You've tried high carbs, lo carbs, hi-fat, lo-fat, primal, vegan, Atkins, Shmatkins, Ornish, Cornish, pills, thrills and nothing has worked. Now, you're talking to your doctor about a stomach bypass. Hold it! Here's a real solution…
It's summer time and everyone wants to look their best, especially at the beach. Sure, the spare tire around your midsection is a bummer. You've read every website and seen a hundred Youtube vids that promise you the six-pack abs really quick. You've tried high carbs, lo carbs, hi-fat, lo-fat, primal, vegan, Atkins, Shmatkins, Ornish, Cornish, pills, thrills and nothing has worked. Now, you're talking to your doctor about a stomach bypass. Hold it!! Don't do a thing until you see and hear today's emuna lesson...
Don't miss this evening's game-changing emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "What's wrong with my diet?", which 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 EDT); 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.
The distinguishing characteristic of the Pilates system of exercise is its requirement of steady and controlled breathing. This is an integral part of the Joseph Pilates concept of "contrology" - the science and art of coordinated body-mind-spirit development through natural movements. Inasmuch, Pilates moderates the strain, jerkiness an anaerobic extremes that are frequently associated with such western forms of strength-oriented exercise as sprinting, weightlifting and plyometrics while incorporating the calm, control and concentration that characterize the eastern approach to exercise, as seen in such forms as Yoga and Tai Chi. The result is the best of both worlds: Strength development and coordination enhanced with power and grace.
As a rabbi, lecturer and spiritual guide who doubles as a fitness instructor and health coach, my life came to a dramatic halt exactly one year ago. After having performed a high-intensity interval kettlebell workout, I had apparently thrown my then-67-year-old heart into arrhythmia. A few days later, during wind sprints at maximum effort, my heart rate was clocking an alarming 215-220! I decided to have a stress test performed as soon as I could get an appointment at the sports cardiologist. The cardiologist didn't even complete the test; he called an ambulance and rushed me to the hospital. There, after a series of tests and chemical attempts to restore my heart's normal rhythm, I was informed that I have atrial fibrillation and that I'd have to be treated with Coumadin (warfarin) followed by electric cardioversion.
Having received vital info on the dangers of the conventional AFib treatment protocol from Racheli Reckles, my only hope for returning to a normal lifestyle was to opt for a natural remedy. With the blessing of my own rabbi and spiritual guide Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a, I consulted a chiropractor who is also a fitness and naturopathic specialist. He gave me iodine to strengthen my thyroid gland, magnesium for the heart and Ashwagandha for my adrenal gland. Together with a few adjustments to my diet, I was feeling much better. And, for fitness, he suggested Pilates.
The benefits of Pilates are enormous in recovering from atrial fibrillation. Experimenting on myself with careful monitoring, I compared the result of an intensive 30-minute Pilates routine that included 26 exercises to a resistance routine that included 4 circuits of deadlifts, goblet squats, renegade pushups and weighted lunges whereas each exercise was performed at weights that enabled me to do ten reps in order to avoid straining my heart and pushing myself into anaerobic mode. In addition to the superior overall post-workout feeling of the Pilates routine, the results – which repeated themselves several times, were dramatic as we see in the following table:
The above table clearly shows how the Pilates routine was so much gentler to my body, yet without sacrificing training effectiveness. After the Pilates routine, my core felt stronger and my posture dramatically improved. In addition, I felt more invigorated than after the resistance routine. With Pilates, there's virtually no chance of over-training, which is my dangerous athletic evil inclination and that of many peak-performance-seeking athletes. Consequently, as I have proven to myself, I would surely incorporate Pilates as the prime and preferred form of exercise in any cardiac rehabilitation program.
Even if your heart is 100% healthy, do yourself a favor and enroll in a Pilates course. It will do wonders for your posture and your core strength, and it's gentle on the body. You won't burn as many calories as you do in high-intensity training, but your injury level will drop to zilch. My blessings for your good health!
Lazer Brody, CPT, CHC
 Includes warmup and cooldown for resistance routine; warmup and cooldown were an intrinsic part of Pilates routine
 The InZone = my target zone of 55-80% HR Max, OutZone = >80% HR Max
Last night, I was totally overwhelmed with work and Shabbat prep, so I decided to make muffins. I like to eat, especially when I'm stressed. Actually, it's more like a compulsion. I just have to eat all the time. Since I'm basically eating very low carb, I came up with this recipe, and it's pretty delish if I do say so myself.
