Page 1


IS MENTAL ILLNESS A FOREVER EXILE? Cup of Tea with psychiatrist Dr. Yaakov Freedman

CONSTIPATION PREVENTION Tips for healthy elimination on Pesach and all year

LIBERATED FROM PAIN Dr. Sarno’s Revolutionary Approach to the Mind-Body Prescription




Celiac disease 101


by Beth Warren, RDN

10 Questions for Raizy Zeigler of Zichron Shlome


It's a tough choice.

Luckily, you don't have to make it. Take both flavors on your Chol HaMoed trips this Pesach!

Available in individual pouches and family packs











OR TRIPLE Your Value


HOST A PARTY IN YOUR HOME TO HOST A PARTY PLEASE CALL 917.623.8696 Do this for a z’chus for yourself. Do this as a z’chus for someone you care about

Sponsored by:

Sponsored by:

Open Late!

Sponsored by:


Open Late!


Infant Formula with Iron

The first & only BADATZ-CERTIFIED infant formula registered for sale in the US




Badatz-certified toddler drink also available

Fungus??? You tried everything?? Naturalife has your answer.....

Editor In Chief Shiffy Friedman, MSW, CNWC Nutritional Advisory Board Jack Friedman, PhD • Moshe Weinberger Yaakov Goodman • Mimi Schweid

Chaim a yungerman is embarassed with his fungal nails. He tried so many different type of creams with no results. He meets his old Chavrusa Shimmy that used to suffer too, and surprisingly sees his clear nails. Naturalife anti fungal cream may have your answer too! Burech a yeshiva bucher overseas struggles with itchy dry patches all over his body. The Dr. took a biopsy and diagnosed fungal bacteria. He advises meds, that need to be monitored through blood work. His concerned bubby reads about Naturalife and ships it off to Burech, Shortly thereafter Burech calls his bubby for some more, he wasn't so comfortable in a long time.

Nutrition Contributors Dr. Rachael Schindler • Tanya Rosen, MS CAI CPT Shani Taub, CDC • Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE Beth Warren, RDN Fitness Advisory Board Syma Kranz, PFC • Esther Fried, PFC Feature Editors Rochel Gordon • Liba Solomon, CNWC Copy Editors Gila Zemmel • Faige Badian Food Editor Esther Frenkel Food Styling & Photography Yossi & Malky Levine Creative Directors Nechama Zukin • Rivky Schwartz Store Distribution Motty Srugo 718-496-1364 Write To Us: 670 Myrtle Ave. Suite 389 Brooklyn, NY 11205


The Wellspring Magazine is published monthly by Maxi-Health Research LLC. 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 purposed 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.

Find The Wellspring as a monthly insert in Ami Magazine or at your local pharmacy or health food store. For the PDF version and for back issues, visit Production:

From the Editor

Dear Readers, In her interview with The Wellspring, Mrs. Raizy Zeigler, founder of the Zichron Shlome Refuah Fund, takes us back to the time when the seeds of her esteemed organization were planted. It was 30 years ago when she and her husband lost their dear son Shloimy to a 3-year battle with leukemia. Through his pleading before his petirah that they do something to perpetuate his memory, the organization was born. When Raizy shared her memories of that tragic time in her life, she took a break to shed tears. “It’s been 30 years,” she said between sobs. “Ober m’ken noch veinen, but we can still cry.” When Yom Tov comes around, we’re more desperate than ever to feel happiness in our hearts. We want to enjoy the family time, the beautiful rituals, the nachas. But what can we do if we’re bogged down by aches and pains? What can we do about the sadness, the maror, that surrounds us? As psychiatrist Dr. Yaakov Freedman shares in this issue’s fascinating “Cup of Tea,” a person can be on medication for mental illness and still lead a perfectly beautiful life. The question is, he points out, how the person feels about it. It all boils down to how we see the circumstances Hashem sends our way. The curveballs we’re faced with are not particularly pleasant, but it’s the way we accept them that makes all the difference in determining our level of simchah. Since the inception of our magazine, we’ve been inundated with requests from fans and readers for an exposé on the Sarno method. Finally, in this issue’s cover feature, we explore the controversial methodology that’s heralded by many as the route to recovery, yet viewed by others as an unsubstantiated, even hazardous, proposition. Dr. Sarno’s approach, which aptly relates to the theme of liberation, is constructed upon the “mind over matter” principle that affects not only our emotional health, but, according to him, our physical health as well. It’s not the back pain or digestive issues, he and his proponents argue. Instead, it’s that inner frustration, that unconscious tension, that manifest themselves in physical symptoms. As frum Jews, we’re the ones who hold the key to liberation from all this anxiety and sadness, with the help of the ultimate Redeemer. And there’s no time like Pesach to get to work on the process. Pesach is the Yom Tov of emunah, in commemoration of the time when our nation followed Hashem into the wilderness, feeling as secure and confident as a young child in his mother’s arms. Even if we can’t see it, even if we don’t feel it, we must believe that Hashem is at our side, that He’s holding our hand and taking us wherever we’re meant to be. With this thought in mind, we can finally let go of all that pain that’s constricting us and feel a true simchas Yom Tov. Wishing you all a kasheren, freilichen Pesach,

Shiffy Friedman


“Your mindset is the foremost factor in successfully traversing the path to weight loss, because it is your guide, your cheerleader, your controller, your everything,” writes Beth Warren, RDN, in her article on mindfulness. Check out her new column, "Secrets of a Kosher Dietitian," on page 16. Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 7


APRIL 2018 - NISSAN 5778


NEW COLUMN SECRETS OF A KOSHER DIETITIAN By Beth Warren, RDN HEALTH UPDATES IN THE NEWS By Liba Solomon, CNWC FIGURES By Miriam Katz HEALTH ED Celiac Disease By Judy Leiber, CNC DEDICATED TO HEALTH 10 Questions for Raizy Ziegler By Shiffy Friedman

12 14 16 18 20

IN GOOD SHAPE Leg Exercises By Syma Kranz, PFC COVER FEATURE Sarno Method By Shiffy Friedman HEALTH PROFILE Client: Shulammis By Esther Steinmetz AT THE DIETITIAN Gluten-free Diet By Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE MONTHLY DOSE Better Sleep By Yaakov Goodman

39 49 51 52 54 62



26 28 30 56 58 60

SEASONED Pesach Pleasures By Yossi & Malky Levine THYME FOR DINNER By Shiffy Friedman POTS + PLANTS By Naomi Hazan TIDBITS IN THE NEWS By Liba Solomon, CNWC NUTRITION FACTS IN A SHELL This Month: Kohlrabi By Devorah Isaacson



LIVING WELL ASK THE NUTRITIONIST Constipation Prevention By Shani Taub, CDC


68 70

FROM THE GROUND UP Age 8 By Goldy Guttman, Ms. Ed. HEALTH PERSONALITY Dr. Yaakov Freedman By Shiffy Friedman EMOTIONAL WELLNESS Dear Me By Esther Mozkovitz, LCSW CLEAN SLATE When the Deed was Done By Shiffy Friedman, MSW, CNWC


72 74 76

GOLDEN PAGE By Yaakov Goodman SENIOR CARE By Rena Milgraum, RN SAGE ADVICE By Aliza Simon



DIARY By Rikki Henig

The next issue of The Wellspring will appear iy”H on May 2nd.

8 The Wellspring | April 2018

‫מהדרין מן המהדרין‬

‫המדקדקים ביותר‬ ‫משתמשים רק במאכלי‬



be if the diet is unplanned and poor quality foods are chosen. If, however, a variety of whole non-gluten grains, proteins, healthy fats, and colorful produce are included, the diet can be well balanced nutritionally, and there is no downside.

natural supplement Pure C Bio 600 4 times a day. Soon after I followed her advice, my cycles were extended by several days.  Please publicize.    Name withheld

Never Too Late

[Issue #18: Summer Project]

Allergies as the Cause

[Issue #26: Constant Drip] Thank you for your child development piece on drool, a common issue that arises in more children than we think. As a mother of a child who drooled until very late, I would like to note that in some cases, drooling can be caused by food allergies. Doris Rapp’s Is This Your Child?, a breakthrough book that offers a simple yet effective approach to handling “problem” children, explores this topic at length. Ilana F. Edison, New Jersey

Is Gluten-Free The Way to Go? [Issue #26: At the Dietitian]

Due to my GI sensitivities, I’ve been following Tamar Feldman’s column every month and have found her information to be very sensible, as well as research-based and thus reliable. Although I haven’t been diagnosed with a disorder such as celiac or Crohn’s disease, I find that the gluten-free diet makes me feel better. Is there a drawback in living on such a diet? Is this something she recommends? C. Eisenstien Howell, New Jersey Tamar Feldman, RDN CDE, responds: The only drawback of someone with an undiagnosed digestive disorder following a gluten-free diet would

10 The Wellspring | April 2018

The other day, when my five-yearold daughter asked me which proteins we have in the house because she wanted to have a healthy snack, I realized that I never yet took the time to let you know how The Wellspring has impacted our life. In addition to having a greater health awareness in terms of physical health, which led to implementation of various changes in our home, I’ve also benefited from the emotional eating column, as well as gleaned a more appropriate hashkafa toward my spiritual health and my relationship with Hashem from the beautiful Torah articles. It’s hard to believe what one monthly publication can do, but here’s one reader who serves as evidence to its impact. Chag kasher vesameach, Elisheva R. Chestnut Ridge, New York

Women’s Health

Public Service Announcement

When I expressed concern regarding my short cycles to my obstetrician, she suggested that I start a regimen of pills. For various reasons, this was not the route I wanted to take. I thus consulted with a nutritionist, who recommended that I take the

Lavender for Better Sleep [Issue #26: Cover Feature] As someone who appreciates alternative medicine, I found the feature on aromatherapy to be well done and highly informative. Among their other benefits, essential oils have proven to be very effective for better, more relaxed sleep. Since I started using lavender oil in my diffuser every night, I’ve seen significant improvement in the quality of my sleep. Thank you for a fabulous magazine, Hinda Soloff Brooklyn, New York

An Ayelet Fan

[Issue #26: Cover Feature] I was excited to read the Q&A with Ayelet Mintz. She’s a very knowledgeable and caring person who taught me techniques on how to improve my posture and relax my neck muscles. Her lip balm has a terrific smell and is very soothing. I’m glad to hear that she is now practicing aromatherapy. Thank you for including her article in The Wellspring. Chava G. Far Rockaway, New York

invites readers to submit letters and comments via regular mail or email to Please include your name, address and phone number. 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.



Shout-Out to My Team

[Issue #26: Ten Questions] Thank you for highlighting one of the most important and lesser-known frum organizations out there—MyTeam. I joined this incredible organization only recently and am in awe of how its founders saw a huge need and filled it so perfectly. There are so many organizations out there to help those facing “dramatic and life-threatening illnesses” and the like, but MyTeam is the first to create a support group and

provide guidance for frum girls facing chronic non life-threatening, yet life-changing, illnesses. It’s one of the loneliest feelings in the world to be a teenager or post high school girl facing countless appointments, new medication trials, injections, procedures, tests and complicated diet plans feeling like you are the only one and nobody can ever understand you. No one is aware of your suffering because you still go to school, live a semi-normal life, and don’t necessarily look sick. I know I felt this way until I joined

MyTeam. I was shocked to learn that there were so many other girls going through what I was dealing with on a daily basis. Finally, I got to meet people who identified with my pain, fear, stress and real courage to pull through. I cannot thank MyTeam enough. They provided me with the support I thought I could never get. Thanks for being a catalyst for greater awareness and for bringing such important organizations and issues to the fore, Name withheld

Product Review Several days after I was in touch with Mr. Moishe Feldman of Global Kosher for the Conference we conducted with him in issue #26, I was the lucky recipient of a Fedex order (a rare occurrence in Eretz Yisrael) that contained an entire case of the Kendamil Mehadrin organic baby cereals that Mr. Feldman recently brought onto the market. I was particularly excited with the arrival of this package since my eight-month-old baby had been (messily) rejecting my offers of the various cereals from other companies that I tried shoving into his mouth. I decided to start with the Gluten Free Breakfast, which contains banana, mango, maize, millet and rice, assuming that its contents lends a sweeter taste to the cereal. Imagine my joy when our little prince actually opened his mouth for another spoonful! Thanks to Kendamil Mehadrin, he’s officially eating cereal once a day, and I'm calm knowing that he filled up on good stuff. The appealing packaging of both flavors even tempted my 4-year-old daughter, for whom Kendamil baby cereal has now become a favorite after-school snack! With the nutritious ingredients this product packs in, that’s a fabulous side benefit. —Shiffy Friedman

Quick Question

Feel free to shoot us your health-related question to receive an answer from one of the health experts at the Wellspring.

Question: My son was diagnosed with enlarged adenoids and our family recommends shaving them. I do not feel comfortable having the procedure done. Can you give me a broader understanding of what enlarged adenoids are and how they affect the person? How important is it to shrink them? Last of all, can you offer a natural solution that works?  Thank you! Response: Enlarged adenoids are usually caused by food allergies. Remove dairy, corn, and chocolate from your child’s diet. Since the adenoids are part of the immune system and they help protect children and teens from infectious diseases, it’s important that you give your child a daily dose of Panto C, as well as thieves spray, to boost his immune system and help restore the adenoids to their appropriate size. Give this regimen 4 weeks to work before considering removing the adenoids. Take care, Miriam Schweid, nutritional consultant

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 11

Wellness Platform By Rabbi Hirsch Meisels



Managing the pain of arthritis (part 2)

Omega-3 fish oil is a game changer in regards to arthritis, but there are other nutrients that play a vital role in decreasing inflammation in the joints. Bromelain, another ingredient in Maxi Health’s Maxi-Omega-3™ Joint Formula, is one such example. Derived from the stems of pineapples, this enzyme extract is most renowned for its digestive support. However, in addition to its remarkable interplay with food, it also contains antiinflammatory properties. A 2014 review of bromelain studies revealed a significant reduction in various markers. For example, in one trial, the subjects reported an 80% reduction in inflammation-related problems, even four weeks after the conclusion of the study. The prolonged effects thus reveal that while it may take time until the effects of bromelain kick in, they remain even after supplementation has ended. Glucosamine sulfate is one of the most popular naturally-occurring chemicals recommended by alternative practitioners for treating arthritis and inflammation. A natural sugar found in and around the fluid and tissues that cushion the joints, it’s sensible to conclude that ingesting this chemical aids in reducing inflammation. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that tested this intervention on 1,500 subjects who suffered from osteoarthritis in the knee, the researchers reported an interesting observation. While those subjects with severe pain observed a reduction in inflammation-related pain, those with mild pain did not report

any improvement. In the absence of conclusive evidence concerning glucosamine, my advice is to conduct your own study. Maxi-Omega-3™ Joint Formula also contains 31 milligrams of potassium. It’s interesting to note that this nutrient was not added to the formula but is actually naturally present in glucosamine sulfate. Blood test results of people with rheumatoid arthritis reveal that they possess lower than average levels of potassium. Although the reason for this correlation is unclear, the decreased levels could very well be the result of the medications taken for this condition, which cause the body to process potassium improperly. Anti-inflammatory medications may also lead to diarrhea, which empties the body of its nutritional contents, as well as decreasing appetite. It’s ironic to note that when a person takes medication to cure one issue, he may inadvertently enable another health drawback to occur. This is not to say that medication should be avoided, but rather to highlight the importance of supplementing to replenish the loss of vital nutrients. In a clinical trial in which the researchers sought to draw conclusions regarding the efficacy of potassium on inflammation, almost half of the subjects who took potassium saw a 33% pain reduction after only 28 days of supplementation. Another third of the subjects reported a moderate decrease in pain. While researchers have not yet established how glucosamine operates in the body, it is possible that its efficacy is a result of its potassium content. The herbal extract boswellia, another anti-inflammatory nutrient,

deserves an article of its own. A plethora of studies exist on the many health conditions this herb ameliorates, including inflammatory diseases, preventing blockages in arteries, and liver health. In a crossover trial that explored the correlation between boswellia and inflammation, half of the subjects were given boswellia for eight weeks while the other half received a placebo. The interventions were then switched for both groups. All subjects reported decreased pain during the weeks of the trial that they were receiving the boswellia intervention. Hyaluronic acid, another antiinflammatory substance, supports healthy skin, as well. However, getting enough of this element in your diet can be tough, since the best way to extract it is through daily consumption of bone broth, which involves a complicated cooking procedure. Interestingly, some people add the shells of an egg to their broth, since the thin coat underneath the shell contains this acid. One 2012 study of note in The Scientific World Journal examined 60 subjects who all performed exercises, but only half of whom took a daily dose of hyaluronic acid. While all saw improvement in their pain levels, assumedly due to the exercise they engaged in, the group that received the acid reported a significantly greater reduction in pain, especially those subjects under the age of 70. With research-based evidence like these, it’s safe to conclude that a natural alternative that matches or surpasses non-steroidal antiinflammatory medication does exist.

In this column, Rabbi Hirsch Meisels, a renowned expert on healthy living, delivers vital health information culled from his years of experience as the founder and director of FWD, Friends With Diabetes. The information was originally transcribed from his lectures on his hotline, Kol Beri’im.

