The Health Nudnik

Yesterday, I tried to make an awesome tehina bread from a recipe that Rav Brody's wife gave me. I tried a slice of hers, and it was light, spongy, and very filling. The great part about this bread is that there's no flour; just eggs, tehina, and a few other ingredients. I decided that since I would be making it, I might as well double the recipe because I am a big eater, and maybe someone else in the family might want some. But really I made it for myself.

Here's the before pic. I added some pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts on top.

IMG_20170123_165402397

I think the green ones are pumpkin seeds, right? Since I doubled the recipe, I had first put the batter into two separate tins, but the amount of batter was so low in each tin, that I decided to combine it all into one tin.

Not a very good idea.

IMG_20170123_172234922

What a disaster! The top was browning so fast on the right end, that I decided to cut that piece off. But when I cut into it, the inside was still completely liquid, so it poured out into the empty space in the tin. Then, the top was bubbling out tehina from the middle of the bread, and spreading all over the pretty pumpkin seeds. This thing looks terrible. Thank God my stomach doesn't have eyes, because it's really awesome! That is, if you like the taste of tehina. If you don't, you probably find this bread revolting. 

You know what the best part about this bread is, besides that it has no flour? It doesn't have processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Yes, it does have date syrup, but this is a healthier alternative to sugar. It has a lower glycemic index, and this is one of the keys to losing weight and being healthy. 

Since I've been bombarding our fine readers with my health craziness, I thought that I would give myself a more formal title. Mike Adams of Natural News calls himself the Health Ranger. Since that was already taken, I've decided to call myself the Health Nudnik. I bet you no one's come up with that yet. And if they did, please don't tell them that I'm using their title.

This week, I thought I'd be a nudnik about sugar. You know, white poison. The Devil. Death by sweet powder. Sugar is arguably the WORST thing we put in our bodies. There is absolutely NO benefit to eating this stuff. I'm talking about all types of processed sugars and high fructose corn syrup. There's tons of info on the harmful effects of sugar, so I don't need to post them here. But here's the two things that I found most important: sugar has been linked to cause cancer, and sugar gives bacteria in the mouth energy and food, basically supercharging them and encouraging them to eat your teeth for dinner. 

This week, take the challenge of staying away from sugary foods as much as possible. NO sodas, including diet sodas, no processed white breads. Don't be fooled by the lowfat dairy products. They just substitute the fat with sugar, which will turn into fat anyways in your body. 

Here's a list of sugar substitutes with their glycemic index. 

I know that it's basically impossible to stay away from sugar altogether. But, we can limit the sugar to a very large extent. I want you to remember this important fact as your motivation: sugar raises insulin. If you eat something high in simple sugars, such as fructose, your insulin will shoot up in order to keep the massive amounts of sugar you've ingested out of your bloodstream. The problem, as I wrote in my diabetes post, is that insulin also tells the body to store calories as fat. So if you're eating high sugar products, all of the sugar that you don't burn off will be stored as fat.

It's a recipe for health disaster. 

If you have a sweet tooth, eat a fruit. While it does have sugar, it is more slowly digested, and many fruits have fiber, which also slows the absorption of sugar. 

Once you're off of the sugary treats, you'll notice that you don't crave them as much. That's because sugar is addictive, just like a drug. In fact, sugar stimulates your brain to release dopamine, which is a pleasure chemical. Drugs do the same thing. I'm pretty sure jewelry also does the same thing. 

Many dairy products such as milk and yogurt have tons of sugar, so limit these as much as you can. The other bad thing about sugar is that after eating something with lots of sugar in it, you won't feel satisfied or necessarily full. When you eat things low in sugar, you don't feel the need to keep eating - unless you're eating processed foods loaded with MSG, which is a subject for another time.

In conclusion, cutting out the sugar as much as you can will lead to significant weight loss, cure your diabetes, keep you from suffering through those energy highs and lows throughout the day, and will improve your health in massive ways. You'll even think more clearly. 

Speaking of massive, here's something to think about before we part: why does Big Medicine put the focus of diabetes and obesity on genetics or forces that are beyond our control, when these health problems are clearly linked with poor diet? Because they get massive profits from their repeat customers! How can they make billions a year if people suddenly start eating like they're supposed to, because they've finally come to terms with the fact that their diet is usually the source of all of their health problems? 

Please keep in touch with us and let us know how your almost sugar-less week is going!

To your health!

