Wellspring Issue #82

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A Plea to Mothers How we speak to our daughters about their size deeply impacts their self-image

NOVEMBER 2022 // CHESHVAN 5783 // ISSUE 82

Stretching in the Lab 118 Samples join Libby to experiment with yoga

6 Fall Squashes And what you should know about each Can you really get your energy boost in gulps? The juice on electrolyte beverages

More Sleep for Less Junk Food Research-backed reasons to make timely bedtime a priority this winter

Everything Tastes Better on a Stick The perfect wholesome lollipop recipes for Friday night snacking



DIY All-Natural Cough Syrup

Breathe In! 3 fun games to help your child regulate their emotions

New Serial Diary!

Are We There Yet? No one believes all my sagas happened to just one person

Cup of Tea Dr. Judy Ribner wants to demystify the birth experience for every mother FYI Bedwetting US $9.99 // CALIFORNIA $7.50 CANADA $8.99 // UK £5.50 EUROPE €6.50 // ISRAEL ₪24.9

Tap In “I Want More Chocolate… Now!” Is that my intuition speaking?

One Hour Earlier

The daylight savings time controversy and how the switch impacts our health

MEDICAL SAGA I couldn’t hug my own child because of his odor

Flavors of Fall 8 health contributors share their favorite autumninspired dishes




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Editor In Chief Shiffy Friedman Deputy Editor Libby Silberman Nutritional Advisory Board Dr. Rachael Schindler Laura Shammah, MS, RDN Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE Bashy Halberstam, INHC Shaindy Oberlander, INHC Shira Savit, MA, MHC, CHC Esti Asher, MS, RDN, LD Nutrition Contributors Tanya Rosen, MS CAI CPT Shani Taub, CDC


Health Advisory Board Dr. Chayala Englard Chaya Tilla Brachfeld, RN Fitness Advisory Board Syma Kranz, PFC Esther Fried, PFC Child Development Advisory Board Friedy Singer, OTR/L Roizy Guttmann, OTR/L Coordinating Editor Liba Solomon, CNWC Feature Editors Rochel Gordon • Rikki Samson


Proofreaders Faige Badian • Meira Lawrence

WELLSPRING MAGAZINE: 718-412-3309 info@wellspringmagazine.com www.wellspringmagazine.com 670 Myrtle Ave. Suite 389 Brooklyn, NY 11205

FOOD CONTENT Food Editor Esther Frenkel Recipes Yossi & Malky Levine Charnie Kohn Elky Friedman Styling & Photography Malky Levine Charnie Kohn Pessi Piller ART & PRODUCTION Cover Design Aryeh Epstein Designer Rivky Schwartz Digital Media Rivkah Shanowitz ADVERTISING Executive Account Manager Goldy Kolman 718-412-3309 Ext.2 ads@wellspringmagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION 718-437-0761 subscribe@wellspringmagazine.com DISTRIBUTION Weekly Publications INC. 347-782-5588

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The Wellspring Magazine is published monthly by Wellspring Magazine Inc. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part or in any form without prior written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The publisher reserves the right to edit all articles for clarity, space and editorial sensitivities. The Wellspring Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content or kashrus of advertisements in the publication, nor for the content of books that are referred to or excerpted herein. The contents of The Wellspring Magazine, such as text, graphics and other material (content) are intended for educational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you have regarding your medical condition.

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At the Right Time


ne frenzied pre-Yom Tov evening, after I had put my toddler to sleep and was gathering my bearings before moving on to the next urgent thing on my list, my phone rang. It was a forwarded call, which I already recognize as a call to the Wellspring line. My main work takes place during normal business hours (plus evening hours during hectic seasons), but since I live in Eretz Yisrael—which makes reaching me from the US during my business hours almost impossible—I’ll sometimes make an exception and pick up when I’m in Mommy mode. It’s not the most professional move, I know, but I believe most callers favor hearing a human voice on the other end of the line over the professionalism of no answer (correct me if I’m wrong, please!). And that busy evening—while I was catching my breath from my workload—was one time when I made that exception. I was still sitting in my daughter’s room, so it was relatively quiet in the vicinity, and I chose to take the call. It was a gift from Hashem right there. As soon as I said hello, the caller, Elana, launched into a raving review about the magazine, conveying her appreciation for a publication that feeds the mind and inspires the soul. “I just finished reading Faigy Schonfeld’s FYI article on the kidneys, and I’m just blown away. This isn’t just a science and health journal,” she enthused, “It’s a work of inspiration, every part of it. It’s a manifestation of umalah ha’aretz deiah es Hashem, helping spread an awareness of Hashem and His existence in every facet of our life.” In case you missed it, here’s how Faigy ended her piece on kidney stones: “Of course, kidney stones don’t have a mind of their own; their formation, as well as their dissolution, occurs because Someone is controlling it all. Knowing this is incredibly helpful in dealing with and managing the issue.”


lana’s words touched me so deeply. That she went out of her way to express how the publication inspired her was one thing, but I was also moved on another level—a prime aspect of our life that this issue’s Torah Wellspring explores—absorbing once again that Hashem’s messages are everywhere. For me, that phone call was a personal gift from Him, His way of encouraging me onward even when the deadlines were looming and time seemed to be racing too fast. On the heels of an inspirational month, this sentiment deserves our full attention. We do ourselves so much good—for our spiritual, emotional, and even physical health—if we simply lend an ear to His messages, if we welcome everything He sends into our life with curiosity: What is it that He wants from me now? How can it make my Yiddishkeit healthier, more robust and alive?


eading this issue’s Medical Saga brought to mind a similar incident that happened to us with our then-preschooler, who stuck a clove up her nose. I will never forget the relief that flooded me when the ENT finally plucked it out of her tiny nostril, after five days of running around in circles trying to find the right shaliach to confirm my suspicions. Simply looking at that offending clove inspired awe at the workings of the human body: how it sends signs and signals to ensure that we pay attention to its crises. With every mystery solved, we’re afforded a message of love and care from Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And even when the situation is still uncertain, the signs are there—we just have to look for them, and allow ourselves to feel enveloped in His embrace.

n a m d e i r F Shiffy

To a healthy winter ahead,

WELL- PUT One of the ways to safeguard our children’s health is by teaching and, most importantly, modeling healthy habits.




NOVEMBER 2022 CHESHVAN 5783 ISSUE 82 Our next issue will appear on Wednesday, December 7 th iy"H.




Spiritual Eating


Torah Wellspring


Health Updates












Serial Diary



COVER FEATURE Tinkering with Time By Esther Retek In truth, the extra hour isn’t that exciting, especially when you know it’s only borrowed time. But even if you do appreciate the extra hour as we fall back and welcome standard time or winter time, these changes are not as simple as a swerve of a dial.








90 Tap In

FAREWELL 130 Holistic

Inner Parenting will return next month iy"H.

68 CUP OF TEA with Dr. Judy Ribner By Esther Retek "I was raised to cherish and preserve feminine physiologic processes and not to outsource them. Becoming midwife doctor was aligned with that value system.”

TRANSFORMATION Ask the Nutritionist By Shani Taub Now I feel the time has come to make some changes—because not everything is about weight. I cook pretty unhealthily, frying often, and we eat lots of carbs. How do I start changing all that, especially so that my children will grow up with an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle?



THE SMELL Medical Saga As told to Roizy Baum That night, I decided to play doctor. Convinced that there must be something in Chaim’s nose, I peered inside with the help of a flashlight. To my surprise, I spotted something.




On Immune Support, Natural Toothpaste, Pink Himalayan Salt and More

Rejuvenated And Light Issue #81: Torah Wellspring

Of all the thought-provoking columns in your impressive magazine, I most appreciate the depth and beauty of Torah Wellspring. Perhaps one of the most exquisitely beautiful pieces Rabbi Ezra Friedman has written was the one in the Sukkos issue, namely about anxiety. Having read the piece the night before Sukkos, I entered the Yom Tov feeling so rejuvenated and light. As someone whose wellbeing is in 10


a healthy state, baruch Hashem, I related to the concepts very well. But I was gratified to see the important paragraph regarding fear that is not true yiras Shamayim, which started with the caveat: “To be clear, genuine fear of Hashem is unlike any other fear. There’s nothing unhealthy about it; it is not one iota detrimental to the fearer.” Wow, that was so critical to the piece. One of our sons struggled with OCD for several years, and it manifested in obsessive “avodas Hashem.” Obviously, that was not avodas Hashem; he just saw it that way while he was going through an

unhealthy phase. Rabbi Friedman summed it up so succinctly: Tzaddikim and those Yidden who manage to channel their fear in the right direction don’t live an existence that’s gripped in anxiety. Rather, their cognizance of Hashem’s greatness propels them to serve Him with joy and emotional ease. May we all merit to serve Hashem with joy! All the best, Mrs. T. Korn Brooklyn, New York

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Quick Question


Question: With RSV on the rise again, I’d like to know what this condition is and what can be done to prevent it. I’m a young mother and the frightening stories I’ve heard about this condition are worrying me. If my baby coughs incessantly, should I go to the hospital to check it out?

Answer: The symptoms of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which affects many infants and young children, include coughing, runny nose, fever, wheezing, and loss of appetite. While it can deteriorate and get serious, for the most part, you can keep calm and keep in mind that coughing in itself is generally not a symptom of a serious issue. If your child is coughing and exhibiting other symptoms, try some home treatment first, such as using a vaporizer or nebulizer, filling the room with hot steam, and giving him a massage with essential oils (with guidance). Of course, be in touch with your pediatrician to monitor the progression of the condition. If there is any sign that your child is having difficulty breathing, such as breathing too rapidly, call emergency medical services immediately and they will be the ones to make the decision whether you’re better off treating your child in a hospital. In addition to RSV (which is viral and does not respond to medication) the child may have bronchiolitis or pneumonia or another infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics. The hospitals are trying to cope with an overload of cases, and the wait may be long, but as parents, we always want to do what is best for our child. Be well, Miriam Schweid, health consultant and kinesiologist

Immune Boost Issue #81: Community

I’d like to express my profound appreciation to your incredible staff, who compile such a masterpiece month after month. You provide so much food for thought on such vital topics, especially the nefesh. I read it cover to cover and appreciate the substance and depth. Last issue’s Community focused on boosting our kids’ immune system for the season ahead, and I’d like to share what has worked for me. Of course, nothing is too minor to daven for and in these months, I try to include this request in my tefillah—that everyone should feel good. Also, I put a strong emphasis on providing the kids with 12


a nourishing breakfast before they leave the house. Yes, there are times when it gets quite challenging, but I know that their bodies just won’t work the same if they’re running on rugelach and cookies, or even healthy “snacks,” than when they’re fueled by tuna and vegetables. This also helps curb their appetite for junk food. I also encourage the kids to keep drinking water. We invested in a water cooler so the kids can hydrate whenever necessary without having to ask for or even wait for it. To a healthy winter ahead for all of us, Perry S. Linden, New Jersey

Mirror Image Issue #81: Editor’s Note

Soon after reading Shiffy Friedman’s insightful letter in the incredible Sukkos issue, I got my very own proof regarding the wisdom of the parenting tip she shared: when we notice our kids struggling in a particular area, our work is to shine a light into our own conduct in that area and see what can use improvement. It was on Friday night, about an hour after the zeman, and I was serving the kids cholent from the Crock-Pot. I was in a particularly lazy, out-of-it mood, and instead of thoroughly wiping off the cover of the pot to prevent the issue of bishul

The Doctor Is In

Question: As the weather gets cooler, I’m struggling to get my kids to wear their hats, coats, and gloves. The little ones refuse to wear hats, and my older kids don’t like their coats either. I’m so worried they will catch a cold and get sick. Some of them even go outside with wet hair. I keep telling them they will get pneumonia that way, but they don’t listen. What can I do to convince them that their behavior is reckless?


kids get cold, they will add layers themselves.

While it can certainly be uncomfortable watching your kids go play outside without the proper outwear, please rest assured that doing so isn’t necessarily dangerous. Contrary to popular belief, being cold, not wearing a coat, or being outside with wet hair does not make kids sick. Viruses tend to circulate more in the winter, and we tend to spend more time indoors during cold months, both of which result in more frequent illness during this season. However, we don’t “catch” colds by not dressing warmly. Wearing a hat, coat, and boots is a good habit to stay warm and enjoy time outdoors. However, if kids refuse to put on the layers, there’s no need to fight with them. Continue to offer outerwear or leave them in backpacks during school days. When

During very cold weather, prolonged exposure can lead to hypothermia. This is a condition where the core body temperature drops dangerously low. However, this is usually seen in elderly people without adequate food, clothing, or heating, or people who remain outdoors for a prolonged period of time, like hunters or hikers. In addition, kids are at risk of frostbite. This happens when the skin (usually on fingers, toes, ears, or the nose) freezes. Hypothermia and frostbite are concerns during extreme weather or prolonged exposure. Don’t let cold weather deter kids from playing outside. In fact, it is still recommended that kids get up to sixty minutes of vigorous outdoor activity even during winter months. Jennifer Berkovich, DO, FAAP Member, JOWMA preventative health committee

(by cooking up the droplets that had formed from the vapor), I just gave a quick wipe and covered the pot. Ouch. Not a second went by when my tenyear-old son emerged from his room and said to me, “Mommy, I left my battery recharger in the wall! It’s going to burn if I don’t unplug it!” I calmed him down and told him that no, it wouldn’t burn, and the merit of keeping Shabbos would surely result in the right outcome, that even if it would burn, we’d replace it for him. Alas, he came back to me a few minutes later to confide that he’d unplugged it… What an eye-opening moment it was for me, an instant motivation for

teshuvah. Thanks for bringing this insight to my attention. P.D.

in some frozen fruits every morning and am off to work with a bounce in my step. It feels great and I’ve seen incredible improvement with my digestive issues. Keep it up!

Joined the Club Issue #81: Sample

Just writing to say how much I’ve learned from the magazine and how many positive changes I’ve implemented in my lifestyle thanks to your content. The kefir grains are happily fermenting in a cabinet as I write these lines. Kefir has now become my go-to breakfast every morning and I’m feeling great! I blend

Tehilla S. Lakewood, New Jersey

Instant Relief Issue #80: Community

Your article on breast infections could not have come at a better time.




My child’s teacher has a lot of rules in the classroom regarding lunch. She directs what can be eaten and when. I sent my son in with dried fruit and that was deemed a dessert, and now he doesn’t want to eat it at all anymore. What can I do to improve the matter?

Answer: Ideally, when parents send in food, the child is then in charge of deciding the order and amount to eat. Whenever I speak to an audience of teachers, I reinforce this concept. The child has autonomy over their lunchbox. The well-meaning teacher may not be aware of the feeding issues, allergies, or other factors that contribute to a child’s lunchbox meal, and parents can convey that to her in a kind, gentle manner. To help reinforce this idea at home, serve the dried fruit he is currently refusing, and enjoy it together. For example, have a cute teatime with mini muffins and dried fruit. Simply enjoy it together to show that food is for joy and nourishment, not for fear and shame.

Pediatric Nutrition


Soon after I read it, I had to quit nursing, and with it came the painful infection. As per the advice in the article, I massaged thieves oil on the area and the relief was instant. During the time that I was painfully engorged, I used the thieves oil again and did not need require any other treatment. Many thanks, Name Withheld Upon Request

Balance Is Key Issue #81: Editor’s Note

What a great conversation piece Shiffy Friedman’s letter in the Sukkos issue was, especially coming from a health magazine. When I once told a friend that I love reading Wellspring, she looked at me like I’d fallen off the moon. “But you’re so not obsessed with health!” she exclaimed. Ha. I truly am not, and that’s what I appreciate about Wellspring. All of the writers and contributors exude such positivity toward a healthy lifestyle and toward not obsessing over every morsel that enters our—or our kids’—mouths. Thanks so much for a well-rounded publication that keeps reminding me that while we are meant to do our hishtadlus in a balanced way, at the end of the day, it is all up to Hashem. G. Yeger

Yaffi Lvova, RDN

Yaffi Lvova, RDN, is a dietitian and food enjoyment activist who encourages positive nutrition through writing, speaking, and Nap Time Nutrition, her video blog and podcast. Find out more at babybloomnutrition.com.



Too Grainy Issue #80: SWAP

I read in the magazine about switching over from regular salt to pink Himalayan salt.

I made that switch before Yom Tov but the foods I seasoned with pink Himalayan salt contained grainy salt pieces. Apparently, it doesn’t dissolve in food like regular salt does. Any idea as to why this is happening? I’d love to cook healthier, but it’s got to be edible too… Name Withheld Upon Request Malky Levine responds: Kudos to you for making the switch, and I’m sorry this happened to you.

If you’re using the salt as an ingredient, I would suggest buying fine ground Himalayan salt, which dissolves the same way regular salt does. Coarse Himalayan salt is better used as a topping.

the teeth? Shouldn’t the toothpaste be sweetened with xylitol for taste and health benefits? Is there a reason why it shouldn’t be used in the toothpaste? Thank you,

Why Not Xylitol?


Issue #81: FYI

I have a question regarding the recipe for natural toothpaste. Why does it call for stevia when the article states that xylitol is great for

Faigy Schonfeld responds: The recipe calls for stevia, but it’s safe to assume that any sweetener of your choice could work.

Get in touch! Wellspring invites readers to submit letters and comments via regular mail or email to info@wellspringmagazine.com. We reserve the right to edit all submissions and will withhold your name upon request. We will honor requests for anonymity, but we cannot consider letters that arrive without contact information.

Any health information, advice, or suggestions published here are the opinion of the letter writer and are not independently investigated, endorsed, or validated by Wellspring. Always seek the advice of a qualified health professional or medical practitioner regarding any medical advice, condition, or treatment.

See this issue’s Springboard Part II in the Wellbeing section.




No Shortcuts

30 Days to a Flat Stomach. Cabbage Soup Diet. Ice Cream Diet. Eat all the Chocolate You Want and Still Lose Weight. Melt Away 18 Pounds in 4 Days.

If our intuition and common sense aren’t enough to tell us that something is fishy with fad diets, then we have a well-known verse in the Torah that will do it for us.

nalize driving 90 mph on the way to the nursing home just so they can have a little extra time while visiting their elderly aunt and perform the mitzvah of bikur cholim.

“Righteousness, righteousness you shall pursue, in order that you may live . . . (Devarim 16:20).”

We do these things in the name of pursuing righteous goals – convincing ourselves that the end justifies the means. This is perhaps most prevalent in the realm of dieting and weight loss. With 70% of Americans either overweight or obese, those who are not struggling with extra pounds are the exception, not the norm.

