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Category Archives: Misc. Ramblings

Never Leave Home Without It :)

Well, as promised I have begun my Earth Day resolutions. First one on the list – committing to only using re-usable bags when grocery shopping!

So far so good… it really isn’t very hard. It’s more about remembering to take them with you, or into the store.

I was in Whole Foods yesterday, and I ended up chatting with our cashier about this very funny clip about re-usable bags from a TV show called Portlandia. (I highly recommend it !) 

For a little Wednesday afternoon pick-me-up, here is that clip on the importance of bringing a bag Smile

(ps – if the video doesn’t embed properly, feel free to click the link to watch it. Yes, I’m making you do extra work)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d545PS_AkOw&feature=email

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Misc. Ramblings

 

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Happy Earth Day! – Go Hug a Tree!

 

“Earth Day is a day each year on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.” (thank you Wikipedia)

Believe it or not, when I was a kid, I was a huge environmentalist and feminist. I thought all boys were stupid and inferior and I thought everyone should recycle and stop killing animals just for their fur, tusks and other materials.

At some point in my childhood (I wish I remembered how old I was) there was a big legislation going on about the killing of innocent dolphins due to the nets used by the fisherman catching Tuna. Dolphins were often swept up along with the schools of Tuna and by the time the fisherman loaded the nets onto the boat, the poor dolphins would have already been dead. Back then, there were specific tuna companies that would label their cans saying “Dolphin Friendly” or the like. My mother had told me about these unfortunate dolphins and I remember feeling so angered that for a school writing assignment I wrote a long story about a family of dolphins that lived in the ocean.

Thinking about Earth Day – I realize I’m not much of an environmentalist anymore and hardly much of a feminist either. (I would almost say I’m sexist at this point in my life!) Sure, I read about the tigers that are quickly dwindling away, or the polar bear fiasco in the north, and of course that dreadful oil spill not that long ago. I’m sure we all remember sitting and watching the little meter on TV counting each and every gallon of oil gushing into our waters.

Can I Save a Tiger?

So I sit and I read – and I don’t have that childlike frustration and anger anymore. I notice that I don’t get all up in arms, screaming and yelling passionate for change! No, instead it’s a feeling of helplessness that has turned into numbness. Can I save a tiger? Not exactly. Can I tell poachers to stop killing beautiful elephants just for their tusks? Yeah, I’ll be on a plane to Africa tomorrow. What can I do?

Yes, I’ve heard – that “every voice counts.” Or “Call your congressman!” But I guess it’s a fatal flaw in me, that I really don’t believe my little itty bitty phone call to my congressman will do much to help the animals or the water or whatever cause is going on at this moment.

But frankly, I don’t like this attitude either. It reminds me of the older generation such as our parents (sorry dad!) The people who have become set in their ways and jaded by the negative occurrences in the world. I suppose that after many years it’s natural to become de-sensitized to the issues. Want to find the most passionate excitable people? Go to a nearby college campus and see what they’re protesting (or drinking Smile)

While I guess you can say I’m officially an adult now (the big 3-0 is just a few months away) – I certainly don’t want to settle into one of those adults who are burned out with no more energy claiming “it is what it is,” or “back in the good old days.”

So I gave it some thought. In honor of Earth Day – it’s time for some action!

Yes, I know I probably won’t be able to do much saving the tigers and whatnot, but I can do something.

After a few moments of thinking I came up with 3 (small) things I’d like to do in honor of Earth Day. (no, I haven’t cleared these with the husband yet, so let’s hope he’ll be on board Smile)

1) Enough with the Plastic Bags already!!!!

About 2 years ago we began collecting re-usable shopping bags from various stores (whole foods, trader Joes, etc.) I must tell you it was kind of fun knowing we were doing something good and helpful to the environment. But then we kind of stopped. We left the bags at home, or in the car, or they ended up being used for other purposes.

The studies show that those ‘innocent’ plastic shopping bags can take hundreds of years to break down. As they break down, they release poisonous materials into the water and soil. (nisht gut!)

Long story short, it’s not that hard to do – so let’s get back into it!! And, as an added bonus, it’s TOTALLY like OMG in style to carry chic reusable bags SmileSmile

2) Recycle those damn bottles!!

