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Category Archives: Mental Health

My Personal Conflict With Homeopathy

 

Last week I blogged about my newfound interest in homeopathy and the class I am taking on the subject. It has been a fascinating journey so far and I really am enjoying all the new information. (I should probably mention that I’m about 2 weeks behind on my lectures and assignments but I don’t think you’ll tell on me, right?)

My main reason for studying homeopathy in the first place is twofold:

a) It’s a large division of Natural Healing that I knew absolutely nothing about.

Many people sort of lump it together as the same as the rest of natural, holistic methods – and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Homeopathy and its methods are its own entities, with their own procedures and set of rules. If you ‘break’ them – it’s no longer considered homeopathy.

b) What can it do for me and my family?

I suppose anytime we learn about something that interests us, we ask ourselves this question. Is homeopathy something that I would consider using in the future (or present) when health issues arise? Can it help us in ways that other natural healing modalities can’t?

Those have been my two motives.

So far, I have come across one very large conflict.

Duby’s Bowl For Healing

I have always been a huge believer and proponent in creating a “bowl for healing.” What this means is, just like my blog – the 5 Pillars – it’s important to create not ONE but several avenues of healing.

– A physical healing. Nutrition is KEY … exercise, sleep, fresh air, clean water. Etc. We can do yoga and meditate all day, but if we’re eating Snickers for lunch and Jelly Bellies for supper – well, it aint gonna cut it.

– An emotional healing – my Doc tells me that EVERY illness has a mental component. (I suppose that’s hard to understand when it’s something simple such as an ear infection or strep throat…) but the fact remains, there can always be an emotional healing that accompanies a physical one.

– An Energetic Healing. I know I haven’t blogged about this topic at length but more and more we (as in alternative health minded people) are learning about Energy Medicine and how it plays a huge role in not only healing from illness but increasing in energy, vitality, moods, stamina etc. (who wouldn’t want that?) Energy healing can take many forms – such as Meridian tracing, Chakra clearing … things like Acupuncture, EFT, EMDR, Polarity… there are so many kinds, its difficult to list all!

The point in creating a ‘bowl’ for healing is so we as – one WHOLE body – which includes body AND mind AND spirit – can have a complete and entire healing.

The beauty of Homeopathy is that it prides itself on being THE ultimate healing modality that does this complete healing the best. Why?

Because Homeopathy teaches that with ONE single remedy – it has a combination and is a ‘recipe’ of your complete condition INCLUDING the mental, emotional and physical issues.

Why? Because Homeopathy – while a physical remedy, is considered an “energy medicine” that helps realign a person’s “Vital Force.” In doing so, this sets off a chain reaction – healing all the parts that are imbalanced – whether it’s a physical or mental imbalance.

Now, I MUST mention that MOST holistic therapies do this as well. My Doc would probably never speak to me again if I said his teachings on Naturopathy don’t include mental and emotional aspects of an illness – it CERTAINLY does!! In my first appointment with him, he drilled me (in that loving way of his) about my personal lifestyle and environment – and took that into great consideration when working with me.

However, as much as it’s strange to write this, based on my class and what I’ve learned, Homeopathy believes that they do this healing different – and BETTER than everybody else, ALMOST sounding like no other therapy is needed. (I’m not educated enough to argue this point, I’m merely relaying over the concepts I’ve been learning)

Who would have thought a school of healing could be so elitist? Smile

Getting back to My Personal Conflict:

It’s quite simple.

When taking a Homeopathic Remedy, they teach you that there are things you should stay away from, or try not to do – because it can interfere with the Remedies at work. Since it’s considered an ENERGY Medicine – they tell you to stay away from ENERGY medicines.

So, if you get acupuncture, or do something like EFT, Chakra therapy – then it might cause the remedy not to work.

Also, taking any kind of vitamins or herbal tincture can get in the way of a remedy working.

(have you figured out my conflict yet?)

I know that while on Allopathic medications –one needs to stay away from certain substances. (although quite frankly since I’ve never taken antibiotics, I can’t tell you what. But obviously there are substances that don’t mix with prescription drugs!)