The famous question is asked: Why the repetition of the word righteousness? If the Torah had merely written, “Righteousness you shall pursue . . .” the meaning would be clear – your pursuits in life should be virtuous. What are we supposed to learn from the doubling of the phrase? Many times in life we have goals that we know are honest, good and beneficial. And in the name of doing the right thing we sometimes permit ourselves to pursue those objectives in a less than ideal manner. We can excuse our questionable actions along the way as necessary in- order-to achieve our desired result. An individual might want to save money to pay for their children’s tuition, so they won’t be perfectly honest on their income taxes to save a few extra dollars. Another person might ratio-



We want to be healthy, we want to lose weight. We want to lower our cholesterol, our high blood pressure and chance of contracting diabetes (G-d forbid) - all noble and necessary objectives. But we’re clamoring for the quickest means, the shortest cut and the easiest road – but not necessarily the righteous path. We desperately want the result – but might be going to great lengths to avoid the solution. The result is to lose weight. The solution is to change our behavior. That’s why fad diets are so appealing to so many. We are told that either we don’t have to change our behavior

at all – that somehow we can continue eating the same foods or eating in the same manner and still lose weight. Or that we only have to temporarily make a radical change to lose all the weight we need – and then we can return to our previous attitudes and somehow maintain a healthy body size. But the truth is that there are no shortcuts in life. This seminal idea is so relevant now. We recently completed our Yamim Noraim, culminating with the great simcha of Sukkos. We invested ample time, energy, and money to create an environment for successful teshuvah and fulfilled all the mitzvos, down to the minutest detail, in all of their splendor. We extended ourselves so much to do so because we understand that there are no shortcuts to spiritual growth. The same applies to maintaining a healthy body, the physical home for our neshamah. We need to identify our unhealthy behaviors and attitudes with food and be honest and courageous enough to make the steady and consistent changes required – regardless of how much of an effort it takes. That’s the truly righteous path that leads to a lasting solution.

Rabbi Eli Glaser, CNWC, CWMS, is the founder and director of Soveya and the author of the best-selling book Enough Is Enough—How the Soveya Solution Is Revolutionizing the Diet and Weight-Loss World, available on Amazon and at Barnes & Nobles and Judaica Plaza in Lakewood. He has worked with thousands of clients around the world and has maintained a 130-pound weight loss for the last 19 years. For more information about Soveya’s programs call 732-578-8800, email info@soveya.com, or visit www. soveya.com.



TORAH WELLSPRING By Rabbi Ezra Friedman

Messages Everywhere With Tishrei behind us, an elevated spiritual life is still very much in our grasp

After a month of being entrenched in our avodah during the Yamim Nora’im, moving from crowning Hakadosh Baruch Hu as our King to davening for His forgiveness and then spending a week in His embrace in our sukkah, the question we have as we enter this stretch of Cheshvan is, how can I maintain this elevated state that I experienced in Tishrei? 18


Even if someone did not engage in the avodah of the time, simply living through a Tishrei brings every Yid closer to his neshamah. It’s a reality for all of us, whether we actually feel it or not. So how can we maintain that new level we’ve reached? How can we experience this closeness to our spiritual self, this closeness to the Ribbono Shel Olam throughout the year? When one of the great tzaddikim of yesteryear

observed that his chassidim were concerned about this matter—how they’d hold on to the inspiration and elevation they’d experienced over Yom Tov, he wisely noted, “The Hashem whom you addressed in Atah Bachartanu [in the Yom Tov tefillos] is the same Hashem you will be addressing in Atah Chonein [the tefillah we say every day].” Our relationship with our Father is constant; it’s a closeness we can tap into all year long. Seek Him Out How can we feel it more? For starters, we can begin to notice that it’s not only us speaking to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, but that He is speaking to us, all day, every day. If we’re cognizant of His messages, we will realize how every single experience we encounter throughout our day is essentially a message from Him. Most of us know that there’s a concept that Hashem speaks to us through Torah, like when we’re learning and find an answer to something that’s been on our mind. We also know that sometimes, when we daven, we can come away with a feeling that our tefillos have been answered. But what too many of us don’t know is that Hashem is really talking to us throughout our everyday lives, sending us the precise messages we need to hear. Just as in the famous example of the leaf that fell off the tree in order to protect an insect, every single detail that occurs in our life is a message for us, chiseled just so to help us achieve our purpose in life. True, we live in a world of hester panim—we aren’t afforded the clarity of hearing the messages directly from Hashem. But, if we look out for

them, if we pay attention to them with a desire to come closer to our tachlis, we will notice their presence. Whether it’s a person He sends our way, a challenge we stumble upon, or something we’ve read, nothing we encounter is “just because.” Speaking through the Traveler In this vein, Rav Eliyahu Dessler zt”l explained the words “Vekoneh hakol—He buys everything,” to mean that the imprint of Hakadosh Baruch Hu is upon absolutely everything that occurs. He owns it all and deftly maneuvers all the details of our life with exactitude and purpose. When the Baal Shem Tov was once sitting in his home with his prime disciple, the Rebbe Yaakov Yosef of Pollonye, known as the Toldos, a peddler walked in from the street and asked, “Nu, is there anything you want me to fix? Anything need to be repaired around here? Let’s fix something.” With that, the Baal Shem Tov turned to his talmid and said, “Look how Hakadosh Baruch Hu keeps talking to us. He wants us to look inside ourselves and see how we can improve in some area, so He sent this peddler to remind us. He didn’t just ‘land’ here ‘by chance’ because he’s looking to earn a few coins. He’s takeh talking the gashmiyus language of fixing some wares, but that’s the deeper message for us to draw from his words.” Not convinced, the Toldos argued this point with the Baal Shem Tov, asserting that the encounter with the peddler didn’t necessarily allude to a deeper message. Couldn’t it be that he simply was looking to earn his parnassah? Later, on his way home from the Baal Shem Tov, the Toldos

was riding in his wagon when he suddenly heard a fellow traveler cry for help. Stepping out of his carriage, he noticed that the man’s wagon was submerged in a swamp. “Please help me drag my wagon out of the mud,” the fellow pleaded. Due to his age and physical state, the Toldos sighed and said, “I can’t,” to which the man countered, “It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you don’t want.” Absorbing the words of the simple traveler, the Toldos gave the message pause, realizing that it was Hashem who was sending this sentiment his way, challenging him to push himself further in areas where he was capable of growing more. All of our tzaddikim live every moment of their lives with this concept in mind, seeking out the G-dly messages in all their encounters. Once, when Rav Eliezer Zusya Portugal zt”l, the father of the previous Skulener Rebbe, approached the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, he heard someone shouting, “Sheigetz, arois!” (Hoodlum, out of here!) The Rebbe immediately turned around and raced out of the area. When the chassidim went to investigate the source of the commotion, they saw an old Jew sitting there, whose way of doing teshuvah was by screaming at his yetzer hara to leave him. When they went to inform the Rebbe that the shouts weren’t intended for them and that the coast was clear for him to return, they asked him why he had escaped so quickly. “He wasn’t screaming at you,” they pointed out. “He was talking to himself!” The Rebbe’s answer conveyed his perspective on all the happenings in his life. “It might be true that he was talking to himself, to his own yetzer hara, but that I




If we’re cognizant of His messages, we will realize how every single experience we encounter throughout our day is essentially a message from Him.

was meant to hear this now was a reminder from Hashem that I too must do teshuvah, I too must get rid of the ‘hoodlum’ within before I approach such a sacred site.” Our Mirror The messages are everywhere, and their content varies. Sometimes, it’s a message of Hashem’s love for us. We meet just the right person, hear just the right words, find just what we were looking for, just at the right time. Other times, it’s a message to encourage introspection, to look deep inside ourselves and understand, “Why was I meant to experience this right now?” Yes, the messages are everywhere, and included in “everywhere” is the home, a place where Hakadosh Baruch Hu’s messages particularly 20


ring loud and clear, if we choose to pay attention to them. Through our spouse and children, He lets us know which aspects of our character can benefit from a polishing. The various feelings we experience in our closest relationships, as well as with others, such as the feeling of rejection, are also part of His plan. Whenever we experience such emotions, it is our choice to focus on the messenger through which the unpleasant feeling arose, or to realize that there’s a Hashem behind all this, sending us a message particularly related to our growth. We can make all of these moments about “How can I grow closer to Hashem through this?” And that is our way of truly heeding His messages. As has been mentioned in this space, the Baal Shem Tov famously explained the words “Kol hanegaim

sheha’adam roeh chutz minigei atzmo” in this context to mean that all the blemishes a person sees outside of himself are an indication of his own blemishes. The reason Hakadosh Baruch Hu orchestrated for me to notice something negative in another person is davka because this person is intended to serve as my mirror. When an attribute or trait in another individual aggravates me, that’s Hashem’s message for me to improve my own conduct in this area. This entire purpose is not only defeated but completely undermined when I choose instead to focus on the other individual, speaking derogatorily about them. The great lover of all of Klal Yisrael, Rav Asher Freund zt”l, used to host many types of Yidden in his home. Once, someone asked him, “Don’t you see that these people

that if a Yid would be preoccupied with work, distracted by the buzz of everyday life, he wouldn’t be able to experience all these positive emotions. He thus gave us various mitzvos as a means to safeguard the peace and joy He wants us to feel. But if you’re stewing in anger and tension all Shabbos long, it’s true that you’re keeping the actual mitzvos and your wife is clearly violating halachah, but it seems that she’s experiencing more joy than you are. Perhaps the reason she’s still resisting the change is for you to cull this message from her choices.” Indeed, the Yid absorbed this message, and he started to make enjoying Shabbos his priority. It wasn’t only about the candles and the challah and the cessation of melachah anymore; it was also, and very importantly, about creating an atmosphere of simchah and calm in his home. Not surprisingly, his wife started staying home more and more, until she embraced Shabbos observance completely. All Is Good are being mechallel Shabbos in your home? Doesn’t it bother you?” To which Rav Asher answered, “If I see chillul Shabbos, I know it’s a message from Hashem that there’s something in my observance of the mitzvah that requires improvement. It’s not about them; it’s about me.” A pious Yid who returned to teshuvah several decades ago once shared that even after he had found the light in Torah, his wife was still in the dark. For several years, they lived together with him gradually keeping more and more mitzvos and her still resisting the change. While he lit candles and sat down to the Shabbos seudah, his wife left the house to spend the day at the beach with friends. Of course, this reality

bothered him deeply, and he went to speak with a great mekubal regarding his tikkun. “I observe Shabbos so meticulously,” he confided. “How can it be that my wife is desecrating it so?” The mekubal’s response was a question: “What does your Shabbos look like? Are you happy on Shabbos? Are you calm on Shabbos?” “How can I be happy on Shabbos when this is what goes on in our home?” the man admitted. “There’s so much anger, so much tension.” The mekubal turned to the Yid and said, “In a sense, you’re causing a greater chillul Shabbos than your wife. A big part of Shabbos is for a Yid to be besimchah, to experience oneg, to rest, to feel calm and at peace. Hakadosh Baruch Hu knew

When we live with this yesod— that Hashem is sending us messages at every moment, and we examine those messages in order to extract a lesson that will lead us toward achieving our purpose—we merit experiencing the blessed reality of kirvas Hashem. What we experience all day is pure connection to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, a deeply rooted awareness that our bond with our Heavenly Father is solid and constant. True, in Tishrei we may have spent more time in the beis midrash engrossed in formal tefillah, but that same connection will accompany us through the year as we go about our daily life with this in mind. And as David HaMelech says in Tehillim, when we are zocheh to feel this closeness, all is good: “Ve’ani kirvas Elokim li tov!”

Rabbi Ezra Friedman welcomes questions and comments on this column. Please write to rabbiefriedman@wellspringmagazine.com.



UPDATES By Esther Retek

Just Smile Can simply stretching your lips make you happy? We’ve all heard the adage, “Fake it till you make it,” but it took researchers until recently to actually prove its veracity. Specifically, they were on a search to find evidence that faked smiles can actually make a person happier. Incredibly, they discovered more than just that. Their research led them to develop a theory that the conscious experience of emotions is based on body sensations. That is, a simple stretch of a smile can stimulate joy and, likewise, the furrowed brow can arouse feelings of anger. An early study of facial feedback found that a popular comic strip was funnier if participants were looking at it while stretching their mouths into a movement similar to a smile by holding a pen between their teeth. However, the study was questioned by many labs and propelled researchers to investigate further. The new study, published in Nature Human Behavior, involved nearly 3,900 participants from 19 countries. The researchers used three techniques believed to activate 22


smile muscles. One-third of study participants used the pen-in-mouth technique, while another third were asked to mimic the expressions of smiling actors. The final third were asked to move the corners of their lips to their ears and lift their cheeks using only face muscles. Then researchers asked the group to rate their happiness after viewing simple pictures or blank screens. The team found a noticeable increase in happiness when participants mimicked smiling photographs or pulled their mouth toward their ears. Nicholas Coles, researcher and co-director of Stanford Big Team Science Lab, said that the results with these two techniques provide a compelling argument that human emotions are somehow linked to facial muscles. Can this be used to help people who are experiencing negative emotions? Probably not much, says Coles, but it definitely gives us reason to tell ourselves and our children that it never hurts to smile.

Trust in your future self. As the most comprehensive family of mental wellness programs for the local community, we provide confidential mental health support that empowers children and adults with the tools they need to succeed today, tomorrow, and beyond.

At Sipuk Mental Health Clinic, we see you as an individual, family member, and part of the community.

Personalized Services: Individual Psychotherapy

Marital Therapy

Family Therapy

General Health Screenings

Psychiatry & Psychopharmacology

Pioneering Team: Mutty Solomon, LMHC, Clinic Director

Rivky Goldman, LMHC, Program Director

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Eddie Simcha, LCSW, Director of

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Is Sleep the Solution? Children eat junk food to make up for shut-eye If winter means longer nights for you and your children, you might be surprised to notice them consuming less junk food. The credit goes to…their better sleep, new research is suggesting. The findings were presented at the International Congress on Obesity, in Melbourne, Australia, though they have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. But here’s what researchers at University of Otago in New Zealand discovered after analyzing data from the DREAM (Daily Rest, Eating, and Activity Monitoring) trial. Kids who are deprived of sleep tend to eat more calories the next day, researchers found. And some of those extra calories come from less-healthy, sugar-laden snacks or treats. It included 105 kids between 8–12 years of age with a range of body sizes. About 61 percent were considered normal weight, and the rest were overweight or obese. Participants went to bed an hour earlier for one week, had a week of normal sleep and then went to bed one hour later for a week. All wore a wrist device to track their conduct around the clock, including every minute spent in sleep, sedentary time, light physical activity, and 24


moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Twice a week, kids were also asked what food and drink they had consumed during the previous 24 hours. Overall, the tired kids ate an average of 74 extra calories per day and 96 more calories in treats and unhealthy foods. After accounting for the increased energy needed to be awake longer in a day, the changes were linked to eating 63 more calories per day on average. “These experimental findings explain why not getting enough sleep increases the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood,” says DREAM study leader Rachael Taylor, also from the University of Otago. “Although improving our sleep doesn’t usually come to mind first when we think of managing our weight, it might be a good option,” says Taylor. Researchers said further study will be required to determine whether sleep is a good intervention for improving diet and weight over time, but for now another hour of sleep is tempting either way.

Maimonides has hit the headlines once again Healthgrades evaluates patient outcomes at every US hospital and it just announced its 2023 awards. Among numerous accolades it earned, Maimonides is proud to be the only hospital in New York State to be named among the nation’s top 50 for surgical care.

We salute the doctors and staff whose dedication to providing the best possible care to our patients is reflected in these achievements.



26 in a series

Well Spent

It’s Budget-Friendly Too! Did you know that your kitchen’s best friend is energy efficient as well? The Betty Crocker Pizza Maker, a simple kitchen gadget with a relatively low price tag, uses a lot less energy than the traditional oven, especially those with electric fans. You might not care much about energy, but energy translates into money, which means that using the Betty Crocker over the oven will lower your utility bills significantly. And that’s in addition to all the other perks this handy gadget offers. If you’re a Betty Crocker pro, you don’t need ideas. After some time, you figure out how to cook/bake/fry/grill almost anything in the appliance. But if you’re new to it, here’s just a small list of ideas to get you motivated. • Fish is a winner. Any baked fish bakes much faster and comes out a lot tastier than when done in the oven. • If you have a fleishig machine, grilled, breaded, Chinese, sesame, or any marinated chicken tastes great and is ready in no time. • Scrambled eggs • French toast • Grilled cheese • Vegetable patties • Even sides like rice, pasta, potatoes, and roasted vegetables can be prepared quickly in the machine. Of course, the Betty Crocker Pizza Maker also quickly rewarms anything. Up for a challenge? If you really want to utilize the Betty Crocker and save money, try allocating one or two days in the week when you’ll only use the Betty Crocker to make supper for your family.



Experience the better. Experience ParCare.

A Smooth Dermatology Experience

Meet our one-of-a-kind Dermatologist Leora Nakhon, PA

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Primary Care




entrance on 48th St








WHAT IS IT? Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected. Most experts say that would be around age five, although it generally isn’t a concern until seven years old. Before that, the child may still be developing nighttime bladder control. Even when it persists, it’s most often not a symptom of anything serious; the issue is more about the embarrassed child, plus the soggy pajamas-and-sheets frustration. Although most children outgrow bedwetting on their own over time, there are some tips and tricks to try in the meantime.

WHAT CAUSES IT? The million-dollar question, and you’ll hear different things from different people. It can be as simple as urinary tract infection, constipation (see the M.O.P. method below), or a physical issue, such as a smaller-sized bladder or an overproduction of urine. It can be related to emotional issues and stress, including a move, starting school, or a new baby in the family. A a genetic proponent may also be present.

FOOD STUFF Step one is to do away with bladder irritants. These include caffeine, citrus juices, artificial flavorings, food dyes, and sweeteners. You also want to keep water-based fruits and vegetables to a minimum in the evening hours: think melons, grapes, celery, strawberries. Ruling out if bedwetting is a reaction to a specific food is also important. You can do this by removing the most common food sources to see if there’s a change in symptoms. Reintroduce one food at a time and observe if the bedwetting worsens. It’s interesting to note that wheat can cause slight inflammation in the bladder, causing urine to be expelled more frequently. Since most kids eat a whole lot of wheat-based products (cereal or toast for breakfast, then pizza and pasta and cookies), it might be worth it to keep a food diary to see if there’s a connection between wet nights and all that food your child is eating. (Try doing two weeks on rice and potatoes; I did this for a while in my house and there was an incredible change for the better, baruch Hashem.) It seems that milk may also be a culprit, especially for those kids who drink milk at night, or have had sensitivity to milk in the past. Now for the good foods: In general, foods rich in folate and vitamin B12 are a good idea—they help the central nervous system make the association needed for bladder control at night. Omega-3 fatty acids show simi-

lar benefits to the nervous system by helping the bladder send a signal to the brain to wake up. Fresh (wild-caught) fish, eggs, and vegetables are full of minerals that boost the nervous system. And don’t forget fiber-rich foods, such as beans, avocado, and broccoli, because combating constipation is essential (see the M.O.P. method below.) Load them up on cranberry juice! It’s been shown to get rid of bacteria in the bladder, which might play a role in the bedwetting issue, plus it strengthens the bladder. Cinnamon and walnuts are also goodies—they’re both known to help strengthen the bladder. Honey is great to curb bedwetting accidents (give a spoonful an hour before bedtime) and apple cider vinegar (duh) helps regulate acid levels, which can reduce the urge to urinate often. And then there are bananas. Rich in potassium, bananas are great for maintaining sodium levels in the body, which is important for bedwetting prevention. Plus, bananas act as natural muscle binders that help keep the bladder from slipping. Try sharing two ripe bananas with your child every day. If the bedwetting is related to infections in the urinary tract, herbal tea has natural properties that may be helpful. Also, mustard seeds (half teaspoon of dry mustard seed in a cup of warm water or milk) are great for UTI troubles.