I love Louisville. I really do. I can write an entire blog about the cool things in this city and why I enjoy living here. One thing that I am disappointed in – is their recycling policy. Back in NJ, if we didn’t recycle we were FINED! Our garbage would NOT be picked up if bottles or papers were found inside. (who exactly would inspect our garbage I’m not quite sure) But we always recycled.

Here in Louisville, if you WANT to recycle – it COSTS YOU EXTRA MONEY. (disclaimer: It only costs extra money in MY specific district). So, let’s think about this, shall we? I can be lazy and save money OR, I can work a little extra and have to pay. Hmmm… I wonder which one I’ll choose? Granted, I told my hubby as soon as we moved in “We are a family that recycles.” And while I still hold to that moral, I’m sad to say we’ve stopped recycling because frankly, it’s difficult to pay for it.

The excellent news is that there is a recycling dumpster right down the block from us where we can bring our recyclables and drumroll…. Its free! Well, isn’t that a win win ?

On a side note, taking a bit of inspiration from my childhood “Save the dolphins” self, I plan to write a letter to our Mayor and district councilman to tell them of my disappointment. Imagine how many MORE people would be inclined to recycle, something that’s SO easy to do, if it didn’t cost extra money. We all know what a big impact recycling has on our environment… and you never know, maybe I can make a difference. (I’ll keep you posted if I make any headway.)

3) Water, Water, Water…..

This, I have to admit is the toughest one. I seem to have a bit of a dependency on plastic bottled water. I have read far too many articles about the wastefulness of all the plastic bottles, and there is an argument that the water in a bottle isn’t that much better! (PS – I loved the scene in the movie The Lorax – where the ‘bad guy’ sells people ‘air in a bottle.’ He brilliantly claims that if you put things in a bottle, people will buy it!) But getting back to the conversation, it is pointless and truly careless to use water bottles at home. Time to invest in a glass or aluminum thermos!

What needs to be decided is what kind of water filtration system to have at home. My naturopath is a big proponent of Distilled Water systems. He feels they are the purest, but of course it comes with a big contraption (small kitchen) and costs a pretty penny (but lasts a lifetime.) So for this one, I’d like to say that by next Earth Day – perhaps we’ll be a Plastic Bottle Free house, and until we figure out the best sort of water filter for us, I believe we have a Brita pitcher floating around somewhere that we can use.

Well my friends, I hope you have a wonderful Earth Day. Maybe you’re not in the mood of planting any trees or joining beach clean ups, but it still would be cool to go outside and hug a tree. I may just do that Smile

Hug a Tree!!!! And Happy Earth Day!

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Misc. Ramblings

 

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Hey Ya’ll! Paula Deen and Her “shocking” Health Announcement

Hey ya’ll!!!

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that Paula Deen – famous for her heavy Southern cooking – has Type 2 Diabetes. She was diagnosed 3 years ago, and recently made it public, and she is now a spokesperson for a diabetes drug.

The blogosphere is filled with articles on Paula Deen’s cooking style and its role in her disease, so I’m not going to add to the pile with yet ANOTHER article.

What I would like to talk about is something Paula said regarding her grandmother. Here is the quote from the USA TODAY article:

“Type 2 diabetes is like “Russian roulette” when it comes to whom it’s going to strike, Deen says. “It’s about heredity. It’s about age, lifestyle, race. I’m the only one in my family who has it. My grandmother cooked and ate like I ate, and she didn’t have it.””

Bubby’s Homemade Cooking:

This got me thinking.

My bubby also ate like this. Ok, maybe Southern Fried Chicken wasn’t a staple in the Lower East Side back in the day, but I’ve read through enough of my Bubby’s recipes to see “FAT” as the number one ingredient. Fat, Butter, Cheese… I have recipes of cakes and breads and stews…. Quite frankly, I’ve never attempted most of these recipes because to make it “Duby Friendly” I’d have to practically change the entire recipe!

So why is it, I asked myself, that our grandparents were able to eat this way and they didn’t get diabetes?

My bubby of blessed memory lived well into her 80’s and was pretty healthy for almost her entire life. There was no heart disease, or diabetes or even Cancer … (thank G-d)

So why is it that people TODAY who are seemingly much healthier (and thinner) seem to contract all these diseases and chronic illnesses???

I’d like to open this discussion, and I really want to hear from YOU guys – my readers – why YOU think this is.

