Category Archives: Spiritual Health

Spiritual Health: Chanukah – Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should


going to hell

I remember sitting in Tanya  class when I was about 13 years old. We were studying Chapter 7, which discusses the spiritual essences in every being. Our teacher explained that there is a spiritual difference between forbidden and permissible items. While all living and non-living objects have a spiritual essence, the essences are derived and powered from different spiritual sources and levels. The source of objects essence is the determining factor whether an item is allowed for Jewish people.

For example – Pork has a different spiritual source than beef  – therefore pork is not allowed while kosher beef is.

(If I have not confused you yet, congratulations! For more explanation, click here after reading the rest of my blogSmile)

My Rabbi teacher then continued to explain the following concept:

“Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should.”

So there I am, a 13 year old kid, and in simple terms my teacher basically just told me that just because ice cream is kosher, doesn’t mean I should have it.

WHAT!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! (I even asked him this exact ice cream analogy)

He explained that when you hold yourself to a higher standard – you refrain from things you urge and desire. By doing so you break the hold that the urge had over you. (Hayom Yom Shevat 27)

Needless to say, at age 13 I thought this was totally bogus. First, you tell me all the things I’m not allowed to do. And trust me, in Judaism there is a WHOLE lot of “not allowed” – but now you’re telling me that even things that are labeled “kosher” I should refrain? Who am I, Gandhi or something? This upset me greatly and I never liked this attitude. I understood that these were men who lived a few hundred years ago who led simpler lives, but we always learn that we live IN the world, and not on some mountain top in Tibet. That is exactly why we have KOSHER ice cream so we can enjoy the pleasures of the world but in a way that’s allowed according to Torah.

Well, I’m happy to say I’m no longer 13.

Recently, I decided to research this concept, so I’d like to thank my Dad who found me numerous places where this concept is discussed. One place is the Hayom Yom. The Hayom Yom for the 25th of Adar Sheini tells of a disciple who came to learn from the Alter Rebbe. He said that the first concept he ever learned was the following:

“What is forbidden is forbidden and what is permitted is unnecessary.”

He goes on to say that they studied this concept until it was drilled into their systems and only then could they go on a path of service to G-d.

This year, as I get ready for Chanukah (along with the rest of you) I recalled my post last year about 8 Tips for a Healthy Chanukah . One of the items in that post is about the dangers (yes DANGERS) of giving 8 gifts, one for every night of Chanukah. I’m aware that many parents don’t give presents at all (which is cool) but the more I thought about this 8 gifts concept, the more I realized that not only is it a warped tradition but it really is an unhealthy attitude to teach our next generation. (feel free to read last years post for more details).

Just because you Can Doesn’t Mean You Should.

This extends to more than just Chanukah gifts. This is a year round concept that we as Americans need to learn. We live in a society of abundance (and for those of us who don’t have, try to emulate that abundance through Credit Card debt Sad smile) Abundance is a beautiful thing… it means we can do more, give more, and celebrate more, but we mustn’t forget to teach our kids the work that came BEFORE the abundance.

Very often I see families who give their kids EVERYTHING they need and EVERYTHING they want. (big difference) I believe I’ve blogged about this before.

Raise your hand if you know a 3 year old kid who has a favorite flavor sushi ? Or a young child who already has a “usual” at Starbucks?

Just because you CAN – just because you may have the money, or the resources, – doesn’t mean you should – doesn’t mean that you should be showering your kids (or loved ones) with lavish clothes and bedrooms and every new toy on the shelf.

So I’m no longer 13. I finally see the wisdom behind: “What is forbidden is forbidden and what is permitted is unnecessary” – As we thank G-d that we don’t live on a mountain in Tibet but in the Abundant America,  – we also need to remember that it’s all about balance and responsibility. About leading a spiritually driven life, and not just accumulating “stuff” (I’m sure you’ve heard of George Carlin’s famous “Stuff” Routine). So yes, I’ll be buying my Chanukah gifts for my loved ones (and hopefully I’ll be receiving some too!) but I will try my best to see beyond the gift wrapping and fancy packaging. I’ll try to see and feel the intentions of the giver and therefore really appreciate the presents.

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

Its Not Too Late to Enter the Annual Chanukah Giveaway!

Click Here for Details

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

Want More? Check out some past Chanukah related Dubyisms

A Jewish Girl Who Loves Christmas

Minimalism in a Present Filled World 

Pyromaniacs Favorite Holiday


1 Comment

Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Spiritual Health


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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


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!!!!!!!!


Tags: , , , ,

Spiritual Health: 5 Ways to Bottle Up the High Holidays


During the summer, I was chatting with a friend of mine. While he is no longer religious – he told me that when he was looking at the calendar to make his schedule, he saw that Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur were coming up and instinctively he got chills about the upcoming days of awe.

This friend of mine was raised in a very different kind of community than I was – a lot stricter – and people in his community view the high holidays through a lens of fear and trepidation. Nonetheless I thought it was pretty cool that even though this man didn’t go to Shul or pray – he still felt the awesomeness of this time of year.

