PURIM DIET SURVIVAL GUIDE!
Although Purim is only one day long, many dieters or people who are just careful with their intake during the year, have a hard time on this day. We’ve compiled a list of tips and a light hamentashen recipe to help you get through it successfully!
Have a healthy happy Purim!
Remember, the weight goal is just to stay the same.
We don’t expect you to lose, just try not to gain.
If you receive one that contains chips,
sugary snacks, and/or commercialized
juices, either re-gift it or donate the
items to people in need. Do not see it as an excuse to consume any of these items as it will probably not end in “just one”; there will be many more, and once you start eating you will likely crave sugar and have a hard time stopping.
If you are hosting a party, there is nothing wrong with providing your guests with healthy choices. Try serving freshly squeezed juices instead of soda, whole wheat dinner rolls instead of regular ones, oven-cooked chicken instead of fried chicken, and dressing on the side for the freshly prepared salads.
Parties not hosted by you:
If you are going to a party hosted by your neighbor, friend, or even at your local shul, try your best to find out what is going to be served and prepare accordingly. If the choices are not the best, try eating at home so that when you get to the party, you won’t eat as much. You can also try bringing some healthy snacks with you such as almonds or raisins. Think of it as your very own fruit and nut mix.
Wine and drinking:
Purim is the holiday of wine drinking but be mindful of how much alcohol you are consuming. Just 4 oz. of red wine has about 100 calories. Imagine if you drink three cups (8 oz each), you will consume 600 calories from wine alone! One glass can be a treat.
I realize that hamentashen are traditional on Purim but that doesn’t mean you have to consume dozens of them. One or two will satisfy the taste buds without contributing too many calories. I suggest consuming them later in the day so you don’t spend the whole day craving them.
Healthier Hamentashen Recipes
Ingredients for filling:
¾ cup pitted prunes
⅓ cup of raisins
½ cup of water
⅓ cup coarsely chopped apple
¼ cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Ingredients for cookie dough:
½ cup Splenda
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
Pinch of salt
- To make the filling, combine prunes, raisins and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the prunes are tender but still firm and liquid has been absorbed (about 10 minutes).
- Combine the prune mixture, apples, walnuts, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- To make the cookies, beat Splenda, applesauce, and coconut oil with an electric mixer on medium speed in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Add eggs and beat until smooth.
- Add vanilla and beat until blended.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in another medium bowl.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture until combined. Gather the dough together into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and flatten slightly. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray.
- Divide the dough into 2 and refrigerate one half. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to about ⅛ inch thickness. Cut into circles using a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter.
- Place teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle and bring 3 sides together to cover the filling. Pinch the 3 corners together to seal.
- Place the cookies 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Makes 18-20 hamentashen, Count each as a snack for Purim.
3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 whipped egg whites
¾ cup zero-calorie sweetener
½ cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Approximately 1 cup sugar-free hamentashen filling (or use ½ cup sugar-free chocolate chips)
- In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with the ¼ cup of sugar and set aside.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a third bowl, beat the coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla extract together.
- Gently fold the egg white mixture into the oil mixture, and then slowly add the flour mixture.
- Combine it all together to form a dough.
- Cover with plastic and let the dough rest for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
- Roll out and form the hamentashen. Fill with one of the filling options, using 1-2 teaspoons of filling per hamentashen.
- Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes or until they look set.
Makes 20 servings. Count each serving as a snack. Enjoy!
What to put in the Mishloach Manos?!
While the mitzvah technically requires 2 readily edible food items, many tend to choose junky options over healthy ones.
Here are some ideas:
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants and dietary fiber. Apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Oranges contain vitamin C, fiber, and potassium all of which are heart-healthy.
Grapefruits contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and more that aid in general health including reducing cholesterol and preventing kidney stones among other benefits.
Avocados are a perfect, healthy fat fruit, loaded with potassium, fiber, and magnesium.
Bananas are a sweet and filling fruit that can have benefits for exercise, blood sugar control, and digestive health.
You can add any zero-calorie drink.
Throw in some hamentashen from the recipe provided in this guide as well.
And to top it off, add one or more of the following:
TAP Cake Pop
TAP Muffin Tops
TAP Potato Kugel
Confetti Light Ice Cream
Grab 1 Bar
Purim Means Lots
You’re most likely going to get some beautiful mishloach manos this year and they will most likely include all sorts of junky foods that you can easily avoid. Remember that these snacks are available all year round.
Here are some things you can do with the foods you want to avoid:
Break open the mishloach manos and create new ones to give out.
Donate the food to your local shelter or shul.
Take them to the next party you attend.
Send them with your kids to school to give out in class- this way they all enjoy a little something and it’s distributed, so it’s not all being eaten by a select few people.
Myth or Fact?
I Have to Eat Hamentashen on Purim
This is a myth! It’s a tradition but not halacha, so you don’t have to feel like you’re not completing the mitzvos of Purim. That being said, if you want to have hamentashen, do so! It’s not like most holidays where you have them throughout the year. Enjoy one this Purim holiday and know that you’ve kept to tradition along with your healthy habits.
1 small hamentashen counts as a treat.
The Purim Temptations
When dieting, we do give up on some things in order to reach our goals but that doesn’t mean we have to nix them from our menu altogether. During Purim, temptations are thrown at us in abundance but that’s not a reason to completely stray.
Instead, collect the items that you feel you really want. That gives you enough time to enjoy a special treat once a week leading up to Pesach when you have to get rid of all that chometz anyway. Just make sure the items you didn’t select are out of sight, so you don’t find yourself in a “fall off the wagon” type dilemma.
And remember… we’re human, we’re allowed to have our vices just make sure you’re in control of them to avoid spiraling.
Have a healthy and happy Purim.
Did you know?! Fruit Juices
Fruit juices can be quite misleading. We think they’re super healthy because they’re made with fruits however, fruit juices aren’t always as healthy as they seem.
Most fruit juices:
- Are high in sugar
- Are high in calories
- Include additives and preservatives
- Lack the fiber you get from the peel and pulp of the fruit
Even 100% natural fruit juice is loaded with natural sugars, and although natural sugars are healthier, they should be consumed in moderation as well.
This Purim, stick to 100% natural juices with no additives and keep it to a minimum. You’ll get way more benefits by drinking a glass of water and eating an actual fruit.
The Candy Alternative
Some of my clients with an extreme sweet tooth, worry about those sweet temptations we encounter on Purim. It’s actually quite simple because all you need is anything sweet.
See, your body craves the sweetness you need but it’s your brain that makes you crave the sweetness you want. I’m not saying NEVER have what you want, but have it in moderation and try to focus on what you NEED… maybe all you really need is some sugar-free candy to satisfy that sweet tooth. By finding alternatives to your cravings, you can enjoy what you love and still stick to a healthy lifestyle.
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