M.O.P. METHOD I’m excited to share this method as it worked wonders in our house, baruch Hashem. The M.O.P. (Modified O’Regan Protocol) method for bedwetting (and other related conditions, including daytime wetting and encopresis), is an enema-based regimen, built on the premise that bedwetting and accidents are caused by chronic constipation. By clearing out the stretched rectum, it will shrink back to size over time and stop

aggravating the bladder. There are lots of details and advice in The M.O.P. Book: A Guide to the Only Proven Way to STOP Bedwetting and Accidents. Following the M.O.P. method involves a process; the exact protocol, as well as the amount of time until results can be seen, varies from child to child. But for many people, the effort is well worth it.

TIPS AND TRICKS The bladder alarm clock is a well-known tool, particularly for kids over age seven. The alarm works with a special sensor placed in the child’s pajamas, which triggers a bell to sound when it senses moisture. In this way, the child wakes to use the bathroom at regular intervals. If used regularly, the child might begin to wake up after 4–6 weeks, and start waking to use the bathroom on his own (or stay dry till morning) after 12 weeks. Enriched with vitamin A and omega acids, olive oil is already famed for its various uses. Turns out, it may be helpful to keep the bladder under control as well. Just warm a bit of oil and massage it on your child’s lower abdominal area in circular motions. Try doing this regularly before sleeping and observe any changes after a couple of weeks. A host of homeopathic remedies may help with bedwetting concerns. Homeopathy is very specific though, so it’s best to consult with an expert regard-

ing which remedy to try. Of course, some basic exercises for the abdomen and bladder can’t hurt. Pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels strengthen the muscles from the core. If bedwetting is a result of anxiety, repressed emotions, or any other emotional factor—which is often indicated when it occurs suddenly—dealing with the underlying issue and the child’s emotional circumstances are obviously key in treating the bedwetting. Keeping a positive attitude is probably the best trick out there. It’s important for kids to know that bedwetting is a common and treatable condition and most often a passing stage, and that they aren’t made to feel ashamed or guilty for this uncomfortable reality. It’s okay to wait it out too, if that works for you and your child. Whatever you choose to do though, it will ultimately be Hashem, lovingly coaxing you and your child off to The Land of Dry Nights and Less Laundry.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a medical practitioner before administering any treatment or implementing lifestyle changes.



Trust in your therapy team. Our team is dedicated to enhancing your mental health, respecting you as an individual with unique needs.

Abraham (Mutty) Solomon, LMHC

Barry Horowitz, LCSW

Clinic Director

Director of Professional Development and Training

As the visionary behind Sipuk, Mr. Solomon invests heart and soul into building and running the clinic. He leads the team with passion and drive, bringing newfound hope to those who had none.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 20 years, Mr. Horowitz is an expert in the areas of trauma and abuse. Barry’s weekly trainings help to keep the Sipuk clinicians at the forefront of the mental health field.

Chaim Winter, LCSW

Rivky Goldman, LMHC

Director of Supervision

Program Director

As a certified addiction and play therapist, Chaim brings a wealth of knowledge to his position. He supervises the clinical team, helping to maintain the highest standards of care for our clients.

As a licensed mental health counselor with 17 years experience, Rivky oversees all Sipuk operations and provides ongoing support and guidance to the clinicians.

Eddie Simcha, LCSW

Max Straus

Director of Compliance and Quality Assurance

Operations Manager

With Eddie’s oversight, Sipuk clients can be assured that they are receiving high quality care that meets – and even surpasses – government requirements.

Mr. Straus manages the day-to-day logistics at Sipuk Clinic. Whenever a need arises, staff and clients know they can rely on Max to get it done. And get it done right.

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In this space, we feature a health-related question or predicament submitted by a Wellspring reader. Fellow readers are invited to participate in the conversation by sharing their tried-and-true advice and suggestions. Join the community!

I’m constantly experiencing dizzy spells, and they can often knock me off my feet. Any solutions for chronic dizziness?

You didn’t mention what type of dizziness you feel. Not all dizziness are the same. A person can experience several different types. Vertigo, probably the most common one, is when you feel everything spinning around you. You feel off balance. My husband had vertigo several years ago and it lasted for several months. It wasn’t fun, to say the least. People recommended craniosacral therapy and head exercises. Those didn’t help us, but maybe because we didn’t follow up with them properly. It was a difficult few months, but vertigo is known to resolve on its own, which was the case with my husband. Then there’s a dizziness that’s more like lightheadedness. You feel faint every time you stand up, change positions, move too fast etc. This feeling is known as pre-syncope in medical terminology. Pre-syncope may be the result of low blood pressure or low sugar levels. If you think you have pre-syncope, schedule an appointment with a cardiologist as it often stems from a heart condition. Making sure you’re adequately hydrated and increasing your sodium intake really helps. Drink lots of fluids, especially coconut water, and consume a lot of hydrating fruits daily. - Bracha T., Toms River N.J. 32


I get dizzy spells when my B12 or iron levels are low. I use the B12 spray from Garden of Life Myhealth Organics. It’s so much easier on my digestive system than pills and they’re really effective. For iron, I try to increase my levels naturally rather than taking iron supplements. Dark grape juice really helps, as well as pomegranate juice and black cherry concentrate. These fluids are all high in iron and easy on the system. When these don’t work, I resort to iron supplements. I would suggest running bloodwork to see if you’re low on any vital nutrients. -Rivka Oberlander, New City

- A Wellspring Reader

I get very dizzy when I’m dehydrated. And no, one cup of water won’t stop it—only adequate hydration. I grab a cup of orange juice or grape juice with pinch of Himalayan salt and take a magnesium supplement. This stops my occasional dizzy spells. - C.G.Lowy, Jerusalem

Years ago I suffered from constant debilitating dizzy spells. My doctor advised me to go to a center for balance and movement that offers a procedure, known as the Epley maneuver, to realign crystals in the ear that can cause dizziness when out of sync. I went down for a consultation, but wasn’t a candidate. One of the tests to check whether I was eligible for the treatment was to lie flat on my back with my eyes open, quickly turn my head to the side and then back straight up. If the room spins with your eyes open then the procedure can work for you. Ask your doctor about and look into the procedure. - Faigy Kohn, Brooklyn

You may want to check out your eyesight. I was feeling dizzy for weeks until someone suggested I see an eye doctor, who found that I needed glasses at the age of 25. I feel like a new person since then. I would’ve never thought of checking my eyes on my own, so I thought sharing it might be helpful to people in the same position. - Tzvi Bernstein, Lakewood N.J.

It might not seem related, but do you have allergies? I get very dizzy during a bad allergy season. A family member suddenly experienced intense dizziness, to the point where she was barely functioning and conventional doctors could not get to the root of her issue. She then went to a Body Code practitioner and it turned out her dizziness was a result of mold allergies after a pregnancy. She now takes allergy medications and got rid of most of the mold in her apartment. She has since seen a major improvement and rarely gets dizzy. - L. Hartman

My mother experienced bad dizzy spells a while back. It was so bad that she was afraid to walk out on the street house without a companion. The doctors couldn’t find anything disturbing and suggested trying some natural routes. She then saw a kinesiologist who was the right shaliach to help her. She still gets the spells infrequently, but she immediately schedules a session with the kinesiologist and sees results instantly. - T. Swimer

This might seem like a no brainer, but are you eating properly? Is your diet well balanced? Depriving our body of proper nutrition can cause lightheadness and dizziness. Secondly, sleep. I know, who has time to eat and sleep properly, but all of these symptoms are our body’s way of telling us that it needs our attention. For a quick fix, a salty food such as a bag of chips or pretzels really helps, but normal food and normal sleep (if and when that’s possible!), is what really helps me. Feel well and good luck! - F. Gendelman, Silver Spring, Maryland

Next Up: I’m experiencing pain in my wrist on and off for the past few months. Doctors are saying it’s carpal tunnel syndrome and that surgery is the only solution. Any other ideas that are not as invasive?

Want to share what worked for you with a fellow Wellspring Community member? Send your response to info@wellspringmagazine.com.

Please note: These suggestions should not be implemented in place of guidance from a medical practitioner.

Dizziness is very often a result of anemia. I've been struggling with a genetic form of anemia for years, and by now I can easily estimate my hemoglobin count based on how dizzy I feel. Check with your doctor.






By Chaya Tziry Retter, RDN, BS, CPT Chaya Tziry Retter is a Monsey-based Registered Dietitian, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, and group fitness instructor. She is passionate about helping others lead healthier lives in a way that suits their needs. She can be reached at 845-540-4487.



The juice on electrolyte beverages Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water. It seems like everyone and their sister is drinking these highly lauded electrolyte drinks nowadays, which also makes it seem like they have some serious super powers. Let’s explore them all and find out exactly what electrolytes are, the meaning of an imbalance, and how to remedy such a scenario. Fluids and electrolytes are both essential for the cells, organs, and body systems to function properly. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals and compounds that help the body do much of its work. Every cell in the human body operates via electricity. The ability for cells to properly send and receive electrical currents is vital to health, function, and wellbeing. These currents help maintain optimum performance of the digestive, nervous, cardiac, and muscular systems. They keep the pH of the blood in the normal range, help the blood to clot, help build new tissue, and transmit nerve signals between cells. Sodium, chloride, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium are all types of electrolytes, and the body receives them from food and fluid intake. Sodium chloride, also known as salt, influences fluid regulation and allows for proper cell signaling. Potassium works in conjunction with sodium, with the end goal of balancing fluids, cell activity, and blood pressure. The last two electrolytes, calcium and magnesium—both of which assist in muscle contraction and nerve transmission—are lost in much smaller quantities through sweat. Fortunately, we can also find them in electrolyte-containing beverages as well as other foods containing sodium chloride and potassium, such as salted almonds. So, if during and after a run, you work to replace sodium chloride and potassium, your other electrolyte levels will probably be on track as well. An electrolyte imbalance can be caused by a loss of fluids as a result of persistent vomiting or diarrhea, sweating, or fever, or by something as simple as not drinking or eating enough. Other causes may include usage of particular medications like steroids, diuretics, and laxatives, as well as intense exercise. During exercise, sodium, chloride, and then potassium are lost in the greatest quantities, making them top electrolytes of concern. As levels of these electrolytes decrease during the course of a sweaty run, muscle function can decrease, and the body can have difficulty effectively absorbing fluids. Dehydration reduc-

es performance, can cause fatigue and headaches, and, in extreme cases, lead to heat stroke. Electrolyte levels are measured in blood tests, and their levels must stay within a fairly small range, or complications may arise. You can get electrolytes through both the foods you eat as well as electrolyte-containing beverages. Eating a well-balanced diet can help provide the electrolytes you typically need for good health. Specifically, foods that are good sources of electrolytes include spinach, kale, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, beans, almonds, peanuts, soybeans, tofu, strawberries, watermelon, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, milk, buttermilk, yogurt, fish (such as flounder), turkey, chicken, veal, raisins, olives, and canned foods, such as soups and vegetables. How to Replenish Electrolytes: Staying hydrated is key to maintaining a balance of electrolytes. Water is the most natural choice for hydration. It is less expensive and more available than any other drink. Pairing a healthy water-intake level with a balanced diet of foods containing a variety of vitamins and minerals—including electrolytes—is the ideal. Coconut water is another alternative for replenishing electrolytes. Coconut water is low on the glycemic index, so it won’t dramatically affect your blood sugar. Studies have also shown that it may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol—a heart-healthy reason to drink it. Sports drinks and low-calorie electrolyte-containing hydration beverages are in fact great sources to replenish electrolytes. They often contain carbohydrates, and these replenish energy levels, too. Many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them, which are major electrolytes lost when exercising. However, a note of caution: The added sugar and flavor in these drinks often entice people to drink a larger quantity compared to water. There are some better-for-you electrolyte drinks out there that have little to no added sugars, so you’re best off reading the nutrition facts label and ingredient list when making your choice. Note: As with any health advice, please consult with a doctor or registered dietitian before making any lifestyle changes.




An Open Letter from the

Maimonides Medical Center Physician Leadership As the doctors responsible for overseeing the clinical care at Maimonides, we take seriously the trust that over 300,000 Brooklynites place in us each year. We are proud of the specialized clinical services we provide, which in many cases did not exist in Brooklyn before Maimonides made them available. We are equally proud of the outstanding patient outcomes we have consistently achieved, which in many cases are among the best in the nation. At the same time, we constantly seek out opportunities to learn from each other and from our patients to improve the way we deliver care. On behalf of the Maimonides physicians we have the privilege of leading, we want to be clear about two things: • The quality of care at Maimonides remains exceptionally strong, as does the commitment of our entire administrative and clinical leadership team to serving our communities • The campaign being waged to demonize Maimonides is deeply irresponsible, inappropriate, and harmful – not just to the leaders of the organization, but to our colleagues, to the institution as a whole, and ultimately to the communities we serve. Maimonides faces challenges today that are real, but they are hardly unique. Our colleagues at other institutions – including those with far more resources and funding, serving more affluent communities – are also grappling with a nationwide labor shortage, burnout, post-traumatic stress, and an incredibly challenging financial environment. We work every day to recruit some of the nation’s best doctors to practice here in our corner of Brooklyn, to raise awareness of the high-quality services available locally, to earn our patients’ trust, and to support the morale of colleagues who have sacrificed and labored heroically over the past two and a half years. All of this is undercut by the campaign’s misleading use of cherry-picked data to disparage the whole hospital – and it is the communities we serve who have the most to lose. If members of the communities we serve have practical ideas for how to improve the care we provide, we are always eager to hear them. For our part, we look forward to carrying on Maimonides’ legacy of service, innovation, and care in partnership with all those we serve. Jeffrey R. Avner, MD, Chair, Pediatrics Patrick I. Borgen, MD, Chair, Surgery Jack Choueka, MD, Chair, Orthopedics Scott Chudnoff, MD, Chair, Obstetrics & Gynecology David I. Cohen, MD, Chair, Population Health Bernadine Donahue, MD, Chair, Radiation Oncology



Monica Ghitan, MD, President Maimonides Medical Staff Anthony N. Kalloo, MD, Chair, Medicine Mark Kronenfeld, MD, Chair, Anesthesiology Jenny Libien, MD, PhD, Chair, Pathology John P. Marshall, MD, Chair, Emergency Medicine Robert Press, MD, PhD, EVP, Medical Affairs

Daniel Rosenbaum, MD, Chair, Neurology Jacob Shani, MD, Chair, Cardiology Steven Shankman, MD, Chair, Radiology Abraham M. Taub, DO, Chair, Psychiatry




I want to make a lifestyle change, not for weight loss Thank you for this wonderful, enlightening magazine. I chanced upon it several months ago in a doctor’s waiting room, and I was blown away by the wide array of content and engaging material. Since then, I’ve been anticipating every issue. Reading the magazine really opened my mind regarding the importance of leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle and got me thinking how far I am from living those ideals. My husband and I have never experienced any major weight issues, and neither do my children. I’m on the naturally slim and petite side and most of my children are too. I was the teen everyone would complain about, the girl who ate whatever she wanted but never had anything to show for it. Inevitably, I took this nature for granted and instead of maintaining my health, I’ve been indulging too much in whatever I’m in the mood of, which isn’t usually very nutritious. Now I feel the time has come to make some changes—because not everything is about weight. I cook pretty unhealthily, frying often, and we eat lots of carbs. How do I start changing all that, especially so that my children will grow up with an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle?




First, kudos to you for your decision to make changes that will certainly impact you and your family very positively. I believe most people in your position don’t reach out for help, and I commend you for seeing beyond the weight issue that an unhealthy lifestyle may lead to. As parents, we have a tremendous responsibility to safeguard our children’s health. One of the ways to do so is by teaching and, most importantly, modeling healthy habits. At the same time, however, we need to bear in mind that our children have their own minds and desires. We therefore can only try our best to educate them but cannot impose our ideals on them. We can only try to gently encourage and teach them how these habits are for their benefit. More than preaching, continuous modeling and making sure healthy choices are available are what will ultimately be the best lesson for them. You may notice that I’ve specifically been using the word habits. Habits are fundamental to any major change. You can’t expect your family to suddenly eat sprouts and quinoa when they’ve eaten chicken nuggets and fries their entire life. You also don’t want this change to backfire or for your children to resent your new mindset. Therefore, small and consistent changes to your family’s lifestyle will enable them to embrace the change rather than fight it. Also, you may want to have an open conversation with your family about your new mindset, even sharing some nice pieces you’ve read in the magazine if you feel they will handle it well. If you feel they won’t take well to this overhaul, keep it as subtle as possible. Where to start? I would suggest implementing one new habit every week or even once in two weeks. Here are some ideas to help you get started and there are plenty other ideas you can easily find in the pages of this publication.

Start the Day Right One of the first things I suggest to my clients when they’re revamping their eating habits is having a proper breakfast in the morning. Eating a proper meal in the morning jumpstarts your metabolism, keeps you satisfied, boosts your energy levels, and provides you with much-needed nutrients to get you through the day. Although providing a proper breakfast for a family might be a challenge, it’s a worthwhile habit to implement. Healthy Snacks For most people, especially children, it takes a lot of discipline to stick to meals and set snacks. Instead of working on that, focus on having healthier snacks accessible to your family. If you’re short on time, learn to read labels properly and buy the healthier snacks in the supermarket. There’s a wide array of nutritious options nowadays. Again, don’t attempt to toss every unhealthy food and replace it with date balls and almond clusters. Introduce one new thing at a time to your family. Even better than buying, try your hand at new recipes for healthy snacks. Grain Switch Switching from white to whole grain may seem daunting at first, but go for it. There are many products you can swap from white to whole grain and the difference is barely discernible. If you know this will be hard on some family members, start by using whole grain flour for only half the amount and white flour for the other half. Take the risk and see how your family reacts to the change. Get the Greens Serving a vegetable at every meal is crucial. It may take some time until your children opt for them but make them available at every meal. A fresh salad, raw vegetables with a dip, and vegetable kabobs are all kid-friendly options.

An Apple a Day Fresh and frozen fruits are great sources of a variety of vitamins and other important nutrients. Cut-up fruits in the fridge, smoothies, and naturally fruit-flavored products are usually tempting for kids (and adults!). There’s no need to oblige kids to eat either fruits or vegetables. You’ll be surprised to see them opt for these choices when they’re readily available and easy to eat. Finish Dinner Early Another tip I often mention in this column is to finish your last meal early. Your body does not need calories when you sleep. You burn your calories when you’re awake, so an earlier meal means more calories burned before you head to bed. Personally, I serve my children dinner as soon as they come home from school. Later in the evening, they have a light dessert if they please. If serving dinner so soon is hard for you, offer healthy snacks when they come home so they don’t fill up on unhealthy foods. Of course, modeling these habits is key to helping your children develop them. You can’t expect them to sit down to three proper nutritious meals or skip the candy when they see the adults nibbling on leftovers and opting for cake and chocolate. But if you’re serious about these changes, you can hopefully expect your family to join you on this journey.

