How A Career Dieter Keeps His Healthy Regime During The Holidays
With Passover coming up, it's likely we'll all face some tough health decisions—and powerful temptation during meals. How can we survive nine nights with our diets and lifestyles intact, when the long-standing tradition is to overindulge?
As the first member of Angel of Health, (you can join too) I've found a way that sticks. Of course, everyone is different—but when armed with the right information, you can overcome temptation and make any family event both healthy and enjoyable.
A common misconception is that only two factors contribute to your health: diet and exercise. Yes, what you eat matters, as well as when and how much. The frequency and intensity of your workouts also impact health levels. However, there are many other aspects of your lifestyle that directly and indirectly shape your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
It's important to remember that your health depends on both internal and external factors. While diet, exercise, and commitment play large roles in weight loss and lifestyle transformation programs, your environment also has an enormous influence on your health: including how you look, how you feel, and how you maintain your body's ability to recover and remain strong.
For example, poor sleeping habits cause stress to develop and often snowball into bigger health problems. Lack of sleep may even set a vicious cycle in motion—in which your sleeplessness creates stress that prevents you from sleeping, which creates more stress. A cluttered office can also produce unnecessary anxiety, which carries over into your personal life and affects your ability to stay mentally and physically healthy. By focusing energy on environmental stress. you distract the internal mechanism that promotes natural healing and opens yourself up to illness. In fact. I've been tense lately because of office clutter. and I'm battling a cold while writing this!
Another external factor is the media you consume. Studies suggest that people who consume less news tend to be happier—because there are so many negative stories out there. This idea also applies to the people you surround yourself with, so try to assemble a close group of friends who have a positive impact on your health and happiness.
Health Is All-Inclusive
I take a holistic approach to wellness—for myself, my family, and everyone I work with who becomes an Angel of Health member.
Personally. I begin every day—after a healthy night's rest and a morning workout—with two ounces of wheatgrass juice, which gives me the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients of nearly seven pounds of greens. I am very conscious of what I consume because the digestive system is the body's engine, and it runs smoother with quality fuel.
To achieve optimal health, you have to know how your stomach works. Understanding how your digestive system handles certain foods is the first step to feeling better and avoiding discomfort, bloating, gas, etc. Sure, chocolate babka tastes amazing—but is it really worth the way you feel afterward?
By planning meals in advance, I establish a structure for my eating habits. In fact, one of Angels of Health's most exciting services is meal planning—through which we tailor recipes to your wellness program, and even prepare them for you if you choose.
Clean eating works for me because I combine it with daily exercise. I practice yoga six and a half days a week, touching on all the major pillars of fitness: cardio, strength. balance, and flexibility. With different poses and movements geared toward each pillar. I'm able to improve my endurance, muscle, and stability. It feels amazing to feel light on your feet and so very agile—and to know that it demonstrates every pillar! This was something that took me years to work up to, but now, it's a daily practice.
To account for the external factors that impact my health, I practice mindfulness—which keeps my thoughts in tune with my body and spirit. This type of self-awareness can be achieved through meditation, yoga, or other methods, usually with a goal of reaching an extremely relaxed state.
I Came, I Saw, I Conquered Passover
After Passover, people often blame the weight they gain on the poor matzah—and I'm guilty of this, too! But I realized. I was also eating a bunch of cake. mixing all of these foods together. and drinking wine on top of it.
Others may point fingers at the first night of the holiday. Seder begins very late, and you haven't eaten all day. When I was younger, In my home, support and understanding are key (and comments under my breath). I recall having my eyes on the shank bone, I was ready to attack the shank!
My Passover meals are very pleasurable today. Sure, by the time the festive meal begins I'm starving, but there's no need to stick my fork in someone's hand to fill my plate. I know I'm going to be confronted with food all night, and I always start out with a plan: Get my greens and other nutritious foods, and then a little piece of something that makes me happy. (Yes, there's room for indulgence in healthy living.)
I try not to combine too many different foods, and I avoid dessert like the 10 plagues—because I understand my body and digestive system. Simple sugars aren't worth the aftermath—the havoc they wreak on my body, but that doesn't mean I interfere when others want to savor their macaroons.
Of course, I would like for everyone to eat healthily. However, my family can choose for themselves whether they want to eat seven layer cake and macaroons or opt for a healthier alternative. The best I can do is to give them valuable insight and encourage them to make the healthiest decisions possible as well as hound them until they listen!
My family is following my lead, while my wife is soon to pass me and become the leader!
Taking Control of Your Health
The truth is, you have to be committed if you want to transform your life. Your body won't give you a "pass" because it's Passover. For tangible results, at times, a strict lifestyle is crucial: from diet and exercise to sleep and mindfulness. Drastic change doesn't come from the same old habits.
It's also important never to underestimate the value of community. For anyone embarking on a transformative lifestyle journey, it is a good idea to tackle the challenge with a partner for constant support and encouragement.
At Angels of Health, we provide both—along with tailored. intuitive healing services that incorporate yoga, Reiki. and much, much, more. Please inquire about our programs to help reset your digestive system and jump-start or continue your health transformation.
Are you interested in finding healthy alternatives for your favorite Passover foods? Following are two items my family has worked into the holiday rotation.
Healthy Passover meal suggestions
Spicy Green Zucchini Sticks
Ingredients • 5 small zucchini • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 2 teaspoons kosher salt • 1 teaspoon onion powder • 1 teaspoon garlic powder • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric • 1/2 teaspoon cumin • '/2 teaspoon paprika • A pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 4-6 wedges to create sticks. Toss the zucchini sticks with the oil and spices until evenly coated. Place a layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
Avocado Chickpea Appetizer
Ingredients • 1-15oz can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained • 'A teaspoon salt • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil • 1 cup corn kernels • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard • 3 avocados, cut in half • 1 lemon • Salt to taste (optional) • Sriracha to taste (optional)
Mix chickpeas, salt, cucumbers, cilantro, lemon juice and olive oil in the food processor until well combined. Put into a bowl, add corn and mustard and mix well. Remove the pit from the avocado halves, squeeze lemon on each one and sprinkle some salt. Fill each avocado half with about 3 tablespoons.
Norman Balassiao's company Angels of Debt helps people resolve the massive business debt. Angels al Health will try to accomplish the same with weight and stress control.