34 posts categorized "Healthy Eating"

Down With New Year's Resolutions!!

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Awwwwww, yeah. 

Talk about deeee-lish!

All this decadent sundae is missing is that little fire-red cherry on top. You know, I once heard they used crushed red ants to make that fire-red color. Is that true? Because that's disgusting if it is. 

Relax, yo. I know ants aren't kosher. But now I'm wondering why grasshoppers are. Dis. GUSTING!! What makes them kosher? They don't have split hooves, chew their cud, and they don't have fins and scales. And they look Grizzity Gross! Good Lord! You grasshopper-eatin' people are crazy!

Did I just get your appetites in high gear? 

Just yesterday I went to one of my favorite stores in the world, Home Goods. G-d I LOVE that store! I shouldn't be allowed in there. Every time I go, I think I need new pillows, throws, dishes, furniture, sheets, OMG there's nothing in that store I don't salivate over. 

I even bought pasta that was shaped like the Star of David for Chanukah. I'm that pathetic. 

So I was there yesterday and got quite an eye-opening lesson in mind control. In one day, they turned over nearly ALL the merchandise from Xmas themed to summer. Maybe elves did it? 

In the place of all of the yummy holiday themed cookies, cookie mixes, cake mixes, and everything else that I couldn't buy, stood a huge island of super healthy stuff. There were loads of cleanses, green drink mixes, collagen shakes for those who like to eat cow bones, and tons of other healthy looking garbage. 

I admit. I'm very jealous. All of those yummy holiday cookies weren't kosher, and these healthy cow hoof milkshakes aren't kosher, either. I would totally be drinking bone marrow shakes every morning!

Actually, no.

I wouldn't. I'm too lazy.

So my laziness is making me wonder...

What is the meaning of this ridiculous idea of a New Year's resolution? 

We all know we're not going to keep them (if we made any at all!) And why are we putting all of this pressure on ourselves? All of a sudden we're supposed to do some major life overhaul because it's January 1?

You know why this is such a mind control ploy? Because just a day before, the stores were crammed with holiday treats that could make you fat just by looking at them. And now, the stores are drowning in healthy green gook. Slime, even.

We're told what to want, when to want it, and even how much to want. 

Isn't that what advertising is? Uh, huh. 

I've decided to protest this nonsense of mind control and unrealistic pressure by running a campaign for the new year. I'm calling it: "DOWN WITH NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!"

They mean nothing. 

And to symbolize my plight, I'm eating this decadent ice cream sundae just to say "TAKE THAT, NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION!" 

How you like that? Ain't nobody gonna tell ME when to stop eating junk! 

Seriously, my peeps, you don't need to wait until yesterday to decide that you're going to make a new start. 

EVERY DAY is a new start! And guess what! If you fail, you can just start again the next day!

There. Isn't that much less pressure?

And you know I'm going to be hitting the gym like nobody's business tomorrow, right? My stomach is literally making best friends with my thighs. 

G-d I hate holiday season!!! 

And another thing. Don't miss Rav Brody's weekly emuna class TONIGHT! Scroll down for full details. 

~Racheli


The Deadlift

I love the type of exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, giving you more clout for your minute of exercise. The deadlift fits the bill, doing so much for the muscle groups that compose so much of your total muscle mass - hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and lower back. What's more, the deadlift is a fantastic strength builder, body stabilizer and - if done right (otherwise don't do it!), it's therapeutic for bad posture. The deadlift is also a functional fitness exercise, for it's the way you should lift any everyday object like a suitcase or a pair of water jugs, not just barbells and kettlebells.

Today, we'll teach you how to do a deadlift. First, see the deadlift preparation vid, then scroll down to see the deadlift instructional vid. Don't forget to pray a few words before your workout and to thank Hashem after your workout. Go for it!


Food Wars

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Yummmm.... How delicious does that look?

And it took a whole three minutes to put together.

I'm lying in bed, floating between consciousness and my first class kosher cruise, and I'm naturally dreaming about their all-you-can-eat buffets. How many are there in a day? Six? One per hour? Would that make it 12 or 24? Does the midnight buffet count? 

Speaking of midnight buffets, I'm hungry. But I'm too lazy to get out of bed, and it's too late to eat, so I did the next best thing. I found a picture of food to salivate over.

Just look at this gorgeous plate. Delish! 

One of the things that the yetzer (evil inclination) loves to make us think is that we don't have time to prepare healthy food. So we settle for eating junk. 

