28 posts categorized "Healthy Eating"



OMG I am drooollliiinnnngggg just looking at this picture!!

It's from our bar mitzvah two weeks ago. Or three weeks ago. I really have no idea. 


I'll tell you what happened.

It got trapped in the sugar high that I'm currently experiencing. Like, high in the sky. 

My taste buds are flying because I just cheated... with a HUGE almond croissant!

And a warm, soft baguette loaded with butter.

And another hot, buttery, gooey, almond croissant.

And... a huge cup of all-milk cappuccino. Was that redundant, by the way?

Oh, and I learned a new word today! Freddo! FREDDO!

As in, "You broke my heart, Freddo!" If you remember that phrase, you're old. Just sayin'. 

Actually, the sophisticated waiter told me that Freddo means cold. Is that true? Any Italianos in the house? Adoro parlare in italiano, ma adoro gli spaghetti in salsa margherita ancora di più!

My stomach looks like a water-filled balloon, and I feel totally disgusting, but you know what? 


I'm talking about food, you know. Seriously, what's wrong with you people. Disgusting.

One day a week, you gotta live it up, I say! Live it up to the max! Wear pants with an elastic waistband that'll stretch at least 3 or four inches. Wear that maternity skirt that's collecting cobwebs in your storage bin. LIVE IT UP!!

I have great self-discipline most of the week, except for Shabbat and today, when David decided to remind me that we're married and get to go out on dates once in a while.

Oops. I forgot. I thought being married meant I have the privilege of doing his laundry and cooking for him and raising his children for the rest of my life. Didn't know there was supposed to be some fun stuff in there! Should've read the contract better. I always assumed fine print was for lawyers. And people with really good eyesight.

OMG I just realized something. Thank G-d there's no foot massage clause in there. Yech.

So let's talk about this cheat day. It's awesome because you get to cram in all the goodies you would have eaten all week into one 24-hour period, and then feel like, well... you know... 

But it's still awesome! 

By the end of your cheat day, most of you will feel so sick... of sugary, carbo-loaded, delicious junk food, that you won't even want to look at it... until your next cheat day.

I mean, you can't live in super health guru mode forever. At least, I can't. Because I like to think I'm normal. I'm certainly no health guru with superhuman willpower. 

Speaking of which, I've created a monster! David is driving me crazy with the intermittent fasting! Now he's all like, "I've gone for 12 hours and 16 minutes. Only another hour and 44 (was that right?) minutes to go! Would that make 14 hours? Golly, my math is so bad.

Have I created any other monsters out there besides David and Tena? Seriously, woman! TWO DAYS??? What are you, an angel?? Did you have an out-of-body experience?

In conclusion, here are my TOP 3 CHEAT DAY TIPS:

1) Cheat only one day a week! Because anything more is, like, a relationship. And you don't wanna go there.

2) Drink grapefruit juice! Interestingly, the fructose in the juice will flatline your glucose response, which means it essentially stops your insulin from spiking. Remember, insulin is a fat storing hormone, which means that when it's high, your body is in hibernation mode, i.e., storing calories as fat. You know, for those rainy days when you might be out in the middle of the woods with nothing to eat but twigs and berries. 

3) Make your first meal of the day a normal meal! Your body still needs something that resembles food, duh. 


Three times throughout your cheat day, do a set of 30 squats. It's supposed to help re-route the calories to the muscles instead of the fat. Pretty incredible, right? There are glucose transporters that use similar pathways to bring calories to muscle and fat cells. The squats create muscle contractions, which open up the pathways to the muscles, which helps get the calories to them instead of the fat cells.

It's like switching the direction of the train track as the train is approaching. 

If you don't feel comfortable with a full cheat day, do one cheat meal per week. But remember! The most important thing is to keep your carbs low, low, low! Below 100 grams a day if possible. If you're pregnant or have any medical issue, DO NOT DO WHAT I JUST WROTE! Please consult with your health care provider before starting a new diet or exercise, blah, blah, blah.

Now I've got to finish going through these awesome bar mitzvah pics. Hopefully I'll get an album done before the next one! 

Oh, and the guy in the back of the picture - that's the caterer. He's laughing because we decided to spike all the chocolate cakes with Everclear. 

Love you guys!



IMG-20180124-WA0057 (1)

How great is this pic?!