Here are a few reasons that I came up with…

1) Sedentary Lifestyle: TV, Computers,

Do I need to explain this one? It’s kind of obvious. Our sedentary lifestyle is a big factor in many of the “new” illnesses in today’s world.

Years ago, people did manual labor jobs. Whether working in factories, on farms, – people were moving and doing all day long and “breaking a sweat.” Today, of course these kinds of jobs still exist, but for the most part, our industries are more service and information based (technology, computer programming, online work etc.), and how much sweat are we really producing sitting at a desk on the computer?

Speaking of computers, of course, I don’t need to tell you about how computers have COMPLTELY taken over our lives. (Laptops, iPads, computer games) It’s one of those things that if abused can be a terrible thing, but yet it is hard to maintain a balance.

Long story short, back then maybe people ate “heavier” and “fattier” foods, but people MOVED!!!

2) More Driving, Less Walking

Back in the olden days (and not even so old!) people walked everywhere. Kids drove bikes, and adults walked. (at least that’s what they tell me Smile) Before I went away for high school I remember asking the principal if there was a bus to school. She told me that since everyone lived in the area, everyone walked to school. I believe I was a little frightened by this prospect, but what an incredible way to start the school day with a cool brisk walk to school!!!

3) Toxins / Pesticides

It’s not that food didn’t have pesticides back then, but take a look at how our farming industry has become so commercialized. The attitude of “big is better” and “more for cheaper”…we’re eating unnaturally colored and oversized vegetables, and they use many pesticides to produce vegetables that last longer and grow larger.

GMO. Enough said.

Now let’s talk about toxins in the actual air around us. All around us is toxins – from the shampoo and toothpaste we use to the chicken / meat we eat – from the chemicals to steroids and antibiotics …

Another interesting point is that back then we had more homegrown (made in the USA) food, while today many of our produce is imported. Unfortunately, other countries don’t necessarily have the same regulations and standards. (another reason for eating Locally!)

4) Food is overall less nutritious than it used to be

Because of all the pesticides and ways our food industry is allowed to cut corners, it’s understandable that even healthy food (such as vegetables) is less nutritious than it used to be.

Duby’s Note:

I would like to insert here a small caveat. While my Bubby and Zeidy didn’t have to worry about GMO’s like we do today, this doesn’t mean that in those days, things were all honkey dorey.

Just last week I was chatting with my aunt who was telling me how my Bubby Rivkah didn’t let her children eat certain foods because she knew they were suspect.

For example:

a) White Flour: Back then (we’re talking the 1950’s) people used White Flour without really understanding why it wasn’t healthy. People liked the look of white bread, so companies milled and then bleached the flour, thereby stripping the vitamins. (I’m sure you all paid attention to my last blog post Smile) My bubby understood this and in ALL her baking and cooking, she would add Wheat Germ to put back lost vitamins and minerals. (I remember my mother teaching me to add Wheat Germ into my meatball mixture)

b) My bubby never let her kids have Tuna Fish in their school lunches. The companies back then weren’t regulated like today, and a scandalous report found particles of rodents(!!) in the canned Tuna. (My aunt also told me that they found shards of glass in the cans as well!)

c) Never were they allowed to have dry cereal. Why? Because Bubby understood these weren’t a source of good nutrition. It turned out that dry cereal had as much food value as Styrofoam. Once this became common knowledge, General Mills and others began to ‘put back’ the vitamins into the foods.

Even back then, it was imperative to keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention to what’s going into our bodies.

5) Supersized portions

We are stretching our dollar and stretching our plates. Check out the image below from TheVisualMD.com for a startling comparison of how our portion sizes have grown over the years.

So yes, maybe my bubby made cheesecake all the time … but something tells me those slices were a LOT smaller than they are today Smile

clip_image001

6) Margarine vs. Butter

I’ll admit – many of my mother’s recipes call for Margarine – to make the recipes pareve. But NONE of my Bubby’s recipes call for Margarine. They all call for Butter or Fat. Isn’t that interesting? Now, I know that eating a stick of butter is unhealthy. (Thank you Kristen Wiig on Saturday Night Live for that incredible sketch!) However, there is something to be said about eating REAL vs. FAKE.