12 The Wellspring | April 2018

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

Well Informed


Well Informed

Torah Wellspring: Emotional Health By Rabbi Ezra Friedman




Despite having left the physical borders of Egypt centuries ago, many of us are still caught in the confines of that galus. Only when Torah and mitzvos become the pleasure they’re meant to be, do we experience the true exodus, the liberation we speak of at the Leil Haseder and beyond. In Tanach, we encounter many sources that prove that all Hashem wants for us is our good. Countless verses, such as “‘Ahavti eschem,’ amar Hashem—‘I have loved you,’ says Hashem,” refer to the love Hakadosh Baruch Hu feels for us. Indeed, twice daily we say “Ahavas olam ahavtanu—You have loved us with an eternal love.” For Hashem, the world is not just what we perceive; it includes the many universes of whose existence we aren’t even cognizant— and Hashem’s love for us is as great as that world. Rabbi Akiva Eiger, zt”l, notes that we say “Habocher b’amo Yisrael ba’ahavah—Who chooses His people Yisrael with love” immediately before Shema, because only if a person first recognizes Hashem’s love for him can he properly except the yoke of Hashem’s kingship. There’s no other way to do so. Hashem’s love for us extends beyond the confines of the usual giveand-take we’re accustomed to. Unlike ahavah shetluyah bedavar, when the affection is dependent on something, for instance, one’s behavior, He loves us like a father loves his children—unconditionally. Commenting on the verse “Banim atem laHashem Elokeichem— You are children to Hashem your G-d,” the Sages in the Gemara note that even after we commit a sin, we’re still His children. When Hashem sent Moshe Rabbeinu to inform Pharaoh about the impending redemption, He referred to Klal Yisrael as “beni bechori Yisrael—My child,

14 The Wellspring | April 2018

My firstborn, Yisrael.” Now let’s stop for a moment and ponder the spiritual state of our ancestors. As is commonly known, the Jews in Mitzrayim were in the 49th level of impurity. Still, in our greatest state of tumah, Hashem referred to us with utmost love. Of course, Hashem wants us to do mitzvos and learn Torah, but that’s for our benefit. Therefore, His love for us is not dependent on our deeds. According to the Gemara, man was created as an individual so he could say, “Bishvili nivra ha’olam—the world was created for my sake.” This means that when I wake up in the morning and I see the sun, I should internalize the message that it was worth it for Hashem to create the entire solar system just for me. You see all these roads? The rolling hills? They’re all for me. The trees, the good weather—everything was worth creating just for me. Every individual Jew is valuable enough that Hashem would create the world just for him. That’s how far His love extends to every single one of us. The Yidden in Mitzrayim were in the nation’s most painful exile ever. Yet, when they came to the desert, they reminisced wistfully about the good attributes, such as the food, that they had back in galus. From their words, it seems that they were actually quite content there. So what was the essence of that exile? What was so difficult about being in Mitzrayim? The sefarim tell us that precisely this was their problem. Expounding on the verse “Vayei’anchu Yisrael min ha’avodah—Yisrael sighed from the labor,” commentaries remark that the reason for their sighs was that they couldn’t serve Hashem properly. Incredibly, their main concern was not the physical labor. Rather, because they were surrounded by so much tu-

mah, it was difficult for them to serve Hashem properly because they were blind to His love. Hence, the essence of the redemption was not physical. It was a spiritual redemption, the commencement of a sequence of events that led to Hashem’s proclamation of “Va’atem tihyu li mamleches kohanim vegoy kadosh— You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy people.” But what happens if you just don’t feel this love? Here’s an analogy that can help bring you closer. How would you feel if you meet an acquaintance on the street and after you make some small talk, he says to you in all sincerity, “Please, my dear friend, I want you to love me.” Assuming this person is perfectly okay, how would you feel toward him? Our natural instinct when we perceive that someone wants our affection is to feel that affection for them. Hashem, the G-d of the Universe, actually says these words to us. “Va’ahavta es Hashem Elokecha—You shall love Hashem, your G-d,” is His call for us to love Him. As long as we’re not emotionally connected to Yiddishkeit, the rituals and commandments are more of a physical labor. Again we have to wake up for Shacharis and again we have to clean the home for Pesach. We’re in galus just like the Jews in Mitzrayim. If we have a hard time feeling Hashem’s love and connecting to the joy of Yiddishkeit, if we don’t yearn to do mitzvos and learn Torah, it’s not because the love isn’t there. We’re simply in galus. May Hashem help us merit our personal geulah, in which we’ll finally feel the joy of Yiddishkeit in our own lives. In the next installments, we will iy”H discuss how we can emotionally connect to Yiddishkeit.


Well Informed

Research-Based Recommendations By Beth Warren, RDN

SECRETS OF A KOSHER DIETITIAN One way to define a secret is that it’s a valid yet not commonly-known or recognized way of achieving or maintaining a goal. I’ve had success in my private practice with clients who want to achieve successful weight loss long term, by revealing secrets I uncovered as a kosher dietitian. By working through easily-overlooked or underestimated aspects critical for weight loss and keeping weight off, you can finally break-free of yo-yo dieting and live a healthier, happier life. In this column, I share the secrets to weight-loss success that may surprise you.

“Looking upon leads to awareness. Awareness leads to action.” (Menachos 43b)

SECRET #1: MINDFULNESS Before I discuss actual food in my book, Secrets of a Kosher Girl (Post Hill Press, April 2018), I discuss the power of the mind. We make the mistake of jumping over the basic foundation to successful weight loss, which is a unique step in my diet plan. By establishing a solid mindset through using techniques that help you overcome any mindless diet sabotage, you can start to discuss the actual foods to eat. Research suggests that when you eat more slowly and more thoughtfully, you may steer away from highly-processed food and unhealthy choices, making it easier for you to stick with a plan. There’s a huge mindful-eating factor built into the kosher world: blessings. By saying a blessing, you are forced to pause a few moments in front of the food without eating it, recognize what you are about to eat, recite the blessing, and only then eat it. Through these simple actions of establishing intention, you transform the ordinariness of eating into a holy experience. Eating at home, with friends, at work, or while celebrating, the act of saying a blessing transforms the monotonous into a meaningful experience to which you pay attention every time. We once again remember Hashem as the ultimate source of our sustenance after eating, as instructed, “And you shall eat and be satisfied, and you shall bless Hashem, your G-d for the good land which He has given you” (Devarim 8:10). During those moments, you relax in one place and allow the food to settle in your stomach. This time of introspection is also an opportunity to evaluate how the meal made you feel: satisfied, full, or stuffed? You can gain a lot of information in the hour after you’ve eaten a meal. You will learn to listen to the subtle cues your body is trying to tell you, and act accordingly. By understanding how your body speaks, you will learn not to ignore it with constant daily pressures, such as a deadline you have for a project at work, that fight to take priority in your consciousness. This Pesach, why not try a different technique to

stick to your weight and health goals instead of swearing off entire food groups we both know you’re going to end up eating? The dejected feeling that follows heavy restriction is the problem, not the fact that you succumbed to temptation, because this causes you to transform a short-term setback into a long-term failure. Your mindset is the foremost factor in successfully traversing the path to weight loss, because it is your guide, your cheerleader, your controller, your everything. When you lose your mind (no pun intended), you lose motivation, focus, and the will to reach your goals. Choose your mind over manna, er, I mean matter, this Pesach season and see the effects it has on your ability to maintain your weight during and after the holiday. How can you work on the art of mindful eating? Pay attention to the colors, aromas, flavors, and textures of your food. Chew slowly, try to zone out the distractions of the exciting chaos around you of family and friends, and learn to cope with guilt and anxiety about food if you do slip up. You can also try these tips: • Check your watch that at least 20 minutes passed before you take a second helping of food. • Try eating with your non-dominant hand. If you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth. • Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal; or your host’s, spouse’s, or parent’s effort in making your meal. • Take small bites and chew well. • Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” • Do something else, like reading or going on a short walk instead of grazing. When you practice mindful behavior, you will foster a strong mind-body connection and become in tune with your wants and needs, which will aid in both short- and long-term weight loss success.

Beth Warren can be reached at or 347-292-1725. She sees clients at her Brooklyn, NYC, and NJ locations, as well as virtually. Most insurances accepted. Follow her at @beth_warren for healthy eating motivation and recipes.

16 The Wellspring | April 2018


’    - 


‫חלב ישראל‬


Well Informed

Health Updates in the News By Liba Solomon, CNWC


If you were told to stay away from dessert, you may be telling your kids this too. If your parents pushed you to diet as a teen, chances are you will push your own children in the same direction. A recent study published in Pediatrics suggests that when parents focus on a teen’s diet, it creates an unhealthy cycle that can harm generations to come. “Adolescents who received encouragement to diet from their parents were more likely to do it with their own children,” says study author Jerica Berge, co-director of Healthy Eating and Activity Across the Lifespan Center at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. “They also were more likely to be overweight and obese, more likely to be dieting or binging, and to have lower body satisfaction.”   Parental “encouragement” to diet, parents telling their children that they should go on a diet to lose weight, is a common parental behavior, but for this study the researchers sought to determine the presence of an inter-generational cycle that encourages this detrimental parenting approach. The new study included more than 550 people who had been recruited for a larger study while they were teens. They were followed for 15 years and were now parents themselves.

Their average age was 31, and two-thirds were female. Those who were encouraged to diet in their teens were 25 percent more likely to be overweight and 37 percent more likely to be obese than people who weren’t subjected to diet talk during adolescence. Those who were told to diet were 20 percent more likely to diet, 72 percent more apt to binge eat, and 79 percent more likely to have unhealthy weightcontrol behaviors than those who were not told to diet. And those who were told to diet as teens were more than 50 percent more likely to tell their own kids to diet. They or family members were also 40 percent more likely to tease one another about their weight. So what can you do to break this pattern? Berge said previous research has suggested that focusing on a child’s weight or pointing out that their stomach is fat can put kids at risk for future eating troubles. But talking about the benefits of healthy eating seems to have a protective effect on future weight.  “Parents are concerned about their kids, but need to try to focus on healthy conversations. Instead of focusing on weight, talk about how healthy eating can help everyone in the family be stronger physically and live longer lives,” she says. The findings are not surprising at all. If a parent has body image issues or an unhealthy relationship with food, they’ll likely pass that down to their kids. Until you learn to model healthy eating and a healthy relationship with your body, think before you tell your teen to skip dessert at your Yom Tov meal.

COMBAT YOUR CHILD’S ALLERGIES By stocking your body with this

Taking probiotics and fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce your child’s risk for food allergies and eczema in early childhood, researchers report in PLOS Medicine. In a review of hundreds of studies, they found 19 randomized controlled trials with strong evidence showing that compared to no supplementation, taking probiotics after the 36th week of pregnancy and the first months of lactation was associated with a 22 percent reduction in the risk for eczema in children. They also analyzed six randomized trials with solid evidence that women who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements during pregnancy and lactation reduced the risk for childhood allergic reaction to eggs, the most common food allergy, by 31 percent. Fish oil has known anti-inflammatory effects, which may explain why it may reduce the risk for food allergies, but the reasons for the possible effect of probiotics on the risk for eczema is unknown. Still, it’s always a good idea to stock up on the supplements that are bound to help not only yourself, but also your child.

18 The Wellspring | April 2018

Well Informed

Figures By Miriam Katz

Fiber Figures Constipation Prevention

of Americans meet the recommended intake of fiber consumption


1 16.3

cooked split peas contains

grams of fiber

20 The Wellspring | April 2018

recommended daily fiber intake for men


cooked lima beans contains


grams of fiber

grams of fiber

38 cup


recommended daily fiber intake for women


grams of fiber

1 15.6 cup

Less than

cooked lentils contains

grams of fiber


1/2 1 6.7 7

bran flakes contains

grams of fiber

grams of fiber

1 5.1 cup

1 5.5 medium-sized pear contains

broccoli contains

grams of fiber

grams of fiber

medium apple contains

grams of fiber

1 4-5 slice

1 4.4

1 6.3 cup

avocado contains

whole-wheat pasta contains

grams of fiber

1 4.5

whole grain bread contains

medium baked sweet potato contains

grams of fiber

grams of fiber

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 21

Well Informed

Health Ed By Judy Lieber, CNC

Celiac Disease

For most of us, the gluten-free experience lasts exactly one week every year. Once Pesach is behind us, it’s back to normal, as in back to breads, and pies, and pizza. For the 3 million Americans (1% of the population) living with celiac disease, however, normal has a very different definition. How much do you know about this common digestive disorder?


True or false: Celiac disease is a genetic disorder.

Answer: True. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disorder (parent, child, sibling) have a 1:10 risk of developing celiac disease. Stressful events such as pregnancy, surgery, infection, or sever emotional distress can trigger its onset.


Celiac disease is a serious, genetic autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) triggers an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks damage the villi, small fingerlike projections lining the small intestine that promote nutrient absorption. This prevents nutrients from being absorbed properly into the bloodstream.

Which is not a symptom of celiac disease?

A. Abdominal pain B. Infertility C. Anemia D. Optimal elimination


True or false: The only current treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. Answer: True. There are no medications or surgeries that can cure this disease. Even eating tiny amounts of gluten can cause damage to the villi of the small intestine and prevent patients from absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream. When people with celiac live on a strictly gluten-free diet, they can lead a relatively symptom-free life.

Answer: D. People with celiac disease generally have complications with elimination. Other symptoms include weight loss, delayed growth, fatigue migraines, and osteoporosis. The best way to determine the presence of celiac disease is via a blood test.


What is the average amount of time it takes for a person to be correctly diagnosed with celiac disease in the U.S.? A. 1-4 years

C. 4-8 years

B. 2-6 years

D. 6-10 years

Answer: D. Unfortunately, most people suffer from undiagnosed celiac disease for too long. If you experience the symptoms described above, or have unpleasant digestive issues, you should be tested immediately. In addition, all first- and second-degree relatives of someone with celiac disease should be tested, since it is hereditary. Untreated celiac disease may lead to a number of other conditions, including infertility, neurological disorders, and other autoimmune conditions.

22 The Wellspring | April 2018








Adults every

should have eye exams: years annually, from age even with no vision issues!

Schedule your eye exam at The Lens Center today!

Contact Lenses

Eyeglasses All Brands

Eye Exams Eye Care Lens Fittings Accessories

1318 55th Street

We Ship All Over


Well Informed

Dedicated to Health by Shiffy Friedman



ZICHRON SHLOME’S MISSION: To ease the burden for cancer patients and their families by providing financial and emotional support so that no one should ever suffer alone.


WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO LAUNCH YOUR ORGANIZATION? Over 30 years ago, our dear son Shloimy was stricken with leukemia at the prime of his life. After an arduous three-year battle, he succumbed to his illness. After his petirah, my husband found a note with a verse of Tehillim that our Shloimy had left on his food tray. “Gol al Hashem darkecha,” he wrote, “ubetach alav vehu ya’aseh. Commit your ways to Hashem; believe in Him and He will do.” This message, along with Shloimy’s pleas before his passing that we do something in his memory, was the impetus for the founding of our organization.

As parents of a child with cancer, my husband and I profoundly understood the importance of having support during this trying period. When we had to go to Seattle for a particular treatment, some good friends collected the funds for us. It was tough to juggle taking care of the house, being there for Shloimy and the rest of the family, and keeping it all together. Sadly, my experience helped me realize how important an organization like Zichron Shlome would be for fellow families of cancer patients.



For the past three decades, I’ve been running the organization, with the help of some very kind volunteers, especially Chaya Friedman and Toby Kain and their families. I take every call, speak to patients and their families, ensure they get the help they need, and arrange the auctions, campaigns, and programs. Although our main focus is to help out with medical expenses and other expenses that come up as a result of the illness, we also do our best to help out in other areas that we deem necessary, because we’re an organization with a heart. For instance, someone once came to my house to request financial aid in order to see a prominent oncologist. From his shabby appearance, I grasped how impoverished this person was. After I wrote out a check toward the medical cause, I wrote out another one and told him, “Please use this to buy yourself a new suit and pair of shoes.”

24 The Wellspring | April 2018



I never saw myself as a public person. I find it hard to be out there, to get on stage and talk about what we do, but I do it for the good of the organization and the people we would love to help. Also, we’re limited in resources. The more funds we have, the more we can distribute, and the more we can ease the burden for these struggling families.



I was recently contacted by a young man—all of 22 years old, who is so sick and weak that he’s wheelchair bound. Unfortunately, the doctors still haven’t given him a clear diagnosis. Some are saying that it may be a case of a neglected disease, but he’s suffering all this time. When this young man came to me, he was in agony, as well as in dire financial straits due to the medical expenses, and I did what I could to help ease the burden. This suffering young man recently sent me a text message: “Mrs. Ziegler, you have no idea how much this means to us. I’m up all night, unable to sleep, feeling extremely uncomfortable, but your gesture of kindness put a smile on my face.”



Don’t be afraid to go to a doctor. Don’t neglect yourself. The earlier health issues are detected, the greater the chances for successful treatment. If a lack of funds or insurance are the reason for your hesitation, reach out to your local Bikur Cholim, or borrow money, and organizations like ours will reimburse you. Nothing is more important than taking care of your health.