Nevertheless, when it comes to holistic healing, I have a hard time with the concept of taking an “end all be all” one remedy – and having to stop all other things. Something about that doesn’t sit right with me. I understand why those rules are in place – I understand that it can interfere – but does that mean I have to get rid of my “bowl of healing?” Do I need to discard it and put all my eggs into one… plate?

The truth is I am a new student to Homeopathy and still in the beginning of the journey. And who knows, maybe it’s one of those things where I shouldn’t “knock it till I try it.”

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Emotional Health, Mental Health, Physical Health

 

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Homeopathy – What is it?

 

homeoapthyI’m sure some of you may have realized I haven’t blogged in almost a whole month. Yes, I’ve been a neglectful blogger, but I suppose my writing energies have been focused elsewhere; working on my writing classes and my children’s’ book. My ‘health’ energies have been focused on a very fascinating Intro to Homeopathy course and I suppose that between that, oh and regular life stuff like laundry, my blogging has become back burner. (how sad!)

When I realized how long it’s been since I’ve blogged, I decided to shelve my work in progress series on “rethinking health” – and instead, make things a little easier and blog about what I’m studying!!! (why didn’t I think of this sooner?)

So here goes.

Intro To Homeopathy.

I decided to take this class because it was offered by someone I knew – a homeopath who’s been practicing for over 30 years – and she actually no longer takes clients because she focuses all her time on teaching a plethora of Homeopathy classes. Also, I’ve been studying Naturopathy for about 2 years now (give or take) and very often the subject of homeopathy comes up amongst friends, fellow health nutters –and I never knew anything about it. Like many people out there in the big wide world, I lumped homeopathy along with other natural healing methods, assuming they were all pretty much the same type of thing.

WRONGO. (as the Grinch would say)

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Homeopathy really is NOTHING like any other healing modality and I can tell you that this stuff is freakishly fascinating.

What is homeopathy?

In simple terms, it’s a natural form of healing that combines ALL aspects of health when prescribing a remedy. The homeopath will ALWAYS look at the mental/ emotional wellbeing (and symptoms) along with the physical symptoms of an issue.

So, for example. Suppose my sister calls me and tells me she has a terrible cold, winter bug type thing. As a student of Naturopathy and herbalism, I will tell my sister:

“go to take Echinacea, Astragalus, bump up Vitamin D, take hot baths, drink ginger tea, remove all wheat/sugar/dairy, and go rest etc..”

A Homeopath on the other hand will say (for example)

“What kind of cough is it? Is it dry, wet, barking type?”

“Are you feeling chilled? Are you hot, cold?”

“Do you feel like you want to be left alone, or do you specifically NOT want to be alone?”

“Are you feeling angry, emotional, anxious, etc..”

The basic principle of homeopathy is that what is good for one person, may not be good for another. Meaning, 2 people can both be sick with a similar illness but they are given 2 different remedies. (this is one of the reasons why it is very difficult to do scientific studies on the effectiveness of Homeopathy because no 2 remedies are the same!)

Why? Because each person comes with their own ‘junk’ in whatever form. Homeopathy teaches that true health means a complete homeostasis between mental, emotional and physical faculties.

For example. If someone is plagued with severe migraines – we can say they are not ‘physically free.’ However, if a person is physically free of ills, but has poor concentration, brain fog, and memory difficulties – are they mentally free? My teacher gave the example of a person who watches a ‘tear jerker’ movie. If they cry a bit during the movie, that’s a healthy reaction. But if they’re still crying a week later, that’s a sign of an emotional imbalance. We learn that there needs to be a complete balance of all three – and functioning properly. (of course Duby adds in the importance of Spiritual health as well.) A homeopath will take ALL of the issues into consideration when prescribing the one customized remedy for a person.

How did it start?

Not that anyone is interested in a major History lesson – I happened to think it was kind of cool how it all came about.

