Monthly Archives: September 2014

Post 20 Vegetarian Marathon: Living in Israel believe it or not reminds me of summer camp: Song: “Is this a Country or a Country Club.” Time to detox to test food sensitivity, complete set of does and don’ts

So many things about Israel remind me of summers at sleep-away camp. I worked for several years as an Emergency Medical Technician, which gives one inside information. In camp, everyone has about the same space to sleep. That’s true about the majority of Israelis. The size of  apartments is about the same for each family. A few, and it’s still a few people, have “mansions”. When things get heated up, no-one can hide or run away. Where can you hide in a bungalow colony?  Maybe the closeness breads in Israelis the desire to always be on the move.

Also, the upstate squeezed together shacks that “our crowd” migrated to every summer were fueled by natural gas tanks. My stove in Israel today is fueled by gas tanks. So too for most apartments. I think it feels very temporary.

Ants, flies, mosquitos, are  waiting in the corners. Read a story by Amos Oz of his early life and his scalding baths. Israelis use an enormous amount of toiletries, deodorants, sprays. Every block has a spa and a hair salon and two cafes offering places to shmooze.

Food is a big part of the culture, as well as travel and leisure. I remember traveling up the coast on my first visit and seeing beach after beach. “Is this a Country or a Country Club?” I asked.

That’s why this song is here. Surprise Lake Camp was a no-frills sprawling summer home for city kids

Surprise Lake’s showers are a’ bustling and teeming

At the crawly and slimy rodents and all of us screaming

And here come the now-crowd a buzzing and a  creaming

All the while busily planning and scheming

Young kitchen help toilet cleaning teeny boppers

Spray mousses on  their 200 dollar cut moppers.

And  take turns as lookout for sweet smelling skunk

Trade trinkets and treasures and mama’s post hippi junk

And your camp cooking  is tasty, your soup is steaming

And under the moon the Camp City lies dreaming

If the sights and the sounds and the smells you delight

Then you’ll know you’ve come home and the place is just right

While twinkling from Cold Springs a garland of light

Sends a message of welcome and bids you good-night.

Once you experience how good you feel -balanced, energized and with more clarity than before- you may not want to go back to eating the same old way. This is called keeping it pure and simple.

Keep in mind that around the third day you may feel tired, irritable, or just plain icky. Some people sail through this without a hitch, but you may experience symptoms of withdrawal and detoxification. Remember to drink plenty of water and exercise, even if it’s only walking briskly. Sweat in a sauna or steam bath if you can, as that helps push toxins out of the body.

Foods to eat for a detoxification diet:

Liquids: Filtered water, herbal teas (detox teas are an option, and may include milk thistle, burdock root or dandelion to help the liver and kidneys), green tea, green drinks, (wheat grass, spirulina, chlorella). Fresh pressed vegetable juice (carrot, beet, celery, cucumber, cabbage, parsley, ginger, greens, etc), vegetable broth or dashi, aloe vera juice (for mild intestinal cleansing)

Grains and breads: Brown rice, wild, wehani, or red rice, millet, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, sprouted grain bread (wheat-free). After the detox re-introduce gluten and take note if any symptoms arise such as digestive distress, sluggishness, aching joints; these can be indicators of gluten sensitivity.

Protein: Fresh small white fish; wild salmon; lentils; split peas; chickpeas; black, kidney, adzuki, white, pinto or any other variety of dried beans.

Dairy substitutes: Rice, almond, or hazelnut milk. (Soymilk is one of the foods to avoid, as soy is a common allergen). Keep in mind that these are considered processed foods, and may be mucus producing. If you are committed to a very strict cleanse these can be eliminated.

Nuts and seeds: Raw or dry-roasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and nut butters made from these (nut butters should not have any added oils or sugars).

Vegetables: 9 servings per day are ideal. Vegetables should include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onion, daikon radish, burdock root, turnips, rutabaga, leeks, dark and leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard, turnip, or dandelion greens, bok choy, tatsoi, chicory, watercress, radicchio) and field greens (arugula, organic mesclun, romaine, red and green leaf lettuce). Other vegetables are mineral rich seaweed; carrots; beets; green, yellow and winter squash; sweet potatoes, parsnips.

Fruit: Seasonal fruits, organic whenever possible. In the temperate zones such as the Northeast, fruits should be non-tropical and non-citrus (except lemon and lime, which are very cleansing to the liver). Apples and pears -in season- are great cleansers.

Fats: Avocado, nuts, and flaxseed oil, olive oil, and fish oil, for a daily dose of good fats and fatty acids. Don’t heat flaxseed or fish oil.

Sweeteners: No sweeteners would be used in a very strict detox protocol, so use these sparingly. Only natural sweeteners should be used, and in very small quantities: brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, agave nectar, and stevia.

Herbs and Spices: Cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, star anise, fennel seed, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, cilantro, sage, basil, marjoram and chives.

Foods to omit during a detox protocol:

Many of these foods are general offenders and should not be in our diets on a general basis, so the detox can actually kick-start a new lifestyle. Keep in mind that the most common food allergens are milk, eggs, wheat, tree nuts, corn, peanuts, shellfish. Add these back into your diet one at a time if you believe that you might be sensitive to any of the above listed foods. If you are, after not consuming them for a couple of weeks you will notice a marked negative response.

Liquids: Soda, coffee, black tea, alcohol, milk. Soymilk should be omitted or consumed in very small quantity. Fruit juices should be consumed in limited quantity or not at all, and restricted to unsweetened cranberry juice and fresh pressed juices.

Grains and breads: Omit all white bread, white flour, white rice, wheat, and all grain and flour containing gluten. These include barley, bulgur, couscous, durum, farina, graham flour, kamut, matzo, rye, seitan, semolina, spelt, and triticale. Corn is  a very common allergen, so cornmeal, corn cereals, grits etc should be eliminated temporarily.

Protein: Soy products should be avoided, and reintroduced only in organic form as tofu or tempeh. Other soy products are excessively processed. Seitan (which is gluten) should be temporarily eliminated. Do not eat any animal products except (optionally) a small amount of fish as listed in recommended foods above. If animal foods are part of the regular diet, restrict consumption to small amounts of free range and organic beef, lamb, turkey and chicken and eggs. (Keep in mind that in Europe a serving of meat is 3-4 ounces). Cold cuts, canned meat, shellfish, farmed non-organic salmon, large predatory and deep sea fish (such as marlin, shark, dolphin, tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi) should be avoided.

Dairy: Omit completely. After the detox, small amounts of goat or sheep products can be reintroduced.

Nuts and Seeds: Peanuts and peanut butter (very common allergen), cashews Brazil, and macadamia nuts.

Vegetables: Avoid nightshade vegetables: potato, tomato, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, cayenne, tomatillos, paprika and pimentos. It should be noted here that tobacco is also a nightshade.

More on foods to avoid:

Fruit: Excessively sugary fruits like grapes should be eaten in very small quantity or avoided; black and red grapes are more vitamin rich than green. Make sure all grapes are organic. Tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, banana and pineapple should only be eaten in a warm climate or in the summer months when their cooling properties are beneficial. Excess citrus should be avoided, especially orange juice, as it is mucus producing. Whole citrus fruits may be tolerated on occasion. Due to its high sugar content, dried fruit should be limited to occasional consumption.
Fats: Margarine, butter, shortening, hydrogenated fats and oils, mayonnaise, and “butter” type spreads should be eliminated.
Condiments: Ketchup, mayonnaise, bottled salad dressings and sauces, regular table salt. (use sea salt or tamari instead and sparingly).
Sweeteners: All processed sugar including evaporated cane juice, demerara, succanat, and brown sugar; corn syrup, artificially or sugar-sweetened jams and marmalades. Use fruit-only spreads.
L Hitraot,Ida


Post 19 Vegetarian Marathon: Israeli Secular Snobbery and Israel Religious Snobbery, do they it exist? Salad days


Israel is a small country. The classic forms of snobbery found in the USA just are not applicable here. There are few Lamberginis. So you say that the Prime Minister has an entourage of SUV’s.

But he doesn’t own them. He’s been accused of being one of Israel’s richest elite.

He does own three apartments. Prime Minister Ben Gurion lived in a shack and Prime Minister Begin in three rooms. The amount of furniture of Prime Minister Begin was limited to the standard 70 meter apartment. Chaim Weitzman had a mansion built with funds that he earned as a chemist.

Now who lives in those apartments? They have all been made into museums.

Also the country runs on part-time help. Rotations. Anyone who is lucky enough to have a government job and the perk of a government car really has a car that governs him. By  that I meant that the car is used by a slew of agencies in the course of a week and not exclusively by one. I met a biologist (PHD), whose research job came with a parking spot for her car. She doesn’t work every day, but on her day off she uses the spot because it is convenient to the light-rail.


Firstly, what is snobbery? Snobbery demands an unwillingness to compromise.  A snob is not a jolly fellow. He is out to enhance his own position by avoiding  the society of his social inferiors and by cultivating the society of the rich and powerful. Snobbery doesn’t fly in Israel.


Aldus Huxley wrote, A society with plenty of snobbery is like a dog with plenty of fleas. It is not likely to behave comatose.


Thackerey noted a snob is one who meanly admires mean things. A snob lacks a personality. It is only revealed in rituals. A snob teases for his own ego only to make his object hurt. Thus snobbery is the habit of making inequality hurt.


A snob needs an audience of admirers. Constantly, he yearns for recognition and acceptance.  The knawing never goes away ever.. To yearn for acceptance by one’s social superiors leads one to always be ashamed, not only for ones actual situation, but of one’s family, one’s available friends. Snobbery is simply a very self destructive vice.


Israel has no snob appeal. Yes, a T.V personality, Lapid,  gained  high office.  He is personally showered with adoration and admiration from followers. I don’t know if he is still adored. So much energy is devoted to keeping up an image.


Then the above cultural icon is sheltered from the common folk.


What about those who don’t give a bag of beans for pop culture or politicians. Traditional G-d fearing simple believers see thru a false exterior.The snob has no skill or desire to relate beyond his own world. The only response is to lash out. To look down on other’s  accents and convince himself of the other’s inferiority.


Once a cultural snob was invited to a party that he was obligated to attend a distance away from a big city. Did the snob hobnob with the locals? Not for a minute. The snob made an issue and was convinced that the Philadelphia accent he heard was not truly a Philadelphia accent. A form of snobbery. This unfortunate elitist thus missed out on an opportunity to meet the locals. Yes, Israelis laugh at a native English speaking basketball player, whose Hebrew is still at a Kita Bet Level. But that’s all in fun.


Way back the cultural snob was persuaded against his better judgement to the view that life is wholly entertainment, and that the pursuit of  distraction is preferable than to delve within himself.  This deleterious outlook counsels that secrets of the heart are better left unsaid. That is in private. However public indulging in gossip and telling tales is not frowned upon. However it always opens oneself to misguidance.


We must always be on the alert for snobbery creeping into our character. Strangely, we can all perceive the difference between ourselves and our inferiors, but when it comes to a question of the difference between us and our superiors, we fail to appreciate merits of which we have no proper conceptions (James Fenimore Cooper American Democrat “The American and the Democrat ”1838.


This kind of snobbery or self valuation permits everyone to be the undisturbed judges of his or his own habits and associations, so long as they are innocent and do not impose on the rights of others to be equally judges for themselves.


Witness the opposite of snobbery, a celebration of Israelis – friends and family in a restaurant. Informal attire. Wearing  formal attire,-shirts and ties that might show one’s position in the work-force is frowned upon. Also, there is a blurring of the areas of work and leisure. A great majority of the Israeli population work in several locations, where one’s collective wages  add up to close to  full-time job, often however without the benefits. Everyone is in the same boat trying to keep up with bills on a salary a fractional amount of a similar position in the USA. This mitigates against snobbery.


