Category Archives: Mental Health

100 you Say? IT’S A GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!

100thpostI sat down to write a blog post, when I realized (thank you wordpress) that this is my

100th post on the Five Pillars of Health!!!!!!

I am not sure what is more amazing: I had enough to say to fill 100 posts, or that I have people reading them!!!

Well, guess what my family, friends and loyal readers…..

In honor of 100 posts … (and in honor of 6 months living in Kentucky, AND in honor of my 6th YEAR wedding anniversary, AND in honor of the new school year…..)

Time for a GIVEAWAY!!!!

(I’ll pause while you all jump up and down, screaming and crying… oh wait, we’re NOT on the Oprah show)

This time, because I am in SUCH a gosh darn great mood – I am offering TWO prizes!!!!!! Yes you heard me, not one, but TWO prizes to TWO very lucky winners!!!!!

This time around, we will be doing a “Fitness DVD” theme — and so….

The GRAND PRIZES for the Giveaway ARE>>>>> Drumroll….

You have a choice of:

A) Jillian Michaels – This includes 3 DVD’s: jillian

“No More Trouble Zones”

“6 Week 6 Pack”

“30 Day Shred”

Jillian Michaels was on the Biggest Loser TV show, and is known for her “kick tuchiss” attitude!

B) Pilates For Beginners & Beyond

This is a boxed set which includes: pilates

“Pilates for Inflexible People”

“Pilates Complete for Weight Loss”

“Pilates Complete Sculpt & Tone”

I am a HUGE fan of Pilates. While you’re not jumping up and down, you are working your muscles and you literally reshape your body. (Just in time to look hot in shul for yom tov Smile)

C) Yoga for Beginners

This is a boxed set which includes: yoga pose

“Yoga for Stress Relief”

“AM-PM Yoga for Beginners”

“Essential Yoga for Inflexible People”

There is no way I could write just a sentence on the benefits of Yoga. It’s amazing – and I’ll just leave it at that Smile

How do I Enter? And How do I win?

Its really quite Simple!!!!

You can win by doing any or ALL of the following:

1) Subscribe to my blog! – this will get you ONE entry (**for those already subscribed, you are automatically entered in the giveaway, because I love you THAT much Smile)

2) Post this on Facebook! – this will get you ONE entry. on the bottom of this post is a little “Facebook” icon – click it and post to your wall and tell the world how awesome I am ! (ok, you can skip the last part … but please let me know that you shared it)

3) Tweet me! – on the bottom of the post is a little twitter birdie … post it on Twitter and mention me @Mrsduby

4) Comment on this post – this will get you TWO entries. But to get these 2 entries, your comment has to answer the following awesome question: “What is your biggest health challenge?”

When do I Win?

The winner will be chosen (at random) on September 28th 2011 – which is Erev Rosh HaShana!!! What a great day to find out you won a giveaway!! (it also happens to be my dad’s English birthday so it works out quite nicely)

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

Contest Rules / Logistics/ Annoying Details:

If you are married to me, sorry, but you are not eligible to win. However, all other family members, best friends and neighbors are eligible so go for it!

If I don’t hear from the winner by the end of October (after Tishrei holidays) 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!!!!!!!! And thanks for joining Dubys “100th Post Giveaway!” family-guy


Keeping Half Shabbos And A Blackout

texting one

It’s Sunday afternoon and we here in Louisville have the honor and privilege of experiencing a really annoying and pain in the ass kind of Black Out. It started at about 5:30 on Shabbos and went till Sunday night 8:30 (I wrote this post during the black out and finished it after it was over)

Truthfully it could be much worse. The temperature was a cool 70 last night (thanks to the storm), and our wonderful southern style neighbors offered to share their generator with us, so thank the Good Lord we were able to charge our phones, computer, and weren’t sitting in complete darkness at night Smile

So here I am, sitting in pajamas at noon, trying to decide if I should use up the little hot water we have on a shower (or save it for the husband? Smile) when I remembered an article I read a few weeks ago. Since I don’t have power (and no internet) I can’t exactly look up the article, so let’s hope I get the details right! Hehe.

The article was about: Keeping Half Shabbos

Maybe you’ve heard of it, but it discussed this new “craze” where Orthodox Jewish teens admitted to keeping a ½ Shabbos.

What is Half Shabbos?

Half Shabbos is where you are shomer Shabbat – you adhere to all the laws: you don’t drive, or watch TV.. no turning on lights, or cooking, but you DO text. The teens in the article were quoted that EVERYONE in the schools are doing it. Their parents are fully religious, and even though they were raised with understanding that technology isn’t allowed on Shabbat, they just couldn’t bear to part with their phones. It had nothing to do with rebelling against religion, or their parents, it was the fact that these teens entire lives are with their phones – they compared it to a smoker giving up his cigarettes for one day. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. (withdrawal anyone?) Even though it’s a very harsh word, one could almost say it’s sort of an addiction. Anything that we use (no matter what it is) to calm us – and sometimes we don’t even realize it until its ‘taken away’ is a form of addiction.

Ever meet someone who CANT take a vacation? They go CRAZY? Ever meet someone who can’t stop checking their Blackberry a million times a day? Ever meet someone who can’t handle restrictive holidays such as Pesach? (see what I mean?)

So this all got me thinking: I can really relate to this!!! For me personally – its VERY hard turning off my computer before Shabbos and “disconnecting” from the world. Hey, sitting in the dark during our blackout – I felt like I was missing out on all the action online!! So the truth is I can really understand where these teens are coming from. Texting is the way teens communicate these days and it is how they build friendships. I wondered why these kids can’t just get together Shabbos afternoon and hang out – but according to the article, texting was just easier.

Now its time to ask the question that’s on all our minds.

Is this healthy?

I was chatting with my husband about this article we both read – about teens keeping ½ Shabbos, and we both came to the same conclusion. It’s really quite sad.

Forget G-d for a minute (hehe). Forget the laws and rules of Shabbos. Forget the ‘oy’ and the ‘kids these days…” and let’s talk about the difficulty a person has being quiet and alone and “disconnected.” Study upon study shows that today’s teens suffer from more stress, anxiety and depression than ever before. Kids are bombarded with the ‘noise’ of the world and whether you agree or not, this noise takes a toll on the nervous system.

Any person who is a beginner meditator will tell you the same thing: “Its so hard to sit still!”

Yes, it is difficult because we are so WIRED all the time. Our phones beep, our computers buzz and our Ipads jingle (yeah I needed a third verb). Myself included – during the blackout – I freak out! How am I going to survive ?!?!?!

texting humor 2What’s great about a blackout though is that it kind of forces you to realize how much you (and me) depend on the technology. That we just can’t LIVE without it! (I’m referring to the Internet, not sitting in the dark J) And really – it shows me how “addicted” I am that I can’t bear to part with it.

And the same goes for Shabbos.

Tapping Into the ESSENCE Of Shabbos

There are so many reasons why we keep Shabbos – and I think more than ever we need to connect with the essence of Shabbos. In this article of “½ Shabbos” the readers comment that that keeping teens entertained on Shabbos with board games and beautiful Shabbos meals just doesn’t cut it. And I think this is because board games and afternoon gatherings can’t compete with the internet. This is why it’s so important, in our insanely NOISY world – we need to learn to just be quiet. And to just be still. This is the essence of Shabbos that helps us do this.

So my dear readers – what do you think?

Do you have a hard time being “still” amongst a noisy world? Do you have a hard time parting with Technology?

And more importantly – what do you think of “Keeping a Half Shabbos?”


Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Mental Health


Happy Birthday To Meeee ….


I wanted to take a moment and reflect a bit on my birthday. My English birthday was a little while ago  (the 6th) and according the Hebrew calendar – my birthday was this past Sunday. Which means, I am 29 years old.

As in … old fart.

As in … you’re basically 30 …

As in you’re an adult (holy cow – that’s the scariest one)

As in … maybe time to get rid of the stuffed animals and Muppet posters? (uhh hell no!)

While I love my birthday and all things associated with that birthday feeling (cake cake and more cake… presents, cards, balloons, parties etc.) there is a certain aspect of my birthday that I always found depressing. Call me morbid, but I always saw my birthday as a reminder that another year has passed and the question of “what have I accomplished?” looms over head. Before we turn around we’ll be grey haired and wrinkly and realize that time has passed and we didn’t properly seize it. I guess when my birthday rolls around that reminder slaps me in the face.

But something interesting happened this year.