Please send your questions to the nutritionist to info@wellspringmagazine.com. Shani Taub, CDC, has been practicing as a certified nutritionist in Lakewood for almost a decade, meeting with clients in person and on the phone. She also owns the highly popular Shani Taub food line, which carries healthy, approved, pre-measured foods and delicacies sold at supermarkets and restaurants.




Tinkering The controversy over daylight saving time and its ramifications on our health By Esther Retek



with time




“What did you do with your extra hour?” Probably the most popular question asked on the celebratory morning when the clocks chug one hour backward, the answers aren’t usually that grand. Anecdotal evidence (based on this author’s research alone) turned up results like “sleep” (50 percent), “trying to get my kids to sleep longer” (40 percent), and a small 10 percent who admitted to “working an extra hour on Motzei Shabbos.” In truth, the extra hour isn’t that exciting, especially when you know it’s only borrowed time. But even if you do appreciate the extra hour as we fall back and welcome standard time or winter time, these changes are not as simple as a swerve of a dial. Daylight saving time (DST) has always been and continues to be a most controversial topic. When did these changes begin? How do they affect us? And why all the ruckus they continue to cause? 42


Early Awakenings Why do we change the clock anyway? The simple, main reason is to make better use of the daylight available during the summer months. By moving the clocks between March and October, we take an hour of daylight from the morning and add it to the end of the day. For example, in the summer, the sun rises some days at 5:40 AM and sets at 8:30 PM. Without DST that would be sunrise at 4:40 AM (imagine waking up to those early-bird children before 5 AM!) and sunset at 7:30 PM. Instead of sleeping while the sun is shining, we borrow the hour from the morning and enjoy it in the evening. In the winter, when the sun rises later and sets earlier, we keep to standard time because we aren’t “sleeping in” on too much daylight. Besides enjoying more natural sunlight and the health benefits it provides, we also save energy as we use less electricity. Who’s behind this all? Research on the history of clock changes turns up mixed responses. The concept of DST is most commonly accredited to William Willett, a British builder and horseback rider who was eager to utilize the daylight hours and the first to officially propose—or rather, staunchly campaign for—DST. In his pamphlet, “Waste of Daylight,” he suggested adding 80 minutes in four increments of 20 minutes each in April and falling back in September. Despite being dubbed the innovator of this idea, Willet was not the first to conceive of it. In fact, ancient civilizations commonly changed the days’ length depending on the season. During some seasons, for example, a Roman hour lasted 44 minutes, and in other seasons 75 minutes. In 1784, Benjamin Franklin’s “An Economical Project” suggested starting the day earlier to save candles after he noticed Parisians burn an excessive amount of candles at night and sleep in late during the day. Although the article was written whimsically, it was the first documented proposal to save daylight by changing the clock. Later, in 1895, George Hunter from New Zealand proposed a two-hour shift, but his idea was never considered. In 1901, King Edward VII changed the clocks by 30 minutes at Sandringham, England, so he could hunt for longer. William Willett attempted to persuade British parliament and other countries to accept his proposal, but his efforts were futile at first. He died in 1915 of influenza, just one year before countries accepted his idea, never having seen his dream come to fruition. What was the final push? War, of course. Two years into World War I, in 1916, the British found themselves extremely low in coal supply—the chief source power for both industries and homes. Willett’s idea seemed the perfect solution. With longer sunlight in the evenings, industries and homes would need less coal-powered lighting, thereby saving the precious resource. As Britain was about to pass the law on DST, Germany beat them by being the first country to ratify a DST bill on April 30, 1916, also in an attempt to save resources as the war was raging. The British quickly followed suit, along with several other countries. In America, these changes took some more time, and once again, war put the final push to the debate. In 1918, America also accepted DST, however, the country quickly fell out of favor with the change and as soon as the war was over, America went back to standard time all year round. In 1942, once again under the excuse of war, America readopted DST and remained with it.




Fixed Time? Although DST is familiar to us, it is not an accepted worldwide practice. In fact, 60 percent of countries across the world stick to standard time all year round. Surprisingly, there are even two US states that don’t adhere to these changes: Hawaii and Arizona. Hawaii doesn’t change the clocks because there’s virtually no reason to do so. Being much nearer to the equator, there is little difference between the amount of sunlight it gets in the heart of either winter or summer, so there is no reason to mess with the clocks. Arizona too, does not observe the time changes. Although it can lead to confusion, states do have the option of sticking to one clock, but they can only do it in one direction. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 only allows states to observe standard time all year around, so no state can keep DST permanently. Even in America, things have been moved around from time to time. In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed year-round DST into law in an attempt to ease the energy crisis the nation then faced. Although he initially had a high percentage of approval for this new law, by the time winter set in, approvals dropped by over 30 percent. People were upset about the dark winter mornings and children barely managed to get through their morning classes. In Florida, eight children died in traffic accidents during the first few weeks of winter, and many schools had to postpone classes until the sun rose. Within a few weeks, most Americans were disgruntled, which pushed the new president Gerald Ford to reverse the permanent DST law.



The Clock Controversy Why is time change such a contentious topic? Possibly because although DST offers some advantages, these have never been proven to outweigh the cons. The effects of time changes can be significant both on our health and economy. It’s understandable, therefore, why it continues to be explored and argued. Here’s the scoop. Although many experience discomfort when it gets dark so soon on that first Sunday or feel a little groggy for a few days when the clock is moved forward in March, most people admit that time changes don’t affect them significantly. However, researchers disagree. According to dozens of accumulated studies, turning the clocks ahead or back results yearly in adverse physical and mental health consequences. The extent of the effects will depend on a variety of factors such as previous health issues, sleeping habits, and lifestyle, but there’s reason to be concerned. The change in time mainly throws off our routine sleeping cycles. The body runs on a natural 24hour cycle, known as the circadian rhythm. Although the body is resilient and can easily adjust to changes, it takes at least one day for the body to reset the internal clock. If you’re tired before the switch happens or drink coffee or alcohol excessively, it will likely take even longer for your body to readjust. This is not just about being tired or confused about the timing, sleep experts warn. Changes to the internal clock can disorient us in several ways and because the circadian rhythm controls the secretion of hormones, time changes can also mess with our hormones. Common complaints after time changes include “cluster headaches,” headaches on one side of the head, a greater appetite, and lethargy, all a result of messing with our hormones. In 2016, the American Academy of Neurology published a report suggesting that moving the clocks is linked to greater risk of ischemic strokes because of the disruption to the circadian rhythm. They found that the overall rate of ischemic stroke was 8 percent higher during the first two days after a DST transition, with cancer patients 25 percent and seniors 20 percent more likely to have a stroke following time transitions. Also in 2016, a team of researchers from the universities of Aarhus, Copenhagen, and Stanford added another complaint against fiddling with the clock. Their study showed that the autumn shift to standard time appears to be closely linked to a jump in depression diagnoses around this time of year. Not losing sleep over an hour of sleep? There’s even more research piled up against moving the clock forward in March. The Journal of Interventional Cardiology reports that losing just that one hour of sleep in March results in a 24 percent increase of heart attacks the next day, as well as more workplace injuries, traffic accidents, and decreased productivity. Moving the clocks also affects focus. One study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows a sharp increase in “cyberloafing”—using the Internet for personal use rather than working—on the Monday after the time change. On the other hand, when Congress postponed DST for another four weeks in 2007, researchers noted that crime rates fell by a drastic 27 percent in the evening due to the extra sunlight. Gaining an extra hour of sunlight greatly boosts health, and researchers suggest that an extra hour of sunlight in the winter would decrease winter depression rates drastically. Economists also argue that people tend to spend more when it’s still day outside, so DST all year round would result in more shopping and spending, which would be better for the economy. Michael Downing, a lecturer in English and author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, argues otherwise, and claims that DST costs the country a lot more than people think. He also proves with various complicated calculations that the country would essentially not save on energy if DST were to be adopted all year round. Based on statistics, however, it seems that whatever side you agree with, you’ve got backing. A 2019 poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 70 percent of people surveyed wanted to end the practice of changing the clocks. However, the direction was split, with approximately 40 percent wanting to stay on standard time year-round, and 30 percent preferring to stick with DST.




DST, Here to Stay? Seems like time will tell. While the debate around time changes has been going on for decades, the argument has gained some momentum recently. In March of this year, the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill stating that starting November 2023, we will no longer fall back an hour, abolishing the clock changes in favor of DST. Instead, we will be on DST all year round. However, as of now, the bill has hit a brick wall in the House and was not passed there. Several academies and universities are urging the House to thoroughly research the effects DST all year round could have on health and the economy. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is one of the strongest detractors of this idea, arguing that DST is less aligned with human circadian biology. They’re advocating that time changes should be abolished in favor of a fixed, national, year-round standard time, as was the natural way of the world. The agriculture industry, which relies on natural sunlight early morning to tend to crops, is also vehemently opposing the new bill. In general, observing DST in the winter could pose some serious problems for children going to school (and their parents!) as was already experienced in 1974. Others argue that the late morning threat and school issues are overrated, and everyone would benefit from an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. The Sunshine Protection Act also poses halachic problems for Yidden in different states. Rabbi Dovid Heber, in a talk on the matter, explains, “Let’s take Detroit as an example. On some days the sun rises at approximately 8:00 AM, which is the time of the neitz hachamah. If DST is enforced year round, neitz hachamah would only be at 9:00. Even those who daven at the alos hashachar wouldn’t be able to get it done before 8:30 AM. For people who need to be at work at 9:00 AM, this would be very difficult.” Other late sunrises occur in Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, and Miami. Even in New York, the latest sunrise is 7:20 AM, which would be 8:20 AM under the new plan. 46


Falling Back Gracefully Whether you still appreciate the extra hour after all the discussion or you don’t, for many people, falling back an hour never gives them that coveted extra hour of sleep. Instead, their mornings simply begin an hour earlier as they’re greeted by energetic, awake children who don’t really care if it’s 5:30 or 6:30 AM. Riki Taubenblaut, a certified pediatric sleep consultant, shares the following tips to make the transition easier. If your baby is still waking up earlier, you may want to try one of those tips, and if your baby adjusted to the schedule, count your blessings and clip this for the next time change. “A week ahead of time, start putting your baby to bed 10 minutes later each night (or earlier in the spring), so that by the time we change the clocks, she will be ready at her new bedtime. If her bedtime is now 7 PM, by increasing her bedtime to 7:10, then 7:20, then 7:30, then 7:40, then 7:50, then 8:00 PM, by the time the clock changes back to 7:00, your baby will be perfectly on schedule for her usual 7:00 PM bedtime.” This needs a lot of discipline on your part and cooperation on the baby’s end, but it’s the simplest way to adjust to the change. We can’t expect children to move an hour forward or back as easily as adults do, so doing it slowly is the smartest way to go. You may also want to try three 20-minute changes or even 30 minutes earlier over two days, as that might make it easier for them. Riki also advises that once the clocks change, expect your baby to wake up early. “He can’t help himself! His biological clock is set to wake up at a certain time, and that internal clock doesn’t know that adults of the world decided to change things up. If your baby normally slept till 6:30 AM, he might start waking up a full hour early, at 5:30 AM.” But she also offers advice to help you fix that. “The day the clocks change, have your baby wait an additional 10 minutes before taking him out of his crib. If he wakes up at 6 AM (an hour earlier than usual), have him wait until 6:10 AM to take him out. The next morning, have him wait until 6:20 AM. The next day, till 6:30 AM, the next day 6:40 AM, the next day 6:50 AM, and about a week after the clocks change, he will be perfectly on schedule with the new time, sleeping from 7 PM to 7 AM.” Of course, some of us like to take the do-nothing route and just let things unfold at their own pace. “Most babies are resilient and can adapt to the new time within a few days on their own. Expect a few early morning wakings and cranky afternoons, though! You’ll get through it, whichever route you take. The season will turn no matter what you do, and you’ll have a few months of peace before we change those clocks again,” she says.

Timeless Advice Kids are not the only ones who may have a hard time with the time change. Although the fall change is so much easier than losing an hour in the spring, many adults, especially those who are sticklers for rigid routines, may feel the effects of the change for several days. This can affect their work, their moods, and even mildly affect their health. Here are some tips to help you both fall back and spring forward smoothly. • Don’t drink too much coffee or alcohol on Shabbos the day before the switch. These serve as stimulants and will exacerbate the effects this change has on your internal clock. • Open the shades as soon as you wake up. Because sunlight is an important environmental cue that helps our bodies regulate our internal clock, getting natural light first thing in the morning will help your mind and body process the change. Natural light also suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the natural sleep-inducing hormone,

allowing us to function optimally throughout the day. • Remember to change all—yes, all—clocks before going to sleep on Motzei Shabbos. On most devices, the time gets adjusted automatically, but you want to make sure that every watch, wall clock, alarm clock, and the displays on the stovetop, car dashboard, etc., are accurate. It’s easy to get confused when even the oven clock display is an hour ahead. • Take the time to wind down before bed. A warm bath, a cup of tea, or curling up with a good book will relax your body and help you succumb to a good night’s sleep despite the change in schedule. • Embrace the change. Some people like to pretend “it’s still an hour earlier/later…” for some time after the switch. Experts recommend making that mental shift right away for the easiest transition. Also, considering the change something easy and natural instead of sulking over the lost hour of sleep or the change in routine will make it easier for you to adjust.




Goodbye, Sunshine Getting Past the Blues End-of-summer blues, although clinically not diagnosable, are quite real for many people. Some people even experience these “blues” on a more acute level, diagnosed as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People with SAD may experience depressive episodes, oversleeping, excessive weight gain, and lethargy as the seasons change, specifically when winter sets in. Even those who prefer the cooler weather can often feel a sense of regret about not having “made the most of it” in the summer months. A heat lover myself, the let-down takes on an extra dimension when we move the clock, and the nights settle in before I even have a chance to have my second cup of coffee. If you’re one of us, here are some ways to get past the blues.

1. Get Out Rivka, a summer girl, shares how she makes the winter work for her. “For me, a daily walk is nonnegotiable. I’m a work-athome-mom and if I don’t push myself to go out, I can spend several days cooped up at home. Instead, I make it my business to bundle up well and go for a brisk walk either early morning or in the evening.” Personally, I like to get out each day as well, but I also try to get as much natural sunlight as possible. Sunlight is a natural mood and energy booster. In fact, exposure to more sunlight is an important part of treatment for people who suffer from SAD. You also want to make sure you’re getting fresh air, so leaving the windows ajar whenever possible is important.

2. supplement the D Since most of us are not getting the recommended dosage of vitamin D in the winter, deficiency of this crucial vitamin can make us feel lethargic. Supplementing, therefore, can also drastically affect your mood and energy levels.



3. fun stuff “I make sure to dedicate the winter to a new project. I learn a new skill, attend a class, or allocate time for my hobbies,” Cheved, another heat lover, shares. “These ‘extras’ make me anticipate the long nights and actually enjoy the winter.” Winter is also the perfect time to organize summer photos, new recipes, and anything else you’ve accumulated over the summer. Do it with friends, and you’ll almost forget it’s winter.

4. comfort foods You may also find cooking wintertime comfort foods helpful in getting you through these months. A hearty butternut squash soup, slow-cooker chicken and potatoes, or a delicious pumpkin spice latte might be all you need to cheer you up.

5. commit to a goal Setting goals is another tool to help you get out of bed on those dreary mornings. Winter brings along a solid routine for many people, making it the perfect time to work on something. Commit to an exercise routine, to get your home in order, to being a calmer mother, or to davening more often—and try to stick to it. You’ll feel so accomplished by the time Pesach rolls around that you’ll almost wish winter was starting again.

6. cozy, cozy And no, I haven’t forgotten about the cozy, fuzzy winter gear that’s bound to get even the most ardent summer fan excited. Get into those fuzzy slippers, curl up with your favorite (probably worn-out) sweater, and pull up your thermal socks to enjoy a true winter experience before spring rolls around, and you ask where the winter weeks have gone to.




SAMPLE By Libby Silberman



Yoga We’re long overdue for this Sample, with one in three Americans having tried this discipline at least once and an estimated 36 million Americans practicing it regularly. In fact, according to numerous reports, it’s the most used complementary health approach in the US. It’s yoga I’m talking about. How many of you have tried yoga in the past? Hmmm, nice show of hands! I myself have been a huge yoga fan for about six years or so. Yoga is considered the union between the mind, body, and spirit, combining physical poses with breathing and mindful meditation. While originally practiced in the Far East by people said to be idol worshippers, yoga has come a long way over to the West and to the frum Jewish communities. While there are some unique Jewish yoga classes that target the spirit (see Cup of Tea, issue 81), most standard yoga classes in your local gym are yoga asana, the term used to describe the physical poses of yoga. To an uninitiated onlooker, yoga doesn’t look much like anything. Move your hands this way, that way, hold it, exhale, inhale, bend, and hold. But anyone who’s tried it vouches for the special light feeling, presence, and ease they feel when they finish a good class. Okay, okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start from the beginning. What’s yoga, how is it helpful to us, and as always, our burning question: are the health benefits true or is it “mind over matter?”






The Theory Yoga benefits the body, mind, and soul.

The Experiment Does yoga do good on its promise for improving many ailments? And does it really make people feel so good?

The Participants 118 women (most of them Sample readers) from around the world joined the 21-day challenge. They were instructed to do a simple yoga routine first thing in the morning—I provided three videos—and report what consistent yoga practice did for them. I also offered a special prenatal yoga routine, which another 16 women requested.




How It Went Over Each morning, I sent a quick email with some yoga inspiration to keep the participants motivated and engaged. The emails proved to be invaluable as they served as a reminder for those who would have otherwise dropped out of the program. After 21 days, I sent an email to my faithful lab samples: “Twenty-one days of yoga are over. Is this the end of yoga for you or just the beginning? And why?” Here’s what our participants shared:

B.L. Thanks for the challenge. It was the first time I’ve ever done any kind of yoga, and I managed to keep to the entire 21-day program. It was important to do it first thing in the morning, because I knew if I didn’t do it then, I just wouldn’t make it happen later in the day. Honestly, I didn’t feel any difference in my energy levels at all. It felt nice, but I doubt I’ll be maintaining this.

N.M. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to keep to this past the first time!

E.T. I absolutely loved the me-time each morning. It felt nice knowing I was taking care of myself. Interesting to note that after a couple of days, I realized I could utilize the relaxing breathing throughout my day, beyond the yoga routine. I have been “yoga breathing” during stressful mornings, kids’ bedtimes, and Erev Shabbos. Also, in the beginning, it was hard for me to get into it and relaxed, but after a few days of pushing through, the relaxed mode came much more naturally. In certain poses, it didn’t feel very relaxing. On the contrary, it was challenging to hold, i.e., downward facing dog is pretty hard work. I can see that it’s not only relaxing, but also strength-building, am I correct?