~Racheli


MC "Hitbodedut" Hammer

PC and Truth
It's amazing that you can find spirituality in everything if you just take a good look. Speaking of good looks, over Shabbat, David and I were arguing over where our kids got their good looks from. Obviously, he points to himself, to which I respond: "Well, that's exactly why I'm asking the question." 

Shameful.

Great, I already forgot what I wanted to say. But you know what I didn't forget? I didn't forget that I ate too much cake on Shabbat. I look about four months pregnant right now, that's how bloated I am. All week long, I'm fine with eating healthy. I don't have any temptation to stuff my waist with processed junk and calories that are going to end up being like that annoying person that can't get the hint that you want him to go away and leave you alone, so he keeps talking and talking, totally oblivious to the fact that you've tuned him out and are trying to make it obvious, but not to the point of being rude, that you just want him to get the heck away from you. Maybe I should have written "her" instead of "him." What difference does it make these days, anyway? Gender titles have suddenly become passe and degrading.

My problem, like many others out there, is that my desire to eat the moist, chocolaty marble cake is aroused only when I see the cake. If I don't see it tempting me from its container on my counter top, then I don't desire to eat it. I just realized that maybe I should put the cake somewhere where I can't see it. But then, how will it get eaten? Do you see my dilemma?

Well, Rav Arush understands my suffering. He realizes that resisting the cake is almost The Toughest Challenge for me. As in every tough challenge, he explains that our attempts to resist our bodily urges are futile without asking Hashem to help us succeed. More specifically, Rav Arush is referring to bodily lust. Even though I'm not a man (but I could say I am if that's how I feel, because this world is so messed up,) I feel your pain, guys. I have found through personal experience that it is absolutely impossible for me to resist my sweet goodies if I don't ask Hashem to save me from my desires. 

So you may be wondering why I titled my post the way I did. If you're not wondering, there's something wrong with you. Back in the '90's, I was in high school, and MC Hammer was all the rage. All of us wore those Hammer pants that looked like something fell inside of them and created this massive hanging piece of fabric between the pant legs. It almost looked like a curtain. I bet those pants could actually have been used as a curtain or as a cape in desperate situations where one needed to shield himself from the sun or suddenly fly away like a witch into the night. 

Well, I distinctly remember one of Hammer's songs, which wasn't his most popular, but it was catchy enough for me to remember it 20+ years later. It's called, "We Got to Pray." The lyrics are so spiritual and profound, that I am totally convinced that Hammer was another hidden Breslever, just like Martin Luther King, as I discussed in last Monday's post. Hence, I've given him the name, MC "Hitbodedut" Hammer. Check it out!

We got to pray (pray), I said we pray (pray,) We got to pray just to make it today. 

Okay, so that's half the song right there, but it gets better:

I tried and tried and tried to make a way, but nothing happened 'til that day I prayed. 

We're sending this one out to the Lord, And we thank You and know we need to pray, Cause all the blessings that are good, they come from Above, And once again we want to say "THANK YOU" to the Lord with all our love.

I'm thinking about coming out with a book called "Hidden Breslevers Through the Ages." Seriously. 

With the anti-God Liberal movement in full swing in the U.S., many people might believe that political correctness is a fairly recent invention. Rav Lazer Brody shows us that actually, it's not. In fact, political correctness dates all the way to the times before the Holy Temples were destroyed. Saying something Politically Incorrect certainly doesn't make you a popular person, especially not in Israel, ironically enough. What's the consequence of ignoring actions that are being done which go directly against the Torah? Oooh, you don't want to know! But, really, you do! Read the article!

Just because I like to enjoy a good piece (or three) of cake, it doesn't mean that I'm not into being healthy. Au contraire, darlings! This week, I examine a type of scientific short-sightedness that I call Medical Myopia.  Instead of focusing on changing our eating habits, drug companies and even vitamin and supplement companies try to re-direct our focus to buying more magic pills or vitamins. But too much focusing on taking pills can make us feel like we don't need to change our lifestyles, if we're giving our bodies what they need through medicines, natural or otherwise. Not to mention that it makes such companies crazy rich. This cuckoo mindset is W-Wr-Wro-Wrong! I've got some shocking statistics in here for you, so definitely don't miss reading this one!

I've decided that Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's life should be made into a movie. I've never met anyone who has had so much drama, and survived it all! You'll never believe the mess she found herself in this time, on her Walk on the Wild Side. OMG. 

Chana Sherman writes about the struggle of being Torah-observant in the corporate world in The CEO Wears a Sheitel. 

