For sure, you want to look good and feel good this summer. Let's start: there are two aspects to eating - qualitative and quantitative. Eating natural food of the quality is so important to our health, but so is the way we eat and the amounts we eat. Here's a plan that's super-healthy for the body and just as healthy for the soul.
Shavuot is the holiday where we have a tradition of serving dairy products. With many people, that's problematic because of lactose intolerance, which leads to indigestion, bloating, flatulence and irregularity. Ironically, despite the hype, cow milk actually bleeds the body of calcium and can lead to osteoporosis. What's more, many suffer from milk allergies; a glass of milk is liable to make them break out in acne.
So what do you do, especially of Shavuot? Substitute the "moo" - cow milk, for "maa'aah", goat milk. Even if cow milk doesn't cause you problems, goat milk is umpteen times healthier. Here are a few reasons why:
- Goat milk is more digestible - the protein in goat milk forms a softer curd than cow milk – and this also decreases the irritation that one might otherwise experience with cow milk.
- Goat milk is great for heart health - it contributes to the healthy type of cholesterol - HDL - without upping the bad type of cholesterol, the LDL. What's more, it's a fantastic source of magnesium.
- Goat milk combats inflammation - in Israel, we use goat milk to combat mouth sores. Since goat milk is less acidic than cow milk, people with ulcers can also drink it.
- As opposed to cow milk, the calcium in goat milk adds to bone strength and reduces the chances of osteoporosis.
- Goat milk is a better metabolic agent than cow milk - it boosts the metabolic utilization of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also has A2 beta-casein, which is far healthier than A1 beta-casein that cow milk contains.
- Goat milk works well for lactose-intolerant people who can't drink cow milk.
- Goat milk more closely resembles human milk and is therefore healthier for babies and toddlers than cow milk and is the next best thing to mother's milk.
The only disadvantage I can think of when it comes to goat's milk is the high price. But, when considering its health advantages and great taste, it's worth it!
By the way, people think that the "Land of milk and honey" (Exodus 13:5) - none other than our holy Land of Israel - refers to cow milk and bee honey. Wrong! The Gemara in tractate Ketubot 111b says the words 'flowing with milk and honey' refer to milk that flows from goats’ (udders) and honey that flows from trees, particularly dates.
With the above in mind, we recommend the "maa'aah" (neigh) of the goat over the "moo" of the cow. Try it, and may you have the best Shavuot ever. Yours with blessings, LB
Passover is the freedom holiday - freedom from all types of bondage, mental and physical. But, with the drastic change in diet, many people become slaves to weight-gain and constipation. It doesn't have to be that way. Proper matza consumption, when done in accordance with the Rambam's principles, is actually fantastic for overall health, enabling you to jump over the hurdles of matza-related health problems. Here are a few important tips to remember during Passover; follow them, and you'll enjoy freedom from both constipation and weight gain:
- Twenty minutes before your meal with matza, drink at least two glasses of water. Try to avoid drinking during the meal, unless it's dry red wine or water or seltzer mixed with dry red wine at at least one part wine to three parts water.
- Chew matza slowly and thoroughly, enabling your saliva to act upon the matza until it becomes a soft paste in your mouth. Only then, swallow. You'll eat slower and will be satiated by eating much less. What's more, the saliva plays an important role in digesting carbohydrates.
- Purchase whole-grain matza - wheat, spelt or oat - and avoid the cheap white-flour industrial square matzas.
- Fresh and leafy veggies and increased fiber intake are a must during Passover.
- Don't multi-task while eating, especially while eating matza. The brain treats matza like potato chips, so if you munch without thinking about what you're eating and how much, then the calories pile up fast.
- Set aside daily time for exercise, especially walks with the family. This is great for both health and relationships.
- Make sure to eat a minimum of other carbs. Treat sugar, especially white sugar, as if it's not kosher for Passover. From a health standpoint, it's not kosher all year long.
- Avoid all soft drinks, even the ones with artificial sweeteners, for the body has no idea how to digest such chemicals. Drink water, seltzer and dry red wine.
Follow the above eight tips, and you'll feel great, both during the Passover holiday and afterward. G-d bless for a lovely Passover!