Well, we are back to the daily grind. Back to school, back to work – back to exercise and normal meals (thank G-d!) … but before the month of Tishrei becomes a thing too much in the past, I wanted to go over a few ideas of how to take the inspiration with us.

The whole point of this month is to wipe the slates clean, start fresh and begin anew. We apologize for our past misdeeds – and once we do the hard work we then celebrate with joy and elation the holiday of Sukkos and SImchas Torah. We know that we have done all we can – that this will indeed be an incredible year, and we have faith that G-d will do his part as well. And so we dance!

How do we bottle up the holiness and joy we felt during his month and take it with us throughout the year?

In my opinion, in order to capitalize on the energy we need to look at the month slightly differently.

Just as I stated before, we usually look at the holidays exactly as they are.

Rosh HsShana: we crown G-d as our king

Yom Kippur: we atone for our sins, and G-d seals our fate for the upcoming year

Sukkos: a time of joy and celebration

And Simchas Torah: we celebrate the Torah – the foundation of the Jewish people’s lives.

Simple enough right?

Except there’s one thing missing.

Very often we talk that Yom Kippur we cry and we fast and we beg forgiveness. But not a minute after Yom Kippur ends – we’re already “accidentally” sinning again. Whatever it may be … maybe we didn’t make a blessing on the food… we’re back to “screw up ville” back to square one.

Time to Tap Into Our Potential!

So I think, instead of looking at Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur as days of forgiveness and wiping the slate clean and promising to do better in the future, I think we need to see it as a time to realize our potential. We are incredible people. As humans we have the power to do miraculous things. One little person – with a little passion – and a little ambition – (and creativity) we can move mountains! But what happens – we come to Yom Kippur and we realize we’re nothing but a screw up. We “effed” up in not so pretty language.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman at gave a beautiful sermon how the whole repentance thing is way too depressing for our generation. It’s too easy to get depressed by our shortcomings. This is brilliant!

Instead of repenting or atoning, or whatever fancy shmancy word you want to use – instead – let’s look inside of ourselves and realize that there is so much untapped potential – that needs tapping! (who wouldn’t want to tap that?

Doesn’t that sound a lot more fun and joyful than the depressing thought of repentance?!

So when we stood before G-d with our fate in His hands – we should be overjoyed and excited and incredibly moved that here we have a NEW year upon us… a NEW opportunity… a BRAND new chance to utilize our awesome talents…. Our beautiful G-d given talents and our own personal brilliance to make a difference. Whatever that means to each of us individually…. But we now get to say:

“From this point on, I’m gonna ROCK the Shiznit!” (yes, Shiznit is a word). And start the new year believing that this year is going to be different. This year is going to be better. And this year is going to be THE year.


With this attitude – the attitude that we are going to be the “best possibly me” – we can look at how to practically bring that inspiration into our day to day lives.

1) My Favorite Thing to Do – you guessed it: MAKE A FREAKIN LIST!!!! Decide: What do I want to be better at this year? What do I want to do this year? What do I want to change? It can be 2 things. Or it can be one thing. It can be a goal, or an activity, something you want to start (or stop) doing. Something maybe that’s holding you back from being the Best That You Can Be. – write it down!

2) Meditate: I know – you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about meditation. But the fact is that Yom Tov ends – and we are thrown back into our lives. The 9-5 workday, the screaming kids, the overcrowded schedules. It’s too easy to forget what we felt on Yom Tov – and how we wanted THIS year to be better. By meditating on our goals and aspirations and our “List” – it helps to bring us back and center us what we want to accomplish.

3) Take a Little Time to Talk To G-d. I was considering putting this as the same thing as meditating, but I really feel its 2 separate things. When we meditate, it’s internally. Its focusing in what’s going on inside (and yes, G-d is there too) – however, with prayer – it’s a vocalized externally. We are talking outwardly to G-d… and continuing that connection we felt so tangibly during all those days of Yom Tov.

4) Pick a Friend. Sounds easy right? In order to be the better you – you need the right kind of friend who will bring out the best in you and build you up. There is a girl I know, she is much younger than me (she was actually my camper at one point) in recent years, whenever I chance a conversation with her she has this knack of inspiring me about my projects that I just want to jump in get working!!! I can’t explain what it is about this one girl, but every time I speak to her she encourages me in my work and makes me feel so enthusiastic about it all.

While there are many types of friendships, in order to accomplish your goal you want to make sure you’re surrounded by the right kind of people.

5) Monthly Assessment Meeting. To bring the inspiration of Tishrei into our day to day lives, nothing says practicality more than the accountability of a monthly meeting. Looking back on “where am I holding?” and “what do I want to focus on in the coming month?”


Do you have any tips of ways to keep an inspirational feeling last? I would love to hear YOUR ideas!!!!

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Spiritual Health


Tags: , , , , ,

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 !!!!!!!!!!


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


If Rabbi Duby gave a Rosh HaShana Sermon

Victory_mountainIf I were a Rabbi and I had a pulpit, my Rosh HaShana sermon would be about this one little word: Passion.

