Wednesday, December 26, 2012

[Debunking Healthy Food Myths] Myth #3: Healthy food is SO hard to make. Waaaah!

By Shaina Kamman
Shaina is a Board Certified Health Coach. She works with mothers and others who are hungry for change and ready to make healthy food the staple in their home. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, and she is also a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the Weston A Price Foundation.
Myth #3: Healthy Food is SO Hard to Make. Waaaah!

The actual myth goes something like this: Healthy foods are SO hard to make because they are so terribly time-consuming. I will never be able to be both sane and healthy! Waah.

This, of course, is not the truth of the matter. The truth is that potchke foods are terribly time-consuming to make, and can easily wear down your sanity. Foods that necessitate a lot of peeling, chopping, sautéing, and/or many different pots, pans, bowls, and utensils are potchke foods. There is nothing about healthy foods that mandates you making a large mess, or spend a lot of time in your kitchen. 

Healthy foods made with simple ingredients can be prepared in a snap. Today’s simple example is scrambled eggs served with sliced tomato.

Crack the eggs. If you keep kosher -or you are just grossed out by blood spots- check for blood spots. If all is free and clear, go ahead and scramble it up with a fork. Pour it into a preheated pan with butter. WHAT? The crowd gasps. Yes, butter. Just like your great-grandmother used. Scramble it all around until it’s as soft and mushy, or as hard, as you like it. Plop it on a plate next to some tomato slices. Salt and pepper to taste, and voil`a. The breakfast of champions.
Why, you ask? Why is this the breakfast of champions?

Let’s see. Eggs. Incredible, edible eggs. Good quality eggs are rich in just about every nutrient we’ve discovered, especially Vitamins A and D. They have sulphur-containing proteins, which are necessary for the integrity of cell membranes, and contain amino acids tryptophan and methionine that promote a healthy nervous system and good moods! Waah no more. Egg yolk is the most concentrated source of a B Vitamin called choline that we know of. Regarding minerals, eggs are an outstanding source of “heme” iron, which is one of the most absorbable forms of iron. They also provide calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals. Overall, chicken eggs are considered to be the “most complete” protein source in a single food. In fact, the amino acid profile in an egg is so well proportioned that eggs are used as the reference point in judging the protein quality of other foods.

Butter. It’s bettah with buttah. Good quality butter is a wonderful source of fat-soluble Vitamins A and D, and they are in a most absorbable form. Because of this, in many primitive cultures, butter from grass-fed cows is prized for being especially beneficial for children and expectant mothers. These fat-soluble vitamins found so abundantly in butter act as a catalyst for mineral absorption. Without them, our body is not able to utilize the minerals we ingest, even if they are present in abundance. They are essential for growth, for healthy bones, and for the proper development of our nervous system and brain. Many studies show that butterfat is crucial in maintaining normal reproductive powers, as it is rich in Vitamin E, a precursor for sex hormones.

Tomatoes provide Vitamin C, carotenoids, B-Complex, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Along with other red fruits, tomatoes are a wonderful source of lycopene, which is valuable in protecting us from cancer.

Now, the recipes I’ve shared in this little mini-series are not exactly earth-shatteringly unique. They are intentionally very basic and simple. Preparing body-building, brain-building, good-mood-supporting, and delicious food for your family is practical, relatively easy, and valuable goal for every home-makin’ Priestess.

Myth #3 has been debunked!


For more information on Shaina’s Health Coaching practice visit and LIKE Life Within on facebook at Considering if Shaina’s program is the right fit for you? Mention this LadyMama article for a 10% discount on your initial consultation!

Monday, December 3, 2012

CLOSET CASE: A Convert's Struggle With Dressing Modestly

Kate Sample decided to become an Orthodox Jew in early 2010 and prepared for her first Pesach by watching a Passover-themed episode of Gossip Girl. She has been trying to successfully balance modern life with observance ever since, and considers it her mission to dispel the idea that belief in G-d is unfashionable. You can check out her blog at

"The transformation didn’t happen overnight, but I have slowly 
evolved into more of a person and less of a persona."

A Convert's Struggle With Dressing Modestly

“You don’t look Orthodox.” 

These are words I’ve heard often enough, from Jews and non-Jews alike. Although I had an Orthodox conversion, accept the Divine origins of the Written and Oral Torahs, and keep kosher and Shabbat, I have not yet mastered tzniut. It’s not for a lack of caring about or understanding this particular mitzvah. In fact, it has totally changed the way I look at clothes. For someone who’s been obsessed with fashion since childhood, that is no easy feat.

I can’t help but wonder if that’s part of my obstacle. As much as I love food, keeping kosher came easily to me, probably because I never attempted to define myself by cheeseburgers or shrimp cocktail. Cocktail attire, however, was another matter entirely. I never wanted to blend in; I always had to stand out. Green wasn’t really my color, unless my accessories were causing someone else to turn that shade. Looking back, it’s hard to believe these were my priorities. The term “slave for fashion” gets thrown around in the industry, and that’s exactly what it feels like. I can remember many a late night spent hunched over my laptop, determined to be the first to wear the next new thing and combing through shopping sites like a maniac in order to achieve it. When I read a Rabbi’s commentary on the modern forms of slavery to which we chain ourselves, these episodes popped into my mind. I didn’t want to be a slave for fashion anymore. I wanted to be known for something other than my shoes. 

The transformation didn’t happen overnight, but I have slowly evolved into more of a person and less of a persona. I have gotten so far from my former self that I don’t say the blessing over new clothes often enough to have it memorized and I always have to look it up. It is because Judaism has helped me get to this point that I trust I will be totally tzniut someday, even if I’m wearing pants as I type this. 

The hardest part, of course, is being accepted as a sincere Jew by my fellow Orthodox. I always dressed properly in the synagogue out of respect, and I was very open about my challenges with the people closest to me. So I never dreamed it would be a problem until I added some women from shul on facebook, where they could see photographic proof of my lack of modesty. To say there was a palpable shift in how I was treated would be an understatement, which is why I had to write this and push back a little bit. This isn’t Mean Girls; this is Judaism. I don’t want to be defined purely by what I wear, in any sense.

Finding Judaism is the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m grateful to have found a Rabbi who trusted that I would keep growing as a Jew and helped me to become one. My conversion wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning. Some mitzvot are more hidden and others are not. The challenge I’m currently working on happens to be really obvious, but it doesn’t mean I’m not trying. The bottom line is that I don’t want to perform the mitzvah of tzniut to be accepted or to prove I’m a good Jew. I want it to blossom in my soul and grow until it’s a part of me. 

“I love how you wear your spirituality on your sleeve.” One of my closest Orthodox friends once said this to me. Little by little, I improve, and that sleeve is now both literal and figurative. At first glance, I may not always look Orthodox. But if you get past that and have a conversation with me, I hope you’ll see my sincerity. My friend’s kind words speak to what I really love to show: my love of G-d.