Passing Over the Good Stuff

I’m Jewish. So … tonight we celebrate something weird.

First, we celebrate our emancipation from slavery in Egypt.  Not so weird.

Second, we celebrate that time when God decided to kill all of the first born sons of Egypt, sparing all the Jews. To tell us apart, God advises us Hebrews (and Shebrews) to spread blood all over our doors with a lamb shank. Then God goes on a GTA style killing spree, “Passing Over” the first born Jewish boys and killing only the gentiles. How nice.

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Herman’s face when I told him God only spared the Jewish puppies.

Let’s Talk About Food

…Yada yada yada… God is weird, and here we are countless years later commanded to dine on salty eggs, horseradish, and flavorless crackers the size of large plates.  Score one for God in the WTF department.

No matter what we’re commemorating, the story eventually gets lost as culture and tradition (AKA FOOD) take the spotlight.

…At some point God killed all the Egyptian babies and then we spent some years wandering in the dessert. Is it so wrong to suggest that God’s killing spree and the act of eating chocolate matzoh until your stomach explodes are tenuosly connected, at best?

Passover versus Passover

Holidays are a nice time to eat together with family and friends. They can also derail your weight loss efforts, or provide a convenient excuse for days of overeating.  For many, there is the added pressure of relatives who insist you “have a little more.”

Passover, in particular, is not known for the delicious food. Due to the many food restrictions  that apply during this seven day period, we eat many specialized foods that are only available during this time of year. We might even justify eating vast quantities of “Kosher for Passover” desserts even if we don’t normally eat desserts, and even if those desserts don’t taste very good. We’re only human, and the “limited time only” aspect gets us. Every time.

But ultimately, the choice is yours! There are TWO WAYS you can use the word “Passover” at feast tonight.

Option one: Passover the [Insert food item here]

In this case, you want to consume a comestible, but it is across the table. Examples include:

  • “Hey you – Passover the macaroons”
  • “Grandma, could you Passover the salt please?”
  • “Would anyone mind Passing over that flourless dessert?”

Option two: Passing over [insert poor food choice here].

In this case, you pass over a second helping, or even a first helping of a most likely gross tasting Passover dessert. Examples include:

  • “Eh – I’ve already had enough tsimis. I’ll pass over that second helping.”
  • “Oh, thank you. But I’ll pass on the chocolate matzoh.  Look at all this yummy fruit.”

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All of this is just a long-winded way of getting to a few fairly obvious points.

  1. Eventually, everything turns into an excuse to eat food. If you don’t have an excuse to eat more than you should, you will find one.
  2. That’s OK – it’s our human nature to feast. Humans like feasting, and that’s OK. You can let go every once in a while on a holiday. No one gets fat because of one Passover meal.
  3. On the other hand, the choice is yours. If you don’t want to make the hard sacrifices that fitness often requires, that’s fine. But recognize that the choice is yours. Don’t say “oh today’s not a good day to diet – it’s Passover.” You can make good choices at Passover, or you can make bad choices at Passover. No one is holding you down to the chair and force-feeding you lamb shanks. Unless of course, someone is holding you down to the chair and force-feeding you lamb shanks.
  4. You can politely decline. Jewish people want to feed you. But you are in control of what goes in your mouth. It’s nice if you try a little bit of things that people cook, and show some appreciation. But it’s also nice for people to respect your choices. You can politely decline whatever you don’t want to eat, and that won’t make you a heathen. If it offends people, oh well. That’s their problem – unless you make it your problem.

To me, most Passover food tastes as weird as its origin story. So I’d rather not overeat at the Passover table.

I don’t think God likes gluttony, and I don’t think it’s important to him that you overeat. I  believe that God favors those who take steps towards their own self-actualization and happiness.

Is a little overeating on a holiday OK? Sure.
Is a lot of overeating on a holiday OK? Sure.

Everything is OK, provided that you are making the choice that YOU want to make.

As for me? I’ll be “passing over” some things, and taking second second helpings of others.

Happy Feasting.

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Holiday Recovery

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Full disclosure: I’m Jewish. So while Christ doth not arise in my home, I recognize that he did visit many of my friends this weekend.

And when Christ arises, calories arise. So now it’s time for confession.

