CONFERENCE WITH SAREDE RACHEL SWITZER OF BRING THE GYM TO ME
FROM REELING TO HEALING The Making of a Medical Miracle
NEW FEATURE! Public service announcement
PRENATAL NUTRITION Shani Taub explains her "Eat for Two" philosophy
CLEAN SLATE What your eating habits tell about your emotional health
Here's the way to relieve migraine pain naturally
CUP OF TEA In her brand new book, dietitian Leah Wolofsky coaches readers toward constructing their own food plan
ISSUE 34 DECEMBER 2018 KISLEV 5779
Do fried foods have a place in your healthy diet?
Brought to you by:
MENU FOR THAT LITE CHANUKAH NIGHT INTRODUCING HOMEMADE INFUSED OILS TO YOUR KITCHEN
crunchy ey t a l o c o ch
sweet e v i t addic
nk i h t u ... o When y bout mornings a
""כתר ברענגט פאר אייך א מעכטיגע חידוש וואס וועט אייך מאכן לייכטער און באקוועמער דאס צינדן-ליכט ווי קיינמאל !בעפאר
Boro park 3720 14th ave VALET PARKING
Crown heighTS 260 Kingston Ave
Boro park 5309 13th Ave
Lakewood 12 america ave
With multiple reported cases of measles in the community —Do the right thing!
If there is a chance that you did not receive the MMR vaccine or you are not immune to measles, you can schedule an appointment or walk in to our 60th Street facility to get the vaccine, or to have a blood test done to check your immunity.
PROTECT THE PROTECT YOURSELF. COMMUNITY.
718.741.7100 1278 60 TH STREET · BROOKLYN NY 11219 MONDAY-THURSDAY · 9:00AM TO 6:00PM
Are you looking for a natural alternative to Prevacid & Zantac?
Editor In Chief Shiffy Friedman, MSW, CNWC Nutritional Advisory Board Jack Friedman, PhD • Moshe Weinberger • Mimi Schweid Yaakov Goodman • Laura Shammah, MS, RDN Beth Warren, RDN • Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE Nutrition Contributors Tanya Rosen, MS CAI CPT • Shani Taub, CDC 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 • Ruchy Lebovits Rivki Rabinowitz • Chani Edell Creative Director Rivky Schwartz Store Distribution Motty Srugo 718-496-1364
Reflux Relief has been proven to relieve colic and reflux in infants and young children naturally.
Write To Us: 670 Myrtle Ave. Suite 389 Brooklyn, NY 11205 email@example.com www.wellspringmagazine.com 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 www.wellspringmagazine.com Find our products in Health Food Stores near you. Or Call: 718-709-6525 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Editor
Dear Readers, When my neighbor’s mother-in-law recently came to visit, I went downstairs to say hello. The conversation soon turned toward my line of work, during which my friend’s mother-in-law expressed her curiosity regarding our sources of inspiration. “You probably read lots of mainstream health magazines to get ideas,” she assumed, naming several periodicals. I understood her surprise when I said that we don’t. We have to fill close to seventy five pages with relevant, appealing health content every single month, after all. But why would we trudge into the mud to bring you blossoms? While it may appear that our sources for content are limited due to our high hashkafic standards, the miracles we experience every month prove otherwise. In fact, we like to believe that precisely thanks to our commitment to our ideals as the frum community’s only monthly health magazine, The Wellspring enjoys such a beloved presence in thousands of homes, Baruch Hashem. If our specialty would be our research-based, solid content (for which our writers and contributors do peruse academic, peer-reviewed health journals), we would be one of many. It’s the deeper messages concerning the underlying purpose for our quest for health that sets us apart from the myriad glossy health magazines on the mainstream market. On a recent trip to the grocery store, my four-year-old daughter, excited with her newly-acquired skill of number recognition, noticed the number 7 on a bag of mini corn cakes in our cart. “Mommy,” she exclaimed, “I know how many corn cakes are in the bag. Seven!” To which my other preschooler asked, “How can it be that there are only seven?” What a blissful ignorance to live in— a world in which numbers represent quantity, not the frightening monsters that are out to ruin our life, otherwise known as calories. When weight loss is a means toward an end, the steps toward achieving it are constructive. As Laura Shammah explores in this issue’s “HealthEd,” the focus is not calorie counting, only feeding the body the nutrients it needs to thrive. Especially during pregnancy, Shani Taub notes in “Ask the Nutritionist,” the responsibility toward the child being entrusted in our care amplifies the need for proper nutrition. The belief that we’re living for a higher purpose influences every aspect of our lives. An article on medical miracles in a mainstream magazine may leave the reader feeling perplexed. On the one hand, one must be blind not to notice the presence of a Higher Being in this world. On the other hand, acknowledging His existence necessitates a deeper commitment that appears daunting and archaic to those who aren’t connected to it. Thus, like the Ancient Greeks, in order to pacify and distract their conscience, they’re better off circumventing the entire Divine element, attributing medical anomalies to a glitch in science, an unexplained “mystery.” To them, miracles, a clear sign of Hashem’s involvement in every aspect of our lives, are best left unexplored. In The Wellspring, however, we don’t only bring you a feature that spotlights medical miracles, but also an indepth discussion about how our connection to Hashem helps facilitate them. Without this understanding, what is life? Instead of it being a confusing, frightening experience, our strengthened connection turns it into a paradise, regardless of our physical circumstances. Chanukah is the Yom Tov that best conveys the importance of our insulation from secular influences. It’s an eight-day-long celebration of the miracle of our eternity, of the souls that haven’t been tarnished by the centuries of attempted contamination, of the purity that sets us apart from the Greeks, the Germans, the Americans. Nowadays, our exile is not characterized by physical persecution. Instead, our spiritual struggles are real, powerful, overwhelming. How do we keep the flame of our neshamah alive when the forces around us threaten to extinguish it? This issue’s “Torah Wellspring” offers a glimpse of direction regarding this pressing matter. May Hashem’s warm embrace during the Festival of Lights leave you feeling safe and protected all winter long. A freilichen Chanukah,
“Nothing is 100 or 0%. There’s a lot of wiggle room in the middle. Lasting results happen when we take our focus off weight loss and switch it to making the best choices.” To read more about dietitian Leah Wolofsky’s smart philosophy on nutrition, check out her interview in “Cup of Tea” on page 72. Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 7
NOVEMBER 2018 - KISLEV 5779 WELL INFORMED
ISSUE #34 EAT WELL
12 14 16 18
39 48 51
TIDBITS IN THE NEWS By Liba Solomon, CNWC
FIGURES By Miriam Katz
HEALTH ED Counting Calories By Laurah Shammah, MS, RDN
NUTRITION FACTS IN A SHELL This Month: Lemons By Devorah Isaacson
WEALTH OF HEALTH Conference with Sarede Rachel Switzer By Sarah Weinberger
TORAH WELLSPRING By Rabbi Ezra Friedman WELLNESS PLATFORM By Rabbi Hirsch Meisels SECRETS OF A KOSHER DIETITIAN By Beth Warren, RDN HEALTH UPDATES IN THE NEWS By Rikki Samson
LIVING WELL ASK THE NUTRITIONIST Prenatal Nutrition By Shani Taub, CDC IN GOOD SHAPE Exercise for Kids By Syma Kranz, PFC COVER FEATURE From Reeling to Healing By Shiffy Friedman AT THE DIETITIAN GERD By Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE HEALTH PROFILE Client: Zissy By Rachel Esses MONTHLY DOSE The Monstrous Migraine By Yaakov Goodman
26 28 30 62 63 64
The next issue of The Wellspring will appear iy”H on December 26th.
8 The Wellspring | November 2018
SEASONED By Yossi & Malky Levine THYME FOR DINNER By Shiffy Friedman FRESH. By Rivki Rabinowitz
66 69 70 73 74
HEALTH PERSONALITY Leah Wolofsky, Esq. By Shiffy Friedman EMOTIONAL WELLNESS Discipline for Success By Mark Staum, LCSW CHILD DEVELOPMENT Reading & Writing Friedy Singer & Roizy Guttman, OTR/L CLEAN SLATE The Physical- Spiritual Connection By Shiffy Friedman SERIAL DIARY Entry #3 By Zahava List
GOLDEN PAGE Natural Flu Protection By Yaakov Goodman
INKWELL FROM A KINESIOLOGIST 78 MEMOS By Miriam Schweid
Heaven Now on Earth
Have your cup and eat it too.
Non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, and packed with nutrients, our Instant products are hearty meals in convenient on-the-go cups. Just add hot water and stir!
Check for Tongue Tie
will be in one’s mind. Anyone who has ever experienced emotional or mental challenges can well confirm that their brain gets turned into a battlefield. The famine is represented by the thirst for knowledge and desperation for a solution that will calm the person’s mind and put their heart at ease. Kudos to a magazine that has the zechus of easing that famine—through Torah Wellspring, Clean Slate, Emotional Wellness, and in other columns. We want more! R. Weiss
[Issue #32: Cover Feature] Yaffi Lvova mentions her twins’ colic and gas, and that she cut dairy and gluten out of her diet to help the situation. She also mentions that her babies happened to have tongue tie. I too cut out dairy from my diet while I was nursing a few of my children; however it didn’t help. All of my children have tongue tie (as I do—it’s genetic), but at the time I didn’t know enough about it. Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about it, including most doctors and lactation consultants. Tongue tie (and lip tie, which usually goes along with it) can create all sorts of problems, such as painful nursing, insufficient weight gain, difficulty eating solids, speech impediments, and dental problems. I’ve gone through all of these with my children, and I only wish I had had the correct information earlier, because it’s a real shame for such a small piece of skin to cause such big problems! I implore all women who suspect that their children may have tongue or lip ties to consult with an expert in the area, not just a doctor who also happens to snip ties. If anyone needs more information, I can be contacted through the editor. Thanks for keeping our community informed, Debbie Fried
Challenge of Our Times [Emotional Wellness]
I so appreciate every article on emotional and mental well-being covered in The Wellspring. We live in a new world—one of emotional and mental challenges that were hardly ever seen before. The sefarim say that during ikvesa d’meshichah, our current times, the wars waged and famines faced
10 The Wellspring | November 2018
[Issue #32: Ask the Nutritionist ] I emailed a health question to nutritionist Shani Taub, requesting that you publish my letter in her column. Indeed, it appeared in the October issue. I really appreciate the quick turnaround, and Shani's advice was very helpful. Thank you for filling such a lack in the community, and specifically for your prompt responses. Wishing you much success in helping others, S.Z.
Women of Valor
[Issue #32: Cover Feature] I would like to commend you for this beautiful magazine that I look forward to reading on a monthly basis. (As Shiffy Friedman’s former third grade teacher, I couldn’t feel more proud.) I was very touched by the candid conversation you presented with the four women in the health and wellness field— about their individual journeys and how they overcame the obstacles they faced to build something beautiful and then to be of service to others. As a practicing social worker, I too was able to relate. I went to college to educate myself in the field, and yet nothing prepared me more than my own journey to really understand and feel em-
pathy toward my clients. I have learned that we can go from hurting to healing, and then helping. There’s nothing more powerful than someone who takes their challenges, grows from them, and then does something to make a difference in the world. “Whoever saves a single life of a member of Klal Yisroel is as if he saved an entire world!” If we choose to use the challenges and obstacles that Hashem has given us as opportunities for growth, we not only help ourselves get a new lease on life, but we can make a tremendous impact on the world around us and save many lives. Best wishes, Esther Schwarz LSW, MSW
An appreciative reader I would like to commend you for an excellent monthly read. I literally rejoice when I see a new issue of The Wellspring appear in my local health food store. The material you cover is of high quality and its presentation exudes with passion. So thanks so much for filling the void in kosher health media and for broadening my knowledge and awareness. Lots of continued hatzlachah, M.M.
[Issue #30: Cover Feature] Thank you for an amazing publication. The articles are informative, and I love the way you cover so many different aspects pertaining to health. We followed the pickle fermentation instructions and got great results. They were delicious! It would be nice if you would share more fermentation recipes. Thanks, A grateful fan Editor’s Note: Please see this issue’s “Thyme for Dinner” for sauerkraut fermentation instructions.
invites readers to submit letters and comments via regular mail or email to email@example.com. We reserve the right to edit all submissions and will withhold your name upon request. We will honor requests for anonymity, but we cannot consider letters that arrive without contact information.
Public Service Announcement
Have you or someone you know experienced an episode that resulted in a greater awareness concerning a particular health matter? If you would like us to publish it as a service to The Wellspring readers, please send it our way. Anonymity is guaranteed.
Swallow With Water Last Thursday, when my fifteen-year-old son called me from yeshiva to say that he was experiencing chest pain, I told him to come home. I thought I would give him a bowl of hot soup and send him off for a nap, especially since we’d had a late-night wedding the night before. But when he came home, it didn’t take much for me to realize that the situation was more serious. My son, who is particularly blessed with a healthy appetite, could not eat. He was in agony. Swallowing, he told me, was excruciating for him. My husband took my son to the pediatrician first thing the next morning. Based on his understanding that my son was suffering from esophageal ulcers, the doctor prescribed treatment for acid reflux. Only after my my son returned home from the doctor did it dawn on me that his painful situation might be related to the antibiotic medication he had been on for the three weeks before. I immediately phoned the doctor to ask if there might be a connection to this mysterious condition, to which he replied, “Now I’m one step closer to confirming what I had speculated.” To treat his severe case of acne, my son’s dermatologist had put him on a two-month regimen of Doxycycline®, a
very mild antibiotic which, I later found out, many people take when treatment is necessary for an extended period of time. It turned out that my son had taken his pill the night before without any water, contrary to the instructions, which thus caused the inflammatory medication to stay lodged in his esophagus overnight. In my conversation with a GI the next day, he explained that an ulcer could happen for various reasons, including this one—when medication isn’t swallowed according to the instructions, with water and/or food. Although this was the GI’s take on the situation, I was afraid that the ulcers might be a side effect of the medication and thus did not feel comfortable keeping him on it. Whether my fears are founded or not, I would certainly want to remind The Wellspring readers that in order to avoid unnecessary pain and frustration, every medication, including Tylenol® and Advil®, should be taken with lots of water, unless specified otherwise. These instructions are not a joke. Thanks so much for helping spread this awareness, Judy K.
Feel free to shoot us your health-related question to receive an answer from one of the health experts at the Wellspring.
Question: I’m an avid fan of Maxi Health’s Mel-O-Chews™, especially since they work. I don’t give them often to my kids, only on an occasional Motzaei Shabbos after they’ve had a long, late afternoon nap. Lately, I’ve been hearing lots of negative information regarding its usage. People have told me that melatonin supplementation could cause hormonal damage, especially for children in their developing years. Now I’m concerned. Can you please provide solid information regarding the safety or lack thereof of this product? Response: According to Dr. Michael T. Murray, extensive clinical research has proven that melatonin in low dosages is perfectly safe for children. Dr. Murray, who is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on natural medicine, posits that the negative information regarding melatonin supplementation is pure speculation. Clinical studies have not conclusively proven that melatonin supplementation in low doses has any negative long-term effects on children. On the contrary, children who have a hard time falling asleep naturally may be at risk in several ways. “The most important thing for the wellbeing of children is quality sleep, for emotional and physical health. Children who don’t sleep properly are at risk of developing ADHD, anxiety, or mood issues,” says Dr. Debra Babcock, a pediatrician in California who has studied sleep disorders in children at the Stanford Sleep Disorder Center. According to Mayo Clinic, studies show that people who don’t get enough quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep may also affect how fast one recovers if one does get sick. According to Dr. McCarthy of Harvard Health, studies show that deficient sleep in children may contribute to obesity. Children who don’t sleep well are at a much greater risk for health issues than children who are given low dosages—up to 3 mg—of melatonin, which have been proven to be effective and safe for children. To your health, Yaakov Goodman
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 11
Torah Wellspring: Emotional Health By Rabbi Ezra Friedman
TRANSMITTING THE PURITY
WHY ARE WE LOSING SO MANY OF OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN?
Chinuch is a central theme on Chanukah. It’s the time when we celebrate the transmission of purity from one generation to the next—a task that seems painfully impossible to so many nowadays. As in the times of the Chashmonaim, many Yidden, adolescents and adults alike, are leaving Yiddishkeit for seemingly greener pastures. Since many parents find this trend frightening, and rightfully so, let us understand why these precious Yidden are being drawn away from their essence. In attempting to comprehend the issue, some point fingers at technology, others at the bounty of material pleasure that is so easily accessible today. However, materialism, entertainment, easy exposure cannot be the underlying root of the problem. The proof: so many others are living in this very same world and are not addicted to these pleasures. So why are some people drawn to them while others aren’t? As we have previously explained, an attraction to something that is not aligned with Torah values is either a means to fill a void, such as a lack of pleasure which isn’t fulfilled by Yiddishkeit, or to escape pain. If it’s not technology, excess materialism, or exposure at the core of the issue, what is it? If we pay attention, we will observe an interesting phenomenon. On the one hand, ours is a generation that enjoys an abundance of Torah. Judaica store shelves are lined with sefarim on every topic in Judaism. Today, each individual owns the number of sefarim that previously might belong to an entire town. Batei midrash and kollelim dot our streets, and shiurim are being delivered in every shul. Countless seminars and hashkafah classes offer incredible awareness on important subjects. From a chessed perspective, there is a plethora of organizations available to assist fellow Yidden in a crisis of any sort. Since we live in an era of physical comfort, we have the means to fulfill mitzvos in their entirety; gone are the days when all town residents shared one set of arba minim or sat in a communal sukkah. Still, despite the steady influx of knowledge and increased physical means, the struggle to live a vibrant Yiddishkeit is much greater. Formerly, fathers sent their sons to learn with a melamed for only one hour a day, but the fire of Yiddishkeit burned in their hearts. Although Torah knowledge is so much
12 The Wellspring | November 2018
more widespread than in former times, why has Yiddishkeit been reduced to a dry list of rules and regulations for so many? Shouldn’t we be more attracted to Yiddishkeit? Shouldn’t we be more, not less, cognizant of its beauty? To explain this astounding phenomenon, let’s examine the following Gemara (Berachos 20a) that asks precisely this question: What is the difference between our generation and previous ones? Apparently, already 2,000 years ago, our Sages noted a generational decline in Yiddishkeit. Rav Papa asked Abaya, “Why did the Rishonim merit miracles, and in our generation we don’t? When Rabbi Yehudah went to pray for rain, as soon as he removed his shoes to undertake a fast, even before he walked over to the amud, the rain was already falling. But we cry and fast and pray, and there’s still no rain in sight.” The answer is not that later generations saw a decline in Torah knowledge, answered Abaya. On the contrary, he said, “Rabbi Yehudah was only well-versed in Nezikin, not in six tractates of Mishnah as we are.” With every passing generation, people amass greater Torah knowledge. So now that we’ve ruled that out as an explanation for the generation’s decline, what is it? The eye-opening answer our Sages offer is timeless: The difference lies in the mesiras nefesh previous generations possessed, the connection they had to Yiddishkeit. It’s the quality of one’s Yiddishkeit, not the depth of knowledge, that makes all the difference. The Gemara in Chulin expounds on the meaning of quality: In the generations, the hearts of the people were open as wide as the entrance of the heichal of the Beis Hamikdash. Later, like the entrance of the azarah. Today, they write of their times, our hearts are open like the eye of a needle—just a crack. What a fascinating Gemara! In other words, our Sages are telling us that what decreases with each generation is not knowledge, but rather how open our hearts are toward it, how connected we are to our Yiddishkeit. When the Gemara attempts to describe Rabbi Akiva’s greatness, it doesn’t mention his 24,000 talmidim nor that he dedicated 24 years of his life toward Torah study. Rather, our Sages tell us, he was of the peo-
ple whose heart was open as wide as the heichal. If being in touch with our emotions is at the core of our connection to Torah, let’s understand how to come to that place of emotional awareness. We’re accustomed to believe that we’re intellectual beings; the sharper my brain is, the more it will influence my decisions—what I’ll do, where I’ll go, etc. The following study, for which its two lead researchers were rewarded the Nobel Prize in economics, indicates just the opposite. In order to determine what most influences the decision-making process, the researchers honed in on a realm that is seen as the most logic- and number-focused: the stock market. It’s the place we would imagine epitomizes “the more wisdom, the more success.” The researchers spent years following expert brokers, examining the underpinnings of their decisions. Incredibly, they found that in a place we’d expect to be emotionally sterile, it was emotion—not intellect— that ultimately influenced the brokers’ decisions. We rarely quote observational or experimental studies because for matters pertaining to the nefesh, Toras Emes is all we need to establish the facts. Here, we make an exception to prove the phenomenon even from a mainstream perspective. As much as we believe that logic propels our decisions, at the end of the day, what really motivates us is our feelings. What do we mean by feelings? As we have discussed, the human being is a pleasure seeker. To ensure we will aspire to attain the ultimate form of pleasure, lehisaneig al Hashem, we’re created with an internal mechanism to seek pleasure before all else. Pleasure, of course, is completely unrelated to logic. Thus, when we’re faced with a choice, we will always end up choosing the one that gives us more pleasure. You might say, “What do you mean? I do certain things even if I don’t derive pleasure from them.” In those cases, the motivator might be to escape pain, which is a form of pleasure, as well. To illustrate the point, let’s consider a compelling survey of 500 scholarly ba’alei teshuvah, many of whom had held down prestigious positions in academia prior to their return to Yiddishkeit. The subjects were asked various questions regarding the motivation of their life-altering decision to embrace a life of Torah. One would expect that most respondents would credit a class they attended in which the lecturer proved Hashem’s existence or the Torah’s wisdom. But, not one of the 500 attributed their decision to return to a Torah lifestyle to an intellectual awakening. Of course, the rational element played a role in piquing their interest, but the ultimate draw was unanimously based on the good feelings they associated with Yiddishkeit. The more positive we feel toward a certain situation, place, or experience, the more we will be drawn to it. We may offer a compelling logical explanation regarding a certain choice, and the reason may be true, but this was not the ultimate determinant of our choice. We now understand what opens our heart to connect to something: The more positive the emotion we feel toward something, the more connected we are to it. Correspondingly, the more negative the emotion we associate with something, the more we distance our heart from it. In light of this, we can conclude that in order for us or our children to feel connected to Yiddishkeit, brainwork on its own won’t cut it. It’s not about more learning, nor about greater mental investment in figuring out Hashem’s existence. Rather, the better associations we have with Torah and mitzvos, the hap-
pier we are to live by their guidelines. The more we invest in feeling simchah in Yiddishkeit, which creates positive associations for our children, the more they will be’ezras Hashem be connected to the values we cherish. Already in the times of the Chashmonaim, our Sages grappled with the question with which we opened this article. How can it be, they sought to understand, that we have a Beis Hamikdash, we have kohanim, we have the holy avodah, and still, when the Greeks wanted us to join their ranks, so many accepted the invitation? What were they missing? These were Jews who were brought up saying “Asher bachar banu mikol ha’amim” every morning. Our Sages came to the profound conclusion that despite intellectually knowing they were members of the Chosen Nation, what the misyavnim were missing was the simchah of being a Yid. Thus, when the Greeks offered them a lifestyle that would give them a better feeling, they were immediately sold. To counter this lack, the theme of Chanukah is lehodos ulehallel—thanksgiving and praise. Chanukah is the time when we reignite our positive feelings toward Yiddishkeit. It’s a time to awaken our hearts to connect to Hashem, to feel the joy in Yiddishkeit once again. Chanukah is also a time to contemplate our efforts in chinuch. In addition to ensuring that Torah is the most positive element in our own lives, it’s incumbent upon us to inculcate ourselves with a joy so infectious that our children will absorb it by osmosis. If we find it difficult to feel simchah in Yiddishkeit, how can we expect our children to want to continue living in accordance with these values? A renowned mashpiah once said that if a Yid walks on the street with a yarmulke on his head but without reflecting a deep inner simchah on his countenance for those around him to see, he’s causing a chillul Hashem. Just the fact that he has merited to wear a holy object on his head should be reason enough for him to feel joy. If this is true concerning our obligation to positively influence passersby on the street, how much more so concerning our own children, who absorb all their love for Hashem and His Torah in our homes. Embracing Yiddishkeit with joy is the nisayon of our generation. The Vilna Gaon notes that the five chumashim symbolize the 5,000 years since the world’s creation. Sefer Devarim, which represents the last and current millennial, contains many passages regarding the trials characteristic of our times and of the work incumbent upon us to pass them. “Tachas asher lo avadeta es Hashem Elokecha b’simchah—because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, joyfully,” is but one example. It’s no secret that we’re living in the times of ikvesa d’meshichah, the heels of Mashiach. In Maseches Sanhedrin, Rashi explains that the skin on the heel has no chiyus, no life. During these times, our avodah is to bring life and emotion back to our Yiddishkeit. We must transmit this simchah to our children. Let our children see a father who’s excited to make kiddush on Friday night, to light the candles of Chanukah on all eight nights. Let them see a mother who looks forward to prepare for Shabbos, who finds joy in every part of her avodas Hashem. In the merit of our own avodah to light up our children’s lives with a love for Torah, may Hashem help that their positive associations with Yiddishkeit be seared so deeply in their hearts that nothing in the world will bring them more pleasure than fulfilling Hashem’s will.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 13
Wellness Platform By Rabbi Hirsch Meisels
HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE OLIVE LEAF When antibiotics can’t win the war
Olive leaf extract has incredible healing properties, as we mentioned in our last article. In 2013, a laboratory study conducted in Israel revealed the extract’s remarkable antimicrobial power. The scientists placed various bacteria, viruses, and fungi in separate lab dishes and then combined each organism with several droplets of olive leaf extract. Three days later, they found that the extract had completely neutralized the harmful elements, even the infamous E. coli. The power of candida, the viral culprit of yeast infections, was snuffed out in only 24 hours. We can now imagine what this wondrous extract can do to destroy these kinds of harmful elements when they enter the body, before they have a chance to conquer our health. In another lab study, researchers experimented with olive oil extract using fifty different elements that cause infection, like herpes, flu, polio, and salmonella. The olive oil extract miraculously killed each foreign invader, one by one. When we look around, we realize that we’re
constantly surrounded by various illness-inducing organisms, be it the flu, which is all too prevalent in winter, or just the typical cold. While some people seem to bounce out of a bout of illness quickly, others seem to crawl through the process, sometimes laid up in bed for a few days before they gather their strength to move on. At the helm of these issues lies the immune system. Depending on how strong the body’s warrior team is, not only will the ease with which a person reacts to the illness vary, but also how often and to what extent the person gets sick will be determined. One proven way to strengthen the immune system is to ensure that the body receives its daily dose of olive oil extract. In addition to providing 300 mg of olive oil extract in every capsule, Olive Supreme™ contains oregano leaf powder. Both ingredients have similar antiviral, antibacterial, and antiinflammatory properties. Although dozens of research studies have proven oregano’s efficacy against various infections, I have selected the illnesses most common to our current season—colds, flu, and upper respiratory tract infections. Clinical studies have proven that oregano inhibits the development of infections like pneumonia, staph infection, and other respiratory infections. One remarkable benefit this plant offers is that it helps fight the kind of bacteria that even the most prominent
pharmaceutical companies have been struggling to tackle—the “superbugs.” These bacteria, known as “gramnegative,” have outsmarted even the toughest antibiotics. Incredibly, oregano has been proven to fight them most successfully. For this reason, scientists refer to oregano as a “broad spectrum antibacterial.” The word oregano is familiar to most people. If you’re the one in charge of the kitchen, you’ve probably used this spice to achieve that perfect pizza-like flavor in a simple grilled cheese sandwich. But in case you’re becoming excited that your spice cabinet contains the secret to antibacterial healing, I’d like to clarify that this is not the oregano we’re referring to in this article. While the oregano spice is made from the oregano marjoram plant, the leaf powder with healing properties is oregano vulgare. One study in particular that generated a major splash upon its publication in 2001 focused on how oregano plays a role in fighting the bacteria that causes MRSA. One of the reasons why so many people struggle with this infection is because it is caused by a superbug, a hard-to-tackle Staphylococcus. The study, performed in Georgetown University, revealed that oregano was able to eliminate the bacteria even when antibiotics were not successful in doing so. In other words, when antibiotics fall short, oregano takes on the task.
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.
14 The Wellspring | November 2018
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
Research-Based Recommendations By Beth Warren, RDN
SECRETS OF A KOSHER DIETITIAN “Anxiety in the heart of a person dejects it, but a good word gladdens it”
SECRET #8: REMAIN CALM I know we want to roll our eyes when someone says, “You need to be less stressed.” With multiple priorities in our lives and the added burden of financial, personal, or family issues, it’s impossible to be rid of stress. We all know stress is bad. Chronic stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, and depression. However, did you know how significantly stress can affect your weight, not just your overall health? It has been proven that stress causes weight gain because the high level of the stress hormone, cortisol, drives up appetite, increases cravings for junk food and carbohydrates, and causes the body to produce more belly fat. However, a new study shows that stress makes a mess of your metabolism, too. Researchers questioned women about the stress they had encountered on the previous day, then the women were fed a meal containing a large amount of calories (930 total and 60 grams of fat). After they ate, the researchers took blood samples and measured the subjects’ metabolic rate. After 7 hours, the women who reported being stressed burned less fat than they had consumed and had higher levels of insulin, a hormone that contributes to fat storage. Their bodies also burned 104 fewer calories. The effects of this slower metabolism could contribute to approximately 11 pounds of weight gain per year! Before you think your weight loss efforts are hopeless because of the many pressures in your life, fear not. This information is important in helping us work on improving our mindset and tweaking our daily intake of certain foods to accommodate the negative effects of stress. Here are some options: 1. Choose quality fat, and only one fat per meal. Stress causes you to burn less of the fat you eat, which makes it more likely to be stored, especially in your belly. Be mindful of how much and the type of fat you
- (Mishlei 12:25)
consume. For example, avocado, a quality fat that helps burn calories more efficiently, is a great option to add into a salad, along with tuna, veggies, and beans. But if you add mayonnaise to your tuna and oil-based dressing to your salad, as well as the avocado, the fat content in this one meal is too high. 2. Add more veggies for a lower-calorie meal. It’s important to balance your meals with quality carbohydrate, lean protein, and vegetables. However, if you notice your carbohydrate choice is going over one-half cup, cooked, and you’re adding only a few mushrooms or a couple of leaves of spinach to your plate, you may want to ramp up the veggie options. Try adding a non-starchy vegetable soup to help you feel full, and lessen the other portions if they are over the recommended amount. 3. Take a moment before eating. In Secrets #1, we discussed mindful eating. Controlled breathing is shown to effectively lower cortisol levels. Refer back to my initial tips on how to eat more mindfully in order to combat weight gain from stress. 4. Make time for fitness. It may be the last thing you think you have time for, but exercise is a major help in alleviating stress. Try carving out at least 20-30 minutes per day to do some form of activity. My book, Secrets of a Kosher Girl (Post Hill 2018), features many exercise ideas and resources to get you started. It’s unreasonable to expect to have no stress in your life, but you can make it a priority to decrease it. Whatever you decide to do to reduce the pressure and become more calm, make sure it’s something you can do consistently long term. Stress is definitely a top reason why you may be failing to lose weight, but don’t let it become an excuse. By giving more attention to your peace of mind and wellbeing, the positive physical results on your body will follow.
To schedule a nutrition appointment with Beth in the Brooklyn, NYC, NJ locations or virtually, or book an appearance, email beth@ bethwarrennutrition.com or call 347-292-1725. Most insurances accepted. You can also follow her Instagram for healthy eating motivation and recipes @beth_warren
16 The Wellspring | November 2018
,יטלעך ע בי
Boro park 3720 14th ave VALET PARKING
Crown heighTS 260 Kingston Ave
Boro park 5309 13th Ave
נארטיגע און פראכ ג טפול
יט א יי ע
Lakewood 15 america ave
Health Updates in the News By Rikki Samson
LACTATION IS GREAT FOR MOM TOO
Doctors aren’t focusing on these benefits of nursing Most women know that breastfeeding is good for their babies’ health, but research is continually revealing its health benefits for the mothers, too. Nursing mothers reduce their relative risk of breast cancer by 4.3 percent for every 12 months they nurse, in addition to a relative decrease of 7 percent for each birth. Breastfeeding is particularly protective against some of the most aggressive tumors, called hormone receptor-negative or triple-negative tumors, which are more common among African-American women, a study in Breast Cancer and Research Treatment shows. It also lowers the risk by one-third for women who are prone to cancer because of an inherited BRCA1 mutation. Lactating women are also less likely to develop ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and lactation may improve their cardiovascular health. Yet only 16 percent—or fewer than one in five women surveyed—said their doctors had told them that breastfeeding is good for mother as well as baby, according to a new study published in Breastfeeding Medicine. “We have an ounce of prevention that could save lives,” said Dr. Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, the paper’s senior author and an associate professor of medical oncology at Ohio State University in Columbus. “But are we fully educating the mothers when they make this choice?” While companies market infant formula by claiming their products are effective substitutes for breast milk, Dr. Ramaswamy said, “Formula is not going to help women live longer and be there for their families.” The new study surveyed 724 women aged 18 to 50 who had given birth to at least one child. The vast majority of them had breastfed.
Just over half knew before they gave birth that nursing reduced the risk of breast cancer, and over a third of those said the information influenced their decision to breastfeed. But only 120 of the women said that their health care providers had informed them about the implications for their own long-term health. Most of those who knew about the health advantages to nursing moms had gleaned the information from media or their own research. And these women tended to nurse for much longer—13 months on average—than women who did not know about the health implications, who nursed for only nine months on average. Among other benefits, breastfeeding appears to reset the body’s metabolism after pregnancy, improving glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, burning calories, and mobilizing stores of fat that have accumulated during pregnancy, which may explain why women who breastfed have lower rates of diabetes and other problems.
I’M TOO ANXIOUS TO REMEMBER The correlation between stress and memory According to a new study published in Neurology, people with high blood levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” may have poorer memory and thinking skills than those with lower levels. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and is involved in regulating blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, controlling salt and water balance, and other body functions. Researchers gave tests for memory, abstract reasoning, visual perception, and attention to 2,231 people, average age 49 and free of dementia. They recorded blood levels of
18 The Wellspring | November 2018
cortisol and did MRI examinations to assess brain volume and found that, compared with people with average levels of cortisol, those with the highest levels had lower scores on the cognitive tests. In women, but not in men, higher cortisol was also associated with reduced brain volume. The lead author, Dr. Justin B. Echouffo Tcheugui, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, said that the study suggests that even in people without symptoms, higher cortisol levels can be significant. Stress reduction is not only a physical and emotional priority, but a mental one too—if your memory is important to you.
DOES WEATHER PLAY A ROLE IN HEART HEALTH? This study suggests it might
Bad weather doesn’t only affect your mood; a Swedish study published in JAMA Cardiology found that when the weather is bad, more people have heart attacks. Based on their findings, the scientists report that lower temperature, higher wind speeds, and less sunshine are all associated with a greater incidence of heart attack. The link was strongest with temperature. A temperature decrease from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 30 degrees was associated with a 14 percent increased heart attack risk. As the wind speed increased from 0 to 36 miles per hour, there was a 7 percent increase in risk. And when the hours of sunshine without clouds decreased from 10 hours a day to none, heart attack risk went up by 11 percent. The study included 274,029 heart attack patients with complete data on location of the cardiac care unit and time of admission, plus more than 3.5 million data points on weather at each site from 1998 to 2013. “This is a huge study,” said the senior author, Dr. David Erlinge, a professor of cardiology at Lund University in Sweden, “and the data is very robust.” The authors propose several possible mechanisms. Flu is associated with heart attack and is more common in winter; changes in physical activity and diet in colder weather may affect heart health; and depression, which can be caused by reduced hours of sunshine, also increases cardiac risk. Whether this new research seems plausible or not, it’s always nice to dream of the bright summer days in the far-off future.
“KIDS, WAKE UP!”
More effective than a smoke alarm While it’s always a good idea to make sure that the smoke alarm in your home is in good shape, taking this precaution in the days before Chanukah is vital. But a randomized trial published in the Journal of Pediatrics is suggesting an even more effective alarm system: A mother’s recorded voice will wake children and get them out of the room much faster than a standard smoke alarm. Researchers recruited 176 5- to 12-year-olds old to test alarms. They taught the children a simulated escape procedure: Get out of bed at the alarm, walk to the door, and leave the room. They monitored the children with EEG electrodes until they entered a deep stage of sleep. Then they set off either a standard tone alarm or one of three versions of the mother’s recorded voice shouting instructions and the child’s name. Remarkably, the study found that the tone alarm woke the children about 50 percent of the time, and it took them an average of nearly five minutes to get out of the room. With the mother’s voice—shouting names, instructions, or both—almost 90 percent of the children awoke and were out of the room in an average of under 30 seconds. Here’s a mom wishing it would work that well on a regular morning, too.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 19
Figures By Miriam Katz
Ode to Oils Which one is best for you?
1 calories 120 13 Tablespoon of every oil has about
grams of fat
77� 14� 375-470˚F monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
smoke point—the temperature at which oils start to break down, lose nutrients, and develop off flavors.
18� 9� 220˚F
monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
smoke point— (don’t use for cooking)
20 The Wellspring | November 2018
61� 7� 400˚F
monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
71� 12� 400˚F
monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
soybean Oil (vegetable)
24� 15� 450˚F
monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
smoke point (Stay away from this oil because it’s almost always refined and typically found in processed foods because it’s so readily available and cheap.) Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 21
Health Ed By Laura Shammah, MS, RDN
Counting Your Blessings Is Much More Gratifying Than Counting Calories Does budgeting your meals down to the last calorie seem like the best way to shed pounds? Getting healthy is about more than the numbers. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about calorie counting and the path toward sustainable, healthy weight loss.
True or False: The only reason people gain or lose weight is because of calories.
Answer: False. This is simply wrong, because our bodies are much more complex than a calculator. Different foods affect hunger and hormones in different ways, and calories are not all equal. For this reason, the careful math of calorie counting isn’t doing you any favors.
Which of these is a drawback of calorie counting? A. Focusing on calories often means you restrict healthy foods. B. It steals your joy.
Answer: E Focusing on calories often results in restricting healthy foods, especially when it comes to fats. We often omit higher-fat foods simply because they are higher in calories, without considering their benefits, such as promoting a fuller feeling for longer or contributing to smooth skin. Ignore calorie counts for all foods, but especially real foods that are high in fat, such as avocado, olives, nuts, and seeds. Another example is the egg. A whole egg is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. However, many people throw out the egg yolk, which contains 50 calories, and eat only the white, which contains 20 calories, thinking this leads to weight loss. However, one large egg white contains approximately 9% DV of selenium, but does not contain any other vitamins or minerals. Egg yolks, on the other hand, have high concentrates of vitamins A, D, E, and K, and thus keep you fuller longer. If you see food as a set of rules, you slowly lose touch with the feelings of satiety and pleasure food can bring. Think about it: when a friend asks you what you ate for dinner, you don't respond, “400 calories,” but, “Chicken and veggies.” Take this as a hint to think about food, and how what you consume makes you feel. Are you full a few hours later? Is your stomach settled? Did you enjoy the taste? Regarding labels, it’s important to note that labeling laws allow a 20% margin of error on the nutrition facts panel. That means your 100-calorie snack pack could in fact contain 119 calories. Or that 500-calorie muffin could be nearly 600 calories. Legally. When you’re focused on the number of calories you’re eat-
22 The Wellspring | November 2018
C. Labels aren’t always accurate. D. It can put you on a binge/starve cycle. E. All of the above. ing at every meal, it can be tempting to cut back at breakfast and lunch and “save” calories for a big dinner. This will set you up for overstuffing yourself, which is uncomfortable, and goes against your body’s natural rhythm. You should walk away from a meal feeling you have energy, not that you need to sit down and loosen your skirt. Similarly, people overeat at lunch because they feel they need to make it through the afternoon. But it’s good to feel hungry three to four hours after a meal. That’s what snacks are for. Calorie counters can tend to get obsessive, which can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, or even an eating disorder. When you first start a diet, calorie counting can help you stay focused and realistic about portion sizes. But as people progress and hit a plateau, sometimes it can trigger them to over-scrutinize their meals’ calorie counts or become discouraged about a lack of change on the scale. Calorie counting should serve as a guideline, but true change comes from adopting a healthier lifestyle, in which the occasional heavy eating day is totally fine. Thinking about food shouldn’t be stressful. The change we should make is our definition of healthy eating. Honestly, I don’t have time or energy to calculate everything that goes into my mouth. That probably sounds odd, since my life’s work is helping people improve their health by eating better, but I firmly believe this can be done, and is best done, without counting calories. So now you might be wondering: If I think calorie counting is such a waste of time, what do you do instead? How do you prevent yourself from eating too much? How do you stay at the same weight, year after year? My answer is simple. Proceed with the quiz to find out more.
True or False: Listening to your body helps keep your healthy eating in check.
Answer: True. Listening to your body can be easier said than done. In fact, many of my clients are intimidated to follow the tips above, because they come to me after battling disordered eating habits. I want them to be able to listen to their body, but after periods of overeating and OCD eating habits, they feel they can’t identify true hunger, fullness, or other cues the body gives. If you’re in a similar place, or worry for any reason that you won’t be able to tell the difference between hunger and emotion, I encourage you to try listening to your body anyway. Like many things in life, patience may be required, but a process of trial and error, coupled with a little self-compassion, is the best path back to a healthier relationship with your body. The more you listen, the more feedback your body will provide—and you will be on the path back to nutrition sanity.
Here are 10 more things to do instead of counting calories: 1. Eat when you are hungry and before being famished. Never let more than four hours go by without eating. 2. Stop eating when you’re satisfied, and before you’re stuffed. 3. Eat foods that you’re in the mood to eat and make you feel good. 4. Pay full attention to the meal in front of you. 5. Notice the sensations in your body before, during, and after eating. 6. Sit down when you eat. 7. Chew every bite before taking another. Eat slowly. 8. Savor the flavors, texture, mouth feel, sounds, richness, crunchiness or softness, saltiness or sweetness of what you eat. 9. Make an effort to eat healthy foods, and make an equal effort to eat the healthy foods that taste good to you. 10. Sometimes choose to eat foods purely for the pleasure of eating them, even when they are not “healthy.” Aim to eat 80% of your day healthfully, leaving a 20% margin for whatever you want.
I stopped feeling like a defiant dietitian when I let go of the calorie-counting obsession. There’s a certain sense of freedom that comes from eating in the way we are meant to eat. It’s sustainable and enjoyable. It frees up so much time and energy to spend on things that actually matter to you. And in the process, your body will naturally find a healthy weight. It’s empowering to know that your body knows best. It validates all the signals your body sends you moment to moment, even the urge to eat a little something extra at the end of a meal.
It had to happen. Once digital-electronic calorie tracking became easily accessible, billions of diet-obsessed people began fixating over how many calories they were putting into their bodies every day. Of course, the App did not cause the caloriecounting obsession; rather it allowed the already compulsive mind to record the caloric worth of every morsel of food consumed. These Apps take out the guesswork from figuring out how many calories six jellybeans or a stalk of celery contain. And none of this data has to be written down, since it’s all on the App. An App that advises the eater to record his minute-to-minute calorie intake may be useful for the diet newbie, the dieter in denial, and the dieter who isn’t losing weight. Keeping a daily record of calories consumed, and perhaps calories expended through physical activity, will make losing weight more scientific and controllable. One can’t pretend or hope that a recently-devoured snack has fewer calories than it actually contains, or blame lack of weight loss to bad luck. No longer is it necessary to pore over a thick book of calorie counts to work out a meal plan that meets your calorie budget, or add up at the end of the day how many calories you’ve consumed. The App will do all that for you, and perhaps motivate you to use up 400 or 500 calories through exercise so you can indulge in a treat and still lose weight. But despite the benefits of such an App, calorie counting is not a foolproof path toward weight loss. If you've been relying on it on a steady basis, with the list of disadvantages listed in this article, you may want to rethink your approach.
Laura Shammah MS, RDN, has been operating a private practice in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Her clientele runs the gamut from people with eating disorders to those dealing with hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer. She also helps clients who run in marathons or are looking to lose or gain weight in a healthy way. Her nutritional guidance is published in MaryAnne Cohen’s book Lasagna for Lunch: Declaring Peace With Emotional Eating. Laura can be reached at 718-376-0062 or Laurashammah@aol.com.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 23
Wealth of Health By Sarah Weinberger
conference with: SAREDE RACHEL SWITZER FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR AT “BRING THE GYM TO ME”
SERVICE: Matching up clients to fitness instructors
LOCATION: Brooklyn, New York MOTTO: Why go to the gym when we can bring it to you?
Sarede began her fitness career teaching yoga classes in private homes in her local community in Crown Heights. As her popularity as an instructor and teacher trainer grew, so did the demand for more and varied fitness classes. To supply the demand, she first opened a fitness center. When she realized that every individual has unique fitness as well as scheduling needs, she took the initiative further to provide a unique service to even those who are not in proximity to her gym. As the director of Bring the Gym to Me, Sarede, together with her professional fitness team, offers a novel opportunity for anyone and everyone to engage in physical exercise—in the right place, at the right time.
WAS FITNESS ALWAYS A PASSION FOR YOU? As a kid, I was into fitness, but not in any major way. Both my parents jogged a lot, so I saw jogging as a fun activity. Later, when I was living in Montreal as a young adult, I had my first introduction to yoga. My roommate at the time was working on becoming a yoga teacher trainer, and she kept encouraging me to try it. But I kept declining her offers.
WHY WERE YOU ANTAGONISTIC TO THE IDEA OF YOGA? I was really against it because I didn’t think it was real exercise. I looked at is as just a lot of different breathing exercises. But one day, since she had to practice on someone, I consented to give it a try. My friend told me to stand up straight and stretch my fingers to my toes. I couldn’t even reach them. She touched my back, guiding me when to inhale and exhale, encouraging me to reach a little farther. She did this a few times, and within seconds, my hands were touching my toes. I thought this was magic. I bought three different programs to start teaching myself yoga. The first two were really boring, not my style. The third one, Power Yoga level 1, was perfect for
24 The Wellspring | November 2018
me. I loved the exercises, and also the physical and mental results. This piqued my interest, so when I completed the first level, I graduated to the other two.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF EXERCISE? There are many, but its positive effects on mental health appeal most to me. I recently read that working out regularly has been shown to have a more powerful effect of preventing dementia and cognitive decline than doing mind puzzles like crosswords. Exercise regulates the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which stabilizes mood and thus can help in treatment of anxiety and even depression. Physical activity also provides increased energy. In addition, exercise supports weight maintenance not only because of the calories burned during the workout, but also because the process of building muscle causes the body to continue to burn calories even days later as the muscle restores itself and grows stronger. Another great benefit of exercise is that since it helps the person be more in touch with their body, it encourages other healthy lifestyle habits. Other benefits include improved mobility and agility, the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, and improved balance.
ARE YOU CERTIFIED AS A TRAINER OF OTHER EXERCISES? Once I was leading yoga classes on a steady basis, people started asking me if I would teach other classes. I wasn’t interested in getting certified at the time, but I like to help people do what they enjoy, so I
started hiring teachers to teach different classes in the space I had rented for my own classes. I turned this into a business that expanded from my own teaching. In this way, I was able to offer classes for kids and men, as well as various fitness classes outside of my domain.
WHEN DID YOU COME UP WITH THE BRING THE GYM TO ME CONCEPT? I realized that I was limited in how much I could fill the different needs of the clients at the gym. Every member has different fitness preferences and a different schedule, and in order to please everyone, I would need to have many different classes running at the same time. Rather than finding ways to bring everyone to a class that works for them, I realized that I could bring the gym to them instead.
HOW DOES YOUR SERVICE WORK? I work with a network of over 500 expert and certified instructors, male and female, all over the United States, as well as in Canada. Each of them specializes in a particular area of fitness. When a prospective client calls us, I offer a free phone consultation to help determine their best fitness path based on their fitness level, fitness goals, and preferred workout style. We then pair them up with the fitness instructor who will accommodate all of those needs for them—at a location of their choice.
ISN’T THIS ARRANGEMENT MUCH MORE PRICEY THAN GOING TO A FITNESS STUDIO? If someone’s taking a totally private instructor, it is. But when five women team up and split the cost, they get to have a class at the time that fits their schedule, in their home or
neighborhood, and in a much more personalized style than in a studio. Our instructors offer customized, hands-on workouts in the privacy of the client’s home or office. Also, if someone has a physical condition that makes going to the gym more difficult or complicated, this option suits their needs perfectly. Many of our trainers have extensive experience and knowledge about most physical conditions and limitations that might restrict someone from attending a standard class at a public gym.
IS YOUR SERVICE LIMITED TO THE TRI-STATE AREA? Although most of our trainers live here, our network has become so extensive that even if someone from Ohio reaches out for an instructor, I can find them one.
WITH SO MUCH ARRANGING TO DO, DO YOU STILL GET TO TEACH YOUR CLASSES? For a while after I got busy organizing this service, I was still teaching yoga. But right now, my work is comprised entirely of managing other classes.
HOW ABOUT YOUR OWN EXERCISE? ARE YOU STILL MAKING TIME FOR THAT? Yoga helps me deal with all the stresses that come up in my day. It helps me clear my mind so I can daven properly and be more mindful of my service of Hashem. Yoga is a great way for me to boost my motivation to do what I’m doing; to help people make their body a healthy vessel for their soul. Sarede can be contacted through The Wellspring.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 25
Ask the Nutritionist By Shani Taub, CDC
Demystifying “eating for two”
While leading a healthy lifestyle has always been important to me, now that I’m expecting a baby, I would like to give my diet the special attention it deserves. Is there truth to the common advice of “eat for two”? With all the different opinions I’ve heard on what constitutes a healthy diet during pregnancy, I would like to hear your take on the issue.
I commend you for giving diet during pregnancy the attention it deserves. The food you eat during this time not only nourishes your own body, but also provides vital nutrients to your child at the most crucial period of its development. Research has found that various birth
While both mother and baby draw nutrients from the mother’s diet, this does not mean that expectant women should be “eating for two.” It’s true that she will need increased amounts of many essential nutrients, including protein, folate, and iron, but she does not need twice the calories. An extra 350-500 calories per day during the second and third trimesters should suffice. Enjoy these calories in healthy foods, such as a handful or two of nuts, extra fruits, or a larger salad. Consuming more than this amount leads to the excess weight gain that contributes to postpartum blues later on.
defects, such as spina bifida, are directly linked to a lack of adequate nutrition in the mother.
Weight-related stress is not the only repercussion of “eating for two.” Excess weight gain during pregnancy has been linked to many complications and diseases, including gestational diabetes, as well as an increase in the risk of birth complications. One study found that babies of mothers who eat junk food while expecting are more likely to be addicted to a high-fat, high-sugar diet. When an expectant mother eats three nourishing meals a day and ups her caloric intake with the inclusion of more healthful—not processed— foods, both she and her baby will benefit.
In most cases, even if a woman’s body does not receive more nutrients than usual during pregnancy, Hashem orchestrates that the child will develop as it should. However, the mother might suffer the consequences. Nutrient deficiency in a woman in her childbearing years primarily presents itself in weakness in the teeth and hair, generally due to a lack of calcium. Thus, eating properly during pregnancy is not only crucial for the child, but also for your own health.
That said, eating healthfully during pregnancy may be especially challenging to most women. Exhaustion, nausea, and other healthy symptoms generally reduce a woman’s appetite for healthful foods and increase the appetite for foods with a high caloric content, such as chocolate and cake. At such times, sticking to a healthy diet is not simple. But what greater baby gift can you give yourself than a healthy body and decreased post-birth weight-related stress?
26 The Wellspring | November 2018
Recommended foods during pregnancy: FRUITS If you’re craving sweets, try not to make a habit of reaching for a candy bar; reach for a fruit instead. It offers the sweetness you crave and the nutrition you need. The American Pregnancy Association recommends eating two to four servings of fruit and four servings of vegetables daily. 1. Oranges They’re packed with vitamin C, folate, and fiber, and since they’re nearly 90 percent water, they’ll also help you meet your daily fluid needs (skimping on fluid intake can leave you feeling fatigued). 2. Mangoes Mangoes are another great source of vitamin C. One cup gives you 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Mangoes are also high in vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency at birth is associated with lower immunity and a higher risk of complications like diarrhea and respiratory infections. 3. Avocados Avocados have more folate than other fruits. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin K, fiber, choline, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Some women report avocados help relieve nausea, possibly because of the potassium and magnesium. Potassium may also help relieve leg cramps, a common pregnancy symptom that is often caused by low potassium and magnesium. 4. Bananas Bananas are rich in potassium and offer quick energy to fight off pregnancy fatigue. They’re also easy on your stomach if you’re nauseous. Slice them into cereal or whip one into a breakfast smoothie with yogurt, berries, ice, and a splash of orange juice. BEANS AND LENTILS All women need 10 extra grams of protein a day during pregnancy (for a total of at least 60 grams). Beans and lentils are an excellent source, containing approximately 15 grams per cup. They’re also high in fiber, which helps combat constipation. And 1 cup of cooked lentils meets half of your daily folate requirement.
LEAN MEAT Your daily iron requirement doubles during pregnancy, so it’s important to include plenty of iron-rich foods into your diet. If you don’t have good iron stores, you’re more likely to feel tired. Meat, chicken, and liver deliver a form of iron that’s easily absorbed by your body. CHEESE Certain cheese varieties such as cheddar and mozzarella can be a big help in meeting your calcium requirements, as each ounce contains between 150 and 200 milligrams. Cheese is also high in protein. EGGS Many expectant women develop an aversion to meat. Eggs are an excellent alternative protein source, since they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. There’s nothing better for a quick dinner than an omelet with lots of chopped vegetables and a bit of cheese. If cooking aromas make you feel sick, hard-boil a batch of eggs to keep on hand in the refrigerator. Eat them whole for grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks, or chop them into green salads. GREENS Cooked spinach has high levels of folate and iron, and kale and turnip greens are both good calcium sources. Increase the nutrient value of your salads by passing up traditional iceberg in favor of darker-colored lettuces (the deep colors signal higher vitamin content). You can also add greens to a sandwich or stir them into soups and pasta dishes. NUTS Fat is critical for your baby’s brain development and also helps keep you fuller longer. Experts recommend replacing some saturated fats (such as those found in meat and butter) with unsaturated fats, e.g., the heart-healthy fat found in nuts. But because they are high in fat and calories, stick to 1-ounce servings of nuts and 2-tablespoon servings of nut butters.
Foods to avoid or minimize during pregnancy: 1. Fish with high mercury content, such as albacore tuna 2. Undercooked or raw fish 3. Raw eggs 4. Unwashed produce 5. Alcohol 6. Processed junk food Please send your questions to the nutritionist to firstname.lastname@example.org. Shani Taub, CDC, has been practicing as a certified nutritionist in Lakewood for almost a decade, meeting with clients in person and on the phone. She also owns the highly popular Shani Taub food line, which carries healthy, approved, pre-measured foods and delicacies sold at supermarkets and restaurants.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 27
In Good Shape By Syma Kranz, PFC
Snow-Covered Playgrounds Compensating for our kids’ inactivity
With the winter frost settling in not only on our trees and lawns, but also on our children’s outdoor gym—the playground—it’s a good time to explore the different exercises we can encourage them to do indoors. Exercise is a crucial component in a child’s healthy lifestyle just as much as in an adult’s. It helps them develop better coordination, balance, strength, and even confidence. The good news is that children naturally incorporate physical activity into many of their daily routines, contrary to the sedentary lifestyle characteristic of today’s adult. However, when the playground is out of bounds due to weather conditions, it’s important to compensate for the lack of exercise your children may be experiencing. Here are six great ways for you to encourage physical activity in children especially during the winter:
• MAKE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PART OF THE DAILY ROUTINE. From household chores to an after-dinner walk, keep your family active every day. On days that you’re indoors, turn up the music and dance around the dining room table. To keep the spirits soaring, switch the choreography at the end of the chorus.
• ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR FREE PLAY. Kids can burn plenty of calories and have loads of fun when left to their own devices. Even in snowy weather, snowball fights and building snowmen is fun and healthy. • KEEP A VARIETY OF GAMES AND SPORTS 28 The Wellspring | November 2018
EQUIPMENT ON HAND. It doesn’t have to be expensive— an assortment of balls, hula-hoops, and jump ropes can keep kids busy for hours.
• BE ACTIVE TOGETHER. It’ll get you moving, and kids love to play with their parents. Remember: you’ll help show your kids that exercise is important by regularly exercising yourself. • MOMMY GYM! Here are 8 fitness moves you can teach your children and do together, 10 of each or choose their favorite ones.
PLANKING Put your elbows on the floor, rise up on the tips of your toes, and keep your back straight and your abs tight in a line. Hold that position as long as you can. See if your kids can make it to 30 seconds!
PUSH-UPS Keep your abs tight and your back straight. You can do this with a straight or bent knee.
LUNGES Take a step. Touch your back knee to the floor and make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past the toes.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS Start in a push-up position, then alternate, bringing one foot at a time forward toward your armpit and then extending it back out.
SQUATS Put your feet shoulders’ width apart and do deep knee bends as if you’re sitting down on an invisible box. Put your arms out. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes.
CRUNCHES Sit-ups, but not all the way from floor to knee. Just curl your chest toward your knees.
BUTTERFLY KICKS Lie on your back. Keeping your abs tight, raise your feet just barely off the floor and flutter-kick them.
V-UPS This one’s like a sit-up, but in the shape of a V. Lie back, extend your arms out above your head on the floor, then lift your legs and raise your torso and hands until you make a V. Reach toward your feet, then back down again.
Physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that each day they: • get 1 hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days; • participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day; • avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more, unless sleeping.
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.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 29
30 The Wellspring | November 2018
g n i l Ree To
g n i l Hea The pain of a medical nisayon knows no bounds. Gripped by fear, the patient and their loved ones seek to make sense of the dark reality they have been plunged into. Is there anything they can do to facilitate a miracle?
By Shiffy Friedman
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 31
In November 2017, when Miri’s six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, she was overcome by profound devastation. There were moments when the pain was so agonizing, she felt her heart was being ripped out of her chest. One day, little Hadassah was like any other kid, happily waving to Miri from the school bus as it carried her away for another day of routine learning and play. The next, she was a lethargic heap, lying weakly on the couch, her eyes glistening with a furious fever. And then came the diagnosis. Miri’s life would never be the same again, but in more ways than she imagined.