True, we don't have time. No one has time these days. But that doesn't mean you can't grab a piece of fruit or a vegetable instead of a sugar-loaded granola bar.

Granted, the cucumber isn't as exciting as chocolate chips in "healthy" rolled oats. 

But you know what?

It pays off when you start dropping weight like nobody's business. 

Stay away from processed snacks and you won't believe how quickly you'll start to lose pounds and inches.

And not just pounds and inches! You'll also lose that brain fog that you don't even realize you have right now. You'll lose that after-carb coma that we all get when we eat too much of a good thing.

People! Don't forget. It's just as important to take care of your bodies! Your souls need healthy, clean spiritual food. And your bodies need healthy, clean physical food.

Get organic if you can without going broke. 

There. 

I know it's basic, but we all could use reminders like these to help put us back on track.

Speaking of lucky husbands, I hear Rav Brody is going to speak tonight about how lucky David is to be married to me. Great choice of topic! 

But seriously, if you want to know the truth about soulmate relationships, don't miss his emuna talk tonight! Scroll down for details. 

Have a healthy, low-sugar week!

~Racheli


Veggies Vs. Vitamin Pills: No Competition

No Comparison Vitamins Veggies
Hashem put the most effective nutrients in the foods He created. Big Pharma can't compete with Hashem; if you eat right - naturally, and stay away from processed foods and sugar in any shape or form - then you can save all the money you spend on vitamins. Use it to buy yourself a new pair of walking or running shoes...

I don't believe in the concept of "nutrition in a pill." I do believe that we maintain health by doing Hashem's will, which includes eating as natural as possible as the Rambam teaches us and avoiding dangerous substances, like the many that are found in processed foods.

Here's why healthy food beats vitamin pills and supplements any day of the week:

  1. Greater nutrition - whole foods are complex containing a variety of the nutrients your body needs, in a way your body can best absorb them. Synthetic vitamins lack the micronutrients and phytochemicals that facilitate bio-absorption. For example, a citrus fruit, in addition to Vitamin C, contains beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients that work together in a synergistic effect to keep the body healthy in a way that no Vitamin C pill can do.
  2. No harmful substances - foods that Hashem created are wonderful for the body. Big Pharma vitamins are likely to contain - for profit reasons - harmful additives that do your body more harm than good.
  3. Protective chemicals - the antioxidants and phytochemicals of whole, natural foods protect your body against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. The antioxidants that fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts and dry red wine are full of are substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.
  4. Essential fiber - dietary fiber, as part of a healthy diet, can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also improve digestion. You won't find that in those vitamin pills. Also, the synthetic fibers that food processors add top processed foods are just designed to bulk up their profits, and not to keep you healthy.

What about pregnant women and nursing mothers? Don't they need supplements of iron, calcium and folic acid?

Yes, they need a boatload of iron, calcium and folic acid. That's why I tell them to eat liver, beets, leafy greens like kale and spinach (be sure to check for bugs as Halacha requires), almonds and sardines. And like everyone else, they should stay away from soft drinks and manufactured foods that bleed the body of nutrients.

Eat healthy and put the pill money to better use by buying fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts, natural fish and meats and a fine bottle of red wine for Shabbat. I strongly recommend the Land of Israel variety.

G-d willing, we'll have lots more on healthy eating in the near future. Meanwhile, exercise, eat right and stay healthy!

 


Bye, Bye, Diabetes!

Bye, Bye Diabetes
Rav Brody and I are big on being healthy (except on Shabbat in my case,) and we've decided that our mission together isn't just about helping others heal their souls. It's also about helping others heal their bodies. Let's be honest - what good is a healthy soul without a healthy body? Can you properly express your soul's potential if you're 350+ pounds and full of atherosclerosis, diabetes, and other chronic diseases from the progressively longer list? I think it's safe to say no, you can't. 

In our joint quest to better our own health, we've discovered many things about modern medicine that ain't so pretty. I don't want to get into all of it now, because this post will never end if I do, but the bottom line of our discovery is that the modern medical model does not aim to prevent or cure disease. Doctors are not the ones to go to for dietary advice or lifestyle changes. While they can help with an acute problem, they can do very little to fix a chronic problem. Furthermore, many cannot offer any advice as to where a person can turn to for alternative therapies.

So Rav Brody and I have decided to do what we can to help our readers achieve optimal health, both spiritually and physically. You deserve to know something critical: most, if not all, chronic illnesses are treatable and reversible, with minimal drug intervention, and in many cases, no drug intervention at all.