Even volunteer regular jobs are almost always part-time. If one works on Monday and Wednesday in one city, and Tuesday and Sunday in another city, how can one be available as shamus, (In an Orthodox synagogue the Shamus is the person who opens and closes up the synagogue and gets things done) to be the very important person to hold the keys to a shul in case a plumber needs to enter? I made this  discoverey after interviewing two volunteers, in the same synagogue, who are part-time shamuses – because they travel between cities,

They share the key-holding responsibility. Each one has a set and is available on a rotating basis with his partner. 

It seems plausible that even the security team of 6 SUV’s could fashion a second job during the time when the Prime Minister is out of the country. It’s obvious that the vehicles are unmarked and could stand in to escort an international visitor or a Rabbinical dignitary? Why not? Or even for a friend’s wedding with the promise of using the siren to arrive with flair.

 I have just noticed an example of  religious snobbery. I passed the Old French Hospital. Would you believe it there is a plaque on it.  A Christian Historic Landmark beneficiary of JNF funds? So big of JNF.

I wonder what year that contribution took place.

Followed by fill em up salad side dishes:

Japanese Edamame Dip

  • 1 lb (450 g) frozen shelled edamame drained
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 large or 2 small green onions
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise/olive oil*
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tsp toasted or dark sesame oil
  • 2 tsp broth
  • 3 + tablespoons water.
  • Pulse in a food processor to your liking
  • Beet Barley  Salad

  • Drain the red onion from the soaking water. Combine diced beets, cooked barley, chard stems and leaves, and red onion in a large mixing bowl. Let everything cool to room temperature, then stir in the feta/tofu. Whisk together the remaining lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and stir to evenly coat all the ingredients.

    Taste the mixture. As needed, add salt 1/4 teaspoon at a time. No quantities noted. Use your own mix.

    Serve family-style in a large bowl or in individual bowls with extra feta sprinkled over the top. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week.

Fennel & Basil Pesto

Ingredients4 cups fresh basil leaves
2 Fennel bulbs cooked and cubed
1 1/2 grated tofu
6 cloves of roasted garlic smashed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt

Li Hitraot,


Post 18 Vegetarian Marathon: Solutions to the lack of hall lighting in most buildings : Give me a hug I’m into z’hug-taking a break from recipes

I saved this series from 2011. Conditions are very much the same today. Comments are from a local user group.


Thank you to everyone who responded to my question about kids using elevators. The reason I asked the question is that our 10-year old daughter is charged with the duty to take the dog out every evening. Since she is not able to take the elevator (by law and the warnings of the vaad bayit), she uses the stairs.


It gets quite dark in the winter in our building so we found a way of keeping the stairwell light on (we removed the spring from the switch in our apartment). The problem is that she sometimes forgets to turn the switch off when she gets back. Is there a device that allows you to turn the lights on for a longer amount of time than 30 seconds? We can’t use a shabbat clock for some reason ( I think the current is too low) in these stairwell switches.


Black Bear Honey


“Made in Israel with love from above”







From my many years on the vaad bayit, (manager) of several buildings over the years:


There are 2 types of mechanism for controlling the stairwell lighting,

both located in the building’s common fuse box.


The older type is called Thermion and was the only one in use until

relatively recently.

You can adjust the length of time the stairwell lights remain on for.

Forcing the staircase lights to remain on over more than several minutes

by sticking a match in the hallway light switch causes the Thermion’s

mechanism to burn out.

To avoid this, for say when the cleaner comes, a bypass switch should be

fitted to the common fusebox which keeps the stairwell lights on without

burning out the Thermion as the current goes through the switch and not

the Thermion itself.


The much more modern device looks like an automatic fuse that sits on

the fuse box fuse holding strip.

It too can be adjusted to keep the lights on for up to 3-4 minutes.

The advantage with this type is that it has its own bypass switch so

that the cleaner can have the stairwell lights on for as long as necessary.

However, our building went through a phase of having these units burning


I am not certain whether the cause of this problem was a faulty fuse box

unit or that someone had used a match in the hallway switch or whether

one of these hallway switches was faulty and often “on”.


In any event, forcing the stairwell lights on in the manner you describe

is not such a good idea. The unit bypass switch is only accessible from

downstairs and as you want to avoid this trip I’m not sure what the

solution is.


Maybe you could continue your present solution until either the unit

burns out (which is not a certainty when or if at all) or the vaad

complains about the higher than usual electricity bill.


In many buildings, a separate (vaad paid for) light can be fitted on the

top floor that shines down the stairwell on shabbat to make stair use

less hazardous. This could also be used by your daughter and is

relatively inexpensive to install and operate.


BTW. Why can’t she just press the stairwell light button and have the

“Thermion” device set for enough time for her to get up the four flights?


I’d be interested to hear what other solutions there are.


Shabbat shalom




On 21-Jan-11 07:31, Stephen Epstein wrote:


> Thank you to everyone who responded to my question about kids using

> elevators. The reason I asked the question is that our 10-year old

> daughter is charged with the duty to take the dog out every evening.

> Since she is not able to take the elevator (by law and the warnings of

> the vaad bayit), she uses the stairs.


> It gets quite dark in the winter in our building so we found a way of

> keeping the stairwell light on (we removed the spring from the switch

> in our apartment). The problem is that she sometimes forgets to turn

> the switch off when she gets back. Is there a device that allows you

> to turn the lights on for a longer amount of time than 30 seconds? We

> can’t use a shabbat clock for some reason ( I think the current is too

> low) in these stairwell switches.


> Stephen Epstein


> Black Bear Honey


> “Made in Israel with love from above”


> <>




Stephen Simpson

Tel. +972-8-9361753 or +972-7-2232-2094

Fax: +972-577-961-115

Mobile: 0505-827-115




Re: Elevators

Posted by: “jean philip”

Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:22 pm (PST)



Many moons ago, when my kids were young and we lived on the fourth floor

with NO elevator, I used to sharpen a matchstick and stick it into the press

button switch of the lights on the stairwell.

The lights would go off and immediately go on again, being constantly

pressed. If this still works with today’s switches, just watch out for the

neighbours who will surely complain that you are wasting electricity… so

remember to take the match out!


On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 7:31 AM, Stephen Epstein <> wrote:



stairwell lighting

Posted by: “Seree”   sarazohar

Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:39 pm (PST)



My elderly mum would have a lot of trouble with those timed stairwell

lights, which would go off before she fumbled for the key and managed

to see the keyhole.


We got an electrician to install a light above the front door,

activated by a switch indoors. With a cost-saver bulb, it’s not such

a biggee if it’s forgotten. And that way, it’s not on the vaad costs

either and no one should have a reason to complain.



Thank you to everyone who responded to my question about kids using

elevators. The reason I asked the question is that our 10-year old

daughter is charged with the duty to take the dog out every evening.

Since she is not able to take the elevator (by law and the warnings of

the vaad bayit), she uses the stairs.


It gets quite dark in the winter in our building so we found a way of

keeping the stairwell light on (we removed the spring from the switch

in our apartment). The problem is that she sometimes forgets to turn

the switch off when she gets back. Is there a device that allows you

to turn the lights on for a longer amount of time than 30 seconds? We

can’t use a shabbat clock for some reason ( I think the current is too

low) in these stairwell switches.


Stephen Epstein


Black Bear Honey


“Made in Israel with love from above”



 As you can see, lots of tricks, not all so safe. People do take this issue seriously.

Le Hitraot,


Post 17 Vegetarian Marathon: Visit to the cave of Ovadiah Ha Navi-ancient Roman stones at Tel Kadash: Purim treats at Shuk Machana Yehuda – Healthy Choice of Kanten- Dress-up

Last Spring, on March 24th,  I traveled up North with a group of Sfardi (whose origins are Sfardic), women to visit the graves of Tzadikim (wise men) to feel close to our creator. My calendar reminds me, also of that trip  with Eden on March 24th to Chamei Yoav. On that day I took photos of the landscape of the keverim of Marat Eliahu Ha Navi (grave of the cave ) in Haifa,  and of Marat Yehuda Hanasi in Beit Shaaerim and Ovadiah Ha Navi.

I am convinced that the religious pace of life in Israel promotes extremes. Just look at the joy in the children’s faces at Purim and the sadness of losing a dear friend. There’s also the joy of participating in moving a cherished Sefer Torah from one place to another. Don’t forget the joy of the vendors showing off the maxim sweets on their counters. All in all, the joy far outweighs the sadness.

Have you ever received a very memorable e-mail?  I could place  photos showing  the sad figures of the women praying. On the way back to Jerusalem we danced together. Which photos should I include?

Both would be almost indecent to show  and lack any way to read the loss in their hearts.

I have included that friend’s memorable e-mail to me. It was clearly written to convey what to expect on a day trip without any other English speakers.  It served as an introduction to a choice of trips. I did not join the Matnas (community Center ), that she described,  but rather traveled with Eden, who puts together a day trip.

Hi.  Thanks for the email.  I actually liked it (a prior trip) a lot.  It hit me that I am often frustrated at being around people that are slow or pushy (or whatever quality I don’t like that day).  Here I spend the day with 70 women who were slow, pushy (can you imagine waiting in line for the bathroom and one women just pushes ahead and then another…oh well).  But then it hit me that these are all people that have had very difficult lives.  They were mostly Moroccan or some other kind of Sephardi….and most seemed poor and this trip just made their neshamas (souls) happy.  With that said, in order to go on this tour, you have to pay 100 shekels a month to the matnas, (community center).  That entitles you to a handyman whenever you want him (which I think is good for me) insurance for ambulance and exercise/other classes at the matnas (which I don’t think I will use).  I can stop at any time, but I’m not sure it’s worth 100 shekalim.  There will be a chanuka party and an overnight trip to yam hamelech in February.  I actually liked the day.  I had never been to Mazkeret Batya-the tour was in Hebrew and good/ there was a great lunch/ and then we went to the Rabin/Eretz Yisroel Musuem which I also thought was good…   Be in touch.  B

It will be followed by another narrative detailing a personal jouney and the impact  that Klal Ysrael has sustained with the passing of Rabbi Meir Schuster. It was written close to to the day of my trip.

From: Yehudis G

Date: Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Subject: Fwd: I cried when I read this. So, so special


by Bracha Goetz

It was almost time for Shabbos.

There were a number of things I still needed to do, but it was hard for me to stop reading the stories that were just then being collected about Rabbi Meir Schuster, who, in his late sixties, had become very ill with a degenerative illness known as Lewy Body Disease, which combines the symptoms of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. The stories collected are all about what Reb Meir did with his own life, and the many, many lives that he helped transform. An intensity in my heart was building with each word I read, and I was transported back, over thirty years ago.

It is 1976. The man who was to become my husband was praying at the Kotel. Larry had finished his time in a kibbutz ulpan, and was still volunteering in a development town in the Negev, when he decided to spend the weekend in Jerusalem. He was scheduled to return to the States a few weeks later, with no clear plans. Larry put a note in a crevice in the Wall and then prayed sincerely to find his path in life. When he finished, there was a tap on his shoulder. It was Rabbi Schuster, asking him, “Do you have the time?” Thank G-d, Larry did have the time, and he followed Reb Meir to a yeshiva for baalei teshuva where he began the process of finding his life’s path. After nine years of learning and teaching at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah, young wandering Larry became Rabbi Aryeh Goetz.

It is 1978, and after completing my first year of medical school, I was volunteering on the oncology ward at Hadassah Hospital, visiting with patients who were dying, while my secret mission was to learn the purpose of living. During my first few days in Israel, I went to the Kotel, and Reb Meir Schuster found me there. His purity and his sincerity came right into my heart. I began to study with Rebbetzin Denah Weinberg, and at the women’s division of Ohr Someyach, as the process of understanding the purpose of living began for me as well.