David Perlow is a former IDF soldier, so he knows lots about discipline, fighting, and lust. Oops, what I meant to say was that he makes a brilliant comparison in the way soldiers are forced to depend on their superiors to how we are forced to depend on Hashem, and shows us that we are all spiritual Soldiers of the Honor Guard. *This article is for men only, and by men, I mean those who were genetically born as a man and remain a man. Of course, I had to read the article so I can promote it, but for the duration of actually reading the article, I really believed that I was a man, so according to Liberals, that made me a legitimate man, even if it was only for three minutes. Now, does this make me a transgender? Is there a term for going from one gender back to another and then back again? What an avant garde idea!

Lori Steiner came up with a great invention called The Happiness Meter.  It keeps you from feeling so elated that you'll predictably crash afterward, and it also keeps you from falling into a depression. How does it work? Well, I didn't invent the thing! Read the article to find out.

Dr. Zev Ballen continues discussing the secrets and joys of Living the Simple Life.  With all of the material temptations we face every day, is there a spiritual reason and benefit to resisting them? And if so, how can we accomplish such a tremendous feat?

Wishing all of our awesome readers a wonderful week! 

-Racheli


Inauguration Day!

Today is the day Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States. Although there are many that won't exactly be celebrating his inauguration today, it seems like the entire world is holding its breath in anticipation of what the next four years will bring.

If I were elected President, those that know me would probably be moving to another solar system. I'm crazy, you know. Even though it will never happen, I still want to share my inauguration speech with all of our dear readers out there, because I'm overtired and can't think straight.

Dear Fellow Americans, I am honored to accept your appointment as your newest and most awesomest President in the history of the United States. I promise that there will be no new taxes, separate bathrooms for boys and girls, and the right for parents (especially in California) to refuse to vaccinate their children due to the overwhelming evidence of serious side effects. I promise that everyone will stop getting spied on by Facebook, Google, and the NSA, and will re-instate the inherent right we all have to some freakin' privacy. I will raise the level of education for our children, so they will finally learn that the correct spelling of "you are" is not "u r." 

I want all of my fellow Americans to know that we will stop instigating wars in other countries and sending our troops over for no legitimate reason. I will de-militarize the local police so they will once again dress like Starsky and Hutch, minus the outdated hairdos. I will allow all disciplines of natural healing to be practiced without fear of persecution. The American People deserve access to the most efficient and affordable medical treatments, which are, most times, based in natural, holistic approaches. I will stop spraying deadly chemtrails into the air and poisoning our land and produce with glyphosate. All produce will be organic, and cows will once again be allowed to eat grass and walk around. Chickens will no longer die of insanity due to horrible, cramped cages. All livestock will no longer be injected with hormones and antibiotics. 

I will bring back jobs to the United States and raise the minimum wage. I will stop importing illegal aliens and providing them with benefits. I will bring back traditional values to the American People, and along with that, I will bring back traditional gender roles as well. I will shut down the Federal Reserve so they can stop making crazy amounts of interest by lending money to the government. I will make tax brackets fair, so people can once again have a savings in their bank accounts.

Every year on my birthday, I will give each child $100 towards his continuing education. I will stop letting Universities become breeding grounds for the Liberal movement. I will re-instate the right to free speech, freedom to practice any religion as long as it doesn't promote violence, and freedom of expression as long as it isn't disgusting and in poor taste.

I will build apartments to house every homeless person, and provide them with three meals a day, clothing, and education, so they can work and feel human again. Widows and orphans will receive special financial benefits, and so will single working parents. No single parent should have to work two jobs and take care of her family all on her own, without any financial help.

My fellow Americans, I want to thank you for your support. I hope that the next four years will be years of blessing, of ample sustenance for all, of revolutionary, affordable health care, and peace. Most importantly, I hope that all of us can put our differences aside for the sake of working together to make this country great again. Let's minimize the name-calling, reputation-bashing, and slander, because they serve no practical purpose for the betterment of our society. Let's focus on doing positive actions for one another, and let's begin to care about each other's well-being. 

Most importantly, I hope that we all learn that God is in the picture, and that He loves each and every one of us. As my inauguration gift to you, I am sending each person a free copy of The Garden of Emuna and The Garden of Gratitude. 

I, as your President, wish all of us a bright future, and of course, world peace. 

~President Racheli Reckles ( I really like the sound of that!)


Smartphone Blind

My dear friend and Emuna Therapist Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen shared this video with me. It took me three times of watching this video to understand what was going on. In the end, I finally got it and laughed at my own stupidity and the humor of the video. While certainly funny, it's also painfully true. We've become so addicted to our phones that we can't even walk down the street without staring into it and typing. 

