Today's video podcast not only gives advice on how to keep body and soul healthy in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, but shows that King David dealt with a terrible plague in his time that his son King Solomon knew all about, which the holy Tanna Onkolos calls "Kurhana". See for yourself, and see how King David stopped the plague as well as a 950-year promise from Rashi about how to defeat this disease...
Food and Nutrition
Your skeleton is your frame; any sturdy structure needs a healthy frame and the human body is no exception. Strong bones, the components of a strong skeleton, are determined by their density: the higher the bone density, the stronger the skeleton. Weak bones are the result of osteoporosis, a condition where the bones ("osteo" in Latin) become progressively more porous ("poros" in Latin). Osteo + poros = "osteoporosis", much of which is triggered by a poor diet, lack of exercise and lack of exposure to sunlight.
Not only karate experts who smash bricks and cinderblocks with their fists and elbows need high bone density. We all do. Strong bones can mean the difference of weathering a slip on a wet floor or breaking a hip, Heaven forbid. Seniors and expectant mothers are two populations that must especially pay attention to bone health, but with the increase of sugary beverages and junk food, more and more children are coming down with juvenile osteoporosis.
It's our responsibility to ourselves and to our families to do all we can to promote healthy bones and bone density and to prevent osteoporosis. With that in mind, here are some myth-free do's and dont's of healthy bones:
The Five Do's of Healthy Bones:
- Eat plenty of calcium-rich foods - sardines, almonds, leafy greens, yogurt, yellow cheese and chia seeds are great sources.
- Soak your beans before cooking them, then cook them in fresh water. That will rid the beans of the phytates that bleed calcium.
- Eat plenty of protein - I suggest 0.8 gr/kg body weight for people with a non-vigorous lifestyle, and 1.0 gr/kg body weight for athletes and people who perform heavy labor.
- Engage at least three times a week in weight-lifting or other resistance training. The more pressure we put on our bones, the more we build bone density. Kneading dough with your hands is an example of a wonderful exercise for bone density. In bodyweight training, pushups are the king, especially doing pushups on your fists.
- Get plenty of Vitamin D and expose yourself to sunshine frequently; 30 minutes a day is lovely for people with average skin color; those with lighter skin color bust do less, and those with darker skin color will need more.
The Five Dont's of Healthy Bones
- Avoid low-calorie and fad diets. A body starved of calories will bleed out calcium and lose bone density and strength. If you want to lose weight, do it by increasing your exercise and making the right food choices, and not by starving yourself.
- Avoid salt! Sodium is calcium's public enemy #1. That means avoiding salty foods such as manufactured foods, fast & junk food, and restaurant foods.
- Carbonated soft drinks, especially colas, contain phosphoric acid which increase the calcium that's secreted in one's urine. Stick with water and seltzer, both of which will save your calcium and save you loads of calories. Don't forget, the diet colas might have zero calories, but they're horrible for your bones.
- Cut your caffeine/coffee intake way back - you lose about 6 milligrams of calcium for every 100 milligrams of caffeine you ingest. Since an 8-ounce cup of black coffee has about 150 milligrams of caffeine, it'll rob your body of 9 milligrams of calcium. Don't forget that many soft drinks (infamous #3 directly above) also contain high amounts of caffeine.
- Do not buy processed or smoked meats, period! In addition to a load of unhealthy chemicals they contain, manufacturers inject them with loads of calcium-bleeding phosphates.
Follow the above "Ten Commandments" the best you can, and you'll be much stronger. We want you to be able to dance in good health at the weddings of your great-grandchildren. A bottle of cola with a smoked meat sandwich isn't worth losing your bone health over. Swap it for a vigorous workout followed by a green smoothie with almonds and chia seeds. Let's all say a resounding "No to osteoporosis!" Every blessing, LB
You got it! You'll never hear me speak about losing weight without getting into shape. They must be simultaneous in order to be healthy, for weight loss without conditioning is liable to be damaging, as we've written several times previously. I have found that the more my clients taste success, the more motivated they become; the more motivated they become, the more efficiently they improve their fitness, reach their weight goals and vastly improve the way they feel. Try these 18 tactics - all or a segment of them - and you'll succeed too.