From the medical end, Miri relates, her daughter’s case turned out to be less aggressive than the doctors originally foresaw.
“Of course, in the technical sense, our lives changed completely,” says Miri of the post-diagnosis reality. “Instead of spending my days in the office or at home, my life revolved around Hadassah’s treatments. There were good days and bad days and worse days, the days when her fever was so high we had to rush back to the hospital just as we were about to settle in for the night. On good days, life was still far from normal. There was always an appointment to schedule, an errand to run pertaining to Hadassah, and, of course, the niggling fear in the back of my mind. It was as if I was thinking, ‘How long until the next storm?’ This is how I lived for five whole months, almost waiting for another disaster to happen. I was completely spent, with no drive for anything except to see Hadassah well.”
From the day they received the diagnosis until about five months later, Miri and her husband and children were supported by their extended family, whose members all chipped in to ease the pressure. Luckily, Miri lives in the same city as her parents and several of her siblings, who ensured their fridge was always stocked and a hot dinner would be awaiting them at whichever hour they would stagger home. “From a technical end, there was so much to be grateful for,” Miri remembers. “Many of the household chores were tended to, so I could have my hands freed up to focus on Hadassah. My mother helped pay for more cleaning help, so there was always clean laundry in the drawers. A different niece came over every night to help with homework and baths for the little ones. Even on evenings when I was home, they still came so I could take it easy.” From the medical end, Miri relates, her daughter’s case turned out to be less aggressive than the doctors originally foresaw. “Even when we got the good news, I was afraid to rejoice,” she admits. “I was living in a state of fear, a constant state of tension, for five months straight. I was so terrified that I couldn’t see past my fear to appreciate the bright side of things.” All this changed when a good friend came over to see how Miri was doing one Shabbos afternoon. “I always respected my friend Leah Rivka very much,” says Miri. “She doesn’t have an easy life, but she always looks content,
32 The Wellspring | November 2018
and every time we meet, she has something nice to tell me. People reacted to Hadassah’s diagnosis so differently. Some neighbors crossed the street when they saw me, almost as if I was carrying the contagious disease in my own blood. Others looked at me with pity and confusion. I totally understand them. But what I hated most was when people lauded me for being chosen for the nisayon. I did not feel one bit privileged, and I did not appreciate feeling even guiltier about my sad state. Leah Rivka, though, is in a class of her own.” What moved Miri so much about her friend’s approach to her challenge was that she provided her with a comfortable space to share her pain. “She would come over every so often and just ask, ‘How are you doing?’ I saw the care in her eyes, and I would just get it all out. I would tell her of the crazy schedule, of Hadassah’s progress, and always I would speak of my fear. I was petrified of the day Hadassah would lose her hair. She had this lustrous mane, these stunning blonde curls, more beautiful than any of my girls,” says Miri, pausing to collect herself. “This terrified me from the first day. I was also scared to see my child in pain. I kept kicking myself for not being soothing enough, nice enough, caring enough. What was I supposed to do when she was crying that she didn’t want to be pricked by one more needle? And I was so afraid of the worst. I couldn’t fathom it. I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about it.” In Leah Rivka, Miri found the listening ear she was desperate for. “My mother and sisters are amazing,” she says, “but they didn’t know how to deal with me when I spoke like this. My mother would say, ‘Why are you saying that? Everything will be okay.’ She herself was scared; I could feel it. But when I spoke to Leah Rivka, she just listened. She was the one who saw that what was most painful for me about the whole ordeal was the anxiety I was living with. It gave me no peace. My heart was beating furiously all day and night. I was hot one minute, cold the next. I was chronically pale, always on edge.” One Shabbos afternoon, when Miri was talking to Leah Rivka, she felt she’d had enough. “What should I do?” she begged. “I can’t handle this anymore!” Once Miri asked, Leah Rivka suggested. Sensitively, she offered her friend a means to ease her pain. Leah Rivka was no medical expert, but she understood that the anguish of the spirit is profoundly deeper than any other pain.
And on that Shabbos afternoon, although her daughter was still in the throes of her illness, Miri finally found her cure: She committed to thanking Hashem every day.
Light in My Life “When Leah Rivka first suggested I start thanking Hashem in my own words every single day, I scoffed at the idea,” Miri admits. “Why can’t I just open a siddur and daven?” she asked her friend. “‘If you have time to do that too, that’s amazing,’ Leah Rivka told me, ‘but dedicating ten minutes or so every single day to just focus on all the gifts Hashem is sending you is what will help you see miracles.’” Still unsure, Miri asked her friend, “What kind of miracles are you promising me? How do you know what will happen with my child?” “Here,” Miri recalls, “Leah Rivka smiled. She said, ‘I don’t know anything. I don’t know what will happen one second from now. But all I can tell you from my own experience is that making that shift in my head to focus on the good in my life was enough of a miracle for me.’ I thought of my fear, of how it was controlling my life even more than my
daughter’s illness, and I decided it was worth giving it a try.” Miri’s try has been lasting almost half a year now—and she isn’t planning to stop thanking any time soon. At first, switching gears into gratitude mode was frightening for Miri. “For months, I had been focusing on how pitiful my situation was, how sad my life had become. It was like I was afraid to focus on the good because maybe then I would lose that too. But the more I began to thank, starting from the mundane, like the clothing on my back and the daily rides to the hospital, to the greater gifts in my life, like my supportive family and the kind of non-aggressive cancer in my daughter’s body, something incredible happened. I was letting go. I started to not only know but also internalize that no, it’s not me who’s running the show here. There’s nothing I can do or not do to heal my child, because everything that happens is part of Hashem’s master plan. This, for me, was the greatest cure. It has not only transformed me into a calmer, more grateful person, but has also enabled me to be there more for my precious daughter.” Miri’s daily gratitude ritual did not whisk the cancer away. In fact, after she started thanking, Hadassah be-
Miracles Are Everywhere When one truly believes that Hashem not only created the world but that He orchestrates every single event in our lives, down to the tiniest detail, miracles don’t seem that bizarre. Since Hashem conducts Himself measure for measure, those who extend themselves for His service merit seeing open miracles in return. In Emunah with Love and Chicken Soup (ArtScroll), the magnificent biography of Rebbetzin Henny Machlis a"h, we meet a woman for whom miracles were a commonplace occurrence. Despite their own debts, Henny and her husband hosted approximately 300 people in their Jerusalem home every single Shabbos. Many guests recount how they couldn’t understand how she was capable of pulling off all the preparations, and that many times visitors would suddenly appear to help out. In one story, a neighbor recalls that Henny’s daughter came to her one Friday afternoon very close to Shabbos and asked if she could put a few trays of chicken in the oven. While it made no logical sense that several trays of chicken would be cooked properly in time for the meal, the neighbor recounts that that was what indeed happened. Another time, while Henny and some volunteers were preparing the cholent on Friday, they realized that they had run out of barley. Back in those days, Henny used barley only from America, which was not as infested as the Israeli variety that was sold then. When the volunteers grew nervous, Henny was unperturbed. “Hashem will help,” she kept saying. Lo and behold, another volunteer suddenly showed up at the door. She had just returned from America and had brought with her an entire duffel bag filled with bags of barley. Incredibly, Henny didn’t even look surprised—so certain was she that Hashem would help. Not all miracles leave us openmouthed, but they’re miracles nevertheless. In order to enable free choice, Hashem clothes every miracle in nature. At every moment, Hashem keeps fortifying His world, providing us with what we need in order to serve Him. That is a miracle in its own right. Because of Henny’s heightened faith, what the average person sees as “nature” was no small miracle in her eyes. For example, the fact that an apple nourishes the body was just as miraculous to her as if a piece of chocolate would give us strength. She saw Hashem’s wonder beneath the veneer of “nature.” We’re accustomed to thinking that if we’re consuming healthy foods, of course we should be feeling better. But this too, despite being the natural course in which Hashem runs His world, is a miracle. When we thank Hashem that the foods we eat nourish us as they do, we acknowledge this wonder. While we’re obligated to employ healthy habits, being mindful of the miracle that is cloaked in nature is a fundamental recognition of our emunah. With this clarity, we then do our utmost hishtadlus as a means to guard the vessel Hashem has placed in our care.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 33
Transmitting the Values With gratitude being a fundamental asset to emunah and to success in social life, it’s a value that is critical to impress upon our children from a young age. How do we do that? Rav Shimshon Pincus zt"l says that the days of Chanukah are designated for parents to educate their children to appreciate Hashem’s miracles, to look around and realize that Hashem runs His world with kindness and mercy every minute of every day, when we see it and especially when we don’t. The neiros Chanukah, he says, are here to give us and our children that light—the clarity we seek on the darkest nights of our lives—that our salvation is near. One good practice that helps instill an attitude of gratitude in children is having them say one thing they want to thank Hashem for at suppertime or bedtime every day. In Chinuch B’Ahava, Rav Shalom Arush writes that every time we remind our children to thank, we help taper their sense of entitlement. Instead, they grow up realizing that for everything they get, they have a responsibility to feel grateful. Taking it a level deeper, Rav Arush advises that every time we give our children anything, from a cup of water to an expensive Chanukah gift, we should ask them, “Whom do you need to thank?” And the children should be accustomed to answering, “Hashem and you. Hashem, for sending me this, and you, for being His messenger.” And, of course, we should do the same in our own lives. On the day my husband and I learned this beautiful idea in Rav Arush’s sefer, in which he refers to the person who gives the object as a “tzinor,” the lashon hakodesh word for pipe, or conduit, I had set aside some of my challah dough to bake rugelach for the kids. They returned home from school to the aroma of homemade goodies and immediately sat themselves down for a party. When I asked them whom they needed to thank for the treat, their immediate response was Mommy. When I asked who else deserved thanks, my seven-year-old said, “Hashem is the One who sent this to us. Right you’re only the tzinor, Mommy?” He had never used the word before. I had a desire to inculcate gratitude toward Hashem in my children, and He expressed His recognition for my gesture through them. Thank you, Hashem!
34 The Wellspring | November 2018
gan losing those blonde, beautiful curls Miri had been holding on to in her heart. But with her fortified emunah, Miri says, “It was not the end of the world. It was painful, but not a pain I couldn’t bear. Instead of focusing on what Hadassah was losing, I focused on the beautiful eyes Hashem had blessed her with, on her simchas hachaim that keeps us all going, on her excitement for picking out the caps she wears, and on the sense of contentment Hashem had planted in my heart.” With her new focus, and spending ten whole minutes thinking of all the things she can be grateful for, Miri also began to take notice of the small miracles in her life. “Suddenly, I was able to appreciate the care I was getting from my family and the devotion of the medical team. Everything took on a new, more positive light. I thank Hashem for every step of progress Hadassah is making, and in place of my fear of the worst, I envision the beautiful seudas hoda’ah that we’ll make. I thank Hashem for keeping me positive, for helping me find Him even in this ordeal.” Miri is quick to add, however, that she’s not in denial. “Just because I’m grateful doesn’t mean I don’t see the pain. But with my new focus, I’m able to realize that this is exactly the life Hashem wants us to live right now. When He will want otherwise, the miracle can happen in an instant.”
Beyond the Surface For Miri, the greatest miracle that occurred as a result of her focus on thanking Hashem is the gradual dissipation of her fear, which was holding her hostage and denying her the good life she could live despite the trying circumstances. Others who have undertaken this practice have experienced not only fortified emunah, but also open miracles in their lives. An acquaintance of mine, Gitty, suffered from a pounding headache for three days. When she went to seek medical care, the doctor suspected a serious issue and immediately sent her for neurological testing. “I returned home from the doctor’s office quaking,” Gitty recalls. “I was already imagining the worst, but then I remembered my recent conviction to thank Hashem for everything that happens in my life. I decided I wouldn’t wait to thank Him if and when He would perform a miracle, but right then, in the depths of my fear. I wanted to thank Him for all the gifts He was sending me. I locked myself into a room and simply started listing everything I was grateful for, including the wakeup call.” Gitty remained committed to this practice for the next three days, until it was time to go to the hospital for further testing. “On the morning of my MRI appointment,” Gitty shares, “I woke up wondering why I was even going. My headaches had practically disappeared. But I went anyway, and to my relief, the technicians didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in my brain. I have a friend who did have a growth, but after committing to thanking Hashem every day, she was delighted to find out that the tumor was benign.” Other women have shared with me that through thanking Hashem, they saw smaller-scale—yet profoundly wondrous— health-related miracles in their lives, such as the disappear-
ance of pinworms, back ache, and blurred vision.
The Gratitude-Miracle Connection How does thanking Hashem on a steady basis enable miracles?
healing defy natural laws.”
Miri’s daily gratitude ritual did not whisk the cancer away. In fact, after she started thanking, Hadassah began losing those blonde, beautiful curls Miri had been holding on to in her heart.
Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l explains this phenomenon in his sefarim. He says that Hashem created this world as a preparation for the World to Come. The biggest preparation, he says, is when we’re happy with Hashem and love Him. Thus, when we look at the things He has given us, from a beautiful red apple to a new baby to a successful business deal or kind spouse, and even the tribulations we face, our love for Him grows, and this is the purpose of our existence. Regarding health miracles in particular, Rav Shalom Arush offers a profound explanation in his book Garden of Emuna: “Since nature does not dictate health, and we see with our own eyes that people who have earnestly repented have miraculously recovered even from terminal ailments,” he writes, “we can conclude that health and
Although health defies nature, Rav Arush adds, the Torah commands us to make every effort to care for our health. This includes proper diet, exercise, and avoiding substance intake, such as tobacco or alcohol.
Emunah, more than anything else, writes Rav Arush, is conducive to healing. Therefore, the first thing a sick person should do is thank Hashem for the illness. “This, of course, sounds extremely odd to Western ears, but in fact, nothing could be more logical. Here’s why: Hashem made this person sick for his own benefit and ultimate welfare. Awareness of this basic fact of emunah enables the sick person to thank Hashem. The person’s positive attitude makes recovery much faster and easier. Thanking Hashem for an apparent calamity such as sickness is the highest expression of emunah, since the person recognizes that even his tribulations are from Hashem and part of Hashem’s personal and magnificent Divine Providence that’s all for the best.” Rav Arush recounts a story of a new student at his yeshivah, who suffered for years from a severe chronic ill-
How to Merit Miracles When we thank for what we see as a “lack” in our lives, we bring more abundance from Hashem into the world. To do so, in addition to formal tefillah, in which the Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah emphasize our gratitude to Hashem, we can accustom ourselves to thanking Him in our own words at every possible moment. At the most basic level, we could start by thanking Hashem every time we experience something—big or small—that feels good to us: When we find a parking spot right away, or after circling for fifteen minutes; when we wake up and realize that the baby slept through the night; when the new recipe we tried came out perfect; when all the kids made it out the door in the morning on time; when the blood test results come back clear. At the next level, we could thank Hashem when a challenge comes our way: For the opportunity to become closer to Him and to fulfill our purpose; for all the good He sends us all the time; for His love and care. Although this seems like a difficult feat, it is actually a command in the Shulchan Aruch: A person is obligated to bless on the bad just as he blesses on the good. Even in trying times, we can always find what to thank for, if gratitude is our focus. Instead of saying “I’ll thank You when You perform a miracle,” which turns the gratitude into a conditional gesture, the focus should be on acknowledging Hashem’s kindness at the present moment. The ideal level of thanking Hashem is not only to express gratitude as a reaction to a circumstance, but to proactively thank Him for a designated amount of time every single day. This gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the good in our life, to thank for the things we would otherwise take for granted. During this time, in which we could either write or verbalize our gratitude, we train ourselves to look out for the tiny details that make up the gift that is our life. When do we stop and realize Hashem’s kindness in creating such a colorful world for us? In a shmuess he gave on Chanukah, the yom tov of thanksgiving and praise, Rav Shimshon Pincus zt”l said: Let us picture the world had Hashem created it with two colors, black and white. What would life look like for us? Taking the time to ponder the minute details of our blessings changes our perspective on life.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 35
Pirsumei Nisa My Personal Miracle On the morning after I finished writing this article, I was deeply frightened by my son’s physical state. He had been running a fever for almost a week, which spiked at one point and resulted in a febrile seizure. While my general response to a child’s illness is rather chilled, this time I was uncharacteristically alarmed. Despite being on antibiotics—upon the prescription of our pediatrician—for a number of days, his lethargy wasn’t diminishing. Normally the kind of child who goes on very little sleep, sleep was all he was doing these days. He kept breaking out in fever sweats and had no appetite. When our pediatrician’s advice of resuming the medication did not produce any results, we scheduled an emergency appointment with a private doctor, who is known to be a good shaliach, thanks to his vast experience and expertise in pediatric medicine. Inspired by the contents in this article, I spent a considerable amount of time thanking Hashem for the many gifts in my life before waking up my son to get him ready for the appointment. On our way there, I invested myself in letting go of the frightening thoughts, to focus on hope and gratitude. After an agonizing wait and a thorough examination, Hashem sent us our miracle in the form of Dr. Greenfield: He was unperturbed by the symptoms, attributing them to a bacteria that didn’t show up on the strep culture, followed by a virus, hence the prolonged fever. I could have waved off my pre-examination fear, accepting that my son’s symptoms were “natural” and that I had been unnecessarily alarmed, but I saw a miracle instead. When the virus turned out to be the measles (despite my son’s immunization to it), whose external symptoms—its trademark rash—only appeared a day after our visit, I embraced this condition gratefully. Perhaps because I had feared a much graver diagnosis, this paled in comparison. That was a miracle too.
Gratitude Notebook The following is a letter from Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky zt”l on the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal: As any thoughtful person will understand, it is very important in these times to implant the belief in the heart of every person that Hashem watches personally over the life of each individual. This is especially critical when educating our youngsters, because this is a pillar which upholds our entire belief system. A good strategy for reinforcing this faith is to keep a notebook chronicling any situation in which a person sees and feels Hashem’s direct supervision in matters of daily life. One can easily discern that this approach will uproot and negate the sense that things occur at random, or that the forces of nature dominate our lives, or that it is “my fortitude and the power of my hand” that accomplish things in life. By strengthening this mitzvah, all the other mitzvos of the 613 will be fortified. Then we will experience the words of the prophet Chavakuk: “The righteous man will be vitalized by his faith.”
36 The Wellspring | November 2018
ness. No doctors or treatments helped him, not even his own prayers and efforts of teshuvah, until he learned about this approach: to internalize that everything is for the best and that one should thank even for his deficiencies and hardships in life. When this student started devoting one hour a day to thanking Hashem, he started realizing that Hashem, like a loving father, was personally cleansing his soul. With tears in his eyes—tears of joy—the student thanked Hashem profusely and sincerely for his health. He didn’t even ask for a cure! Within two weeks, the illness disappeared entirely, without the aid of treatment or medication. Without a doubt, engaging in a practice that reinforces our emunah—thanking Hashem—is a surefire way to experience a miracle of some sort in our life. Even if Hashem decides that the time is not ripe for the salvation we’re dreaming of, we merit living in a world of bliss that only a life of emunah affords. When we thank Hashem, we don’t do it conditionally, on our terms, but rather because we truly want to express our gratitude for all the gifts He showers us with. The miracle we experience as a result is an unparalleled closeness to Hashem, being enveloped in His embrace all day, every day. And the more we thank, the more we see the good in our lives. We could be living the same life we lived yesterday, but we see it in a completely different light. It’s a new, more beautiful world.
Miracle of Light Even when the physical salvation we yearn for doesn’t come our way, living with the belief that everything Hashem sends us is for our good is a miracle in its own right. It provides us with a sense of peace and happiness that often eludes even those who are most physically blessed.