It is 1979, and every torch is lit on the Menorah beside the Kotel, as it is the eighth night of Chanukah. My soon-to-be husband is sitting near me on a bench in the Kotel plaza. He tells me that on the eighth day of Chanukah, the spiritual potential for dedication is at its greatest. He wants to know if on this night full of the power of dedication, I will agree to be his partner in life, so we can continue our separate journeys together.

Reb Meir is there, too, on the night when my husband asked me to marry him. We both see him at the same moment. He is looking for more and more lost neshamas, waiting to be found, including those who, like us, will be blessed to find each other too.

Reb Meir has been with us ever since, as well, helping us raise our children to strive for the simple purity that he offered both of us. From our oldest son who has opened the Yeshiva High School of Arizona, to our youngest daughter, who was a madrecha in the Heritage House that Reb Meir established, Reb Meir’s pure idealism has gotten infused into our children’s lives. His gentle tap has even come to be felt by all the grandchildren that have also now blessed our lives, thank G-d.

And we were only two of the tens of thousands of neshamas that Reb Meir helped lead to the spiritual wellsprings craved. The ripples spreading out from all the neshamas he effected, are not possible to count. Not in this world. The reach of this one humble man is endless.

From what I learned from reading about Reb Meir, his parents were survivors of the Holocaust from Poland, and they were not observant, although Reb Meir’s grandmother still was. Stanley, as he was known then, was brought up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended public school there. When Rabbi Abraham Yehoshua Twerski opened a Talmud Torah in Milwaukee, through his bubbie’s gentle urging, her grandson, Meir Tzvi, known to everyone else as Stanley Schuster, became one of its first students. Rabbi Twerski was devoted to being m’karev Reb Meir, and he helped young Meir Schuster catch up in his Hebrew studies.

Rabbi Twerski recalled Reb Meir’s tremendous thirst for learning about Judaism, and he said that he used to daven and bentch with such tremendous fervor, soon after he learned how, that it inspired all around him. He remembered when “Stanley” at the age of 14, with his parents’ consent, went off to learn in yeshiva in Skokie, Illinois. He had already become a masmid (very devoted Torah learner) and from there, he went on to learn in Yeshiva Ner Israel in Baltimore, Maryland, where he studied for seven years, and got semicha.
At Ner Israel, he was known for being an extremely dedicated student and for doing a semi-speech fast on Shabbos, only speaking words of Torah. According to his friends, Reb Meir was an excellent listener, but a very quiet person who spoke very little, not wanting to speak one superfluous word. He was just about the last person any of them would have imagined going into the field of kiruv.

Reb Meir was always on the look-out for ways to do chesed and help others, and always with his great big, warm smile. Reb Meir also took on a job that was definitely not sought after, of going around to awaken his fellow students. He would faithfully walk through the dorms every morning, calling in Yiddish repeatedly and with such pure earnestness, “Wake up, Wake up – it’s time to serve Hashem.”

After Reb Meir got married, he and his wife, Esther, moved to Eretz Yisroel in 1968. They came with two suitcases , and intended to stay for a year, while Reb Meir learned in the Mir Yeshiva. He never went back to America until many years later, after he had established the Heritage House, and needed to raise funds for it. (No wonder he was able to encourage thousands of others to stay in Eretz Yisroel longer too!)

Reb Chaim Kass, a good friend of Reb Meir’s, who now runs two health food stores in Lakewood, NJ, said that one day he was learning with Reb Meir the story of how the Netziv of Volozhin realized that he wasn’t reaching his true greatness and how he struggled to be granted the siyata d’Shmaya (Divine assistance) to fulfill his potential. Reb Chaim said that this story resonated very deeply with Reb Meir.

The next day they were davening together at the Kotel and they watched people going to the Wall and being lit up by the experience. And the thought struck both of them at the same time: “Why can’t someone connect with these people and bring them closer to yiddishkeit?” And then they both noticed this one young fellow with a backpack on. He was leaning against the wall and crying. They watched as he composed himself, and starting walking away from his holy encounter. That was the moment of epiphany when they both realized that this fellow had nowhere to go with the feelings that had just emerged. Reb Chaim walked over to him and said, “Hi, I’m Chaim Kass – I hope we are not bothering you, but it looks like something happened for you there. Can we introduce you to some real Judaism?” This young man’s reaction was one of appreciation, and they introduced him to a rabbi with whom he could learn.

Both Reb Chaim and Reb Meir were captivated by this experience and they started going back every afternoon during their breaks from yeshiva to speak with more young men. They connected with about 15 young men in the first two weeks, bringing some back to Reb Meir’s house for a Shabbos seuda. At first it was Reb Chaim doing the talking, but then Reb Meir started taking over. He started doing it, and he began to do it very well, as if this was natural for him. After those two weeks, Reb Meir took over completely, and he continued doing this for the next 40 years. Day in, day out, feeling sick, with a sprained ankle, in the hottest weather and the coldest, in the rain and in the snow, as a pure chesed, receiving no monetary payment, he was there. Being soaking wet for hours was of no importance to Reb Meir because he was searching with the utmost determination for any neshamas he could possibly tap that were ripe for finding fulfillment.

As one of the neshamas he discovered put it, “and he did all this for 40 years – not with a silver tongue – but by being real. And ‘real’ trumps a silver tongue every time.” People think they need to be a charismatic charmer to be successful at reaching people, but it was Reb Meir’s pure earnestness that found it’s way into another’s heart gently and directly. Reb Meir would typically ask both men and women if they wanted to attend a class or come for a Shabbos meal. He would often wait after class for the person or come back the next day to get his feedback. He would travel on several buses to help someone collect their things so that it would be easier for her to return for more studies. He would remain in touch with as many individuals he met that he could, sending cards of encouragement that managed to make major impacts – even thousands of miles away. As one who was “pursued” by Reb Meir for years and years said, “No one cared more deeply about a soul than Reb Meir Schuster.”

Reb Meir, in a way, brings to mind Moshe Rabeinu, who was determined to overcome his most glaring weakness of being a shy and awkward speaker in order to fulfill his role for the Jewish people. His wife said that Reb Meir’s most over-riding characteristic was his unwavering belief in syata d’Shmaya – the unimaginable assistance that is possible from the Soul of Souls. She saw how her husband went against all odds to do what he did. Rav Noach Weinberg, of blessed memory, agreed, saying that if Reb Meir could do kiruv, then anyone – no matter how shy or reserved they are – could do kiruv. As such, he was a model that inspired a generation of others who didn’t think they had ‘the right stuff’ to pursue kiruv.

Rebetzin Schuster also said “when he decided to do something, he did it ‘od ha sof.’ – he wouldn’t give up until the end. When he was barely able to even walk anymore, he still wanted to go to England to raise funds for the Heritage House He is a real fighter. Nothing could stand in his way because every action he did, he did l’shem shomyaim (for a Divine purpose). And he never got involved in any kind of politics.”
The souls who descend into this world spend most of their time on earth being distracted from their true purpose by getting pulled down by the concerns of this physical and transient world. Reb Meir tried valiantly to never get distracted from his true purpose, and his wife got to witness this each singularly precious day, for 43 years. She said that as the disease began stealing away his ability to think and remember and communicate, he redoubled his efforts in learning – sitting with a Gemorah in his hands 8-10 hours a day, every day.
In the 1980′s, seeing that there were only youth hostels run by Moslems or Christians in the Old City, Reb Meir became determined to create a Jewish youth hostel where young Jewish men and women could stay and learn about Judaism in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. if they didn’t want to go to a yeshiva. This unlikely speaker then became a fundraiser, establishing the men’s and women’s Heritage House, and traveling around the world for three months a year collecting funds – when he wasn’t collecting Jewish people at the Wall, to gather them in closer. In its busiest years so far, 5,000 people a year got the chance to absorb the warm Jewish welcome that can still be found in a Heritage House experience.

Rabbi Avraham Edelstein, who worked with Reb Meir for over twenty years, expressed that, “There was never any let up in Rabbi Schuster’s burning intensity. Nothing could be left for tomorrow. ‘We have to do this right away,’ was one of his most repeated statements. The needs of Klal Yisrael were urgent – nothing could wait until tomorrow. And he sincerely felt that even this was not enough. I remember Reb Meir saying to me after two Yom Kippurs that he had done teshuva on the fact that he had not done enough, and that this year he was determined to do more. And then he would look at me with those intense eyes as if to say, “Nu, what are we waiting for. Let’s get cracking.”

“One day, during the Second Intifada, in 2000, when terrorist attacks were on the rise and tourism dropped off substantially, Reb Meir came barging in to my office. ‘The Americans are not coming’, he blurted out; ‘We have to deal with Israelis.’ I looked at him in astonishment. ‘Reb Meir’, I tried to gently explain, ‘You are not Israeli. I am not Israeli. We don’t understand their mentality. We barely speak Hebrew.’ Try to explain to Reb Meir that he shouldn’t do something… Today, the Shorashim Heritage Centers, first located directly under the Heritage House, have branches in several locations throughout Eretz Yisroel. About 1 000 Israelis every week come to hear classes, because Reb Meir just wouldn’t let up. 50,000 young Israelis have already come to one of the Shorashim Heritage Centers.”

“But it wasn’t just his intense determination that drove his success. This man had a coating of Siyata Dishmaya that hovered over his every move. Once, Rabbi Sender Chochomovitch, the Rosh Yeshiva of Binyan Olam, an organization for South Americans of significant scope, entered into negotiations with us to open up a hostel for Spanish speakers. ‘Why do you need us,’ I asked Rabbi Chochomovitch. ‘I need you’, he said, ‘because I want to tap into Reb Meir’s Siyata D’Shmaya’

“There were so many instances when this Siyata D’Shmaya was obvious. Once, there were two young South Africans who hung around the hotels for a few weeks before taking off to other countries. Six months later, one of them walked into my office. ‘I am learning in Aish HaTorah now,’ he proudly announced. And then he told me the following story: ‘I went to Egypt and I was watching TV. The issue was about Israel and they showed a scene from the Wall. And there, standing in front of the Wall, was Rabbi Schuster. So I fled to Turkey. But in Turkey the same thing happened.’ He proceeded to relate how he finally reached Spain, and was waiting at the bus station in Madrid to take him further afield. He had a few hours to spare and he started reflecting on the messages via TV he had received from Rabbi Schuster. He never took that bus. He went to the airport, flew to Israel and entered yeshiva.”

When a person spends time in the presence of someone who is very knowledgeable in any field, he does not become any more knowledgeable about the subject. When one is given the chance to simply be in the presence of a great baal emuna, however, one’s soul suddenly becomes infused with a greater emuna. That’s how one individual – Reb Meir – directly affected the lives of probably more than one hundred thousand people. Rabbi Michel Twerski describes Reb Meir as “an unpretentious, self-effacing legend of our time. A rare figure of history who touched so many lives through his profound authenticity.” And he could have cared less about any recognition for himself.

Reb Meir and his wife had three children, two daughters and a son. They lost one daughter years ago when she was killed by an Arab driver backing up a truck. He kept on fulfilling his mission, unwavering in his emuna. A few years ago, in his mid-sixties, while still going strong and with many more goals that he hoped to pursue, Reb Meir began to develop Lewy Body Disease. He could no longer be the man beside the beloved Wall. He soon required full-time care from his devoted wife and daughter at home, and then Reb Meir moved into a nursing home facility where his wife spent her days with him.

