Friday, December 31, 2010

Fantastic Fifteen Minute Lunch!!

A quick post for all those who claim that healthy cooking takes too much time, or that kids won’t eat healthy foods

After a full morning of doing work that I LOVE, Baruch HaShem, followed immediately by scurrying to fetch two kids from school, I came home at lunch time with no lunch at the ready.

Deep breath. Idea percolating. Chilly inside the house. Craving something warming, and slightly salty. Something quazi-nouveau-macrobiotic, if you will. Set hungry kids up with markers and Play-doh, and set the timer.

Here’s how it went down:

1) Put water on to boil for rice noodles.
2) Filled a pot with a few centimeters of water and water-sautéed an onion, a carrot, and a zucchini for a few minutes. Then added more water as a base for what would become our miso soup.
3) Combined a few scallions, generous handful of parsley, some olive oil and toasted sesame oil, dash of tamari and umeboshi plum vinegar and a generous spoonful of almond butter. Whizzed in the Magimix. Voila! Supper yummy sauce for the noodles. SUPER yummy. As in licking-the-blades-of-the-food- processor yummy!
4) Cut up some cucumbers and carrots for dipping into extra sauce.
5) Cooked and drained rice noodles.
6) Added miso to individual bowls of soup.
7) Dished out rice noodles topped with yummy sauce.
8) Served raw cut up veggies on the side.

Timer rings! Fifteen minutes and we’re all sitting down to thank the good Lord for the blessed lunch.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Healthy Meals in NO TIME AT ALL!

A few days ago, I posted the following question as my Facebook status:

What roadblocks keep you from eating (or feeding your family) healthy?

I received a slew of responses (thanks for that!), all essentially saying the same thing: a lack of time, menu ideas, cooking skills, and motivation prevent us from eating healthfully.

Oh my. First, let me say, I have struggled with these, especially, the lack of time and menu planning. And, as my family loves to remind me, my first attempts at cooking were less than stellar. It took me a while to learn to cook well, a practice I am forever refining.

But I assure you, these are not insurmountable obstacles, and with a little planning, some guidance, and an open mind, you can eat healthfully and feel great WITHOUT SPENDING HOURS IN THE KITCHEN! Honestly, I just don't buy the time excuse; it can take longer to order and pick up a pizza, or heat up some ultra-processed "chicken" schnitzel than to cook a simple, whole foods meal.

Today, after a crazy start to the week (working two jobs for three days in a row, multiple appointments for the kids, repairmen in and out of the house, etc.) I made a healthy and delicious lunch in UNDER 8 MINUTES. What's more, this mean was totally not pre-planned; I thought of this idea on my bike ride home from work!

The result? Coconut Rice With Chicken that everyone scarfed down!

Here's how it went down:

1. Turn on oven and reheat leftover chicken.
2. Heat coconut oil in skillet. Chop onions. Sautee onions and spices (cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper)
3. Wash, soak and check 1/2 head of cauliflower
4. Pour can of coconut milk into the skillet. Heat for 30-60 seconds.
5. Add precooked brown rice (leftovers from last night). Stir to mix and heat for a few minutes.
6. Add cauliflower. Cover and shut off heat.
7. Let rest for a minute while the cauliflower steams a bit.
8. Spoon rice mixture into bowls with some shredded chicken on top; then eat and enjoy

See? Quick, easy and healthy! And yummy! In under 8 minutes. Clearly, the speed was the result of having 2 components already cooked (the rice and the chicken) and the other ingredients on hand (the coconut milk and the veggies). I'll talk more about how to make that happen in future posts. But for right now: What do you have in your pantry or fridge that you can transform into a quick and healthy meal today?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Embracing the Season

Finally. Fall has arrived here in Israel, and with it, cooler temperatures… and some wind. While most of us welcome this respite from the heat, seasonal transitions can be very taxing physically and energetically. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are deeply affected by the changes in our environment, including the seasonal ones.

As fall settles upon us for real now, have you noticed you’ve got:
skin problems: acne, eczema, rashes, dry, dull or oily skin?
congestion: sinusitis, asthma, allergies, runny/ stuffy nose, or a cold?
an overbooked to-do list or calendar? (I consider this just another form of congestion, really.)

If you answered 'yes' to any of the questions above, then it’s crucial to adjust your diet and lifestyle to align with the season. Doing so will help you create health and balance and build strength for the upcoming winter. Better to act now than wait till later. A cold that lingers from fall to winter could easily morph into a sinus infection or pneumonia as the weather turns cold.