A friend of mine in Agoura Hills, California – is an incredible baker. She bakes all these heavenly goodies for her family…and I once asked her about worrying about weight, or health. She told me that yes, eating cake isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, but she knows what her kids are eating. There are NO preservatives and she’s choose which flours to use. While you shouldn’t eat an entire batch of cookies, at least she knew the products were “real” and “wholesome.”

(Duby’s Note: I agree with my friend’s opinion only to a certain extent. Sugar is sugar no matter how you look at it. Yes, it might be more “natural” than Aspartame {which may cause cancer} but sugar can be harmful in other ways.)

Long story short – margarine, while is wonderful to us Kosher bakers, it really is a terrible thing to put in our bodies.

7) More Medicines – More Illnesses

I don’t have any statistics to back me up on this one (and this is totally my opinion) but there is a REASON why it’s called “Bubby’s Homemade Remedies.” Our Bubbies all knew just the herb or tonic to whip up when we were sick, and they didn’t fear illnesses like we do today.

Walk into any school building, and you’ll find kids with every allergy under the sun:

Wheat Free

Gluten Free

Soy Free

Egg Free

Nut Free

Dairy Free

(am I missing any?)

Then we got seasonal allergies up the whazoo. As for us adults, there are an incredible amount of autoimmune disorders- and the numbers of these illnesses are increasing. Our bodies and immune systems are literally overwhelmed and while trying to survive it’s attacking itself causing all these problems.

We have a very efficient and impressive medical industry, yet, we seem to be getting sicker.

In conclusion, my Bubby certainly baked with Fat and Butter and made delicious kuchens and kichels and a whole bunch of “ich” type goodies. While I may try to emulate her recipes, as Paula Deen says that she bakes/eats just like her grandmother did, we need to remember that we live in a completely different world, and must live/cook/eat with the realities of the 21 century.

What do you think my dear readers?

Why do YOU think our grandparents were able to cook the way they did and yet we have more illnesses?

Or do you believe that our grandparents were just as unhealthy as we are today?

I would love to hear your opinions!

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Misc. Ramblings, Physical Health

 

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Following the Crowd Like Sheep

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about sheep recently. As I’m sure you know, I speak to many people about their health practices and ideals, and in my mind, “sheep” is an excellent way to describe them. I first heard this term being used by alternative health organizations, (in a very negative way). It describes people who don’t know better and follow the medical system blindly, as sheep do, without ever really finding out the truth for themselves or learning to make their own decisions.

The more I have learnt, the more I find this to be true; so (naturally) I decided to blog about it.

A few years ago I was a sheep. (ouch!) I listened to what my Doctor told me, and I believed and did whatever I was told. Sadly though, something was not right. At some point, I had to ask myself, “why isn’t this working?” Sure, my doctor was smart – and YES I know – my doctor went to medical school and I did NOT – however, there comes a time when you need to KNOW your own body. As unorthodox as it sounds, I needed to be responsible and be the “doctor” for my body.

And so, I began to research – to ask the WHY questions, and not to stop until I got some answers. Now, many of you might not feel you need to ask the WHY questions because you’re pretty satisfied with your health, or your child’s health – and maybe your medical doctor has been wonderful to you and all’s fine and dandy. And that’s great too. But, really – let’s think for a minute. With a fine tooth comb, we study our cell phone bills – looking for mistakes. We examine with a sharp eye our bank statements to make sure there are no errors. We harshly judge our children’s teachers because we want to make sure our kid is getting the best possible education.

Why do we not do the same with our medical system?

Its mind boggling, watching people follow like meek and timid sheep with little or no independence when it comes to taking responsibility for our health.. There is always room to ask WHY, to discern and understand the reasons. There should be no such thing as: “That’s just the way it is.”

I decided to blog about this now because tonight /tomorrow I will be commemorating my mother’s Yartzeit. She passed away in 2002 at the young age of 49. When I was just a young toddler my mother was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and unfortunately, I never really got to know who she really was, the person behind the illness. There is one lesson that I learned from her that I will never forget. When I was a kid, during those turbulent years when I had no friends and felt I’d never fit in with my snobby and elitist classmates, my mother constantly reminded me: “Do Your Own Thing.” She would say to me, “if everyone is doing one thing, but you want to do another – Do what YOU want.” Never EVER “follow the crowd” blindly, but decide for myself what it is I wanted and what is right for me. She promised me, that if I was true to myself and listened to my heart, then soon people will be following ME instead of the other way around.