Yehuda looks like he had a great time riding on Rav Brody's shoulders, doesn't he? Rav Brody... not so much.

Just kidding. This picture made me think about the Kentucky Derby, where professional jockeys race along their merry way on some of the fastest and strongest horses in the world. I'm wondering if Yehuda sneaked in a kick to the ribs to get Rav Brody to jump around higher. Seriously. You can't believe how much he was jumping with this boy on his shoulders. Rock solid, baby. 

Not sure who I was referring to there, but whatever. The bar mitzvah was AWESOME, and I truly appreciate all of your well wishes. G-d willing our second son will be a bar mitzvah in two years, so book your plane tickets now!

Or is it three years? 

So all this eating has made me never want to see food again, at least for the next 2 hours. Which brings me to the National Enquirer-style topic of this post.

I am about to reveal to you the BEST way to supercharge your weight loss, NO MATTER WHAT YOU EAT!

Is the all caps thing getting annoying? 

This secret can be summed up in two fancy words: intermittent fasting. 

In other words: stop eating. Or don't eat. Pick any combination you like. 

Now David is on the IF kick, and I gotta tell you I find it so annoying. Because when I started doing it a year ago, he didn't want to hear about it. Because I was doing it.

But once he read more from "experts," well then, he was all too happy to jump on the bandwagon! I am personally insulted. I'm not kidding. Really.

Here are a few awesome benefits of IF:

-Low insulin levels: this helps the body get into fat-burning mode. If your insulin is high, you will store the calories you eat as fat, otherwise known as fat-storing mode. I like to call it hibernation mode, which incidentally is what I'd like to be doing right now.

-Cellular repair: Your body can rest from the constant stress of digestion and focus on fixing itself. It also removes waste material from cells.

-Gene expression: Genes are like a switch. They can be turned on and off, primarily depending on environmental factors, not genetic factors as most people believe. So, if you stop stuffing your face for two minutes, your body can focus on turning on the good genes and fixing the Incredible Hulk mutant evil GMO Monsanto genes. This can help you live longer and reduce disease.

Getting healthy is all nice and all (sorry for the redundancy,) but let's talk about the most important benefit: losing weight.  

IF helps increase the body's breakdown of fat and raises your metabolism, which helps you burn even more calories when you eat. If you do it right, you will supercharge your weight loss and have tons of energy.

I suggest you read up on my favorite website about it, dietdoctor.com. In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started:

Start out with 16 hours on, 8 hours off. Meaning, 16 hours you can eat, 8 hours you fast. That should be pretty easy considering you can schedule those 8 hours during sleep. 

Then move to 12 on, 12 off. If you feel comfortable with that, do 16 off, 8 on. And finally, you can do a full 24 hour fast once in a while. Some do once a month, others do up to once a week. The crazies do 3, 4, even 7 day fasts. Seriously?! I ain't recommending that! 

Here's the thing: while you're in your eating window, eat until you're satisfied. But! Even though I said you can still lose weight while eating what you want, don't stuff yourself with garbage!

Eat healthy fats, limit the dairy, limit the sugar, and keep the carbs down to below 100 grams a day. Below 50 grams will make your tummy go bye-bye in no time! You can read more specifics on the dietdoctor site. 

During your fast, you can drink black coffee, tea, and please drink plenty of water! If you must, you can add a splash of milk to your coffee. 

IF is excellent for everyone, including people who have plateaued in their weight loss. This will get your fat-burning engine out of neutral and into high gear! I know, that was so cheesy. Sorry.

HOWEVER! There are people who should NOT do IF. Please refer to the website to find out if you're one of those people. I don't want to have to say I told you so, even though I LOVE saying those words. They're probably my favorite words in the whole world, right along with "I was RIGHT!" I guess they're kind of the same thing, huh. 

Try it for two weeks and let me know how you're doing! Send me a pic of you holding someone else's pants or skirt that's like 10 sizes too big to make it look like you lost a bunch of weight. I LOVE those pics! 

Oh, and I just thought of a spiritual benefit to IF. It helps you take control over your desire to eat. It's not easy to willingly not eat, especially when you really want to eat. You'll see that as you do this longer, you will actually have less of a desire to eat, which is a great thing - both spiritually and physically.

Please send all donations to my "Post Bar Mitzvah Urgent Vacation" Fund. I'm talking URGENT!