My daughter, Shira, who worked at the Heritage House, told me that when she was blessed to get to see Reb Meir a few years ago, he was still able to get around, with assistance, at that time, but the Alzheimer’s-like symptoms of his disease had already progressed to the point where he seemed to be unable to remember or speak. Reb Meir still only wanted to be of help, however, if it was at all possible, as he tried mightily, and repeatedly, to remain useful in any way he could. He was even trying to help my daughter lift the big bag of laundry that she was loading into a machine. What he still remembered was that he just wanted to be able to give. And my daughter said that what he also still had was his same warm “biggest smile in the whole world.”

It was getting late. I needed to pull myself away and stop reading the stories that were just then beginning to emerge about Reb Meir.

I hurried into the kitchen and saw my husband, almost ready to leave for shul. Through eyes getting blurry with the tears I was trying to hold in, I asked him, “How could this be happening to Reb Meir? How could it be? The pure emunahwe absorbed from him…Meeting such an emesdik person as him, made it possible for us… And even though we were disillusioned later on by people not observing the Torah in an authentic way, it’s the inspiration of Reb Meir’s initial purity and humility that left the greatest imprint on us …That’s what kept us going …This humble, gentle soul… ”

“How could this be happening to him now? How can it be?” I searched in the eyes of the man who became my husband and who has shared this amazing journey through life with me, and suddenly there was an answer that over thirty years of a widening perspective has made possible.

“Oh, now I see!” I gasped to my husband. “Reb Meir, who didn’t care about wealth, power, or prestige, and who devoted his life to the simplest form of kiruv, is now able to deliver the most penetrating kiruv message of all – through this rare illness that took over, not only his body, but also his mind. Unable to speak, Reb Meir’s message was not wavering. It is still able to enter our hearts. How can it be that a goodness with such earnestness like Reb Meir and his devoted family could have this be the end result of all of those selfless decades of effort? How can it be? It can’t be the end!!!”

“Reb Meir is leading us to see – perhaps clearer than ever – that this short life we have on earth cannot possibly be all there is. There has got to be infinitely more – in the invisible spiritual realm that our physical eyes can’t see, but our souls know. Reb Meir, even while so ill, was still re-directing us to the deepest and purest emes.”

It was almost time for Shabbos. The Shabbos that so many might have never known if not for him.

A taste of the World-to-Come.

“Do you have the time?” he asked us simply. Thank G-d, we all did, and we still do. He is no longer able to walk back and forth at the Kotel, searching for our neshamas, day and night. But he is still able to show us the way to go in life.

What just one person can do on this Earth – he has demonstrated. And literally, or figuratively, we all got tapped by the man with a mission.

Reb Meir showed us how to tap into our own inner invincible spark, so that we could continue to brighten the world with illumination.

It’s time to light.

Bracha Goetz is the author of 24 Jewish children’s books, including Let’s Stay Safe, Let’s Stay Pure and The Invisible Book.

The following is in a way a dessert but not. In macrobiotics food does not exist in a vacuum.  It answers a special need. Placing a Kanten recipes here just feels right.

Kanten is a cross between pudding and Jell-O, and this rhubarb kanten recipe is perfect for spring and early summer, when rhubarb is at its best. Cinnamon stick gives it a warming, but subtle scent of spice.

  • 3½ cups organic apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons agar agar flakes
  • 4 tablespoons brown rice syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in 3-4 pieces
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 ½ cups rhubarb (chopped in ½-inch pieces)
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

Mix 3 cups apple juice, agar flakes, rice syrup, spices and salt in a heavy bottomed, non-reactive (stainless steel or enamel) saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the agar is completely dissolved.

Dissolve arrowroot in the remaining ½ cup of cold cider. (The arrowroot will not dissolve in warm liquid).

Remove cinnamon stick from the kanten.

Add the dissolved arrowroot to the kanten, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
Remove kanten from heat and pour into individual serving dishes. Let the kanten set for 1 hour before eating.Raise heat to medium and bring the mixture back to a boil, and cook about 1 minute, stirring continually. The kanten will become glossy and thicken to the consistency of gravy.

Add the chopped rhubarb and cook for 5 minutes.

Refrigerate the kanten if it is not being eaten within a few hours. It will keep nicely for 3-4 days.

Serves 4-6

Copyright 2009 by Jen Hoy

Raspberry Kanten
  • 3 ½ cups raspberry apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons agar agar flakes
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar/cooked fruit
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes

Mix 3 cups juice, agar flakes, agave and salt in a heavy bottomed, non-reactive (stainless steel or enamel) saucepan.Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the agar is completely dissolved.

Dissolve arrowroot in the remaining 1⁄2 cup of cold juice. (The arrowroot will not dissolve in warm liquid). Add the dissolved arrowroot to the kanten, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.

Raise heat to medium and bring the mixture back to a boil, and cook about 1 minute, stirring continually. The kanten will become glossy and thicken to the consistency of gravy.
Serves 4Remove from heat and add the lime juice, mint, and berries. Stir gently to combine. Pour kanten into individual serving dishes. Let the kanten set in the refrigerator for 1 hour before eating. It will keep nicely for 3-4 days.

Copyright 2009 by Jen Hoy

Li Hitraot, Ida

Post 16 Vegetarian Marathon: Morning colors from my salon, my recycled California 1950’s California chair, my silk pleated wired scarf-security guards in school Colorful pickling and in hospital

Pickles Row1 E1378843380334

For those of you who are following along with Macrobiotics Healing Diet Week, you will want to schedule a day, about 5 days prior to beginning the week, for pickling veggies. However, if you are unable to pickle your own, which I highly recommend, you can purchase a really good quality, without additives, sauerkraut and/or Kimchi. However, the processes we are using are very simple, inexpensive and surprisingly fun! The end of summer is a great time to pickle, as it will enable you to keep all that great summer vegetable nutrition even longer!

The method most used by macrobiotics is lacto-fermentation. If you are familiar with Kimchi or sauerkraut, then you may know something about the process. This method is a staple in macrobiotics and a beneficial component to many diets. Other fermented foods utilized by macrobiotics are umeboshi plum vinegar, brown rice vinegar, miso, shoyu, tempeh, and natto. These foods make up a small, but significant, portion of the macrobiotic diet. To follow are some of the benefits of lacto-fermentation. The process of lacto-fermentation:

  • provides an excellent source of beneficial enzymes – probiotics
  • helps to balance acidity in the stomach
  • aids in digestion, creating healthy flora
  • activates the metabolic process
  • increases vitamin content of foods, and aids in their absorption in the intestines
  • improves iron absorption
  • fights harmful bacteria
  • produces choline, which lowers blood pressure and aids in fat metabolism
  • beneficial to the nervous system, promoting calmness and sleep
  • studies show that it may prevent cancer growth, and be beneficial for asthma and autoimmune disorders

Plus – No need for heating! No complicated canning!

There are more complicated ways to utilize this method, and it is helpful to have equipment like pickle presses and crocks. However, the following recipes will serve as a very simple introduction. I don’t think we can make it any simpler than this. If you find that you like the process, enjoy the flavors, and benefit from its health properties (if it makes you feel good), then you can easily expand on this idea!


You will need:

  • containers – mason jars work nicely
  • weights – plastic lids, anything around the kitchen that will press pickles
  • ingredients for each recipe you choose to make

The following recipes are modified from The Macrobiotic Way, by Michio Kushi and Stephen Blauer. The recipes in this book call for pickle presses and crocks, the amounts are large, and ingredient amounts in some cases are unclear. My modifications are for smaller amounts. Feel free to double, or change recipes as needed. However, do try to maintain ratios. Salt will slow or prevent the growth of bad bacteria, but too much salt will kill off the good bacteria too. I also modified methods for the purpose of keeping everything very manageable and simple!


  • For water, please use filtered or spring water, or the best water you can get.
  • Be sure to press out air bubbles and use weight, if needed, to keep vegetables under brine
  • Label each jar with dates and instructions, as needed
  • Recipes on this page were made to fit little 8 oz mason jars; vegetable measure on each is about 3/4 cup


Umeboshi Plum Vinegar

How happy was I to find beautiful organic red radishes at my local market around the corner!


  • 6-7 red radishes (3/4 c, 3 oz)
  • 2 T water
  • 2 T umeboshi vinegar (can be purchased at a health foods store – good stuff! In general, use to brighten dishes and as a salt replacement)

Slice radishes into very thin rounds. Put them into a mason jar with the other ingredients.

Use weight to press them down. Pictured below: a little plastic lid wrapped in plastic wrap. Let them sit at room temp. for 2-3 hours, longer if you want a stronger flavor.

Refrigerate. If too salty, serve only 2-3 slices, or rinse.


Couldn’t be cuter.


  • 3/4 cup small broccoli florets
  • 2 T tamari
  • about 5 1/2 T water
  • 1 slice fresh ginger

Place all ingredients into a jar. Press and weight so that broccoli stays under liquid.  A piece of Chinese cabbage leaf will work nicely. Allow to sit in a cool place for 2-3 days. Then refrigerate or keep in a cool place. If too salty, rinse before eating.


Couldn’t be easier.


  • onion, cut into half moons, about 3/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • water

Place all ingredients into a jar. Weight down enough to keep onions under liquid. Leave pickles for 1-2 days. The longer they sit, the saltier they become. Refrigerate. Rinse before eating if they are too salty.


Water collecting in the jar as it presses out of daikon.

Do not add liquid to these pickles, as they will release their own. original recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs daikon to 1/4 t sea salt.


  • 3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz or 90 g) daikon, cut into thin slices and half moons
  • Small piece of lemon peel
  • pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients into the jar and mix thoroughly. Press and weight. (I used a stack of little medicine bottle lids – washed and covered in plastic wrap, then screwed on the lid to apply pressure.) Allow to sit for 2-3 hours. Remove lemon peel and discard. Place top back on. Apply enough pressure to keep water level just above vegetables. Let pickles sit for one day.

Serve or refrigerate.




  • 1/2 Cucumber – about 3 oz, enough to fit in a small jar
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • water
  • dill sprig

Cut and quarter (or make smaller strips) cucumber, to fit into an 8 oz. mason jar. Add sea salt, dill sprig, and enough water to just cover pickles. Put lid on loosely, or cover with cheese cloth and a rubberband. Leave in a cool place for 2-3 days. Then refrigerate for 2-3 days more.

This one is not in the book. I just could not resist throwing it in because carrot and daikon are just so darn beautiful together! The flavors work too. 


  • carrot and daikon, matchsticks, about 3/4 cup
  • 3/4 t sea salt
  • Optional, add seasonings, such as garlic, green onion, ginger, shoyu, or red pepper flakes

Cut carrot and daikon into matchsticks (julienne). I recommend going heavier on the carrot, about a 2:1 ratio. Place vegetables into an 8 oz mason jar (or whatever container you are using). Add sea salt. Add seasonings, if desired. Add water, enough to just cover vegetables. Press down with a weight, if needed. Put the lid on loosley. Pickles will begin to ferment and may leak water out of the jar.

Allow to sit at room temperature for one or two days. Then refrigerate. It will continue to develop and will be ready to eat after a week or two.


Note: Chinese cabbage pickles and sauerkraut require a slightly different method and longer fermentation time, so I have not included these today. For the purposes of macrobiotics healing diet week, we are all set! In future posts we will dive into cabbage, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Please “like” and “share” if you like!

Li Hitraot,


Post 15: Vegetarian Marathon: Read this grandmother’s lament about her pregnant daughter who fled the South with her children while her husband served in the IDF, and the volunteer helping wives of soldiers , Cinnabar or Goat Fish, Eight key foods diabetics should keep under their belts from

This long blog is about staying out of danger from without and within. This summer brought Israelis  daily challenges and extremes of emotion. We were asked to endure rockets in Tel Aviv and scramble to bomb shelter. (miklat). The last straw was a summer day without day camp.