For two weeks every year, I take a break to Florida, during which the wonderful Mrs. Tzippy Falik takes the calls for us. (She wonders every time how I do it all year long!) Otherwise, I have too many responsibilities at the organization to leave it all behind. As soon as I return, I come right back into the role. During the year, I find other quick ways to relax, like going out with friends or enjoying a good book. Still, despite the stress that this work entails, when I speak to patients and their families, I try to be as present and calm as possible, to focus on what they need at the given moment.




The truth is that I never call back people who reach out to us, so we rarely hear what happened to the patients we helped. Honestly, I don’t want to hear bad news, and it takes a long time for a patient to say that they’re in remission and at the end of the tunnel. I wish it would be a quick process, but it isn’t. A three-year-old child with leukemia was in desperate needed of a bone marrow transplant. His mother sat at his bedside day and night. Throughout this ordeal, we paid for housekeepers and other expenses to keep the family afloat. Unfortunately, the search for a compatible donor was unsuccessful, and the child kept getting sicker and sicker. In the interim, his mother got pregnant, which created a whole new set of worries. Who would stay with the child? How would the family handle the additional expenses? However, this new child turned out to be a blessing in disguise. During the pregnancy, the unborn child was tested and, baruch Hashem, proved to be an exact match. Upon birth, the new baby’s blood was transplanted into his brother, who is in remission today. We don’t understand the ways of Hashem, but when we get such reminders of His constant presence in our lives, we’re filled with awe and a motivation to keep doing our work.



We’re sometimes asked by families of patients if we can sponsor their loved one’s trip to Florida so the patient can relax, spend time with family, and simply enjoy (as much as possible) a break from treatment. A young man with cancer whose wife had recently given birth asked us if we could help sponsor a baby gift for her. In another case, the family of a child with cancer asked us to help cover the costs of piano lessons for a sibling who was spiraling into depression.



The knowledge that our dear Shloimy’s neshamah is having an aliyah. Even 30 years after his passing, I still cry for him often. Knowing that every good deed we do is for his benefit soothes my heart and pushes me forward.

WHAT WAS THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? “You treat me like a mother treats a child.” Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 25

Living Well

Ask the Nutritionist By Shani Taub, CDC

Making Pesach Pleasant Constipation prevention


Your column is the first one I read when I get my copy of The Wellspring every month. I find your responses to be clear, sensible, and helpful. With Pesach approaching, I would like your advice on how to prevent constipation, which my entire family suffers from on a yearly basis during this Yom Tov. Through informal research, I’ve learned that to many, Pesach and constipation are indeed synonymous. Please explain why our Pesach menu makes this uncomfortable condition so prevalent. And could you advise how we can prevent it, in order to have a true simchas yom tov this year.


—Advice seeker

Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad to hear that you find my articles helpful, and I hope you’ll say the same about the answers I’ll present on this important topic. Constipation can turn a beautiful Yom Tov into an

to occur consistently and effortlessly. Lack of hydration is another reason for difficulty with bowel movements. Because artificial sweeteners dehydrate the body, some people find that it affects their regularity as well. And, ironically, an excess of fiber, the nutrient known for its laxative effect, may also lead to constipation. Another cause for constipation, hormonal changes, is usually beyond our control. Since each person’s body works in its own specific way, it’s hard to pinpoint precisely which lifestyle habit will cause constipation for a particular person. While one person may find that eating a banana causes constipation, another may find that this same food generates the opposite effect. In the same vein, stress leads to constipation for some, but has a laxative effect on others. However, in addition to familiarizing oneself with the body’s responses and figuring out what it needs in order for optimal elimination, there are certain steps we can all take to prevent this unpleasant condition.

unpleasant, uncomfortable ordeal, but with the proper preventative measures, constipation and Pesach don’t need to be synonymous at all. There are several causes for constipation, the first of which is a lack of fats. It is crucial for the body to receive a certain amount of healthy fats on a daily basis in order for the elimination system to operate as it should. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, fish, and various healthy oils, literally oil the digestive and elimination systems, enabling bowel movements

26 The Wellspring | April 2018

Here’s what I think are the key prevention steps for constipation. First, ensure that you’re consuming an adequate amount of dietary fiber—approximately 25 to 30 grams per day (see Figures). Drink 6-9 cups of water a day, engage in a consistent exercise regimen, and consume 3 well-balanced meals with fat daily. If you eat fiber with no fats, it’s as if you’re pumping gas into a car that has no lubrication. The fiber needs help to move the food through the digestive system. An interesting suggestion i advise my clients who complain of constipation is to drink their water hot. Here’s why. When you pour cold water over the skin of

a chicken in a pot, the skin stays right there. But if you use hot water, the skin slides right off. Hot water with fresh lemon is a great cleanser that helps move food along your digestive track. To answer your question about why Pesach, or rather matzah, is synonymous with constipation, let’s consider the following. Matzah is a condensed, bare-bones combination of flour and water, with no fats added. It offers the body a substantial amount of dietary fiber, but without the necessary fats to lubricate the system. Ingesting matzah on its own is thus a surefire way to complicate the elimination process. Matzah absorbs a considerable amount of fluid from the GI tract. To prove the point, put a slice of bread in a bowl and pour roomtemperature water over it until it starts to turn soft and begins to fall apart. Now take a piece of matzah and do the same. You’ll find that it will take two to three times the amount of water to start softening the matzah. When matzah combines with fluid in the GI tract, it forms a

Don’t Pass Over Skipping meals, a habit many are guilty of on Yom Tov, may be another constipation culprit. When we bank calories for a later meal, we’re more likely to overeat, which causes more problems for the digestive system. In order for waste to be eliminated properly, and for all other bodily functions to occur, the body requires consistent nutrition. So, if you finished your Seder or evening meal late, that’s not a reason to skip breakfast the next morning. Instead, keep it light. Enjoy a fruit with an egg or yogurt.

solid, firm mass, which can be difficult to pass. It’s important to note that the advice I offer in this article is for people with a healthy digestive system, since chronic constipation may require medication or other interventions. If you have experience regularity otherwise and find that the issues only arise on Pesach, give yourself time to relax. When the bowel muscles are tense, elimination only becomes harder. According to my understanding, another reason people equate Pesach with constipation is partly due to unhealthy eating patterns they engage in over Yom Tov. Since they may be limited with vegetable options or with whole grains, they end up filling up on foods that are lacking in dietary fiber. However, if you make sure to consume a serving (one tablespoon) of healthy fats at every meal, as well as follow the guidelines I outlined above, you should have no problem with elimination whatsoever.

Weight Management vs. Weight Loss Not everyone is up to actually losing weight over Yom Tov, and that’s perfectly okay. If you know that weight loss is an unrealistic goal for you, it’s not worth being hard on yourself over Pesach. Instead, keep in mind that no one gains weight from eating one piece of chocolate, but you can and will add on the pounds if that one piece turns into a bar.

Spelt or Whole-Wheat? Although spelt is closely related to wheat, it has a reputation for being a healthier choice. Some people prefer the flavor, which they describe as mellower and nuttier than whole wheat. However, the main distinction between the two is that whole wheat is harder on the stomach than spelt. Because it contains all parts of the wheat grain, a more sensitive digestive system will have a harder time breaking down whole wheat properly. This is the reason why people who have conditions like celiac disease or gluten intolerance, which means that their digestive systems are compromised, will opt for spelt over whole wheat. Other than that, however, the differences are minute. For example, while spelt has twice as much vitamin K, wheat has 6 times more selenium per serving. Thus, because they provide a similar number of calories, if you have a perfectly healthy digestive system, you won’t feel a significant difference when choosing one over the other. When eaten in the right quantities, which is about a kezayis per meal, you will end your meal feeling light, no matter which option you go for, and you will easily be able to maintain your healthy weight.

Please send your questions to the nutritionist to 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, premeasured foods and delicacies sold at supermarkets and restaurants.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 27

Living Well

In Good Shape By Syma Kranz, PFC

In-House Trainer

7 Best Exercises for Your Legs At The Wellspring, the correspondence we receive from readers concerning fitness is most frequently requests for targeted exercise moves. In the last installment, fitness trainer Syma Kranz shared her best moves for ab fitness. In this article, she offers her 7 best exercises that target the lower body. You can do these at home, anytime, even on hectic pre-Pesach days, or on Chol Hamoed when going to the gym doesn’t fit into your schedule.

1. PLIÉ SLIDES This ballet-inspired move is a great inner- and outer-thigh toner. Start standing with your hands on your hips, heels pressed together and toes rotated out to the sides (about 45 degrees) [A]. Step your left foot out (wider than hip-width apart), into a deep plié: bend both knees out over your toes, lowering your body straight down to the floor, while keeping your back straight and abs in tight [B]. Next, as you rise up out of the plié, slide your left heel back in towards your right, straightening your legs and returning to start position. Repeat 15 times with the left, 15 times with the right. Quick Form Tip: Make sure your knees stay lined up over your toes on the plié, don't let them roll in.

28 The Wellspring | April 2018

2.KNEELING ROUNDHOUSE KICK This kickboxing-inspired move is a great way to shape and tone the outer hips and thighs. Start kneeling on all fours, on a carpet or mat, with your arms extended under your shoulders and your knees bent under your hips. Lift your left knee off the floor, bending your left heel in closer to your body [A]. Next, lift the left knee (keeping it bent) straight out to the side of your body, trying to bring it up to hip height [B]. From here, extend your leg straight out, pointing your toe, shin and shoelaces facing forward [C]. Bend knee back in and lower it down, almost to the floor, but not touching. Repeat 15 times on the left, 15 times on the right. Quick Form Tip: Draw your abs in tight and try not to lean away from your legs as you lift the leg into your kick—press both arms strong into the floor, keeping hips square.

3. PRONE HAMSTRING CURL This move shapes up the hamstrings and lifts that hard-toreach spot where the glutes and hamstrings meet. Lie face down on the floor, bend your elbows, and stack your hands under your forehead. Extend both legs straight out behind you, pointing your toes and squeezing your heels together [A]. Press your shoulders down and lift both legs slightly off the floor. Keeping your feet touching, bend your knees (knees can open out to the sides slightly as they bend) and curl both heels in towards your body [B]. Without letting your knees touch the ground, slowly extend both legs back out straight. Repeat 15 times total. Try doing another set of 15 before finishing the workout if you can. Quick Form Tip: Be sure to keep your kneecaps lifted off the floor during the full movement, and imagine you are pressing your heels into something as you bend your knees in, to really squeeze the backs of your thighs.

5. GLUTEBURNER Targets: Abs, glutes, and hamstrings. Begin on all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders, back straight, abs tight, and head in line with spine. Without arching back, raise your right knee to the right side. Extend the leg straight back so your toes are in line with your hip. Bend knee to bring heel toward your butt, lower and repeat. Do 16 reps; switch sides.

4. HIP EXTENSION AND CROSS Tone the backs of your thighs, glutes, and your core with this targeted isolation exercise. Start kneeling and bend both elbows down to the floor below your shoulders, hands clasped. Extend your left leg up and behind your body, pointing your toes as the leg extends [A]. Next, bend your left knee and draw your left leg in, lightly tapping the back of your right knee with your left kneecap [B]. Extend left leg back out and repeat 15 times total, then switch legs and repeat. If you want to really feel the burn, try doing two sets of this exercise before moving onto the next move. Quick Form Tip: Press both arms down into the floor to avoid collapsing into your chest, and keep your abs drawn in tight so that your lower back doesn’t sag.



This move mixes abdominal work and a cardio burst to help burn body fat while you strengthen your core, so you can shed that muffin top faster. Start in a plank position with your feet together. Bend both knees and shift your weight into your arms as you jump both feet in to your hands, lifting your hips up to the ceiling. Land in a tucked position on the balls of your feet, knees bent and between your arms, and then quickly jump back out to your full plank position, keeping your abs tight and not letting your hips sag. Do 3 sets of 10 reps as quickly as you can with good form.


If you carry your excess body fat in your hips and thighs, you’re not alone! Saddlebags are a common complaint among women everywhere. This move helps strengthen your hips and thigh muscles, improves your balance and coordination, and keeps your heart rate up, so you’ll burn more calories and slim down faster. Start standing with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, both arms bent, hands in fists by your chin. Brace your abs in tight and keep your spine straight as you bend both knees out over your toes. Keep your hips under your shoulders as you lower your torso. Stand up out of your squat, and as you straighten your legs, slide your right foot in so that it is under your hip, with your heel facing to the left. Bend and lift your left knee up towards your chest and flex your left foot, aiming it to the left side. Next, push out through your left heel and extend your left leg out to the side. Bend your left knee, drawing it back in front of your body and then quickly step down with your left foot and slide your right foot back out wide, returning to your beginning horse stance. Do 15 reps on the left, then 15 reps on the right, repeating for a total of 3 sets on each leg. Note: If you need help balancing, hold onto a wall or the back of a chair with your right arm during the side kick.

Syma Kranz, PFC, is a certified aerobics, Pilates, and Barre instructor, as well as the fitness director at Fusion Fitness in Lakewood, New Jersey. What started out as a small exercise class in her home catapulted into a popular gym that prides itself with tzanua, professional instructors and an appropriate atmosphere with lyric-free music and proper attire. Syma specializes in training women to integrate fitness into their busy lives, paying special attention to proper form and alignment and specializing in core and pelvic floor strengthening.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 29

Living Well

Cover Feature

30 The Wellspring | April 2018

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 31

Living Well

Cover Feature

“None of the painkillers helped,” is how the story usually goes. “Then, someone recommended that I read Dr. Sarno’s book and before I knew it, the pain was gone.” Is the cure as instant as Sarno’s followers make it out to be? In my research of this article, I was in contact with tens of people who shared a similar tale. For some, it happened after an injury. For others, the pain was constant and ongoing. For most of them, the method proved to be the solution they were desperate for.

son’s perceived worthlessness, or his feeling of being alone, rejected, or simply not good enough. When the emotional frustration is too much to bear, according to Sarno, the body channels the rage into a physical manifestation. “Because this pain isn’t due to a real physical condition,” explains Meshchaninov, “regardless of what measures the person will take over the next 10 years to treat it, no matter how many cortisone shots and reflexology sessions he’ll go for, the pain will stay there. On the other hand, by simply acknowledging the frustration behind the pain, by realizing that this is just a weak link in the body where the rage is pouring into, and not giving in to the physical pain, amazing healing can happen.”

Revered by some as a saint and dismissed by others as a quack, Dr. John Sarno, who died in June 2017 at the age of 93, introduced his groundbreaking theory to the world through his bestselling books, including Mind Over Back Pain, and Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. He maintained that most In addition to implementing Dr. Sarno’s method in non-traumatic instances of chronic pain—including his innovative psychotherapy practice that integrates back pain, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, and the mind and body in treatment, fibromyalgia—are physical manMeshchaninov has witnessed the ifestations of deep-seated psyTHE DAY AFTER efficacy of the approach in his chological anxieties. As a speMESHCHANINOV READ THE personal life. cialist in rehabilitative medicine,

Sarno developed his theories over BOOK FROM COVER TO COVER, “When I was 20 years old,” he almost 50 years at NYU. He gave shares, “I was stuck in a lot of HE EXPERIENCED 85% the various forms of chronic pain ways. I had recently left yeshivah the collective name “tension myHEALING FOR THE PROBLEMS and was working with my father ositis syndrome” (TMS), which, in his construction business, but I HE’D BEEN DESPERATE TO apart from its psychological didn’t feel it was good for me. Varroots, he attributed to mild oxCURE ALL THOSE MONTHS. ious other pressures related to the ygen deprivation caused by recommunity were coming togethduced blood flow to muscles and er at that time, and I felt lost. Everything I knew and nerves throughout the body. According to Dr. Sarno, planned to do wasn’t working, which led to a buildup and as he explains in his book, viewing chronic pain of stress. as TMS and treating the psychosomatic symptoms “One day, I was stretching my right shoulder when through focusing on the pain’s psychological roots, I felt something pop. A week or two later, I was doing cures the issue. a cartwheel and I landed on my ankle, after which I “There are many reasons as to why the body does felt a twist in my foot. For the next few months, the what it does,” says Dovid Meshchaninov, M.S. APCC, injuries were refusing to heal. I was doing ultrasounds, SEP, a Los Angeles-based mind-body psychotheraphysical therapy, massages to help muscles—I tried pist who applies the Sarno method to his treatment. every avenue of recovery, to no avail. That’s when our “A lot of it, though, is because the body doesn’t know family doctor suggested that I read Dr. Sarno’s book. what do with the inner rage it’s experiencing. Thus, it As I started reading, I saw myself on every page.” waits for an opportunity that will be believable to the In his stressed state, Meshchaninov related well to person, such as when he slips on ice or lifts somethe concept of inner rage. “Someone could consider thing heavy. Now it makes sense to the person that himself a calm person, but inside feel deeply annoyed. his body’s hurting. This creates a little crack through The rage has to be understood in a more subtle way. which the inner frustration is channeled.” It’s like some part of the personality is suppressed, Unconscious rage, Dr. Sarno explains in his works, part of the subconscious feels annoyed that it can’t be does not refer to a temper that’s externally apparent. who it wants to be. We might not even be aware of that Instead, it’s a deep rooted frustration, usually targeted anger, but then, when we start doing the work, we reat oneself, that lingers in the unconscious mind for a alize, ‘Wow! I was unhappy all this time.’ long stretch of time. When this anger is not identified “Another place where inner rage is prevalent is in or expressed, it accumulates and becomes rage. And people who always feel the need to please others, when the rage reaches a critical level in the unconwhich is especially prevalent in close-knit populascious and threatens to become conscious, the brain tions such as the frum community. They don’t realize creates pain and other physical symptoms as a disthat for years they were carrying around the feeling traction, to prevent a violent emotional explosion. This kind of unconscious rage may result from a perthat they need to come across a certain way, and this