Of course, this lesson took me years to learn. Maybe that’s why today I’m so adamant of doing things differently? (my pink wedding gown perhaps? Smile)

As an advocate for alternative health and responsible living, this lesson of not following like timid sheep is important now more than ever. It’s imperative we learn to take action for our health instead of just following the crowds and the “norms.”

On my mom’s yartzeit, I believe that she’d be happy I’m living this valuable lesson daily and I only hope that you try to do the same.

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

steps

My mom, my brother and me (with my AWESOMELY wild curly hair) on our front steps in Albany, NY.

to be cropped

Mommy & Me Smile (wasn’t I a cutie patootie?)

Family Picture - 1982

My Family way back when… (I don’t look very happy to be there. It must be the hideous fuchsia velour outfit I’m wearing. Well it was the 80’s….)

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Misc. Ramblings

 

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Was it a good year? A Bad year? Or Option C?

happy new yerarThis past Friday, on the way to our weekly excursion to the local library, my hubby and I chatted about the new year. We discussed what kinds of things we wanted to focus on in 2012 and of course, we talked about how last year measured up.

Something we realized was that in hindsight, 2010 was a pretty crappy year. The hubby left his job, which was a serious and scary decision to make (whether it was his choice to make or not! Smile). On a personal level it kind of sucked as well and we knew that it was time we packed up and left New Jersey. All around 2010 wasn’t such a hot year. Let’s not forget, I began to blog in 2010 which was awesome, but all around when looking at the year in Duby’s life, it ranks pretty low.

2011 however was very different. While we wouldn’t call it an amazing year, we did realize that 2011 was a “transition year.” The beginning months of January and February were spent packing up (and throwing a very fun Superbowl party!) and in March we moved to our new home in Louisville. I would say the remainder of our year was spent unpacking, settling into our new life, finding a new routine and just getting used to this new chapter in our lives. This takes a LOT longer than one would think! Sure, maybe you can unpack your entire house in a couple of weeks, or months, but a move to a new state involves getting to know the streets, the places to shop, your new mailman! We now had the opportunity to create new holiday traditions in our home, how we were going to celebrate Pesach, our birthdays, the high holidays – It really does take time to call a new place home, which to be honest, I’m still learning to do. Quite often, I’ll be talking to someone and absentmindedly say “back home” referring to NJ. It does take time to establish and plant roots and while your boxes may be unpacked, that emotional connection takes time.

Quick side story: My friend asked me when I plan on visiting New York next. Obviously she misses me dearly Smile so I told her, “I plan on visiting when I begin calling Louisville home. And knowing me, I’ll go back to the tri-state area for a visit, and never want to leave!”

So 2011 came and went and thankfully we feel a lot more settled and slowly but surely its beginning to feel like home.

As the hubby and I recalled the different memories of this past year, it dawned on us, that while 2010 was not one of our better years, it was a defining year. We needed 2010 to happen, in order for the 2011 transition year to unfold. Leaving his job in the city meant we were able to expand our horizons and acknowledge we no longer felt forced to live in a 30 mile radius to New York City (something MANY people feel trapped to do). Experiencing hardship in 2010 helped us come to terms with the fact that New Jersey was no longer a healthy place for us to live and needed to plant roots elsewhere.

Was it fun? Not really… but looking back, the hardships and difficulties led way to some wonderful new experiences allowing us to set up shop here in Louisville and it has been glorious. (so far Smile) So in hindsight can we ever really say that a year was “bad?” I suppose not, because we never know what awesomeness can ultimately come from it.

And so with the transition behind us, we can now focus on establishing deeper roots here, and make it a kick ass year!

I’d like to wish everyone a very happy new year – no matter where you are, where you came from, or to where you’re going, may it be your best year yet!!!!

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Misc. Ramblings

 

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And the Winner is …..

 

giveaway_winner_2_small

I am so excited to announce that the winner for our

2nd Annual Chanukah Giveaway is….

Chanie P.

from Brooklyn, NY!!!!

Chanie will get a $50 Gift Card to either Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s!

Thank you to all who participated…

Have a wonderful and delicious Chanukah!!

Duby Smile

Grinch Chanukah Joke

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Misc. Ramblings

 

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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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