The dude who founded Homeopathy was Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (please don’t ask me how to pronounce his name, I have no idea) … he lived 1755- 1843 in Germany.

He was a medical doctor with his own practice. He was translating medical texts and was fascinated about a species of tree bark which was being used to treat malaria. He took some of this tree bark (talk about experimenting on one’s own body!) and found that it CAUSED SIMILAR symptoms to the malaria illness. Long story short he continued researching on the idea that that “Let Likes be Cured by Likes.” In other words, a remedy will be given with a substance that produces in a healthy person those same symptoms a patient experiences. But in a person who is sick, that substance will help cure them. (I told you it was freaky stuff!)

Of course there are others that came along after him and researched his findings more, and solidified his ideas etc… one such person who I found truly interesting was a man by the name of Constantine Hering… he began to study Homeopathy ONLY because he thought it was crazy and wanted to disprove its legitimacy !!!!! He’s now known as “the Father of American Homeopathy.”

Ok, history lesson is over.

I had No idea….

I found it surprising to learn that in the early 1900’s there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, 100 homeopathic hospitals, and 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies… why those numbers no longer exist today, is another topic Smile

Long story short, Homeopathy is nothing like I’ve ever studied (even though there are similarities in the sense that it wants to create a long lasting healing in a safe and gentle manner) and I’m finding it really fascinating.

I’m sure I’ll blog about this topic some more since my class runs for the next few months….

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Emotional Health, Mental Health, Physical Health

 

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Getting Healthier in 2012 – Rethinking!

 

the_thinkerI have been doing a lot of thinking lately, (oh no! Smile) and I have officially named 2012 – The Year of Health! (sounds awesome, no?) Obviously a motto or resolution of “getting healthier” is very vague and can be very confusing. So to help makes things easier, I decided to narrow it down to one simple concept – “Rethinking Health.”

Time to rethink what we assume we know about health, and to stretch our brains a little bit. Even if we don’t change a single habit, if we begin to view things a little differently then I’d like to believe we’re on the right path.

So for me, I’ve been doing some “rethinking.”

It’s interesting how over the years my perceptions and understanding of true health has changed quite dramatically. It’s a little extreme to go from eating processed and unhealthy foods to eating sprouts and vegan tofu!!! The journey to true health is a real journey, and while it might sound silly, it really isn’t a journey that should be rushed lest you miss some valuable lessons along the way.

Valuable Lessons? What kind of lessons can you learn from eating carrots?

Well, I’m so very happy you asked. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from my “journey” towards a happier and healthy life. (feel free to comment on what YOU have learned from your healthy habits)

1. Nutrition is not something to be taken lightly.

We always joke about how some people can eat so much junk food and never gain a pound. Well, it’s not about weight and it’s not about pounds and we must as a society stop putting so much WEIGHT on how much we WEIGH. When a person is overweight, it’s merely a symptom of something that’s out of balance. (incorrect eating, lifestyle habits, stress, lack of physical exercise etc.)

I never really took nutrition seriously. Ok, so I knew I shouldn’t pig out on Donuts at the Chanukah party because I would feel bloated and gain a pound or two. But I never understood that it goes much more beyond the bloated feeling for a few hours. The way we eat DIRECTLY affects EVERY other aspect of our lives. Our moods, our cognitive skills, our sex lives, our energy levels, our immune system….

In simple terms – our food can make us or break us.

And as I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “we are what we eat.”

2. Health is more than just not being Sick

This is an attitude that I find in alternative health more so than in the conventional health world (for those of you who go to regular MD’s – you’ll have to let me know if they teach this as well.)

The point is that true health is an all- encompassing freedom. Free from physical ills, free from emotional baggage that holds you back, and clear focused sharp mental capacity. (and if you’ve been following my blog, you know I believe Spiritual Health to be equally important – living with a sense of a higher purpose etc)

If a person has to take blood pressure medication every day of their lives – that’s not exactly physical health, is it? It’s called disease management. If I am physically healthy with boundless energy, yet I have a hard time concentrating and focusing in class – that means my mental faculties are imbalanced and no, I’m not fully healthy.