Tell it to me straight, glutton:

  • Did you have a second helping of ham?
  • Perhaps an extra leg of lamb?
  • A marshmallow pie?? An entire box Peeps?? A Lindt Chocolate bunny?
  • A Cadbury Caramel Egg?!?!
  • ALL OF THE ABOVE?!!!

I think all of those things are great, especially Cadbury Caramel eggs. I also think that holidays are meant to be enjoyed.

Gluttony may be a sin, but not in my book. I think it’s human nature to let yourself go every once in a while.

But now it’s Tuesday and it’s time to get back on track. Here are a few tips:

  1. Get rid of leftover candy. That’s assuming you have any left over 😉
    • I hate throwing out food, even candy.
    • If you don’t want to throw it out, bring it to work or put it in the freezer
    • But really, you should throw it out.
  2. Pencil in an extra workout this week. You don’t have to go crazy. But whatever your normal exercise regimen, add one extra session this week. This can even be moderate exercise – go for a long walk.
  3. Have a hearty salad for lunch for the remainder of the week. 
  4. Try to reduce your carbs by 50% for at least one or two days this week. If you’re still feeling bloated from the weekend, this might help.
  5. If you normally drink alcohol, take a break for the remainder of the week. Your body will thank you.

Remember: you don’t have to go crazy to make up for your “sins.” One or two holiday meals won’t make or break you. Implement one or two small changes from the above list and you should be back to your lent-sized self in no time.

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5 Reasons You’ll Gain Weight On St. Paddy’s Day

  1. Green Bagels. 

Let’s start with breakfast, where your poor choices begin.

If you see a green bagel, you will eat it. And with your officemates being the monsters that they are, it’s more likely than not that you’re going to see a whole platter of them.

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WHHHYY??

Unfortunately for you, the sin of a bagel is not without karmic repercussions. It’s more than just the calories in the bagel itself. Like all high-glycemic foods, eating a green bagel early in the morning can result in an increased appetite all day.

To avoid this problem, try navigating to your desk with a brown paper bag over your head. As the old saying goes in Ireland, “If one can’t see anything, one can’t see green bagels.”

Or check out my blog post on How to Eat Half a Bagel.

2.  Beer.

You’re going to drink it. And it’s going to be 150 calories for a bottle…But one bottle won’t be enough for you, will it you drunk bastard?

Knowing you, you’ll probably need at least three to four servings. And that’s why you’ll spend the rest of your life drunk and alone.  It’s also the reason for the remaining items on this list.

3.  Loss of Inhibition.

Once beer happens, it will trigger a final avalanche of unfortunate choices. And like an actual avalanche, these choices will bury you.

As the night proceeds, you’ll yearn for one of your friends to mention pizza or wings. And if none of your friends takes the bait, you’ll mention it yourself.

Will you have a reasonable portion? Of course not! Because beer.

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Here is just one example of a terrible choice you will make. 

4.  Assorted Green Dessert. 

But just because you ate an entire pie of pizza, doesn’t mean your meal is over. Because:

  1. You don’t hate yourself just yet;
  2. You’re surrounded by assorted green desserts; and
  3. You’re drunk

 Here are just a few of the half-dozen green desserts you will now inhale:

  • Green donuts and/or munchkins
  • Green cookies and/or cake
  • Green ice cream and/or jello

But I suppose St. Paddy’s is a lucky day after all. Because I’ve just come across an excellent resource to help you lose a touch of that appetite. At least as far as green desserts are concerned.

It’s a photo of me from 2007. I’m making green cupcakes for Valerie’s house party.

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I hope Val’s guests enjoy hair.

5.  The Hangover. 

Fast forward to tomorrow.

Because you’re hungover and full of hair cupcakes, it’s time to:

  • Eat more food; and
  • Not move all day

Moving hurts, everything sucks, and you vow never to drink again.

Unfortunately for you, St. Paddy’s day falls on Thursday this year. Let the weekend drinking and eating commence.

Happy Gaining! 

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Valentine’s Day Deck of Cards Workout Plan

Attention fit (or attempting to be fit) couples. This is cute:

 

I hope you enjoy this fun and simple way to burn off that Valentine’s Day chocolate. Best of all, you don’t need a date to do it! Enjoy and be well. ❤

Source: Valentine’s Day Deck of Cards Workout Plan