Have a wonderful, almost food-free day! AND I APOLOGIZE FOR THE ANNOYING ALL CAPS.


The Devil's Food

Photo from Racheli Reckles (20)

Here we go again. 

Just look at this disgusting picture.


Disgustingly appetizing.

David sent me this picture while out for dinner with our three older boys on his cheat day on this new diet we're doing.


Yes! It's called the Slow Carb diet and I'll explain it in a separate post, because I just accidentally erased everything I wrote, and I'm too annoyed to rewrite it. So you'll have to be kept in suspense until I'm not annoyed anymore, which could take a while.

We're allowed one cheat day a week, and he chose to use it by eating like a certain non-kosher animal that likes to roll around in mud and its own filth. Yeah, that sounds about right. 

So I was looking at this picture and muttering curses at him, while trying to understand how anyone in their right mind could put CORN on their pizza. CORN?! What do CORN and PIZZA have to do with each other?? Am I taking crazy pills??? 

But don't worry - revenge is sweet. 

I sent him a picture of this:


Looks appetizing, right? It's a cold bowl of re-fried beans. Yuuuum. It's part of the slow carb diet, which I'll hopefully explain before the Mashiach gets here. 

At least the beans are healthy and filling. So what if they have 29 million grams of sodium? At least they're not made up of straight carbs, like pasta and bread.

Which brings me to an amazing insight I had on Shabbat, when I was at the pinnacle of my elevated spiritual experience. I may have looked like I was falling asleep, but like other great tzaddikim before me, I was in a deep meditation that no one could pull me out of.

During my journey to the upper worlds, one of the angels revealed to me a mystical secret that I can promise no one on the face of this Earth has discovered...

Carbs are the physical manifestation of the Evil Inclination!


In other words, "Carbs are the Devil, Bobby Boucher!"  

And here's WHY: BECAUSE no matter how many carbs you eat, YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BE SATISFIED! 

You'll always want one more piece, one more bite, one (or two) more slices. How does this vicious cycle resolve itself? Either you stop eating because you're about to explode, or the food disappears. Whichever happens first.

Just like this ooey, gooey, corny slice of pizza, the Evil Inclination works the same way.

No matter what desire you have, if it's fueled by your EI, IT'S NEVER ENOUGH. Do you have a lust for money? No matter how much you make, it will never be enough. Lust for power? You'll never have enough power. Women? Fuggetaboutit. 

In conclusion, to be happy, you need to make sure your desires are coming from the right place. That way you can be satisfied with what you get. 

And eat beans. Lots of beans. 


Beware: The Expanding Succoth Waistline

DB Succoth

Succoth begins tonight, Wednesday, 4 Oct., 2017. 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 cantelope cubes, 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.

Racheli's Scrumptious Rosh Hashana Herb and White Wine Salmon Jubilee


OMG I hope my soul sister Sunny Levi isn't reading this. She's deathly allergic to salmon. I'm serious. Just looking at this picture might cause her to give birth. 

For the rest of you, I thought I'd share this easy shmeezy recipe for salmon. Again, I don't have amounts. I just turn the bottle with the seasoning upside down and shake my arm vigorously like five or six times. I think I'm subconsciously trying to get some kind of workout by doing that. 

Anyhow, here's the recipe:

-any cut of salmon you'd like. I use one long fillet. Of course, here there's no one to take the skin off, unless you go to the fish store and pay double.

-salt, pepper, minced garlic (lots!), paprika, dried dill (lots,) Dijon mustard, curry (not so much,) cumin (less than curry,) turmeric (a fair amount,) lemon juice (lots!), white wine, (LOTS!), and a little bit of olive oil. I think that's it. 

-rub the seasonings and mustard into the fish.

-drizzle a little lemon juice, wine, and olive oil on top to help spread the seasonings, but save most of the drizzling for around the fish. Kind of like a white wine lemon juice fish bath. Sounds so luxurious. 

-cover with aluminum foil (yikes!) and bake until it's done. You know I have no idea about baking times. Check it at 30 minutes.

This dish is great warm, but it's just as delicious cold. You can serve it as a first course with a nice baby greens salad.

And no, there's no Jubilee part. I just like the way it sounds. 

Chava's Spelt-acular Apple Pie!


Seriously, that title was genius. It came to me in a moment of Divine inspiration.  