32 The Wellspring | April 2018

develops an inner rage in the psyche. They’re worried about how others judge them, and this constant pressure they’re walking around with takes a toll.” The day after Meshchaninov read the book from cover to cover, he reports, he experienced 85% healing for the problems he’d been desperate to cure all those months. “One of the steps in the process is to realize that physical pain doesn’t mean that something’s anatomically wrong with the body. So, on the night that I finished the book, I went for a jog—on my ankle. When people have pain that they avoid feeling, they buy special shoes or arches, or use certain pillows for their back, but this is just buying into the pain. When they realize that the pain is an expression of their inner rage and anxiety, they can become aware of the falseness of that physical pain.” So what are the basic tenets of this revolutionary method? According to Dr. Sarno, the good news is that just as the brain can cause pain or physical symptoms, so can it be used to stop those physical effects. Once we become aware that the pain or symptom is being created by our own mind, the brain stops its protective mechanism and the symptom subsides. To facilitate this process, Dr. Sarno developed a two-pronged strategy to identify and reflect on possible emotions that lurk in the subconscious, which includes making a list of everything that may contribute to the inner frustration and suppression, and setting aside time every day to explore our feelings, past and present. These steps bring the feelings from the unconscious to the conscious mind, which is where they have to be in order for the brain to stop the protective mechanism from churning out the pain. Once the person reflects and acknowledges their suppressed rage and frustration, which leads to a diminishing of pain, the last step of the process is to resume normal, non-restricted physical activity, as well as a regular diet (for people who previously suffered from gastrointestinal issues). By stopping to “buy into” the condition, the person sends a message to the brain that he believes the body is healthy and that the pain is unnecessary. According to Meshchaninov, Dr. Sarno’s method highlights how greatly we underestimate the effects of stress. “A person may be eating very healthfully and even engage in exercise on a consistent basis, but if he’s holding on to inner rage, even if he’s just walking through the community constantly afraid of judgment, it may lead to an array of issues. These are all buildups of the body acting out from the frustration it’s holding on to. Tuning in to our inner world helps us heal.” Orli Katz, a certified hypnotist, lauds the method for its efficacy, as well. “As a hypnotist,” she shares, “I teach Dr. Sarno’s theory to my clients in order to help them understand

and release the emotional components of physical pain.” Orli first became familiar with the method when a relative of hers saw Dr. Sarno following a car crash that left her in debilitating, chronic pain. “Shortly after her visit, she was up and moving freely again,” she says. “My husband and sister-in-law were also helped by Sarno’s methodology. They listened to lectures given by a frum man who had studied under Dr. Sarno, and within weeks of listening to his lecture about the mind-body connection, both experienced significant relief from their chronic back pain.” Second Thoughts on Sarno Despite the millions of fans Dr. Sarno has garnered around the globe, his theory has remained controversial until this day. “My proof is that my patients get better,” he often told his doubters, who cited the lack of formal studies to support his method. A psychotherapist who worked with the doctor for many years once shared that his colleagues would belittle him behind his back in lunchtime conversations at NYU, even as some would visit him privately for their ailments. Rabbi Refoel Junger, a Sarno fan who found the method helpful in curing his mono, notes that one point of contention regarding the method is that people get very offended when told to look into it. “I remember feeling that way years back. The recommendation implies that ‘it’s all in the head.’” Shira, a middle-aged woman who experienced a personal run-in with the method, weighs in on another pitfall. “The problem is that any person who is doctor-shy or wants to avoid medical care can and does use his book as a dangerous alternative. For example, I had scoliosis and was told often, based on Dr. Sarno’s book, that if I stopped thinking I was sick, stood straight, and otherwise followed his book, I would magically be better. The one person I know that legitimately uses it has a slight curve of the back that was not recommended for surgery by her doctor, and she uses it to deal with the pain she still feels.” Another reason the approach does not work for everyone is that it requires an ample amount of mind work and motivation, which a person must be very willing to contribute to get better. Following it “halfway” is equivalent to not following it at all. Critics believe that followers of the method may inadvertently neglect the urgency of real illness in favor of a psychological solution, depriving their body of the medical treatment they need. “Although the Sarno method should not be applied before real anatomic illness is first ruled out,” notes Meshchaninov, “it’s interesting to note that there are many physical ailments that don’t necessarily cause pain.” Indeed, in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine of 98 subjects with no history of lower back or leg pain, researchers found that although MRI results

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 33

Living Well

Cover Feature

Tzipora: About a year ago, I started experiencing debilitating lower back pain. I was examined by doctors, who found no cause of the pain, but it was excruciating nevertheless. I got prescriptions for physical therapy but never followed through because it was time consuming and I didn't believe it would help. So, I figured that the pain was caused by me sitting all day. Now that I couldn't not sit, this became an issue, and an orthopedic cushion wasn’t of any help either. I was reluctant to take strong pain medication, but even when I finally acquiesced and took that route, it hardly helped. It came to a point that the only relief I had was lying flat on my back, clearly a not sustainable solution. I remember thinking after Succos that I would love to take my children on trips during Chanukah, but that it would be impossible because I could hardly move. At that time, I started a new job and practically crawled from one client to another. I sat so awkwardly in a chair while meeting with my supervisor and prayed for the torture session to end. I remembered hearing about Sarno, and since I had lower back pain, one of his specialties, I decided to look into his approach more. I watched a speech on the topic and began to research. I actually called NYU to make an appointment with the doctor who succeeded Dr. Sarno. At the same time, I read Dr. Sarno's books and started implementing the strategies. I never went to meet the doctor because after a few days of reading, the pain began to recede. I did not lie down but just breathed and talked myself through it. At first, there were short periods without pain. Then, I was almost okay, with bursts of pain. When these occurred, I would say out loud, “My back doesn’t really hurt! My back just thinks it hurts!” or something similar—and it felt better. That very Chanukah, my family and I took a trip to

of the majority of participants revealed anatomic abnormalities such as herniated discs or disc protrusion, these subjects hadn’t reported any back pain. Thus, the researchers’ concluded, “results of bulges or protrusions in people with low back pain may frequently be coincidental.” Still, it’s important be smart if there’s an obvious, glaring issue. “If your stomach hurts, you may have swallowed a parasite and should have it removed. But, if you find yourself on a merry-go-round from doctor to doctor year after year, if you did your basic due dil-

34 The Wellspring | April 2018

Eretz Yisrael, where I was able to hike and stroll for hours—pain-free. Until today, I don’t suffer from the pain. Once every few weeks I get a twinge, but I ignore it and it goes away. I was so grateful that the pain I had was specifically in the lower back. While people use the method for all sorts of problems, I believed in it more because it was designed specifically for this. I’ve been through so many things in my life where I’ve had to apply creative solutions to my challenges, and I was grateful for this gift of a clear path to healing.  Rena Reiser, intuitive eating coach: About 8 years ago, I came down with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which showed up as a low grade fever and low energy. When I asked my doctor what to do about it, he said I’d need to wait it out and that it could take around 6 months until I’d feel better. I read Dr. Sarno’s book, where he talks about EBV explicitly. I realized immediately that my getting sick directly coincided with a difficult work situation. Within 24 hours of this realization my fever went away, and I was back to myself within a week. Since then, I’ve used his method to help with back pain, sciatica, migraines, food sensitivities, as well as healing my relationship with food.  Rabbi Refoel Junger: 20 years ago, at the age of 19, I got mono. As a yeshivah bochur in Eretz Yisrael, I felt weak and alone, with no solution in sight. At first, when someone brought me Dr. Sarno’s books, I found them to be irrelevant. But, about a year later, when I was learning in Mir, I was still having trouble with fatigue. My cousin recommended that I revisit the Sarno method. This time, I was desperate for a cure and applied myself to all steps of the process. Baruch Hashem, it worked, and I felt energized and invigorated shortly thereafter.

igence and aren’t getting a solution, this is definitely a route to explore. The Sarno method has helped many thousands of people around the globe finally reach the cure they were desperate for.” As I wrap up this piece, I feel the onset of a migraine headache, which is certainly related to the impending deadline and my inner pressure to produce the consummate feature. Yes, Dr. Sarno, there is work to be done. Dovid Meshchaninov, who sees clients in person and through Skype, can be reached through The Wellspring.

FOR WHAT CONDITIONS DO YOU RECOMMEND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF DR. SARNO’S TECHNIQUES? The issues I generally work with are chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr, Crohn’s disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), sciatica, and back pain. Here and there, I’ll get a case of eczema, psoriasis, or certain allergies.


IS THIS RELATED TO THE OVERABUNDANCE OF PROCESSED FOODS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TODAY? According to Dr. Sarno, there is absolutely no connection between food and these symptoms. I find that the people who are hit with stomach problems are usually those who’ve experienced deep pressure for many years, from adolescence. This deeply rooted psychological discomfort literally ate away at their insides. There’s also a pattern regarding the personality types of most of the people I see with stomach issues. They’re generally intense.

HOW DO YOU GUIDE AN INTENSE PERSON TOWARD HEALING? I especially like working with the very driven, perfectionist people—the bachurim who won’t give up seder even when they’re running a high fever. The last thing they want to hear is it to take it easy, but my goal is, with siyata d’Shmaya, to teach them how to demand of themselves in a healthy way.

HOW DID YOU BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH THE SARNO METHOD? When I was in 12th grade, the first year of beis medrash, I felt very weak. Baruch Hashem, I was directed to someone who helped me emerge from my weakness through following this procedure. The more people I meet, the more I see how psychological issues manifest themselves in the body.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE SARNO METHOD? It takes you to the root of the problem. Other treatments, especially for Crohn’s disease and colitis, focus on treating the symptoms, which is a result of the problem.

SO HAVE YOU FOUND THAT EVERY CASE OF GASTROINTESTINAL (GI) DISEASE IS ROOTED IN EMOTIONAL HEALTH? Not every single one, but if someone’s relatively healthy and then suddenly at 19 they switch to a new yeshivah or get a new maggid shiur and a problem crops up, that’s a red flag. We always first send the person to a doctor to rule out anatomic issues, to make sure the issue is not a physical one, before working with the Sarno method. For instance, if someone’s complaining of excruciating migraine headaches, we want to first ensure that there’s nothing in the brain that requires conventional medical treatment.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE COULD GET OFF MEDICATIONS FOR GOOD THROUGH THE SARNO METHOD? I don’t have to believe it in theory; I’ve seen it hundreds of times. Stomach problems like Crohn’s or colitis cause damage to the intestines over time, so someone who’s been suffering for a while may need surgery to repair the damage caused by inflammation and then start from square one. But from this point on, the Sarno

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 35

Living Well

Cover Feature

method can successfully switch off the condition. After our initial phone conversation of about 1-1.5 hours, they get off the special diet they’ve been following and start working toward healing. Staying on a special diet contradicts the entire method.

Headaches or back pain can take one week, while intestinal pain generally takes about two.


Very few people can help themselves permanently just by reading the book, especially if they’re suffering with stomach issues. Neither will it work if the person has doubts about the method, if it’s working for them. It might help for a week, but it won’t work for good.


IS THERE ANYONE FOR WHOM THE METHOD DOESN’T WORK? I can generally tell, when speaking to the person, if it’ll work for him or not. The rule of thumb is that the more desperate the person feels, the more effective the intervention will be. If someone was just diagnosed and says, “Why not give this a try?” chances are he won’t succeed with the Sarno method. It’s those people who are at their wits’ end whose turnaround rates are very high.

CAN YOU SHARE AN ANECDOTE THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE EFFICACY OF THE SARNO METHOD? One bachur in our yeshivah, the consummate perfectionist, hadn’t made a hamotzi or mezonos in three years due to Crohn’s disease. On one occasion, he came to my house and we had a conversation about this topic that ended up lasting three hours. As we spoke, he was so enthusiastic about the method that he abandoned his diet on the spot. Today, he enjoys cholent and kishke and hasn’t had a problem since.

36 The Wellspring | April 2018

Here are the five basic tenets of the Sarno method: 1. Knowledge is power. In most cases, Sarno notes, psychological factors are involved in the pain—life stresses, perfectionism, or childhood trauma. Given this, the goal is to thwart the brain’s strategy.  2. Repudiate the structural diagnosis for the pain. The pain will not stop unless you are able to say, “I have a normal back; I now know that the pain is due to a basically harmless condition, initiated by the brain to serve a psychological purpose, and that the structural abnormalities that have been found are normal changes associated with activity and aging.” 3. Acknowledge the psychological basis for the pain. “The brain tries desperately to divert our attention from rage in the unconscious,” Sarno writes. “This is an automatic reaction of the mind, not based on logic or reason. So we must bring reason into the process.” He suggests asking yourself: “What is the sense in producing pain to distract one’s attention from the repressed rage?” Then decide, “I would rather deal with the rage than have the pain.” 4. Accept the psychological explanation and all of its ramifications as normal for healthy people in our society. “We must say to ourselves, ‘It’s all right to be the way we are: illogical, unconsciously enraged, like a child having a temper tantrum. That’s part of being human, and it’s universal.’” Then, Sarno says, take these next steps:   • Think psychological. Consciously think about repressed rage and the reasons for it whenever you are aware of the pain. This is in contradiction to what the brain is trying to do. This effort is

a counterattack, an attempt to undo the brain’s strategy. It is essential to focus on unpleasant, threatening thoughts and feelings to deny the pain its purpose. • Talk to your brain. It sounds silly, but it’s effective. The conscious mind addresses the unconscious, the more forcefully the better. Successfully-treated patients report that when they feel a twinge of pain, the kind of thing that used to be a harbinger of an attack, they talk to or shout at themselves, and the pain disappears. You tell your mind that you know what it’s doing, that you know the physical pain is harmless and is a distraction from the repressed rage, and that you no longer intend to be intimidated. • Make a written list. List all of the pressures in your life, since they all contribute to your inner rage. There are self-imposed pressures, typical of the conscientious perfectionist, and the pressures of everyday life—which also include happy things like marriage and children, since they also represent great pressure. You should also list anger left over from childhood. Here’s the goal: By consciously identifying and dealing with sources of pressure, you reduce their potential negative effect in the unconscious. • Set aside a daily reflection or meditation period. This part of the treatment is essential for very busy people who feel they don’t have a moment to think of anything but their work during the day. This is best done in quiet and solitude, so a time must be found each day when you can sit and think about what it takes to get better. 5. The bottom line. “For some people, simply shifting attention from the physical to the psychological will do the trick,” Sarno says. “Others need more information on how the strategy works, and still others require psychotherapy.” But in every case, he is confident that knowledge is essential to the cure. “By making people aware of what is going on both physically and psychologically, we frustrate the brain’s strategy.”

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 37

e c i p s d ad to your

h c a s e P


naomi's favorite chocolate chip cookies are kosher for pesach!

Pesach Pleasures wholesome dishes for that glorious chol hamoed morning


Eat Well


Dear Cooks, People think I’m crazy when I say this, but I love the Pesach menu. As someone who eats healthfully and cooks nutritious meals all year long, the foods we eat on Pesach are not very different from the foods we eat all year. So why do I love the Pesach menu, you ask? While rice or corn cakes are my usual grain for breakfast and lunch, on Pesach I get to be more creative. At the Yom Tov seudos, matzah and some potatoes or sweet potatoes at the main course take the place of my usual kitniyos, but on Chol Hamoed mornings, I love experimenting with potato starch to produce tasty dishes. Now that Malky and Yossi have done the work for me this year, I think I’ll just follow their instructions for what is sure to be a perfect Pesach breakfast. Enjoy the cooking marathon! Best wishes for a happy, healthy Pesach, Esther

Kosher for Passover

Out of this world.

Eat Well

Recipes, Styling & Photography By Yossi & Malky Levine

Pesach Cheese Pancakes What better way to start a glorious chol hamoed morning than with these wholesome beauties? Protein-packed and delicious, they’re a win-win for all. ½ cup almond flour ¼ cup coconut flour ¼ cup tapioca flour dash of salt

3 eggs 6 Tbsp milk ½ cup whipped cottage cheese 3 Tbsp xylitol

In a bowl, combine flours and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk to combine, then add to the dry ingredients mixture. Add cottage cheese and xylitol and mix until well combined. Heat oil in a skillet. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the hot oil, fry for 2 minutes on each side. Yield: 12-15 pancakes. Optional: Peel and blend strawberries until desired consistency. Serve pancakes with strawberry sauce and banana slices.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 43

the blue one

Eat Well


Creamy AvocadoFruit Salad Ever tried the combo of avocado and fruit? Try this and watch it become your next go-to salad. 2 pkgs romaine lettuce 2 cucumber, peeled and cubed 1 mango, cubed 1 small purple onion, sliced 1 avocado, cubed 1½ cups pomegranate arils

Avocado dressing: 1 avocado 2 Tbsp olive oil ½ lemon, squeezed ¼ tsp salt dash pepper

Add all ingredients to a bowl and blend until smooth and creamy. To assemble, add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss with dressing before serving.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 45

Eat Well


No-grain Pizza Better than the real thing!

