All about the energy - In Neshe Antelis’s kitchen, healthful food leads to a richer life.
Neshe Antelis’s philosophy on feeding her family is pretty straightforward. “Keep it simple! Use your time, money and energy wisely— so you’ll have extra time to spend energizing yourself. Then you’ll be able to put more into your family and your food.”
Besides for taking care of her big brood at home in Hillside, N.J., Neshe keeps busy teaching fitness between one and four hours each day. She’s a certified yoga and Zumba instructor, a certified doula, and an avid foodie. Her style in the kitchen reflects her philosophy: living life healthfully and simply. “I love being in the kitchen but don’t believe in time-invasive cooking. Life is too busy.”
Neshe runs classes during the day in the local gym, in friends’ homes, or, when the weather is accommodating, outdoors in a friend’s yard. “I’m a complete junky for Zumba! It’s so joyful; and through yoga you achieve balance. Exercise brings not only physical benefits but mental benefits as well. It makes you calm and gives you the everyday strength that we all need to do the regular things we do; running after the kids, lifting, carrying. The more energy you use, by walking, swimming, moving…the more energy you’re going to have. A good night’s sleep is the key. If you’re well rested you won’t be reaching for the sugars and the carbs.”
Neshe tries to go as natural as possible in the kitchen. “I’d love to say we eat only organic but it’s not practical. The prices are a little science fiction for our large family! So we buy the good stuff. I like to be consistent but not fanatical. Consistency is good. Being fanatical is great in
theory but unhealthy in the long run!”
A Friday morning in Neshe’s kitchen will find her baking spelt challah, salmon, and baked gefilte fish. Her family loves meatloaf and mashed potatoes, turkey breast and either steamed or grilled vegetables with her special pesto. “My kids love pesto...all year round. We put it on brown rice, quinoa, noodles, salmon, steamed veggies.” Another favorite is her pureed vegetable soup using whatever vegetables are in season and
as many greens as she can. “Broccoli and squash pureed into a thick soup. It’s divine!” Lots of salads with mixed greens, craisins, nuts and fruit and a big pot of brown rice round out the menu.
For those hot summer days the Antelis family relies on fruit smoothies for a cold pick-me up. “My family loves smoothies...doesn’t everyone?! I use the over ripe bananas that no one will eat. I rinse them, peel them and freeze them. My basic recipe is 3 frozen bananas, frozen strawberries,
and washed frozen grapes. Add soy, almond, or rice milk. Blend till smooth and I like adding chia seeds or some essential fatty acid oil—about 1 tablespoon. Keeps you cool, healthy and it’s guilt-free!”
Neshe’s passion for life comes through, but with all that keeps her busy, her greatest love is being a mother. “I tell all my students to try to find some time for themselves, even a half hour, a few times week. Walk, dance…anything! Just move! It will make you a happier person and a better
Tip from Neshe's Kitchen: When cooking or baking with aluminum pans, line them first with parchment paper and lay another layer of parchment paper on top before you seal with silver foil. This will limit the absorption of aluminum into the food. It’s especially important when
cooking with acidic foods, like tomato products.