I think this is a hard concept amongst conventional medicines because we are so used to compartmentalizing things. If I’m depressed then I go to a therapist, and if I have a stomachache I go to a general practitioner. But if I’m depressed because I got into a fight with my husband, it’s highly likely that I will have stomach issues! My point is that we are an entire body that consists of mind, body and spirit – – and should be treated as such, not as individual symptoms. (I believe that this is most taught in the school of Homeopathy which truly takes into an account a person’s emotional/mental well being when prescribing a remedy)

3. Our Lifestyle Can Be Just as Poisonous

This is tough one to explain because it means taking a hard honest look at where we work, who we interact with and what items we use on a daily basis. So, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the term “Toxic Relationships” – coined for those friends we looove to hang out with, but for some reason afterwards we feel like crap?

This applies to our work environment also. For example, we knew there was a problem, when every Sunday night my husband would get depressed thinking he would have to go back to work Monday morning, and knowing he would have to deal with certain people.

These people as individuals might be wonderful caring and kindhearted – but to you (or me) they might be TOXIC.

A toxic environment WILL play a huge role in your overall health. Personally, I think this is the hardest one of them all. Eating healthier, taking vitamins, doing Yoga is one thing … but leaving a job, or a city, or a friendship because its not healthy is very difficult to do.

As for ‘items’ that are toxic… overusing computers, cell phones, microwaves, aluminum bake-ware – items we use every day, they directly effect our energetic systems and ultimately our health.

4. True Health & Wellness Helps Us Be Happier

This is a big Statement!

– When life is in balance – our work life – our personal life, there is a sense of peace and tranquility and things are in healthy flow. 

– When we are in healthy environments, feeding our bodies the proper nourishment, our emotional responses are appropriate and our mental faculties are sharp.

– When we are aware and mindful of our surroundings – we are able to acknowledge what is good for us and keep the rest out, allowing us to create a happier life.

I have been enjoying this “RE-thinking” thing, and I plan to continue this vein. Over the next few days / weeks I’ll be discussing Rethinking our Physical Health and Emotional Health.

I hope you’ll join in the discussion!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Emotional Health, Mental Health, Physical Health

 

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Mental Health: The Best Chanukah Gift Ever!!!!

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This post is not my original idea. I found this idea from a recent article on the Chronic Babe website. The woman who runs the website, Jenni, blogs about Chronic Illness. She gives tips for maintaining a healthy balance in life, something that’s imperative to people who live with illnesses.

I read her recent newsletter entitled “The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself” and I was IMMEDIATELY inspired. So I’ll just shut up, and get right to it …

The BEST Gift you can Give Yourself…

P.T.M.O.

Permission To Miss Out.

It’s the simplest of things, but for some reason I needed this lesson to be spelled out for me. Permission To Miss Out means allowing yourself to say “I’m staying home tonight.” It means not going to EVERY Chanukah party or Menorah Lighting. Not buying a million gifts for every niece and nephew, and it means deciding not to bake a thousand donuts for the Shul Chanukah party. Permission To Miss Out is an incredible gift that allows anyone to realize their limits and to pick and choose instead of trying to do it all.

I needed this lesson because this is something I do EVERY SINGLE year (without realizing it). I get very excited when the holidays come (no matter which holiday, it’s always an exciting time!) and of course Chanukah is no different. Just the other night I was going through all the upcoming events in our community and I even picked out what I’m going to wear!!! (yes, my husband rolled my eyes) I am in the process of buying and wrapping all my gifts, planning what goodies I want to bake to bring to my in laws … and of course planning the family Chanukah shindig. Then yesterday, I read this article and it hit me like a ton of bricks! This is what I do every single year. Every year I get wrapped up (quite literally) in all the excitement, and I go into the holiday planning to go to every party, every holiday lighting and halfway through Chanukah I am exhausted, burned out and upset that I end up missing that last few events…

Why hadn’t this occurred to me sooner? It’s time I learned the beauty in PTMO.

