Healthy & Kosher

 

A Healthier Take on Jewish Classics

 

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There are only a few things more confusing than advice on healthful eating: Paleoists, vegans, carb cyclers, ketone diet adepts, fructarians, vegetarians, flexitarians, doctors, dietitians, trainers, scientists, celebrities, coaches, chefs–and the list keeps going– all state that they’ve found the perfect way to eat, but many of them give opposite recommendations. And then, if we were already confused, there’s kashrut…However, if you look closely, there’s something everyone–including kosher laws–agrees upon: plants are great for us, and they should be the core of our diets.

We don’t normally think of Jewish dietary laws being plant based, however, they do give us plenty of freedom when it comes to the plant world. They also promote moderation with products from the animal kingdom; restricting us on how to obtain, combine and eat them. We do obsess with meat and dairy, however, maybe our eyes should be on the plants, which are pretty much free for all (except for checking them for insects, which are not plants!).


 

Your Guide To A Healthy 5 Day Detox

 

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For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been thankful, celebrated Holy miracles and marked the end of the secular calendar. We gathered with family, friends and coworkers around the table, sharing love, good conversation, and delicious food and drink; but who are we fooling? We also shared the imminent need to unbuckle our belts at the end of the meals and the urge to take a long, comatose nap.

Comes January, we’re tired, bloated, sluggish, and feeling off. Isn’t it then the perfect time to press the reset button, support our body and get its vitality back?


 

Winter Salad Healthy Comfort Food

 

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Winter for me can be associated with two things: Comfortable food and comfortable clothes.

We’re talking bulky sweaters, big warm blankets and big bowls of mac and cheese or soup. It’s easy to bulk up over the winter months when your tummy is well hidden under layers and all you want is food that warms your body and soul. It’s hard to find vegetables that give you that feeling, especially since many of the veggies available aren’t in season and may be kind of sad looking. Needless to say, a big bowl of veggies isn’t exactly what comes to mind in the winter time, but that’s about to change.


 

Another Way Your Family Can Eat Meat

 

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I’m sure that this is how all of our grandparents ate. That Shabbat chicken was probably the only meat for the week – and it was probably shared by the entire family plus guests. The rest of the week, it was that illusion of meat – the chicken-scented broth – that kept everyone happy.

I’m sure you’re aware that meat consumption affects our health, our finances, even the environment. And just maybe you know deep down that you and your family are never going to give meat or dairy up. I get that and respect it.

But you know what? Eating less meat and dairy need not be all or nothing. You don’t need to say good-bye to meat and dairy for the rest of your life to enjoy more plant based foods.


 

A Healthy Brunch Menu

 

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As I sit down to write up this menu, I am still full from the Sunday birthday brunch I just came from for my almost 9 year old niece.  My sister in law did got raves for her egg casserole and pecan streusel french toast shuffle, which she noted are her faves because she can prep the the night before.  They were delicious, but after hearing about them, I have to note they were not the healthiest.


 

A Healthy Paleo Chanukah Menu

 

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There are lots of things I love about Chanuakah. I love spending time with family, watching the candles burn as we sing Chanukkah songs. I love watching how excited my kids get about playing dreidel. And of course, I love the food. 8 days of decadent fried treats, from the traditional latkes and sufganiot to the less traditional deep fried cookie dough and cheese bunuelos, I love it all. But if I am being totally honest, I don’t love the way I feel after indulging in so much fried heavy foods. I usually try to offset some of the grease by serving a big kale salad alongside all the fried dishes but even with that nod to something green the heaviness of the traditional Chanukkah treats is a bit much.

That’s why this year I decided to come up with a Chanukkah menu that celebrates the miracle of the oil in a healthier, less deep fried, way. Don’t worry, it is still totally delicious, but it has the advantage of not leaving you feeling weighed down and unable to move by the end of the holiday. In fact, this menu is paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free, but it tastes so good no one would ever suspect it is so healthy.


 

4 Ways To Throw A Healthy and Easy Chanukah Party

 

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In my biggest, glossiest fantasies I imagine a very specific Chanukah party.

In this fantasy I’m calm and welcoming amidst all the cooking chaos.  (OK, I also want to be wearing my favorite clothes and the earrings my mother gave to me).

The menu: easy to prepare.
The food: gorgeous, delicious, healthy.