This statement of fact is not coming from our own mouths. It's coming from the mouths of the top research scientists in the world, a fact that has been known in the elite scientific circles for many years. So this bold statement begs the question: how are chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc., curable? The answer is simple. Chronic diseases such as these and many more are all related to diet. Bad genetics, bad luck, being born under the wrong astrological sign are all excuses created to distract us from the truth. If you would like to know more about the connection between diet and health, read the first on my series of articles, The Protein-Cancer Connection. 

So let's talk about diabetes. I'll try to keep this as short as possible, and if you're interested, send me a comment and I'll forward you more info. Basically, Type II Diabetes people have a hard time handling all of the sugar in their blood, so their bodies respond by producing large amounts of insulin in an attempt to lower their blood sugar. When the body can't lower its blood sugar levels with the insulin that it produces, they are then required to inject even more insulin in order to keep the blood sugar levels from shooting up too high. This creates a vicious cycle that seems inescapable.

But, there is a way out! It's a combination of intermittent fasting, exercise, and eating healthy. You see, your body runs on two energy sources: sugar or fat. It can't run on both of them at the same time, however. Every time you eat, you signal your pancreas to release insulin. Furthermore, it takes about 12 hours of not eating for your body to switch from burning sugar as its fuel source to burning fat. 

These two factors combined keep you not only in a constant state of releasing insulin, but they also make it nearly impossible for your body to reach your fat stores and use them up. In other words, if you are constantly eating, especially starchy, sugary foods, you will never lose weight and you will never get yourself out of the deadly diabetic downward spiral. 

You can jump start yourself out of this illness with intermittent fasting! Here's what you do: after your dinner, don't eat. If you're still hungry, drink unsweetened herbal tea or water. Hunger comes and goes in waves; if you can stick through it, it will pass. When you wake up in the morning, do your best not to eat! Drink a coffee or tea with stevia, NOT sugar.

Try to make it until 10am without eating. If you're feeling super hungry like you're going to faint, here are some suggestions: a handful of macadamia nuts, walnuts, any nut with a high fat content, or an avocado. You can also take a 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in a little bit of warm water. These healthy, high-fat foods will fill you up and give you a boost of energy. The point is not to eat anything with a high sugar content that will spike your blood sugar. Whenever you break your fast and/or eat, make sure it's foods that either keep your blood sugars relatively stable or do not spike your blood sugar. This means no junk foods, starchy foods, sodas, and sugary snacks. Also, please don't substitute diet drinks and snacks. While they may not spike your blood sugar, they are certainly extremely unhealthy and won't benefit your body in any way.

Fasting makes your body go into ketosis, which means it is burning up the stored glycogen in the liver, and it's now burning up all of those fat stores for energy.

If you do this every day and exercise a few MORNINGS a week, you are well on your way to curing diabetes! 

Now let's talk about eating. Here's something you need to keep in mind: the more sugar and starch in your food, the higher it will raise your blood sugar. So the key is that when you do eat, make most of your meal whole plant proteins from vegetables and fruits, and absolutely stay away from processed carbs and sugary drinks. If you really feel that you must have animal protein, keep it to lean meat and keep your portions below 10% of your entire meal. The bulk of your food should come from fruits and vegetables. 

We're actually giving you a 2-for-1 deal, here. You're not only going to cure your diabetes, but you're going to lose tons of weight doing it!

And by the way, I'm actually doing what I wrote here. Thank G-d I don't have diabetes, but I do fast every day until around noon. The secret is the coconut oil and the exercise. I have a coffee and a side of warm water/coconut oil about an hour before I exercise. The coconut oil and the exercise keep me from being hungry, and that gives me another few precious hours of ketosis. 

Please keep in touch and let us know how you're doing!

~Racheli


Sugar: The World's Most Powerful Drug

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Hey All! How was your month of holidays and too much food? I almost never want to see food again. At least not until lunchtime.

So let's talk about sugar, because most of us had waaayyyy too much of it this past month.

Now I know what you're thinking. Sugar isn't a drug. It's a processed food.

Well. Guess what.

It is a drug! And a very addictive one at that.

What Sugar Does To Your Brain

-Just like a street drug, sugar attacks and overwhelms the reward center of your brain, creating an insatiable craving for more.

-Sugar weakens your brain's cognitive function, leading you to lose self-control and buy too many pairs of shoes... or overeat. Or both. 

