follow her on Instagram at @fullnfree.