Read this grandmother’s post about her daughter and grandchildren who fled the South this past summer and my e-mail to her.

Hi Sharon,

Help – looking for camp for kids from south

 Mon Jul 7, 2014 9:19 pm (PDT) . Posted by Sharon:

My grand children’s camp in the south has been cancelled. I would like their very pregnant mother and them to come here but must find a program for the kids. They are 6,4, and 2 years old. Open to all ideas. Please email or call:

Your daughter is most likely so relieved to be in your home for a vacation from the south.

Hi Sharaon,

Your grandkids will be delighted with being under a sprinkler  set up near the Old City, or take them to the “beach” at the Takanah Ha Rishonah, or to Bloomfield Museum. The library at Beit Ha Am has a cozy picture book area with a Dati slant. There are story book hours at AACI.

Do you need an assistant maybe for 25sh/hour for a few hours a day on your excursion? There are many teens who want to work. You have a crew to make your own camp with the 4 and 6 year old. Hope that you got some replies. Ask the Rabbi from the shul in Nachlaot. Get in touch with other mothers and see how they spend the day with little kids.

Kol Tuv,
Ida Farkash

I saw this today: Another Challenge

Helping Soldier’s Families

Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:12 am (PDT) . Posted by:

“Yeshara Gold”

Helping Soldier’s Families left behind. If your husband is actively serving in Operation Protective Edge and you need help with your children, please let us know. We are a small group of women who are collecting and distributing funds and services such as Meals , Babysitting, and Cleaning. If you are in need or wish to donate email me:

Eight key foods and low glycemic load recipes for Diabetics

  • Some simple changes to what you put in your supermarket trolley can have a profound effect on your ability to maintain blood sugar control, your appetite and your heart health as well as helping to prevent diabetes mellitus.

1. Oats Rule

As we have seen, oats are a superb food choice for blood sugar control. You can eat them as oat flakes (cold) or soak and cook them to make porridge. Oatcakes are the best ‘bread’ choice, for example, with your scrambled or boiled egg, or as a snack during the day with a high-protein spread such as humus. You can often check on the side of a cereal or cracker box. they should say low-GI or GL load on the box.

I make my own oatcakes with a combination of 1-Oats, 2-Barley Seeds, 3-Rye Seeds, 4-Amaranth, 5-Millet 6-Chia seeds, walnuts and almonds. I soak the combination overnight. In the morning the mush is steamed gently for about 20 minutes. Then, it is emptied onto a greased aluminum sheet and placed in the toaster oven for a final bake. The surface will be crisp and not mushy. The dish is usually served with yogurt cinnamon and cooked fruit.

The best oat choices are those highest in the soluble fibre called beta-glucans. This is found in oat bran, the rougher outer layer of the grain. So, it’s best to choose ‘rough’ oatcakes rather than ‘fine’. You can lower the GL load of your breakfast further by adding a spoonful of oat bran. This simple act makes a big difference to the GL load of the meal. Since oat bran is highly absorbent, if you add it to cereal, it is best to leave the cereal to soak for a few minutes before eating, and put in more liquid than you normally would. You want to eat as much beta-glucans as you can to help balance your blood sugar.

Not only does the presence of beta-glucans in food slow-release the carbohydrates you eat but it also helps to lower cholesterol. An example of this is a study, conducted by Dr Allan Geliebter of the New York Obesity Research Center at St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.  In that study, Dr Geliebter gave volunteers either an oatmeal breakfast, high in beta-glucans, or a sugared corn flakes- breakfast, containing equal calories. Those who had the oat-based breakfast consumed 30 per cent fewer calories at lunch, compared with those who ate sugared – corn flakes for breakfast. According to Dr Geliebter, ‘The effect may be due primarily to a delay in gastric emptying, the time it takes for oatmeal to leave the stomach and enter the blood as glucose and other nutrients.

The slower the stomach empties the longer food stays in the stomach and the longer people feel full and satisfied.’ The best foods for beta-glucans  are shown below, giving the percentage of beta-glucans per food:

  • Celery 20% of dry weight
  • Carrot 20% of dry weight
  • Radish 20% of dry weight
  • Oats up to 7.5% (e.g. Nairn’s rough oatcake, which is 88% oatmeal, would contain up to 6.6% beta-glucans)
  • Pearl barley 4% (e.g. 1/4 cup pearl barley contains 2.5g beta-glucans soluble fibre)
  • Soya bean 0.8% of dry weight
  • Shiitake mushrooms 0.4% of dry weight

2. Rye or barley instead of wheat

The whole rye grain is also excellent in terms of GL. Rye bran, in one study, lowered glycemic load better than oat bran. [3]

In practical terms this means a whole grain rye bread, in moderation, would be a good choice for breakfast or a snack, together with a protein-rich food. The best choice of all would be the slow-cooked German-style breads called pumpernickel, sonnenbrot or volkenbrot. Bear in mind that some use wheat as well, so it’s best to go for those breads that are wheat-free (they’re now widely available in supermarkets). You can also find whole rye sourdough bread, which is good. These breads will be more dense and heavier than regular wheat bread – this is a good sign, but make sure you have thinner slices. One thin slice will be 5GLs. Rye also changes genetic expression away from insulin resistance, reversing the indicators of metabolic syndrome. So, if you really want to go for it, stay away from wheat as much as possible, choosing oats and rye.
Barley is another good grain to use, better than wheat. A study conducted by Dr Joseph Keenan, MD, of the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, showed that eating barley makes you feel less hungry.  Dr Keenan fed a group of overweight people who also had high cholesterol the same diet, but either with barley muffins, high in barley bran and beta-glucans, or wheat muffins. The groups who ate the barley muffins felt significantly fuller and more satisfied throughout the study than those who ate the wheat muffins. ‘We attribute the improvement in satiety almost entirely to the beta-glucan. Foods rich in beta-glucan stay in the stomach for a longer period of time compared to foods low in this fibre. That leads to a feeling of fullness, or satiety,’ said Dr Keenan. Those eating the barley muffins lost, on average, 225g (8oz) per week whereas those who ate the wheat gained 225g (8oz) per week. Also, those who consumed the beta-glucan-rich muffins had significantly reduced total cholesterol (11 per cent) and the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol (12 per cent), while high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels remained unchanged. ‘This is a very significant result,’ said Dr Keenan. ‘Such reductions are estimated to produce a 20 per cent reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.’ You can buy wholegrain pearl barley, which boils like brown rice. It is also full of beta-glucans and soluble fibres and has a good flavour – quite chewy.

Chewing is good because it means you take a little longer to eat your meal. Pasta tends to be a lower GL Load than bread anyway but a variety of pastas is now available made from rye, quinoa and chickpeas. You’ll find these more often in health-food stores. 3. Eat more lentils and chickpeas

This food group, known as pulses, is a staple in countries with low diabetes incidence, but we just don’t eat enough of these highly nutritious foods in countries with a typical Western diet. Other than beans on toast, most people don’t eat enough pulses (beans on toast is not a bad choice if you pick sugar-free beans .

Pulses are all relatively high in protein, making them lower GL Load. If, for example, you chose a serving of beans or lentils as your 7GL carbohydrate portion in a main meal, you’d be achieving your low-GL goals easily: 130g (43⁄4oz) of cooked chickpeas is 7GLs; 150g (51⁄2oz) of red kidney beans is 7GLs; 175g (6oz) of butter beans is 7GLs; 210g (71⁄4oz) of lentils is 7GLs 260g; (91⁄2oz) of borlotti beans is 7GLs.

Including a serving of lentils, or beans, for dinner actually has a knock on effect on breakfast, quite substantially reducing the blood sugar spikes of breakfast the next day. This was proven in a study that fed people different kinds of evening meals, then different kinds of breakfast, while measuring their blood sugar levels after the meals.

The lower the glycemic load of the evening meal, the flatter the increase in blood sugar was after breakfast the next day. A dinner containing roughly a 130g (4 3⁄4oz) serving of cooked lentils was the best.

4. Quinoa

Quinoa has been grown in South America for 5,000 years and has a long-standing reputation as a source of strength for those working at high altitudes. Called the ‘mother grain’ because of its sustaining properties, it contains protein of a better quality than that of meat. Although known as a grain, quinoa is technically a seed. Like other seeds, it is rich in essential fats, vitamins and minerals, providing almost four times as much calcium as wheat, plus extra iron, B vitamins and vitamin E. Quinoa is also low in fat: the majority of its oil is polyunsaturated, providing essential fatty acids. Quinoa is also one of the highest protein sources in the vegetable kingdom, with 16 per cent of its calories as protein (soya has the most, at 38 per cent protein, and some other beans are also higher). As such, quinoa is about as close to a perfect food as you can get.

Quinoa can be found in many supermarkets these days, as well as health-food stores, and can be used as an alternative to rice. To cook it, rinse well, then add two parts water to one of quinoa and boil for 15 minutes. It is also gluten-free and is a much lower GL than rice. A 7GL serving of cooked quinoa is 130g (4 3⁄4oz). The GL load comes down even more if you serve it with protein, such as some fish or maybe tofu for a vegetarian option.

5. Chia seeds, walnuts and almonds

You might not have heard of chia seeds but I’ve been aware of them for some time as the richest source of omega-3 fats from the vegetable kingdom, and a staple food for thousands of years going back to the Aztecs and beyond. It’s just that you couldn’t get chia seeds in the UK and many other countries until recently. The first record of chia’s consumption by humans is in 3500 BC, and by 1500 BC it had become a cash crop in Mexico. Aztec rulers received chia seeds as an annual tribute from conquered nations, and the seeds were offered to the gods during religious ceremonies. But chia dropped out of the Meso-American diet and culture after it was banned by the Catholic Spanish conquistadores, because it had been worshipped by the locals. Instead, agriculture was forced towards growing foods that Europeans were accustomed to. (This may be conjecture).

Now, chia is making something of a comeback – and rightly so. Along with the South American grain quinoa, chia is a highly nutritious food that should become a daily part of our diet, going a long way to restoring our essential fat intake back towards more omega-3 than omega-6. Like flax seeds (also called linseed), chia is very high in soluble fibres, as well as omega-3 fats and protein, all of which are good news as far as reversing metabolic syndrome and diabetes are concerned. Chia has more than double the soluble-fibre content of oats but, of course, you wouldn’t eat the same quantity. Added to oats, for example in porridge, it is a great way to greatly increase your soluble fibre intake. The three reasons I prefer chia to flax are, firstly, it is nutritionally superior; secondly, it tastes better; and thirdly, it stores and remains fresh for longer. This is because it’s naturally high in antioxidants.

In a study giving people with diabetes 37g (1 1⁄4oz) of chia a day, which is about two heaped tablespoons, versus wheat bran, which was used as a placebo, those eating chia had a decrease in their glycosylated haemoglobin and their blood pressure. [6] Like flax, chia is a very good source of protein – about 20 per cent, which is much higher than grains, including even quinoa. Rice is only 7 per cent protein, while oats are pretty much the best grain with 17 per cent protein. Chia, however, is richer in antioxidants and soluble fibre than flax – and it is also nutritionally superior in the following ways:

  • Chia oil is 64 per cent alpha linolenic acid (omega-3) and 19 per cent linoleic acid (omega-6), compared to flax, which is 58 per cent omega-3 and 15 per cent omega-6.
  • Chia provides 631mg of calcium and 466mg of magnesium per 100g (3 1⁄2oz), whereas flax contains 199mg of calcium and 362mg of magnesium.
  • Chia is also very low in sodium – 19mg versus 34mg per 100g (3 1/2oz) in flax. I have a 15g (1⁄2oz) serving every day (a tablespoon), which gives me 100mg of calcium and 70mg of magnesium, a really decent amount for maintaining good health and also ideal if you have diabetes mellitus.

