Thursday, February 25, 2010

I got this e-mail... I thought it was interesting enough to share

So I got this email about onions and there has been something lately fascinating me about them. The first time I became intrigued was when Shoshi Harrari gave me the advice to put half an onion on the bed of a person who has a cold or virus. And it actually did the trick! Even for fever!

Then I started thinking how there is a Halacha /Kaballah (Jewish Law) that onions and garlic are not to be eaten if they've been left over night unpeeled (or sliced, chopped, etc), I suspect it has to do with the above and what you'll read below. It absorbs bacterias and toxins! Anything in the surrounding air will concentrate in the onion. This is not science it's just a guess.

I also go on experience. Another interesting thing is that today I got a pretty bad chili burn on my hands (forgot to wear gloves) and I looked on-line what to do and among all the recommendations the onion stood out, so I gave it a try, onion juice on a chili burn takes the pain away... indeed it did!

Anyway, have a read:

Interesting -- about onions!

Written by Zola Gorgon - author of several cookbooks.

Watch out for those spoiled onions...

I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products. Mullins is HUGE and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend Jeanne is the CEO.

The facility is mammoth. We toured about 280,000 square feet! Questions about food poisoning came up and I wanted to share what
I learned from a chemist.

The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers. Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's.

Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you.

Ed said that all commercially-made Mayo is completely safe.

It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary. He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quintessential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from. Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES. He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator. It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you. (And doubly watch out for onions at the baseball park!)

Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put in on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

So now I just need to look up all the great healing properties of onions. I know that they are high in sulfur, which is a beauty mineral. And for some reason Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said you shouldn't eat onions raw, maybe for the danger of food poisoning, although I don't know for sure.
And finally this from ;

Onions: The Journal of National Cancer Institute published a paper stating that onions were the food most strongly associated with lower rates of lung cancer. The sulfur compounds and flavenoid quercetin are though to be responsible for the anti cancer properties of onions. Quercetin also appears to boost the immune system, promotes detoxification, and reduces inflammation. The consumption of onions and other alliums like leeks and garlic also appear to lower breast, esophageal and stomach cancers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thinking of a new name

For the last time I'd like to change the name of this blog. I havent been able to find a good name that expresses what the blog is about which is about a woman who is an orthodox Jew, Spiritual and Toah minded, and who lives a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on Raw Food. I want to help others like me. I'm not even particularly interested in the masses of Raw Foodists who are into other expressions of their spirituality or who turn raw foods into their religion. I'm kind of going sour on the mainstream California style raw foodie hippie lifestyle. It's not for me. But that doesn't mean that I cant eat and live healthy just because I believe in Shechita and Brit Milah! (Which some would call barbaric!)
So stay tuned I will come up with something soon. I will be putting more spirituality from Torah sources as well. It will be a raw blog for Torah Jews in Israel and beyond!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shabbat, Shabbat, what shall I do???

It's Saturday night and as I sit here typing I am suffering with digestive woes. Shabbat, how I love you so! But what will I do? It's so hard to eat properly on the day of the week that is saved for festive meals, relaxation, family, and spiritual growth. Those Festive meals are packed full of many delicious dishes, and I am somewhat of a gourmet. We eat dishes from around the globe at every meal, whether it's Moroccan matbucha salad to Yemenite schug and hilbeh salads, Japanese cabbage or Babaganush, and for my husband I mad a Vietnamese Chicken dish! There is a lot of food at my table. Now I only eat the salads and sprouted bread (sometimes I eat a slice of challah). But it still upsets my tummy, it's so hard to stop.
I also find as I'm getting to know what my body can handle and cant and as I detox as well, I have a hard time making the choice of whether or not to eat something cooked at dinner. I keep it simple if I do, soup or baked sweet potato or quinoa and steamed veg. But I do find that it interrupts my digestive working order, and makes me feel bloated and gassy.

I'm reading a great book now by Dr.Gabriel Cousens and I think this version is out of print and has been reprinted but it's called "Conscious Eating and The Rainbow Diet". He get's into how eating and fasting are spiritual and can be used as tools to connect to The Creator. I am quite rooted in my own religious beliefs and feel like I can read such a book and channel it for use with The Torah's teachings.
Some may not and so I say with caution, there are many quotes from other sources and I dont "recommend" the book per se, but I am gaining a lot from it. One thing he said that I found very interesting is that foods have three different levels or states, coming from Ayurvedic sources;

One is "Sattvic Foods which keep the mind and body balanced, clear, harmonious and strong. Foods such as all fruits, veggies, edible greens, grasses, all grains and legumes, soaked nuts and seeds, raw unsoaked nuts and seeds, raw honey, small amounts of raw milk and yogurt. It is completely vegetarian. The Alkaline/ Acid Ratio is 80-20.

Rajasic Foods are more stimulating to the nervous system. One will often feel some immediate increased energy from eating them. Coffee, tea, tobacco, fresh meats, and large amounts of stimulating spices, garlic and onions are examples of Rajasic foods. These foods will energize us for our worldly activities, but this energy doesn't always happen in the clearest most balanced way. These foods stimulate us to be busy and active, but activity can turn into agitation and restlessness. They tend to push our mind and body beyond it's limits. If this is done long enough, the body eventually goes into imbalance, and disease begins to manifest. Examples of this are coffee addicts who need more and more coffee to keep pumping their bodies up to do their work. ... Rajasic foods tend to stimulate the body and mind toward more competitive, warlike, sensual, and pleasure seeking way of life. Historically Rajasic diet was considered the diet of kings and warriors. "
"Rajasic foods include some biogeneic and bioactive foods, but they also include flesh foods, and many gourmet spicy, cooked foods with rich oily sauces. This diet includes butter, cheese, oils, fried foods, cakes, sugar, and eggs. It is 50 to 60 percent alkaline. The taste stimulation of these foods tends to lead us away from our inner cues, moving us easily toward imbalances such as overeating or coffee addictions. This diet eventually leads to ill health and chronic degenerative disease. "