So, how do you make that happen, when you've already got so much to do? The key lies in embracing the season. Here in Israel, we’re blessed that it’s fairly easy to eat seasonally. The produce available to us is what’s in season, and, as they say “zeh-ho”. If it’s not in season, then you won’t find it in stores. You’ll notice when produce is not quite at its prime because of the price (more expensive) and well, the taste (not so great). When the season is over, you simply can’t get it anymore. This is in sharp contrast to many Western countries, where, if you fancy watermelon in the dead of winter, you can get it. Pineapple in January? No problem. Food is shipped from where ever it is seasonal to wherever you want it. The problem is, while your taste buds may want that food, your body really doesn’t. Your body wants to align with nature; that’s what it was designed to do. Eating and living “out of season” can lead to physical and emotional illness and intense food cravings.
You see, there’s a reason certain foods grow in certain seasons. With each new season comes a fresh batch of foods designed to support your body during the new season. Therefore, it's important to change the foods you eat every time you transition from one season to another. Changing the foods you eat will help reduce food cravings and balance your body and moods.

Enough theory... let's get practical! What does seasonal eating look like in the Fall? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall foods are designed to cleanse and rebuild your lungs and large intestine, as well as all the health problems that arise when these two organs are overburdened.

Fall foods are often white in color and sour or pungent in taste. You’ll also want to add more warming and moist, cooked foods to balance the effects of the weather. Some fall food suggestions:
Put sliced apple or pear over your breakfast cereal or oatmeal; ginger tea flavored with a slice of lemon, lots of garlic and onion in general, soups and stews, especially with root veggies like carrot, turnip, beets, celery, etc.; baked sweet potatoes or pumpkin with cinnamon sprinkled on top, whole grains like barley and brown rice, and good quality oils like olive, sesame, and coconut.
Daily Lifestyle Routines

Just as important and what you eat is WHEN you eat. Now’s the time to establish a regular eating schedule; it’s exactly what we need to calm our over stimulated nervous systems and regulate our digestion. Try consistently eating a light breakfast about an hour after you wake up, a heavier lunch, and a light dinner, ideally before 6pm. Honor your body’s need for more rest in this season by going to bed before 10pm and getting up rising before 6am. I totally acknowledge how challenging this is; do the best you can to at least establish a regular routine, no matter what it is. Getting up early one day and sleeping in the next or eating at 6pm one day and at 10pm the next, all promote imbalance and poor digestion (and elimination!).

Sounds simple? It is! And yet, simple changes can produce big results! Dr. Elson Hass says it so well in his book, Staying Healthy with the Seasons:

“Eating and living habits are crucial to your well-being and important for your growth. It is time to assume total responsibility for how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Health begins with becoming aware of your energy and its balance-what you take in and what you put out. What’s important is learning to listen to yourself from the inside so you do not have to become ill to change your life. Keeping your body and mind open and clear makes the way for positive thoughts and visions, and the love from your heart will fill every part.”

Amen. So it should be by all of us...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nutrition and Wellness Workshops in Yad Binyamin with ARLYN BOLTAX, Certified Nutrition Counselor

Are you ready to take charge of your health, simplify your eating routine, and create and achieve sustainable health goals for yourself and your family?

Do you already know a lot about nutrition and healthy eating, but have trouble implementing your knowledge into action?

Have you always wanted to experience the benefits of working with a health coach, but couldn’t swing the cost of private sessions?

Please join me for informative, dynamic, and fun health workshops. Come for one or all three, to be held once a month on Sunday evenings now through the end of the year.

October: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Sugar Blues: Learn the truth about sugar and how to stabilize your weight, wood, and metabolism. I’ll share tips for kicking the habit and information about natural and alternative sweeteners.

November: Sunday, November 21, 2010
Nutritional Myths Debunked: I’ll clear up the confusion about fats and oils, explain why eating low-fat foods and drinking diet soda doesn’t lead to weight loss, and demystify the carbohydrate dilemma.

December: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Building your Immunity for Winter and beyond:
Discover how integrating a diet and lifestyle that is appropriate for the season can boost your health. Practical advice for transitioning to a healthy, whole foods diet that will keep you and your family healthy this winter.