1 cup almond flour ½ cup tapioca flour ½ tsp salt 1 egg ½ cup melted butter ½ cup tomato sauce 1 cup shredded cheese oregano (optional) Add flours and salt to a bowl and combine. Add egg and melted butter and mix until a dough forms. Preheat oven to 400˚. On a parchment paper, spread the dough into a flat 10” circle. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Spread tomato sauce over the baked dough and top with cheese and oregano. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 47

The blend that is


‫חג כשר ושמח‬

Eat Well

Recipes and Styling by Shiffy Friedman, Photography by Minky Fischer

Thyme for Dinner

Traditional Shepherd’s Pie

The first Pesach after we’d adapted a healthy lifestyle was exceptional. In addition to not feeling chronically hungry, it was our first Pesach in Eretz Yisrael. The shelves in our neighborhood grocery store offered the bare basics, resembling more of a Whole Foods than the aisles exploding with Kosher for Pesach everything I had become accustomed to in New York. I found the simplicity of it endearing, and very in line with the clean eating we’re committed to all year long. No matter how many processed foods we consume throughout the year, this is the one week when clean eating becomes an obligation. Especially for those who use minimal ingredients, Pesach can be a great opportunity to let the realization hit, to experience the rich taste of an orange or sweet potato, to appreciate Hashem’s natural world. Because our dinners are wheat-free throughout the year, I share with you a favorite that we enjoy not only on Pesach but on regular weeknights as well. The sautéed onions lend a deep, rich flavor to this savory dish that even the little ones enjoy. If you’re looking for an idea of how to use ground meat without tomato sauce, or are bored of your meatball recipe, this is your next hit. 1 lb ground meat 2 eggs 3 large onions, sliced 2 Tbsp oil

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed salt and pepper, to taste garlic and onion powder, optional

Total prep time: 50 minutes | Yield: 8 servings Place cubed potatoes in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Add a dash of salt and cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375˚ F. In a large saucepan, sauté sliced onions in oil on low-medium heat until golden, about 25 minutes. Place 2/3 of onions aside. Add ground meat with spices to the pot and sear until meat browns and crumbles, about 20 minutes. When cooled, whisk in the 2 eggs. Once the potatoes are drained and cooled, add spices and ⅓ of onions and mash. Line a half-size aluminum pan (or equivalent depth) with baking paper and spread half of the meat mixture into pan, followed by half of the potato mixture. Proceed with another layer of meat and another layer of mashed potatoes. Top with remaining ⅓ of sautéed onions. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until potatoes begin to brown. Serving suggestion: These pies work great in individual ramekins too.

Works great as a main/side dish on Yom Tov or for Chol Hamoed dinner. Feel free to add zucchini and/or carrots to the potato layer to create a one-dish meal.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 49

Eat Well

Recipe and photography by Naomi Hazan

Build your meal on vegetables

These cookies are not exactly vegetables, but they sure are vegan.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are super easy to make and are my go-to chocolate chip cookies on Pesach and even throughout the year. They're moist, completely vegan, and as always, all natural. Give them a try! Naomi @onelifetoeat 1 3/4 cups almond flour 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour/ tapioca starch  1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt ⅓ cup agave (or honey) 3 tablespoons non dairy milk ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup chocolate chips 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix almond flour, arrowroot flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, mix maple syrup, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix well.  Form ping pong ball size dough balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Press down and bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before handling. 

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 51

Eat Well

Nutrition Tidbits in the News By Liba Solomon, CNWC


It’s what you eat, not how much, that counts. If you’ve ever been on a diet, you know that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce the amount of calories you consume. But a new study, published in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods—without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes—lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year. For this study, the researchers split the subjects into two diet groups: “healthy low-carb” and “healthy low-fat.” Members of both groups attended classes with dietitians, in which they were trained to eat nutrient-dense, minimally-processed whole foods, cooked at home whenever possible. While people on average lost a significant amount of weight in the study, there was also wide variability in both groups. Some people gained weight, and some lost as much as 50 to 60 pounds. Dr. Gardner, lead author of the study, said that the people who lost the most weight reported that the study had “changed their relationship with food.” They no longer ate in their cars or in front of a screen, and they were cooking more at home and sitting down to eat dinner with their families, for example. “We really stressed to both groups again and again that we wanted them to eat high-quality foods,” Dr. Gardner says. “We told them that we wanted them to minimize added sugar and refined grains and eat more vegetables and whole foods.” The study authors told the subjects not to buy a low-fat brownie just because it says low-fat, or to buy low-carb chips, “because they’re still chips and that’s gaming the system.’” Dr. Gardner said many of the people in the study were surprised—and relieved—that they did not have to restrict or even think about calories. “A couple weeks into the study, people were asking when we were going to tell them how many calories to cut back on,” he said. And months into the study they were grateful that they hadn’t been required to do so, as they had so many times in the past.

TEA FOR CREATIVITY Enjoy the cup and its benefits

In a study published in Food Quality and Preference, a team of psychologists at Peking University, China, conducted tests to determine the effects of tea on cognitive and creative skills. Fifty students with an average age of 23 participated. Half were given a cup of black tea to drink, while the other half drank a glass of water before each test. In the first test, participants had to build an “attractive and creative” construction out of building blocks, while the second required them to invent a “cool” name for a fictional noodle restaurant. The results were judged on their creativity by other students who had not taken part in the study. On average, the tea drinkers scored 6.54 for their building block creations, while water drinkers scored 6.03. Concurrently, in the restaurant name test the tea drinkers scored an average of 4.11 against the water drinkers, who got 3.78. The findings suggest that the hot beverage improves overall cognitive function. “This work contributes to understanding the function of tea on creativity, and offers a new way to investigate the relationship between food and beverage consumption and the improvement of human cognition,” the researchers reported. “Two biological ingredients, caffeine and theanine, have beneficial effects on attention, which is an indispensable part of cognitive function. Also, theanine facilitates long-term-sustained attentional processing rather than short-term moment-to-moment attentional processing.” Whether or not you find the study persuasive, this should not deter you from sitting down to another cup while enjoying a good read of The Wellspring.

52 The Wellspring | April 2018


Yields 12 servings

Prepare the Crust Prepare Meat Tightly wrap the riced Topping and Bake cauliflower in a clean dish Meat Topping

Cauliflower Crust 4.5 (14oz) Heaven & Earth frozen riced cauliflower bags, defrosted 2 eggs 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp dried oregano


1 lb ground beef 1 cup prune butter or plum jam 1 small onion, diced 1/4 cup tomato paste 1/2 cup ketchup 1 tsp salt 1/8 tsp cinnamon 1 cup pine nuts (optional)

towel. Squeeze the towel until the crumbs are dry. If the cauliflower is still cold from the freezer, let it sit out for 20 minutes and squeeze it again. The cauliflower should be very dry or the crust will become soggy. Place the dry crumbs into a bowl; add eggs, salt, and spices. Mix really well until a “dough” forms. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper; set aside. Form a quarter cup of dough into a two- to three-inch round; place onto prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 15 minutes until they start to brown. Remove pan from oven.

Reproduced from Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman with permission from ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD

Photography by Miriam Pascal

Meanwhile, prepare the meat topping: Add all topping ingredients to a large bowl, mixing well to combine. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Spread a quarter cup of meat topping onto each baked round, pressing down so it sticks to the dough. Make sure to spread topping all the way to the edge as the meat shrinks while it cooks. Sprinkle a few pine nuts on each, if using. Bake until the meat is cooked through and browned, approximately 30 minutes.

For these recipes and more, visit:

Eat Well

Nutrition Facts in a Shell By Devorah Isaacson

Here’s the place to check out nutrition labels for the nutrient-dense produce that come in their natural peels-- just so you know what wholesome goodness you’re feeding your family and yourself!




Nutrition Value

Percentage of RDA


27 Kcal



6.20 g



1.70 g


Total Fat

0.10 g



0 mg


Dietary Fiber

3.6 g



16 µg



0.400 mg


Pantothetic Acid

0.165 mg



0.150 mg



0.020 mg



0.050 mg


Vitamin A

36 IU


Vitamin C

62 mg


Vitamin K

0.1 µg



20 mg



350 mg



24 mg



0.129 mg



0.40 mg



19 mg



0.139 mg



46 mg



0.7 mg



0.03 mg





54 The Wellspring | April 2018

Growing up, I always thought kohlrabi was some kind of Hungarian/Yiddish moniker that my parents or grandparents had concocted for the veggie that appeared in all the dishes that nourished the body and warmed the soul. The sound of it so suited its place in the chicken soup pot! Today, as a kohlrabi fan who enjoys researching the origin and nutrition facts for the healthful foods I cook with and consume, I’ve come to realize that despite its exotic name, kohlrabi is in fact becoming a popular vegetable throughout the world. Luckily for us, its hefty peels allow for Pesach consumption, offering us myriad opportunities to enjoy this flavorful vegetable, which is fortuitously in season just now.

Selection Tip

Choose kohlrabi with a bulb that’s free of cracks and unblemished leaves. The bulb should be about 3-4 inches in diameter. Fresh kohlrabi lasts up to several weeks in the fridge. Roasted Kohlrabi Enjoy this flavorful dish, guilt-free! 4 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but recommended) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the kohlrabi into ¼-inch thick slices, then cut each of the slices in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to brown evenly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven to allow the Parmesan cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Technically a form of cabbage, kohlrabi is native to Europe and is sometimes referred to as a German turnip. Kohlrabi is so highly valued in countries and cuisines around the world not only for its diversity in cooking applications, but also because it is full of nutrients and minerals, such as copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium, as well as vitamins, such as vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Kohlrabi is also high in dietary fiber and antioxidant compounds, such as phytochemicals and various carotenes. Kohlrabi is a member of the champion cancerfighting family of cruciferous vegetables. Components of cruciferous vegetables have shown their ability to stop the growth of cancer cells, including tumors of the breast, endometrium, lung, colon, liver, colon, and cervix. A unique aspect of cruciferous vegetables is that they are rich sources of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates, which support detoxification and the production of indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates, which greatly reduce the risk of breast, colon, and lung cancer. These powerful compounds help prevent cancer by enhancing the elimination of carcinogens before they can damage DNA, and by altering cell-signaling pathways in ways that help prevent normal cells from being transformed into cancerous cells. An extensive review of epidemiological studies reported that the majority (67 percent) of 87 case-control studies found an inverse association between cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer risk. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research even includes a recipe for braised kohlrabi on its website as natural cancer prevention. Diets rich in vegetables like kohlrabi protect against cardiovascular disease. A large study of adults ranging in age from 25 years to 74 years showed that there is an inverse association of fruit and vegetable intake with the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in the general U.S. population. In the Journal of Nutrition, a meta-analysis of cohort studies shows that fruit and vegetable consumption is inversely associated with the risk of coronary heart disease. By incorporating

more vegetables like kohlrabi in your diet, you can improve the condition of one of your most vital organs. Like other fruits and vegetables, kohlrabi contains high amounts of water and fiber, which can enhance satiety, reduce energy intake, and consequently decrease body weight. (Another reason to include this veggie in your Pesach menu!) Since obesity is one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes, by including vegetables like kohlrabi in a healthy diet, you can both keep off the weight and directly decrease your likelihood of developing diabetes. Similarly, a person who already has the disease can begin to reverse it naturally and lessen the need for blood sugar– regulating medications in the same way. One study of 2,332 Finnish men showed that higher intakes of fruit, berries, and vegetables including kohlrabi may result in a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common health condition that may lead to health problems like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Over 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, including more than half of all Americans aged 65–74. It is frightening to note that you can have high blood pressure for years without even knowing, since there aren’t always obvious symptoms. One of the best natural ways to lower blood pressure is by following a healthy diet high in vegetables. Low levels of vitamin C have been associated with high blood pressure, as well as gallbladder disease, stroke, some cancers, and arteriosclerosis. Eating kohlrabi regularly significantly boosts your vitamin C intake, since just one cup of kohlrabi fulfills 140 percent of your daily needs. C-reactive protein is produced in the liver and is a blood test marker for inflammation in the body. It’s one of a group of proteins called “acute phase reactants” that increase in response to disease-causing inflammation. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the effects of low, medium, and high intakes of vegetables and fruit on markers of immune functions, including nonspecific markers of inflammation. The study found that a high intake of carotenoid-rich fruit and vegetables, including kohlrabi, reduces plasma C-reactive protein. The lower the level, the lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and other serious inflammatory health issues. This is another great reason to include kohlrabi in your diet regularly.

In Your Plate

• My chicken soup doesn’t taste as rich when that kohlrabi bulb is missing. This vegetable adds deep flavor to the golden soup that my family looks forward to all week. Simply peel and cut in half or quarters and add to the pot. • Kohlrabi soup is one of my favorites for a weeknight dinner. Dice an onion, a leek, carrots, celery, zucchini, and kohlrabi into very small pieces. Sauté for about an hour, add water to cover with salt, pepper, and lots of paprika, and cook for half an hour. Makes for a perfect Chol Hamoed soup. • Toss raw kohlrabi strips or cubes into a salad for added flavor. • Kohlrabi tastes great with Pesach lukshen. Cut into thin strips using a julienne peeler, sauté with spices, and add to noodles for a fabulous side dish. (I even like eating the kohlrabi strips on their own.)

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 55

Living Well

Health Profile By Esther Steinmetz


In this fun column, The Wellspring readers get acquainted with a fellow reader’s health profile, getting a glimpse into the role that health and wellness play in her everyday life and the tidbits of advice that Shaindy Dahan, nutritional counselor at the popular Nutrition by Tanya, offers for improved quality of life.

Age: 48 Location: Pittsburgh, PA Weight: 162 lbs. Height: 5’ 1”  Marital Status: Married almost 29 years, Baruch Hashem! Kids: 5 kids, one grandchild Occupation: Middle and high school Judaics teacher Favorite health food: A crunchy, interesting salad.

What is giving you the crunch? Is it croutons? How about using slivered almonds or celery cubes instead? Favorite junk food: Anything chocolate. You can satisfy this craving with a Grab 1 chocolate bar, or even a chocolate protein shake. Favorite exercise: Biking

That’s great. Try to go uphill for more calorie burn and to build muscle, which speeds up your metabolism and burns fat.

Favorite nutritious dish: Oatmeal and Greek yogurt

Make sure you’re having a low-sugar Greek yogurt (under 10 grams of sugar), or even a plain one. For oatmeal, using steel-cut oats, which need to be cooked, rather than instant oats will keep you a lot fuller for longer, due to the higher fiber content.

My usual bedtime: After midnight.

My usual wake-up time: 8-9:30 a.m., depending on the day

My biggest meal on a usual day: Dinner, with my family.

The soups I usually make: Chicken soup for Shabbos. I would make other kinds but they don’t get eaten.

56 The Wellspring | April 2018

My usual dinner menu: A protein: salmon, meat or chicken, occasionally cheese; a starch: potatoes, rice, or noodles; and a vegetable: roasted broccoli/cauliflower or cut-up veggies.

Perfect. Limit starches to ½ cup measured, cooked.

My weight loss saga: I could eat anything I wanted through the birth of my fourth child, and I would always return to my high-school weight of 107. After that, I developed a condition that required medication, and between that and turning 40, my metabolism dropped like a stone. I’ve tried a lot of different diets, but have not found one I like enough to commit to long-term. I actually did find one, but after sticking with it for four months I developed some medical issues and just couldn’t continue. Even though I lost 22 lbs., I felt my coach was unsupportive.

That sounds terrible. It’s important for you to find a knowledgeable coach who can work with you.

Greatest weight loss challenge: Emotional eating. Also, I like my school wardrobe, and when I lost the 22 lbs. some of my favorite skirts became too loose on me. They’re hard to replace. (My coach didn’t relate to that concern either.)

If you don’t want to invest in buying skirts in a size you think might not fit long term, you could take your school skirts in. But certainly don’t let this issue stop you from losing weight!

The time of year when I find it hardest to watch my weight: Report cards time, when I eat whatever nosh I can get my hands on just to get through the process. And I thought only the students have a hard time.

Can you work on the reports during a time you feel less vulnerable, such as when you’re not tired or stressed? Sometimes waking up at 5 a.m. is more productive than staying up until 2 a.m.

The extent I’ve gone to implement a healthy lifestyle in my home: I try not to buy nosh, and to plan healthy meals.

What I do in my downtime: Read, do crossword puzzles, go shopping, bike, and spend time with family/friends. One place I would love to visit: Australia.

My weight/lifestyle goals: Get down to a healthy BMI (about 130 lbs.) and have the energy to get through my busy days without stress How I would treat myself if I get there: Enjoy fitting into the clothes I bought 1½ years ago when I lost those 22 lbs., and probably buy more clothes.

Shaindy Dahan is a nutrition counselor at Nutrition by Tanya which has locations in Boro Park, Flatbush Williamsburg, Monsey, Lakewood, Five Towns, Monroe and Crown Heights.  

To be interviewed for this column (anonymously) please send your contact information to

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 57

Living Well

At the Dietitian By Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE


Part 1 of this article discussed the possible links between the gluten-free diet and digestive and autoimmune disorders. It also highlighted circumstances in which improvements that may be attributed to the removal of gluten are really due to other factors at play. Part 2 will examine how to practically plan a balanced gluten-free diet.

