14 posts categorized "Healthy Eating"

Let Them Eat Tehina Cake!

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Awwww, yeah.... 

You know you want some.

I have to come to terms with the fact that I am obsessed with cake. My yetzer starts working overtime when Shabbat approaches. "You've been eating so healthy all week, my dear," he sneers, so full of concern for my health and well-being. "Why don't you just enjoyyy yourself on Shabbat? You've earned it..." Amazingly, my yetzer looks like the wicked witch from Snow White. "I'm gonna stuff your face with poison apple, yetzer!" I wanted to swat her with my spatula, but then I realized that swatting myself in the head might be a conflict of interest. 

Earlier this week, I posted Rebbetzin Brody's amazing tehina bread recipe. But I had to figure out some way to turn it into cake, so I could eat as much as I want on Shabbat without exploding. And, eureka! I have done it!

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Okay, that picture is seriously huge, and I don't know how to fix it. Sorry.

So here's what I did. I took the original recipe and tweaked it up a bit, whatever that means: 5 eggs, about 3/4 cup tehina, 2T honey (or date honey,) 3 almost-rotten bananas (very ripe,) 1 zucchini shredded, a few handfuls of cacao chips, dried cranberries, crushed walnuts (roughly chopped is also fine,) lots of pumpkin seeds,  2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, pinch of salt, lots and lots of cinnamon, a good sprinkling of ground clove and ground ginger, and lots of siyata dishmaya (Heavenly help.) 

I'm sorry that I can't give you proper amounts, but I don't have enough patience to measure things out. Just be generous with your seasoning.

I first mashed the bananas, then added the eggs, honey, and tehina and mixed it all up with a fork. Then I added the baking soda, powder, and seasonings. Then I added the shredded zucchini. Then, I threw in the cranberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and cacao chips. You can use chocolate chips if you prefer. 

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I gotta say that I'm blown away by my photography skills. Couldn't you eat the batter just like that?

Then, I did the smart thing and put the batter into two rectangular cake tins. 

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I loaded up the toppings again and put another generous helping of cinnamon on the top. OMG, I just realized that I have no idea how long I baked it for! Just check the thing with a knife starting at 20 minutes. It will look very well done, and the cranberries may even get a little burnt, but trust me dahlings, the flavor will be out of this world!

One more thing: the cake has a very spongy and moist texture. I like it, but if you prefer something more dense, add 1/2 cup of flour, preferably whole wheat. 

Please let me know if you made this! Wishing all of you a wonderful, relaxing, and healthy Shabbat!

~Racheli

 


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.

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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.

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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


Reverse Heart Disease!

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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


To Meat or Not To Meat?

Type 2 diabetes is a topic surrounded by controversy and misinformation. I am so thrilled that so many of our readers are health-conscious and are doing what you can to better your health. Kol hakavod! 

Since I love controversy, I thought I would add some to yesterday's post and post this video about the role of meat in diabetes. Actually, I'm posting the link because I have no idea how to post a video. Anyhow, meat consumption is shown to actually be a risk factor for diabetes, even though the ketogenic diet claims the opposite. Now, to be clear, I am in no way putting down the ketogenic diet. I just want to give you another perspective on the same subject, so you can better make informed decisions as to your eating habits.

Here it is, and I'd love to hear your comments!

~Racheli


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


Hello, Waist!

Carbs
If you've been following Rav Brody for a while, then you know how much we here at the Beams value being healthy and in good shape. While in theory all of us would agree that we'd love to be in perfect health, very few of us are actually serious about it. We all have busy lives, and in between our million+ things we have to get done each day, we're supposed to eat. Now, if we do remember to eat, we may end up eating things just to fill ourselves up instead of give our bodies what they need.

Evenings may consist of rushing to throw a pizza in the oven for dinner and doing the kids' book reports for them or finishing up your office work that should have been done at the office but that darned IM on Facebook just wouldn't turn itself off. Occasionally, we might experience a momentary wave of guilt for substituting fast food for real food once again. Well I certainly wasn't referring to being on Facebook the entire day. So I gotta tell you - it's okay. We're human. 

That being said, being human is no excuse. You can't go up to the Heavenly Court one day and tell them that you just didn't have time to take care of your body because you had too many other things that were higher up on your list of priorities. So Rav Brody and I have decided that we are going to help you, our awesome readers, get your priorities straight and get your health out of the red, so to speak. 

So first things first. The desire for good health is critical to achieving good health. Now that may sound like a "duh" statement, and it is. But, if we just look at our diets and lifestyles, most of us can say that we really don't desire good health. Because if we really, really did, then we would be doing something about it. So I'm going to push you in the right direction with this reminder: the body is the house of the soul. If you want your soul to be healthy, your body also has to be healthy. This thought needs to stay in your mind as your motivation for getting yourself in shape.

Now since I like a challenge, I thought the first body part we would aim on improving is the waist. You may think it's the hardest area to lose weight in, but in reality, it's one of the easiest. Easiest, that is, if you're willing to make a few lifestyle changes. Okay, it's simple. Not so easy, really. But we'll take it step by step.

Here's my first one week challenge to you: cut down on the empty carbs as much as possible. I'm talking pastas, breads, stuff like that that comes from white sugar and white flour. 

In the meantime, don't worry about substituting refined, empty carbs with other types of carbs. G-d willing, we'll get to all that. In the meantime, stay away from the processed carbs and snacks for one week. You'll be amazed at the difference you will see in your stomach and waist! I know from my own experience that as soon as I eat pasta or bread, my stomach begins to puff up like a fluffy challah. And that puffiness will never go away if I keep eating that stuff. 

If you decide to take this challenge, please write us and let us know how it's going for you! 

Here's to your health - and your new waistline!

~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!