INVESTMENT: Advance registration: 40 nis each class OR
110 nis for the series
At the door: 50 nis per class


All workshops will begin at 8:30pm @ my house, Rechov Slav 12B.
Each class will include handouts and recipes.
Hope to see you there, and please help spread the word!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Transitioning Into Fall Without Faltering

The energy of transition is pervasive in the air these days. School has begun and we’ve already set the clocks back one hour here in Israel. The morning light is markedly different, darkness descends a little bit earlier each day, and there is a hint, just a hint, of the cooler weather to come.

Whether or not you invite or desire these changes, they are happening, and it behooves us all to align our bodies and spirits with the flow of energy in nature. Seasonal changes, especially from summer to fall, can be a bit harsh for some of us, especially if we’ve had an indulgent summer of late nights, excessive sugar consumption (including fruit!) and iced coffee! Some symptoms you may notice are digestive disturbances, dry itchy skin, moodiness and sluggishness, and excess mucus production (look for these signs in your children as well!) This is our body’s way of telling us to pay attention and shift with the seasons!

The best way to align with the seasonal changes around us is to slow down! We can support ourselves now by resting more and going to sleep earlier (this is a personal challenge for me and I am humbled by how long I have been working on this one!) It’s also appropriate to shift our diets from summer foods to fall ones. Summer foods are more expansive and cooling; ideal fall foods are more warming and help us get grounded for the cooler weather and shorter days. Practically, this means reducing foods like fruits, ice cream, and iced drinks and increasing our intake of warming foods. It’s also a great time to add more WHOLE GRAINS into your diet. (For more on whole grains, see my previous post).

One of my favorite whole grains, and the one I recommend most often to my clients, is quinoa. Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is an ancient grain originally grown by the Incas living in the Andes. Historically called the “Mother Grain,” quinoa is known as a powerful healing food. Technically not a “grain,” quinoa is actually a species of goosefoot or (Chenopodium) and is closer related to veggies like beets and spinach.

Unlike most grains, quinoa actually contains a full and balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete. It is also high in fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and vitamins B and E and is a gluten-free food. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) quinoa is considered a warming food that strengthens and detoxifies the kidneys to bring them into a state of balance, making it the perfect food to eat as we move into fall. Quinoa is especially good for vegetarians and vegans looking for a healthy source of filling protein.

Quinoa is a quick and easy food to prepare and is a great addition to your staple diet. It is easy to digest, won’t leave you feeling bloated or bogged down like some heavier grains and will give you ample amounts of sustained energy.
Most quinoa needs to be rinsed thoroughly before cooking. Quinoa naturally contains a bitter insect repellant coating known as saponins. (When you rinse your quinoa and it looks soapy, those are the saponins!) Even more ideal is to soak the grains in a bowl of water for at least two hours (or overnight). After soaking rinse well in a fine strainer under running water. Soaking all grains helps to make them more digestible by removing and neutralizing the phytic acid found naturally in all whole grains.

Basic Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
Bring water and salt to a boil in a small pot. Add quinoa, cover tightly and reduce heat to med/low. Cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ will appear as tiny white curls coming out of the seed in the center when cooked. Double, triple or quadruple the recipe for a bigger family or to use later in the week.

Once you have your basic quinoa cooked, you can store it in the fridge for a few days and then transform the already cooked quinoa into other delightful dishes. Here are a few ideas:

Bountiful Breakfast Quinoa
1 cup cooked quinoa (as directed above)
½ cup fresh seasonal berries
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (or any nut of your choice)
a touch of raw honey or a few raisins for sweetness
almond milk (or milk of your choice)
Gently heat the milk and add quinoa. Stir to combine, and add other ingredients.

Curried Quinoa and Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad
3 cups cooked quinoa (as directed above)
½ cup diced zucchini or squash
½ cup diced eggplant
½ cup canned or cooked fresh chickpeas
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Toss diced zucchini, squash and eggplant in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread vegetable on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned and soft. Meanwhile mix the olive oil, curry powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a small bowl. Let vegetables cool after roasting, and then toss with the cooked quinoa and chickpeas in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil mixture over and dress to desired taste. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Quinoa Tabbouleh
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup diced red or yellow peppers
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint (nana)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
Toss cooked quinoa with cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Are You Truly Eating WHOLE Grains? (Part 1 of 2)

You may have heard the term “whole grain”, but do you really know what these words mean? When I ask clients if they eat whole grains, the response I often get is “Sure, I eat whole wheat bread and pasta.” Not exactly. While these foods may be made from whole grains, they are not themselves whole grains. Read on to demystify this some more…

In order for something to be considered a whole grain, it must not have anything added or removed. The entire edible portion must be intact. Let’s look at a common whole grain as an example: brown rice. Just like any whole grain, brown rice has three parts – a germ, bran, and endosperm. If any of these parts are removed, then our brown rice is no longer, and is now considered a “refined” grain (or refined carbohydrate). To sum up, brown rice is turned into white rice when the germ and bran are removed. Same thing with wheat, spelt, rye, etc.