POTENTIAL NUTRITIONAL PITFALLS OF A GLUTEN-FREE DIET A study evaluating the nutritional intake of women on gluten-free diets found that intakes were below recommended for fiber, iron, and whole grains. In a traditional diet, whole grains serve as a substantial source of fiber, and both whole and enriched grains provide substantial amounts of B vitamins and iron. Most gluten-free packaged foods are produced from corn or rice starches, or refined flour such as white rice flour. While “white versions” of conventional foods that contain gluten are usually enriched with the vitamins that were lost during the removal of the bran and germ, gluten-free food manufacturers rarely fortify foods. Fiber is an integral part of a healthy diet, as it has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Gut bacteria ferment fibers to produce short-chain fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on the cells of the intestinal wall, benefiting individuals with gastrointestinal issues in particular. Because gluten-free grains are usually low in fiber, individuals need to make a focused effort to increase fiber intake from other sources, such as whole non-gluten grains, fruits, and veggies.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR A NUTRITIONALLY-BALANCED, GLUTEN-FREE DIET: • Include gluten-free whole grains, such as whole grain gluten-free breads, brown rice, buckwheat/kasha, quinoa, millet, and specialty gluten-free oats. They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals such as magnesium and selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Keep in mind that some individuals on gluten-free diets have sensitivity even to gluten-free oats, and may need to avoid them. • Beans are an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. Be creative with incorporating beans into your diet. Add dried beans, lentils, or split peas to vegetable soups, try out a chickpea salad with lunch, or prepare your own homemade hummus. • In order to ensure adequate fiber and vitamin/mineral intake, aim to eat 7-9 servings of a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables daily. A serving is a half cup of cooked or 1 cup of raw fruit or vegetable. While all fruits and vegetables provide nutrients for good health, dark leafy greens and orange fruits and vegetables are particularly high in powerful health-promoting antioxidants. Aim for two servings daily of leafy greens, and 1-2 servings of orange produce, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and cantaloupe. • Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin E, essential fats, and minerals such as selenium and magnesium. A handful of nuts daily will boost the nutritional profile of a gluten-free diet.

Below are some gluten-free menu suggestions that incorporate commonly-used whole food options rather than relying on gluten-free packaged food choices: Breakfast: • Gluten-free oats cooked in milk or almond milk • Almond flour-based pancakes (see below for recipe) • Fruit and nut smoothies in a yogurt, milk, or almond milk base

Amazing Almond Flour Pancakes Enjoy this as a filling Chol Hamoed breakfast. Ingredients: 1 cup almond flour 2 Tbsp chocolate chips, or more to taste (optional) ½ tsp baking soda pinch of salt

• Cream of brown rice hot cereal cooked in milk or almond milk

pinch of cinnamon

• Gluten-free whole grain toast with nut butter, cheese, or eggs

1 egg white

Snacks: • Fresh fruit

1 egg 1 Tbsp honey 2 tsp vanilla extract ¼ cup water (or more if needed)

• Homemade or purchased dried fruit and nut bars • Rice cakes with nut butter • Chickpeas • Yogurt with gluten-free granola (homemade or purchased) • Chickpea- or black bean-based “cookies” or “brownies” —many recipes are available on websites or in gluten-free/paleo cookbooks Lunch Ideal: 2-3 cups of a salad containing dark leafy greens, with the following nutrient rich add-ins:

Directions: Preheat a lightly-oiled griddle. Whisk together almond flour, chocolate chips, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Add water, using additional water as needed to create a pancake batter consistency. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto the preheated griddle. Cook until edges are dry, 2-3 min. Flip and cook until browned on the other side 2-3 min.

• Starch: quinoa, roasted sweet potato chunks, roasted butternut squash chunks • Protein: salmon, egg, cheese, tuna, turkey, chicken, black beans or chickpeas (if canned, rinse well) • Fat: nuts/seeds or avocado Dinner • Starch: brown rice or brown rice pasta, kasha, quinoa, millet, bean/pea/lentil soup (legume-based soups also provide added protein) • Protein: chicken, fish, lean beef, fresh turkey roast • Cooked/raw vegetables with oil-based dressing or marinade

Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator with over ten years of experience. She maintains a busy nutrition practice in Lakewood and via phone/skype to numerous international clients, specializing in balanced and sustainable weight loss and nutrition therapy for autoimmune and gastrointestinal issues. She can be reached at 732-364-0064 or through her website:

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 59

Living Well

Monthly Dose By Yaakov Goodman

PUTTING INSOMNIA TO SLEEP NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR OPTIMAL SHUTEYE If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you’re not alone. An estimated 50 to 70 million American adults suffer from chronic sleep deprivation—a problem that only worsens with advancing age. The situation is so significant that the Institute of Medicine referred to insufficient sleep as “an unmet public health problem.” And that was a decade ago. With current estimates claiming that half the US population will suffer from a sleep disorder

sleep deprivation can expect to experience adverse physiological changes in blood pressure, endocrine function, glucose and lipid metabolism, and sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system balance. In contrast, studies show that sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night reduces mortality from all causes. This includes automobile accidents due to drowsiness; drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries

during their lifetime, the situation is no better today. The range of data published during the last decade reveal a horrific, ever-growing epidemic of stress-related insomnia in the US. According to a published study from 2009, only 26% of Americans say they get 8 hours of sleep, and that number is thought to have steadily declined. People suffering from chronic

and 1,550 deaths. There is a high demand for drugs that provide relief, and the market is flooded with various sleeping formulas. But while prescription or over the counter drugs can work for a while, they are accompanied by a long list of side effects that impact quality of life, and many are highly addictive. Adding to the list of concerns are the findings of a recent study on the increased

60 The Wellspring | April 2018

risk of premature mortality associated with the use of these drugs. How much is the right amount of sleep? The answer is it depends on the individual. Moreover, it’s not just the quantity, but rather the quality of your sleep that’s important. You should feel refreshed and energized upon arising. If not, you probably aren’t getting sufficient quality sleep. Poor-quality sleep has a far greater impact on our bodies than simply making us feel fatigued. Research shows that insufficient sleep increases the risk for numerous deadly conditions such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension, and can even lead to a shorter lifespan. It can affect endurance, as well as accelerate the aging process, including leading to an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. Sleep disorders also have profound physiological consequences that contribute to longterm health risks. Sleep deprivation is a factor in weight gain. When the body is chronically deprived of sleep, levels of the stress hormone cortisol tend to rise, especially at the end of the day. This, in turn, raises insulin levels. Insulin promotes a metabolic environment that encourages the storage of fat. Stress, anxiety, and mild depression are the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Together, these unwanted phenomena negatively affect circadian rhythms and modify both sleep duration and sleep quality. Virtually everyone who suffers from a sleep disorder reports increased stress and anxiety in their lives. Stress

Recommended Steps in Combatting Insomnia • Avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. If you have to use medications that may be stimulating, take them long before bedtime. • Try not to take naps during the day. • Avoid eating a large meal in the evening. • Exercise regularly, but try not to exercise close to bedtime. • Reduce stress levels by listening to relaxation tapes, taking warm baths, and meditating. Achieving restful sleep is vital for maintaining health and protecting against disease. A successful program for achieving adequate amounts of healthy, restful sleep involves treating any underlying health conditions, optimizing hormone balance, incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, and utilizing herbs and nutrients that promote relaxation. Maxi Health’s Sleep-O-Max™ has been formulated not only to aid in falling asleep but in remaining soundly asleep, too. The two primary ingredients of this formula are melatonin and L-tryptophan. Let’s explore them from a scientific standpoint. The Melatonin Question Despite the fact that much contro-

versy swirls around melatonin, we will attempt to gain some clarity. Melatonin has been commercially available for almost 30 years and is used by many millions of individuals. Thus, the common argument that “we don't know enough to judge its safety” hardly applies. In researching this article, I could not find any solid evidence of recorded serious side effects due to melatonin supplementation. Rather, there is a wealth of research supporting melatonin’s health benefits, such as its support of healthy bones and its ability to combat Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, melatonin is now used in high doses for cancer treatment by conventional doctors. In treating sleep conditions, it helps a staggering 8 out of 10 insomniacs. Traveling to different time zones often leads to the fatigue and insomnia known as jet lag. Supplementing with melatonin can help prevent or reduce jet lag, particularly when traveling across several time zones. Melatonin helps re-synchronize the body’s circadian rhythms, assisting the traveler in adapting to the local time. In a similar vein, those who work the night shift are often chronically tired due to difficulty falling asleep during the daytime. Supplementing with melatonin has helped improve the length and quality of daytime sleep in these individuals. Many of us experience sleep difficulties on occasion. Insomnia occurs due to a variety of factors, ranging from long hours of work or travel to sleep-disruptive conditions, such as urinary frequency and stressful events. Elderly adults may be particularly susceptible to difficulty sleeping and nighttime awakenings, due to the decline in melatonin levels associated with aging. Melatonin can help promote healthy sleep patterns in many people, regardless of the cause of insomnia.

Tryptophan In addition to melatonin, the second most important hormone involved in the production of normal sleep is the neurotransmitter known as serotonin. Both serotonin and melatonin are produced in the body by tryptophan, which is found in small amounts in certain foods, such as turkey. People who supplement with tryptophan at bedtime are more likely to wake up with increased alertness, to have clearer thinking, and to perform better on attention-requiring tasks. Unlike sleeping pills, tryptophan induces sleepiness but does not impair performance or produce dependence, nor does it make it harder to be roused from sleep when necessary. One study in older adults demonstrated that supplementing with tryptophan caused significant improvement in total sleep time, a decrease in the time taken to fall asleep, and a decrease in sleep fragmentation. Valerian Sleep-O-Max™ contains the herb Valerian, which has been used for centuries to aid in cases of severe insomnia, and even appears to be as effective as some prescription medications for treating insomnia. Acting as a sedative, Valerian makes falling asleep easier and allows the body to go into deeper sleep cycles, without causing a drowsy feeling upon arising. Maxi Health’s natural formula Sleep-O-Max™ is focused on providing both quantity and quality sleep. For children, try the Mel-O-Chew™, this chewable low dose melatonin has helped many thousands of children who find bedtime a challenge. It is important to note that insomnia can be a complex issue. Thus, these formulas may not work for everyone. As always, if you have any concerns, reach out to your health care practitioner.


These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not ibntended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

can set in motion a host of biochemical changes, which in turn can culminate in a vicious cycle that leads to poor sleep, which leads to greater stress. Because of the tremendous impact stress has on sleep, a remedy for poor sleep should include components that also help to lower anxiety and relieve stress. There are non-drug approaches that have been found to promote sleep, while helping alleviate anxiety and stress. We will soon examine each compound individually.


From the Ground Up By Goldy Guttman, MS. ED.

Watch my Growth


Years Old

By age eight, children start getting a sense of their own place in the world and are developing stronger interests and opinions of their own. Your child will be using more sophisticated language (“Mommy words”) to describe ideas and experiences, and can carry on increasingly adult conversations. Concurrently, children of this age are developing the ability to imagine how it feels to be in someone else’s situation. They may focus less on themselves and empathize more with others. Here’s what an eight year old should be doing at this stage of life.

Physical Development You will probably notice that your eight year old has lost much of her childhood clumsiness, and her movements become more graceful and controlled. Gross motor abilities are improved by increased strength in the large muscles of the arms and legs, along with enhanced stamina, coordination, and reaction time. Your child can now do things like changing direction while running, throw more accurately, and jump or climb better. At this age, children revel in roughand-tumble play, such as chasing and mock fights. These physical advances, along with developments in cognitive and social skills, mean that many children now become enthusiastic about playing sports. Almost all eight year olds can dress, brush their teeth, and do their hair without help. They can use many kitchen implements and basic tools, such as a hammer or screwdriver, competently. Children at this age often love to help with cooking, and children’s tool kits may be your son’s go-to toy.

62 The Wellspring | April 2018

Cognitive and Language Development Your child is likely to be fluent in speaking, using all speech sounds, including consonant blends, like the sounds in “thistle”; forming complex sentences with few grammatical errors; and maintaining a good control of rate, pitch, and volume. Language is generally polite and includes phrases like “please” and “thank you” when appropriate. Play is becoming more creative. Your child is developing the ability to think about several things at once and can follow and remember fairly complicated instructions. At this age, children are usually confident at reading and writing, and can create simple stories and compositions. They may have favorite subjects at school and are often enthusiastic about discussing what they want to do when they grow up. Their understanding of number, time, and space concepts is better developed. They generally know the date, can recite days of the week and months in order, count backwards, and understand simple fractions.

Social and Emotional Development Eight year olds are generally independent and outgoing, regaining any confidence lost during the early school years. They are increasingly able to articulate their experiences, thoughts, and feelings, and are usually comfortable and eager to talk on the telephone. They often develop a strong sense of right and wrong (moral sense), and show increasing compassion for others. Friendships are very important now, and children are increasingly alert to what others might think of them.

Entertainment at Eight Here are some activities to encourage developmental growth at this stage: Have your son create a wallet from duct tape. Allow your daughter to follow a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Have your child choose an object in his mind and describe it in detail so you can guess what it is. Tell your child a caption or title of a story and have her draw the plot.

Maximizing This Stage This is an important age for children to develop a sense of competence in what they set out to do. You can help your child by offering encouragement and support for taking on new challenges and by setting achievable personal goals. Attaining targets they have set for themselves helps children develop self-esteem and a sense of internal mastery, rather than relying on approval from others. Promote self-discipline and responsibility by encouraging a child to plan their own schedule, for example finishing homework before going out to play, and to think through possible consequences before embarking on a course of action. If your child makes a mistake, treat it as a learning experience and concentrate on discussing how things could have been done better, rather than on the error itself. Encouraging children to solve their own problems, when it is realistic to do so, helps develop skills that will be needed in adulthood. For example, rather than intervening or suggesting ways to deal with a quarrel with another child, encourage your child to think of how the dispute could be resolved. You can also help your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s developing sense of morality and empathy by talking about the importance of respecting othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; feelings and thinking about how actions might affect them.

Goldy Guttman, Ms. Ed., is an ABA/SEIT therapist who holds a Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Education and has been involved in early childhood intervention for almost a decade.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 63


Health Personality By Shiffy Friedman

a cup of tea with: DR. YAAKOV FREEDMAN OCCUPATION: psychiatrist SINCE: 2008 AGE: 36 LOCATION: Yerushalayim PASSION:

self-growth while doing his part to help Klal Yisrael

WISHES PEOPLE WOULD KNOW THAT: one in three people are affected by mental illness or substance abuse.

Dr. Freedman arrives for our interview not through the elevator, but the stairwell—in jogging shoes. His white shirt is adorned with the straps of a sizable backpack, which I soon learn contains his tefillin, sefarim, and some other necessities. “One of the questions you sent me in preparation for this interview,” Dr. Freedman offers, “was what I believe is the best medication for mental illness. Here’s my answer. It’s exercise.”

I found obstetrics to be a most beautiful, fascinating field and was looking forward to exploring the research in the field of reproductive infertility. But, when my wife gave birth during my third year in medical school, I soon realized that the lifestyle of being on call all the time would be too difficult if I wanted to be the kind of family man I envisioned and I aim to be today.”

This effervescent psychiatrist, whose love of life and mellow personality belie the psychiatrist stereotype by far, lives by his advice, as well. “I park my car at the outskirts of Yerushalayim and walk my way around town all day long. Walking at a clipped pace is one great way to get the daily dose of exercise the body needs to maintain mental and physical health.”

Moving away from the demanding field of obstetrics, Dr. Freedman then opted to become a family doctor. “I envisioned that we’d live in a small community, and I’d be the doctor for everyone there, taking care of both babies and their Bubbies. But, as I was preparing myself for that toward the end of medical school, I found that 10 and 15 minute sessions were too fast for me. I wasn’t interested in racing people through, in seeing 20 kids with earaches every hour. I realized that even though I would get to know the families, I would know them only superficially, and what I wanted most of all was a deeper connection with my patients.” Not surprising,

In his desire to help as many people as possible, Dr. Freedman is eager to share from his wealth of knowledge on the important topic of mental health, and we’re quick to get started on the subject at hand. When I ask him for his age, he replies, “How’s this? Old enough to know a lot of stuff from back in the day, but young enough to still be a decent basketball player. Okay, I’m 36.” But while Dr. Freedman’s responses to my questions are peppered with his trademark humor, it’s evident that this seasoned psychiatrist takes his clients’ lives very seriously. “When I was a kid,” Dr. Freedman takes us back to when his journey toward psychiatry first began, “people used to ask me questions about trying to get out of trouble all the time. They’d sit down on my couch and schmooze with me, jokingly calling me ‘the psychiatrist.’ Later, when I went off to medical school, I thought of becoming an obstetrician.

