Eating Disorders

Gluten Free Bread and Challas

GlutenFree Challa
After our post from yesterday about the connection between the proper recitation of Birkat Hamazon (Grace after Meals) and ample income, we've received several inquiries from readers with gluten intolerance about how they too can tap into the benefits of Birkat Hamazon.

For those who don't know, gluten intolerance is the result of what's known as Celiac's, which is an autoimmune disease where gluten consumption causes damage to the individual's small intestine. Therefore, If a person suffers from Celiac's and eats foods with gluten such as wheat, rye and barley, his or her immune system backfires like it does in all the autoimmune diseases and their body damages itself. In the case of Celiac's, the body responds by damaging the small intestine. 

Pure oats are a grain, but are gluten-free in their primal state and safe for most people with gluten intolerance. However, oats are often contaminated with gluten because they're frequently processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Even oat seeds (kernels) can be contaminated at the time of planting if the farmer stores them in the same unit that holds or once held wheat, barley and rye. As such, an organic farmer will be used to plant tested and certified gluten-free oats and grow them in a field that's totally separate from other grains.

There are a few wonderful, caring and health-conscious manufacturers who only use oats from pristine fields where no other grains are grown, then process them in a separate facility. One such company whose products are both strictly kosher and superb is Arrowhead Mills in Texas, who produce a gluten-free organic oat flour that's available on Amazon. If your flour content in your bread or challas is at least 51% oat flour (the rest can be rice, millet, sorghum or some other non-grain flour), then you may say Birkat Hamazon too and stay healthy!

For the benefit of our new readers, Rabbi Lazer Brody is also a certified health coach, holistic nutritionist and fitness trainer


Overweight, Lustful Eating and Self-Image

Overeating 16.9.19
Let's define "lustful eating": lustful eating means that we eat when we don't need to, either out of boredom, compulsion, as a means of trying to console ourselves or as source of recreation, when we strive to satiate our bodily appetites with no regard to our spiritual and physical health. Lustful eating is the opposite of healthy eating. The three main types of lustful eating are eating unhealthy foods, overeating and binge eating. Lustful eating is not only detrimental to the body, but to the soul as well, as we'll soon see.

According to the Rambam, lustful eating the #1 cause of all disease, even the nasty big C, the disease that won’t don’t even like to mention by name. Lustful eating also creates an iron curtain between a person and Hashem. So, a person can’t possibly get close to Hashem until he or she overcomes their lust for eating. These are not my words, but the words of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev.

Western society’s preoccupation with pleasure seeking and appetite fulfillment is fertile ground for lustful eating, but it's not the root of it. The root, as many psychotherapists will tell you, is a low self-image. A person who can't see his or her own self worth will suffer from being overweight and out of shape, but they won't go past a mere one-time paltry effort because they don't believe that they are capable of succeeding in getting into shape. I see this time and again in my clients; just as important as teaching them healthy eating habits and exercise, I work with them on their self image. Nine out of ten people with weight and fitness problems, in my experience, had or have an abusive parent who robbed them of their feeling of self worth from a tender age. Let's go deeper. 

In Likutei Moharan, Part 1,Torah 47, Rebbe Nachman says: “One who is entrenched in the lust for eating is far from the truth, and severe judgments hover over him."  

The lustful eater encounters Rebbe Nachman's above teaching and protests vehemently: "What, is Rebbe Nachman calling me a liar, just because I'm into the cookie jar more than I should be or just because I down a pizza with a couple cans of cola?" Cherished friend, if you eat like that, you can't possibly care too much about yourself. What's even worse is that you're unaware how much Hashem cares about you, loves you and wants to be healthy. What's worse yet is that you don't believe how much Hashem cares about you, loves you and wants to be healthy. Sorry, but in that respect, the lustful eater is far from the truth.

Hashem loves you - guaranteed - and He wants you to love yourself. All the negative comments that the abusive person in your life made when you were little were the biggest lies in the world. Tell yourself over and over how much Hashem loves you; say it to yourself a thousand times a day. Once you internalize it, the distance between you and looking and feeling your best is much much shorter. Hashem loves you - I promise. G-d bless for your good health!