Why do we care about the bran and germ?
These are the parts of the whole grain that contain most of the nutrients and fiber. The endosperm is largely the starchy part of the grain.

When we whole grains on a regular basis, we may experience the following benefits:
• We’ll feel more satisfied with less food. (The fiber in whole grains fills us up!)
• We receive steadier, longer-lasting energy from our food because whole grain takes longer to be digested than a refined grain, which quickly turns into sugar in the body and can produce blood sugar spikes.
• Lower cholesterol.
• Reduced risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease.
• Improved elimination

Sounds good, yes? Next time you go food shopping, buy some whole grains. I recommend buying a few and experimenting a new one each week. A suggested list of whole grains to try:
• Brown rice or wild rice
• barley (hulled)
• buckwheat (kasha)
• quinoa
• millet
• amaranth
• wheat berries
• oat groats or steel-cut oats (these are whole oats that are cut up for easier cooking and digestion

Note that some of the whole grains listed above (such as buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and amaranth) are not technically grains; they are seeds or berries. From a culinary perspective we consider them grains because of how they are cooked and eaten.

So, now you understand that when you eat whole wheat (or whole grain) bread, crackers, pasta, etc., you are in fact NOT eating a whole grain. You are most likely eating a product that was made from flour that was made from whole grains. But once those grains were milled into flour, and then processed or cooked with other things (yeast, sugar, salt, flavorings, etc) they are no longer whole. While this sounds like semantics, or a technicality of sorts, it in fact is not. And you can be assured your body knows the difference!!

Another technicality can be observed in food labeling or packaging. Food manufacturers realize that health-conscious consumers want to eat more whole grains, so they add them into their products. This is a good thing, but not all “whole grain” products are created equal. Remember, a true whole grain won’t have an ingredient list; it contains only one ingredient: itself!! When buying whole grain flour products, you need to be a label detective and read carefully! Even if that bread looks brown, if it doesn’t say 100% whole wheat (or spelt, or rye, etc), it may have refined flour added to it.

Stay tuned for part 2: practical tips for incorporating more whole grains into your diet, tips for preparation, and some easy, tasty recipes. Coming soon…

Ready to make changes to your diet but need more support? Are you on board but dealing with less-than-enthusiastic family members? A transition to a healthier diet doesn’t have to be a struggle. I can help. Call today to set up an appointment: 054 204 4773.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How To Survive the 9 Days Without Meat

Think you’ll wither away and starve? Think again. The 9 Days are a great opportunity to bring more awareness to your food choices, and perhaps create lasting change in your daily nourishment. And since you won’t be doing any laundry, you’ll have plenty of time to try new recipes, right?

For the next 9 days, halacha instructs us to refrain from eating meat, including chicken. The number one question I get during this time, and also from those wanting to transition to a meat-free diet, is “How will I ever get enough protein?”

Please don’t worry. Yes, it’s true that protein is the basic building block of the human body, helping our bodies form muscles, organs, skin and hair. It’s also true that protein requirements differ from person to person (a concept that’s part of a larger idea called bio-individuality). If you know you need more protein, or you’re a pregnant or nursing mom, then you will need to take extra care to keep your protein intake sufficient during the 9 Days. But most of us consume way more protein than our bodies need. So, don’t fret that your muscles will turn to mush after 9 Days with out meat. Meat is not the only source of protein, and Baruch HaShem, there’s plenty to eat!

Check out the tips below to help you enjoy your meat-free days. As always, please feel free to comment. I love to hear how you’re implementing these tips!

1. Experiment with vegetables. This week, challenge yourself to try a new vegetable each day. Most people eat the same 3 or 4 veggies every week. Mix it up a little! Try veggies with a high water content, like kohlrabi or celery, or leafy greens such as mangold (chard) or spinach. Starchy vegetables like pumpkin or potatoes, or even eggplant, can be the centerpiece of a meal.

