How To Survive The Holidays

Be prepared; don’t be anxious about celebrating and overeating at the same time. Keep your perspective if you overeat. Life happens and it is most important to bounce back the next day. Typical holiday survival tips are as follows:

Plan in advance, offer to bring a healthy side dish to a party

Don’t arrive at a party hungry

Eat slowly; really try to enjoy the food

Use a small plate, fill your plate first with protein and veggies, and then enjoy tastes of higher calorie foods

Avoid regular foods: chips, crackers, appetizers and hor d’oeuvres

Drink non-caloric beverages

Limit alcohol to 1-2 servings; choose lower calorie options without added sugar

Now these survival tips may be very helpful for most parties but Chanukah is a different story. Let’s examine the typical foods we prepare for each Jewish holiday. Every holiday comes with its own traditions and many delicious foods that are family favorites however Chanukah tops those traditions with very high calorie fried foods. Celebrating the miracle of Chanukah that a 1 day supply of oil lasted for 8 days leaves us with 8 days of eating high calorie, high carbohydrate, and high fat foods cooked in oil. After a few days most people feel that they have had enough. But just think there can be ways to enjoy this holiday and the celebration of oil in a healthier way.

Avoid deep frying

Add fiber to your latkes (chopped carrots, parsnips and zucchini are all great)

Substitute herbs for salt

Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream

Bake the jelly donuts

I am going to provide you with some guidelines and two lower calorie alternatives to satisfy the mitzvah of eating traditional foods but with less carbohydrates and fats added to the waistline.

Baked Jelly Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 c warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup butter or parve alternative
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt

Toppings

  • Melted butter, cinnamon mixed with sugar or powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place almond milk and butter in a small pan and cook until butter is melted, cool slightly until it is lukewarm
  3. Add 1 tsp sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water and cover with a parchment or clean dish towel until mixture rises in size
  4. In a stand mixer on low speed mix eggs, spices and 1/4 cup of sugar
  5. Add the yeast mixture
  6. Add the milk mixture
  7. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until it forms a smooth dough, cover and put in a warm place until it doubles in volume ~ 1 hour
  8. Grease a muffin tin
  9. Put flour in a work are and roll small portions of the dough in flour and then into round ping pong sized balls
  10. Place each ball in a muffin tin until it is filled, cover and put in warm place until rises ~ 1/2 hour
  11. Bake until golden in color
  12. Take out of pan and while hot, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar

Cauliflower Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced herbs (parsley, thyme, sage)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. oil for cooking

Directions:

  1. Rice the head of cauliflower in food processor (or buy pre riced bag)
  2. Microwave the cauliflower in a covered microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes
  3. Drain any moisture from the cooked cauliflower
  4. Put oil in a nonstick skillet and saut onion over low heat until golden in color, ~20 minutes
  5. Add cooked onion to cooked cauliflower, set aside to cool
  6. Mix in breadcrumbs, herbs, egg, pinch of pepper and salt
  7. Spray nonstick pan with cooking spray
  8. Form into patties and pan fry each side of pattie until golden in color
  9. Serve with applesauce or Greek yogurt

Jamie Feit, MS, RD received her bachelor of business administration degree from The George Washington University and her Master of Science degree from New York University. Jamie completed her dietetic internship in affiliation with Mount Sinai Medical Center.  Before starting Jamie Feit Nutrition, LLC Jamie was a wellness educator for 1199 Union Benefits program, an independent nutrition consultant, and held various positions at Mount Sinai Medical Center; including nutrition supervisor of the diabetes center research coordinator ands clinical nutritionist in the Division of Endocrinology.  Jamie provided per diem coverage at Blythedale Children’s Hospital as well as at Westmed medical group in the healthy measures weight department. Jamie is also a pampered chef consultant because she loves to cook, entertain and serve healthy kosher food. She uses pampered chef products to teach families how to make nutritious healthy food quickly.

By Jamie Feit


 Jamie can be reached at 914-603-7667 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.