But alas, I am no Rabbi, but I do make up my own rules sometimes, and while I don’t have a pulpit and shtender, I do have a blog! And so my theme for Rosh HaShana is: Passion.

You’re wondering why, aren’t you?

Well, first, let’s remind ourselves of the famous story. (and forgive me because I’m going to get the details wrong)

The famous parable goes that a great Rabbi was once asked: “What would you rather? A very obedient student but who’s very intellectual and therefore apathetic. Or a student who misbehaves and not very smart, but who’s incredibly passionate and excitable.”

The Rabbi answered: “without a question – the student who has passion. Because while he might misbehave, he has that drive and fire – and all I need to do is point that fire in the right direction and get him on the right track. The other student may have a brilliant mind, but with no heart and no passion, he’s not going anywhere.”

Yes yes, I know I probably mixed up all the details, but I know I got the point right.

And this is why my theme for this year is Passion.

Without passion what do we have?

Suppose all you do this coming year is data entry for a boring stupid job. And that’s it. Imagine if that ONE thing you do with all your heart, all your ambition, and put your fire and soul into that one little “boring” job – all your passion. Imagine how amazing that data entry job would suddenly become?

Suppose all you do this entire year is answer phone calls – and you answered those phone calls with fervor and enthusiasm. Imagine how happy those people on the line would feel after speaking with you?

Imagine if every day – no matter if it was laundry, or dishes, or doing bills, or teaching, or web design, or blogging – imagine if whatever it was you did during the day, you did it with a fire. Every ounce of passion – you threw into that basket of laundry!

Yah, I know it sounds a little funny – why do I need passion to do laundry? Why do I need fire to do the dishes?

Because as we all know, fire is VERY contagious and well, flammable.

Ever meet someone who LOVES their job? And they LOVE talking about it? And sharing stories? And going on and on about it? After wanting to wring their necks from their annoying peppiness…if you think about it – these are the people that have a spring in their step ALL Day. Not just at work. When they come home, their joy spills over into their home life and into everything they touch. Why? Not because their boss gave them a raise (although that certainly helps) but because they’re living life with passion!

I was thinking about this concept earlier this week because this past summer I got to work briefly with my old bosses – the Solomons – back in Jersey. Everyone who knows me can testify that I worked well with these guys and we were inseparable. My friend used to joke that in 30 years from now, I’ll STILL be working for them. While I used to take offense at that statement, feeling like I’ll be stuck in the same darn job for 30 years, when I think of that now, I’m actually flattered. Why? Because the Solomons exude passion.

I worked closely with Rabbi Solomon for years – and while working with him over the summer, I was reminded of this energy he gives to the people who work with him. It’s funny because we all laugh and say that we do all the work, and the Rabbi gets all the credit! But it’s amazing to see that he’s able to “light a fire” under his employees with his enthusiasm. His encouragement, his excitement, and… well.. passion. It’s this passion that gets his employees motivated about even the most tedious and boring tasks! And yet, despite the (at times) boring work, his assistants are the happiest people, they love their jobs every single day and have great experiences. Why? Once again – it’s the passion.

Actually, there was someone who worked for Rabbi Solomon at one point and the pairing didn’t mesh well. We all understood that the personalities didn’t click, and so it wasn’t working out. But thinking back, it’s more than just a personality clash – because everyone works differently and no one is the same. What I realized is that they were just missing passion. That “rock em’ sock em’” attitude that wasn’t there, and like I said, fire spreads – without that personal flame, the day to day tasks eventually became tedious and boring and eventually that person left the job.

So I talk about passion.

Ever feel like you’re life could be better? Ever wish you had a better job? Or a better house? A better car? Or just something new and exciting? Yes, we can go through the routine of day to day life. Trudge to work, do what we need to do, yawn at 2 pm, maybe have another cup of coffee to wake us up… and wait for those glamorous vacation days coming up. And sure – we can work towards our goals and try to make something more of ourselves and to create happier lives (and I’m a BIG advocate of that) – but imagine taking what you have right now – whatever that may be, and enjoying the crap out of it! Squeezing the joy into every single “meaningless” task of the day and quite literally, making love to everything we do. Doesn’t that sound like such a glorious life? Wow! imagine being able to have such passion for what we do that we’ll want to shout it from the rooftops: “I LOVE WASHING DISHES!” – imagine what a life that would be.

Well, I don’t know about you… but I say if there’s any kind of year I’d like to have… yes I want a healthy year, a happy year, a money filled year – but more than anything, I want to have a passionate year!

And isn’t it incredible that living a passionate life is completely my choice and is entirely up to me. No one decides how excited I get over something, or how much soul and spirit I give on a job. Nope. It’s all 100% me. (I think we control freaks would like that :)) …

And so my dear friends, here’s to a year and a LIFE filled with motivation, and drive, ambition and joy, and my new favorite word – a life of passion!

Can I get an Amen? 🙂


Tags: , , ,

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.


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?!


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!

1 Comment

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


Tags: , , , ,

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