So last night I went through all the different events and stuff I very much want to do, and I prioritized. I chose 2 or 3 parties that I know FORSURE I don’t want to miss, and the rest is completely optional. This way, I won’t go in with unrealistic expectations that by the 5th night of Chanukah if I SEE another latke I’ll practically puke. And somehow, this little PTMO exercise instantly helped me feel a lot calmer about the whole holiday.

While this article was geared for people who have illnesses where they need to be extremely careful how much they over extend themselves during this busy season, I felt that this concept really relates to EVERYONE.

We ALL do so much ALL the time and even though physically we may feel we can handle it, it’s crucial we learn that fine line between doing and overdoing.

We can use a little bit of PTMO in our lives and feel happy that we can enjoy the holiday without burning the (Chanukah) candle at both ends.

Happy Chanukah everyone !!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t Forget –

My Chanukah Giveaway (AKA – FREE MONEY !) is right around the corner!

Someone mentioned to me the other night that they didn’t post my blog or tweet it because they wanted to give someone else a chance to win. Please know that EVERYONE is eligible to win (except the guy I sleep with) – so feel free to spread the word !!! Smile Smile

Click Here for more details about the Giveaway

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Mental Health

 

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year! CHANUKAH GIVEAWAY!

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You got that right!
Time for the 5 Pillars of Health ANNUAL

Chanukah Giveaway !!!!!

(can I get a hell yeah??)

Keeping things simple, I decided to keep the prize the same as last year, since you all seemed to LOVE free money.

Soooooo once again, I’m offering a choice between a

$50 Gift Card to:

Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s!!!!

How Do I Win?

You can do one or all of the following options (each option will give you one entry)

1) Comment on this post answering the following question: “What is my favorite holiday and why?”

2) Post this giveaway on Facebook (you can use the Facebook icon on the bottom of this page) Make sure to let me know you have done so.

3) Tweet about the giveaway!!! Make sure to mention me: @mrsduby

4) Subscribe to my blog!! (if you’re already a subscriber: Forward this email to a friend and CC me for an entry)

When do I Win?

The winner will be chosen (at random) on Sunday, December 18, 2011 – which is 2 days before the first night of Chanukah.

The winner (which could be YOU) will be notified by Email – and a post will be on the blog announcing the winner.

If I don’t hear from the winner by January 1, 2012 I will have to pick a new winner, although I don’t want to, so make sure to be in touch with me Smile

Good luck!!!!!!!!

 

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Tishrei & Touchdowns (yes, it’s a Football reference)

footballThis thought came to me on the last day of Yom Tov, and I just knew that my male readers would enjoy it.

Please forgive me if my writing is a little incoherent… I believe I haven’t eaten a single vegetable in the past 48 hours and I am quite literally living off a sugar and nosh high. (I say this because even us healthy weirdos pig out sometimes). So here goes….

Tishrei and Football…

It all boils down to the Touchdown. That’s the whole point of the game. But making that touchdown isn’t as easy as it sounds. Unlike Soccer or Basketball where you just run across the field / court, in Football you have 10 yard lines, with chances to get across each section and of course, the most exciting part of the game – the tackling of the players !!! (and for us girls, the cute butts in those uniforms)

One of the first times I watched a football game with my husband (I was trying to be a nice wife and decided I should try taking an interest in some of his hobbies for a change… EPIC fail by the way) – so a few minutes into the game, BAM – a dude gets tackled – and about 10 guys just jump on the poor sap. Well, I didn’t think it was very nice. The poor player! Really, this sport is very barbaric! Of course I expressed my sympathy for the player who got creamed. This game was nuts.. you have the ball, you’re trying to score, and you just get jumped on by everyone. What’s the point?! I’ll never forget what my hubby (in his infinite wisdom) responded.

He said:

“if you play the game right and you know what you’re doing, then you won’t get tackled.”

Its as simple as that. Ok, I guess that made sense to some degree in my little girly un-sports like mind.