Leah When I started yoga, the downward facing dog was really hard for me. It was this awkward position where I was to breathe deeply and just hold. Eventually, as I got into harder positions, downward facing dog became my resting spot! I practically look forward to lying in downward facing dog.



I am going to miss this! It was so relaxing.

Thank you so much for opening a new world to me! I did the prenatal video, and it was my first shot at yoga altogether. Just a couple of years ago, I couldn’t imagine ever trying yoga. I was a high-energy, quick-paced young lady. Baruch Hashem, I’m in a different stage now and don’t have any of that energy and haven’t exercised in way too long. I was excited to try this and really enjoyed it. I started out doing it religiously but eventually got too busy for it. I felt the difference immediately in my physical comfort and energy levels, and went right back to doing it. I also did it twice when I was feeling particularly stressed out, and it helped me ground myself. Again, thank you so much for introducing this to me.

T.S. I really enjoyed this! I definitely want to keep at it. It gave my mornings—and the rest of the day, actually—a great boost! I didn’t do all 21 days, but I probably did more than half. I liked the yoga moves that focused on posture, as I’ve been developing a slight age-related stoop lately.

P.P. I followed the whole thing and didn’t miss a day! It helped me with relaxation and mindfulness. I do professional massage, and practicing yoga helped me focus on my own breathing while I work—which is something I’m trained to do to help me work internally, but this really gave me a boost. Interestingly, when I was in my Pilates class the past few weeks, I felt I could focus my energy to one place better.




B.G. I did the prenatal video and experienced major success. I was told that my baby was in breech position and getting close to my due date, I was nervous. I tried a million segulos, but I’m almost positive that it was yoga that helped my baby get into proper position. Once my baby was in proper position, I was apprehensive about doing awkward positions like downward facing. So I modified the routine and skipped the poses where my pelvis would be higher than my chest. I’m hardly doing anything these days, and skipping three-quarters of the routine, but I’m still doing it: it helps me breathe better and keeps my muscles from atrophying, as the most exercise I’m doing these days is going up and down my front steps as I walk my kids to their buses.

U.S. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how relaxing yoga is! The nice feeling gave me the push to keep to it and do it every day, which made me feel even better!

Y.B. Okay, so I confess I wasn’t as consistent as I’d hoped to be. I missed a couple of days :( However, on the days I did manage to do the routine first thing in the morning, I felt refreshed and peaceful going about my day. Like the instructor in the video said, I felt my body stretch through my breaths. It’s powerful mindfulness, which is so important in today’s rush-rush of life. Mindfulness is a great tool for helping relieve stress, but I always thought that it’s not for me, and I can’t just sit and think about “What am I doing/feeling right now?” With yoga, I focused on my breathing and stretching my body in a calm and quiet way, and I was able to do the “mindfulness” I never thought I could.

Mindel I did the prenatal video consistently for all 21 days. Sometimes, I felt it gave me energy and other times I felt like crawling back into bed…

R.S. This yoga challenge is just the beginning of my yoga journey. I did it every single day, and it gave me an awesome boost of energy in the mornings—a time that I had previously felt very sluggish and groggy. Thanks so much for introducing me to this.



S.B. For the past few years, I’ve had a hard time falling asleep. Additionally, I would wake up after four or five hours and be unable to fall asleep again. Since I started doing yoga three weeks ago, I observed a significant change in my sleep patterns. I can sleep deeper and longer than I have in a long time, baruch Hashem. I’d like to try yoga for weight loss…taking care of my sleep issues as well as my weight…dream come true!

I.B.B. Henny K. I loved reading your fun emails but unfortunately, my good desires remained just that…good desires.


The yoga challenge was amazing. I felt a general improvement in my overall moods and felt very good about myself. Aside from doing yoga in the morning, I did yoga in the evening as a de-stressor after a long day, and it helped me transition from late-evening computer work to a relaxed bedtime. On a physical level, I don’t feel more flexible or stronger, and I don’t believe that ten minutes of yoga gets one anywhere. I didn’t experience any improvement in digestion or circulation or any other of the hype associated with yoga.

My first and last time doing yoga… This was too boring for me; I like exercising with pep! Thanks anyway.

Nechy It was good to move my body and just relax for a couple of minutes in the mornings. And I absolutely loved your daily emails!

Rochel Leah I particularly enjoyed the neck and back yoga routine as I found it relaxing, especially after working full time in my office. I was proud of myself for doing something “for myself,” something “extra,” and “free”! My married daughters were proud of me for taking time for myself. Seems like I finally got the hang of the self-care thing! The yoga itself was very enjoyable, not too strenuous, and perfect for the evening. The mindfulness stuff didn’t speak to me, but on a physical level this was just what the doctor ordered! And erm…I’m afraid I won’t be continuing. With no accountability, I realistically won’t be doing it.

Yael I did the prenatal video and absolutely loved it. I felt a total difference in my entire body, especially after the stretching part. Yoga is both super relaxing and super energizing, and it taught me how to breathe properly, how to just relax, and how to be more mindful. I will be continuing with this video. Thank you for introducing me to yoga!

Tova I ended up stopping after five days because I couldn’t stand these slow exercises. I need something faster paced.




Yoga health benefits Here’s a cool list of the good stuff yoga can do for you.

and children, especially children with physical delays.

1. Improves flexibility

Another study tracked air force members who practiced yoga and found it to be an effective strength-building tool across many age groups.

Two of the leading yoga organizations, Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, studied the statistics of health benefits reported by practicing yoga. The results were released in 2016, with “increased flexibility” as the most common health benefit derived from yoga practice. Even in the medical world, doctors are seeing better overall health with improved flexibility. Yoga is especially helpful for adults over the age of 65. Reduced flexibility is a normal and natural part of aging, and yoga has been proven to help slow down flexibility loss and improve mobility in older adults. 2. Relieves stress The APA (American Psychological Association) recently shared that 84 percent of Americans are experiencing adverse impact of prolonged stress. According to the aforementioned study, stress relief was the second most common benefit that people observed from practicing yoga. Hard science proves that yoga (and especially asana, the physical poses of yoga) is fantastic for relieving stress. 3. Relieves physical effects of stress Mental and emotional stress have been proven to cause physical effects on the body, via its activation of the fightor-flight response in high-stress situations. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, cortisol—the stress hormone—is released. High levels of cortisol are detrimental for many reasons, and yoga practice has been demonstrated to lower cortisol levels. 4. Improves mental health Much evidence links yoga to improved mental health. Practicing yoga twice a week has been observed to be an effective alternative treatment for depression, in conjunction with psychotherapy or other modalities suggested by the individual’s healthcare provider. 5. Reduces inflammation Chronic inflammation is frequently followed by serious illness. Yoga, according to 15 research studies, reduces the biochemical markers of inflammation in several chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. 6. Increases body strength and bone density While most kinds of yoga involve stretches that improve flexibility, some kinds of yoga help you build body strength. The correlation between yoga and strength has been looked at in context of breast cancer research, seniors, 58


7. Reduces anxiety According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American and other trusted sources, anxiety disorders are currently the most common mental health disorder affecting Americans. There are several subcategories related to anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and specific phobias. Some sources even include chronic stress as a form of anxiety. Multiple studies suggest that practicing yoga asana can be an effective alternative treatment for anxiety disorders, with the caveat of being in auxiliary treatment in more serious cases. Yoga nidra, also known as guided meditation, is frequently conducted at the end of a yoga class and conclusively proven to be extremely effective in treating symptoms of anxiety. 8. Improves quality of life (QOL) The World Health Organization defines QOL as “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns.” Factors affecting QOL are relationships, creativity, health, material comfort, education, and opportunities. Consistent yoga practice can improve the QOL for people with chronic pain or ongoing challenges, according to a 2019 meta-analysis. 9. Boosts immunity We all know that strep follows a week of stress, and we all know of the many physiological issues that stem from chronic tension. Stress has been proven to lead to compromised immunity, which leads to higher susceptibility to illness. However, with yoga practice, stress can be significantly reduced (as mentioned above) and may indirectly strengthen the immune system. 10. Improves balance If you’ve done the tree pose in yoga class, you know that it helps with balance. But balance is a lot more than the ability to stand on one leg. Balance is crucial for everyday tasks such as bending and lifting something off the floor, reaching up to get a bag of flour from the top shelf in the pantry, and going down a flight of stairs. Among the 65 and above population, good balance is even more important in preventing falls.

Yoga has been proven to improve overall balance, and not only by doing the Tree Pose. Most yoga asana poses help the body gain better balance. 11. Improves cardiovascular function Pranayama, the term for guided yoga breathing, is an important aspect of yoga. A review of 1,400 studies published in a leading yoga journal mentions a key takeaway of the effects of pranayama: Correct breathing can improve the functioning of several major systems in the body. Specifically, the cardiovascular system benefits tremendously from controlling the pace of breathing. 12. Improves oxygenation of body cells

Results: I believe in the stuff, to be honest. So, I was biased before we even said “Go!” It’s good for everyone. It’s easy to do it. It can even be free. When done correctly, it generally causes no harm. You prefer fast-paced? Go have fun. But for everyone else, try it. Let me know how it goes.

On the topic of pranayama, yoga helps one breathe correctly, effectively oxygenating all body cells. According to many researchers, correct oxygenation of the body is key in improving energy, mood, and overall wellbeing. 13. Helps weight loss What, really? Well, if your goal is weight loss only, you may be better off getting into your sneakers and on the running trail. However, strong anecdotal evidence exists proving that yoga assists in weight loss. There are many yoga instructors who offer specialized classes that target weight. According to a lifestyle study in Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, consistent yoga practice was associated with less age-related weight gain. The study observed 15,500 adults in their 50s over ten years, marking their weight history, physical activity, and diet.

Yoga Bits and Bobs There are more than 100 styles of yoga.

14. Improves sleep In sleep studies, researchers analyze both a person’s ability to fall asleep and remain asleep. Insomnia can affect one or both of these aspects. Yoga has been proven to help on both counts, helping individuals fall asleep faster and remain asleep for longer. This is likely due to the effect of mental calming and stress relief provided by yoga. Yoga nidra (guided meditation) is particularly helpful at improving sleep patterns. 15. Promotes better posture and body awareness A sizable percentage of us are guilty of sitting hunched in front of screens for a good portion of the day. The good news is that yoga improves brain function responsible for interoception (body awareness) and posture. Additionally, many yoga poses focus on lengthening the spine and aligning the body, improving posture and position of the spine. 16. Improves brain function The ultimate mind-body exercise, multiple studies suggest that yoga improves executive functioning, motivation, attention span, and neuroplasticity. Yoga has proven to be an excellent practice for individuals with ADD or ADHD.

15 percent of the US population practiced yoga in the last six months.

Laughter yoga is growing in popularity. It’s a fun combination of laughter therapy and yoga.

A whopping 72 percent of yoga instructors are women. (No surprise there!)

People aged between 30–49 practice yoga more than any other age group.

The percentage of Americans practicing yoga has grown by over 50 percent in the last four years.




I asked some long-time yogis about their yoga practice. Ita

Libby (yup, yours truly!)

I suffer from awful and debilitating nausea during pregnancy (HG), to the extent that I need to be hospitalized frequently to receive IV fluids. During my most recent pregnancy, I tried a HG treatment protocol that included regular yoga practice. It was difficult to actually do yoga, but I think it helped my nausea immensely. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but much more bearable.

Penina Yoga has made me more flexible and it gives energy. The days I start with an hour-long yoga class are like days I had a magical cup of coffee. I also feel more focused at work and can concentrate for longer stretches of time.

Aside from loving my yoga class, I learned some very cool things over time. Despite having never been a gymnast as a kid, I learned how to do a shoulder-stand, handstand, and headstand in yoga class, using correct positioning and focus. Uh-huh, as a wife and mommy, I reached those milestones!

Bracha I attend yoga classes throughout my pregnancies, and it relieves me of all my aches and pains.

Yoga for Weight Loss? Not traditionally touted as a weight loss tool, yoga can in fact have an indirect impact on your weight by helping you sleep better—research proves that sleeping helps metabolic processes that help with weight loss. Yoga facilitates more presence, which can be a great aid in fostering more mindful eating. Since it encourages relaxation, it can serve as a great tool in place of stress eating. Also, certain yoga poses build your endurance and strength, which help you in other forms of exercise training. Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga.

Yoga rules to abide by

Yoga in the Morning

Rule #1: Focus on your breath. No need to be flexible or even warm up before yoga class. The purpose of yoga is not to do all those complicated pretzel-like poses. The purpose is to breathe and find the edge of your breathing capabilities. Rule #2: Bring a yoga mat. A non-skid yoga mat that is at least the length of your body and preferably a foot wider than your shoulders is perfect. Rule #3: Wear comfortable clothes. Wear comfortable clothing that allows maximum mobility and won’t get in the way. Rule #4: Show up to class! Doing yoga routines consistently will help you build endurance and gain all the benefits. Rule #5: Bare feet are better. Yes! Bare feet! You’ll be less stable in the standing poses with socks, and bare feet will help you feel firmer and more grounded, so take those socks off! Rule #6: No electronics. Nothing is more embarrassing than your phone going off during opening or closing relaxation. Rule #7: No comparing and no judgment. Don’t compare yourself to others in the room and don’t judge yourself for not being able to do all the poses. Take things at your own pace. Rule #8: Bring a sense of humor. You may overexert yourself or even fall clumsily to the floor. No worries! That’s part of the process and part of the fun. Find it funny and get off the ground. Rule #9: Arrive on time and stay until the end. Yoga is a buildup, so don’t miss the warm-up by arriving late or skip out early and miss the most important (and enjoyable) pose of them all: corpse pose.

Are you the employee that comes into the office at 9:02 bearing a 24-oz. coffee and half-closed lids? The one nobody will go near until 11:00 AM? Millions of people have trouble feeling energized and enthusiastic in the early hours of the day. And it’s normal. Some people simply do not have the mental clarity to snap out of their sleep and wipe away grogginess instantly. Yoga can change that. A quick routine in the morning—I’m talking about only ten minutes— can wake up your brain and leave you feeling refreshed and calm. Making yoga a consistent morning habit will make you wake up quicker, even before you start your yoga routine, as your body will subconsciously look forward to the yoga.

Move to the Beat Or not? Traditionally, yoga is not practiced to a background of music. The real-deal yogis emphasize the importance of tuning into your inner voice during yoga without being distracted by music. However, most yoga studios do run soft musical tracks to accompany the fluid moves.


12 Yoga Poses for Beginners Here are 12 poses you can try at home today, without any prior knowledge of yoga or equipment (a mat would be nice though).

Diamond Thunderbolt Benefits: Diamond thunderbolt targets the lower digestive systems as well as improving blood circulation in the pelvic area. How to pull it off: The position is easy but holding for a while may be hard. Sit down on your legs with your heels touching your glutes. If you’re a beginner, don’t hold the pose for longer than two minutes.

Cobra Pose Benefits: This pose is excellent for relieving menstrual discomfort and irregularities, as well as stretching the core. How to pull it off: Lie on your stomach with your forehead resting on the mat. Then, press the top half of your feet against the floor while placing your hands on the mat just below your shoulders. Tuck your shoulders back and down. Inhale, and lift your head and chest off the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and exhale while lowering yourself back onto the ground. Hold the cobra pose for up to thirty seconds, and repeat.

Gracious Pose Benefits: Improve alignment and posture. How to pull it off: Sit down with your legs apart and soles of your feet touching each other. Make sure you’re sitting straight, lengthen your spine, and relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.

Half Spinal Twist Pose Benefits: This pose increases flexibility and cleanses internal organs. How to pull it off: Sit on your mat and bend your left leg so that your left heel lies next to the right hip. Place your right leg over your left knee. Place your right hand behind you on your mat, and your left hand on your right knee to increase or decrease the stretch. Hold the pose for 10–20 seconds, breathing deeply.

Corpse Pose Benefits: This pose reduces anxiety and promotes full-body relaxation. Fish Pose Benefits: This pose improves muscle strength and posture. How to pull it off: Lie on your back and arch your upper body up, moving chest-first until the crown of your head (or back of your head for beginners) rests on the floor. Tuck your hands at the sides of your bottom. Hold for 20–30 seconds.



How to pull it off: Lie down on your back and breathe deeply and evenly into your abdomen. Allow your muscles to relax into the mat and focus on your breathing. Try to imagine where your breath is going inside your body. Position your face so your nose is pointed straight up to the ceiling. Close your eyes and hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable, or around 3–5 minutes. When you want to get up, lift yourself up by rolling over to your side and getting up very slowly.

Seated Forward Bend

Triangle Pose

Benefits: This pose has numerous health benefits, including relieving menstrual discomforts and menopause issues.

Benefits: This pose stimulates and improves the function of the abdominal organs (including spleen, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and intestines), and reduces stress.

How to pull it off: Sit on your mat with your legs extended out in front of you. Lean forward, focusing on leaning toward your toes rather than toward your knees. Hold this pose for 1–3 minutes.

How to pull it off: Stand with your legs hips’-distance apart and extend your arms to the sides. Turn your head slightly to the right, move your left hip back while extending your right hand further out. Drop your right arm so that your right hand reaches the front of your right foot. Breathe and hold for 5–6 breaths. Repeat on other side.

Chair Pose

Child’s Pose

Benefits: This pose stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.

Benefits: This pose helps you relax, reduce exhaustion, and lower stress levels.

How to pull it off: Get into a squat by imagining that you’re about to sit down on a couch, pausing just before you’re about to hit the seat. With your hands stretched out in front of you, breathe deeply and hold for about 30–60 seconds.

How to pull it off: Get onto your mat on hands and knees, then relax your arms and let your forehead rest on the floor.

Wind-Relieving Pose Benefits: This pose is excellent for eliminating trapped gas and digestive discomfort. How to pull it off: Get into a fetal position on your back with your knees pulled up toward your chest. Hold your knees with your hands. Then, lower your right leg slightly until your right toe taps the mat. Bring up again and lower your left leg slights until your left toe taps the mat. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable, holding the pose for up to a minute at a time.

Half/Full Standing Forward Bend Benefits: This pose helps strengthen the body and aids in smoother digestion. How to pull it off: Stand straight and fold forward while keeping your spine extended. If you are a beginner, do this very slowly. Place your hands wherever you can reach and hold for 30–60 seconds.






Cup of Tea with

Dr. Judy Ribner, DNP, CNM Dr. Judy Ribner, DNP, CNM

OCCUPATION: Midwife doctor FAMILY: Married, mother of 4 LOCATION: Far Rockaway, New York HER DREAM: That informed birth choices become supported and enabled. Women should tap into their intuition and step into their power when bringing forth new life.

by Esther Retek WELLSPRING / CHESHVAN 5783



Judy, or Yehudis, as she prefers to be called outside her career life, was born into her career—quite literally. “My mother gave birth to me using the Lamaze birthing method, and I was a product of a gentle, peaceful birth,” she says. Judy believes that people have a subconscious memory of their birth, their initial impressions of the world, and are imprinted with the energy with which they were first embraced. “I was also exclusively breastfed, and I’m continuing that tradition by being a fourthgeneration nursing mother. I was raised to cherish and preserve feminine physiologic processes and not to outsource them. Becoming midwife doctor was aligned with that value system.”