Isn't it true? You can't have just one slice bite of cake, or one scoop of ice cream. Maybe you could, but you know that your brain will be screaming for more. You know, deep down in that bottomless stomach of yours, that one smidgen of anything sugary is not enough to satisfy you.

-Sugary foods activate a higher glucose response than non-sugary foods, which also leads to... more intense hunger! It's not just, "The more you eat the more you want." It's, "The more you eat, the more you need!"

Crazy stuff.

-This higher glucose response is also strikingly similar to a drug response, because it creates an increasing level of tolerance. Meaning, the more you have, the more you'll need to get that same high.

And yes. Your brain is high when you eat sugar.

-I don't have to go into all that hyperactivity stuff, right? Everyone knows sugar makes you crazy hyper.

And then, after the high has worn off?

-You suffer from a looowwwww...... A real mental and emotional crash.

But don't worry! Another hit will fix that right up!

-Overdosing on the white poison has actually been linked to depression because of the ever-increasing dependency on the artificially caused Dopamine high.

-Over time, sugar actually causes your brain to shrink, which reduces mental capacity and cognitive function. Did I mention that already?

What Sugar Does To Your Body

-Aside from making you fat on the outside, did you know that sugar makes your organs fat, too?

Yup. That slimy fluff is lining your heart, your liver, pancreas, intestines, even your kidneys. 

-Sugar causes an inflammatory response, which can lead to all sorts of pains, even rheumatoid arthritis. It's even being linked to Alzheimer's. Turns out amyloid plaques aren't the real cause of Alzheimer's. 

-Too much sugar makes your insulin go wild, and leads to insulin resistance, which is chronically raised insulin. Insulin resistance leads to Type II Diabetes pretty quickly.

-Most people don't connect too much sugar with heart disease, but in fact there is a huge connection. Sugar causes the artery walls to grow faster than normal, in other words to thicken past what's healthy. That leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, and G-d forbid a heart attack.

Instead of processed garbage, you're better off eating a piece of fruit for your sugar fix. Granted it's not as exciting, but your body won't complain. I promise.

Most of this info I got from webMD, one of my least favorite websites. But I thought I'd humor you people out there who only believe in mainstream medical info. 

Remember, it's a mitzvah to guard your health. What will you say to the Heavenly Court when they accuse you of suicide, because you ate garbage and caused an untimely death due to "natural causes"? This is no joke, people.

Over the next month, take it seriously easy on the sugar. Your body needs you. So does your family. And your friends. I assume. Unless they pretend to be your friends, but really hate your guts.

Have a delicious week!

~Racheli 


Beware: The Expanding Succoth Waistline

DB Succoth

Succoth begins tonight, Sunday, 23 September, 2018 at sundown. This post, if you follow it, will aid your health and save you from needless holiday weight-gain.

Parenthetically, I don't believe in dieting of any kind - most diets are unhealthy fads that lead to short-term weight loss and long-term frustration, metabolic and/or nutritional imbalance, ailments of all kinds and weight gain. The extremes of Paleo and Primal that tell you to eat all the meat and fat you want but stay away from carbs to total vegan that tells you that an egg, sardine or chicken breast will kill you are not in accordance with Torah and the Rambam's timeless advice on nutrition. But, let's save that discussion for another time. Meanwhile, the best advice is what I call "Ivri", eating just the way our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did. That means eating foods as close to the way Hashem created them, with no interference from food manufacturers and genetic modifiers. With that said, let's talk about Succoth...

In Judaism, Succoth is the annual "joy harvest", where we gather happiness for an entire year. The problem is that with multiple daily festive meals, visiting friends and relatives in their Succas and partying all week long, most people gather pounds in addition to the joy. And, the excess weight eats away at the joy…

But like Rebbe Nachman tells us, there's no despair in the world. Today's Beams might save you from adding two inches to your waistline this Succot. None of us want to go the route of gaining needless weight, so let's do a little holiday-eve preparation with this food for thought:

The perenniel post-holiday problem of many Jewish people is the added calories, pounds, flab, and cholesterol of a week of eating and rejoicing in the Succa. As the Beams is committed to the health of body, mind, and soul, we've composed a few guidelines to combat the expanding Succoth waistline.