- Eat veggies and protein for breakfast - to build muscle, you need adequate protein. Try an omelette, a chunk of baked salmon or sardines with a green salad that includes leafy veggies and celery. Whereas the cornflakes breakfast leaves you starving by 10 AM, the veggie and protein breakfast will have you satiated well past noon. What's more, good morning fuel boosts metabolism.
- Brush your teeth after every meal - it's great for your dental health and curbs appetite.
- Cut out both sugary drinks and fruit juices - they add loads of carbs and calories that are the #1 enemy to weight loss.
- In continuation of #3 (above), drink plenty of water; cold water especially causes your body to burn calories in order to maintain your 98.6F body temperature, so don't spare the ice.
- Lift heavy weights - incorporate resistance training into your workout routine; this can also be such bodyweight exercises as pushups and squats. The more you build muscle mass, the more you increase your metabolism.
- Move more - walk (30 min./day at least, 5 days a week) as much as you can; climb stairs rather than using the elevator (super cardio!), and carry packages home from the store. Be imaginative!
- Cut out all white sugar and use only natural sweeteners such as dates and unprocessed honey, sparingly as well.
- Substitute all white flour for whole grain flour and whole grain foods - spelt (the king!), whole wheat, oat, rye and barley.
- Don't purchase manufactured foods - they're full of substances that the body doesn't know how to process and digest; as a result, the inhibit weight loss.
- Cook and eat at home rather than eating at restaurants - you'll be improving your health and saving tons of money.
- Maker realistic goals that you can reach, then set the bar higher.
- Give yourself incentives - as you reach your interim goals, buy yourself new workout shoes, a new clothing article or a new piece of workout equipment.
- Get a fitness watch - such devices as the Fitbit Charge 3 (my favorite) or Inspire motivate you to walk, workout and log weight, giving you constant positive reinforcement.
- Track your activity - keep an exercise and weight log, and monitor your progress.
- Have a weekly cheat day - on Shabbat, eat what you like and enjoy, then go right back on regiment the next morning. But, don't go crazy and keep white sugar off the cheat list.
- Drink coffee - despite what people tell you, natural ground coffee (best to buy beans and grind your own) coffee has been shown recently to help you live longer, protect your liver, and even ward off diabetes. It also curbs appetite.
- Improve posture - by sitting up straight, walking and standing taller, you engage your core and burn more calories, so be conscious of your posture and don't slouch.
- Vary your workouts - do different types of exercise on different days, and keep yourself motivated and interested.
That's my "Chai" (18) for good health. Give it a go and let us know your progress. Feel free to send us your success stories. My blessings for your great health and warmest regards, LB
Your spouse or the someone you care about is overweight and sorely out of shape. Whenever he/she gets pressured by anything, they console themselves with chocolate croissants or donuts. You've tried everything to get them to diet and/or exercise, but even if they loses two pounds in one week, they'll gain back four the next. What do you do? You're trying your very best not to look at attractive members of the opposite sex, but with your partner more and more turning you off, it's getting to be increasingly challenging...
The above scenario is a compendium of real ones that I deal with in personal, health and fitness coaching. The more I've been hearing such stories, the more I felt the need to lay out a few guidelines that will likely help you and your spouse to improve your quality of life, physical and emotional health and relationship as well. Try implementing the following suggestions:
- Your prayers for your spouse are formidable, much more powerful than you can ever imagine. Invest a few minutes of prayer for them in your own words. Ask the Almighty to uplift their self-esteem and to help you give them the love and attention that they need so that they won't have to find solace in sweets, which are poison for the body.
- Buy your spouse a gift of a new pair of walking shoes and take walks together; start with a few minutes and work it up to an hour, at least three times a week. If you have small children, it's worth it to pay a babysitter during this hour. You can't imagine what it will do for your health and relationship.
