My father’s side of the family is Jewish and growing up I remember celebrating Jewish holidays with my cousins when I came to visit on the weekends. It’s nice to have some sort of tradition when it comes to family. I felt like I got the best of both worlds- I got to celebrate Christmas with my mom and Hanukkah with my father (double the presents!). As I grew up, I started to visit less often- you know how it goes when you’re a teen… the friends are more important than family. Because of that, I lost the feeling of a family tradition. Since I’ve moved back to California a couple months ago, I’ve started to get that feeling of together-ness with family (almost every Friday night, the family gets together at someones house for Shabbat dinner). And it’s kind of cool because my maiden name, Yachdav, means ‘together’ in Hebrew.
Any way, tomorrow is the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover. When celebrating Passover, Jewish people commemorate the biblical story of Exodus, when the Hebrew slaves were released from the Egyptians. In other words, Passover is the celebration of “pesach,” the celebration of freedom. It is honored for seven days and eight nights. When celebrating Passover, you are restricted of any kind of leavened bread; meaning things made from wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt and made with yeast. Instead Jewish people eat a bread called matzah. Matzah is made without yeast and not allowed to rise. The reason they do this is from the story that Hebrew slaves fled Egypt so quickly that their bread didn’t have time to rise. We eat matzah in sort of bringing that part of the biblical story to life.
I haven’t celebrated Passover in years! I’m excited to celebrate it because my husband gets to experience some of my family’s traditions but I’m even more excited to do the fast of no grain products. Now that I’m in this part of my… I guess you can call it, “dietary journey,” I understand that grains are not good for you, especially when not prepared the right way. I know that most traditional types of eating did not include the consumption of any kind of grain products and when they did they were soaked and sprouted before being made into a sort of porridge.
I’ve been wanting to try and eliminate grain products out of my diet because I’ve heard when you do you feel much better and less sluggish. I just have never really pushed myself to do it. Now that Passover is right around the corner, this gives me an excuse to put this into practice and see how much of a difference it can make in how I feel. Maybe I can make it longer than a week? We’ll see, although my son’s birthday is next Sunday and a good friend of mine is making some delicious coconut flour cupcakes for his birthday. Hmmm…. I wonder if that counts?
Even though you may not be Jewish, I challenge you to try this “fasting of the grains” to see how good you feel without it in your diet! Substitute the flour with whole, fresh ingredients. Plus, it’ll be an eye opener of how much we really do consume flour products. Remember that’s everything from your pastas, breads, wheat thins, pancakes…the list goes on. I’ll be writing a post at the end of the eighth night to see if there really was any difference. Good luck!
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul