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Kosher for the soul…

April 7, 2013

Thought I would do a quick Blog post Parsha Smemini after seeing a nice Drasha. Below is a summary of the Parsha from

On the eighth day, following the seven days of their inauguration, Aaron and his sons begin to officiate as kohanim (priests); a fire issues forth from G‑d to consume the offerings on the altar, and the divine presence comes to dwell in the Sanctuary.

Aaron’s two elder sons, Nadav and Avihu, offer a “strange fire before G‑d, which He commanded them not” and die before G‑d. Aaron is silent in face of his tragedy. Moses and Aaron subsequently disagree as to a point of law regarding the offerings, but Moses concedes to Aaron that Aaron is in the right.

G‑d commands the kosher laws, identifying the animal species permissible and forbidden for consumption. Land animals may be eaten only if they have split hooves and also chew their cud; fish must have fins and scales; a list of non-kosher birds is given, and a list of kosher insects (four types of locusts).

Also in Shemini are some of the laws of ritual purity, including the purifying power of the mikvah (a pool of water meeting specified qualifications) and the wellspring. Thus the people of Israel are enjoined to “differentiate between the impure and the pure.”

I noticed in a Drasha by Rabbi Yossy Goldman the following quotes regarding Kashrus (Kosher) and I would like to expand on them.

“ So let it be stated categorically: kosher is not for our physical health but for our spiritual health. It is not for our bodies but for our souls. It is a Jewish diet to help Jews remain spiritually sensitive to their innate Jewishness.”

“Your favourite diet may build healthy bodies, but a kosher diet builds healthy souls”

As I have mentioned in previous Blogs, over the time I have been training Loren and I have really tried to learn about nutrition, new foods, chefs, spices, etc.. One of the most important things I have learnt is that a good healthy balanced diet is very important.

Recently Loren has read that 70% of your calories should be eaten as breakfast, snack and lunch.

Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes your supply of glucose and provides other essential nutrients to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

Post-exercise nutrition is important for the body to adapt to stresses of exercise and recover for next session. The three main aims for post-exercise nutrition are:

  1. Glycogen replenishment (CHO)
  2. Muscle repair and growth (protein)
  3. Fluid and electrolyte replacement

I do most my training and exercise in the morning, so I rely on breakfast as an important meal and for post exercise nutrition.

On a daily basis Loren & I have turns cutting fruit for the family. We have started a new thing of making Bircher Muesli for breakfast. It is very quick to make, healthy, full of protein and delicious. One of the real advantages of using the recipes below vs. using or having readymade muesli is the high sugar contents in most bought cereals.

The original Bircher recipes contained cream, which I do not recommend.

Detailed below are Bircher recipes I love (Note I have slightly changed the Recipes for my nutritional needs, but have detailed the full recipe which can easily be adapted). Normally make the night before and put in the fridge to soak.

Apple Muesli (vegetarian) – Michelle Bridges adapted

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 min | 274 Cal per serve


100g Untoasted Natural Oats

1 Medium Apple (166g)

1 Cups Low Fat Milk (260g)


1. Place the oats in a serving bowl.

2. Use the coarse side of a box grater to coarsely grate the apple.

3. Place the grated apple on top of the muesli and pour over the milk (see tips below).

Some tips

Instead of 1 cup of milk I mix in a mixture of milk and fruit juice or a mixture of milk, water and fruit juice. In the morning I top with some yoghurt (~3-4 Table spoons)

I normally also add some LSA and Chia seeds. Other things to add include coconut, cinnamon, nuts raisons, craisons, cut up figs or prunes, honey, etc.

Bircher Muesli (vegetarian) – Michelle Bridges adapted

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 min | 305 Cal per serve


1 Cups Rolled Oats (95g)

1 Medium Apple (166g)

60g Frozen Mixed Berries

1 Cups Low Fat Natural Yoghurt (260g) (I normally use 1 Chobani flavoured yoghurt or ~4 Tablespoons of plain natural yoghurt)

Preparation Tips

Coarsley grate the apple


1. Combine the oats, 1 cup water, apple and yoghurt (see tips below) in a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to soak.

2. Divide between serving bowls and top with the berries and/ or other fruit – see tips below

Some tips

I normally also add some LSA and Chia seeds. Other things to add include coconut, cinnamon, nuts raisons, craisons, cut up figs or prunes, honey, etc.

Tip re frozen berries – Take out the night before and allow defrosting or placing in microwave for 20 seconds.

Can use ½ Yoghurt and add other ½ in the morning when served.


Today I noticed the following quote which motivated me to do the Blog – “Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.” -Author Unknown



From → Uncategorized

  1. Mom permalink

    Great blog, will try the bircher, sounds delicious…well done Ian, Luv Mpm xxx

  2. Tried a great new Bircher Recipe from Teressa Cutter. –

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