Monday, October 23, 2017

Clients as well as members of our community have been reaching out to me for advice regarding Purim. The abundance of candy, baked goods and nosh that enters our home on this one day can be particularly challenging. And that is before we sit down to a large meal that includes a wealth of food and drinks.

In response, I share with you, my readers, my personal Purim plan, which I formulated last year but served me so well I plan to follow my own advice this year as well.

Before I begin I feel it is imperative to mention that all of you are different. You have different personalities, different strengths and weaknesses and are at different points on your journey to health and wellness.

For some, moderation is key. Eating a few hamentashen and drinking a few glasses of wine on Purim is what allows you to stay on track. You would feel too deprived if you didn’t partake in a few choice chocolates. In developing your personal Purim plan you include a few hamentashen and other once-a-year favorite foods. This is what works for you and that is great!

For others, as soon as the first bite of prune-filled goodness passes their lips, the floodgates open. They are literally thrown back in time to when their unhealthy habits ruled and they binge and gorge on everything they denied themselves in the most recent past. It may be best for these individuals to choose not to have the hamentashen, chocolate or other indulgences.

Which plan is correct? Whichever works for you is best for you. I believe in bio-individuality; we are all different and must take that into account when determining our Purim plan.

The first step then is to figure out who you are, where you are on your journey and what will work for you.

Coach Gila’s Purim Plan: I will begin my day with a large glass of lemon water and then enjoy my coffee (yes, I drink coffee!). I will then eat a nutrient-dense breakfast, most likely an omelet made with spinach, onions and tomatoes.

I will find time in the midst of hearing the megillah, delivering mishloach manot and the general festivities to sit down and eat a real lunch—a lunch that I will prepare and set aside in the refrigerator while I give my children their nutrient-dense breakfast. It will probably be a rainbow bowl of leftover roasted vegetables (butternut squash, purple cabbage and string beans) and leftover protein from Shabbos. Simple and easy.

I will not eat chocolate all day as it comes into the house because I am no longer that person. I will not feel deprived because I will have eaten, will not have low blood sugar and I know my why.

My why and stuffing candy in my mouth all day are not compatible.

I choose my health over short moments of sweetness. I will not use every ounce of self-control and willpower to withstand temptation. I will be calm and at peace because my current relationship with food allows me to be calm and peaceful even while surrounded by my favorite cookies, chips and chocolate.

I will remember to drink water throughout the day.

I am not hosting the seudah this year but I will offer to bring a dish. Perhaps pulled brisket over cauliflower mash with roasted rainbow carrots, something that will enhance my hosts menu and at the same time insure that I have something to eat that will keep me on track.

This is my plan. What is yours? Please take a moment today to stop, think and plan. Visualize your day, plan it out and then make it happen!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Purim!

Coach Gila

By Gila Guzman

Coach Gila C. Guzman, JD CINHC, is the director of Main Asset Health LLC and is certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She maintains a private practice where she works in person, on the phone and via Skype. Sisterhoods, PTAs, corporate events and private wellness parties have enjoyed Coach Gila’s cooking demos and nutrition workshops. She is the nutrition Coach at Grand and Essex as well as Camp Mesorah. Coach Gila teaches nutrition and cooking classes at Ma’ayanot and Yachad. She can be reached at or 917-647-1788.

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