The Passover season is upon us and this eight day Hebrew festival requires a lot of preparation as you cook for the elaborate Seder meal for your family and friends. While most holidays are centered on food, Passover gives a whole new meaning to holiday eating. Though it may seem impossible to make healthy food choices during the holiday week, mindfulness is key to not letting the festivities hinder your weight loss efforts.

Here are 10 tips to keep you mindful for this year’s Passover:

1. Keep nutritional balance in mind when planning your dinner plate for the Seder. Fill half your plate with vegetables and split the other half between lean protein and your favorite matzoh kugel or farfel.

2. Avoid tasting while you are cooking. Using recipes helps to cut down on the need to taste the dish to see if the seasoning is right.

3. Practice mindful eating at the Seder and all the holiday meals. Sit down and slowly eat each bite, savoring the taste of the food you are eating. This will help keep you satisfied and allow you to tune into your satiety signals.

4. Plan ahead to have high fiber food choices to replace the bread that is not permitted during Passover. Try whole wheat matzoh instead of white floured matzoh and include quinoa and sweet potatoes (with the skin for a fiber boost) as healthy side dish options.

5. When spending time with your family and friends, you might feel pressure to overindulge in favorite holiday foods, especially if it was made special for you. Stay strong and committed to honoring your satiety signals by saying “no thank you, I’ve had enough” instead of overeating!

6. Drink water throughout the day. It will help aid in digestion and will lower the chances of constipation caused by the matzoh you are eating for eight days.

7. It is not only important to eat mindfully during Passover, but it is also important to cook mindfully! Use low fat and light versions of your favorite sauces, dressings, condiments and dairy products for an easy way to cut fat and calories. For example, use light mayonnaise instead of full fat mayonnaise and replace sour cream with nonfat Greek yogurt in your traditional recipes.

8. Use herbs and spices in cooking to flavor food rather than adding salt in order to lower your total sodium intake.

9. Many people fall victim to the common holiday misconception that it’s best to eat as little as you can throughout the day to “save” your calories for the big meal. In fact, this is the worst thing you can do before any holiday meal. Starving yourself during the day will only make you eat more food at a faster pace at dinner time. Depriving yourself all day will also slow down your metabolism. Instead, eat a well-balanced breakfast and a wholesome lunch to break this cycle of thinking.

10. Mind your beverages! Yes, wine is part of the Seder ritual and although it does have health benefits, the calories can add up quickly. Keep to the required 4 cups and only drink the amount required of each cup.

Enjoy the holiday and relax! Stay physically active during Passover by continuing your exercise regimen to help you maintain your weight and keep your energy levels up. Remove the guilt from eating the foods you love, even if they are not the healthiest option. It’s perfectly okay to celebrate as long as you stay mindful!

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie R. Giller is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of "Passover the Healthy Way: Light, Tasty and Easy Recipes Your Whole Family Will Enjoy". This cookbook has received rave reviews for helping those interested in their health enjoy traditional Passover recipes with a healthy twist.

Get your copy of Passover the Healthy Way at

For Passover cooking tips and mindful eating strategies during Passover, visit