If you already eat tons of veggies, try preparing one of your regulars a new way. If you usually cook your veggies, eat more raw foods and salads. A guideline I love is to include several colors of the rainbow in each meal. Bright magenta beets, orange peppers, juicy red tomatoes and thinly sliced purple cabbage over a bed of green romaine lettuce is a rainbow right on your plate!!

2. Easy on the dairy and bread. Face it: many folks use the 9 Days as an excuse to eat pizza every night. Don’t get me wrong- pizza can be a great meal; with a whole grain crust, homemade sauce, sautéed veggies and a sprinkle of good quality cheese, you’re looking at a decent nutritional profile. But the nutrient-void white bread, sugary tomato sauce and plastic-like cheese which often passes for pizza isn’t going to leave you feeling very good the next day. And while some dairy products are cooling to the body (natural yogurt and labane, for instance), eating tons of dairy products in the heat of the summer can contribute to excess mucus and dampness in the body (the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.) Decide on a reasonable amount of dairy for you and your family, and stick to it. Otherwise it’s quite easy to turn the 9 Days into a dairy deluge.

3. Bring on the beans! Beans and legumes are an excellent source of protein and are so versatile; you can make soups, cold salads, and pates or dips with them. They also marry well with fresh herbs and spices, so you can create a variety of tastes. If you think you don’t digest beans well, try preparing them yourself (versus buying canned). Soak them, and then cook them with a piece of kombu seaweed (found in most health food stores). Kombu reduces the gassiness of the beans by tenderizing them (thereby reducing the starch). When making bean dips or pates, broaden your palate beyond hummus. You can make a great white bean dip by cooking the beans and pureeing with some olive oil, plenty or garlic, lemon juice, salt, parsley and rosemary.

One word of caution around beans: Avoid or minimize soy products. Although soy is often touted as a wonderful health food, it is extremely difficult to digest, and is one of the most common allergens. Additionally, most soy products are highly processed and artificially flavored, often with MSG. Come on, how do you think they get tofu or textured vegetable protein to look and taste like meat? It doesn’t exist that way in nature, that’s for sure!

4. Go nuts!! While nuts are rich in fat, they contain the “good fats” that we
need to fuel our brains. They also contain protein and antioxidants. Choose raw nuts; if you must have the salt, roast and salt them yourself. You can also flavor them with savory spices like curry powder or zatar. For easier digestion and maximum nutrition, you can soak the raw nuts for 1-6 hours (soaked nuts must be refrigerated afterwards if not consumed immediately). Try making pates or spreads with nuts and seeds; this also eliminates the choking hazard factor for the kiddies.

Here’s a simple, nutritious pate you can make quickly in a food processor:

• 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked
• ½ onion, chopped
• 2-3 stalks celery
• ½ tomato or red pepper, chopped
• Juice of ½ lemon
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Salt or tamari to taste
• Pinch of pepper
Puree till smooth and enjoy on crackers or pita!! Will keep in the fridge for up to a week

5. Seek out new recipes. Swap cookbooks with a friend. Ask for ideas at the park. Look online! There are tons of websites with wonderful vegetarian and vegan recipes. Here’s a link to one of my favorite sites (101 and one of my favorite dishes on the site:

Observe how your body responds to these new foods, and the absence of meat.
You might find you really do need to eat meat to feel your best. Or not. You might discover that you feel more energetic when you eat more raw foods. That beans keep you full for a loooooong time. That you love spinach, etc, etc.

Share your discoveries with me; I love to hear them. As always, if you want support around your eating, or are struggling to make food choices that give you the healthy body and vibrant energy you deserve, I can help. Call today to set up an appointment: 054 204 4773.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to Break Your Fast (Hint: Bagels and Lox are NOT part of the picture)

Although today’s fast is relatively short, it may feel like you haven’t eaten or drank for days. Many of us are accustomed to eating every few hours, or grazing throughout the day, and so we feel, very acutely, the absence of food.

The truth is most of us could stand to eat less, or less often. When we eat all day long, our digestive systems don’t get the opportunity to rest. In addition, we often eat mindlessly, and by doing so we forfeit the opportunity to see how our food choices affect our bodies, our energy, our health and even our mood (more on that in a later post).