Even in the elevator nearly everyone I see is checking their phones. What exactly are they checking for? Do they need to be plugged in to the virtual world at every moment? What about connecting with the real world that they're actually a real part of?

Thank G-d we have Shabbat, a chance to disconnect from the social media time-sucker. We can focus on connecting with real people and developing real relationships instead of virtual ones. This Shabbat, weather permitting, go for a nice walk outside. Focus on the beautiful trees. Listen to the birds if they haven't flown South. Look at the gorgeous blue or grey sky. Enjoy breathing in the fresh or polluted air.

In other words, be present.

Shabbat Shalom! For something great to discuss with the family at the Shabbat table, see Rav Brody's mini-lesson on this week's Torah portion in the post directly below. With big smiles,

~Racheli


Body Politic

Weigh-in
Modern fad diets resemble Israel's leftists - they both lead to surrendering strategic and vital areas.

A lot of the fad diets have penetrated the Observant Jewish world, which is infamous for unhealthy eating especially on Shabbat - after services Kiddush of liquor and pastry, followed by a meal of white Challa, potato and noodle kugels and cholent, with a desert of more cakes, roasted nuts and parve ice cream.

Sure, many "victims" of the fad diets have lost tons of weight. But they don't exercise. Their bodies therefore look like big empty burlap sacks draped on bone. At least when they were fat, their muscles had to work to carry the extra weight. But now, nothing. No muscle tone, just empty flab.

Modern society has become so focused on weight loss, that any weight loss seems to be good. It certainly is not. You look better and feel better when you increase your muscle-to-fat ratio. In other words, by exercising and increasing caloric intake - especially with quality protein and good HDL-producing fats - you gain weight big time without adding a millimeter to your waist or hips. In fact, your trousers or skirt fits better than ever.

The impressive initial weight loss of the "effortless" fad diets comes from losing the strategic and vital area of your body - your muscle mass. Therefore, the goal of dieting should be to improve body composition, the percentage or ratio of muscle to body fat, like we said. You do that by losing fat without losing muscle tissue. Maintaining and even increasing muscle mass is critical to weight control, because the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. What's more, as you exercise and add resistance/strength training to your routine, you can actually look thinner and have a smaller waistline, but the scale shows that you gained weight! How can that be? Simple - muscles take up less space in your body, so body weight may stay the same or even go up as you add compact, tight muscle mass. In density, muscle is 22% more dense than fat. In other words, if you've been doing strength /resistance training, your waist is thinner, your skirt or trousers fit great, you look and feel great, but you weigh more! Maybe at 145 lbs, you could only do 20 pushups, but now at 155, you can do 50! Yes, you weigh more but you're much more healthy. Keep on liftin', bro and sis, and put the bathroom scale in the closet!

That's what I call "Body Politic". So, forget about your weight and just be strong and healthy. When you eat right - as natural as possible - and exercise, you'll burn fat and build muscle anyway. G-d willing, Racheli and I hope to post more body-health and fitness pointers in the near future. Meanwhile, stay healthy!

Stay tuned to the Beams for some future exciting posts on fitness, coming soon, G-d willing


The Secret of Longevity

Forward Turtle
Would you like to live a long and pleasurable life? Our sages share with us the secrets of longevity, which we are happy to share with you in today's shiur…

Join us today for our weekly shiur and broadcast from Jerusalem, entitled "The Secret of Longevity," an empowering shiur that you won't want to miss. It will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EST); the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time.  If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 


Reverse Heart Disease!

IMG_20170116_224942000

Something's not right here. 

As I was cleaning up after the kids, I sat on the carpet and - OMG that Airwick automatic spray thingy just scared the daylights out of me, but wow, does it smell good! - just enjoyed sitting for a few minutes. That's when I noticed that there were an awful lot of Playmobile guys with missing limbs. I'm totally baffled as to how this happened, but I have some theories:

1) They were guests of Procrustes.

2) They all got in a gang fight.

3) One (or more) of my kids was really hungry and I wasn't able to prepare his food in time.

4) They were in a war.

5) They're actually a warrior tribe that cuts off limbs and uses them in their bloody sacrificial rituals. 

6) They didn't read my diabetes post and continued on with their unhealthy lifestyle until they were forced to amputate a limb or two. 

Did you see the guy with half his body missing? What's up with that?

So these poor little guys got me thinking: they can never regain their limbs. But we, on the other hand, can regain our health. Our bodies are not just incredibly miraculous creations that work in extremely complex ways. They are also capable of reversing years of damage and restoring themselves to perfect health! 

