Rosh Hashanah

Every year an important holiday “Rosh Hashanah” occurs for everyone who associates with being Jewish. Being Jewish and celebrating the high holidays is always a challenge. Traditional celebrations include a Challah (a round loaf of bread), dipping apples in honey and traditional dishes such as kugel which is a noodle dish. I always struggle with the holidays. I accept that I am exempted from any dietary requirement because I have diabetes, but I always question to what length should I go to adhere to things that are “possible.” How do others deal with this? In honor of Rosh Hashanah I present my meal:

Brisket (ala my wife) (I want you to know I usually cook almost all our meals)
Fingerling potatoes (Ok, yeah I just had one)
Green bean salad

And I had a small piece of challah. An end piece.


I am not Jewish but I do highly value social and other holiday eating and have found afrezza to be invaluable when social pressures convince me to throw caution to the wind.

I actually attended a wedding that my endo was at recently with buffet style banquet food. We sat together at the reception and I showed him what I was doing with afrezza. After the event I texted him my blood sugar readings. He was absolutely amazed to see me eat like a free man and have no impact on my blood sugar. Even if someone doesn’t want to use it every day it’s phenomenal for when you want to fit in.

In that situation, I could not have managed anything close to that with injecting Novolog, and he and I both knew it.


I feel that Rosh Hashanah and other food-centered Jewish holidays (what Jewish holiday isn’t centered around food?!?) are extra-special times to get together with family and friends. As someone who cares for a child with D, my approach has been to view the holidays as special occasions on which my daughter is given a “free pass” to enjoy as much carb-overloaded goodness as she wants guilt-free. I take over all the swag-ing and math and prebolusing and temp bolusing and correcting, etc. to the best of my ability, knowing that I will likely spend most of the night rage-bolusing in order to get her back in range.

If I were the family PWD, however, I believe I’d attempt an approach similar to yours, Brian. I suspect I wouldn’t even come close to being as successful as you, however. I doubt I’d be able to stop after only one small piece of challah.

Chag sameach!


I am struggling with this one too. Before my son was diagnosed in March, I made challah every Friday night but since then I have only made it a couple of times. I’m debating whether it’s worth the trouble this time…the kids LOVE it and we hardly do anything Jewish so this would be special…but of course it’s just such a huge carb-load and I worry that the potential horrible spike will ruin the holiday. Definitely NOT making kugel, though we will probably do the apples and honey, because I’m not so worried about how those foods will affect him.
In general I feel like I’m just now recovering from a kind of death-blow to my enjoyment of cooking that happened with my son’s diagnosis. Seeing some of his most beloved meals act like poison in his body really killed the urge to cook anything beyond kiddie-style subsistence food – steamed broccoli, plain yogurt, oatmeal, baked omelet, chicken strips – and only now am I beginning to think about cooking from recipes again.


I just have to tell you that I totally cracked up when I read this!! :smiley_cat:


Jewish holidays are challenging for me especially since I tend to eat very low carb to maintain a very tight control.

I usually find things to eat during those holiday meals. I will skip the bread and carby sides such as starchy vegetables, rice or any noodle dish in favor of simple veggies, salads and greens, then protein like fish, beef and chicken. If my mother is in charge of the cooking, she will usually accommodate and make sure that I have plenty of delicious options within my limitations.

However, being so strict with my diet does usually mean that I can’t really eat much of the traditional food such as Challah, Kugel, Matzos or matzo ball soup (for Passover) honey cake and honey dipped apples (for Rosh Hashanah) and so on. Also dealing with some family members who over criticize my ways of eating and examine every item on my plate and even get quite confrontational at times (“you’re so extreme! what do you have left to eat?!”) can be hard at times. I feel like it must be a cultural thing as it only happens to me when I visit my family in Israel and not so much in the States where people have better filters and are more polite.

I totally get people who take a “free pass” during the holidays. For me however I feel like it’s easier to be strict all the time, just wish some people in my family would mind their own business, hehe. :grin:


You could regard the extra insulin you take on Rosh Hashanah as a sort of SUPERBOLUS to be paid back on Yom Kippur!

Anyway, if you put enough chicken fat and chopped liver on the Challah it should significantly slow down the absorption of the carbs…



Chicken fat and chopped liver on challah?!?!? Are you Jewish?

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hmm…pretty sure it will entirely eliminate the absorption of the carbs as there’s no way my kids would eat it then, haha!:wink:

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There are two ways to interpret your question. (a) a straight enquiry; (b) a Sherlock-Holmesian deduction that anyone that was really Jewish wouldn’t put chicken fat and chopped liver on Challah.