When she first received the news of her illness, Tammy’s response vacillated between total shock, acceptance, fear, and hope. One minute, she reminded herself that this was exactly what Hashem had in mind for her and her family. The next, she was overcome by sadness for her young children. She couldn’t bear the thought that her baby, less than a year old at the time, wouldn’t be raised with the tender touch of her loving mother, that she might never be able to give her a kiss, to sing her to sleep, to embrace her in a warm hug, and worse—whether she would be around to walk her children to the chuppah. Other times, she envisioned the day she would be magically cured, enamoring Jews around the world with her story and inspiring their hearts to see the glory of Hashem. But then, she candidly shares with her listeners, she stopped herself short. It was fun to dream, but who was she to take over the steering wheel, to subjugate Hashem to her plans? “My job is to live my life according to His plan—with joy. It’s to make His will my will, not my will His will,” she declares. Tammy Karmel is a living miracle—not because she miraculously woke up one morning to find that she could move her limbs or utter a sound, but because in spite of her trying circumstances, she radiates joy, serenity, and acceptance. I can sense it in her glowing eyes, I can feel it in her presence, and I can see it in the sign that hangs above her head: “I wish you could see my smile. Due to my weak muscles, my smile is in my heart.” If for a person in her state living with such contentment is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.
To me and thousands of women around the globe, Mrs. Tammy Karmel is the paradigm role model who espouses this belief. When Tammy was diagnosed with the degenerative disease of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), the arduous efforts she had invested in her relationship with Hashem paid off tenfold. Although this indefatigable spirit, who rightfully deserves to be called Rebbetzin but is affectionately known as Tammy, is unable to talk or breathe or even smile, she is still inspiring us. Through her only source of communication, an eye-tracking chart, she envelops all who come to see her in her Yerushalayim home in warmth and contentment. In the shiurim that were recorded when she was still able to speak, which are still being viewed by women around the globe, Tammy talks candidly about her feelings following her devastating diagnosis.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 37
AR ADDED G U NLY -----------
CA L O RI E
F AT F R
ISSUE 34 DECEMBER 2018 KISLEV 5778
Our Menu for Your Lite Nights Treat Yourselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; with your health in mind
THYME FOR DINNER PROTEIN-PACKED FALAFEL BALLS WITH FERMENTED SAUERKRAUT ON THE SIDE
Dear Cooks, Whether we like it or not, while the dishes we serve on most Chanukah nights rate high in flavor, they are often lagging behind in the health arena. Is there a way to cover all customs without compromising our physical wellbeing? For starters, no healthy individual gets sick from eating one donut, so portion control is one great way to curb health hazards. But besides that one donut, there are so many fabulous foods that you can enjoy in keeping with the Chanukah traditions. In this issue of Seasoned, you’ll find fabulous menu ideas for those lite nights—when you want to treat yourself and your family with your health in mind. Whether you’re in the mood of setting up a falafel bar or to play around with more intricate finger foods, we’ve got you covered. Celebrating the miracle of that famous little flask of oil that lasted eight days doesn’t really call for eight days of stuffing ourselves on trans and saturated fats. So here’s an exciting twist on the tradition: in this issue, Yossi and Malky Levine offer the simple steps toward creating your own infused oils. These increasingly popular oils, which are sold for a pretty penny at health food or gourmet shops, add fabulous, natural flavor to any dish. You can enjoy them in the dishes that the Levines present in this issue, or with any food that needs that extra kick. Enjoying Chanukah the healthy way doesn’t have to be a miracle this year!
Here’s to a healthy, happy eight days of delightful family time, Esther
World Finance Magazine
Recipes, Styling & Photography By Yossi & Malky Levine
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Garlic Infused Oil
This small, creamy-white, nutrient-packed flower head is often overlooked for its more appealing and flavorful cousin, broccoli, but in this recipe, the cauliflower’s flavor emerges beautifully and blends perfectly with the garlic-infused oil. 24 oz bag frozen cauliflower florets 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp olive oil 4 shallots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, chopped pinch of sea salt pinch of black pepper 5 cups water
Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cut the cauliflower florets into chunks and put them in a large baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Let the florets roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until they start to get crispy. Once the cauliflower is cooked, on a medium/low flame add a little garlic-infused oil (see recipe) to a large saucepan and add the shallots, celery, and garlic and gently sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and continue sautéing for an additional 5 minutes. Add the water, stir well, and simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle garlic-infused oil over the soup before serving. Yield: 6 servings
THE CHOSEN ONE.
Grilled Baby Chicken with Lemon/ChiliInfused Oil Don’t get scared away by the combination of flavors here. It’ll take only one try for you to know you have a new dinner winner.
2 lbs baby chicken (approx. 10 slices) 8-10 shallots, sliced salt and pepper for sprinkling lemon/chili-infused oil (see recipe) bundle of asparagus (optional)
Line a George Forman grill with parchment paper. Spread a layer of shallots on the paper. Pour some lemon/chili oil into a deep dish. Dip each slice of chicken into the oil and place over the shallots on the grill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill for 10-15 minutes until cooked through with nice grill marks. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a lined baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven, on 400˚ F, for 12-15 minutes. Serve grilled chicken over roasted asparagus. Top chicken with grilled shallots. Yield: 5 servings
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 45
Infused Oils Cooking with infused oils is a great way to introduce more depth of flavor to any dish, and there’s no better time to give it a try than Chanukah. While you can buy them ready made (with a steep price tag), infused oils are super easy and quick for you to put together in your own kitchen. Use them in the recipes above, or in any other dish that needs an extra kick of flavor—salad, fish, or pasta. Get creative! Garlic/Thyme-Infused Olive Oil
Lemon/Chili-Infused Olive Oil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup extra virgin olive oil lemon zest from 1 lemon 3 chili peppers, chopped
Wash and thoroughly dry the thyme sprigs—you don’t want any water on them when they go in with the oil. Dice the garlic cloves. Add everything to a saucepan and heat on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until the oil just starts to bubble, not boil. Remove from heat and let cool completely for about 30 minutes. Use a fine strainer or cheese cloth to strain the garlic and thyme out of the oil. Store in a glass bottle with an airtight seal. Keep refrigerated and use within a week.
Add olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Grate the lemon peels over the saucepan and add the chili peppers. Heat until oil is just bubbling, then stir for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool for 30 minutes. Use a strainer to remove any food particles from the oil. Store in an airtight glass bottle. Keep refrigerated and use within a week.
Recipe and styling by Shiffy Friedman, photo by Ruchy Lebovits
Thyme for Dinner
48 The Wellspring | November 2018
Protein-Packed Gluten-free Falafel Balls
With most of our family 6,000 miles away in the States, I’m left with (almost) eight Chanukah menus to plan. One evening last year, when I got stuck on keeping our dinners fun and balanced, the idea of a falafel bar seemed like a great solution. I had never made homemade falafel before and figured this would be the perfect occasion—the frying Yom Tov after all—to test it on my family. For starters, preparing the balls was part of the fun. The process is super simple. And when the spread was all ready, I had such pleasure watching everyone enjoy this original protein source—not another meal of fish or chicken—down to the last ball. If the thought of frying scares you, I’ve included a baking option, as well. But don’t expect those patties to taste like the balls! Do not use cooked/ canned chickpeas, as the mixture will be too loose and the falafel won’t hold their shape.
1 16 oz. package garbanzo beans (dried chickpeas) 1 medium onion, diced 5 cloves garlic, diced ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tsp cumin 2 tsp salt ½ tsp black pepper oil, for frying or baking
Soak beans in a large bowl of water overnight. Make sure the water covers the beans by about 3 inches, since the chickpeas will double in size as they soak, absorbing the water. Drain and rinse the beans well. Pour them into the food processor, fitted with an S blade, along with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Don’t over process. Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks the processor missed. If you want a more workable batter, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. If you’re tight on time, you can skip this step, but may have a harder time forming smooth balls or patties. To fry the balls: Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches. Once the oil is bubbling, form the mixture into balls, about 2 Tbsp of mixture per falafel. Since the mixture does not contain a binder, you may find it hard to form balls. Don’t worry about this—it’ll bind together nicely once it’s in the oil. Allow to fry for about 2-3 minutes per side and then turn over. Alternatively, fry the balls in a deep fryer or in a 4 qt. pot filled halfway with oil for a perfect round shape. Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon. Let them drain on a paper towel before serving. To bake the patties: Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a baking sheet olive oil or spray oil. Squeeze the falafel mixture into 1.5-inch balls then flatten them slightly so they are the shape of patties. Arrange the falafel on the greased baking sheet and brush the tops of them with oil. Bake the falafel for 15 minutes, flip them once, then bake for an additional 10 minutes until they are golden brown. Prep time: 25 minutes (excluding soaking and refrigeration) Yield: 40-50 falafel balls
Here’s the recipe we use to make our own sauerkraut. It stays fresh for at least 2 months in the fridge, but it probably won’t last you that long, especially if you use it as a probiotic source on a daily basis. 2 lb. shredded cabbage
1 Tbsp kosher salt
Place cabbage in a large mason jar and sprinkle with salt. Seal and let sit for 5 days. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact, and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage. Shake the jar occasionally to ensure that all of the cabbage is submerged in the liquid. After 5 days, transfer the sauerkraut to the refrigerator. Lab tests have found that a 4-6 ounce serving of sauerkraut contains approximately 10 trillion healthy bacteria.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 49
fresh. By Rivki Rabinowitz photos by Chani Edell
Sweet Potato Crostini
(Recipe on next page)
We know tomatoes
Field Fresh, Tuscan
The secret to authentic italian dishes, starts with the tomato.
Recipes and styling by Rivki Rabinowitz , photos by Chani Edell
For many, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Chanukah is indulgence. My instinctive association of Chanukah is a time for making memories: playing games, hosting or attending parties, and the excitement on my children’s faces as we light the menorah each night. There is such a variety of recipes to try when making your menus for a party. I always like to begin a gathering with some pass-around appetizers, or throw some fun finger foods onto a more serious buffet. For this issue, I’ve created a few “semi-healthified” hors d’oeuvres for you to try, each with a unique twist that keeps them extra sweet for that Chanukah indulgence.
Sweet Potato Crostini with the following toppings: 1. Strawberry, basil, chia jam, and granola
2. Caramelized onions, fig, and thyme 3. Confetti beets, pomegranates, dill, and silan
The sweet potato slices act as a base for any topping you choose. There really are no rules or limits; this recipe is about the concept. I’ve included some combinations and their recipes below. Feel free to follow or create your own. Additional suggestions: For a dairy party, brie, pears, honey, and thyme are amazing together. Roasted grapes, goat cheese, and rosemary are a fabulous combo, too. For a meat party, tongue, arugula, and sliced apple really respond nicely to the soft and sweet base. 1 large sweet potato, sliced into thin discs, peel left on olive oil
kosher salt ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, optional
Preheat oven to 400˚ F. In a bowl, toss together the sweet potato wedges with olive oil (just enough to lightly coat), a large pinch of kosher salt, and a few shakes of cumin or cinnamon, if desired. Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You want them in a single layer without overlap so they crisp up evenly, so you may have to divide them between 2 baking sheets. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for 5-10 minutes more, just until the edges are turning golden brown.
Strawberry, Basil, and Chia Jam with Granola 1 lb strawberries, halved (about 15-20) juice from ½ lemon 2 Tbsp chia seeds
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup 7-8 basil leaves, thinly shredded
Add strawberries and lemon juice to a medium pot over low-medium heat. Cook, partially covered, until fruit begins to breakdown and become syrupy (5-10 mins). Remove from the heat. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher until any large pieces are broken up. Add chia seeds, maple syrup, and basil leaves, and stir well. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary. Let cool to room temperature, stirring a couple more times as it cools. Keeps for 2 weeks. To assemble: Top sweet potato slice with strawberry and chia jam. Garnish with basil chiffonade, and granola.
Caramelized Onions, Fig, and Thyme 2 onions, diced small oil for caramelizing 1 Tbsp maple syrup 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp salt 3 figs, sliced or quartered 2 sprigs thyme
Sauté onions until caramelized and almost jammy. Top sweet potatoes with onions, slices of quartered figs, and thyme.
Confetti Beets, Pomegranates, Dill, and Silan 1 beet, cooked until softened, diced up very small pomegranate seeds dill
Add beets, pomegranate seeds, and dill to a bowl. Drizzle with silan and a bit of salt. Once combined, top sweet potatoes with mixture. Garnish with additional dill, if desired.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 53
Coconut-Crusted Cauliflower Wings These little pop-ems have been a wild success with everyone who has tried them. Although I ate 95%, the 5% that managed to escape from my clutches was greeted with an enthusiastic, if not addictive, response. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Ingredients: 2 bags cauliflower ½ cup almond flour ½ cup unsweetened almond milk ¼ tsp sea salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 1 cup oat flour or fine sweetened coconut
Sauce: 4 Tbsp maple syrup 2 Tbsp tamari sauce ½ tsp sesame seeds ¼ tsp ground black pepper ¾ tsp ground ginger chopped scallions and sesame seeds, for garnish
Sweetened coconut is a Chanukah treat for us. Unsweetened makes for a delicious result, too. Preheat oven to 450˚ F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Defrost cauliflower, but not to the point of sogginess. Combine almond flour, almond milk, salt, and pepper in one bowl. Place the coconut in a second bowl next to the batter bowl. Toss the cauliflower in the mixture one wing at a time, shaking off excess batter. Do not soak. Dip the cauliflower into the coconut to coat completely then place onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the wings are coated. Bake for 22 minutes. While baking, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Remove cauliflower from oven. Coat the wings in the sauce. Bake for another 5 minutes for the sauce to soak into the wings. Remove from oven, garnish with scallions and extra sesame seeds if desired, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 55
SPOIL YOURSELF WITH SPELT ALL MADE FROM 100% ORGANIC SPELT FLOUR AND SUGAR.
COOKIES (ALSO AVAILABLE IN SUGAR FREE)
(ALSO AVAILABLE IN SUGAR FREE)
BREADS CHALLAH. 159 LEE AVE â&#x20AC;¢ 718-387-7411
Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Tarts with Hazelnut or Cashew Cream and Spiced Crust Cute little tarts that won’t leave you feeling heavy and exhausted? Sign me up! Mixed Nut Crust: 1½ cups mixed nuts of choice 1 cup almond flour ½ tsp each ground cumin, turmeric, ginger 1½ tsp sea salt ¼ cup oil 2 Tbsp water ½ cup white sesame seeds ¼ cup black sesame seeds ¼ cup hemp hearts (you can substitute sesame seeds)
Roasted Root Vegetables: 2 large carrots 2 parsnips 1 red onion 1 small fennel, optional 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil coarse sea salt black pepper, optional half a bunch each cilantro and parsley, finely chopped
Sauce: 2 Tbsp coconut oil ⅓ cup chickpea or almond flour 1 tsp Dijon mustard scant 2 cups cashew milk 3 tsp nutritional yeast flakes coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the vegetables: Slice the parsnip and carrots into thin strips. Peel, quarter, and slice the onion and fennel. On a large baking tray, mix the vegetables with the oil and a generous amount of salt and black pepper, if using. Roast for about 1 hour, checking halfway through. They are ready when a skewer inserts easily into the center of the vegetables. Remove from the oven, adjust the seasoning while still warm, and set aside. For the crust: Meanwhile, to make the base, combine the nuts, almond flour, spices, salt, oil, and water in a food processor. Add the sesame seeds and blitz, until the mix looks like breadcrumbs and sticks together when you pick up a piece of it in your hand. Divide the pastry mix between the greased tins. Press it down with your fingertips and even the back of a greased spoon, pressing it into the edges and making sure it is even. Bake for about 15–20 minutes or until dark golden brown. Leave to cool. For the cashew cream: Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add the chickpea or almond flour and whisk in strongly. Add the mustard and gradually start to add the cashew milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. The sauce should start to thicken and look smooth. Add the yeast flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir again, taste, and add more seasonings if necessary. Note: If you make this in advance, you may need to reheat and add some more milk as the sauce thickens.
Rivki is an interior-design-trained mom of three girls, who is passionate about cooking—particularly with elevating the vegetable. Showcasing their diversity in modern and innovative preparation is her happy place! Find her cooking and lifestyle shenanigans @rivkirabinowitz. Chani Edell is a Toronto-based photographer who specializes in capturing personalities and family moments. Find her @ imagesbycarolinephotography.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 57
Nutrition Tidbits in the News By Liba Solomon, CNWC
BRING ON THE OIL
Does frying have a place in a healthy diet? Even with ungreasy evidence in our hands, we instinctively regard a latke or donut as a fat bomb. Many people would rather have a low-fat muffin than eat one French fry, but here’s the happy truth: If you fry in the right oil and follow these directions, fried foods can have a place in your healthy diet. You may be surprised to learn that fried foods have certain benefits over their non-fried alternatives. A review published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggests: • when potatoes are fried, their dietary fiber content increases, • because frying takes place at a high temperature and over a brief time period, it leaches fewer vitamins from foods than some other methods of cooking, • when fried in oils that have nutritional value, the foods are a great source of vitamin E as a result. Before you hurry over to dunk those cutlets in the deep fryer in the name of good health, do keep in mind that fried foods are certainly high in calories and can be fattening. No news on that front. Still, science shows how proper frying minimizes oil absorption while still creating that delicious, toasty crunch. If done according to this technique, six chicken cutlets and six servings of French fries on the side don’t need to absorb more than a quarter cup of oil. Here’s how to do it right. Keep oil clean. If debris builds up in the pan, it will burn after a few minutes. This is especially a problem when frying breaded and battered ingredients. Burned particles in the oil will cause it to discolor and infuse it with an off flavor that will taint the food. So use a slotted spoon to remove crumbs as you go. Make better batter or breading. Coating foods yields a tasty crust, but breadings and batters done wrong can inflate calories and promote oil absorption. All-purpose flour adheres well because it contains gluten, but too much flour causes the food to absorb more oil. Adding gluten-free ingredients like cornmeal or rice flour reduces absorption. Use moderation. Pair fried entrées with a healthy side or salad. Choose a heart-healthy oil with a high smoke point, such as coconut or olive oil. Avoid making a regular habit of using canola or cottonseed oil for frying. Heat oil to the proper temperature, and use a candy/fry thermometer to monitor it. Maintain the proper oil temperature during cooking. Otherwise, the food begins absorbing excess oil, not only adding fat and calories but also rendering it soggy. Greasy
58 The Wellspring | November 2018
fried food is badly fried food. When battering foods before frying, be sure to use carbonated liquids, a small amount of leavening (baking soda), or both in the batter. These release gas bubbles as the food cooks, further reducing oil absorption. Drain cooked foods on paper towels for a minute or two after cooking, so any excess oil doesn’t cling and soak into the food. If dabbing your latke with a napkin makes you feel better, keep doing it. It helps! Frying Alternatives Although it’s true that properly-fried foods aren’t as bad as we once thought, frying should be an occasional treat. For the no-frying night, here are four healthy ways to create fare that tastes like it’s fried: 1. Sauté and Bake Combining cooking methods can give your food a onetwo crispy punch. Instead of deep-frying foods like French fries, battered fish fillets and chicken fingers, heat one to two tablespoons of olive or canola oil in a sauté pan in order to brown the food on each side. After the food is browned, transfer it to the oven to finish cooking it. If you don’t want to use oil in the sauté pan, use chicken or vegetable broth instead. 2. Grill and Bake One great way to prepare chicken cutlets is to marinate and then cook them on the grill. Once the cutlets are browned and the skin is crispy (a few minutes on each side), transfer the cutlets to a sheet pan and continue cooking in the oven. The results are mouthwatering.