You would think 29 is THE birthday. It’s the last one before the big 3-0 – that big scary number that looms ahead. (just by the way, I don’t at ALL feel like I’m a 30 year old … no freakin way. Catch me off guard and I will tell you I’m 24 — maybe.) But this year something different happened. I suddenly realized that there are certain things about getting older that I actually LIKE. For real.

I’ll break it down in my oh so favorite list form Smile

Getting older is better than I expected – here’s why:

1) The older I get the healthier I get. Sure, I had BOUNDLESS energy when I was “younger” – but I didn’t really take care of myself properly. I didn’t eat / sleep / exercise properly – nor take care of my emotional needs. As I get older I learn more and more about holistic and healthy living and they are not contradictory to a fun filled exciting adventurous life. This is the key – many adults get serious and boring and dull – but the more I learn from my natural health community the more I realize there is a joy in life that is much more mature and beautiful than that of an innocent child. The trick is to understand how to tap into that energy.

2) The older I get the BETTER I LOOK!!!! Ok ok – this is not the case for everyone. Lord knows I have GORGEOUS girlfriends – who looked hot in high school and on… but for me .. the older I get, the better I dress and the more I know what looks good on me. And that little thing called weight loss has been good to me. Feel free to find pictures of me in high school or when I was 19, 20, 21 – ehh … let’s put it this way, I’ve come a long way. (and possibly gotten a little vain in the process, but that’s for another time Smile )

3) The older I get, the more I realize what I love to do and what I am meant to do. When unpacking boxes I found this art project I made when I was 8 years old –called “ALL ABOUT ME.” Inside I wrote all about the things I loved to do (for those wondering, according to my 8 year old self, I loved swimming and writing). My 8 year old self wanted to grow up and become a singer or a dancer. Well, that didn’t happen obviously. But over the years, I have learned what I am good at and what I am terrible at (never ever let me teach preschool!) Life experience has taught me how to utilize my unexplored talents and it’s been wonderful.

Well, I am sure there are a million more reasons why getting older isn’t as scary as the world makes it out to be, and I would LOVE to hear from my “older” readers (as in older than 29 Smile) why YOU feel getting older is better….

Thanks again everyone for the birthday wishes – and of course it’s NEVER too late to send presents SmileSmile


Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Mental Health, Misc. Ramblings


Changes at the 5 Pillars!

Domain-NamesNo official blog for today — just a quick note.

Today was my birthday according to the Hebrew calendar. Always loving a reason to party – in my family – we celebrate twice Smile Smile

In honor of my special day, I decided to FINALLY make it official – I have a domain name!!!

If you haven’t noticed in your browser – my new website is:

(If you type in my old name, it will redirect you automatically)

I have been meaning to register the Pillars for a while now, but something always stopped me. I suppose it felt “too official” and I guess it scared me somewhat. However, over the months my inbox has been flooded with emails and messages from people telling me how much they LOVE reading my blog. I’m not sure you realize how much it means to me hearing from all of you. It is those words of support and encouragement that gave me that push to make my blog ‘official.’

So now all I need is a normal design template and we’re good to go !!! (I’m open to suggestions!)

oh and possibly a Facebook fan page… maybe…

I love you all!!!

Duby Smile


Do You Wear Too Many Hats?

many hats“Duby, you haven’t blogged in ages!” My friend told me the other day. And sadly, she’s right. I’ve been detoxing and I haven’t given you, my dear readers a SINGLE update! Shame shame shame.

The truth is that a very auspicious day is coming up very soon on the calendar. Day Camp begins!!!! Over the past few weeks I have been volunteering and helping out my friends back in NJ with their camp as well as my sister in law’s camp here in KY. It’s been exhilarating to get back into the groove of camp, allowing my brain to flow with creative ideas, and help out with my organization skills. I felt more alive and very much connected to my roots of who I am.

However, with my brain thinking about arts and crafts and trips, it has been difficult to switch gears and blog about organic vegetables and detoxing!

My father in law talks a lot about how as a Rabbi he constantly wears many “hats” and must often switch roles, and hats without warning. For example – one minute he may officiate at a wedding and a few hours later going to a funeral. Talk about mixed emotions!