WARNING! This recipe is:
1) not for people who eat high carb or are counting calories
2) not for people who are afraid to bake without measurements
3) not for people who don't like coconut, walnuts, or lemon
4) not for people who have better ways of spending their time than experimenting with coconut lemon muffins because they're desperate for something sugar free and gluten free that won't kill them or give them excruciating stomach pains.
If you are none of the above, definitely try it! Here goes:
4 eggs, the cream from a can of coconut cream, ground walnuts, ground almond, (I used more walnut than almond because almonds are crazy expensive!) xanthan gum, lots of lemon juice (I used lemon concentrate because I'm lazy like that,) baking powder, baking soda, and any sugar-free sweetener your little heart desires. You can use stevia, apple juice concentrate, the fake stuff, silan, or whatever. I think that was everything.
You can also add shredded coconut flakes, or if you're feeling fancy, make a whipped topping from another can of coconut cream. See below for pseudo-directions.
To get the cream from the can of coconut cream, you should let it sit in your pantry for three years like I did, or better yet, put it in your fridge for a few hours until the creamy part rises to the top. DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN! Don't use the leftover liquid. What is that, anyhow? Coconut oil? Slime?
Mix it together until it looks like a fluffy blob. Scoop it into muffin pans and bake it for God knows how long. You know, until it's done. Let it get on the browner side. If you can control yourself, wait until the muffins cool a bit before you eat them. They will have a moist, fluffy, and strangely gummy texture.
I promise that I will never, ever write a cookbook. (Bli neder.)
p.s.- While you're waiting for your muffins to finish baking, don't miss Rav Brody's OMG post below on wigs! OMG!!!
Hey everyone! How you beeeen? I've been great, thanks for asking. Except for the fact that my oldest son keeps calling me from school every day, giving me all kinds of excuses as to why he needs to go home. Whatcha think, kid? I ain't no friar! By friar, I don't mean a clergyman. I mean a sucker. I been around the block, kid! I know all ur tricks and den sum!
It reminds me of when I was in 10th grade. Everyone used to skip band class, and so once in a while (like every other day,) I'd join them at the local bagel shop. So one morning, I walked into the bagel shop and see my parents sitting there, having breakfast! OMG. I pulled a John Travolta and cooly sauntered over to them, chewing on an invisible toothpick and trying not to let my heart beat out of its chest. "Yo, what up," I asked with a nonchalant nod of my chin, as if it were the most normal thing for me to be in a restaurant at 10:30 in da morn'. They be like, "You know what time it is?! It be 10:30 in da morn'!" Okay, so it was really more like, "Do you know what time eet eees?? EEET EEES 10: Tirty eeen de morneeeng!" Read it out loud. Then you'll laugh, I promise.
So what was I saying?
Oh, right. The skinny girl's diet. First of all, I'm mad at David because he told me that no one wants dieting advice from a skinny girl. (Actually, he didn't use the word "girl," but I ain't gonna go there.) Well I suppose it's preferable to take dieting advice from a fat girl. That makes a whole 'lotta sense. Keep those brain cells for your job, honey.
You know, I may look like a skinny girl with some rockin' biceps, but inside, I really look like this:
Okay, I lied. I don't look like this, but I feel like this - especially when I'm mad. But really, I feel all green and muscular because I'm eating healthy and exercising. I think all the superfoods I'm eating are what turned my skin green. It's like I'm turning into a giant chlorella. Chlorella. Sounds like a disease.
Since losing weight is near the top of everyone's "To Do (Eventually, when I have time or am really out of important things to do)" list, I wanted to share with you a little secret that will help get your weight loss on the fast track:
KEEP YOUR INSULIN DOWN!
That's actually the major secret of not only weight loss, but also of curing diabetes, as I wrote in Bye, Bye, Diabetes.
What's the problem with insulin? Well, nothing, unless you're producing a lot of it. Insulin is a hormone that's secreted by the pancreas, which turns the sugar from carbohydrates into usable energy. It also normalizes blood sugar, so you don't have too much or too little in the bloodstream. BUT!! Insulin also does something else.
It tells your body to store calories as fat!
Every time you eat something with lots of carbs and/or sugar, you are just raising your insulin and sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Even sugar-free foods can be high in carbs, so beware! Dairy? Fuggetaboutit!
Here's a little mini-secret: if you want to lose lots of weight, get off the dairy! Dairy is loaded with hormones, blood, pus, antibiotics, and G-d-knows-what-else they put into those poor cows. If you must have dairy, eat goat or sheep products. But keep it as limited as possible. Dairy is very bloating and very insulogenic. Interestingly, high fat cream and butter are the exceptions. You can read about it in the website I linked to.