I owe Chava an apology because she sent me this a few weeks ago, but the problem is that every time I look at this picture I begin salivating and getting very upset that I can't have a piece. Chava, will you consider sending some frozen pie to Uman? On second thought, forget it. David and my two older boys will be there for ten days and fo' sure that pie ain't making it back to my house. 

I have to finish this post quick because I'm starting to get angry. I mean, just look at that fluffy crust and those ooey, gooey, moist apples falling over themselves in heavenly apple bliss. Shame on you, Chava! SHAMEEEEE!!!!

Okay, here's the recipe:

-3 cups spelt flour, room temperature

-1 1/2 t. salt

-1/2 c. unrefined coconut oil

1/2-3/4 c. liquid sourdough starter. I have no idea what this is, but Google does!

Mix ingredients without overworking dough, cover and set to sour for 5 hours. 

For filling, use:

-12 pink lady or gala apples. Gosh. Aren't those names so elegant? Makes me want to go out for dinner at one of dem fancy shmancy restaurants.

-cinnamon. Lots.

-vanilla extract. Not sure how much, but use about a teaspoon. It just feels right, ya know?

Cover and cook over low heat until apples are soft. Don't overcook! Add 2 T. of mystery sourdough starter and remove cover of pan and remove from heat. Roll out half the dough for the bottom, half for the top, fill with yummy apple sourdough filling, crimp edges together, poke holes in the top of the pie, then bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. Try to wait until the pie stops bubbling to eat it. Good things take time. Good things are worth waiting for. The best things come to those who wait. Waiting makes the heart grow fonder.

Does that last one make sense? Maybe I shouldn't be enjoying a glass of wine when I'm ridiculously tired and writing these dem dere posts. Please. Imagine me with my computer on my lap, my glass of wine near my feet, about to be tipped over because in a second I'm going to forget it's there, and me hysterically laughing at nothing. 

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom!



Racheli's INSANELY DELICIOUS Coconut Pecan Crumble


That's it. 

I'm done. 

I don't think I can ever make another dessert again.

It's the early evening here in humid, sweltering Bet Shemesh and I'm watching my little boyfriend crawl across the table. But I can't stop him because I'm too busy stuffing my face with this INSANELY DELICIOUS crumble mixture.

I'm dropping crumbs all over the table, my skirt, and the floor but I don't care. I'm in keto heaven. 

Actually, I have to blame Rav Brody for this dessert. All of his posting about Gog and Magog and the end of the world got my appetite soaring to new and inhuman levels. Since I can't eat most of what's in my house because it's not keto-friendly, I had to improvise and make my own INSANELY DELICIOUS dessert. 

I don't know why, but I'm getting more keto-crazy with each day. I mean, why eat dinner when I can eat this instead? It's got nuts, eggs, coconut, and butter. It's practically a steak with broccoli on the side. 

As I leisurely sip my coffee I'm silently sending out ESP signals for someone to come and take this plate away from me, because I just can't. Maybe if I keep typing my fingers won't be able to reach over and grab some more crumble and force it into my mouth. 

Yes. I know. I need a therapist.

Now listen - this dessert took me an awful long time to make because I had to actually measure stuff, which y'all know I hate to do. But I did it for your sake. So somebody, PLEASE make this dessert so all of my hard work would not have been in vain.

If any of you are on a keto diet, it's my variation of a fat bomb.

I highly recommend you eat this while drinking a nice espresso or cappuccino, and/or top this over a generous scoop of sugar-free vanilla ice cream. OMG. Heaven.

Please write to me about the state of nirvana that you reached when you took a bite of this INSANELY DELICIOUS little creation. 

(Did you catch my attempt to control your mind? Did it work??)

This makes a very small batch, but it goes a long way. Feel free to double (or triple) the recipe:

-2 large handful raw pecans (coarsely chop them)

-1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes (You can have my sweet friend Tena mail you some if you can't find them in your area.)

-3/4 c. ground almond

-1/2 c. ground walnut

-3/4 c. splenda 

-handful pumpkin seeds

-1 T. cinnamon

-1 T. cardamon (YUM!!!)

-1 c. melted butter (YIKES!!)

-1 egg

Mix it all together, place it as flat as you can in a baking sheet, and bake it until it browns on the top. Mine took less than 10 minutes. If you start to smell burning, you might want to take it out.