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January 30, 2015

In a Blog by Simon Ward called “simple” he explained that if you could just get 3 elements right it would get you about 90% of the way to your potential. These 3 elements are: Quality Training + Clean eating + World Class recovery

Below is a summary of Torah Parsha (Portion) Beshalach in a Nutshell from

Soon after allowing the children of Israel to depart from Egypt, Pharaoh chases after them to force their return, and the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the sea. G‑d tells Moses to raise his staff over the water; the sea splits to allow the Israelites to pass through, and then closes over the pursuing Egyptians. Moses and the children of Israel sing a song of praise and gratitude to G‑d.

In the desert the people suffer thirst and hunger, and repeatedly complain to Moses and Aaron. G‑d miraculously sweetens the bitter waters of Marah, and later has Moses bring forth water from a rock by striking it with his staff. He causes manna to rain down from the heavens before dawn each morning, and quails to appear in the Israelite camp each evening.

The children of Israel are instructed to gather a double portion of manna on Friday, as none will descend on Shabbat, the divinely decreed day of rest. Some disobey and go to gather manna on the seventh day, but find nothing. Aaron preserves a small quantity of manna in a jar, as a testimony for future generations.

In Rephidim, the people are attacked by the Amalekites, who are defeated by Moses’ prayers and an army raised by Joshua.

“Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or a painful experience.” ~ @mikezigomanis[1]

Last week Loren and I were talking. I wish I could quote exactly what she said, but in a nutshell she said that our day is made up of sleep, eating, working, family and exercise. Food makes up a big part of our day.

In the Jewish religion food is a very “emotional” topic. It is a very big part of us and our lives from kosher, to what we eat on various festivals and to comparing who makes the best cheese cake or chicken soup. AND if we are hungry we complain!

In both last week’s Parsha Bo and this week’s Parsha there is discussion about food, but specifically about the taste of the food, how it should be prepared and the need for food.

In a Dvar Torah on last week’s Parsha, the question is raised why we eat Charoses (on Pesach). Most people say that it commemorates the “cement” used by the Jews to build bricks while in Egypt, others say it represents the miraculous increase in the Jewish population in Egypt during their affliction. One of the commentators adds that other foods such as apple, nuts, wine etc. should be added to the Charoses recipe as we as Jews are compared to them.

The preparation and directions for eating of the Korban Pesach is explained in great lengths in last week’s Parsha. It even mentions that the prohibition of breaking of meat bones of the sacrifice. Below is a beautiful thought on this by Rabbi Mordecai Kamenetzky on why this is mentioned and what we can learn from this.

Rabbi Mordecai Kamenetzky explains that “the prohibition against breaking bones is not just a culinary exercise. The Sefer HaChinuch explains it is a fundamental ordinance that defines the very attitude toward that Jews should have toward mitzvos. Though we eat in haste, we must eat with class. We don’t break bones, and we don’t chomp at the meat; especially mitzvah meat. That fact is as fundamental as the others it is placed with. A person’s actions while performing a Mitzvah is inherently reflective of his attitude toward the Mitzvah itself. The Torah, in placing this seemingly insignificant, command about the way things are eaten together with the laws of who is to eat it tells us that both the mitzvah and the attitude are equally important with no bones about it.”

In this week’s Parsha we read about the Jews requests for food and water while in the desert. The commentators go to great lengths explaining what the Manna from heaven tasted like. Some say it was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey others say it tasted like whatever you wanted it to taste like.

There is definitely a desire to have nice tasting food.

In a recent article in the Age “Diet Masters”. Experts were asked how they manage their weight successfully. Shannon Ponton from the Biggest Loser says “…you need to take away the emotional attachment and see food as a fuel and not as a source of happiness. Prepare, cook and eat bland, plain food. No sauces, spices, enhancers or sweeteners” he goes on to say “…I think it’s madness preparing moreish, decadent meals that are going to have your taste buds screaming for more…”

To me this sounds like the biggest load of …….(unless you are on a specific BLAND Diet due to major stomach/ digestive issues)

Dr Joel Kahn quotes a recent study that says – “Not just for flavour: Herbs and spices backed for heart health via @NutraEurope”

Loren and I have often discussed food preparation. To prepare and cook delicious food takes lots of time and effort. We love spending time in the kitchen together and believe the effort is very worthwhile. AND – Yes good/ tasty food can be healthy – check out my Instagram posts!

Food preparation and eating forms such a large part of our family, social and religious life. Why would anyone want to eat bland food?

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.”  – Julia Child[2]

[1] Former Professional Hockey Player. Triathlete. Plant-based. Yoga. Travel. Health. Wellness. Conservation. Sustainability. Toronto, Canada

[2] Julia Carolyn Child was an American chef, author, and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public.


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