Tag Archives: holidays
So here we are … it’s almost the end of the first week in January. This time of year, my office generally fills with people complaining about how they “overdid it” during the holidays and about how awful they feel, both physically and emotionally. This syndrome can be avoided though, with the right frame of mind and without being doomed to deprivation.
There’s no doubt that the holiday season could be challenging for anyone wanting to maintain weight, let alone drop a few pounds. But that doesn’t mean that healthy habits have to hibernate for the winter. This is a perfect time of year to set tangible goals that are easy to attain as opposed to reaching for something unrealistic. A new year pairs perfectly with new beginnings and a new attitude, so here are a few tips to help you get, and stay, on track: Continue reading
According to Jewish tradition, everything a person does is written in the Book of Life. No deed goes unrecorded, whether good or evil. During the Ten Days of Penitence, beginning with Rosh Hashanah this Sunday and leading up to the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, we reflect on days past, as well as ponder the future.
These High Holy Days are a time for deep thought, self-examination, and contemplation. What better occasion to look back on the past year and ask yourself: Did I take care of my body?Am I making the healthiest food choices for myself and my family?Am I setting a good example when it comes to my eating habits?
For some people the sound of the shofar—a ram’s horn whose blast signals the end of Yom Kippur—is like the sound of a gunshot before a race: There’s a mad dash from temple to table after evening services. Following the Yom Kippur fast, there seems to be a feeling of “entitlement” to eat one meal that’s the size of three! Would you ever think of going into a restaurant and ordering some cantaloupe, a dish of pickled herring in cream sauce, one bagel with cream cheese and lox, another bagel with whitefish salad, and then topping it off with a piece of babka and a few cups of coffee? I’ve never seen this ordered by one person in one sitting when dining out, but I have certainly seen this array of food consumed countless times by friends and relatives (who shall remain nameless) at my table.
So, you ask, how can you make this diet-challenged event guilt free? Continue reading
With Passover looming right around the corner, I’ve already started to get the questions I usually hear this time of year like, “How can I avoid holiday weight gain?” “How do you count matzo?” and “How do I avoid that corked-up constipated feeling?”
When I was a kid, there were slim-pickings on Passover. The supermarket shelves weren’t filled with copy-cat granola bars and cereals as we see today. Now we find full shelves carrying products that wear the ‘Kosher for Passover’ label making Passover a little more interesting and even better…a little healthier. Let’s walk down the aisle together and do some comparison-shopping: Continue reading
Recently, journalists and scientists have attempted to explain why Americans are bursting at the seams. While they movingly described the challenges and issues in fighting fat, they may have left out one of the critical components of those who succeed.
In The New York Times Magazine story, ‘The Fat Trap,’ Tara Parker-Pope shared her heartfelt and personal account on the profound impact genetics and the home environment play. Parker-Pope conveyed her frustration: “What is clear is that some people appear to be prone to accumulating extra fat while others seem to be protected against it.”
In other words, there is science behind why obesity may run in the family. If obese parents raised you and their pantry was stocked with fat- and sugar-laden foods, there is a greater chance that you too have struggled with your weight. But there are people who grew up in similar environments and have managed, with difficulty and diligence, to wear a trim frame.
She also noted the results of a study that showed, “some people were more likely to eat fatty foods, presumably because they thought being fat was their genetic destiny and saw no sense in fighting it.” That approach is like putting out a welcome mat to heredity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease when in fact, we may not be able to pick our parents, but we can pick what goes on our plates. Continue reading
Let me start by being totally honest with you — I have only made one New Years resolutions that I kept. Last year when I turned the page from December 31st to January 1st, I vowed to begin keeping an electronic calendar and put down the pen and paper journals that I clung to for decades. Those of you that are less technologically challenged than I am might look upon this as a small feat, but for me, this was a big step, and I have not looked back.
Most resolutions, however, come from the heart, but end up in the trash. Over 100 million Americans make New Year resolutions but about four out of five people don’t stick with them. Popular declarations like, “This year I’ll lose weight, exercise, spend more time with my family, and be more organized,” are statements that are sincerely spoken around the time the ball drops and are quickly forgotten by the time Valentine’s chocolates appear in stores.
Whether it’s New Years day, a wedding, or a vacation, a special date that prompts a positive change could create a spark of motivation that you otherwise would have continued to postpone. Most commonly, we seem to dwell on to reflect on
Over the decades I have counseled clients I’ve heard many excuses for not making healthy resolutions and here are my top five faves: Continue reading
It’s not just baseball players that hope to be safe at the plate. With the holiday season upon up, even those who don’t generally take to the stove will be cookin’ up a storm for families and friends. And with that great power…comes great responsibility.
Although I can’t always guarantee that every one of my dinner guests will rave about every dish I put on the table I can guarantee that my creations are safe to eat. Now that may sound like a ‘duh’ statement, but I have been to houses where I’ve seen some food handling practices that would have deserved a violation if the word ‘restaurant’ was on their door instead of a house number.
There are 76 million foodborne illnesses that sicken Americans each year. Some of these food-related issues originate at places we cannot control — at the farm, through transportation, at restaurants, and in supermarkets. But it’s the preventable problems that I’d like to address, which begin in our own kitchens. Here are some simple storage, handling and cooking suggestions to protect those you are thankful for:
- Keep hot food hot (temperatures between 160° to 212°F destroy most bacteria). You don’t have to buy a fancy device to tell whether your food is cooked properly but don’t just rely on your eye. You’ll know your bird is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Keep cold food cold (40°F or below). Put a food thermometer inside your fridge all year round so you can tell that your food is being maintained at a proper temperature. It’s inexpensive and invaluable.
- Cook food thoroughly, following the food safety label found on packages. With my book, Read It Before You Eat It, you already know that I am a label nut. Most people don’t realize that many labels also contain specific cooking instructions. Turn the package over for these important tips.
- Keep raw food, like meat and poultry, separate from produce and cooked foods to prevent cross contamination, and keep work surfaces clean. The easiest way to remember this is to buy cutting boards of different colors – use the green one for veggies and the yellow one for meats and only let them touch in the dishwasher!
- Be sure to wash your hands with warm, soapy water before, during, and after handling food. Seriously – don’t pet the dog and then chop chicken. Have hand soap readily available so that this practice becomes second nature and teach your kids the importance of this everyday exercise.
Although it’s always important to take a close look at the foods you are eating, it’s essential to also pay attention to the steps taken before that food even enters your mouth. So the next time you go to a friend’s house and you notice them tying their shoe and then cutting the carrots, if you see something say something! It’s a good practice in and out of your home.