And while this fast is too short to result in deep detoxification or internal cleansing (minus that caffeine withdrawal headache that should be kicking in just about now), even a short fast like this one can offer insight regarding our eating habits and hopefully inspire us to make some thoughtful changes. So, aside from the Halachic requirements to fast and any spiritual benefits that accompany this requirement, we do get a small taste (no pun intended) of the health benefits of fasting.

However, if you break the fast by gorging on bread and/or sugar, you’ll likely find your self with a “fasting hangover” (headache, stomach ache, constipation, etc). The traditional (at least for American-born, Ashkenazi Jews) break fast meal of bagels, lox, and spreads full of mayo is truly a digestive disaster. (In a nutshell: it’s too starchy, sugary, and salty.)

What is the best way to break a fast? While everyone is different, there are a few universal principles here from which we all can benefit.
Below are some tips for breaking your fast in a way that respects your body and your belly:

1. Drink room temperature water. Water should be the first thing you put in your mouth after the fast. If you can, take a high-quality probiotic with this water, to help restore the proper balance of bacteria in your gut after the fast.

2. Eat small portions. We don’t need to eat as much as we think we do, especially after a fast. Try eating tonight’s meal on a salad plate, or in a bowl. And of course, CHEW thoroughly 

3. Start with soup. A brothy soup with lots of veggies will help replace your mineral stores, and is easy on the digestive system. Avoid using flavored soup powders, which usually contain MSG. Rely on herbs and spices for flavor.

4. Eat REAL food. Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods. Most contain additives or preservatives and poor quality oils, which stress your digestive system. If you’re too tired or weak to cook, stick to simple things: boiled brown rice or quinoa, roasted veggies, simple salads, etc. Partner with a neighbor or a few friends and do a mini-potluck so you don’t need to prepare a full meal. Keep it simple, for your sanity as well as for your belly!

5. Go vegan. Try a meal without animal products. Instead, make veggies, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (beans, lentils, etc) the main course. Your digestive system takes a few hours to process protein, especially animal protein, and since you’ll be going to bed shortly after your meal, it’s best to eat easily digested foods. If you feel the need for animal protein, try eggs or fish, rather than dairy products, or chicken or beef.

B’teavon and L’Briut!!

PS: Did you gain any insight into your eating patterns or habits as a result of the fast?
What was revealed to you via this simple act of abstinence and pause? I’d love to hear your discoveries.

Did you unearth something that needs more attention? Need more support in creating your ideal diet, one that gives you the energy and health you need to live to your fullest potential? Call me today to set up your initial consultation and see how I can help you reach your health goals. 054 204 4773

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Should I Eat When it’s Sweltering Hot Outside?

What Should I Eat When it’s Sweltering Hot Outside?

Now that summer weather has officially arrived, and as my friend Tammy likes to say, it “feels like pea soup outside”, what are the best foods to eat? Which foods will nourish you best in this extreme weather? Following these guidelines will help cool your body and retain your energy during this heat wave and beyond.

1. Drink water. Obvious, I know, but it bears repeating. It is always important that you get enough water in your diet. Water ensures that your body’s systems function optimally. Drinking water also helps to keep your energy levels up. While you may think you crave a cold drink, many ancient healing theories recommend drinking cool or room temperature water. Drinking water with out ice usually means you drink more water (you know this is true if you’ve ever tried to chug ice cold water. Ouch.) Try to get in other forms of water as well. More on that later. Also avoid substances that dehydrate the body. (see tip #2)

2. Cut back on the caffeine.
Among other things, caffeine can dehydrate the body, and negate the positive effects of all of that water you’re drinking. You can’t afford to have that happening during the hot summer months, so it’s wise to cut back on coffee and soda. If you must imbibe (and I totally hear that), drink 3 cups of water for every caffeinated beverage. Some ideas for non-caffeinated beverages: iced herbal tea, water flavored with lemon and mint leaves, and my current favorite-the green smoothie (A topic for a future post, but if you need more information right now, see my recent Facebook post or simply Google “Green Smoothie”. Highly trendy these days and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll like)

3. Go lighter on the fruit than you might want to, and eat more veggies. While fruit on a hot day is mouthwatering, beware if you tend to be sugar sensitive. Eating lots of fruit can lead to blood sugar spikes in susceptible people, and the crash that follows will leave you feeling like a dried-out bug on the hot pavement. Be sure to eat lots of watery veggies like tomato, cucumber, zucchini, celery, bell peppers, and greens such as romaine lettuce, spinach and chard. Try making blended soups with the above veggies for greater water content, and make sure to eat a variety of raw and/or lightly cooked veggies if digesting raw is challenging for you.

