Candles burning, kids playing dreidle, family get-togethers, and of course, hot crispy latkes. There may be jelly donuts everywhere you turn, but the 5 tips below will help you eat healthy this Chanukah.

Make a healthier version of your favourite latkes
Yes, latkes, fried in oil are mouth-watering delicious, but have you tried oven baked latkes? They are also super delicious and you aren’t consuming copious amounts of oil. Not only that, there’s much less of a mess to clean up!

Enjoy healthy latke toppings
In my house growing up, we sprinkled sugar on our latkes. There are many reasons to stay away from processed sugar – it is full of empty calories with no nutrition, it’s pro-inflammatory, causes tooth decay, and promotes disease. Choose unsweetened apple sauce instead for something sweet, or go for a savoury topping like water sautéed caramelized onions.

Load up on veggies, and salads
Focus on the vegetable dishes, and salads at this year’s parties. Choose the fruit platter instead of jelly donuts for dessert. You will enjoy yourself more knowing that you nurtured your well-being.

It’s an eight-night holiday so pace yourself
Have a plan. If you know that you have 3 Chanukah parties, then plan accordingly, by pacing yourself. Try one latke at each party instead of one plate of latkes at each party. And if you overdo it, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is new day with a brand new opportunity to get back on track.

Offer to make something
None of us plan to fail, but rather we often fail to plan. If we are invited out to a party and are doubtful there will be the kinds of foods we want to eat, then offer to make something. You will be helping your host by reducing her workload, and you are ensuring that you will have something you will be happy to eat and enjoy. It’s a win-win.

Recipes for oven-baked latkes and water sautéed caramelized onions can be found at my website, freedomwellness.ca.

This article was printed in the November 2017 edition of the Jewish Local in Toronto.

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