A 15g (1⁄2oz) serving also has an antioxidant rating of 1,335 ORAC points. This represents more than a fifth of your daily target of 6,000 ORAC points. Having a quarter of a cup of berries is another 1,000, as is four walnuts or pecan nuts. So, all three with breakfast is more than half your ideal daily antioxidant intake. Taste-wise, chia has a much nicer, slightly nuttier flavour than flax and tastes good on its own, added to cereal, bread or cakes and in salads or soups. Many health-food stores stock it. (Available from Totally Nourish.) Chia seeds are tiny, like sesame, so need grinding before consuming to release all the goodness, or they can be soaked for ten minutes. You can also buy ground chia seeds. Much like oat bran, they absorb a lot of water, so if you add them to cereals, shakes or soups they will bulk up, much like the oats in porridge. This makes you feel fuller.

Flax seeds are also a great source of omega-3, soluble fibres and protein. Much like chia they are best either ground or soaked for ten minutes. Aim for a tablespoon of these seeds once a day. The next best seeds are pumpkin seeds. These are 21 per cent protein, and reasonably high in omega-3. An advantage of pumpkin seeds is that they are very high in magnesium, which you’ll see is also vital for blood sugar control. Pumpkin seeds are large enough and soft enough to be eaten whole, either on cereal, or as a snack, perhaps with a piece of fruit. If you are ‘on the road’ it’s a good idea to have a supply so that when your blood sugar dips you can have a carbohydrate food, plus some pumpkin seeds. Aim for a tablespoonful.

Other good nuts for helping to reverse metabolic syndrome and reduce cardiovascular risk are walnuts and almonds. Walnuts have been shown to improve circulation in those with diabetes, [7] and generally to help reduce indicators of cardiovascular risk. Whether you choose chia, flax or pumpkin seeds, or nuts, you really want to be having a tablespoon of seeds, or a small handful of nuts, every day, either in your food, for example on breakfast, or as part of a low-GL snack. You can get almond butter and pumpkin-seed butter, which are better for you than regular butter or margarine. Peanuts and peanut butter (sugar-free) are also an excellent source of protein but won’t provide the other benefits of omega-3 fats and soluble fibres.

6. Squashes, including zucchini or courgettes

I’m not talking about squash drinks here, but the vegetable family, which includes courgettes, marrows, pumpkin, butternut squashes and many other varieties of winter squash. These are a very low GL Load vegetable so a great choice for your 7GL carbohydrate portion for a main meal. Recent research reveals that an extract from pumpkin promotes the regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells in type-1 diabetic rats, boosting levels of insulin-producing beta cells and insulin in the blood. [8]

A group, led by Tao Xia of the East China Normal University, found that diabetic rats fed the extract had lower insulin levels and less destruction of insulin-producing cells. Xia says: ‘pumpkin extract is potentially a very good product for pre-diabetic persons, as well as those who have already developed diabetes’. He adds that although insulin injections will probably always be necessary for these patients, pumpkin extract could drastically reduce the amount of insulin they need to take. The protective effect of pumpkin is thought to be due to both antioxidants and D-chiro-inositol, a molecule that affects insulin activity. It’s a bit early to say the same effects will occur in people with diabetes but, given that squashes have a very low GL as well, I encourage you to make them a regular part of your diet.

7. Berries, cherries and plums

The principal sugar in most berries, cherries and plums is xylose, making these fruits especially slow-releasing. The bluer the berries the better, so blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries and cooked black elderberry are all superfoods.

In a recent study, blueberries were put to the test on a group of overweight, insulin-resistant volunteers deemed at high risk of diabetes. They were given a blueberry smoothie every day for six weeks, or an identical-looking and tasting fake smoothie. Those getting the real thing had a 22 per cent increase in their insulin sensitivity. [9] The Montmorency cherry is exceptionally high in antioxidants and Montmorency cherry extract (called Cherry Active), as a cordial, is the only fruit drink I recommend. Since the predominant sugar in cherries is xylose, this drink is relatively low in GL (even so, be careful not to have more than a shot a day), whereas grape juice contains pure glucose. Plums, when in season, are a great fruit snack, together with some protein such as a few almonds or pumpkin seeds.

Prunes are dried plums and three or four on cereal is an alternative fruit, but make sure they haven’t been soaked in sugar. The next best fruits are apples and pears, but the kind of apple or pear you choose makes a difference. The harder and less sweet conference pears, for example, have the lowest GL.

8. Cinnamon

A spoonful of cinnamon a day really does help keep diabetes mellitus at bay. Cinnamon is a safe and inexpensive aromatic spice, which has been used for many years in traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. The active ingredient in cinnamon, MCHP, mimics the action of the hormone insulin, which removes excess sugar from the bloodstream. Cinnamon also appears to reduce blood cholesterol and fat levels  and decrease blood pressure.  I certainly recommend you make a daily teaspoon of cinnamon part of your reverse-diabetes program. While we no doubt have much to learn about cinnamon, animal studies have found that there is a positive effect on blood sugar levels when treated with cinnamon.

A study in 2005 found that following a high-sugar meal, cinnamon reduced blood sugar and increased insulin levels for up to 30 minutes.  Another animal study found that after just two weeks of cinnamon administration, there were positive effects on fat levels and blood sugar levels, and after six weeks insulin levels and ‘good’ HDL cholesterol had also increased.  There have also been positive findings in human studies. A research group found that when people who are in the early stages of diabetes mellitus development rather than just at higher risk were given a cinnamon extract called Cinnulin for 12 weeks, there were improvements in several features of metabolic syndrome (blood sugar levels, blood pressure and body fat percentage).

A follow-on study found that the cinnamon extract also improves antioxidant status, thus potentially giving protection from arterial damage caused by oxidants.  Another recent study in people with diabetes found similar results. Thirty-nine patients were given cinnamon extract for four months and showed a substantial reduction in post-meal blood sugar levels and a 10 per cent reduction in fasting blood sugar levels. Interestingly, people with diabetes with the poorest blood glucose control showed the biggest improvements with cinnamon.

How much cinnamon do you need?

Once again, studies are showing us the most effective levels of cinnamon to take. In one study, in 2003, researchers gave three groups of people with diabetes 1g, 3g or 6g (a heaped teaspoon) of cinnamon per day. All responded to the cinnamon within weeks, with blood sugar levels 20 per cent lower on average than those of a control group. Some of the volunteers taking cinnamon even achieved normal blood sugar levels. Tellingly, blood sugar started creeping up again after they stopped taking cinnamon. The biggest improvements were seen with the highest dosage.

A more recent Scandinavian study in which volunteers were given rice pudding, with or without cinnamon, found that those given 3g of cinnamon produce less insulin after the meal. In an earlier study the researchers also found that cinnamon may slow down gastric emptying. This would have the effect of slow-releasing the carbohydrates in a meal. This effect was seen with 6g of cinnamon, not 3g. A teaspoon is roughly 3g. A heaped teaspoon is closer to 6g. I recommend you take 1 teaspoon (3g) per day.


To obtain blood sugar control, regulate your appetite and improve your general health:

  • Eat your oats (and shiitake mushrooms and barley) for their betaglucans.
  • Vary your grains – don’t always eat wheat, but opt for rye or barley.
  • Eat pulses (beans, lentils and chickpeas) regularly.
  • Make the super-grain quinoa a regular part of your diet.
  • Snack on a small handful of chia seeds, walnuts or almonds every other day to help improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Include squashes and pumpkins for their pancreas-promoting power.
  • Pick deep-coloured blueberries, blackberries, black currants, cherries and plums, or apples and pears, which are all naturally lower in sugar.
  • Sprinkle a spoonful of cinnamon onto your cereal each morning or add to your soups and bakes to subtly spice them up.


Get Up & Go Smoothie with Berries and Chia
Get Up & Go is a powdered breakfast drink, which is blended with skimmed milk or soya milk and berries. Nutritionally speaking, it is the ultimate breakfast: each serving gives you more fibre than a bowl of porridge, more protein than an egg, more iron than a cooked breakfast and more vitamins and minerals than a whole packet of cornflakes. In fact, every serving of Get Up & Go gives you at least 100 per cent of every vitamin and mineral and a lot more of some key nutrients. For example, you get 1,000mg of vitamin C – the equivalent of more than 20 oranges.

Get Up & Go contains no sucrose, no additives, no animal products, no yeast, wheat or milk, and it tastes delicious. Each serving, with 300ml (10fl oz/1⁄2 pint) skimmed milk or soya milk and some fruit, provides 3GL and fewer than 300 calories and, when mixed up, only 8GL, making it ideal as part of your Anti-diabetes Diet. If you use oat milk, a serving equals 10GL.

It is nutritionally superior to any other breakfast choice and is totally suitable for adults and children alike. It is fine to have this for breakfast every day, if you choose. Make it up with berries such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, or a soft pear. If you use banana use no more than a third of a decent-sized banana.

Borlotti Bolognese
This, a mouth-watering vegan alternative is packed with fibre and lycopene (an antioxidant found richly in cooked tomatoes). It can be prepared in batches and frozen for convenience.

Serves 2
2 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 onion chopped
115g (4oz) button mushrooms, sliced
11⁄2 tsp Marigold reduced-salt vegetable bouillon powder or make your own from vegetable scraps
1 tsp herbs de Provence
11⁄2 tbsp tomato puree
200g (7oz) canned tomatoes
400g (14oz) can of borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
Solo or sea salt ground black pepper

1. Heat the coconut or olive oil and cook the garlic and onion gently for 2 minutes then add the mushrooms and cook until fairly soft (about 5 minutes).
2. Add the vegetable bouillon powder, dried herbs, tomato puree, canned tomatoes and beans, season and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften and the sauce to thicken. GL per serving: 7 Serving suggestion: serve with steamed  broccoli and whole wheat spaghetti. Variations: use kidney beans or pinto beans instead of borlotti beans.

Allergy suitability: gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast free.

Pesto Crusted Salmon or Goatfish follows description of Goatfish/Red Mullet.

Indian Goatfish / Red Mullet
Red Mullet[Yellow Spot Goatfish, Parupeneus indicus]

This tropical Indo/Pacific Goatfish is found from the east coast of Africa to the southwest coast of Mexico and as far south as the northern coast of Australia. It adopts a number of color schemes but is often marketed in its red form as “Red Mullet”. All have the round dark spot at the tail and a large yellow spot at the lateral line between the two dorsal fins – but in the red form that spot is only faintly visible. Available fresh and frozen in Israel.

Be aware that this is not the “Red Mullet” called for in European recipes. Those fish, the European Red Mullets are related but usually sold smaller, between 2-1/2 and 8 ounces.

This is a superb eating fish, but not common here in Southern California. They can grow to nearly 18 inches but fish in my test batch were about 12-1/2 inches long weighing 1 pound. The photo specimen is a bit smaller because the idiots at the market had broken the tails of all the larger fish to fit them in a foam tray that was too small – an outrage that would never happen in the Philippine and Southeast Asian markets here. Red list status: Not Evaluated.   Photo © cg1.

General:   Indian Goatfish is a very fine eating fish with mild, firm white flesh suitable for most method of cooking. It easily breaks up into large flakes on the plate.

Cooking:   I don’t recommend cooking this whole, because the many large centerline spines, other small bones associated with the fins, and difficulty making sure all the transparent scales have been removed make it difficult to eat. Fillets are easily made bone and scale free. Also the skin shrinks quite a bit which is not desirable in a fish steamed or baked whole. On the other hand, skinless fillets poach very nicely and pan fry even better. Just dust lightly with rice flour and fry in pure olive oil.