- Diet never helps. You must influence your spouse to change their thinking and lifestyle, but this should be done as a couple, for they'll be much more willing if it's done together. Cakes, cookies, ice-cream and other sweets as well as soft-drinks and other sugary manufactured foods should be considered taboo, for these substances destroy health. Together, go on an eating regiment (lifestyle, not diet!) that is based on foodstuffs that are unadulterated by manufacturers. Get all white sugar, corn syrup solids and modified starches out of your life - that includes cereals, cakes, cookies and most manufactured foods. Compensate with the best fruits, veggies, fish, meat and poultry, and cheeses. Once you lower carbs, you can enjoy nuts and seeds without worrying about gaining weight.
- Like all of us, your spouse thrives on love. Make the first move and give him/her that love, and I promise that they'll bend over backwards to please you. Meanwhile, offer your spouse the incentive of a nice chuck of money to buy new clothes every time they drops a size or two. The new clothes will cost only be a fraction of doctors and meds required for treating the ailments that result from neglecting diet and health.
Start with the above four steps and keep me posted. I'd love to reprint your success stories. Remember, togetherness is the beginning of good health and real happiness. You'll be amazed to see how soon, you'll look like a magazine cover couple. My prayers for your success and good health. Blessings always, LB
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
Here is wonderful news for folks with fertility issues. Put aside the expensive pills and meds and try something natural from the Almighty's garden - watermelon, and watermelon rind. Yup, the rind is full of fantastic fertility-fortifying amino acids citrulline and arginine as shown by conclusive USDA research. In fact, the name citrulline is derived from the Latin word citrullus, which means watermelon.
Many fertility and fertility-functional problems both in men and women can be traced to a lack of the amino acids citrulline and arginine.
In the urea cycle, citrulline combines with another acid to create arginine. Luis Pons of the USDA writes that arginine not only boosts fertility, but boosts muscle growth, improves wound healing, combats fatigue, stimulates the immune system, cures impotence and fights cancer. Pillar Health Care goes even further and says that arginine can benefit women by increasing the cervical mucous, enhancing libido, promoting a healthy environment for implantation and may even extend fertility for women over 40. Sperm health is also affected by arginine; one study showed a 250%-plus increase in sperm amounts and motility in most study participants. It also enhances male reproductive-functional problems, so much so that scientists at Texas A&M University have termed watermelon as "nature's Viagra".
Need I add more? Start eating watermelon - it's in season now!
Here's an Brody-Health Fertility enhancer "smoothie" that both men and women can try: don't forget to invite us to your son's brit or your daughter's Kiddush, which will be soon, G-d willing. Just drink this smoothie two to three hours before bedtime and don't forget to ask Hashem to make it work for you:
Rabbi Lazer's Fitness Fertility Smoothie
2 Cups (approx. 500cc) mineral or filtered water
2 Cups watermelon rind (make sure that there are no bugs on the surface)
5 large pitted Medjool dates (or 10 small pitted dates)
26 dried almonds
1 level teaspoon of cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons dried shelled sunflower seeds
Preparation: Mix until smooth in a high-speed blender (approx. 90-120 seconds). Drink at least one big cup of the mixture. Any leftover holds up fine in the fridge for 48 hours. Enjoy! And don't forget to send me the birth announcement...
Hashem put the most effective nutrients in the foods He created. Big Pharma can't compete with Hashem; if you eat right - naturally, and stay away from processed foods and sugar in any shape or form - then you can save all the money you spend on vitamins. Use it to buy yourself a new pair of walking or running shoes...
I don't believe in the concept of "nutrition in a pill." I do believe that we maintain health by doing Hashem's will, which includes eating as natural as possible as the Rambam teaches us and avoiding dangerous substances, like the many that are found in processed foods.