64 The Wellspring | April 2018

for a people-loving person like Dr. Freedman. “I love schmoozing with my patients,” Dr. Freedman shares. “When my supervisor advised that I become a psychiatrist, I gave the field a try. I enjoyed my rotation, and it was a good deal in terms of the lifestyle. I don’t have to rush through my Yiddishkeit, I can daven with a minyan every day, and I don’t have to give up on my role in the family while still maintaining a meaningful career in the mental health field.” At the outset, Dr. Freedman thought he would engage in research, but once he was done with his training at Harvard Medical School, he finally realized what his dream job would be: to sit with his patients and their families, to offer them answers and recommendations to their most pressing problems, and, most importantly, to empathize and give them hope. Today, Dr. Freedman excels at that, to sit with a patient and say, “This is a terrible situation, but I love you and Hashem loves you too. I hope I’ll be the good shaliach for you.” Having amassed a decade of experience in the field of psychiatry, Dr. Freedman knows his stuff. When I ask him to name the community’s most prevalent mental health issue, he contemplates which one of a few to choose. “OCD in bachurim is definitely something people are starting to pay attention to,” he shares. “A young man who says Shema 35 times has a problem. He needs help.” However, Dr. Freedman is quick to point out how a secular psychiatrist who is unfamiliar with the nuances of our culture can get it all wrong. “When you take a bachur who spends 2.5 hours in the morning adjusting his tefillin to a secular psychiatrist, there’s a good chance that he’ll say he’s normal due to a lack of understanding yiddishkeit. But when you bring him to me or another frum professional,

and I hear that Shacharis takes 40 minutes in his shul, I know something’s not right. Thanks to an understanding of his cultural background, it’s obvious to me that there’s a problem.” There’s another benefit in seeing a frum specialist, Dr. Freedman points out. “He’ll also be more willing to listen to me because he feels I know where he’s from. Today, there are good, frum clinicians who have the ability to diagnose and treat, as well as to discern what’s culture and what’s pathology.” Thankfully, Dr. Freedman reports, the awareness of mental illness is gradually seeping into the community. “As rabbis, rebbetzins, and community leaders become more understanding of what the signs and symptoms of mental illness are, they not only encourage their community members to seek treatment, but they also explain that there’s an achrayus according to halachah to accept psychiatric treatment and to realize that it’s hishtadlus.” He’s happy to report that a number of very prominent rebbetzins have become licensed today because they see the need to help their community members properly. “The more we know about mental illness and how to identify it,” he notes, “the more we can decrease the stigma surrounding it. A frum person might say, ‘I’m a religious woman. How can I have a problem with painkillers?’ Or, ‘I’m a ben Torah. What will this mean to my father who’s a Rav?’ But, the more people understand that mental illness happens, the more it will allow people to accept the need for treatment. And, the more that people get treatment, it will not only save their lives, but the lives of their families too.” To illustrate, Dr. Freedman shares a case of a woman who’s suffering from postpartum depression. “She’s not the only one who’s suffering,” he points out. “Her husband, her children, even her parents are in this too. When a young married man has panic attacks and can’t provide for his family, it’s a problem for everyone involved.” From his serious tone of voice, Dr. Freedman’s empathy with his fellow Yid’s desperate plight is apparent. “It’s sad when people don’t get treatment, especially since good, effective treatments that are backed by scientific research and are affordable and accessible do exist. And they can be provided by frum mental health clinicians. Baruch Hashem, there’s a lot of us out there.” Had Dr. Freedman been the stereotypical psychiatrist, his prescription for treatment would be “medication for all.” However, this consummate healer puts the patient’s recovery above all else. “There is no best medication,” he explains, “because everybody’s different. Every medication has its risks and benefits, and it’s often a question of balancing the pros and cons of every decision with each individual and their loved ones. However,” Dr. Freedman pauses for emphasis before continuing, “as opposed to the fact that there is no one right medication, there are howev-

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 65


Health Personality

er some wrong medications, specifically benzodiazepines (such as Xanax and Klonopin) and painkillers like Percocet. These are problematic medications for many people because they’re not long-term solutions and become quickly addictive with disastrous consequences. Baruch Hashem, the world is becoming more aware of their dangers.” That being said, Dr. Freedman notes that there are some treatments that are effective for everyone, his favorite being exercise. “It’s free and available to everyone,” he says. “Research has found that in some cases exercise is as effective as certain pharmacological treatments. While everyone should check with their doctor that cardiovascular exercise is safe and appropriate for them, doing 30-40 minutes of cardio every day, such as fast walking or swimming, is exceptional both as a treatment and as a preventative strategy for staying both physically and mentally healthy.”

greater than the benefits.” Still, despite the significant drawbacks medication may have for certain people, Dr. Freedman points out a shocking phenomenon. “While there are a number of psychiatrists who are overprescribers, there are a number of primary care providers who are overprescribers, as well. In my mind, the best gift I can give a patient is to tell them that they’re not in need of a psychopharmacological solution for their problem. That happens when I can sit down and speak with the patient and their family and really be able to take responsibility for their treatment.”

"It’s sad when people don’t get treatment, especially since good, effective treatments that are backed by scientific research and are affordable and accessible do exist."

The passion that exudes from his words make it apparent that this is clearly one of Dr. Freedman’s principles. “We have a chiyuv to do this,” he reiterates, “because Hashem gave us only one body and mind. I believe that if a person exercises, there’s a good chance they’ll lower their chances for depression, anxiety, and other conditions. It’s associated with faster recovery and decreased symptoms, as well as improved cognitive functioning. I would dare to say that for most people with depression, if you can get them up and moving, they’ll feel significantly better whether or not they require intensive psychotherapy or the medication component to their treatment.” Because he’s working and learning so much, Dr. Freedman’s applies this advice to his life by walking everywhere—quickly. “Sleep is also very important,” Dr. Freedman adds. “Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep. Ensuring that you get the right amount of sleep is necessary for being able to work through the challenges of daily life, especially for people with mental illness. Good sleep hygiene such as turning off your phone and limiting technology before sleep is crucial.” While the cure for mental illness is not cut and dry, Dr. Freedman shares that for people with a serious mental illness that isn’t responsive to lifestyle modifications (such as sleeping, exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness practices, and skills-based psychotherapy), the role of medication becomes significantly more relevant. In his trademark emesdik fashion, he states, “As a psychiatrist, I think it’s my achrayus to tell people when medications are appropriate and how the benefits outweigh the risks. For many conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia this is certainly the case. But it’s equally important for me to tell my patients when medications are inappropriate—when they won’t help the person, or the side effects are clearly

66 The Wellspring | April 2018

While medication may be detrimental for some, for others, it is unequivocally crucial. “There are many individuals who do exceptionally well with medications, with no significant side effects. Once they’re on the right dosage, they can return to their normal, healthy lives with ongoing medication treatment. To take a stance that medications are a sign of personal weakness, an inability to take responsibility, or an indication that the person is ‘nuts’ is counterproductive and frankly inappropriate.”

Dr. Freedman draws an apt comparison to make this important point. “A patient with diabetes needs exercise and a healthy diet, but insulin might still be a life-saving treatment. To tell such a person not to take insulin because it means they’re ‘weak’ could very well kill them. It’s tremendously detrimental for an untrained professional who is not directly involved in an individual’s treatment to make such a statement. That’s why I always ensure to involve the patient’s loved ones in the treatment, to make sure we’re on the same page. If it’s appropriate or necessary, I involve their rabbanim as well, to make sure that any sheilos that come up are discussed in advance.” Having dealt with thousands of clients with various mental health issues, Dr. Freedman knows the gamut. “People should know that they don’t have to divorce a spouse with post-partum depression or OCD. A rebbi should know that a talmid who’s not coming to class because he’s in the shower a few hours a day is not engaging in this behavior because he doesn’t want to learn, but because he has a mental illness, and that there are treatments to help him out there.” Dr. Freedman can’t stress the importance of mental health awareness enough. “It’s out there,” he emphasizes. “We have an achrayus to help people get help. This is eglah arufah stuff. If we’re watching someone spiral into depression, we have an achrayus as a community to recognize the signs and symptoms, and encourage the family to seek help.” This, he points out, is particularly pertinent in yeshivos, where bachurim are privy to the details of their roommate’s lifestyle. “We want to be able to wholeheartedly say, ‘Our hands did not spill this blood.’ When someone’s not talking

to their loved ones, withdrawing, crying, sad, not eating, up in the middle of night, recognizing the signs of depression can save their life.” So what are the signs and symptoms of mental illness? Hard to list them, says the Doc. “There’s depression in which the person can’t sleep, and depression in which all the person wants to do is sleep. Some depressed people can’t eat, while others only want to eat. Part of my job as a psychiatrist is to sort out what’s genetic, what’s discontent with the person’s current situation, what’s simply a feeling of being overwhelmed after loss, what’s dishonesty, and what’s the role of guilt, such as when a person did something bad they feel horrible about and have thus withdrawn into themselves. There are lots of D words, like discontent, disbelief, dishonesty, that are not necessarily indicative of a clinical depression.” If someone does recognize such symptoms in others, what are they to do? Stroking his beard, Dr. Freedman offers a contemplative response. “The main thing to think about is that if you have questions, it’s always best to ask someone objective. When we’re in a situation itself, we don’t notice whether things are wrong or right, because we’re in it. The objective person is like the grandparents from overseas who come visit the children and see how much they grew. “A woman might not notice how her husband is progressively spiraling into depression, because although he’s out of bed for 5 hours a day today, he was out of bed for 5.5 hours yesterday. A parent might not notice that a child is paranoid and too scared to leave the house, and a sibling might not notice that a brother or sister is spending 3 hours in the bathroom, because last week it was 2 hours. Essentially, when there’s a question, it’s important to ask someone objective, ideally a professional. “I do this in my own work. When I meet someone who comes from a specific shittah, and I don’t know if davening after 11 a.m. is okay for him, I’ll find out from someone in the community. For him it might be a bad sign, but for the next patient it might be totally acceptable and normal as can be.” However, there are some symptoms that everyone should be aware of that require prompt attention. “If someone says they’ll hurt themselves or hurt someone else, or if someone says they’d be better off not living, and certainly if someone is actually hurting themselves or other people, it’s a serious problem. Also, if someone who has a known mental illness exhibits sudden changes in be-

havior, it’s a sure sign of something beneath the surface. It’s important for family members to know that a patient’s mental health team would always rather hear the family’s concerns before there’s a problem than after. Zerizus is crucial in these cases.” According to Dr. Freedman, the key is to have an open discussion. “When there’s no open discussion, there are no solutions. On the other hand, when we talk about these pressing issues, we normalize them and provide hope to people who are suffering. It’s much harder to pick up the pieces than to have an open discussion about available treatment options before the situation reaches a critical boiling point.” Diagnosing and treating mental illness is not all Dr. Freedman does. As a mental health practitioner who has relocated from the States to Eretz Yisrael, Dr. Freedman observes the glaring difference between his two lives. “In America,” he points out, “there’s a much stronger divide between the people who are learning and the people who are working. Here, I’ve been very grateful, with tremendous siyata d’Shmaya, to find the balance.” As is evident in the words of Torah that pepper our conversation, and his alignment with da’as Torah at every step of the way, Dr. Freedman spends four mornings a week learning with a chavrusa. “As far as I know, in America there’s no such thing as a doctor taking off four days a week to sit in the beis midrash for the full morning seder. I couldn’t be more grateful to my wife for supporting me in this as it’s certainly not the most common path for a doctor to choose. But, she’s truly the inspiration behind this and it’s a simple act of hakaras hatov to state it.” Thanks to his impressive Torah background and familiarity of the nuances of the community, Dr. Freedman has become the go-to psychiatrist for many askanim in the frum community. “Recently,” he shares, “I got a phone call from an askan who frequently refers people from a specific chassidus to me. He asked if it’s okay to send a Yekkish bachur to me, to which I replied, with a smile, that I’m here for everyone who needs help, of course, even a Yekke! Immediately afterward, I got eight phone calls in a row from this boy’s rosh yeshivah—the case was that urgent. It turned out that the young man had terrible OCD and was embarrassed to ask for help. We sat down together, and before I outlined a plan of recovery, I made sure to explain that the poor kid isn’t crazy and that he’s actually suffering from a very common neurological condition with behavioral symptoms. “A couple of weeks later,” Dr. Freedman shares, “I got a phone call from this rosh yeshivah, who expressed how happy he is that I’m here in Eretz Yisrael to help people like his student. After he blessed me for dedicating my life toward saving other people’s lives, I told him I really appreciate his berachah, but that he should know that it’s truly my privilege to do this. Back in America I was stuck in an ER in an inner city at 3 in the morning, but here, I have the tremendous zechus of helping my fellow Yidden get back on track to lead the beautiful lives they deserve.” Dr. Freedman can be contacted through The Wellspring.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 67


Emotional Wellness By Esther Moskovitz, LCSW

Dear Me

A letter from your inner child

We may live in the same body, you and I, but sometimes I think that’s where our similarity ends. I really need you. I need you to be in charge of our life and notice when I’m hurt or out of line. Because I’m so spontaneous, sometimes I’m mean to myself, being overly critical. Mostly, I’m a ball of emotions. When things bother me, they really bother me a lot! I’ve got wounds, just like everyone—mostly from early childhood experiences; some from experiences that were less than nurturing and affirming; and even some from being empowered more than was appropriate for my age. Putting the past aside, let’s focus on the present. Right now, I need you to uphold some really important truths in life. So, listen, Functional Adult Me, please stay around. Don’t leave me for too long, ever. 1. Remind me that I’m valuable— even when I mess up, and even when I’m feeling ashamed of myself. But don’t take it too far and try to convince me I’m more special than anyone else; that doesn’t feel safe, either. Keep me in that healthy, loving space where I know I’m special (just because Hashem put me on this planet) and so is everyone else, but that doesn’t take one

iota of special-ness away from me. 2. Keep me in my boundaries. Let me know when someone else is behaving in an inappropriate way toward me. Remind me that if someone else is shaming, blaming, or controlling me, that is their problem and it means nothing about me, and I have no obligation to let that in. And, oh yeah, loving means holding me back from acting inappropriately toward anyone else. Sometimes when I’m upset, I just want to blame someone. Patiently remind me that I need to take responsibility for my own situations in life. 3. Another thing, Functional Adult Me: Stay tuned in to me. Check out how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. There’s no loneliness that is quite as lonely as when you abandon me, and I’m stuck all alone barely knowing how I even feel. Whenever you’re around to hold me through my feelings, they eventually pass. When you disappear, I get stuck. 4. I need you to make sure I get all my needs met, Functional Adult Me. If I can’t do it alone, remind me that I can reach out to other people. And then, if I’m okay, and someone else needs help, I can help them too. But make sure I get my needs met, and

also some of my wants—I’m allowed to have some fun! 5. And lastly, Functional Adult Me: Keep me in line. I’m just a kid—at least that’s how it feels. I love doing things in extremes. It’s only when you’re there for me that you lovingly keep our life in balance. When you run away and leave me to make the decisions, like the time Dina just refused to go to bed, or Shimmy cried for three hours straight, or when my sister-in-law didn’t invite me to the upsherin, I feel flooded and overwhelmed. It feels terrible. Lovingly be there for me, then. I may push you away, but we both know that’s when I need you most. As your inner child, I’m emotional, spontaneous, imperfect, and vulnerable. And I’m also so precious. I need you to lovingly keep all those balls in the air. And if you do that, Functional Adult Me, I promise, I’ll keep reminding you that life is fascinating. I’ll keep us creative and grateful. Because when you’re on board, keeping us healthy and mature, then all that’s left is the love in our heart—for ourselves and for others. Love, Your Inner Child Me

Esther Moskovitz, LCSW, specializes in challenges faced by adults raised by narcissistic or emotionally undeveloped parents using EMDR and the work of Pia Mellody. Her practice is in Monsey, NY and she has an active telephone practice, as well.

68 The Wellspring | April 2018


Supplements related to content in this issue that can improve your health and wellbeing To get a detailed understanding of the following nutritional topics, read more on the page numbers listed below.

MAXI-OMEGA-3™ JOINT FORMULA Related to Health Platform pg. 12

MAXI ACTIVE LAX™ Related to Ask the Nutritionist pg. 26 If you want to finally have a constipation-free Pesach, Maxi Active Lax™ is the one supplement you want to take. Kosher for Pesach, this unique formula contains nutrients like senna leaves, slippery elm bark, and chamomile that enable painless elimination.

As recommended by Rabbi Hirsch Meisels, MaxiOmega-3™ Joint Formula contains just the right combination of nutrients to relieve joint pain. With over 1,000 mg of omega-3 per serving, the main nutrient in this supplement is particularly helpful in relieving the symptoms of arthritis.

HERBAL CALM™ Related to Cup of Tea pg. 64

DIGEST TO THE MAX™ Related to Health Ed pg. 22 The only solution for celiac disease may be adherence to a strictly gluten-free diet. But in addition to maintaining the diet, as well as if you’re suffering from gluten intolerance, Digest to the Max™ can play an important role in ensuring optimal digestion. This unique enzyme formula contains four types of protease, supporting digestion of both dairy and gluten.

In some cases, medication is necessary to treat emotional conditions such as anxiety. At other times, a healthy lifestyle along with a daily dose of Herbal Calm™ helps calm the body and enables the stress to dissipate.

MAXI MAGNESIUM GLYCINATE™ Related to Golden Page pg. 72 While magnesium is crucial for the body’s optimal functioning, most people are lacking in this vital mineral that supports heart health, healthy blood sugar levels, and strong bones, among other benefits. Thus, a daily dose of Maxi Magnesium Glycinate™ is highly recommended, especially for those in the senior population.