3. Add a Crumb Coating If you’re looking to make your breaded dishes healthier, you can still get that crispy fried crunch by using a dried crumb coating. Panko (or Japanese) breadcrumbs are larger in size compared to traditional breadcrumbs and pack a fabulous crunch. Dip your chicken or fish in egg, then crumbs, and bake uncovered.
4. Air Fry This popular way to cook food takes conventional convection cooking to the next level. Air-fried food is cooked by circulating hot air around the cooking chamber using a convection fan. “I think it actually makes the food taste even better [than traditionally-fried foods],” says Dana Angelo White, a registered dietitian and author of Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes with Fewer Calories and Less Fat. “It has all the craveable crispiness of fried foods, but instead of tasting grease, you actually taste the food.”
THINK BEFORE YOU DIP The cons of ketchup
Now that those sizzling goodies—whether deep-fried, baked, or air fried—are ready to eat, how do you enjoy them? If tomato ketchup is your family’s go-to dip for savory fried foods, here’s what you may want to know about this wildly popular condiment: it’s often packed with high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and salt. Are we proposing a ban on store-bought ketchup? Not just yet. A single tablespoon may not be too bad, but piling it on may easily result in an overload of sodium and other no-good stuff. And in our house, because most of the junior members will only finish their dinner with ketchup on the side, it’s all worth it. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” is the way I see it. If your kids will go for this, here’s a healthy ketchup that you can whip up in a bowl in just two minutes, with ingredients that you probably have on hand. Definitely works for adults. 1 cup tomato paste 4 Tbsp maple syrup 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp oregano salt, to taste (optional) Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy!
Ketchup is found in 97% of American households. Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 59
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!
Percentage of RDA
Does Drinking Lemon Water Facilitate Weight Loss? Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body. While its digestive properties make it a weight loss aid, drinking lemon juice alone will not help in reducing fat, but must be paired with exercise and a balanced diet in order to facilitate weight loss.
60 The Wellspring | November 2018
If life gives you lemons…who says they’re that bad? Looking at their nutrient content, you may want to eat them, especially during cold and flu season. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and other health benefits, which range from reducing the risk of kidney stones to killing off cancer cells. Lemons are low in calories, but contain a good amount of fiber and vitamin C. Here’s more on this powerful citrus fruit. Enhances Immunity Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, an important nutrient that’s been linked to increased immune health. In fact, gram for gram, there’s about the same amount of vitamin C in a lemon as an orange. Not only that, but lemons are also loaded with antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and promote improved immunity. A review in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism noted that getting enough vitamin C could help reduce the duration and severity of respiratory tract infections. Vitamin C may also help prevent malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia, as well as improve the outcome for those who are suffering from these conditions. Heart Health One of the lemon’s most impressive nutrition benefits is its effect on heart health. Thanks to its high vitamin C content, including a few servings of this sour fruit in your diet per week could help keep your heart healthy and strong. For instance, one study from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston looked at the diets of 126,399 adults over a period of 8 to 14 years and found that each serving of fruits and vegetables was associated with a 4 percent de-
creased risk of coronary heart disease. Interestingly enough, leafy green vegetables and vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies, like lemons, had the greatest impact. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2014 found that both eating lemons and walking every day were associated with a decrease in blood pressure. Helps Fight Cancer Lemons are packed with antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds, so it’s no wonder that a slew of studies have found that they may be effective in killing off cancer cells. A test-tube study in Saudi Arabia, for example, showed that lemon fruit extract helped kill breast cancer cells. Similarly, another test-tube study in 2015 also showed that the components in lemon juice successfully inhibited the growth of several types of cancer cells. Prevents Kidney Stones If you suffer from kidney stones, incorporating a serving or two of lemons into your diet may help. This is because lemons contain citric acid, which can increase urine volume and aid in
kidney stone prevention. One small study published in The Journal of Urology treated 11 participants with lemonade therapy for nearly four years. Researchers found that stone formation dropped significantly, from an average of one kidney stone per year down to just 0.13 per year. Another study showed that treating kidney stone patients with lemon juice increased urinary citrate levels and decreased the amount of calcium in the urine, suggesting that lemon juice may be a potential alternative treatment for relieving kidney stone symptoms. Increases Iron Absorption Iron is a vital mineral for your body, being one of the main components of hemoglobin, which is found in the red blood cells and helps provide the body with the oxygen it needs. The vitamin C in lemons can help enhance iron absorption, preventing conditions like iron-deficiency anemia. One study showed that taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C with a meal increased iron absorption by 67 percent.
In the Kitchen Lemon Protein Bars If you like the lemon flavor in baked goods, this one will be your new winner. It’s a great, healthy snack to eat on the run and gives you an energy boost too!
1 cup oat flour
6 oz. lemon juice
½ cup vanilla protein powder (such as Naturemax)
4 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
¼-½ tsp stevia
2. Grease 8 x 8 pan with coconut or spray oil.
¼ tsp sea salt
8 oz. applesauce
½ tsp baking soda
oil, for greasing
3. Mix oat flour, protein power, salt, and baking soda together. 4. In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, egg whites, stevia, and applesauce. 5. Combine all ingredients in one bowl. 6. Spread into greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. 7. Cut into bars while warm and let it sit until cooled.
In Your Plate *Squeeze fresh lemon into your morning glass of water to get that extra dose of immune-boosting nutrients. *Add fresh lemon juice to Israeli salad for a burst of fresh flavor. *Enjoy lemon slices in your evening tea.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 61
At the Dietitian By Tamar Feldman, RDN, CDE
GERD: ITS CAUSES AND TREATMENT In my practice, I meet a new client almost daily who is on a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) or an H2 blocker medication to control reflux symptoms. Reflux (or GERD: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also known as heartburn) affects a whopping 25 to 35 percent of the US population, and acid-blocking medications such as PPI’s (Prilosec®) and H2 blockers (Zantac®, Pepcid®) are the third top-selling type of drug in America today. Unfortunately for many, while antacid use may provide quick relief, it likely does more harm than good. Antacids (particularly PPIs,) have well-known serious downsides, including an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures, GI infections, and pneumonia. When acid-blocking drugs first came on the market, the pharmaceutical companies told doctors to prescribe them for no longer than six weeks and only for patients with documented ulcers. Now these drugs are given like candy to just about anyone—and Prilosec is even available without a prescription. Their manufacturers have created the illusion that we can eat whatever we want with no consequences, just by popping a pill. The question begs to be asked: Are millions of us born with a genetic defect that makes us produce too much stomach acid? Obviously, our bodies were not designed to have an inherent flaw that requires the use of powerful acid-blocking drugs to prevent heartburn and reflux. While the pharmaceutical companies would rather you not know otherwise, stomach acid serves a vital role in the digestive process, which is why it is present in the stomach to begin with. Stomach acid is necessary to digest protein and food, activate digestive enzymes in your small intestine, keep the bacteria from growing in your small intestine (SIBO,) and help you absorb important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12. There’s evidence that taking these medications can prevent you from properly digesting food, cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and lead to problems like IBS, depression, hip fractures, and more. While stomach acid is useful and helpful when it stays where it belongs, the damage that occurs in the delicate tissue of the esophagus when it refluxes upwards can be very detrimental. However, instead of using dangerous antacids to treat GERD, patients would be far better served in the long run if the root causes for the reflux were identified and treated.
COMMON CAUSES OF REFLUX: • Being overweight or obese, which increases abdominal pressure upwards. • Smoking. • A hiatal hernia, where the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm, diagnosable via x-ray or endoscopy. • Eating large meals. Heeding the Rambam’s advice to stop eating when the stomach is at 75% capacity can solve the problem of reflux for many individuals. • An H. pylori bacterial infection, diagnosable via a breath or blood test. • Insufficient stomach acid. Surprisingly, 50-75% of individuals with reflux had stomach acid levels that were found in lab testing to be below normal levels, a condition known as hypochlorhydria. There is strong evidence that too little stomach acid can impair food breakdown in the stomach and increase intra-gastric pressure, forcing stomach contents back upwards, and whatever acidity is present to cause damage to the esophagus. • Stress, which can contribute to GERD in a variety of ways, including causing decreased saliva production, and insufficient secretion of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. • SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), a condition in which bacteria start to reside in the normally non-hospitable small intestine. SIBO can cause GERD by creating gas buildup and subsequent pressure of stomach contents upwards. Low stomach acid and/or antacid use can further worsen SIBO by removing the natural acidic protection that the small intestine has against bacterial growth. • Food sensitivities, including gluten and dairy sensitivities. I have seen miraculous results in GERD patients when the underlying causes for their reflux were identified and treated, and most individuals are able to successfully wean off antacids over the course of a 3-6 month period as the upper gut heals. Of particular importance is focusing on addressing food sensitivities, low stomach acid if it is suspected, and SIBO, of which treatment can result in a complete elimination of reflux symptoms. Helpful supplements to utilize in the short term (3-6 months) while underlying conditions are being addressed: • DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) taken 10-15 min before meals • Aloe, L-Glutamine, zinc carnosine, and quercetin to speed healing of the upper GI mucosal lining • Digestive enzymes before meals • Digestive bitters and betaine HCl before meals, if low stomach acid is suspected
Tamar Feldman, RDN CDE is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator with over twelve years of experience. She maintains a busy nutrition practice with offices in Lakewood and Edison, 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: www.thegutdietitian.com
62 The Wellspring | November 2018
Health Profile By Rachel Esses
Age: 32 Gender: Female Location: Brooklyn Weight: 190 lbs. Height: 5'8” Marital Status: Married Occupation: English teacher Favorite health food: Bananas
Bananas contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and B6, fiber, antioxidants, and more. Note: One half of a banana equals one fruit. Favorite junk food: Chocolate babka and chocolate-covered pretzels It’s not simple to resist chocolate anything, but you don’t have to. Various health products, including TAP muffins, cookies, and energy bars, can satisfy your cravings. Favorite exercise: Elliptical. Favorite nutritious dish: Salmon salad with shredded kani and mango. That sounds delicious! Make sure to have it with only one tablespoon of dressing. My usual bedtime: 12:30 a.m. (If my kids let me sleep) My usual wake-up time: 7:00 a.m. My biggest meal on a usual day: Breakfast. That’s the fuel to help me get my errands done in the morning. You’re right about breakfast being fuel. Make sure not to skip it. My usual dinner menu: Chicken with sautéed string beans and a salad. My weight loss saga: The hardest thing for me is to remember to eat lunch. I’m usually running around and will have a really late lunch. Lunch is one of the required meals of the day. How about preparing lunch the night before, or even setting a reminder on your phone to eat on time? It can be really helpful. Greatest weight loss challenge: To eat on time, as well as eating less junk food. How I would treat myself when I reach my goals: I will buy myself a really expensive dress. I like that idea. I would suggest giving away your older clothes so that you won’t have a “reason” to get back to your old size. Rachel Esses is a nutrition counselor at Nutrition by Tanya, a nutrition practice run by Tanya Rosen, which has locations in Boro Park, Flatbush, Lakewood, Monsey, Monroe, Williamsburg, Queens, Five Towns, and Israel. Tanya is the creator of the TAP (Tanya approved products) line available on her website, offices, and at select supermarkets, offering all-natural low-calorie delicious snacks and food. Tanya can be reached through The Wellspring.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 63
Monthly Dose By Yaakov Goodman
THE MONSTROUS MIGRAINE
IF YOU'VE HAD ONE, YOU KNOW HOW BAD IT CAN BE Every day, over 15 million Americans experience the paralyzing pain of migraine and tension headaches. Thousands are admitted to emergency rooms across the country, complaining of migraine-related conditions on a daily basis. Often described as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head, a migraine can be a debilitating, even life-threatening disorder. The crippling effects of a migraine have been known for centuries. In fact, the Ebers Papy-
lights or other visual disturbances. Dizziness and nausea, chills or sweat, and double vision or slurred speech may accompany migraines. Noise or light may make everything feel worse. Women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from migraines. “Migraineurs” (those suffer from migraines) continue to suffer despite the numerous medications prescribed by their physicians. Cluster headaches arrive in groups. For days, weeks, or even months on end, they strike one or more times a day,
rus, the world’s oldest preserved medical document, contains a long chapter on purported remedies for a migraine. Migraine and tension headaches come in various forms and can either be an underlying issue or a condition of their own. Migraine headaches afflict approximately 28 million Americans on a steady basis and produce excruciating pain that can leave victims nearly crippled for hours or days at a time. Some people experience symptoms besides pain. The migraine may be heralded by an aura, a strange feeling marked by flashing
Exertion headaches are linked to physical activities such as exercise, laughing, and coughing. They often strike during or just after strenuous activity. While not considered dangerous per se, exertion headaches may indicate a stroke or other problem and therefore should be brought to the attention of a physician immediately. Organic headaches are messengers telling you something is amiss, and that could be anything from elevated blood pressure to a brain tumor. The headache pain may be accompanied by fever, neck
64 The Wellspring | November 2018
stiffness, confusion, difficulty in speaking or moving, or other symptoms. The pain tends to grow worse, either increasing with each headache or striking more frequently. Organic headaches account for fewer than 1% of all headaches. As painful and debilitating as migraines can be, many practitioners of conventional science have long held the opinion that they do not cause long-term damage. But they have been proven wrong. Researchers have recently uncovered an alarming discovery: Migraines cause lasting brain damage that is closely related to the changes seen in seizures, strokes, and dementia. Indeed, having a history of migraines is now thought to be a risk factor for some of the most-feared chronic brain disorders. Thus, far from being a temporary annoyance or a health hiccup, chronic-migraines should be considered a serious health hazard and must be addressed as such. Medications can be effective in the short term, but migraine drugs were never meant for long-term use, they are fraught with side effects, and they fail to address the underlying cause. If your parents were migraine sufferers, your own risk of migraines is doubled. For most people, taming their migraines is an ongoing series of trial and error using various medications and stress-reduction therapies. But it really doesn’t have to be. Maxi Health’s formula Migraine Max is a unique blend of magnesium, ginger root, feverfew, butterbur, bromelain, and B vitamins that has done wonders for those suffering from migraine and other headaches, acute or chronic. Let’s explore the beneficial properties of these herbs. Magnesium for Migraines Magnesium supplementation has been consistently proven to be effective at preventing and reducing the duration
petasin, oxopetasin, and petasin, which induce smooth muscle relaxation, particularly in cerebral blood vessel walls. The earliest evidence of butterbur’s migraine-preventive power came from a small study conducted in Germany comprising 60 patients, in which a group of 33 adults took 50 mg of standardized butterbur extract twice daily and the remaining group took a placebo. At the study’s onset, the participants suffered an average of 3.3 migraines each month. After four weeks of treatment, those who supplemented with butterbur averaged just 1.8 migraines per month. After eight weeks, they suffered only 1.3 migraines per month—a 61% decrease. At 12 weeks, the butterbur recipients reported an average of 1.7 migraine attacks per month—a 49% decrease. The total number of headache days per month fell from 3.4 to 1.7 days by the study’s end. Feverfew In the 17th century, a British herbalist wrote that an herb called feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) was helpful in treating “all pains in the head.” Despite a centuries-old tradition of using this member of the aster family for headaches, fever, and other ailments, several studies concerning feverfew’s ability to prevent migraines have appeared since the late 1970s. In one study, researchers looked at 17 migraineurs who were already using feverfew to prevent headaches. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, eight people continued to receive feverfew, while nine were given a placebo. The placebo group reported having more, and more serious, migraines, suggesting that feverfew does indeed prevent migraines. In 1988, an intriguing report appeared in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet. Seventy-two migraineurs participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. When the
Migraines cause lasting brain damage that is closely related to the changes seen in seizures, strokes, and dementia. also discovered that certain medicines that successfully treat migraines mimic magnesium’s actions by • keeping open blood vessels in the brain; • preventing sudden spasms that “clamp down” on arteries; • keeping the blood thin and flowing, by preventing platelets from sticking together inappropriately; • helping to maintain the stability of cell membranes; • interfering with the inflammation-producing substances released at the onset of a migraine. While magnesium may help ease migraines, not just any form of magnesium will do. Magnesium oxide, the form that is used in Migraine Max™ targets migraine and headaches. Butterbur Butterbur comes from the butterbur plant (Petasites hybridus), which is a perennial shrub found in Europe, Asia, and parts of North America. Butterbur has anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic (muscle-relaxant) effects and has long been used globally as an herbal treatment for migraines, as well as in treating asthma, ulcers, wounds, allergies, and skin infections. Butterbur contains iso-
volunteers took a daily capsule of dried feverfew leaves, the frequency and severity of their migraines fell, and they experienced less nausea and vomiting. In their review of the published literature on feverfew and migraines, researchers from England’s University of Exeter concluded that feverfew is “likely to be effective in the prevention of migraine” headaches and presents no major safety issues. Why feverfew helps prevent migraines remains unknown. Some researchers attribute the herb’s anti-migraine properties to its parthenolide, which may hinder the inflammatory process, or to the release of serotonin from certain white blood cells and platelets, which in turn can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines by keeping the blood vessels properly toned. Other substances in feverfew may interfere with the actions of arachidonic acid and histamine, which can contribute to migraine pain and other symptoms. Summary Despite advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of the migraine, effective new treatment options, and repeated initiatives over the years, the migraine remains an under-recognized, under-diagnosed, and under-treated health condition in everyday clinical practice. Most patients attempt, without success, to treat their headaches with over-the-counter medications. Migraine headaches are common, chronically affecting 18% of American women and 6% of men. Whether symptoms or causes of a more serious condition, migraines and headaches can make everyday life an uphill struggle. Thankfully Maxi Health’s Migraine Max™ has the science and success stories to provide relief to those who suffer from migraine and other headaches. Always consult your healthcare practitioner with any concerns. If you’re taking any blood thinning medication, ask your doctor before supplementing with vitamin K. To order Maxi Health products by phone, call 718-645-2266. Mention The Wellspring for an additional discount.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 65
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not ibntended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
of migraine headaches, with one dramatic study demonstrating a complete disappearance of pain in 87% of those given intravenous magnesium and 100% of patients responding to treatment. Magnesium helps muscles, including those surrounding arteries, to relax, which may be why a deficiency of this mineral is linked to migraines. Researchers have found that some of the same things that deplete the body’s supply of magnesium—including stress, alcohol, and pregnancy—can trigger migraines in susceptible people. They have
Health Personality By Shiffy Friedman
a cup of tea with: LEAH WOLOFSKY, ESQ. OCCUPATION: Dietitian-Nutritionist,
licensed attorney, author of A Brand New You (Menucha Publishers)
SINCE: 2013 LOCATION: Brooklyn, New York PASSION: Helping people solve challenges WISHES PEOPLE WOULD KNOW THAT: Nutrition is a science, not an opinion.