And this is how I think Tishrei is very similar to Football:

During the month of Tishrei – we have a marathon of holidays. They each have a purpose, a goal of getting us somewhere. That somewhere is that Touchdown – (which leads us to winning the game). But getting the touchdown isn’t so easy. Why? Because we can get tackled along the way!!!!! But like my hubby says – “if you play it right, you won’t get tackled” What does that mean?

Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur can become very overwhelming. It’s easy to feel anxious and consumed by the whole forgiveness process. The prayers are designed to make us feel serious and frightened (ever read Unisaneh Tokef?!). We are inspired by the Shofar to do Teshuvah, wipe our slates clean and hopefully granted a healthy and happy new year. On a more superficial level, it’s easy to fall into panic mode I know many of my friends feel: “how am I going to fast on Yom Kippur while I’m pregnant/nursing/taking care of the little one?” It’s far too easy to have the attitude that if we “don’t behave, G-d wont give us a good new year.” I myself, got WAY too many emails this year asking me for donations to ensure G-d will be nice to me. Sorry, but that’s most certainly NOT what G-d meant. During The Middle Ages the Church encouraged people to BUY their way into heaven – our religion doesn’t profess that and I was very bothered that many organizations are beginning to interchange these concepts.

We finish Rosh HaShana… survive Yom Kippur and just when we can take a breath, it’s time to gear up for the Sukkos holiday. Once again, this holiday is a marathon of getting ready, building the Sukkah, eating many meals, going to Shul, cooking, entertaining guests etc…and this year, 3 day Yomim Tovim as my friend says “It’s a killer!” and once you FINALLY finish the first days – you gotta do round 2 with Simchas Torah.

It’s too easy to get overwhelmed, annoyed, sick of your family, sick of eating, sick of putting on pantyhose, spanx and heels, and not interested in doing any of it. Instead of embracing the holidays and “playing the game right” – we end up tackled at the 50 yard line and nowhere NEAR the finish line to get that prize touchdown.

Let’s Not Forget About Those Field Goals…

I’d also like to point out that during the month of Tishrei we are also given the opportunity to make mini Field Goals. (kudos to me that I’m getting all these football terms right!) To me, the Field Goals are these extra one pointers we get during Tishrei: Bits of inspiration over the High Holidays – maybe the Rabbi’s speech, or feeling emotional during the prayers… maybe a fun Sukkos event or some special bonding with a loved one during a meal. Or maybe you baked a heavenly Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake that came out so good that you made new friends as they fought over the last piece.

My point is that last year I was tackled big time during Tishrei. By Rosh HaShana I was both exhausted and drained and overwhelmed and the month ahead. And instead of enjoying the holidays the right way – I was steamrolled (a better term) and had to just bear it and survive. I know many of us at some point in our lives see Tishrei with a feeling of dread. What can I say? Last year was definitely NOT a fun game.

This year on the other hand, with some strategic planning, and better coaching (better Cheerleaders maybe? Smile) not only did I get those little Field Goals along the way, but I enjoyed the whole way through and most certainly did NOT get tackled SmileSmile

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season (see, another way Tishrei is like football – they’re both an ENTIRE season long!) – and I hope everyone feels inspired, or energized in some way for a kick tushy year!

Let’s play some football !!!!!!!!!!

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Mental Health, Physical Health, Spiritual Health

 

Doing the Holidays Differently.

rh tableThis past summer, I was very involved with a few projects. They were fun, they were creative, and it was exhilarating getting my juices flowing, but now that the summer is over I am now able to reaffirm my commitments to my journey towards a healthy lifestyle. While I didn’t completely break away over the summer, I definitely became lax in certain areas and there were definite times when I put my work before me.

Tishrei is the WOST Time For ….

So, the first thing to ask is – why on earth would you re-commit yourself NOW?! We all know that Tishrei is absolutely the worst time of year for anything. Starting a new diet, beginning a new exercise regimen, or even organizing your life – Tishrei with all the holidays – it just does NOT work. Right?