Cleaning:   This fish is covered with very large but rather thin scales that take moderate energy to scrape off. Some will simply fold over, but are easy to pull off with your fingers. The fish is easy to clean but the throat is so strong you’ll have to cut it with shears. The gills pull out fairly easily.

Fillets:   This is an easy fish to fillet but the short rib cage is difficult to follow. When you get to the rib cage just use your shears to cut the ribs from the backbone and use long nose pliers to pull them from the fillet. There are also many very significant centerline spines which need to be pulled for the front half of the fillet. Pull forward with long nose pliers.

Fillet yield is moderate due to the fish’s large head, a 1 pound fish yielding about 7-1/8 oz of skinless fillet (45%).

Skin:   The skin of this fish does not have a strong or “off” flavor but it does shrink quite a bit when cooking so is best removed. The skin is thin but tough so it’s easy to remove by the long knife and cutting board technique.

Stock:   The head fins and bones make a light flavorful stock with very little oil, one of the finest and most usable fish stocks you can have.

In the following recipes, the strong flavours of the pesto work well with salmon/goatfish, which are high in omega-3. This is a very quick supper that is perfect if you are having friends round and you don’t want the cooking to interrupt the conversation.

Pesto Crusted Salmon or Goatfish

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets 2 portions of pesto

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease a baking tray.
2. Put the salmon on the baking tray and spread the pesto on top.
3. Bake for 18 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily when pressed.

GL per serving: 2
Allergy suitability: gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast free (I hate to state the obvious but please choose a dairy-free pesto if you’re avoiding dairy products).

Nick’s Beefburgers – for anemia
This burger is seriously delicious served with salad in a toasted pitta bread (5 GL per half-slice).

Serves 2

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce – leave out for patients in recovery
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1⁄4 red onion, finely chopped
1⁄2 a beaten egg
1⁄2 tsp Solo or sea salt
1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
225g (8oz) extra-lean minced beef

1. Mix all the flavouring ingredients together, then add to the mince.
2. Knead the mixture thoroughly, then divide into four and flatten into burger shapes.
3. Put on a plate and cover, then put in the fridge to firm for 10 minutes or until required.
4. Grill under a medium heat for about 7 minutes per side or to taste.

GL per serving: 1
Allergy suitability: gluten, dairy, yeast free.

Chickpea Curry
You could throw this curry together in about 5 minutes flat. It is full of valuable nutrients, from the antioxidants in the garlic, onion and curry powder to the calcium and magnesium in the almonds and the phytoestrogens in the chickpeas.

Serves 2

1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, diced
2 tsp curry powder
300ml (10fl oz) water
your home-made bouillon
2 tbsp tomato puree
400g (14oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp ground almonds

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
2. Add the curry powder and cook until the onion softens.
3. Pour in the water and add the bouillon powder, tomato puree, chickpeas and ground almonds. Simmer and stir for a minute or so to let the mixture thicken.

GL per serving: 7
Serving suggestion: serve with quinoa

Variations: omit the almonds if you like, or if you have a nut allergy.

Allergy suitability: gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast free.

Cashew and Sesame Quinoa
This is unbelievably tasty and contains ample protein from the quinoa. The raw vegetables also substantially increase the vitamin and antioxidant levels.

Serves 2

140g (5oz) quinoa
400ml (14fl oz) water
1 tsp Marigold reduced-salt vegetable bouillon powder
3–4 tbsp fresh or frozen petits pois
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1 large carrot, julienned (finely sliced lengthways)
6 spring onions, finely sliced
ground black pepper

  1. Add the quinoa, water and vegetable bouillon powder to a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 13 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa grains are soft and fluffy.
  2. Add the peas and stir through then remove from the heat (they will cook or soften slightly in the residual warmth).
  3. Combine with all other ingredients, tossing thoroughly to mix all the flavours.

GL per serving: 6 Variations: omit the cashew nuts if you have an allergy to them – the quinoa provides complete protein on its own.

Allergy suitability: gluten, wheat, dairy free (use tamari instead of soy if you cannot eat wheat).


Post 14: State of Israel: Ministry of Environmental Protection: Monitoring air quality and antioxidant papaya recipe for blood cleansing

papaya orange smoothieIf you do not have the time for an elaborate breakfast, you can compensate by having a wholesome smoothie instead. It is sure to sustain you until lunch. This smoothie is stuffed with the goodness of papaya, which is rich in vitamin A and fibre… a must-have fruit for diabetics. This is undoubtedly a good combination of vitamin-rich fruits. If you buy one that is organic you will have additional benefits by eating the peel.

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Makes 4 glasses


1 cup papaya purée
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 tsp sugar substitute (optional)
2 tsp lemon juice (optional)

For Serving
1 cup crushed ice


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the ice and blend in a mixer till smooth.
  2. Put ¼ cup of crushed ice in each glass and top with the smoothie.
  3. Serve immediately.


Original recipe source: Papaya orange smoothie by Tarla Dalal.

Post 13 Vegetarian Marathon: Standing up to Anti-Semitism in Europe: Iron rich food options-From Web MD to strengthen patients faced with Anemia-heme and non-heme (vegetarian sources)

This blog is about blood relations, destroying and enriching. The embedded article was written in 2011. It describes a poetry reading that took place more than 60 years ago.Who would believe that in three short years, since Litvinoff’s death, that Europe would again be a breeding ground in our lifetime for Anti-Semitism? The article describes the life of a role model, Emanuel Litvinoff, poet and detractor of T. S. Eliot. Where are the Emanuel Litvinoffs today to stand up to Anti-Semitism in Europe?:

October 3, 2011

Emanuel Litvinoff, Poet and Detractor of T. S. Eliot, Dies at 96

Emanuel Litvinoff, an English-born Jewish poet known for his scathing verse indictment of T. S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism — and for reading it before an audience that happened to include Eliot — died on Sept. 24 at his home in London. He was 96.
His son Aaron confirmed the death.
The author of several volumes of poetry, Mr. Litvinoff also wrote well-received novels centering on the struggles of Jews in the European diaspora. He was the author of “Journey Through a Small Planet” (1972), a highly praised memoir of the straitened yet vibrant Jewish community in London’s prewar East End.
Mr. Litvinoff also advocated on behalf of the rights of Jews in the postwar East Bloc. He was the founder and editor of a newsletter originally titled Jews in Eastern Europe, which was published regularly from the late 1950s to the late ’80s.
But it was for his poem “To T. S. Eliot” that he was best remembered. Written after World War II and widely anthologized, it was a response to work by Eliot that contained unapologetic anti-Semitic elements. One such poem, “Burbank With a Baedeker: Bleistein With a Cigar,” included the lines:
But this or such was Bleistein’s way:
A saggy bending of the knees
And elbows, with the palms turned out,
Chicago Semite Viennese.
A lustreless protrusive eye
Stares from the protozoic slime
At a perspective of Canaletto.
The smoky candle end of time
Declines. On the Rialto once.
The rats are underneath the piles.
The jew is underneath the lot.
Money in furs. The boatman smiles. …
This poem was first published in 1920. Before World War II, Mr. Litvinoff, who otherwise admired Eliot’s work, was prepared to dismiss it as simply another link in the venerable chain of British literary anti-Semitism.
Eliot chose to reprint the poem in his anthology “Selected Poems,” published in 1948. That, in the post-Holocaust world, struck Mr. Litvinoff as inexcusable. Mr. Litvinoff was by this time established himself, his published work including the volumes “The Untried Soldier” (1942) and “A Crown for Cain” (1948).
He set to work and wrote “To T. S. Eliot.” Addressed directly to the poet and invoking Shakespeare, the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer and the Vistula River in Poland, it opens:
Eminence becomes you. Now when the rock is struck
your young sardonic voice which broke on beauty
floats amid incense and speaks oracles
as though a god
utters from Russell Square and condescends,
high in the solemn cathedral of the air,
his holy octaves to a million radios.
I am not one accepted in your parish.
Bleistein is my relative and I share
the protozoic slime of Shylock, a page
in Stürmer, and, underneath the cities,
a billet somewhat lower than the rats.
Blood in the sewers. Pieces of our flesh
float with the ordure on the Vistula.
You had a sermon but it was not this. …
In early 1951, Mr. Litvinoff was invited to take part in an illustrious public poetry reading at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. He brought the poem with him.
He had no idea, though, that just before he began reading it aloud, its subject would walk through the door.
Emanuel Litvinoff was born in the Whitechapel section of London on May 5, 1915, one of four children of parents who had fled czarist pogroms in Odessa, Ukraine. After the start of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Emanuel’s father returned there to fight with the Bolsheviks and was never heard from again.
His mother supported the family as a seamstress. She eventually remarried and had five more children; Emanuel was reared in the East End with his mother, stepfather and eight siblings in two tiny rooms.
So nervous that he could not hold a pencil when he sat the entrance exam for academic secondary school, Emanuel was relegated to trade school, where he was trained as a shoemaker. The only Jewish boy there, he endured anti-Semitic baiting, and beatings, as he later wrote, at the hands of his schoolmates.
After leaving school, he held threadbare jobs, including fur nailer’s apprentice, helping to stretch pelts on boards before they were cut and sewn. He could not always afford food and often slept in doorways.
During the war, Mr. Litvinoff served with the British Army in Northern Ireland, West Africa and the Middle East. He began writing poetry at this time.
Mr. Litvinoff was divorced from his first wife, Irene Maud Pearson, a celebrated British fashion model known professionally as Cherry Marshall and said to have had the smallest waist in London. He is survived by his second wife, Mary McClory; their son, Aaron; two children, Julian and Sarah, from his first marriage; a half-brother, Phil; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A daughter, Vida, from his first marriage, died last year.
His other books include the novels “The Lost Europeans” (1959), “The Man Next Door” (1968) and “Falls the Shadow” (1983), and “The Penguin Book of Jewish Short Stories” (1979), which he edited.
Before Mr. Litvinoff took the stage to read “To T. S. Eliot” that day in London, a murmur ran through the crowd, which included some of Britain’s leading literary lights: Eliot, the 1948 Nobel laureate in literature, had just entered the room.
By the time it was Mr. Litvinoff’s turn to read, he said afterward, he was keenly aware that the target of the corrosive lines he was about to utter was sitting in the audience.
His voice shook, he recalled, giving his poem unintended force. After the opening stanzas, it continued:
Yet walking with Cohen when the sun exploded
and darkness choked our nostrils,
and the smoke drifting over Treblinka
reeked of the smouldering ashes of children,
I thought what an angry poem
you would have made of it, given the pity. …
So shall I say it is not eminence chills
but the snigger from behind the covers of history,
the sly words and the cold heart
and footprints made with blood upon a continent?
Let your words
tread lightly on this earth of Europe
lest my people’s bones protest.
When Mr. Litvinoff finished, as was widely reported, pandemonium ensued. The poet Stephen Spender stood up and denounced him for insulting Eliot, prompting others in the crowd to cry “Hear, hear” in assent.
There was, however, a dissenting voice. Amid the tumult, a man in the back of the room was heard to mutter: “It’s a good poem. It’s a very good poem.”
The speaker was Thomas Stearns Eliot.
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Preview YouTube video TS Eliot, Emanuel Litvinoff – anti-Semitism

TS Eliot, Emanuel Litvinoff – anti-Semitism

To keep your blood strong:

For a patient suffering from anemia, Iron-Rich Foods are the focus to build up the blood hemoglobin. I have omitted non-kosher sources. If you examine the lists, aside from the meat sources, one cam gain from non-heme iron sources.