If you’ve given up on leading a healthy lifestyle because you’re not quite ready to revamp your life, you’ll be glad to hear that nutritionists like Leah Wolofsky do exist. Not only does Leah’s understanding of a healthy lifestyle not advocate a massive overhaul, but she’s passionate about taking baby steps. “People think they have to walk five miles a day in order to lose weight,” says Leah, who founded and runs Boro Park Nutrition along with a team of 4 other dietitians. “For most people, taking on such commitments puts them at risk for falling back. Rather, I would tell them to start with taking the steps instead of the elevator once or twice a day. It’s easy to push a button and find yourself upstairs, but if you choose the stairs every single day for one year, that’s 365 flights of stairs that you otherwise wouldn’t have done.” Leah’s philosophy also encompasses dietary improvement. Instead of choking down spinach and broccoli every night, she tells her clients to implement small, doable changes in their eating habits. “When you get home from work and want to grab a snack, choose baby carrots or an apple over a bag of potato chips. If you do that every day, that’s 365 healthier snacks in a year. It all adds up. Just do one small change at a time.” Leah’s passion in regards to nutrition is rooted in her desire to help people. “When I graduated high school,” she says, “I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field—but something bloodless.” And so, she got her master’s in nutrition. Not surprisingly, given her ambitious and passionate approach to the field, Leah landed a professorship teaching nutrition at Touro College. “In one of my first classes, every single student was older than me,” she recalls with a laugh. “Which was quite frightening,” she adds quickly. After a few semesters of teaching, Leah got a job working in a private practice, and then eventually opened up her own practice, Boro Park Nutrition. The practice that now employs four other dietitians had
66 The Wellspring | November 2018
its modest beginning in Leah’s living room. “When the demand grew and I hired another dietitian, she came to my living room to see clients from my house,” Leah recalls. “As the volume increased, we relocated to an office. Between all our staff, it’s a lot of work—dealing with the clients, billing all claims, and managing issues that come up.” In an ambitious community like ours, and for readers of The Wellspring, in particular, it seems that the market is flooded with health coaches, nutritionists, and dietitians. What sets Leah’s practice apart from the others? “First,” she says, “we take most insurances, including many Medicaid plans. For example, we take United Healthcare Community Plan, Healthfirst, and Healthplus. Dealing with insurances is always a challenge,” Leah admits, “but it’s worth it for us, because we get to help people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford nutrition guidance. “Another way our practice is different is that we specialize in pediatric nutrition—and that’s hard. When you walk into an adult function, you’ll always find something diet-friendly, such as fruit or salads. When you go to a kid’s birthday party, on the other hand, the only thing served is sugar-coated candy and junk food. Even in schools, the menu is most often not suitable for a nutritious lifestyle. Some schools serve only french fries for lunch, and the kid can’t go out to buy himself a salad.” In addition to their restrictive number of healthy options, Leah suggests that many more children struggle with weight issues than they used to because children aren’t as
active as they once were. “Some boys in are in Yeshiva so many hours they don’t see daylight, and they don’t have any time to be active.” Giving these children doable guidelines, she finds, motivates them to stick to them. Together with her team of dietitians, Leah is available to help the community with weight loss guidance, as well as to create customized plans for people with health issues. One of the new registered dietitians in her practice specializes in helping clients control diabetes and in providing guidance for clients with eating disorders.
to be sustainable. Have that potato near your chicken, is her perceptive, and the feeling of deprivation won’t get in the way of your success. In the same vein, she notes that while exercise is definitely important, doing a regime you dread is counterproductive. “Exercise is about feeling great, about doing something you enjoy. Physical activity can be fun and fulfilling. If mopping the floors vigorously is enjoyable for you, do that. When you incorporate exercise throughout day, you’ll keep coming back for more.”
Not everything that’s healthy is necessarily good for weight loss, and vice versa.
In her work on the job, Leah realized how various misconceptions regarding health and weight loss were hindering her clients’ success. One fact many people aren’t aware of is that not everything that’s healthy is necessarily good for weight loss, and vice versa. Olive oil, for example, might be very heart-healthy, but pouring it generously on everything will hinder weight loss.
Another issue a lot of her clients struggle with is the mistaken thinking that they could eat as much protein as they want, and it won’t count. “As long as they’re not eating carbs,” says Leah, “they feel like they’re doing the right thing. I have weight loss clients who tell me they would eat two chicken bottoms with vegetables smothered in sauces for dinner. They’ll say, ‘As long as I’m not eating the baked potato, I’m good.’ And that’s not true.” Better yet, Leah offers, is the too-prevalent myth that all carbs are bad. “To many people, white potatoes are a no-no. What they don’t realize is that it’s not the potato, but what they put on it. A whole white potato has only 100 calories and is high in potassium and other nutrients. For the healthy population, it’s what we do with the potato that’s the problem. You could eat mashed potato with a bit of salt or mashed potato smothered in butter. That’s more significant than the carb itself.” To Leah, a healthy lifestyle must be enjoyable in order for it
How does Leah deal with emotional eating in her practice? “We’re not therapists,” she clarifies. “We’re dietitians, so we focus on the food aspect. We ask questions like, ‘How are the difficult emotions in your life manifested? What are the alternatives that can get you through this time instead of turning to food?’ Some people just need to deal with their problem in a better way. A person who doesn’t feel empowered to stick up for herself, for example, might turn to food when she’s being bullied. Everyone has emotions. There’s a Torah concept of enjoying food at a time of simchah, so emotional eating is not all bad. But we also believe that our emotions should guide us responsibly.” Leah and her team often recommend that their clients treat themselves with things that are not food. “If you want relax,” she explains, “it doesn’t have to be with chocolate cake. Go for a bubble bath or a massage instead.” With a growing practice, Leah gets to see what people struggle with most and least in regards to weight loss. “The issue that comes up most often,” she says, “is being committed to making sustainable changes every single day. Most people want a quick fix. They want to hear what most other nutritionists tell them. They have a hard time with the sense of mediocre. But dieting is not about whether I was “good” or “bad” on a given day. It’s more about am I doing the best I can so it’ll last. Perhaps it means having my fish with a healthy sauce instead of eating a dry piece of salmon. Most clients think that when they’re watching their weight, they must do everything lifnim mishuras hadin. They would never dare eat salad with dressing. They wouldn’t go near a slice of cake, even on Shabbos. And if they do have it, it’s a downward spiral from there.” Leah puts her philosophy this way: nothing is 100 or 0%. There’s a lot of wiggle room in the middle. “Lasting results happen when we take our focus off weight loss and switch it to making the best choices.” Leah’s busy nutrition practice is only one part of her life. Last year, when she was expecting her first child, she took her career to a new level: she passed the
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 67
bar. The connection between dietetics and law seems incongruent, but Leah assures me it isn’t. “Hashem puts everyone where they need to be,” she says. “After I got my master’s degree in nutrition, I paid attention to how fascinated I was by the laws regarding foods. Everything is very regulated and there is much overlap—from the FDA’s policy, to the USDA’s food guides for the public. Two summers ago, I actually interned in a law firm in Manhattan that specialized in misleading food label class actions. In addition, there are lawsuits related to obesity discrimination, dangerous neutraceuticals, and diet product scams. In addition to the intricate laws concerning food per se, as a dietitian, Leah also realized that a whole slew of additional laws that apply to the practice of nutrition in itself. “People who are practicing nutrition but don’t have a degree in dietetics have to abide by certain laws,” she explains. “They face questions like, ‘Can I practice in a given state?’ In Florida, for example, an individual is not allowed to run a nutrition practice unless he holds a degree. In New York, anyone could.”. “In every occupation, there are numerous laws involved. The practitioner may not be aware of them, but they may come up later to their disadvantage. For instance, there are specific laws pertaining to hiring people, as well as for injuries that happen on their premises. Understanding terms in negotiating contracts is critical to all steps of business. All of these laws have a place in the field of nutrition, just as much as in every field.” Stoked by her interest and desire to be the dietitian-lawyer combo for those in her niche, Leah headed off to law school. Instead of the fulltime, three year option, Leah took the five year, part-time route. “It’s an absolutely intense program,” Leah admits when I ask her if the hype is
To many people, white potatoes are a no-no. What they don’t realize is that it’s not the potato, but what they put on it. grounded in facts. “Many people drop out because the pressure is too much for them.” Despite the intensity, though, Leah managed to not only swing the tough years of schooling, but also to get married and write a book during that time. Leah’s newly published book, A Brand New You (Menucha), is the first of its kind on the frum nutrition market. “It’s meant to help people customize their own meal plan for weight loss,” Leah explains. “It is a diet book, but the information is helpful also for people who want to eat healthier.” The first part of Leah’s comprehensive diet guide provides lots of general information about nutrition. In the next section, she shows readers how to customize their own meal plan. Later, she offers advice for special occasions that come up often for her frum audience, such as Shabbos, Yom Tov, and summers in the bungalow colony. The book also has a handy list of tools to buy to help prepare healthy meals. Does Leah’s book take the place of seeing a nutritionist? “In a way, it does because it provides a sensible approach,” says Leah, “but there’s no denying that seeing a nutritionist on a consistent basis offers guidance and support that a book doesn’t. Some people need somebody to answer to regarding their eating habits. Plus, my book speaks specifically to those who want to lose weight, but some see a dietitian for other reasons.” With so much on her plate, how is the newly-minted lawyer planning to divide her time between her nutrition practice and as an attorney? “This will depend on the circumstances,” says Leah. “I hope to approach it with a sense of balance, but the thought of trying to get the best of both seems daunting. I guess I’ll have to do my best with whatever circumstances make sense. ” Perhaps balance is the key word in Leah’s life. While she’s thoroughly educated in various fields, she gives a hearty laugh when she talks about her baby daughter, ever the proud mom. And as a frum woman, she cares deeply about the members of our community. “Become as educated in nutrition as you possibly can,” is her message to readers. “When it comes to nutrition, there isn’t only one truth. Not everything works for everyone. Be open to hearing other perspectives and see what works for you. “While there are many different approaches to nutrition, my philosophy is about balance, about accepting less than perfection. If even 60% of your day was on track, give yourself encouragement for that. As long as you’re trying your best to make the right choices, you’re doing good. It’s about progress, not perfection.” Leah can be contacted via The Wellspring.
68 The Wellspring | November 2018
Emotional Wellness By Mark Staum, LCSW
Help! I Don’t Know How to Handle My Child’s Behavior Discipline for Success Many parents struggle with identifying appropriate disciplinary techniques that can reduce or modify negative behavior in their children. In the context of family interactions, negative behavior can be expressed by a child talking back to a parent, lying, or acting in a disrespectful manner. When these behaviors occur, I often find that parents tell me the techniques they utilize lead to increased fighting. Parents become increasingly frustrated and worried that they are failing to utilize discipline in an effective way. In this article, I will explore some ideas that lead to more effective discipline in the home. First, it’s important to see your child through a developmental perspective. A 5 year old who talks back is not the same as a 15 year old who is acting disrespectfully. While sending a five year old for a quick time out is an effective disciplinary strategy, it’s hardly appropriate for a teenager. Similarly, although it may be realistic to expect an empathic response when disciplining an older child, expecting the same from a young child is not.
consequences, and even how the consequence relates to your rules. Speaking with children should be brief and to the point. Threatening to take action without doing so is something your children will pick up on. Following Through Stated consequences should always be implemented. Talking things through with your spouse or some brief reflection may help you identify potential obstacles to your intended consequence. Immediate Consequences
It’s beneficial for children to experience consequences as close as possible to the negative behavior.
Here are six prerequisites to implementing successful disciplinary techniques: Consistency Parents should be consistent in their discipline. Children should know the types of behavior (lying, poor school performance, etc.) that will lead to a disciplinary response. While the type of disciplinary action chosen should be ageappropriate, all children should have a general understanding of what behavior will or will not be tolerated. No Threats It’s important to speak to children about rules and
It’s beneficial for children to experience consequences as close as possible to the negative behavior. When a child connects the consequence to the behavior, they will be less likely to repeat it. Using Natural Consequences
A child who refuses to eat dinner goes to bed hungry. This is a natural or logical consequence of not eating dinner. On the other hand, disciplinary actions unrelated to the negative behavior may be questioned, resulting in increased fighting and tension in the home. Positive Attention Parents should always make an effort to spend positive time with their children, in order to strengthen their relationship and increase their emotional connection. Children who are not provided with positive attention may resort to negative behaviors to get the attention they seek. There is always value in considering new ideas to build emotional resilience in your children. Parenting is a lifelong challenge, which is well worth the effort expended.
Mark Staum, LCSW is a staff clinician at the Center for Anxiety (Rockland County office). Mark specializes in using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with children and adolescents who are dealing with anxiety, mood, and other symptoms, particularly in the context of social and family-based stressors. David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., ABPP, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, part-time, and a board-certified clinical psychologist. He also directs the Center for Anxiety, which has offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Monsey, Rockland County, and Boston.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 69
Child Development by Friedy Singer & Roizy Guttmann, OTR/L
Is Your Baby Rolling Over? It’s More Than a Motor Milestone The precursors for reading and writing develop at this stage A child’s ability to read and write properly is not merely a visual issue. You may be surprised to learn that when we read or write, our eyes and hands are not working in isolation. For many children, reading difficulties are not about a cognitive issue, and writing difficulties may not be because the child can’t move the pencil properly. Rather, a combination of systems must work well together in order to facilitate the desired outcome. Many parents turn to a kriah specialist when their child is exhibiting reading problems or a handwriting specialist if the child has difficulty writing. While these might lead to short term improvement, they later wonder why their child keeps falling back, such as after the summer break. As part of the vicious cycle, the child becomes frustrated at his failed attempts to master the skill, which causes resentment and negativity toward trying again. There’s a reason why the improvement is not consistent and long-term. When a child can’t read well, whether from a book or the blackboard, parents will usually explore the visual aspect of reading. They’ll take the child to an eye doctor to determine he has good visual acuity or whether there’s any issue of far or nearsightedness. In many cases, their search for an underlying cause will seem fruitless: the ophthalmologist will say that nothing is wrong with the child’s vision. So why is he still having such a hard time with reading? Reading is a complex process that involves more than what the eyes see. It’s a reflection of what the body perceives through the integration of not one, but three systems—visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Our visual system determines how well our eyes work together to interpret what we actually see. Our vestibular system is our body’s GPS; it’s in charge of balance and movement, and tells us where we are in relation to the environment around us.
70 The Wellspring | November 2018
The vestibular system runs on the same track as the visual system, stabilizing what the eyes are seeing even when our head and body may be moving. For example, when a baby is being wheeled in a stroller on the street, the car he sees coming down the road gets stabilized as an image in his brain. In other words, the vestibular system supports proper vision. The proprioceptive system provides us with the ability to know where we are in space through the activation of receptors in major joints such as the hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers. Children with poor proprioception constantly give themselves feedback to figure out where they are in space. These are the kids who are constantly mouthing or twirling their hair. When they’re writing, they may have a tight grasp on the pencil to give their body more feedback. When they’re reading, they may be constantly moving and shuffling. In an appropriately developing child, the visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems work seamlessly to facilitate reading and writing. When one of the systems is underdeveloped, however, the body may rely on another to overcompensate. Just as a blind person needs a cane to get more feedback about his position, children whose vestibular system is underdeveloped will resort to certain behaviors that give them the feedback through proprioception in order to know where they are in space. Similarly, since having good balance is what enables an individual to stand still and not move, kids who have an underdeveloped vestibular system are usually fidgety and move around a lot. The vestibular system allows a baby to start perceiving what a vertical or horizontal plane is, which essentially primes his ability to later read and write. Although the baby is not at a stage to read, the precursors for reading and pre-writing skills are developing when the baby experiences developmental movement patterns. When the baby starts out moving with no muscle tone, he’s actually using his vestibular and proprio-
ments that develop perception of different planes, they lacked the ability to write. When a child who is learning ABC’s or aleph-beis confuses letters such as p and q, it may not be due to a cognitive deficiency, rather he may not be perceiving shapes correctly due to an issue in his early development. A diagonal line (such as in the letter A) is the hardest to perceive. If we see that a child has a hard time with this, and visual acuity is not an issue, we go back to see how well he perceives horizontal and vertical planes. In most cases, we’ll find he has a hard time with one of them.
ceptive systems together to develop an internal map of his own body. One of the first moves infants do is putting their hands under their stomach and pushing themselves up from there. All these little movements are actually mapping their visual perception in their brain. When a baby starts sitting at around six months of age, he starts seeing objects from a vertical plane. His perception of what a line is becomes more apparent in the mapping of his brain. Understanding this, a parent may not get so frustrated when her baby throws down a toy from his high chair for the thirtieth time; besides learning about cause and effect, he is beginning to understand the vertical plane. Once the child starts crawling, he gets a representation of the horizontal plane, as well.
The vestibular system creates an internal compass. Based on this, the child can learn the concepts of right, left, up, down, etc. This is the primer for their understanding of which direction to write English or lashon hakodesh, as well as how to carry out math problems involving lining up the numbers, carrying over the digits, etc. Many of the issues kids have with math may originate from an underdeveloped vestibular system. When we work with such kids, we tell the parents to first work on the underlying issue in conjunction with seeing an educational specialist with both of us working at the child’s developmental level. Most kids who have these issues must exert themselves to read and write, and end up resenting these activities. Having enough movement in different planes, such as sitting, crawling, and rolling over fosters development of these systems. This allows the child to develop perception in all areas of the brain, which will dictate how well he will learn to read and write. Children with issues in these areas will generally have a hard time keeping their eyes in the right place when reading, and reproducing written language accurately. Simply put, the potential of the child’s ease in learning is established in the first few months of his life. Movement is not only about walking; it’s about being functional.
Many of a child’s actions that seem like a nuisance, such as when he throws things off the high chair again and again, are valuable learning moments.
If you ever wondered how a baby knows which shape to put into which hole, you understand it now. Even if the baby never played the game before, he has the images of shapes mapped out in his brain from months of moving and observation.
The integration of all three systems plays a primary role in writing. Every letter in the alphabet has to be written with elements of a vertical, horizontal, and/or diagonal plane, which is only possible when the child’s three systems are properly developed. Researchers have observed that in certain ancient cultures where babies went from lying flat in their crib directly to walking, there was no written language. Because these children weren’t given an opportunity to explore typical move-
Many European countries, such as Norway and Finland, stress the importance of beginning a child’s foray into the academic world focusing on learning through the use of movement, music, creative play and social engagement. They also have the highest literacy rates across all socioeconomic classes. This impressive statistic may result from the fact that reading is not encouraged until second grade. This is the complete opposite of the approach in America, and certainly the Jewish population, which encourages young children to learn aleph-beis before their upsherin. Some kids are ready for it, but many aren’t. Their three systems are still in need of further development in order to help facilitate a more pleasant experience in reading and writing.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 71
Child Development Tips to foster development of the three precursory systems—visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive:
1. Movement Priming The various movements babies make help them develop the precursors for written language. Give your infant/child as much opportunity for movement as possible. Make sure he goes through different types of moves in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal planes as he develops, from tummy time, rolling, crawling, opening and closing cabinets, taking out objects and putting them back as an infant/toddler, to sliding down a pole (vertical), across the monkey bar (horizontal) as he grows older. Many of a child’s actions that seem like a nuisance, such as when he throws things off the high chair again and again, are valuable learning moments. When a child drops something, he learns about gravity, as well as the perception of up and down. He’s essentially drawing a line. Everything a child sees in infancy is a reflection of what he will eventually write. Intervention If you see your child has a hard time writing letters in certain planes, such as a vertical or horizontal line, have him do movements in those planes. If he has a hard time writing a horizontal line, for example, have him ride on a scooter from left and right.
2. Activities Engage in shape sorters, puzzles, and imitating/copying shapes and advance to playing games such as Connect Four or tic-tac-toe (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal). Twister is another great game that helps to coordinate the practice of visual perceptual skills by bringing in the use of proprioception.
3. Tactile Learning When teaching or practicing the letters with your child, give him opportunities for tactile learning. Have him lie down, using his body to form certain letters, or use pipe cleaners to form them.