And that my friends, is EXACTLY why I’m re-affirming my commitment to health NOW. Our Jewish calendar – there is AWLAYS a holiday, and there is ALWAYS a busy time of year. So often I say “after Chanukah I’ll get back to my diet” or “After Tishrei I’ll get to work on that.” It’s a great stalling tactic…. BEFORE Tishrei begins is the time that I’m sitting and mapping it all out. How am I going to eat? How MUCH am I going to eat? What are some buffers I can put into place that will ensure I don’t overdo it and end up being exhausted? My goal is to be able to ENJOY the holiday season as opposed to “getting through it,” and not going up a dress size in the process.

Alright – lets begin.

Food:

Pesach was my first big holiday that I cooked all by myself – and while the menu was gorgeous and the food was scrumptious – both my husband I gained about 10 pounds. (ok maybe less but you get the point) This will NOT happen again. I won’t allow it.

Obviously, holidays means FOOD… and more FOOD. And MORE FOOD ! (and leftovers). My idea for this year is one of two options. Either literally SKIP meals. Meaning, NOONE IS HUNGRY the second night of Yom Tov – at all. So why plan for a meal?

Schedule a late lunch – say, 4 pm… and I won’t need a full second night meal. This can also go for the third night, since all holidays are three day Yomim Tovim this year.

My husband didn’t really love this idea, so here’s idea number two.

EVERY night meal is a SMALL meal

EVERY lunch meal is a BIG meal

Personally – my goal is to combine those two ideas.

I think if we end up eating a formal night meal, it MIGHT turn into eating too much.

A) Menu:

Sure, we all make menus – its fun! But when I sit down and make my menu, I need to keep in mind my goal. Yes, I want to have traditional foods – but I need to concentrate on the healthier foods first.

I know everyone has their own comfort zones of what they would and would not do for Yom Tov foods, but my goal for this year is to focus on Raw Salads, a healthy protein (and by healthy I mean not smothered in any form of breading or sugar) and of course plenty of vegetables. I often forget that I need to supplement my meals with more kugels, or grain dishes – when there is absolutely nothing wrong with having more than one vegetable dish on the table.

B) Snacks & Breakfasts

Last year, I wrote a survival guide to Tishrei (Read Part 1 here and you can read Part 2 here) – I thought it was pretty good Smile I’m going to repeat what I said last year. Snacking and Breakfasting is a VERY important part of the holidays but often forgotten about. You know that ‘in between’ time – after you’ve woken up from a nap, but it’s a few hours till the Shul begins and prep starts for the evening meal? That’s the “snack time.”

And for breakfast – how many of us have a piece of cake in the morning before Shul? (guilty!) While a piece of cake here or there isn’t the worst thing in the world, having it first thing in the morning means right away we’re starting the day off on a Sugar Foot.

Of course Yom Tov is a special time, which means it’s a time for special foods and treats – this is why so many of us have sugary cereals, sodas, and cake products for noshing. Well, not this year. I hope to come up with new ideas of special drinks, or snacks that can be used that are considered special for the holidays. (PS- this would actually be a perfect time to use the Healthy Baking ideas that my friend Dena gave me – check out that blog post here)

C) Delegation

I’m including this here more for my readers than for me Smile Everyone I know is either going to BE a guest, or will HAVE guests. Obviously with great guests comes great exhaustion. The Number one solution for this problem is DELEGATION. If someone is a “regular” in your home, they better be chipping in! Many of us have a problem with delegating, feeling like we have to do it all, or that no one will do it correctly. No one understands this more than me. (hi, my name is Duby and I’m a micro-manager) To help you feel more comfortable with this, I suggest giving “half jobs” – meaning – if you’re making a special fancy Salad, that involves doing things a special way – instead of asking someone to “make the salad” – ask them JUST to cut the tomatoes, or JUST the carrots. And then you put it together the way you plan. OR, let’s say you want the table set a certain way – then show them ONE place setting for them to copy. (I know I know, easier said than done Smile)

D) Fancier Table Settings – Simpler Food:

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and told her that sometimes it’s weird for me to eat my simple little salad but still feel all fancy on Shabbos. The solution – table settings.