In response to (a) - Yes. In response to (b) - I know, but never let the facts stand in the way of a good one-liner!

Looking at it another way…

The Challah should have salt sprinkled on it. Follow that with chopped liver and chicken fat and you have delivered a triple whammy to Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol.


BTW, is Challah sweet in the USA? It is typically savoury as baked by traditional Jewish bakeries in the UK (so you could put chicken fat and chopped liver on it), but it may be a bit different on the other side of the pond. Traditional bagels (another BG-killer) are very different over here than in the USA. Of course if you go into any supermarket there are now American-style bagels, but the ones from a proper Jewish bakery are much denser and chewier.


I, personally, don’t care for sweet challah. I only use about an eighth of the sugar called for in the recipe (which isn’t much to start with). And I go overboard sprinkling on both poppy seeds and sesame seeds.

You couldn’t pay me enough to eat chopped liver, either on or off challah! I don’t do organ meats. Yuk!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

As far as American-style (supermarket) bagels: There should be a law…

I’ll have your chopped liver as well as all your whitefish and kishka.

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Brian, it’s yours!!!:slightly_smiling_face:

Except for the one piece of gefilta fish I eat yearly at Pesach, smothered in chrein.

You can have my gefilte fish (AFAIAK it’s boggin’)… I’ll swap you for the chopped liver. As for organ meats, you wouldn’t do well in France…Duck pate, fois gras, the list is endless.

“Boggin’”. I think I’m liking that -ism. What does it mean?

And BTW, “chuffed” sounds to me like it should be a bad thing instead of a good thing, but I’ll learn.

Especially love “wonky”. I use it so much that it’s begun to feel American.

Other favorites:
“And Bob’s your uncle” (Bob was actually my father and husband [two different people, I swear!])
I loved beans on toast before I went LCHF…
And don’t even get me started on fish 'n chips: :heart:

Good Scottish dialect word meaning horrible, disgusting etc. See also Mingin’ which means the same, and boakin’ from the verb to boak (to vomit).

Chuffed is more North of England. Often used with a qualifier, as in “Ah were dead chuffed”.

Bob may have been your Uncle, but was Fanny your Aunt?

I don’t actually find Fish and Chips a big problem. The carbs are pretty obvious (no hidden carbs), and the portion sizes don’t vary that much from Chippy to Chippy. I personally find bolusing for 110 grams of carbs (50% upfront and the rest over 2 hours) works really well. I often find that my CGM trace will sit between 4 and 7-ish for the next 5 hours, which is a lot better than I would expect from many healthier (and lower carb) options.

It’s post-holiday, but I’ll add my two shekels to the conversation. I sort of “split the difference” between taking a “pass” for the holidays (and Sabbath, for that matter) and keeping my diabetes under control. I actually did better than I expected over Rosh Hashanah, with a peak spike of 165 between both days.

For my meals, I use a lower-carb wine (a Cabernet Sauvignon) for kiddush. I do have a fairly good-size portion of challah, but prefer a water challah to the sweeter ones, anyway, so it’s fairly manageable. And yes, I do put honey on the challah. Did have apple & honey, as well as a pieced of pomegranate and
Started some of the meals with fish, some with soup (which, this year was butter nut squash soup). Main course was either chicken or roast, with several choices of kugels (cranberry-apple, carrot, or spaghetti squash - I took the spaghetti squash), some broccoli, some beans, mini hot-dogs (some meals), mashed potatoes (I skipped). Dessert was honey cake, which I felt no need to take.

So, while the meals were fairly front-loaded with carbs, Ihad very few carbs beyond the beginning of the meals. My pre-bolus+extended bolus covered the meals fairly well, with no more than a 2U correction needed - and then only after the first of the meals. Certainly more than double my usual daily carbs; however, I feel that I did fairly well managing it, and, as a bonus, I had a net weight change of zero after the holiday :slight_smile:

A peak spike of 165! A very good New Year’s celebration, indeed! Excellent job, Thas!!!

I eat low carb and I still ended up at like 250 mg/dl with only a small bit of kugel, a little bit of challah and one little fingerling potato. Of course I did have some herring for an after dinner snack.

Don’t blame yourself, Brian. You can do everything “right” and D still won’t play fair. And I truly believe that different PWD have different severities of D. I would consider your outcome just as much of a success as Thas’s!