4. Observe In most cases, a parent knows their child best. Observe your child in situations other than learning to gauge his development in the three systems. For example, a child who’s afraid of going on a suspension bridge in the park may have an underdeveloped vestibular system, which creates a sense of gravitational insecurity. If you see your child has a hard time reading, ask him, “Are you seeing double? Are you seeing blurry? Are you having hard time finding the place?” Issues in these areas may be related to how well the eyes communicate with the other systems.
get it rolling! It’s been an honor for us to use this space in The Wellspring to educate and empower readers regarding the neurodevelopmental domain of child development. We appreciate the feedback from parents and therapists who have reached out to us, gratified that the content has been helpful to many. Our mantra at the HOPE Foundation is, “Educate yourself to empower others.” If there’s a specific area of development that you’d like us to cover, feel free to contact us so we can get the conversation rolling. We look forward to hearing from you! —Friedy & Roizy
Friedy Singer and Roizy Guttmann are neurodevelopmental therapists and the directors of Hands on OT Rehab Services, Hands on Approaches, and the H.O.P.E. (Hands on Parent Empowerment) Foundation. They are focused on educating and empowering the community to help children with anxiety, processing and learning issues. They can be reached at email@example.com
72 The Wellspring | November 2018
Clean Slate By Shiffy Friedman, MSW
I CARE ABOUT MYSELF
THE PHYSICAL-SPIRITUAL CONNECTION
Now that this column has become more targeted, as we clarified in the previous installment, specifically addressing those who have come to the conclusion that they engage in the form of eating that is detrimental to their physical and/or emotional health and are desperate to break the habit, we can move ahead with the healing process. The way we conduct ourselves concerning food, from a Torah perspective, tells much more than merely our attitude to losing weight; the way we treat our body is a direct consequence of self-esteem. In Alei Shur, the famed mashgiach Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt”l, cites the parable of a crippled individual who is carried on the shoulders of a blind man. Since the disabled person, who represents our infinitely brilliant neshamah, can’t move on his own, he’s dependent on the blind person’s physical strength, the body, to take him in the direction in which he commands him to go. The blind person, the body, is simultaneously dependent on his crippled friend, the neshamah, to lead the way according to his eyes, his wisdom. Each of us has spiritual and physical kochos. We need both of them to work in sync in order to reach our purpose, our destination. Each is equally responsible toward reaching that place and for what happens on the journey. While both our physical and spiritual aspects enable us to nurture Hashem’s image in this world, the Mashgiach explains, the difference is that the physical kochos are blind—they’re powerful, raw desires, while the spiritual strengths are crippled— they’re profoundly wise, yet limited in their expression by the restraints of the physical world. Our desire to live, for example, is so powerful that even people who don’t possess the energy to do simple things are suddenly filled with unbelievable strength when their life is threatened. Compelled by the powerful desire to live, the body taps into its reservoirs of energy, in the form of adrenaline, to save him. In order to nurture this strength, we must engage in physical
activities, such as resting and eating, and thus, we have a great need to guard our health. The strength of the guf doesn’t ask deep questions such as about the purpose of life. It just says, “Live!” Kochos hanefesh, spiritual strengths, on other hand, are intelligent. Our neshamah sees far beyond what the body comprehends. Our neshamah is the one who wants to understand why we’re living. It explores the purpose of existence even when it’s locked into the confines of a physical being. Since both these strengths are dependent on one another, our neshama relies on our physical drives in order to maintain its existence in this world. And so, says the Mashgiach, the physical need to live compels us lishkod al brioseinu, to be concerned and invested in our health. Deeds that reflect the contrary, such as sleeping too little, not engaging in physical activity, nutrient-deficient diets, or consuming foods or substances detrimental to health, are a sign of a deficiency. Something beneath the surface is inhibiting the person’s natural compulsion to do everything in their power to maintain their existence. In other words, what may appear to be a superficial act is rather a clear sign of an underlying deficiency, particularly in the realm of emotion. If it would be saying merely, “I don’t care how I look,” the issue wouldn’t deserve so much space in this magazine, certainly not in Rav Wolbe’s mussar sefer. Rather, starvation or compulsive overeating is a proclamation from the depths of our spirit: “My drive to maintain my existence is deficient.” In simple English, “I don’t care enough about myself.” So how can we heal this profound lack in emotional health? The first step—in all emotional healing—is taking responsibility for our own actions.
Often, when I interview dietitians and nutritionists for The Wellspring, one of the questions I ask is how they address the emotional component in nutrition. On the one hand, it’s important for clients to come away with an understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet, to be cognizant of the contents of a balanced meal. But what
Progress begins with a resolution: “I want to give myself what I deserve.” happens when, despite the knowledge that a bar of chocolate or bag of chips isn’t good for them, they feel drawn to step—or even burst—out of the plan and give in to their craving/yearning/need? Some interviewees tell me about the approach they teach; others confide that too often, their clients use emotional eating as an excuse to keep engaging in detrimental behavior. Until we take responsibility for our own actions instead of attributing them to “an issue,” there is no way that we can progress. Progress starts with a resolution to stop pointing fingers at genetics, childhood factors, current stressful circumstances, our schedule, the weather, or whatever else is not in our control. Progress begins with a resolution: “I want to give myself what I deserve.” In the next installment, we will discuss the intricacies of taking responsibility, including the fine line between this resolution and self-blame. In her practice as an MSW, Shiffy Friedman realized that her knowledge in psychology was not helpful in healing the infinitely profound nefesh. An intensive search led her to discover the Torah’s direction toward a more connected life. In this column on emotional eating, she shares elements of this approach.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 73
Serial Diary by Zahava List
Life with mental illness #3 Becoming a mother took every ounce of strength from me, but I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t feel exhausted in the least. Why does everyone talk about the post-birth experience as the most tired time in their life? Two days after the birth, with my brain on overdrive, I started with the phone calls. From my hospital room, and then when I was back home, I was obsessed with calling people. But I wasn’t just calling my mother or sisters; I called random people—people I hadn’t spoken to since I left my hometown after my wedding. At first, the conversations were about me and my baby. You know, the regular. About the birth and how I was feeling. And then they shifted to me trying to help the person I was talking to. At one point, I stopped talking about myself and the baby completely, getting straight to the point. I felt that I was able to read minds and that I had special powers. When I called one friend who had a rough relationship with her mother, I started our conversation with, “How’s it going with your mother?” I asked personal questions and offered my unsolicited advice in heaping quantities. I was totally focused on helping others, on saving the world. My suddenly extraverted behavior was a complete change from the persona I had exhibited during pregnancy. For most of the nine months, especially leading up to the end, I had avoided interacting with people. Now, I was suddenly filled with a desire to do just that and to talk, talk, talk. It didn’t matter if it was to family, friends, or acquaintances. I didn’t know what to do with this flood of energy that was coursing through my body. It was like I was on springs, and I couldn’t get off. For my in-laws, my baby’s bris was an especially exciting milestone, since he was their first grandchild. Of course, they flew in to celebrate the simchah with us. Even when my mother-in-law was at our house, I was on the phone with other people. Incessant talking on the phone was one channel through which I expressed my abundant energy. I did many other things that a post-birth mother who’s trying to rest up and take it easy wouldn’t even entertain. I wanted to go visit my neighbor. I couldn't sit still; I was walking around high, not only pumped with physical energy, but my mind was racing too, thinking nonstop
74 The Wellspring | November 2018
thoughts and ideas. I was on a hyperactive roll. Still, despite my obvious hypomania, things didn’t appear that off. My behaviors were certainly out of normal range, but people who didn’t know me so well probably thought I was just a more uninhibited kind of person. When neighbors would bring me food, I’d stand at the door schmoozing with them for a long time. Another aspect of my peculiar behavior was that I had no judgment. People couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. Things just looked weird. A day after the bris, my uninhibited behaviors rose to a new level. It was only a few days but my mania increased over a very short span of time. In a matter of minutes, my subconscious opened up, revealing so much that had been inside me for so long that I was not even aware of. I sat down with my husband, and for the first time in my life, I was sharing painful experiences I had endured. I couldn’t believe I was revealing details that I didn’t even remember knowing. It was clear to my husband that I wasn’t merely struggling with baby blues. I was struggling from the depths of my core. It was obvious that it was time for serious intervention to stop this ever increasing monster that was overwhelming me. It was time to save that lost and frightened little girl inside of me. But because of my own stigma toward mental illness, taking medication, and stopping to nurse, I would first fight a painful battle, resisting that I was the one with the issue, before I would realize that mental illness did not, and never would, define me. In Hindsight Looking back, I'm grateful that my husband took me seriously, even while I was talking in a manic state. This helped jumpstart my treatment process. Painful episodes on their own do not necessarily cause such a severe reaction. A very dear teacher of mine once explained that a person who has a genetic predisposition for mental illness and is faced with such challenges can be compared to an individual who has weak legs and must walk in high-heeled shoes. In my experience, I believe the combination of a chemical imbalance along with the painful past episodes facilitated the full blown exhibition of my mental illness. To be continued... Zahava List is the founder and director of Chazkeinu, a peer-led support organization for Jewish women who struggle with mental illness and their female family members.
YOUR WELLNESS LIST 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.
MIGRAINE MAX™ Related to Monthly Dose pg. 68
MAXI METHYL ONE PRENATAL™ Related to Ask the Nutritionist pg. 26
For most people, taming their migraines is an ongoing series of trial and error, using various medications and stress-reduction therapies. But it really doesn’t have to be. Maxi Health’s formula Migraine Max™ is a unique blend of magnesium, ginger root, feverfew, butterbur, bromelain, and B vitamins that has done wonders for those suffering from migraine and other headaches, acute or chronic.
As Shani Taub writes, an expectant mother doesn’t need twice the calories, but she does need an increased amount of many essential nutrients, including protein, folate, and iron. In every dose of the unique formula Maxi Methyl One Prenatal™, mothers get their fill of vital nutrients, especially methyl folate, to boost their own energy and support their child’s development during this crucial period.
MAXI NAC COMPLEX™ Related to Golden Page pg. 83
RELAX TO THE MAX™ Related to Inkwell pg. 84
The formulators at Maxi Health realized it was imperative to create a NAC supplement to match the mountains of research behind this wonder nutrient. They have taken it to the next level by adding a 600 mg dose to a formula of health-boosting nutrients like selenium, longevity-boosting molybdenum, and L-glutathione.
As kinesiologist Miriam Schweid relates in this issue, inner tension in an expectant mother may be reflected in the behavior of her infant. This comes as no surprise, since stress detrimentally affects many areas of health. Relax to the Max™ contains a formulation of natural stress-reducing herbs that support relaxation and inner calm.
OLIVE SUPREME™ Related to Health Platform pg. 14 According to the research Rabbi Meisels reviews in his column, the combination of four vital nutrients in this unique supplement can prove to be life-altering at the time of year when we all seek to strengthen our immune system to combat infection and viruses, especially the common cold, flu, and respiratory tract infections.
Ask for these products at your local health food store.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 75
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
Golden Page By Yaakov Goodman
NATURAL FLU PROTECTION NAC FOR A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
When it comes to a healthy liver and lungs, a robust immune system, and achieving optimal cholesterol levels, nothing quite compares to NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), which belongs to the same family as the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. Due to its unique properties and numerous benefits, NAC is used in both conventional and alternative medicine. It can be found in every hospital emergency room as an antidote for acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) toxicity. Large doses of acetaminophen, or chronic use at lower dosages, can destroy the liver’s ability to function, resulting in liver failure and fatality. NAC restores normal liver levels of glutathione and helps heal the liver damage caused by acetaminophen. It’s also used in conventional medicine to break down large amounts of mucus, a common symptom of conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Just as NAC protects the liver, it also protects the kidneys, which play a key role in detoxification and blood pressure
human health. Potent Flu Protection NAC has proven effective against seasonal influenza and flu-like illnesses. In a large study of older adults who took 600 mg twice daily for 6 months, only 15% of those experienced influenza-like episodes, compared with 79% in the placebo group. Even those with flu symptoms experienced a significant reduction in illness severity and length of time confined to bed. All subjects tolerated the treatment well. The study’s lead author, Dr. Silvio de Flora, commented that “Administration of N-acetyl cysteine during the winter thus appears to provide a significant attenuation of influenza and influenza-like episodes, especially in elderly high-risk individuals.” NAC has now been shown to protect subjects from lethal influenza infection, synergistically enhancing the effects of several common antiviral medications. In the words of prolific medical theorist Mark F. McCarty, “The most foolproof way to promote survival in epidemics of potentially lethal influenza is to target intracellular signaling pathways which promote viral propagation or lung inflammation.” McCarty goes on to cite NAC’s benefits as a multi-targeted supplement with precisely those attributes. NAC at doses of 600 mg twice daily may significantly reduce the risk of a devastating bout of influenza.
In a large study of older adults who took 600 mg of NAC twice daily for 6 months, only 15% of those experienced influenza-like episodes, compared with 79% in the placebo group. regulation. Doctors use a chemical called a “contrast agent” to make the kidneys more visible when taking medical images of patients. However, this chemical is hard on the kidneys and can result in “contrast-induced nephropathy,” which can sometimes lead to kidney failure. NAC has been found to reduce kidney-related toxicity from contrast agents and is also used to prevent kidney failure in some patients with chronic kidney impairment. However, in the fields of conventional medicine the unfortunate truth is that most individuals have never heard of NAC. Even many doctors remain unaware of its potential role as a frontline defense against some of today’s most deadly public health threats. Fortunately, renewed clinical interest in its broad-spectrum benefits is yielding fresh data on promising interventions for this safe, effective compound. In this article we will attempt to highlight some of its many benefits in achieving optimal
76 The Wellspring | November 2018
Lung Disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis and chronic emphysema, is a rapidly-growing global issue. COPD is the result of oxidative damage to delicate lung tissue, resulting in chronic inflammatory changes. The disease is worsened by air pollution and cigarette smoking, but is by no means limited to people with those exposures. Over time, victims’ damaged airways may become colonized with dangerous bacteria, leading to chronic infection and still more inflammation in a vicious cycle. Current treatment consists mainly of anti-inflammatory steroids and lung-opening medications used in asthma, with the addition of antibiotics when infection threatens. With its ability to reduce oxidative stress and simultane-
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
ously quash chronic inflammatory changes, NAC is emerging as a game-changing therapy in COPD. A randomized pilot study of adults with acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis and positive bacterial culture in the sputum demonstrated that 600 mg of NAC twice daily led to a near doubling of the rate of bacterial eradication compared with standard therapy, while reducing the number and duration of acute exacerbations and improving quality of life. NAC treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe COPD improved their physical performance on lung function tests, especially after exercise. Patients with advanced COPD frequently require low-dose oxygen therapy because of the damage to their lungs. In many cases, however, oxidative stress induced by the disease has already rendered them glutathione deficient, so they have diminished protection against ongoing oxidation. Daily supplementation with NAC powerfully counteracts this oxidative stress. In one study it was shown to completely prevent further protein damage. In one study, utilizing a dose of just 600 mg per day for 10 weeks aided in healing damaged lung tissue. Another devastating chronic lung condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) also involves increased oxidative burden and a deficiency of glutathione in lung tissue and fluids. This progressive disease has a poor prognosis, even when treated with standard corticosteroids and powerful prescription anti-inflammatory drugs. The median survival is only about three years, regardless of therapy.
Oral NAC supplements now offer a ray of hope for IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) sufferers. NAC significantly increases lung glutathione levels in both animal and human studies of IPF. Given as an aerosol treatment, NAC may delay disease progression, and at doses of 600 mg three times daily preserves lung vital capacity and gas exchange better than standard therapy alone. In summary, evidence suggests that supplementing with a qualityÂ NAC formula offers benefits at doses for people who have, or are at risk for, chronic lung conditions such as COPD and IPF. The formulators at Maxi Health realized it was imperative to create a NAC supplement to match the mountains of research behind this wonder nutrient. They have taken it to the next level with Maxi NAC Complexâ&#x201E;˘, containing a 600 mg dose of NAX, the amount used in most of the clinical trials. Added to this is a formula of health boosting nutrients, such as the mineral selenium, with its powerful anti-cancer properties, as well as longevity-boosting molybdenum and L-glutathione. To order this and any other health-promoting supplement, call the vitamin hotline at 718-645-2266. Mention The Wellspring for a special discount and to receive free shipping.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 77
Memos from a Kinesiologist By Miriam Schweid
Out of His Misery And his mother’s too When an early morning appointment brought me out into the street at a time that I’m usually home, I realized what a beautiful sight I miss every day. I took the longest route possible so I could take in the scene; throngs of girls in uniform walking briskly, chatting with friends and clusters of young mothers huddled together in front of their buildings, keeping an eye on their toddlers and rocking babies in strollers while seeing their preschoolers off to school. How heartwarming to observe the early morning goings on in my flourishing frum community. On my way, I stopped to greet a cousin and catch up on family news. As we chatted, I couldn’t miss the incessant crying coming from a stroller nearby. The baby’s cries compelled me to stop our conversation. What was going on? A good look in the direction of the baby intensified my concern. The baby looked perfectly healthy and, based on my experience in the field, it didn’t appear to me that his cries were a reaction to pain. When I looked up, my eyes met his mother’s. She looked tired, as if she was fighting to keep her eyelids open. Back and forth, back and forth, she kept rocking the stroller. My cousin, who noticed my observation, immediately voiced her sympathies for her poor neighbor. “Have pity on this exhausted young woman,” she told me, “she’s literally going out of her mind.” Since I don’t offer guidance unless asked, all I could do was express my sympathies. But my cousin wouldn’t let me go, she turned to her neighbor and introduced me, saying, “Chavi, maybe my cousin can give you some advice to finally help your baby.” Chavi didn’t need much convincing to share her woes with me. She told me that for the almost six months since his birth, her baby, Yitzchak, had not stopped crying. She had become a regular at her pediatrician’s office, but he couldn’t help her. Yitzchak had neither reflux nor a digestive problem, he wasn’t teething or constipated. Not only was Chavi at a loss regarding how to help her child, but she was teetering on the brink of an emotional breakdown.
In order to give her guidance in a professional, private setting, I advised Chavi to come to my office to discuss the matter further. Since the age of two weeks, Yitzchak had been constantly crying. In order to rule out acid reflux, his doctor prescribed Zantac, which didn’t help matters. On the nutrition end, Chavi was off milk and wheat. She strictly nursed the baby and did not supplement with formulas. Still, she saw no change at all. I couldn’t take my eyes off this beautiful child, whose eyes were swollen from so much crying. And Chavi, in her exhausted state, had an entire household to take care of. In order to get a better picture of Yitzchak and Chavi’s history, I asked her about her pregnancy. Many months before, I had read in a homeopathic journal about how the feelings of the expectant mother have an impact on her child. I read a plethora of reviews from mothers of once-miserable infants who were now doing much better after the pregnancy-related stress was defused. When I contemplated this avenue with Chavi, her eyes lit up. She admitted to having had an especially stressful pregnancy. Her husband had lost his job and then started something new and one of her sons was having a hard time at school. Chavi was in the middle of it all, trying to cope on all fronts. With Chavi’s consent, I reached out to Mr. Weinberger from Maxi Health to find out which supplement would be helpful for her baby. I was looking for a calming ingredient, L-theanine, which is generally not available in children’s supplements. Mr. Weinberger graciously gave of his time to evaluate the situation and recommended Maxi Health’s Relax to the Max™. We divided the capsules, which are intended for adult use, and advised Chavi to give the supplement to her baby twice a day. Today, two weeks later, little Yitzchak is a source of great joy to his now happy mother. He started crawling and exploring the world around him, and most importantly, he’s smiling. *Names and identifying details have been changed.
Miriam Schweid is a Brooklyn-based kinesiologist. She can be reached through The Wellspring.
78 The Wellspring | November 2018
Monounsaturated fats Definition: noun
fatty acids that have one double bond in the fatty acid chain with all of the remainder carbon atoms being single-bonded. Among other health benefits, these fats protect against cardiovascular disease by providing more membrane fluidity than saturated fats.
â&#x20AC;&#x153; â&#x20AC;? 77% MONOUNSATURATED FAT IN 1 TABLESPOON OF OLIVE OIL.
Kislev 5779 | The Wellspring 79