Whether it’s the china, the stemware, the centerpieces or the special home décor – these things can make the most “boring” vegetables feel like a cuisine. It’s a difficult mindset to break! When we were doing our detox a few months back, on Shabbos we made our little meal and served it on my beautiful China. And it felt so strange because it was the same “weird” food we had during the week but somehow with the goblets and silverware – suddenly it felt so much fancier and more delicious!! (don’t believe me? Try it)

I’d also like to point out here that I have read MANY places that if you want to lose weight, eat on proper plates with knives and forks – it will cause less noshing by making the meals more official. Just a thought.

E. Erev Yom Tov – Hostess Pampering Time

stress cartoonThis was actually not my idea – but a friend of mine lives by this rule. (She specifically follows this rule on Erev Pesach since the Seder night is long but I like the idea of implementing it for other holidays as well) Imagine you have all your foods cooked, your salads cut and in the fridge, and the table is set. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to go out and get a manicure? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a small nap so you can be rested for the upcoming holiday ahead? I love this idea. Running around till the last minute on Erev Yom Tov is very stressful, and how could anyone enjoy the holiday if they begin the whole thing harried, frazzled and completely wiped out?!

MOVE:

I mentioned this last year in my survival guide, but I am making a point of repeating it. For this year holiday – I am SCHEDULING exercise. Sound silly? Yeah – maybe. But it’s quite crazy to imagine we go for days on a schedule that revolves around meals.

Wake up –> go to Shul –> Sit and Pray –> Come home –> eat huge meal –> feel stuffed –> all asleep –> wake up –> go to Shul

Do it all over again.

I know some of you may feel its not in the honor of the holiday to do exercise, but I think it’s one of the only ways to feel normal if you plan on joining the eating marathon.

Here are some ideas of Yom Tov approved exercise:

– Take a long walk after the meal. Strolling is not good enough. It needs to be long enough that you’ve burned off much of what you ate. So either power walk it.. or a a longer walk at a slower speed.

– Play with the kids! I asked my husband if playing ball is “allowed” on Yom Tov – and he didn’t really give me a full answer. I’m taking that to mean, its perfectly acceptable Smile Wouldn’t it be fun to have a little game of ball in the backyard? Which involves running of course. I’m thinking soccer … maybe dodge ball. How about Frisbee? Who’s up for a game?

– Stretching – print out a list or pictures of stretches and do them in the mornings and after the meals. (you can also do this with specific yoga poses)

– Sex. No need to explain Smile

– Clean the house. Washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, and cooking for the next meal is a another great alternative to just slumping on the couch.

– I’m sure you can think of more ideas…

You KNOW the Holiday Is Coming Up….

Yes yes, I know I know – easier said than done.

But ya know what? It’s really not. My friend tells me all the time, “you know the holiday is coming up. You KNOW what it entails. Sit down and plan it out!” And she couldn’t be more correct. If it means some extra organizing, freezing, enlisting help… isn’t it worth is so you’re not pulling your hair out? I certainly think so.

PS – I just want to say that I know many people who read this have MANY guests and have MANY children. Both I do not have. So you might feel that I’m a little naive in thinking it’s just so simple to map out your menu and it’s all set. No, I don’t think that’s the case. I spent MANY holidays at friends and family’s homes and I think I understand what it entails. And this is the part where I tell you – if you’re a woman and a hostess – and you’re beyond stressed and exhausted (in that non-healthy way) over Yom Tov – then it’s a fact that something needs to be changed. That’s all.

Well, that pretty much sums up my thoughts for this holiday season in the food department. I realize that I didn’t give practical food ideas – – and I think I’m omitting them this year, because my menus aren’t finished yet. However, if I’m feeling brave, maybe I will share with you my holiday menus at a later time… (shocking, but I’m a little shy Smile)

Shana Tova!

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Mental Health, Physical Health, Spiritual Health

 

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