Beware of empty calories: empty calories come from nutrient-scant foods, especially manufactured products, fast food and junk food. Stick to what I call nutrient-dense foods, where you get the most nutrients from each calorie consumed. Here, the winners are fresh vegetables, fresh foods and naturally dried (not roasted or salted) seeds and nuts. Nutrient-scant foods (cakes, pastries, sweets, soft drinks and liquor) are outright dangerous to the body.

Beware of the cakes: Many people want to make a blessing on the Succa every time they enter it. But, one really shouldn't make a blessing unless he eats something. For that reason, many folks eat cake ("mezonos", at a minimum amount of a little over and ounce) so they can say the "Leshev B'Succa" blessing, the blessing to sit in the Succa. If a person eats 2 ounces of cake 3 times a day, that adds another 840 calories to his daily intake. The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a says that one should make a "Leshev B'Succa" blessing only when eating a proper meal that includes washing your hands and breaking bread. So, don't eat cake for the purpose of making a blessing to sit in the Succa. If a person eats 3 average-sized portions of cake a day for the 9 (outside of Israel, 8 in Israel) days of the Succoth/Simchat Torah holiday, he'll gain more than two pounds. We suggest eating sliced fresh carrots or sliced green apples instead of the cake.

Beware of the liquor: Many people make a "Lechayim" every time they visit the Succa of a friend and relative. In Israel, quite a few people that barely touch alcoholic beverages all year long keep them on hand to serve guests, and end up toasting glass-per-glass with the guest. A one-ounce shot of vodka or 86-proof Whiskey is 70 calories, while an ounce of a 72-proof liqueur such as Kahlua or Banana Liqueur is a hefty 117 calories. 3 "Lechayims" a day is enough to pick up another half pound during the week of the holiday. Adding that to the cakes (see above), you've already gained 2.5 pounds during Succoth. Putting the weight on is so much easier than taking it off.

Beware of sweet beverages: Succoth is a time when parents allow the Pepsi and the Coke to flow freely all week long. Now hear this - an 8-ounce glass of Coke Classic is a whopping 97 calories, just as caloric as the equivalent amount of beer or of a slice and a half of bread. A person that drinks 6 glasses of cola a day will gain almost a pound on Succoth, plus wreck his teeth in the process. We suggest that you reach for the mineral water, sparkling water, or herb tea instead, for they have zero caloric value.

Beware of snacks: People like to munch in the Succa. We all know that you can't eat one Frito or potato chip - therefore, those plastic bags empty fast. One ounce of fritos, potato chips, or our Bamba and Bisli add another 160 calories to your calorie-aglore score. If a person drinks two glasses of cola and consumes two ounces of snack foods a day, he'll gain over a pound during Succoth. Again, fresh carrot and cucumber sticks are a virtually non-cloric and healthy replacement for the junky snack foods. And, if you want something sweet, try Madjool dates or dark chocolate that's 85% cocoa or more, but limit yourself to 2 dates or 2 chocolate squares a day.

So, with the cakes, the l'chayims, the cokes and the snacks alone - without the heavy meals that include kugel and fat meats, you've already gained close to 5 pounds. And, if you drink diet beverages and use artificial sweeteners, you might not gain the weight but you'll be likely to suffer from headaches and anxiety.

True, tradition is important; that is, as long as it doesn't ruin your health. Here at the Brody homestead, whole-grained rice, buckwheat groats and quinoa have replaced fried farfel and oil-dripping kugel. We don't fry, but broil and bake. We eat loads of veggies and fresh fruit, and drink local mineral water. Fish and lean poultry have replaced the lamb and veal, and we eat beef sparingly. Dessert is homemade applesauce, fresh cantaloupe cubes, a square of 85% (minimum) chocolate or an almond-stuffed fresh date. Our bread is home-baked and whole-grain, preferably spelt with minimal or no yeast. We want to control what enters our bodies; the manufacturers care about making money, not about our health. That's why we don't buy their products. Our bodies weren't designed to digest the myriad of chemical additives and preservatives that they force-feed us.

The Rambam gives an important reminder - don't eat until you're full. The stomach resembles a washing machine - if you overload it, it can't do the laundry. By the same token, an overloaded stomach can't digest, resulting in indigestion, another common Succoth ailment.

A great way to combat the the expanding Succoth waistline is to walk for an hour a day. Better yet, while you're walking, talk to Hashem in personal prayer. That way, your body gets its exercise and your soul gets its nourishment, that is none other than connecting with Hashem. What could be better? Breslev Israel and the Beams wish you a happy and healthy Succoth with no indigestion and no expanding waistline, amen.