 Very good sources of heme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • 3 ounces of beef or chicken liver

Good sources of heme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • 3 ounces of cooked beef
  • 3 ounces of canned sardines, canned in oil
  • 3 ounces of cooked turkey

Other sources of heme iron, with 0.7 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • 3 ounces of chicken
  • 3 ounces of halibut, haddock, perch, salmon, or tuna
  • 3 ounces of veal

Iron in plant foods such as lentils, beans, and spinach is nonheme iron. This is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods. Our bodies are less efficient at absorbing nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron.

Very good sources of nonheme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • One cup of cooked beans
  • One-half cup of tofu
  • 1 ounce of pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds

Good sources of nonheme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • One-half cup of canned lima beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, or split peas
  • One cup of dried apricots
  • One medium baked potato
  • One medium stalk of broccoli
  • One cup of cooked enriched egg noodles
  • One-fourth cup of wheat germ

Other sources of nonheme iron, with 0.7 milligrams or more, include:

  • 1 ounce of peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, roasted cashews, or sunflower seeds
  • One-half  cup of dried seedless raisins, peaches, or prunes
  • One cup of spinach
  • One medium green pepper
  • One cup of pasta
  • One slice of bread, pumpernickel bagel, or bran muffin
  • One cup of rice
  • Our Congestive Heart Failure team dietician recommends to improve absorption the iron rich food should be combined with fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C such as red pepper , lemon, tomato,orange, papaya, grapefruit,broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprouts.
  • Avoid foods that interfere with iron absorption such as leafy green vegetables-beets, spinach, fiber,caffeine and calcium.


12th Post Vegetarian Marathon: Is your bomb shelter ready? Vegetable Soup for Mrs. Ettinger; Hearing Shofer at home, Salt Options for Self or Family member in your care.

This blog may seem to combine two unrelated matters: Life in Israel with it’s stresses, appreciating a neighbor’s situation and the danger that excess salt poses to the body.

Each provides a challenge and an opportunity to do a kindness (chesed).
I read this advertisement on the Israel site called Tanglo, a user group of Anglos (English speakers) who live in Tel Aviv.

Is Your Bomb Shelter Ready?

“I live in Jerusalem, so I really don’t need one.”
“We just need to clear out the junk and sweep the floor. That’s ready enough”
Bad idea!
Don’t think about “what was.” Consider “what could be,” and be prepared!
Did you know that Hamas missiles and rockets are reaching farther and becoming more accurate? And what will be with Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran???
Call now to schedule a FREE evaluation of your bomb shelter.
We will check your: Doors and windows seals Electrical lighting and sockets, Toilet and drain Water storage unit Glow-in-the-dark paint for corners and door frames Glow-in-the-dark signs Fire extinguishers First aid kit Painting We have the experience and the equipment to get the job done right.

052 241 7363

I don’t know anyone in Jerusalem walking around with a check-list. Yes,  people in Tel Aviv, are doing such a survey. I visited Mrs. Ettinger, my upstairs Jerusalem neighbor, a Holocaust survivor. I inquired, “What did you do when you heard the sirens”? That was a month ago. I recall, she looked at me a little quizzically. She replied, “I lived through the war, many wars. This is nothing”. (shum devar).

In the last month she appears to have endured an even greater decline. She used to walk to the corner makolet (grocery). Yossie, the owner would walk her back and practically carry her up to the elevator. She’d be sprawled on his arm when they reached the building. His son would bring the packages as an after-thought. That was when she didn’t have an aide. Now the helper is an appendage to Mrs. Ettinger’s side.

On erev Rosh Ha Shanah, a few days ago, I visited Mrs. Ettinger. She was lying in bed. Her helper complained to me, “All she wants to eat is cake”. I looked in her refrigerator. Yes, it was loaded with cakes and custards. I asked, “And also she eats these sweets at her children’s house?” She replied, “Yes, she also wants purreid food. But I don’t have a blender.”
I went over to the bed and saw that Mrs. Ettinger was awake. I bent down and said in Hebrew. “Happy New Year, Mrs. Ettinger. Would you like some soup? It’s 100% tasty”. She replied,
“Gan Eden”.
I brought a tin of purreid soup up to her. I assumed that she ate it. It tasted great to me, fresh and steaming. The gesture stemmed from my inability to leave things alone.
I have omitted photos of the soup preparation. The broth was a hodge-podge of vegetable peels simmered for an hour. The resulting broth became the base of layers of chopped vegetables that mingled. There was no oil added and the result was simmered to perfection, the deep greens floating in my home-made broth like DNA molecules under a microscope.

The next day at about 1:30 PM three visitors appeared at our door to blow shofer for my husband, who was unable to attend services due to health reasons. The two men are in my husband’s minyan ( 10 fellow congregants) and were dressed in the traditional Ger chassidim attire. They stood tall and the younger one raised up a beautiful shofer. The sounds of the shofer bounced off the thick walls of our building. We left the entrance door open and stood in the hall. It was the closest that I ever got to sitting in the front row for a live concert performance.

The two shofer blowers returned the next day. I was prepared and ran upstairs with my two grand-sons to get Mrs. Ettinger out of bed to hear shofer. True, only men are required to hear shofer blowing, but today woman have taken on that requirement. Mrs. Ettinger sprang to her feet and arrived to her chair in the hall and breathed in the steady rhythm of the bleats with my grand-sons standing next to her. I know that they will talk about hearing shofer in their Zaidy’s house to their friends.

I inquired the next day with Mrs. Ettinger’s caretaker. “No, she didn’t eat the soup.” I guess she liked smelling it. Maybe it reminded of the soup that she had  in her German interrupted child-hood.

Now for the constant assault on our bodies: salt. The recommended amount is 1,500 milligrams per day for a patient who has a serious health problem to this limitation. For a patient with heart and kidney problems there are also potassium limitations in addition to sodium. As you can see, cottage cheese, tuna canned in spring water, tomato juice, american cheese, buttermilk and processed meat are very high in sodium.


Serving Size

Milligrams salt


Chicken (dark meat)

3.5 oz roasted


Chicken (light meat)

3.5 oz roasted


Egg, fried

1 large


Egg, scrambled with milk

1 large


Dried beans, peas, or lentils

1 cup



3 oz cooked



3 oz cooked


Hamburger (lean)

3.5 oz broiled medium


Hot dog, beef

1 medium


Peanuts, dry roasted

1 oz


Roast lamb leg

3.5 oz


Roast veal leg

3.5 oz



3 oz



3 oz


Spareribs, braised

3.5 oz


Steak, T-bone

3.5 oz


Tuna, canned in spring water

3 oz. chunk white


Turkey (dark meat)

3.5 oz roasted


Turkey (light meat)

3.5 oz roasted


Dairy Products

American cheese

1 oz


Buttermilk, salt added

1 cup


Cheddar cheese

1 oz


Cottage cheese, low-fat

1 cup


Milk, whole

1 cup


Milk, skim or 1%

1 cup


Swiss cheese

1 oz


Yogurt, plain

1 cup


Vegetables and vegetable juices


6 spears



1/2 medium


Beans, white cooked

1 cup


Beans, green

1 cup



1 cup


Broccoli, raw

1/2 cup


Broccoli, cooked

1/2 cup


Carrot, raw

1 medium


Carrot, cooked

1/2 cup



1 stalk raw


Corn (sweet, no butter/salt)

1/2 cup boiled



1/2 cup sliced


Eggplant, raw

1 cup


Eggplant, cooked

1 cup



1 leaf


Lima beans

1 cup



1/2 cup (raw or cooked)

1 to 2

Mustard greens

1/2 cup chopped


Onion, chopped

1/2 cup (raw or cooked)

2 to 3


1 cup



1 baked





Spinach, raw

1/2 cup


Spinach, cooked

1/2 cup


Squash, acorn

1/2 cup


Sweet potato

1 small



1 medium


Tomato juice, canned

3/4 cup


Fruits and fruit juices


1 medium


Apple juice

1 cup



3 medium


Apricots (dried)

10 halves



1 medium



1/2 cup chopped



10 medium



1 cup


Grape juice

1 cup



1/2 medium


Grapefruit juice

1 cup



1 medium


Orange juice

1 cup





Prunes (dried)




1/3 cup



1 cup



1 cup


Now, try to total up your daily salt in-take. The next post will focus on iron-rich foods, to help fight anemia.

Li Hitraot,


11th Post Vegetarian Marathon: Babbi’s Song: Doing Mitzvot keeps one alive. Plastic Surgery is just another gimmik, will not make you younger just ask Moshe Pippik: Potato, spinach COTTAGE CHEESE or /Tofu Bake: Percentage Breakdown for Macrobiotic Plate

In the last post we heard a conversation between a boy in Israel and his Babbi, (grandmother) talking together about the End of Days. This blog contains Babbi’s Song. The “Me” is Babbi’s grandson.

Babbi’s Song:

Doing Mitzvot keeps one alive. Plastic Surgery is just another gimmik, will not make you younger, just ask Moshe Pippik.

You can keep your Spas and plastic surgery,

Aside from the fact it’s hardly free.

Trying to bring back youth

Don’t they know it’s truly uncouth,

There is a limit how much fat you can lose,

Just a case of wholesale abuse.

With a strain, a snap or a rupture.

A lady’s face-lift will fall without any structure.

Ever seen that face when it’s sleeping?

No muscle tone it’ll send you to weeping.

You don’t want to wake up next to such a creature

It’s so scary, you’d think she wants to eat you.


Me:  You haven’t done any of that stuff? (pulling at his cheeks)

Babbi:  Take a look, no way. (Pointing to her chin).

The photo shows the first (bottom-most) layer. This bake is similar to a vegetable lasagna. It should be on the thick side so that the potato taste comes through. It doesn’t look so great. The finished bake can be prepared a day before and re-heated.


POTATO SPINACH COTTAGE CHEESE BAKE ( you can make this diary free by substituting tofu for the cheeses and soy milk for the eggs, and squash for the potatoes. This version is not macrobiotic, there’s cheese, potatoes, eggs and spinach. However, it is very satisfying as it contains vegetables, proteins and starches. The last two ingredients are rich in iron. Wonderful to serve for lunch to guests. As I built up the dish the process reminded me of painting a landscape. Please look at the above photo and layer as described in the procedure.


40 gr goat cheese
60 gr white cheese
600 gr dry cottage cheese
330 gr/10 oz sliced roasted potatoes with hot and spicy paprika
235 gr /8 oz roasted leeks and mushrooms.
235 gr /8 oz frozen spinach defrosted and squeezed dry as possible. Liquid can be used for soup
6 eggs plus 1/2 cup almond milk


1. Line a spring-form pan with baking paper. Be sure that paper does not peep over the edge because you could have a fire.

2-Beat eggs and almond milk with immersion blender

3-Fold in cheeses

4-Layer 3/4 of the Potatoes on  bottom of pan to cover

5-Cover with half the egg mixture

6-Place more potatoes and dot with spinach, roasted leeks and mushrooms

7-Layer additional egg mixture

8-Scatter remaining eggs

9-Pre-heat toaster oven oven to 200 degrees / Centigrade 380 degrees Farenheit.

10- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes until you are satisfied that the eggs have solidified

11-Remove foil and back until a rich brown develops.

You will not be seeing eggs, cheese or spinach in future posts as I will try to conform to the macrobiotic framework. This one is suggested by: macrobiotics-healing-week in the Foodhighs site.

It is about eating specific foods in balance. Remember that throughout the day, you will try to develop a landscape on your plate containing:

  • about 50% whole grains
  • about 30% locally grown (organic, if possible) vegetables
  • 5-10% beans and sea vegetables
  • 5-10% soups
  • 5% condiments and supplementary foods, including beverages, fish and desserts