I'm not going to give you a complicated system. All I'm telling you is that if you want to lose weight, your goal needs to be to keep your insulin as low as possible. That means low carbs and sugar. If you must have carbs, eat healthy carbs, like quinoa and whole grain rice. If you want bread, eat sprouted whole wheat, spelt, or rye, and find a bread without yeast. In my opinion, fruits are no problem, but you must only eat them before a meal. Eating them after will raise your insulin and make your body store whatever you just ate as fat.
Here is a fantastic website that you should check out. The only area that I differ in opinion from him is that he allows more animal products than I'm comfortable with. In any case, too much red meat and chicken isn't good for you, simply because of the amounts of hormones and antibiotics they're putting in them. If you get organic, I would still recommend you not overdoing it on the animal protein.
I'd love to hear your comments! (Especially about the awesome selfie I posted!)
A year ago during a stress test at Israel's Wingate Sports College, doctors discovered that I had severe atrial fibrillation. They told me that my life was at risk and rushed me to the cardiac ward of the nearest hospital. The doctors wanted to put me on Coumadin – a blood thinner, which is incompatible with many leafy vegetables that are a mainstay in any natural diet. Then, they wanted to do electrical cardioversion and try to reestablish my heart's normal rhythm by giving it electrical shocks. This traditional medical protocol would have turned me into a doctor/med-dependent cripple.
I spent my three days in the hospital in teshuva, in personal prayer and in encouraging the other patients. These were my main efforts in regaining my health. With Hashem's loving mercy, Racheli Reckles was sending me fantastic information on alternative solutions to the traditional medical protocol during my stint in the hospital. Ultimately, thanks to her and thanks to the advice and guidance of two expert chiropractors – Dr. Randy Davis in Chicago and Dr. Reuven Bekermus in Ramat Beit Shemesh – I overcame the cardiac issue and thanks to Hashem, am functioning today full throttle. The adjacent photograph is what the gym in my office looks like. Thank G-d, I feel great.
Every decision I made in regard to doctors and meds was made in consultation with my beloved rabbi and spiritual guide, Rabbi Arush. This is the key point: before deciding anything about doctors and medicine, consult your own rabbi and spiritual guide. That way, you're bound to be blessed no matter what decision you make. But even before you consult whoever you consult, be sure to read Doctors and Meds, Yes or No?, my feature article in this week's brand new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.
Wow - you must see this: Rav Shalom Arush tells how he came to be a believer in Take it to Heart.
One of Breslev's leading rabbis, Rav Nissan Dovid Kivak, teaches us this week about The Value of Prayer.
Happy Birthday, Racheli Reckles! Yup, today is Racheli's b-day and she wants to celebrate. She asks, "So many people walk around like zombies, dead people, semi-conscious and hunched-over, with scowling faces or blank looks. So many people barely greet each other. C'mon folks, where's the joy, the singing and the dancing?" Don't miss Racheli's Live with Passion.
Thank G-d for Dr. Zev Ballen! His articles are a free dose of emuna therapy that are lifelines for thousands of people, and this week's The Deadly Displacement is no exception.
Yesterday before sundown, I was on a lovely stretch of our beautiful beach in Ashdod engaged in personal prayer. I came upon a rock that was covered with seaweed, which is basically green algae. The ocean water was crystal clear. I took a chunk of the slimey green stuff, washed it off in the waves, and made a shehakol blessing. The taste was exquisite, like sushi or a fresh Chinese salad. And, my body rejoiced too. Why?
Fresh raw seaweed is one of the very best natural sources of dietary iodine, which is great news for your thyroid gland. What's more, it contains many other phytonutrients and vitamins. It's virtually the only vegetative source of Viamin B12, which is critically important for vegans. I'm not finished yet: it's also a powerful source of electrolytes as well as blood purifying chlorophyll and polysaccharides that act as natural detoxifiers of heavy metals and other toxic substances. Seaweed helps to improve digestion, decrease LDL cholesterol, increase bone density, lower blood pressure and have been shown helpful for reducing excess body weight. It's loaded with iron and calcium too and protects against the "nasty big c", the disease we don't like to refer to by name.
Don't forage seaweed if your seacoast or seawater is polluted. And, stay away from freshwater algae because it is known to be toxic. If you don't have access to raw seaweed, try to obtain some organic seaweed - it's great for you.
Wow, what a gorgeous world Hashem has created for us. "Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous song as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the width of the horizon...we still could not thank You sufficiently, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, and to bless Your Name" (Nishmat Kol Chai prayer).