This week I want to talk about heart disease. The sad reality is, that as much as we're terrified of cancer, heart disease kills more people each year than cancer. Every year, about 610,000 people in the U.S. alone die from heart disease. That's 1 out of every 4 deaths! It's also the leading cause of death in both men and women. Most of you probably know at least one person with some type of heart issue, and you also probably know one or two that have died from a heart attack. 

Now as much as modern medicine has created all types of very sophisticated treatments in the management of heart disease, they have done nothing to help cure it. Now I firmly believe that knowledge is power; so Rav Brody and I are going to do our best to provide you with the knowledge you need to regain your power over your health and your life.

Let's start with the nature of heart disease. Folks, heart attacks don't occur suddenly. Just because we don't see the symptoms until it's too late, it doesn't mean that this silent killer hasn't been progressing for many years. In fact, Dr. Colin Campbell writes that it's a disease that takes a lifetime to create.

What does this mean? Well, to answer that, let's first understand what plaque is. Plaque is the waxy coating that lines the arteries. It's made from fats including cholesterol, proteins, immune system cells, and other things that I have no idea about. Over time, the plaque builds up and creates an increasingly narrow passageway for the blood to pass through the arteries. If the blockage is large enough, a heart attack will occur.

Now I want everyone to put on their common sense hats and think for a moment. If heart disease takes a lifetime to build up, and it's a result of increased cholesterol and proteins in the arteries, and it is such a prevalent killer, then why are we eating such unhealthy diets? Even mainstream medicine acknowledges that diet is a key in preventing heart disease, even though they won't give you proper guidelines.

But we at the Beams will.

If you eat a diet that's mostly animal fat and protein, where do you think all of that animal fat and protein goes? Does it magically bypass your circulatory system? Nope. Does it magically bypass your fat cells? I wish. So where does it end up? That's right! In your arteries and your internal organs.

Just like the engine of a sports car, if you fill it with low octane fuel, it's not going to run well. But if you fill it with higher quality, high-octane fuel, it will run as it's supposed to. So why do we think our bodies are any less sophisticated than a car engine? 

If you fill your body with fat, empty carbs, sugar, and processed junk, then your body will not perform as it was meant to. And, it'll break down much faster than if you were to feed it properly.

So let's talk about animal protein, which I know is a very controversial topic among our readers. As I have said before, I have no problem with keto/paleo/LCHF diets. HOWEVER. IF you are getting most of your calories and fat from animal fat, I believe that this is extremely unhealthy in the long run. Like I said before, all that fat's gotta go somewhere.

I feel that it is just too easy to go from adding globs of coconut oil to your eggs to stuffing your face with a Porterhouse steak twice a week. Although the keto diet is not Atkins, many of us just don't do the whole moderation thing very well, and we can easily tend to go to extremes. Therefore, if you do want to attempt such a diet for weight loss, please be aware of how much animal protein you're eating. 

In "The China Study," Dr. Campbell has shown an incredibly strong correlation between the amount of animal protein eaten and the rates of heart disease. He also cites many other studies done in countries across the world that show similar results. As Dr. Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and Dr. Dean Ornish (who are well-known and respected experts in the field of cardiac health) say, the key to reversing and curing heart disease is with a proper diet! 

Your doctor may be able to prescribe you pills to artificially lower your cholesterol, but he can do very little to treat the cause of your heart disease. There are those who are very high risk that must use cholesterol lower medications, beta-blockers, etc., in order to keep their symptoms from spiraling into a heart attack. However, along with those medications, they need to change their lifestyle!

So here's what to do:

1) Get educated! Read "The China Study." Check out the two amazing doctors that I have given you the links for above. 

2) Exercise at least 3 times a week! I know you think it's impossible because you just don't have time. But I promise, if you want to do it, you'll make the time, just like I do every day!

3) Drink plenty of water! Water helps to keep the blood from becoming too sticky and sludgy. Very important!

4) Cut out the junk! Do I really need to elaborate?

5) Eat mostly unprocessed, whole fruits and vegetables, and eat whole grains to get your carb fix. As Hippocrates wrote, "Let thy medicine be thy food and thy food be thy medicine."

Hashem gave our bodies the ability to rejuvenate and heal. He also gave us the tools to aid them in maintaining a healthy state of being - fruits and vegetables. Let's stop trying to be uber-sophisticated and get back to basics. If you want to be healthy, you've got to eat healthy. There's just no two ways about it.

We'd love to hear your feedback, and wish you a rejuvenating, happy, and healthy day! 

~Racheli