We all wear many hats…

But aren’t we all like that to some extent? Don’t we all wear many hats? Whether it’s dealing with our children, to dealing with our boss, to dealing with our bills, to dealing with family issues. We don’t run on automatic but must shift gears manually (personally- I never liked driving a stick shift Smile)

As busy adults, our days are often so busy (and nights as well) that things like our personal health and wellness gets shoved to the back burner only to be forgotten about. How many times have you told a friend, “I was so busy today, I FORGOT to eat!” For many of us, health is not our number one priority – because for many of us, it’s not a big deal to miss a few nights of sleep or to skip a few meals. At the end of the day, it just means taking an extra nap on the weekend or eating a bigger meal when we finally do have a moment’s rest.

However, no matter who you are or what your job responsibilities are – there is something that should never be on the back burner – and that is: taking time out just for YOU.

Taking Time for YOU

The other night, after finishing a very long camp meeting, and working online with a head counselor on some camp details, I looked at the clock and noticed it was after 1 am. Wow! I had worked so long, and loved it so much I hadn’t noticed how late it was. It’s 1 am, and I was only THEN beginning my nighttime routine – pajamas – brushing my teeth – the usual stuff. I got into bed and was WIRED. My brain was on overdrive and there was no slowing it down! I tossed and turned till 4 am …when I finally gave up and picked up a book – and I finally fell asleep around 5 am. (imagine how happy I was when my husband’s alarm clock woke me up at 6:15 am!!) But anyway, it was in those wee hours of the morning that it dawned on me why I don’t work for a stressful and demanding job anymore. Because I highly believe in taking time out for ME. Allowing myself downtime, and time to decompress after a long day, and allowing for proper routines that help me relax properly. These things are crucial for our physical health AND mental health. No matter who you are, or where you find yourself – these are important concepts never to ignore.

Bedtime Stories are More Than Just Entertainment…

Every parent has some kind of bedtime routine for their child – and every parent will tell you why they are so important. It helps the child wind down from a busy active day, so they can fall asleep properly. (after going to the bathroom and asking for a drink 20 times Smile) My point is, we adults need the exact same thing!! And I was reminded this uber important lesson the other night.

Sure, I love camp – always will. But no matter how much I love a job, it will never cause me to put my health on a back burner – because I value it too much now. So sure, I’ll always volunteer my hours and my creativity for an organization that I hold dear – but this time around – I’ll make sure to check the clock more often! Smile

Have a wonderful weekend my darling readers, I hope to be back to our regular blogging schedule next week!

PS – we are officially finished with our detox! (thank the good lord… only I have the talent of making a 3 week program into 6 weeks!) But we are finished now, and I look forward to giving a brief update on how it all went.

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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Mental Health


“It’s Your Worst Enemy..”

“Depression is not a sin; but what depression does, no sin can do.” – Chassidic saying

A fellow blogger of mine writes about her trials and tribulations with her disabilities. What’s absolutely heart wrenching about her story is that for the longest time, she has been traveling to doctors and specialists of all kinds, and they still can’t diagnose her pain and mobility issues. It really is insane.

I decided to blog about this today, because her recent post was on a possible breakthrough in diagnosing her disability. Her latest doctor is considering that she is in the early stages of Multiple Sclerosis. It’s not definite, and her symptoms don’t fully line up with the exact definition of MS, but having a signed diagnosis may help her with her insurance difficulties, will give her a leg up at work as her company will have to comply with the laws in place to help those with disabilities and handicaps.

Anyway, her post was simple but what piqued my interest more than anything – was when her doctor told her the following:

“Depression is your worst enemy.  You must stay positive.  If you get depressed, you will go downhill faster.”


It got me thinking a bit about depression and despair. In all our lives no matter what our challenges are – there is always the mental attitude – and emotional fallouts that come along with the actual difficulty. Maybe your child is having a hard time at school. It’s common to feel despair that there is no solution, or feel guilt over something you as a parent should / could have done. It’s only natural.

But, depression, despondence and despair – these are EVERYONE’S worst enemy. Far worse than the challenge at hand.

The Tanya talks at great length at how these feelings of despair can pretty much destroy a person. It’s an enveloping cloud that when trapped inside, nothing is possible. And this is why it is our worst enemy. When there is no hope, there is no action. When there is no joy, there is only stagnation.

You know that commercial of anti-depressant drugs – and there is a little grey cloud that follows the person around? On an energetic level when a person is downcast, his energies are literally darker. Not as vibrant and don’t reach out but are collapsed. Physically, you can see it manifested by how the person carries himself, with hunched shoulders, crouched over more.