Here's why healthy food beats vitamin pills and supplements any day of the week:
- Greater nutrition - whole foods are complex containing a variety of the nutrients your body needs, in a way your body can best absorb them. Synthetic vitamins lack the micronutrients and phytochemicals that facilitate bio-absorption. For example, a citrus fruit, in addition to Vitamin C, contains beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients that work together in a synergistic effect to keep the body healthy in a way that no Vitamin C pill can do.
- No harmful substances - foods that Hashem created are wonderful for the body. Big Pharma vitamins are likely to contain - for profit reasons - harmful additives that do your body more harm than good.
- Protective chemicals - the antioxidants and phytochemicals of whole, natural foods protect your body against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. The antioxidants that fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts and dry red wine are full of are substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.
- Essential fiber - dietary fiber, as part of a healthy diet, can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also improve digestion. You won't find that in those vitamin pills. Also, the synthetic fibers that food processors add top processed foods are just designed to bulk up their profits, and not to keep you healthy.
What about pregnant women and nursing mothers? Don't they need supplements of iron, calcium and folic acid?
Yes, they need a boatload of iron, calcium and folic acid. That's why I tell them to eat liver, beets, leafy greens like kale and spinach (be sure to check for bugs as Halacha requires), almonds and sardines. And like everyone else, they should stay away from soft drinks and manufactured foods that bleed the body of nutrients.
Eat healthy and put the pill money to better use by buying fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts, natural fish and meats and a fine bottle of dry red wine for Shabbat. I strongly recommend the Land of Israel variety.
G-d willing, we'll have lots more on healthy eating in the near future. Meanwhile, exercise, eat right and stay healthy!
This post is not only great for Passover, but it's great for vegans as well and those who are lactose-intolerant. In addition, for those who seek a natural and effective fertility enhancer, this is just what you need:
Dates, especially those grown here in Israel, have magical qualities. If you know anyone with a fertility issue - man or woman - the following simple Land-of-Israel fertility enhancer is bound to help them. Why "Land of Israel"? The tree-milk we're about to prepare is based on Israel-grown Medjool dates and raw, non-toasted almonds. If you can get both from Israel, that's optimal, but not an absolute must. You'll enjoy this:
Brody-Health Tree-Milk Fitness and Fertility Enhancer
Variation Number One: Basic almond milk. The Brody recipe is dummy-proof and easy to prepare. All you need are the following three ingredients:
- One cup of dried, raw, non-toasted and unsalted almonds (approx. 80 almonds or 225 gr.)
- One liter/quart of water
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
Soak the almonds overnight in a liter of cool water. The next morning, add the almonds with the water they soaked in and the dates to a blender, preferably with a high-speed capability and strong motor. Blend the ingredients at high-speed for 1.5-2 minutes. strain the mixture in a clean dish towel. Don't discard the the pulp, for it's a great additive to yogurt. At this point, you'll have a wonderful basic almond milk that's great in your coffee and parve as well.
Variation Number Two: Tree-Milk Fitness and Fertility Enhancer
- One cup of dried, raw, non-toasted and unsalted almonds (approx. 80 almonds or 225 gr.)
- One liter/quart of water
- 8 large or 12 medium Medjool dates, pitted
- One tablespoon of bee honey (natural unpasteurized with no additives)
- Optional (for supercharged fertility and a berry-milk taste) - 5 tablespoons of Goji berries
- 6 ice cubes
Soak all the ingredients except for the honey and the ice cubes in a liter of cool water overnight. In the morning, put the water with the soaked almonds, dates and Gojis (optional) in high-speed blender and add the honey and ice cubes. Blend it all together at high speed for two minutes. Both husband and wife should drink at least 250 cc's of the mixture (about 9 ounces) at morning and at early evening. The effects are remarkable.
The above Tree-Milk not only does wonders for fertility, but it enhances stamina as well. I've used it several times in the past about an hour before a strenuous resistance workout. It's the real deal...
Don't forget to send me an invitation to the Bris. You can almost set the date...
Blessings for a continued happy and healthy Passover, LB