Judy went through midwifery schooling, followed by intense internship in a hospital setting. “There, I witnessed the high number of unnecessary labor inductions and cesareans, and the high number of newborns from healthy pregnancies who ended up in the NICU. These observations left a deep impression on me. Childbirth is inherently a natural process, a normal life-cycle event. If you observe other mammals, they know how to give birth without monitors, IV lines, or beeping machines. They ar-



en’t institutionalized to birth a baby.”

Born to Be Judy, a thinker by nature, questioned the typical birthing process and became increasingly enthusiastic about bringing back a woman’s inherent ability to give birth naturally. Judy’s hospital experiences and emergencies

she’s witnessed ultimately led her to become the passionate homebirth midwife doctor she is today. “I’ve seen too many birth complications that could’ve been prevented. I’ve witnessed people require lifesaving medical intervention, not as a result of their natural birthing process or pregnancy but because of a cascade of medical interventions that should not have been initiated in the first place. When you see that cascade repeat itself again and again, you become motivated to challenge the status quo and

welcome positive change.” An outspoken proponent of home births, Judy is still sure to assert that sometimes medical treatment or hospitalization is appropriate or necessary. “There is a time and place for medical intervention—it can save people’s lives—but it should be used cautiously and when necessary. Its overuse, however, has contributed to many of today’s birth complications. Home birth is safe for risk-appropriate women




and reduces complications and surgical delivery rates. There are low-risk women I’ve met who prefer a medicalized birth, either because it provides a sense of security or it enables the option for pharmaceutical pain relief. Low-risk women can choose a hospital birth if it’s aligned with their birth goals. At the same time, there are many low-risk women who seek to have a non-interventive physiologic birth. Empowering them to choose a suitable birth setting—home birth—can help such women have the empowering birth they seek. As a home birth midwife doctor, it’s deeply rewarding to help women birth in an undisturbed, instinct-led, safe manner.” As a young adult, Judy was passionately curious about birth—specifically, protecting it. “I wanted women to be viewed as capable of a basic feminine physiological process. I believed birth to be an intuitive, mother-led process. That’s what drew me to the midwifery model of care. I hardly knew a single midwife. But midwifery seemed humble, gentle, and respectful of nature. And I never looked back. Every aspect of the midwifery model of care spoke to me: centering control back to women, heeding their instincts, including them in their own care, equalizing the relationship between client and provider, and viewing childbirth as a normal life-cycle event.”

Hospital Hurdles The bulk of Judy’s education took place in a hospital setting. Working closely with women who were institutionalized for birth led Judy to realize that enabling low-risk women to give birth on their own terms, in the comfort of their own environment, without routine medical interventions, can yield the best birth results. “Low-risk laboring women benefit from being mobile, eating freely, and being monitored intermittently (not continuously). Practicing my beloved profession— midwifery—in a home setting enables me to provide high-quality care without needing to compromise because of an institution’s policy.” Judy points out various hurdles that women may routinely face in today’s birth world. “Having a baby is physically hard work. Why 68


should their position make it more difficult? The ideal birth position is individual, but birthing in an anatomically sound position facilitates an easier, gentler birth. Also, there are a number of non-pharmacological pain-relieving options that a low-risk woman can benefit from, such as counter pressure on one’s back/massage, hydrotherapy (water birth), and mobility.”

"A birth can impact the way a woman feels about herself as a woman and the way she bonds with her new baby."

Judy also discusses IV lines that are standard practice in some hospitals. “There’s no benefit to routine use of IV for a low-risk, unmedicated laboring woman. Quite the contrary, routine IV can potentially be disruptive to labor. Routine prophylactic Pitocin use postpartum for low-risk women is another routine medical intervention that, according to midwifery guidelines, has no high-quality research to support it improving outcomes for low-risk women. Pitocin use postpartum may disrupt breastfeeding or bonding. Lowrisk women benefit when it’s used cautiously and appropriately, not universally.” More than anything, however, Judy states that professionals working in the hospital system need to comply with hospital protocols even if they don’t clinically agree with them. “Working in a hospital would mean complying with the hospital guidelines. It would limit my ability to provide midwifery care in a way that puts only my client’s wellbeing first. At home, I can be patient with labor, birth, and delivery of the placenta to the full extent birth rightfully deserves. I can individualize care to honor my clients’ preferences and to help women have the birth experience they are seeking.” Compassion and passion are driving emotions that fuel our conversation. Judy further remarks that although legally, anyone entering a hospital retains their autonomy and nothing can be done without their consent, on a practical level that’s not always what happens. “One of the benefits of planned home birth for low-risk women, aside from the reduction in birth complications, is that it gives them a certain control during their birth.” Safety Matters Probably the most oft-asked question on the topic of home birth is the safety factor.

Thorough and well-informed, Judy has a lot to share on the topic. “Over the last twenty years, the United States has seen a steady increase in medical inductions and cesareans. Unfortunately, the rising rate of medicalized births has not produced better birthing outcomes. Instead, the maternal mortality rate steadily rose as the cesarean rates steadily rose in the last twenty years.” Judy advises taking a step back and looking at the numbers. “We are now at a 31.8 percent national cesarean rate with an over 25 percent induction rate. It’s not for no reason that the US ranks so poorly among industrialized nations for maternity health. There are dozens of industrialized countries that have superior health outcomes than we do.” Even more so, Judy points out that according to the WHO (World Health Organization), industrialized countries should ideally have a 10 percent cesarean rate. Any cesarean rate above 15 percent increases mortality without improving outcomes. In the US, we’re triple the ideal threshold. In other countries, such as the Netherlands, where approximately 20 percent of the population opts for home births and cesarean rates are lower, health outcomes are better. Working on her doctorate propelled Judy to research the data relating to the maternity crisis. “When I searched through the NYS Department of Health website, it showed that the majority of maternal deaths and life-threatening birth outcomes were cesareans, not natural births.” What are some medical benefits that home births offer? “For mothers, the data shows that planned, midwife-attended home birth for a risk-appropriate woman results in fewer postpartum hemorrhages, fewer operative deliveries, fewer blood transfusions, fewer cesareans, fewer labor inductions, less Pitocin use, and reduced risk of tearing. Based on the New York State Alliance for Licensed Midwives home birth guidelines, perinatal death rates are very low for planned, risk-appropriate home births and are comparable to those of low-risk women birthing in hospitals. Babies born in hospitals are more likely to have a resuscitation. Home birth is a model of care that has excellent clinical outcomes.” What about pharmaceutical painkillers? “Our practice hasn’t had to transfer a woman for an epidural,” Judy says, though she also adds that any hospital legally needs to accept a transferred home birth, so if a woman desires an epidural, she can transfer to a hospital and receive one. “When a woman is supported during labor, is in the comfort of her own environment, her instincts are being trusted, and she has a midwife by her side to help ease the intensity of the contraction, either by applying counterpressure or by helping her into an optimal position, labor can be transformed into an empowering, supported process.”




That said, Judy’s extensive midwifery training has taught her when and how to use drugs and emergency equipment correctly when necessary. “Home birth is not a rebellion against Western medicine. It’s a cautious use of it. We intervene in a home setting in the minority of times it is clinically indicated. In the unlikely event of a complication that is beyond the scope of what can be safely managed at home, we would facilitate a timely, seamless transfer to a hospital. Most planned home births unfold peacefully and self-sufficiently at home, as planned.” She also mentions that major insurance companies, including NYS Medicaid, cover home birth, which means it’s an accessible option for many low-risk women. A Unique Experience Giving birth at home offers more than just a setting with cautious use of medical intervention. The energy and 70


interpersonal dynamic is different. When a woman gives birth at home, she is the hostess and the midwives are the guests. The birth centers around her and her baby; there aren’t a whole bunch of other women in adjacent labor rooms who need to be catered to. It’s all about this woman, her baby, her birth. But that attentive, high-quality care starts long before the birth. Judy and her colleagues spend on average 45 minutes with clients during each prenatal visit. It is during those visits that she really gets to know her clients and forms a relationship with them, which then translates into a very understanding birthing experience. “By the time the woman gives birth, we’ve connected meaningfully, and we know each other well. It helps our midwife team be able to individualize care and know what that mother wants during her labor without her needing to ask for it at the time.” Another important component to home births is the education. “The midwifery model supports informed decision-making and shared decision-making. This means

Women tell me how intuitive they became to their children’s needs, how they’re bonding differently with their baby and other children, how strong they became when making other decisions in life.

They welcome him/her in a seamless way—as part of the routine of life. They weren’t separated from their mother for 24 to 48 hours. When I see a toddler peeking at his newborn sibling, having had his mother throughout, it’s apparent how home birth is a gift to the entire family.” Judy shares a recent story to illustrate. “Just this week we were at a beautiful home birth. As we were leaving, we saw six older sisters file into their parents’ bedroom to greet their new brother. How lucky those girls are to have birth modeled as a normal life-cycle event. To witness impressionable young women being gifted that empowering message makes me cherish home birth even more.” Judy’s well-researched evidence and firsthand experiences strike a chord for many women. For those who are ready for home birth but don’t have familial support, how can they balance their birth preferences with those of family members? “Dealing with family members who don’t support a person’s birth choice is a delicate balance,” Judy asserts. She recalls two births at which she was present recently, where the grandparents were pediatricians. “Ultimately, the birthing mother is going to live with the consequences of the birth choices more than anyone else, and she should thus be at the center of the decision-making process.” Judy recommends gently navigating the decision-making process while preserving familial relationships. “I’ve seen people utilize a number of very different approaches. Dynamics are unique to each extended family.” Woman’s Wisdom

women are given information, included as a partner in their care, and are participatory in decisions. For example, each aspect of routine newborn care is discussed in advance of the birth, with risk/benefit discussions addressing vitamin K, erythromycin in the baby’s eyes, etc. Mothers make informed decisions regarding their preferences. We honor women as the authority on their own care and their baby’s.” Judy’s deep perception is what enables her to connect easily with her clients and provide individualized care that respects their preference. “One of my favorite moments as a home birth provider is witnessing the triumph, relief, and ecstasy immediately following an undisturbed birth. Another favorite moment is handing a brand-new baby immediately to its mother’s beckoning arms. The baby explores its new mother, uninterrupted, for an hour afterward. We delay weighing or measuring the baby—the measurements won’t change if we wait that sacred hour. “Then the children come in to greet their new sibling.

Judy has strong family values outside of her career. How does she balance being a midwife doctor and a mother of four? “When you love what you do, it falls into place,” she says. With a team of three other like-minded midwives, Judy and her partners can each dedicate themselves both to their families and to their clients. “Our maintaining work/life balance enhances the quality of our care. Each of our clients is working with a midwife who takes time off call and is well rested.” Judy is driven by a purpose bigger than herself. “Birth is a time that both a mother and baby are born,” she explains. “A birth can impact the way a woman feels about herself as a woman and the way she bonds with her new baby. Birth isn’t just a means to expel a baby from its mother; it’s a precious, impressionable life experience.” Note: Wellspring does not endorse or promote the views expressed by interviewees in this column.






I COULDN'T HUG MY OWN SON BECAUSE OF HIS ODOR AS TOLD TO ROIZY BAUM “Go wash your hands with soap and stop touching your nose,” I said to my son in the kindest voice I could muster, but my intolerance level was obvious. Chaim had always been a sensory child, hugging me ten times a day, dissecting his food, and cozying up with his baby brother’s blanket. But now, because his runny nose was the stop before every item he touched, I was insistent that he keep washing his hands. “Wipe your nose—and I shouldn’t need to remind you,” I said for the umpteenth time that hour as I handed him a tissue. “Here, blow. Big boys take a tissue whenever they have a runny nose, okay?” He took the tissue and did the job, but it was useless. A minute later we were back to square one. Besides for the promise to self I’d made as a young kid when I watched runny-nosed kids romp in the park that my kids would never, ever sport

that look, it was frustrating. The weather was consistent; we couldn’t blame it on the temperature seesaw. The frustration mounted when we did not observe any positive changes after Chaim went off dairy for a full month. Along with his haircut transformation at the age of three, there was another accessory to his adorable face—a dripping nose. Annoyance led to disgust when, in addition to the constantly running faucet, the discharge emitted an odor. It was so strong, it lingered in the room for several minutes after he left. I made him brush his teeth, rinse his mouth, and up his drinking levels, but the foul odor only intensified. It was the worst in the mornings. “Mommy, Chaim doesn’t smell good. Take him away,” my five-year-old daughter would tell me when all her brother wanted was to play with her. My heart went out for him. The odor wasn’t subsiding; it seemed happy and comfortable in my little boy’s

nose. I hated myself for keeping a distance from my son and inching away when he came for a hug. But coming too close felt unbearable. I wondered how his rebbi and classmates handled it. My sisters sympathized with me, but they thought I was overdoing it. “Libby, you were always sensitive to smells.” “You’ll see when I come visit,” I said. As much as I hoped it would be resolved by the time we were due to travel to be with our family, it didn’t seem like the odor was going anywhere anytime soon. When I mentioned the odor to my mother over the phone, she had a lightbulb moment. “When Shloimy was younger, I had the exact same experience,” she said. “And the doctor found a foreign object stuck in his nose. Now that you’re mentioning the smell, I’m remembering. He also





ond look. “Nothing there, lady. It’s dried-out mucus. A booger.”

I booked an appointment to an ENT right then, and the next day the specialist got straight down to business, peering into Chaim’s nostrils. “I don’t see anything there. It’s probably a passing thing,” he declared. Thankfully, he was masked, preventing discomfort from the intense odor.

I wasn’t giving up. “They’re both green, doctor, but it’s not a booger. I really saw something there.” So excited was I to finally discover the culprit that I wasn’t ready to give up so easily. The doctor was equally obstinate and insisted there was nothing there.

“Come, tzaddik,” I said, holding my breath to keep myself from inhaling. “We’re going home.”

The following week, we traveled to New York for a simchah. My sisters finally acknowledged what I’d been complaining about—the foul odor and the constant dripping that accompanied us on our trip. “For once, you weren’t overdoing it, Libby,” they all agreed.

That night, I decided to play doctor. Convinced that there must be something in Chaim’s nose, I peered inside with the help of a flashlight. To my surprise, I spotted something. “There’s something there!” I exclaimed. “There’s something there. A green thing!” The next morning, I was back at the ENT, this time, without an appointment. “There is something there,” I asserted. “I wouldn’t risk taking it out myself, though, so I came here.” He was nice enough to take a sec-



During our visit, I had one important stop to make: the pediatrician. The day of my brother’s wedding, I sat in the waiting room instead of brunching with my sisters. But despite my sacrifice, the pediatrician in New York was on the same page as the doctor back home. “Nothing there. It looks to me like nasal crusting, an excessive accumulation of mucus. And the odor will probably

go away on its own.” “Can I show you something?” I knew I was being a tad overassertive, but I had to get to the bottom of the issue. “Look up and then a bit to the right. Don’t you see a greenish thing squeezed between the nasal walls?” “Nothing there,” the doctor repeated confidently. Deflated, I left the doctor’s office and went to get my makeup done. At the wedding, an old friend of mine encouraged me to see the pediatrician she uses. “He’s fantastic and will take you very seriously.” I got an emergency appointment for the next day. “You’re on to something, Mrs. Greenfeld. I think I see something,” he announced, craning his neck to get a better look. “But it’s way too hard for me to get it out,” he said, fanning his hand to wave away the foul odor. It took all my self-control to keep me from jumping for joy. “I knew it! I kept telling everyone there’s something there. Doctor, you are the third practitioner I’m seeing.” “Go to an ENT,” he advised, handing me a referral. “He will insert a camera to see what’s lodged there.” At our next stop, the ENT prepared Chaim for the procedure she was about to perform. “Chaim, we’re going to put a camera up your nose. It will take a picture of what’s inside of you. This way, we’re going to know what’s bothering you. Okay, sweetie?” He was so young, she called the nurse in to help her. The nurse bear-hugged him, and the doctor stuck a long, flexible stick with a camera at its tip into his tiny

IT’S STUCK! nose. “Yeaaaah…,” she said in a tone that confirmed there was something there. “I see something.” Then she pulled the camera out. And along with the camera, a huge piece of green sponge was expelled. The room was overwhelmed with a stench so awful that the nurse’s fingers flew to her nose, and she pinched her nostrils tightly shut. The doctor waved her hands near her nose and tried to move from the smell. Because a sponge has porous properties, it had absorbed all the mucus and bacteria. “You’re very lucky we managed to avoid surgery,” the doctor told me. “The camera usually does not wriggle objects out.” Holding up the sponge, she asked me, “Do you want to frame this? People become very sentimental about these things.” She placed the object in a tiny Ziploc bag. I definitely wanted to show this sneaky little culprit to my family members who’d thought I was exaggerating, and to the two doctors who hadn’t taken me seriously. Meanwhile, I was in a stupor trying to think what on earth the green sponge was. Those foam little animals that come in a capsule and emerge when placed in water? A piece of the sponge I use for my dishes? All my sleuthing efforts were in vein. “As long as it’s out,” the doctor laughed. “But, yes, it is mysterious.” And in an instant—like a light switch—the kid had a pleasant smell.

“If an object stays stuck in a child’s nose, the object will often begin to smell,” says Dr. Victor Ejercito, a Marshfield Clinic ENT doctor. “A frequent bloody or runny nose could also be a sign.” Don’t Mess with Their Nose While it may look easy to get an object out of a nose, don’t try because you may end up pushing it in farther. You should especially stop your child from picking their nose. “If they start playing around with the object or moving it, you will end up with a child with a nosebleed,” Dr. Ejercito says. The nose has narrow parts that can stop objects from going too far inside, but the nose canal connects to the back of the throat. Pushing the object back could cause the child to choke. What the Doctor Will Do Once you see a doctor, they will first take a look up your child’s nose. If your child is not cooperative, you may need to help hold your child still. As a last resort, general anesthesia may be used. The doctor will then remove the object and check to make sure nothing else remained in the nose. “After I take one foreign body out, I check again. I have had more than enough instances where I have seen more than one foreign body in there,” sys Dr. Ejercito. Stay Away from Rounded Objects

Still wracking my brain regarding the identity of the sponge, it finally clicked a week later when we landed back home. I was changing the bed linens in the children’s room when I noticed the crib mattress. It always had a small tear but now its innards were revealed. Inside the mattress was a sponge in a familiar shade of green. Aha! Chaim must’ve plucked off a piece, and being the sensory child he is, he’d experimented with pushing it up his nostrils. (Later, when I asked him about it, he didn’t deny it.)

Dr. Ejercito has seen many items up a child’s nose, including erasers, peas, corn, beads, Kleenex, and paper. The biggest concern is rounded objects. “Those rounded objects are a little bit more difficult to take out because they can move around,” he says.