 

Betting On Winter Greens

 

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Wen I was studying to become a dietitian and cramming for an exam, I followed the mantra “bet on green” whenever I was unsure of an answer on a test. Packed with dozens of vitamins and minerals, it was hard to go wrong then, and even now, I still bet on green. With the winter approaching, most of the colorful tomatoes, corn and squashes begin to disappear off the supermarket shelves, replaced by bright leafy winter greens. Winter greens are green-leafed vegetables, hardy enough to thrive in the colder winter weather. They include chard, collards, mustard greens, escarole, kale and beet greens, among many others. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phy- tonutrients, which may help prevent heart disease and cancer.


In 2009, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (a nationally recognized not-for-profit research organization where I used to work) ranked nearly 85 vegetables in order of highest to lowest nutrient content and found kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and Swiss chard in the top five.


 

Everything Is Better with Tahini

 

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When I was growing up, we stayed far away from tahini.  My dad has a sesame allergy and I didn’t really know what I was missing.  After all, tahini was still largely overlooked as a mainstream product in the U.S.  I remember once trying some packaged halva and I didn’t care to try that again.  I also remember having a can of tahini that blended the sesame paste with lemon and water already for you, and it tasted about as bad as it sounds describing it now.

It has only been the last several years that I have come to LOVE tahini (sorry Abba) and I expect more and more people will be jumping on the tasty tahini bandwagon soon.


 

Avocado Egg Salad

 

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As a Registered Dietitian, I always suggest that my clients eat whole foods, whenever possible. Not only are whole foods more nutritious and packed with more healthful vitamins and minerals than their processed counterparts, but they are also naturally delicious.

Eggs are am excellent example of a whole food and are good source of protein, rich in vitamin D, biotin and choline. Eggs are also inexpensive and widely available.


 

Making a Kosher Reuben Sandwich

 

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Over the summer I read somewhere that the Reuben sandwich was one of the top 5 favorite sandwiches in this country. While the sandwich is associated with the Jewish deli and Jewish food, it must have been created when Kosher style came around. The traditional sandwich is inherently not kosher given that it combines meat, corned beed, and cheese, Swiss. That being said many kosher delis will serve it without the cheese and others have dressed it up, like Citron and Rose in Philadelphia, who makes an open faced lamb Reuben sans cheese.


 

A Healthy Rosh Hashanah Menu *Giveaway*

 

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This year get all your kosher shopping done in one place. Winn-Dixie is committed to providing kosher foods and works to add more products every day.


 

Buckwheat Honey Time

 

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A few months ago I was invited by the National Honey Board to a honey tasting.  Do I have a sweet job or what?  I learned everything I ever wanted to know about honey and discovered my new found love for buckwheat honey.

Buckwheat honey was the last variety we tried.  It is a dark honey with a very intense, malty flavor. It is amazing how the source of the pollination, in this case, buckwheat, can impart such a difference in taste and texture.  After licking my spoon dry, I noticed that about half the other people didn’t finish their sample.  The person leading the demonstration said, “you either love it or hate it.”  (Clearly I was in the love side of the spectrum)


 

Healthy Recipes for the High Holidays *Giveaway*

 

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Summer is almost over, school is about to begin and the High Holidays are approaching.  I look forward to all our Jewish holidays, even the “dreaded” three-day Yom Tov.  It helps that I work for a Jewish company so I am not missing any work, but I especially appreciate the family time without work or digital distractions. Connecting to a day of rest is one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies, but because we like to eat (a lot) on the Jewish holidays, we have to plan properly to stay healthy.

My goal at all Shabbat and holiday meals is to feature vegetables for two thirds of the menu (and my plate). Luckily, most of the simanim (symbolic foods) can help us out.  With carrots, leeks, cabbage, beets, and pumpkin among the foods that promise a year of health and wealth, there are some great choices at your local market.


 

3 Healthy New Breakfast Ideas

 

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My clients are always asking for breakfast items that they and their kids can both enjoy. Sugary cereals and breakfast bars aren’t the ideal way to start the day, which is where these recipes come into play. Some of them you can make in advance, and others are better fresh, for the days when you have a little more time. Serve them with a nice fruit smoothie, and you’re all set for the morning!  With  a little planning, you can make delicious, unique, and healthy breakfasts that both you and your kids will crave.