The third is Tamasic Foods. "Tamaic foods are stale, decayed, decomposed, spoiled, overcooked, recooked leftovers, and processed foods. These synthetic foods are chemicalized with preservatives, pesticides, fungicides, sweeteners, artificial colors, sulfites, and nitrtaes and other similar chemicals. All the fast foods that are so popular today fall into the tamasic catagory, as does alcohol, which is a fermented, decomposed food and all other drugs. Any flrsh foods that arent freshly killed are considered Tamasic; this includes most of the meat we find in the marketplace. Only freshly killed wild game and fish are Rajasic. Tamasic foods have no life force in them. It is a diet that is less than 50% alkaline. These foods have only minimal quality left on them and maximum waste. These foods do however, supply us with toxic chemical breakdown products that affect the functioning of our mind and irritate our nervous system. Because they steal energy from our subtle organizing energy fields (SOEF) to digest and assimilate, they diminish our life force. These foods lead more quickly thatn others to chronic, degenerative disease. They tend to bring out the worst psychological characteristics because of the irritable, lethargic, degenerate state they create in us. At some time most of us have eaten some Tamasic food and have felt raunchy and Toxic [cholent!] This is the Tamasic state, a state in which is extremelyy difficult to meditate [pray , daven, do hitbodedut] or to be in harmony with self or the environment. A quick assessment of our popular American [SAD] diet makes it obvious that it is a strong Tmasic diet, the results of which we rate 21st in life expectancy among the industrialized nations. The Tamasic diet may also be contributing to the degenerating moral fiber of our society."
I found this information to ring true with me just based on how I feel when I eat live foods vs. dead foods. Shabbos food always made me feel terrible, digestive wise. I was chronically gassy and bloated. Why? The food would be cooked for a long time on Friday or even Thursday and place on the platta (hot plate) just before Shabbos came in and it would sit there for hours at a pretty high heat. The Cholent (sabbath stew) sits on the platta overnight until it's basically cooked to death. It all tasted great but there was no life force. So in order to assimilate it it needs to take our own life force. The enzymes are destroyed completely.
Food for thought!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Doing a 3 day juice fast

Ok so this is a trial run to see if I could even do the 9 day juice that's coming up in the spring under the support and guidance of Shoshana Harari.
So today is day 1 of my 3 day juice. I am mildly hungry but whenever I get hungry I just make more juice. It's hard to remember to drink because you're not really thirsty when you're drinking juice all day. It's been June-like weather here so I figured why not give it a try?
In the morning I'm having my usual liter of water and then moving on to 2 oz. of wheatgrass, and after that fruit juices for the morning. Then afternoon and early evening vegetable juices. Later evening just water and herbal tea.
I also decided to do this because I ate too much over Shabbat and woke up in the night with a burning hole in my stomach. It was really awful! I ate too much cooked food even though it was all vegan. There was challah that I made without eggs and with whole wheat flour and then I made soup, ratatouille, hummus and a neighbor brought over cooked beat salad. All this in combination with the different raw salads was too much to digest!
Lesson learned, next week's Shabbat meal with be simpler.
I am still losing weight thankfully! 18.5 pounds in 7 weeks! I would say that's definitely progress.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The importance of drinking water

Shalom y'all!
It's the middle of winter and here in Israel we've been experiencing a heat wave. The temps for the past few days have been in the upper 70's! WOW! What beautiful weather but just as we need rain here in the Holy Land to keep the vegetation healthy and lush, and to help with our desperate water crisis so too we need to stay hydrated.
I was trying to think of the single most important part of my daily routine and I would have to say that it's water. Not just that I drink it but when and how and how it works into my schedule with meals and such. I follow the advice of the Rambam (Maimonides) on this issue and do not drink while I'm eating, as it interferes with digestion. I start my day with a full liter of water with a pinch of sea salt, of which 8 oz is mixed with lemon and cayenne pepper (my final morning glass). Then, throughout the day when I drink, it's 20 min before a meal and 2 hours after a meal. What's great about this is that it keeps me from overeating or snacking. This single rule keeps me looking forward to being thirsty so I must stop eating! I also stop eating before I am "full". 3/4 is the rule.

In six weeks I have lost 17 pounds. I am eating a diet of approximately 90% raw foods. I eat simple cooked foods for the evening meal. No sugar and low glycemic fruits and veggies. I will occasionally eat whole wheat bread, maximum 3 meals a week, although I am trying to eliminate this too.
Because I observe the Jewish Sabbath this is tricky. I have tried to substitute sprouted wheat bread but as we all know... it's just not the same as challah!

Le'at le'at (slowly slowly)! I don't want to make the mistake I made the first time and just go "nut crazy" and eliminate everything I enjoy, because sooner or later we give in and then we feel miserable afterward.
Have a goal and keep it in mind, but know yourself too. If you have been a yo-yo dieter all your life, maybe just taking the first step of drinking enough water will be highly beneficial. Then stop eating sugar, then take the next step with eliminating white flour, then get rid of processed foods. After that or at the same time start adding healthy things you like, smoothies with a bunch of fruit for example. After that start juicing, drink green smoothies, keep one meal a day totally raw, and then simplify your food choices, etc. It's a process and we all have to find what works best for us.
Good luck and go have a drink!