We thank Hashem for our delicious, pleasant-smelling child every day. Oh, and we’re enjoying our new crib mattress immensely

(Culled from https://shine365.marshfieldclinic.org)

For this reason, ENT doctors recommend that parents keep a close eye on their children while they eat or play with any small, rounded objects.





are we

there yet? As told to Libby Silberman by Malky Sapir




Around two years ago, my life story was to be featured in a frum publication. Upon hearing a synopsis of the events that were my life for the past six years, the editors held up a hand (and ultimately decided not to print it). “I think,” wrote one editor in our email correspondence, “that we have to remove some details, maybe one major section, for people to believe it can be true. It can’t be that all of this happened to one person!” But truth, they say, is stranger than fiction, and what I’m about to share with you are the true unembellished details of a life that may be complicated but it is also a life that is mine. As you will notice while reading my story, I am as of yet still a confusing mess of grateful and sad and proud and angry. I’m not perfect, and I’m not here to showcase my “special woman” status, only to invite you into my life and to allow you to pick and choose what you find to be inspiring, thought-provoking, relatable, or simply interesting. Now, for the details. The first twenty years of my life were typical enough, and I married a nice guy who seemed to be just right for me. The fibers of my life began to unravel after we got married, and to further deteriorate when I gave birth to my baby girl a year later. Eventually, I realized I had to get out of my marriage. When baby Batsheva was one and a half years old, my husband finally moved out. As Batsheva neared her second birthday, my husband and I met at the beis din for the last time. Just a couple of weeks later, alone and vulnerable, I learned that Batsheva had level 4 cerebral palsy (CP) on a scale of 1-5 (with one being the mildest and five being the severest form of the condition). She would likely never talk and walk and do any of the normal things healthy kids do. Although by the time I got a formal diagnosis I had already been suspecting it, the severity – a four! – was a complete shock. I remember hearing those horrible words and just wishing I could press CTRL+Z on my life. Marry someone else, a normal nice person, and have a regular, healthy child. The events of that day replay in my mind, as clear as if they’d have happened yesterday. The neurologist sentenced Batsheva for life imprisonment, and then looked at me with sympathy.

“Where’s your husband, by the way?” “I don’t know. I mean, I think he’s living with friends in a suburb near Paris. Um, I’m divorced.” The kind doctor lowered his eyes and murmured something, and I averted my gaze as well. The tears were leaking fast and hard, and I didn’t want him to see me fall apart. The doctor, bless him, walked out to the waiting area and whispered something to the secretary. I was dumbfounded to discover a moment thereafter that he’d given me a discount. I was sobbing openly by then, his kindness touching my battered soul. “Take a taxi home, okay?” He instructed, knowing I was about to take a bus. I picked up the clueless child, folded the stroller, and bundled into the taxi. I still recall that ride home, watching people—couples walking together, mothers pushing strollers with healthy children skipping alongside them—wondering how the wheels in Heaven turned, awarding each person their family, their life, their tafkid. Eventually, I got home to my apartment. It was empty, quiet, and dark, and it smelled like I hadn’t taken the garbage out the night before, which incidentally, I hadn’t. I wanted to call my mother or only sister to tell them my child’s diagnosis, perhaps have a good cry with them listening, but they were on a transatlantic flight just then. I wouldn’t be able to speak to them for another eight hours, by which time I would hopefully be sleeping. I had never felt so utterly alone. I collapsed onto the couch, making my way through a family-sized package of spicy chips. I needed some water to cool my tongue but felt too exhausted to rise from the couch. Batsheva whimpered then cried then howled, but I felt too tired to care for her. And too angry, too. How dare she cry? Right, how dare she? I sat up suddenly, stricken. It all felt like too much. After I closed all the windows in my minuscule apartment, I hollered like a wounded animal. “HASHEM, why did you choose me?!”




l a r u t a N All-

h g u Co p u r Sy

By Miriam Schweid

With cold season upon us, a natural relief that’s soothing and tastes good is worth having on hand. This is an excellent recipe for an all-natural cough syrup.

¼ cup raw honey 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 Tbsp coconut oil Dash of cinnamon Heat ingredients in a double boiler until syrup consistency is achieved. Store in a glass jar. If honey hardens and separates from oil, reheat by placing the jar in a pot of boiling water. Note: This syrup is safe for children over two years of age.



une in

After so many years of ignoring my intuition, is it still intact?



On Intuitive Eating, Self-Sabotaging Behaviors, Creating a Home, and More Recently published Wellbeing articles generated an influx of feedback in our inbox, hence this separate section of letters. Here’s a sampling.

You’d Expect More Issue #81: Tap In

I was excited to see that you’ve introduced a new column to Wellbeing titled Tap In. This is not 80


because intuitive eating has worked for me: actually, it did not. I tried it in the past, and probably because I didn’t have the proper guidance, I didn’t end up really getting in touch with my intuition and just ended up overeating to the point that I felt

terrible, even physically. But what I really appreciate about the concept of intuitive eating, and halevai that it will one day work for me, is that the focus is not weight loss. I find the emphasis on weight to be quite frankly disgusting, especially

in a frum community where you’d expect more focus to be placed on the internal, on what really matters. Whether in shidduchim, shopping, and yes, even job offers, the space it takes is a pervasive issue. Thanks for bringing your readers a perspective that is free from the bondage of that obsession.

to them that can make their day. This is not about making the appearance the main thing. Of course, it’s always best to note something internal and compliment on that. But as women, we do tend to initially make a comment about appearance. When we do so, let’s not discriminate. By making it a practice, we’ll really start to see the beauty in everyone.

Name Withheld Upon Request Z.S.

Change of Status Issue #81: Tap In

A Plea to Mothers Issue #81: Tap In

Thanks for launching a new column on intuitive eating, which helps people heal their relationship with food. As someone who, due to a dire blood pressure warning from my doctor, recently lost copious amounts of weight—and feels great about it—you wouldn’t expect me to be the one writing to thank for this column. However, that’s exactly what I’m doing and here’s why. Since I’ve lost weight and am now a small size, the compliments I’ve been getting are over the top. Not only that, I’ve witnessed on several occasions that I get treated differently as a result of my new size. I feel that I’ve undergone a change of status. While I should be gratified by all of this, it actually makes me so sad. When I was carrying around some sixty-plus extra pounds, I still put in efforts to look presentable and beautiful. Why was it that no one noticed? I have now made it my mission davka to compliment those who aren’t especially thin, those women who also want to hear how beautiful they look even if they don’t have the figure that someone in some fashion island decided is ideal. For the most part, every individual puts in the effort to look presentable, and there’s always something nice to point out

deserving rights to be loved. The association they draw is, “I only deserve to be loved if I look like…” What a devastating, destructive sentiment to carry through life, and especially to bring into marriage. Even if in our heart we truthfully find it hard to love our daughters unconditionally (and we should work on changing that), at least our messages should be positive. And especially when they start complaining about their appearance, or even if they don’t, what they want to hear most of all is, “I love you so much, no matter what.” “Those extra pounds bother you? Now there’s more of you to love!” “When I look at you, I see a beautiful smile, and that’s what matters most.”

I appreciate the body-positive messages you’ve been conveying in the magazine, now and always. How did it happen that so many of us carry around the misconception that the “right” body size equates love and acceptance and all good things? As a high school teacher and guidance counselor, I’ve seen how heartbreaking and painful this obsession can be, especially for girls in their most vulnerable years. That young women go to all ends in order to achieve a certain look speaks volumes of their shattered self-image. Of course, every healthy woman wants to feel good, and eating healthy is important—especially as adolescents develop—but when weight loss becomes the be all and end all, we’re in trouble.

May we merit transmitting positive messages to the future generation of bnos Yisrael,

I believe that one foundational way we mothers can make a difference, at least for the next generation, is to refrain from sending subliminal messages regarding their size and how we feel about them. When we send our daughters the message that how they look is directly associated to how we feel about them, we’re making an indelible wrong impression on their developing self-image. Sadly, they come to equate their appearance with their

I especially appreciated the insights behind the behavior of the Drama Queen. Although the point of the article was to recognize ourselves in the behaviors, it helped me gain clarity regarding a close relative of mine. Every time we speak, she manages to find things to brood over. No one’s life is perfect, but she has a lot going for her and I find that from every one of our interactions, I walk away feeling pity and (misplaced) guilt. She’s always telling me about

Atara F.

Now I Understand Issue #81: Wellbeing Feature

The article on self-sabotaging behaviors was fascinating. As advised, I read it with an open mind and recognized myself in quite a few examples. I’ve spent time on each one, asking myself, “What will I lose if I give up on this behavior?” It’s been a journey into self, for me and my husband.








her awful marriage, about the kids that don’t call often enough, about this and that, and I often found myself feeling so bad for her that I couldn’t function properly. Having read the fascinating insights into this behavior, I came away with the understanding that sadly, this relative enjoys finding the negative in her life. She takes pleasure in having what to cry about; it makes her feel alive. Although I continue to treat this relative with kindness, her sadness and misery doesn’t overwhelm me in the way it once did. I’ve clipped the article so I can refer back to it when the inspiration wanes.

do in their current home. Others might find that they’re especially sensitive in their childhood home. It’s important to realize that that’s a normal occurrence, one that comes along with becoming more of the child we once were being that we’re in the location where much of our childhood occurred. If handled correctly, viewing home from this perspective offers us a glimpse into how our Inner Child felt while growing up and thus insight into our current emotional state.

the parents’ emotional state first. You can hear the frustration in their voice, sometimes anger, sadness, the inability to cope, and expressions of needing to get away ASAP. Worst of all, their kids are listening to these conversations and can feel all this antagonism.

Ita Metzger, LCSW

Be well, Miriam Schweid, health consultant

Mothers, please take time for yourselves. Heed the call of chayecha kodmin. Take your vitamins, do deep breathing, whatever it takes, so that your children will love coming home and spending time with you.

With so much appreciation,

To Be a Present Mother B.G.W.

Issue #80–81: Wellbeing Feature

Slipping into Old Patterns

The Yom Tov issue was amazing— every part of it. I especially loved the exploration on emotional eating, and I plan to clip it and share it with my students.

I found the feature on Home to be very insightful. It’s fascinating to see that the place we grew up in conjures such different, often opposing, emotions for every individual. I was surprised that no one brought attention to another important angle that I often find to be the case with my clients, as well as in my old life.

Regarding children who find it hard to call the place they grew up in Home, it often happens that mothers are so overwhelmed that they cringe at the thought of their kids coming home from school. It’s a sad topic, one I’ve discussed with some professionals I work with. I’d like to suggest that mothers, especially those who find themselves overwhelmed by the many different hats they need to wear, do two things.

Issue #80: Wellbeing Feature

For many of us, Home is the place where we subconsciously fall into our old patterns. If those patterns are negative, unless we do the work to break them, we’ll find ourselves experiencing the same emotions we did as children and falling back into the same habits and reactionary patterns. For some adults, that might mean that they’ll resort to screaming and yelling when triggered, even though that’s not something they’d

1) Prioritize. Elaborate recipes that are featured in the magazines have somehow become a priority to too many. They are certainly delicious and beautiful but should not be prepared at the expense of the kids. 2) Take some supplements to calm down, help you sleep, etc. When parents bring their children for any issue, physical or emotional, I address

It Works!

Issue #80: Wellbeing Feature

I was very moved by the feature about what Home means for us, and especially the concept of the Kissing Hand. I read the article while we were in the midst of a mini crisis, with my preschooler giving me a hard time to leave me every morning when it was time to go to school. The Kissing Hand idea really appealed to me, and I got to work giving it a try. It works wonders! I love that we now take leave of each other on such a positive, loving note, and my daughter feels that we’re each carrying a part of each other in our hearts (which we are without the Kissing Hand, too, of course, but this practice makes it more relatable and crystalized for her). I’ve picked up so many valuable tools and tips in these pages over the years. My gratitude knows no bounds. F. Kastner




Take a Deep Breath 3 fun breathing games to help kids regulate their emotions

by Miriam Frankel, OT 84


If you’ve ever felt intense fear, you likely noticed your heart racing, body tensing, and your breath speeding up. If you think back to the last time you felt excited, you probably remember a similar but subtler response. Changes in breathing are normal bodily responses, as breathing can affect your emotions. With some intentional breathing techniques, we can regulate strong emotions instead of being ruled by them. This is especially helpful for children who have not yet learned to self-regulate. Co-Regulation Breathing Exercises for Kids and Families Here are three fun and simple co-regulation breathing games that encourage your child to regulate himself.

The Ribbon Dance First, place a ribbon in your child’s hand. Tell them to take a deep breath and then exhale on the ribbon to make it flutter and dance without blowing it off of their hand. Challenge them to do this for as long as they can before taking in another breath. To energize or wake up your child instead of calming them down, tell them to make the ribbon dance quickly with bursts of breath (rapid inhales and exhales).

Tissue-Paper Balls Crumple sheets of tissue paper into balls and place them on the floor. Have your child lie on their belly and blow the balls to the other side of the room. You can make it a competition with multiple kids, seeing who can blow the most balls across the room. This will help especially if your child feels pent-up, agitated, or bored.

Balloon Breaths Have your child sit or stand in a comfortable position, shoulders away from their ears and hands by their sides. They should inhale while lifting their arms over their head, forming the shape of a giant balloon with their arms. With arms reaching up, have them hold their breath and the balloon position for a moment. Then, tell them to exhale slowly as they float their arms down to the starting position.

These games are not just for children; you can do these exercises, too. Introducing these simple breathing techniques will teach you and your child to breathe using your diaphragm, abdominal muscles, and intercostal muscles altogether. This will enable you to inhale and exhale more deeply, which is key in helping you or your child to feel more regulated, calm, and centered.

Miriam Frankel (formerly Manela) is a highly sought-after Mental Health Occupational Therapist who specializes in treating mental and behavioral challenges in both adults and children. She is the founder and director of an online learning platformBloom, where parents, caregivers and educators can access the tools they need to help their struggling children, be it struggles with anxiety, fears, ADHD, SPD, ODD or developmental issues. Miriam is also the author of the Parent-Child Dance, founder of The Thrive Group and a Level 4 Tomatis Practitioner.




TAP IN by Gila Glassberg, RDN, CDN, Certified Intuitive Eating Coach

QUESTION I’m so excited with your new column as I’ve been toying with the idea of trying Intuitive Eating for a while now. Here are some of my most pressing questions: How can I be sure I’m not overeating? How can I keep a balanced diet when I’m so used to following other people’s advice for so many years? What if my body tells me, “I really want tons of chocolate bars,” or “I need to have three bowls of pasta?” What I’m really asking is, how can I know if what I want is really intuition or if my intuition has been tainted after not eating intuitively my whole life?


You ask excellent questions. The process of Intuitive Eating looks different for everyone, but as a rule of thumb, the first step in the process would be to understand how much diet culture has affected your life. Based on your questions, it seems you are afraid of the unknown territory Intuitive Eating invites you into, and you’re questioning and doubting whether you indeed have the ability to make your own wise choices. That is precisely a result of the culture many of us have been living with for years, and I understand you for feeling this way. In truth, however, you certainly do have the ability to tap into your own intuition in order to make the right choices regarding your eating. As you venture into eating intuitively, you will start to focus on honoring your hunger and respecting fullness, and you will find that those cues are still very much in shape. I help clients do this by asking them to give me a general recap of a day of their usual eating, and I explain that most people will begin to feel comfortable hunger after two to three hours. We start scheduling meals/snacks at regular intervals, and we track their hunger/fullness patterns so they can see it for themselves.

Yet, sometimes, picking up on those cues is hard to do because diet culture has made individuals fearful of too many foods. In those cases, we may stay on a few principles of Intuitive Eating at once until we feel confident to move to the next phase. Once you really know your hunger/fullness patterns, you may realize how often you are eating not because you are hungry—which is not necessarily not intuitive, but it may not feel good for you—and then we can make behavior changes based on self-care, not on self-judgment. The whole process is about being gentle and kind with yourself—literally, the opposite of dieting—and creating lasting behavior changes. It’s about being motivated to take care of rather than punish yourself. Once you’ve reached this point in the process, you will begin to realize that you’re not just eating because it feels good. You’ll start to consider various factors when making a food choice: How hungry am I? How full do I want to be? What tastes good? What feels good? What is good for me? When you’ve come to this point, you’ll know that you’re tapping into your true intuition, and you can start to reap the benefits of being an intuitive eater.

Have questions about the Intuitive Eating approach? Send them to info@wellspringmagazine.com and Gila will be glad to answer them in this space. Gila Glassberg is a Master's level registered dietitian and a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. As a teenager, she was faced with constant diet talk, body shaming, and obsessive guilt around food, but now that she has found food freedom through the process of Intuitive Eating, she's eager to share its wisdom with others. Gila works privately with clients and she also presents workshops. The name of her podcast is Get INTUIT with Gila, and she writes blog entries on her website, www.gilaglassberg.com. She can be reached at 570-878-3642.




The New Look of







113 SWAP By Yossi & Malky Levine

117 Rebranding: Lollipops By Malky Rosenberg

101 Comfort in a Cup By Yossi & Malky Levine


162 6 Autumn Squashes By Esti Asher, MS, RDN, LD



Culinary Toolbox: Juicer By Charnie Kohn

Flavors of Fall Wellspring Contributors



Dear Cooks,

I’m writing these words as the autumn chill is wafting through the window, and every year at this time, without fail, the memories of picking leaves as a kindergartener come back to me. I remember the thrill of collecting the rich array of colors, of being mesmerized at the rainbow on my page as we glued them all into a collage and proudly took our artwork home. The natural world is indeed astounding; it often takes going back in time to our child-brain to allow ourselves to be mesmerized once again by what we’ve often come to take for granted or what simply goes unnoticed. This fall, I’m looking forward to trying the various exciting recipes featured in this issue’s My Table. The column features a pretty varied selection of sides, snacks, and soups from our incredible contributors, all of which are poster recipes for this season. These are the recipes that enable us to appreciate the bounty of autumn, to breathe into the gifts of the time.

In our other columns, as well, the recipes lend that autumn vibe. As the Friday nights get longer, a nourishing, wholesome treat is a great way to enhance the evening and contribute to your family’s oneg Shabbos. Malky Rosenberg’s nutritious lollipops are the perfect way to go to achieve that. And for a cozy Motzei Shabbos in the company of family or friends, a hot and healthy comfort drink from the Levines’ menu will hit the spot. So when Monday morning comes again, and we’re off to a new start as the stretch of routine sets in, we can’t go wrong with one of Charnie Kohn’s power juices. Just cook up some wholesome dinners in between (kidding, I know!) and you’re good to go for the season ahead. Make it a great one,




do you share your secrets

or keep them to yourself

Secret Reserve


Comfort in a Cup If there’s one thing that excites me about turning the clock back, it’s that we gain a long Motzei Shabbos. (I’m not mentioning the short Fridays, take note!) Think cozy nights spent with family and friends over warm drinks and comfort food—ahhh… As comforting as a steaming mug of hot chocolate can be, it also tends to be pretty indulgent, especially with toppings such as whipped cream and marshmallows. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get cozy without sabotaging your health goals. By making your own warm drinks, you can adjust the ingredients to meet your health preferences. Pro tip: Frothing the milk before adding it to your drink is a great way to make your beverage more satisfying. Frothing is essentially just adding air to the milk, which makes it lighter and foamy. You can use a handheld milk frother, immersion blender, or whisk, or even try this hack: place the warm milk in a sealed container with a bit of space for air and give it a vigorous shake. Prepare these comforting hot beverages and serve them to your family and friends to bring some warmth and coziness to even the chilliest of days. Yossi and Malky

Recipes, Styling, and Photography by Yossi & Malky Levine





1 Tbsp chocolate or cacao chips

2 tsp cocoa powder

1–2 tsp maple syrup, or more to taste

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk of choice

Pinch of sea salt

An upgraded version of a cold-weather classic, this healthy hot chocolate is also better for you. It’s creamy, chocolatey, absolutely delicious, and comes together in just 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Heat on low-medium heat until just simmering, chocolate is melted, and the clumps of cocoa are gone, about 5–7 minutes. Don’t let hot chocolate boil as chocolate will burn. Pour into a mug, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy! Yield: 1 serving





1 chamomile tea bag



1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup almond milk or regular milk

2 tsp maple syrup or honey for sweetness

1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water

Whether you’re trying to reduce your coffee intake or just want a delicious new hot beverage, this one is highly recommended! It’s the perfect drink to relax with at any time of day.