So while my friend is working on finding a diagnosis to her ‘mystery illness’ – I think we all can take a great lesson in the simple and profound words of her doctor… beware of the enemy.

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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Emotional Health, Mental Health


Sick of this Winter Wonderland??

iciclesI woke up yesterday morning and told my husband “I’m sick of seeing white!” and then he called me a racist. (haha)

Seriously folks, it’s safe to say that this snow and winter weather is getting a bit unnerving. A month ago it was beautiful – it was magical – and Facebook was filled with pictures of the Winter Wonderland and playing in the snow…

But now? We all just want it to be over!!!!!!

I remember reading somewhere that January 7th is the most depressing day of the year – the holidays are officially over and people are heading back to school and to work. And the winter depression settles in – end of January / February – it just feels like Spring will never arrive.

And then …. I think we all lost our patience when this ice storm hit the NY / NJ area a few days ago….

So, what to do? How do we pull ourselves out of the grey and dreariness we’re experiencing day after day?

Here are some tips I think would be helpful.

1. Go to Florida !!!!!! ok, this isn’t possible for everyone – but each day I check out Accuweather’s website and I see my hometown, my husband’s hometown, and Miami. (why I torture myself I’m not sure) So each day I see the following:

NJ – 23 degrees

KY – 30 degrees

Miami – 80 degrees

You kind of want to hurt someone Smile

And for those of us who can’t exactly run away to Florida for some much needed sun and warmth, hopefully some of my other tips will be helpful ..

2. Vitamin D – I’m sure by now you have heard at least SOMEONE discuss the benefits of Vitamin D (the list is endless) One of the biggest benefits of Vitamin D is that it helps depression. When the days are short with very little sunshine – it is very easy for our moods to be low and those depressive feelings sink in. Every adult should be taking at least 1,000 units of Vitamin D a day (those numbers change depending if you’re pregnant, nursing etc.. If you have chronic health issues the amount you take should be a LOT higher) Go get yourself a bottle!

3. Taking advantage of the little sunshine – Since the daylight hours are very short – it’s important to take advantage of the little sun we get. Even if you can’t get out of the house (it’s too cold, small baby etc) sit by the window and let the rays of light shine on you. It will help!

4. The Evils of Sugar – let’s face it people. Sugar is bad for you. Plain and simple. No matter how you dress it up – sugar is still bad for you. I’m mentioning this here because one of the problems with sugar is that it creates blood sugar spikes and MOOD SWINGS !!!!!!!!!! Sugar also compromises the immune system – and in this weather – if you’re not moving around as much, you can be more susceptible to colds, flus etc. (ever wonder why everyone seems to get sick around the holidays? Think it’s the weather? Nope – it’s the overdosing of nosh!)

5. Exercise – who wants to strip down and get on the treadmill when you just want to hide in oversized sweatshirts and sweatpants ?? As much as I hate to think of it, exercise does get the blood pumping, the endorphins moving and really does improve our mood and a great way to lift the spirits on the grey days.

Sure, easier said than done – so I say – instead of getting on the treadmill how about some winter activities? How about a snowball fight? Or how about shoveling snow? My hubby spent over 3 hours shoveling the ice and snow from the driveway and sidewalk!! Imagine the calories burned from that! (oh you want to know what I was doing? I was working on the icy steps!) Save the marathon runs for springtime and get creative with winter exercises Smile

6. Embrace it don’t fight it – I’m a fighter. It’s a great trait but can also be my Achilles heel at times. I’ve learned that we need to embrace where we are in life and that includes the SEASON! If we fight and get frustrated and agitated – well that doesn’t help things much now does it? Embrace the grey … embrace the cold … and embrace the fact that it’s WINTER! Learn to love it again… Lighting fires in the fireplace, come up with new hot chocolate recipes, embrace the wintery ness. Maybe head to the library and find some new authors to read. Cliché as it sounds – curl up on the couch with a good book !

7. Aromatherapy – its proven that essential oils has a great effect on our moods and overall health. Citrus oils are energizing and uplifting scents. Orange, lemon and grapefruit oils are inexpensive (especially orange), so try a diffuser and send uplifting spirits through your whole house!

I would love to hear how YOU handle the winter blues… what do you do to get through the dreariness?


Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Emotional Health, Mental Health