Ask for these products at your local health food store.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

Selection Guide


Clean Slate By Shiffy Friedman, MSW, CNWC




If you’re an emotional eater and are bothered by the unhealthy pattern of eating to quiet your emotions, you’ve probably adapted various lifestyle changes regarding your food intake. Hopefully, you’re engaging in inner work to establish which emotions you’re feeling and how to properly defuse them once and for all. But in the meantime, you may have tried limiting your sugar or flour intake, sticking to an eating plan, or eating only three meals per day. These preventative measures are the boundaries you’ve established to fend off another binge episode. Boundaries play an important role in everyone’s life, but especially so for emotional eaters, who have a hard time modulating their emotions. Thus, establishing boundaries regarding food intake is the first step toward healing. As long as you remain within the guidelines, all is well. You’re happy to consume nutritious meals at set times throughout the day, and you may be enjoying the side benefit of weight loss. But what happens when you suddenly find yourself nibbling on chocolate cake after the seudah? What happens when you “fall off” the plan? Let’s talk about what happens once the deed was done and how your emotions can determine whether or not you’ll grab the reins again. The moment after the boundary was breached is where the greatest challenge now lies. How you proceed from here will determine how many more slices of chocolate cake you’ll consume and how much longer it’ll take before you enter your boundaries again.

70 The Wellspring | April 2018

After you’ve committed the deed, how do you feel about yourself? You may find it hard to answer this question because the feeling isn’t pleasant and, by default, you may be tempted to flee as far away from this emotion as possible. But honestly, how do we feel then? We may feel that we failed, and we may associate failure with a lesser value of self. We may feel

The moment after the boundary was breached is where the greatest challenge now lies. disgusted with ourselves that we’re incapable of remaining in control. Whatever the feeling might be, it’s no delight. This, dear readers, this yucky feeling about ourselves is our Mitzrayim. It’s the place where we feel constricted, the place where we feel that we can’t soar. We may be surrounded by so much good, but at that moment, all we can feel is that we’re stuck with this horrible feeling about ourselves. And the truth is that it is this very feeling that led us to cross the boundary in the first place. But what happens next? Recently, my husband shared a profound piece of advice his mashgiach would often tell the bachurim in yeshivah: after you did an aveirah, don’t run to the Kosel. In other words, although davening to Hashem is a beautiful thing, in this case you’re using it as a means of escape. You don’t want to feel what you’re feeling about yourself, so instead of addressing the

pain you’ll engage in feel-good acts. When we skip the protein/starch/ fruit at our next meal or engage in more exercise the next day because we crossed the boundary, we’re doing just that. We’re quashing the emotion that will fester inside and may very soon lead to another binge. Another reaction emotional eaters might have to a breached boundary is to say something like, “I already ate this, so now I can eat that.” This kind of thinking is yet another way to distract ourselves from the pain. Since realizing that I made a mistake may lead to feelings of worthlessness that are too painful to face, I’d rather tell myself that I’m not on a diet. If I’m not on a plan anyway, I can do what I want, right? There’s a reason you overate or made choices that aren’t good for you. It’s time to feel that reason. This doesn’t mean you’re hard on yourself; it means liberating yourself. It means identifying the feeling and begging Hashem to help you let it go. It means believing in yourself that you have the ability to finally leave your galus, once and for all. As an emotional health practitioner, I’m blessed to watch these miracles unfold. Believe that they can happen to you too. With Hashem at your side, you can extricate yourself from your inner Mitzrayim and face your geulah with joy. In this column on emotional eating, Shiffy Friedman, MSW, CNWC, discusses the journey toward a healthy relationship with food from a Torah-based, psychological, and personal perspective.


Combatting Loneliness in the Golden Years Rena Milgraum's Tips


Age Well

Golden Page By Yaakov Goodman




And why your body doesn’t have h of this mine

Magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, is essential for optimal health. Over half of the body’s magnesium is found in bones. The other half is found predominantly inside the body’s cells. Needed for more than 300 duties in our body, magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines and excreted through the kidneys. However, research shows that we’re falling far short of the amount we need for our bodies to function optimally, so much so that many experts believe this is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies today. And this deficiency only accelerates with age. In past generations, when we drew water from natural

springs and wells, minerals such as magnesium were easily accessible. Now, however, our municipal water supplies and bottled, purified water has left us woefully deficient of this essential mineral. Strong Bones and Teeth Magnesium is a dominant mineral that comprises the bone matrix, helping keep bones strong and healthy. In fact, magnesium is a critical element needed to guard against osteoporosis, the decrease in bone mass and bone density that increases the risk and/or incidence of fracture. As the magnesium content of bone mineral decreases, bone crystals become larger and more brittle. In two separate studies published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that inadequate magnesium intake lowered bone mineral density, whereas sufficient magnesium intake increased bone mineral density, thus potentially reducing the risk of osteoporosis and related bone fractures. Magnesium is essential for the proper utilization of calcium, by directing it to the bones and preventing calcification in the arteries, which helps prevent conditions such as kidney stones. In part, magnesium’s salutary effect on bones appears to be in slowing the speed of bone turnover, which is the rate at which new bone replaces old. Increased levels of bone resorption are the primary cause of age-related bone loss, often resulting in osteopenia or osteoporosis. A human study found that magnesium is so crucial to proper bone growth and development that a 50% reduction in dietary magnesium significantly disrupted bone and mineral metabolism. Interestingly, while serum magnesium levels remained constant, there was a significant

72 The Wellspring | April 2018

plemental magnesium intake had a 26% lower stroke risk A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinol- than those with the lowest intake. ogy and Metabolism found that dietary supplements of Studies in women have also demonstrated the dangers magnesium given to young men, slowed bone turnover. of low blood levels of this mineral. In one of these studies, The researchers concluded, “Because bone turnover has women with the lowest blood levels of magnesium were been implicated as a significant etiological factor for bone found to be 34% more likely to have an ischemic stroke than loss, these findings raise the interesting possibility that oral those with higher levels. In another study, low blood magmagnesium supplementation may have beneficial effects nesium levels were associated with an approximately 50% associated with high bone turnover, such as age-related os- greater likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation, a type of teoporosis.” irregular heartbeat that can cause a blood clot that might Together these findings highlight the essential role of lead to a stroke, compared to those with higher levels. magnesium in building and maintaining strong bones at all Magnesium is so critical for helping maintain a regular stages of life. heartbeat that hospitals use intravenous magnesium to

Similar to bones, teeth also have high magnesium content prevent atrial fibrillation following heart bypass surgery. and rely on its presence for their structure. Because of this connection, magnesium supplementation has been found Blood Sugar to improve tooth attachment and help subjects retain more teeth. Aging and obesity induce insulin resistance, which elevates blood sugar levels. High, or even “borderline high,” blood sugar inflicts glycation damage to proteins throughLowers Stroke Risk out the body, preventing their optimal function. Controlling There are numerous factors that can lead to a stroke. blood sugar, both for diabetics and nondiabetics, is a crucial For example, a stroke can occur when blood pressure is too approach to preventing age-related diseases. Magnesium high, weakening cerebral arteries in a way that can induce supplementation improves the body’s response to insulin, bleeding in the brain. which removes sugar from the bloodstream. More commonly, strokes occur when artery linings are damaged, setting up conditions for an artery-blocking clot. They also commonly occur when a heart arrhythmia or artificial heart valve creates a blood clot that travels into a cerebral artery and blocks vital blood flow. Maintaining consistent magnesium levels helps to prevent all of these processes.

It is apparently clear that magnesium holds a central place in human health and is at the very core of combatting age-related and other diseases. This highlights the importance of choosing the correct supplement form. For this reason, we recommend Maxi Health’s Maxi Magnesium Glycinate Capsules™ as the best way to get your daily magnesium. This form of magnesium is bound to an amiIn one study, men with the highest magnesium intake no-acid known as glycine, which transports the magnesium had significantly lower blood pressure and total cholesterol, to the cells, maximizing absorption and preventing any laxand were 61% less likely to have a stroke than those with the ative effect or stomach pain. lowest magnesium intake. And according to a 24-year-long study of nearly 43,000 men, subjects with the highest sup-

Needed for more than 300 duties in our body, magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.

Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 73

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

reduction in bone mineral content.

Age Well

Senior Care By Rena Milgraum, R.N.

An Exodus from Loneliness Maximizing Pesach's family-heavy theme for seniors all year round Say “senior loneliness” and an image of an old man or woman, frail and in less-than-good health, and all by him or herself in a sparsely-furnished room, may come to mind. With that image, you would think that loneliness among seniors is not something that typically would strike the revered elders in our community—our beloved bubbies and zeidies, surrounded by often dozens of living descendants. (And never mind their friends from shul or the block!) But loneliness doesn’t affect just the isolated shut-in with no friends or relatives regularly coming by. It can strike seniors in family-heavy communities too, not unlike the cliché of “being in a crowded room but feeling so alone.” Loneliness among seniors, as a matter of fact, is one of the hottest topics in senior-health policy nowadays, with a growing number of experts calling for greater mainstreaming of this topic in all areas of senior care. So let’s take a look at it.

tionally healthy. Friends keep you going like nothing else. Without friends, one gradually succumbs to loneliness. And I can’t tell you how many studies have indirectly, if not directly, linked loneliness to any number of physical and mental diagnoses among seniors (and everyone else, for that matter).  Loneliness is just not good for your health—and geriatricians nowadays are increasingly asking their senior patients about their social lives, or lack thereof, as part of their overall healthcare. So where seniors are involved, it’s up to those closest to them to be those friends.  Thus, the best thing that children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family friends, and local community members can do for the older individual(s) in their lives is to put a social circle that is as large and as active as possible around each of those honored individuals.

“Either friendship or death!”

Keeping Seder all year long

Sorry for being so shocking, but the Gemara is pretty blunt about the value—both physical and emotional—of having a healthy social life. And what’s true for people of all other ages and stages is all the more true for seniors, who, the cold hard fact is, are simply likelier to have less friends and relatives of their age and stage. And the older they are, the truer this will be. That’s where the rest of us come in. Having friends in your life—people who love you and care about you—is just about the number-one thing you can do to stay physically and emo-

There’s really no better time than Pesach time to talk about senior loneliness. Because what’s a better antidote to senior loneliness than a beloved family patriarch or matriarch sitting at the head of a glorious Seder table, surrounded by married middle-aged children, young adult grandchildren (and their own spouses and children)—all talking, singing, eating, and laughing together?

scene. It contains emotional connection, happiness, validation, and the message that “I count, I’m important”—all critical for emotional and yes, even physical heart health. Divrei Torah and discussions flow, so you’ve got the intellectual stimulation so critical for maintaining mental health. Not to turn this medical article into a dvar Torah, but there is more to the korban Pesach that our ancestors brought just before yetzias Mitzrayim than a one-time mitzvah. The Torah says, “k’chu lachem,” take for yourselves—in the plural, as a group.  The korban Pesach had to be brought and eaten within the family unit, as a group—and, here’s the kicker, this means cultivating family-group relationships all year-round, so that when Seder time comes, you have whom to seat around your table. So, bottom line: Seniors should have the spirit of the Seder table in their lives all year-round. Practical suggestions include: • Dividing weekday visits among all extended family members so that the seniors are visited by family members at least once a day, whether at home or in a care center. Of course, this includes the youngest members of the family. • Respectfully asking seniors for information about things they know, even if you already have that information—the sense of “I’m needed” that you convey is far more important.

I’d like you to picture that image in your mind.

• In the same vein, giving the beloved senior as much responsibility as possible—a job, a key decision, or anything else that lets him or her “run the Seder.”

Now, let’s dissect the various components of this beautiful social/family

Now what’s better for counteracting senior loneliness than that?

Rena Milgraum, R.N. is Director of Patient Services at HamaspikCare, a home-care agency serving seniors and others across New York. She may be reached through the Wellspring.

74 The Wellspring | April 2018

Hundreds of answers. Four locations. One name. Got questions about home care options for your elderly, ill, disabled or bedridden loved ones? Just ask us! HamaspikCare's team of healthcare experts can provide you with the answers you need most. We are a Licensed Home Care Service Agency (LHCSA) faithfully serving the community for over a decade. So give us a call, walk into your local HamaspikCare office or simply send over an email... and ask away.





Home Health Aides |

Personal Care Aides |

Administrative Office 58 ROUTE 59, SUITE 1, MONSEY, NY 10952 Regional Offices 1 HAMASPIK WAY, MONROE, NY 10950 293 DIVISION AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11211 4102 14TH AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11219


Therapy Services |

Social Workers


Legendary Support, Extraordinary Care

1.855.HAMASPIK • •

Age Well

Sage Advice by Aliza Simon

OLDER AND STRONGER Research-based advice to the 40+ population

According to a comprehensive scientific review of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who want to become physically stronger should start with weight training and adding protein to their diets. The review finds that eating more protein, well past the amounts currently recommended, can significantly augment the effects of lifting weights, especially for people past the age of 40. But there is an upper limit to the benefits of protein, the review cautions. On the other hand, any form of protein is likely to be effective, it concludes, not merely high-protein shakes and supplements. Beef, chicken, yogurt, and even protein from peas or quinoa could help us to build larger and stronger muscles. It makes sense that protein in our diets should aid in bulking up muscles in our bodies, since muscles consist mostly of protein. When we lift weights, we stress the muscles and cause minute damage to muscle tissue, which then makes new proteins to heal. But muscles will also readily turn to and slurp up any bonus proteins floating around in the bloodstream. For the review, researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, used databases of published research to look for experiments that included the following criteria: had a duration of at least six weeks, included a control group, and carefully tracked participants’ protein intake, as well as the eventual impacts on their muscle size and strength. They wound up with 49 high-quality past experiments


Wondering how many grams of protein the foods you consume on a daily basis contain? Here’s a starter’s list: Chicken breast Salmon, 1 slice Tuna, 3.5 oz Lima beans, 3.5 oz Milk, 1 cup Egg, 1 whole Almonds, 23 Walnuts, 14

76 The Wellspring | April 2018

27 grams 23 grams 23 grams 8 grams 8 grams 6 grams 6 grams 4.3 grams

that had studied a total of 1,863 people, including men and women, young and old, and experienced weight trainers as well as novices. The sources of the protein in the different studies had varied, as had the amounts and the times of day when people had downed them. To answer the simplest question of whether consuming more protein during weight training led to larger increases in muscle size and strength, the researchers added all of the results together. And the answer was a resounding yes. All those who ate more protein while weight training developed larger and stronger muscles than those who did not. Those who ramped up their protein gained an extra 10 percent or so in strength and about 25 percent in muscle mass compared to the control groups. The researchers also looked for the sweet spot for protein intake, which turned out to be approximately 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This translates to about 130 grams of protein a day for a 175-pound man, approximately 4 servings. Stocking up on protein is especially important for middle-aged and older people, almost none of whom were getting the ideal amount of protein in these studies and who, presumably in consequence, tended to show much smaller gains in strength and muscle size than younger people. So whether you’re doing exercise or not, be aware that protein plays an important role in keeping your muscles from growing old and brittle.

Diary By Rikki Henig

PainFree Pesach

The saga of my intestinal health

This article has been in the writing for one whole year. Although I’m not a writer, I feel that The Wellspring readers would benefit from reading my saga so that others in my situation could avoid the suffering I experienced.  As someone who suffers from digestive issues, stomach pain is my constant companion. While sometimes it’s worse than others, it’s never easy. The pain starts in the lower abdomen and radiates upwards towards the heart. Since this stroke of pain usually hit during or immediately after mealtimes, I suspected that my diet was the culprit.  In my effort to ease my pain, I tried every diet in the book. From low-carb to high-protein to no-wheat and nosweet, juicing, and even fermenting and Fit for Life, I did it all. Understandably, it was very difficult for me to prepare my food, as I worked outside of the house for many hours on a daily basis. But I tried my best anyway and suffered in silence.  And while maintaining these diets while still suffering was challenging in daily life, simchas took the cake. While my family and friends indulged in foods, meats, and delicacies that were entirely off my plan, I would either sit and watch, or find myself eating too. When that happened, I

would spend the next few hours or even days in acute digestive pain. Last winter, a friend who became aware of my suffering introduced me to Maxi Health’s dietary supplement Digest to the Max™, which eases the digestive process for those with gastrointestinal issues. When I called Maxi Health to inquire about the product, the person who took my call explained that some people’s digestive systems are weaker than others, even when they’re following a strict diet regimen. The digestive system, she explained, could be further aggravated by stress, to which I was no stranger. Incredibly, after only one week of taking daily doses, my pain gradually decreased, until it subsided entirely.  When the arrival of Pesach loomed near, I grew anxious wondering how I’d manage without the supplement (which is not kosher for Pesach) for one week straight, especially knowing that the matzos and wine would necessitate digestive aid. However, when I reached out to Maxi Health for advice, I was gratified to hear that they took the trouble of formulating special Kosher for Pesach supplements for easier digestion. With Maxi Stomach & Acid™ and Maxi Active Lax™ in my vitamin chest, I was able to enter the chag feeling calm and liberated. 

How has your health and wellbeing improved thanks to Maxi Health? To receive a free bottle of the supplement that changed your life, send a 50-100 word description of your story to We reserve the right to end this promotion at any time, without notice.

78 The Wellspring | April 2018

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.




Fibromyalgia Definition: noun

A chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas.



Nissan 5778 | The Wellspring 79

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

Behind every capsule is 45 years of research, kashrus, and quality.

Wellspring issue #27  
Wellspring issue #27