Fill a mug ⅔ full with boiling water. Add tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag and pour the hot tea, milk, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon into a blender. Blend on high until creamy. Pour into your mug and enjoy! Yield: 1 serving








CULINARY TOOLBOX From the many gadgets I have researched and experimented with thus far, the juicer is of the more controversial ones. As extensively covered in Sample (issue #79), some proponents of juicing claim to have seen major improvements in mind, body, and general health by drinking a daily juice of recommended produce. Others are skeptical, believing that even if juicing retains a lot of the produce’s vitamins and nutrients, many essential fibers and nutrients are stripped away and left in the pulp. Avid juicers have come up with ways to incorporate the pulp into their daily meals to avoid waste and reap the health benefits. When looking for a juicer, the main thing to look out for is whether the machine is centrifugal or cold pressed. Centrifugal juicing is the traditional way of extracting juice from produce, involving highspeed friction, which creates heat. Juices that are pressed with heat contain less nutrients and are generally less flavorful than coldpressed juices. However, centrifugal juicers are a lot faster to use and are generally more affordable. Cold-pressed juices are more flavorful and beneficial, but they the prep process is longer and the gadget is considered higher end and at a greater price point. If you’re looking for optimal health benefits, it may be worth it for you to invest in a cold-pressed juicer. There is no denying that pressed juices are better for you than store bought sugar-loaded juices. They can aid in digestion, help remove toxins from your body, and boost your immune system. As we head into the winter routine, this may be the perfect gadget to invest in for a quick morning smoothie before you and the kids embark on another productive day.

Charnie Recipes, Styling, and Photography by Charnie Kohn WELLSPRING / CHESHVAN 5783






While I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who drinks green juices in the morning, I could never get past the taste of raw celery that overpowered every green juice I bought. I solved the problem by making my own green juice that is refreshing and celery free!

2 cucumbers 2 lemons, peeled 2 green apples 2 pears

Place all ingredients into juicer and juice. Pour into a cup and enjoy.







Feel like you’re heading toward a midday slump? This juice will have you feeling rejuvenated and energized in no time. You’ll also be consuming many of the daily recommended vitamins, which can ward off winter ailments.

2 small carrots, peeled 2 large oranges, peeled arils of 1 large pomegranate ½ beet, peeled

Place all ingredients into juicer and juice. Pour into a cup and enjoy.







By Yossi & Malky Levine


Riced Cauliflower

Rice is delicious and possibly the one food that is enjoyed across every culture. However, rice is often consumed in oversized portions and is prepared through unhealthy cooking methods. Riced cauliflower is an excellent low-carb and low-calorie alternative to rice. It has a mild flavor, as well as a texture and appearance similar to cooked rice, with only a fraction of the calories and carbs. It’s also a great way to squeeze some extra veggies into your diet. A ½-cup serving of riced cauliflower has only 13 calories, compared with 100 calories for the same serving of white rice Cauliflower is chock-full of fiber (about 3 grams per cup), which aids with digestion, helps fill you up and keep you full for longer, and could help lower cholesterol. It’s also an immunity booster and a good source of B vitamins and vitamin K.




Golden Cauliflower Rice Light, fluffy, golden, and gorgeous, this turmeric cauliflower rice makes a great side dish that acts like a starch but is actually a vegetable. It also works for meal prep as it stores really well and can be paired with practically any meal.

1 Tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp salt 4 cups riced cauliflower 2 Tbsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp water Fresh parsley, optional

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions, garlic, turmeric, and salt. Sauté for 3–4 minutes until translucent. Add cauliflower, lemon juice, and water. Sauté and stir for an additional 5–6 minutes until cauliflower is slightly soft but not mushy. For an appealing presentation, serve with chopped fresh parsley. Store cooked cauliflower rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Alternatively, cool rice completely, then portion out into containers and freeze for up to three months. Yield: 4–6 servings





Rebranding With Malky Rosenberg

This Month: Lollipops Whether you’re relaxing on a long winter Friday night or you just folded a few loads of laundry— everyone needs a treat sometimes. Sometimes you’re in the mood of chocolate, other times it’s candy. But why go for something unhealthy and typical when you can have something healthy and exceptional? And you get to have fun while eating it…because everything is so much better on a stick.


Styling and Photography: Pessy Piller


Creamie Brownie Peebie Lollipop Yield: 30 lollipops A title like this needs no intro, but don’t take my word for it.

2 cans chickpeas


2 cups almond flour

4–5 dates, pitted and checked

⅓ cup cacao powder

¾ cup hot water

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter

½ tsp baking soda

20 almonds

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup natural peanut butter (I used salted)

2 tsp lime or lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 tsp tahini (100 percent sesame)

¼ cup mini sugar-free chocolate chips

1. Rinse and drain chickpeas well. Let dry on a towel. 2. Meanwhile combine almond flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. 3. In food processor, blend together chickpeas, maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. 4. Transfer mixture to bowl and mix well with gloved hand. Fold in chocolate chips. 5. Form balls and insert one lollipop stick into each ball. Let freeze for 30 minutes. 6. Meanwhile, prepare glaze. Soak dates in hot water. Transfer dates and water to food processor. Add rest of ingredients and blend for a few seconds. Pour into a cup. 7. Dip chilled lollipops in glaze and store in freezer.






Spiced Coconut Mango Lollipop Yield: 18–20 lollipops If dried mango is your thing, look no further. This is dried mango on steroids. Great flavor, great texture, and, best of all, great nutritional value.

3–4 Medjool dates, pitted and checked ½ cup unsweetened dried mango, tightly packed ½ cup plus 1 tsp shredded coconut ½ cup raw unsalted cashews 1 cup almond flour 2 Tbsp hemp seeds 1½ tsp ginger ⅛ tsp salt (omit if cashews are salted) 1 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed

1. Soak dates and mango in very hot water for a few minutes until soft and flexible. 2. Meanwhile, blend shredded coconut and cashews in food processor. Transfer to small bowl. 3. Add almond flour, hemp seeds, ginger, and salt to the bowl and mix well. 4. In food processor, blend mangoes, dates, and lime juice on high. 5. Transfer to bowl and mix everything together with gloved hand. 6. Roll into balls and insert one lollipop stick into each ball. Store in freezer and enjoy chilled!




By Esti Asher, MS, RDN, LD

Fall has snuck up on us, and along with it comes a shift in seasonal produce. The leaves changing colors and the weather transitioning (at least in some climates!) are accompanied by an array of fall (and almost winter) squashes in produce aisles. If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between them, here’s your answer. Below are six types of fall and winter squashes, with some insight into what differentiates one from another.

Kabocha squash

Acorn squash

A staple of Japanese cuisine, the texture and taste of this squash is very similar to a sweet potato. It is high in beta-carotene, which means it is rich in vitamin A with benefits for eye health. When choosing a kabocha squash, look for one with deep green skin; golden streaks across the skin can also indicate ripeness.

With a hard and tough skin, acorn squash has a particularly long storage life (up to three months). Similar to other squashes, acorn squash can be used as a sweet or savory dish. Some of its nutritional content includes high levels of vitamin A, beta-carotene, folic acid, and magnesium.





Butternut squash


One of my all-time favorites, butternut squash is delicious when simply roasted with oil and salt or blended into a pureed soup with minimal ingredients. This squash has a light orange peel with bright orange flesh. Similar to its other squash counterparts, butternut squash is particularly high in vitamin A; just one serving of butternut squash is packed with more than 100 percent of the recommended daily requirement. It also contains vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and some calcium, and it's high in water and a great source of fiber.

Both the pumpkin flesh and its seeds are commonly used ingredients and boast many health benefits. Benefits of pumpkin include vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, copper, folate, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Two of the many benefits of this nutrition profile include eye health and heart health. Canned pumpkin also offers these health benefits in a particularly quick and accessible way. Spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon are often added to pumpkin dishes, enhancing its earthy and slightly sweet taste. In addition, pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, manganese, and zinc, and have been used by different cultures to help with conditions such as urinary tract and bladder infections, kidney stones, and high blood pressure.

Spaghetti squash

Delicata squash

Another go-to of mine. Spaghetti squash has a very unique texture; after it’s been cooked and then scraped with a fork it resembles spaghetti—hence its name. It may not have as much nutrition as other squashes, but it’s a very low-calorie option and often used as a pasta alternative. Spaghetti squash includes some vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and of course fiber and water.

A perk to this squash is its edible skin, which makes preparing it much easier than its cousins. Delicata squash is high in fiber and vitamin C but is particularly rich in the mineral potassium, which can help control blood pressure among other benefits. Preparation can be as simple as washing well, slicing lengthwise to scoop out the seeds, cutting into half-moons, and then roasting with some olive oil and salt, with additional spices as desired.


Fetal Facial Expressions in Response to Maternal Diet The importance of a nutritionally robust maternal diet during pregnancy has been consistently proven as vital for the health of both mother and baby. Studies have even shown that the food the mother eats during pregnancy may have an impact on Baby’s future taste preferences. A recent study from the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab of Durham University set out to find proof of the facial expressions made by babies in the womb in response to different foods ingested by their mothers. Researchers used 4D ultrasound technology to monitor fetal movements and expressions. The three groups consisted of women in their third trimester: a control group with no intervention, a group consuming a kale powder capsule, and a group consuming a carrot powder capsule. Capsules were consumed approximately 20 minutes before the ultrasound, with the ultrasound lasting for around 25 minutes. The findings were astounding—subjects exposed to the carrot made a “laugh-face,” while subjects exposed to the kale made a “cry-face.” The control group showed more consistent neutral faces. A follow-up study will track these babies to see their responses to both carrot and kale when they begin eating solid foods.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake May Increase Risk of Irritable Bowel Diseases

A general nutrition recommendation is to limit sugar-sweetened beverages such as regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, coffee and tea drinks with added sugars, and energy drinks. Large amounts of added sugars may negatively impact our health. A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics set out to examine associations between sugar-sweetened beverage intake and risk of developing irritable bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. The study included 121,490 participants in the UK Biobank who had no history of IBD at the time the study began. After around 10 years of follow-up and analysis of many 24-hour diet recalls, 510 IBD cases were reported. The researchers found that participants who drank more than 250 ml (a little more than 1 cup) per day of sugar-sweetened beverages were at a significantly higher risk of IBD in comparison to the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages or natural juices.

Esti Asher, MS, RDN, LD, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Self-Care Enthusiast on a mission to help women reach their ultimate health and wellbeing potential inside and out. She shares credible, clear, and inspiring nutrition information with women via her virtual private practice. To contact Esti with feedback or inquiries regarding her nutritional services, please email her at: esti@estiashernutrition.com or visit estiashernutrition.com.




In the pages of Wellspring, we share expert advice from some of the community’s most popular and competent dietitians and nutritionists. In this column, you get to see how they practice what they preach in their own kitchens. Pull up a chair at “My Table” and join the chat.

FLAVORS OF FALL As the weather gets chillier and the nights get longer, what’s your favorite nourishing autumninspired dish?

Laura Shammah, MS, RDN




Wash and slice delicata squash (unpeeled). Layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle pure maple syrup and cinnamon. Spray with avocado oil. Toss until coated and bake at 400°F until caramelized. Delicious every time!

Shani Taub, CDC

Compiled by Shiffy Friedman


For me it’s this delicious cabbagesquash combo: In a baking pan, combine one bag of cabbage with chopped kabouchi squash and chopped onions. Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s Green Goddess spice and salt. Spray with oil, and bake until squash is soft.

8 Medjool dates, pits removed ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup real maple syrup

Shaindy Oberlander, BS, INHC

2 cups oats


Bina Gottdiener, CN, CHC

We go big on the root vegetables at this time of year. Along with squashbased soups, I also like to prepare these wholesome carrot muffins (my kids call them after-school muffins) as a side dish or snack. They taste divine and, knowing what’s in there, I can feel good watching my kids grab one after another. Serve straight out of the oven (with a smear of honey!) for a cozy treat.


3–4 carrots, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups total)

I love a hearty butternut squash soup, spiced just right with cinnamon and nutmeg. Nourishing and filling. A perfect complex carb to keep me satiated on a long winter night!

My favorite autumn dish is sliced acorn squash roasted with salt, pepper, and a touch of maple syrup, then drizzled with techina. Bonus points if you sprinkle on some pomegranate arils. Yum!

2 eggs 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp cinnamon Pinch of salt Walnuts or raisins (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients in a blender until a chunky consistency is achieved. Pour batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Gila Glassberg, MS, RDN, CDN,

Liba Solomon, CNWC



I love making soups this time of year. One of our favorites is an orange soup. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add salt and pepper, sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash. Cover in water and blend when cooked.




Here is an autumn-inspired recipe I love to have at this time of year. Tasty, warm, and healthy! Cranberry Apple Cobbler Yield: 6 servings For the filling: 3 cups gala apples, peeled and sliced (about 4 apples) 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 Tbsp flour or cornstarch ½ tsp cinnamon ⅔ cup sugar-free maple syrup Cooking spray


Potatoes have gotten a bad rap, but they are actually a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. I stumbled upon this recipe and have never looked back. It’s a winner! You’ll be surprised at the depth of flavor and beautiful colors. My kids actually mistook this dish for ice cream once—it looks that good!

For the topping:

Creamy Root Vegetable Salad

¾ cup dry quick-cooking oats

3 beets

¼ cup packed brown sugar substitute

3 carrots

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour 3 Tbsp coconut oil ¼ cup chopped almonds ½ tsp salt Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Combine apples and cranberries along with rest of filling ingredients in a bowl. Pour into baking dish and use the back of a spoon to flatten. In another bowl, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over apple/ cranberry mixture. Bake uncovered for 55–60 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm.


Chaya Tziry Retter, RDN, CPT

Tanya Rosen, MS, CPT



2 potatoes 2 sour pickles ½ red onion 1 Tbsp lite mayonnaise Cube all vegetables and boil until soft, drain and remove except 1 potato. Leave potato in boiling water until very soft and mushy, and carefully drain. Finely dice the red onion. Mix all vegetables with mayonnaise. (The potato will become incorporated into the “creamy dressing.”)

cing nI t ro d ue r y f i r s t t i m e fo r t h e v EW N L L L e L A h t A





Product of USA

Now available in the freezer section at your local supermarket





Notice Rena Reiser

Intuitive Health



Hashem gives us the ability to regulate our nervous systems when we’re feeling dysregulated. Here’s one way we can help our nervous system feel safe: Slowly and intentionally, use your five senses to orient yourself to your environment. 1

Notice five things you can see.


Notice four things you can hear.


Notice three things you can touch.


Notice two things you can smell or taste.

Rena Reiser helps women tune into their inner wisdom to create space for Hashem’s shefa to flow into their lives. She can be contacted through www.renareiser.com.

Dr. Chayala Englard

Women’s Health

Bladder Irritants The most frequent symptoms we hear about in pelvic rehab are bladder related: urinary incontinence, urgency, and frequency. Although common, these symptoms should not be accepted as normal. In a healthy body, the bladder is an organ that has strong connections to the digestive system, nervous system, and pelvic floor muscles and responds fairly quickly to treatment. Certain foods, fluids, and nutrients are generally known to be bladder irritants, including coffee, tea, chocolate, carbonated drinks, aspartame, potassium, and B vitamins. Absolving from these irritants can help reduce or calm bladder inflammation. Keeping track of voiding amounts and timing is helpful for training the bladder to delay urgency. Deep breathing with focus on coordination with pelvic floor movement (relaxation or strengthening, depending on individual needs) can assist to restore the balance of the bladder and its associated muscles. Note: These are general ideas. For specific guidelines, please consult a pelvic floor physical therapist. Chayala Englard is a proud wife, mother, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. Her private practice, Life PT, is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, and is primarily focused on women’s health and pelvic floor rehab.

Shiffy Friedman

Spiritual Health

Time Well Spent Now that routine has set in, most of us can (hopefully!) find a few minutes every day to spend on deepening our connection to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. One simple way to do so is to allocate five minutes every day to speak to Him in our own language. A good idea is to set a timer for five minutes to ensure that it’s a consistent practice that is given its space. Whether it’s early in the morning or right before going to sleep, take the time to share what’s going on for you, especially internally. Express all your hurts, disappointments, worries, and fears. And most of all, don’t forget to thank Him for your blessings; the more specific, the better. Remember, Hashem is the ultimate Therapist. He who sent you your challenges is the only One who can help you through them. And the only One who can bring more blessing into your life, which—as your loving Father—is what He so wants for you. In her practice as an LMSW, Shiffy Friedman realized that her knowledge in psychology was not helpful in healing the infinitely profound nefesh. An intensive search led her to discover the Torah’s direction toward a more connected life. To sign up to receive Shiffy’s weekly message on this subject, write to emotionalwellnessthroughTorah@gmail.com.

Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE

Gut Health

Bacteria at the Helm We humans have a lot more bacterial cells than human cells. Bacteria live on the skin, in the nose and ears, and especially in the gut, interacting with gut cells. Because the majority of our immune system is actually in our intestine, cells in the gut lining produce different antibodies in response to the types of bacteria that reside there. In fact, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is now thought to be an abnormal immune response to gut bacteria. Change the bacteria, change the immune function. Just like we do, gut bacteria have their food preferences. The good strains love to eat fermentable fibers. In fact, individuals who consume plant-based diets high in vegetable fibers, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains have higher levels of beneficial bacteria living in their colon than heavy meat eaters. These beneficial bacteria are associated with lower rates of IBD, colon cancer, and overall GI dysfunction. Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE is registered dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator who has advanced training in functional medicine. She maintains a busy virtual nutrition practice, servicing numerous international clients. She specializes in sustainable weight loss and nutrition therapy for autoimmune disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and female hormone imbalances. She can be reached at 732-364-0064 or through her website, www.thegutdietitian.com.

If you’re a health practitioner and would like to contribute to this column, please write to info@wellspringmagazine.com.




A gezinte winter.



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