4. Get enough potassium. Whether or not you exercise in the heat, you’ll probably sweat more than usual. Excess sweating can throw off your electrolytes. You can avoid this problem by making sure that you get enough potassium in your diet during the summer months. Potassium helps balance your body’s pH and water. Foods high in potassium include: apricots, avocado, banana, lima bean, potatoes, beets, parsnips and lentils.

5. Lighten up your protein. While everyone loves a good summer BBQ, your body uses a lot of energy to digest meat. Choose lighter, plant-based proteins, like beans, legumes, and nuts and seeds to ease the energy load on your body.

6. Listen to your body. Not a food tip per se, but inherently valuable advice nonetheless. Rest when you feel tired. Scale back your usual activity level, especially in the afternoon. Make a cooling mist with essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, geranium, or chamomile and spray on your body, especially the back of your neck and feet.

Need more support around creating the vibrant health you are meant to have??? Contact Arlyn today to schedule a consultation. 054 204 4773

•Weight loss, special diets, digestive issues, feeding children and families, emotional eating, pre-natal and postpartum nutrition.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Simple Change That Will Help You Lose Weight

Anyone you know ever been on a diet?
I thought so. Weight loss is an eternal quest for so many of us. And it often seems like out efforts are futile, because weight loss can appear so…confusing. First the experts tell us not to eat fat. Then they tell us not to eat carbs. Then they tell us to eat fats… but only the right kind. Then they tell us to eat carbs… but only the brown kind. What’s a person to do?

It’s safe to say that the diet rules are going to keep changing. After all, every time the rules change, someone can sell another slew of diet books. So, it’s wise to look for a constant in the dieting madness. And as usual, it’s the simplest things that are often the most profoundly effective.

It’s quite simple, really. If there’s one piece of advice that has made the biggest difference in the weight loss goals of my clients, it’s been one simple word, “Chew!”

Eating well and losing weight begins with the simple art of chewing.

Let’s explore the phenomenon of chewing and see how it will help you lose weight, absorb more nutrition from your food, and bring more awareness to the act of eating.

Chewing slows down the rate at which you eat. You will feel full well before you finish your plate. This means you will consume fewer calories than normal, but you will feel more satisfied.
• Chewing breaks down food and initiates the release of digestive enzymes, which helps your body assimilate nutrients more effectively.
Chewing creates saliva, which makes the food more alkaline, resulting in less gas and bloating afterwards.
Chewing relaxes you. As most of us learned early on, you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full. Chewing well makes eating a more internal, quieting, and nourishing experience
• Chewing helps you enjoy the taste, aroma, sensation, and texture of the entire meal.
• The more you chew complex carbohydrates, the sweeter they will become.
Chew a mouthful of plain brown rice 50 times and it will taste like honey in your mouth!

How Much Should I Chew?
You should aim to chew every mouthful of food at least 35 times each, until the food becomes liquid. This will seem impossible at first, and completely weird... but after a while it will feel even weirder to swallow after a few bites.

Make it Happen: How to transform into a Conscious Eater

- Pick one meal a day to practice eating with intention. The best meal to start with is the meal that you eat in a relaxed manner, not the meal that you eat while driving, feeding your kids, or a billion other things. (If you’re saying “I don’t eat any meals, or any meal in a relaxed manner”, then this is a great time to shift that behavior!)
- Remove all distractions. Turn off the TV, put down your Blackberry; it’s just you and your food.
- Sit down to eat. It’s tough to chew well if you’re standing at the counter or in front of the fridge.
- Sit up straight and breathe.
- Count the number of times you chew. Aim for 35 times per bite. You may not be able to keep this up throughout the entire meal, but you’ll get better with practice.
- Take smaller bites.
- If counting is distracting, then try chewing until your food is liquid.
- Use chopsticks – these do a great job of slowing you down 
- Eat with the opposite hand. If you’re right-handed, eat with your left hand. This is guaranteed to make you take your time.
- Put your fork down between every bite. Don’t sit there waiting to shovel the next bite in before you swallow.
- Concentrate on the sensation of the food as you chew. Really TASTE it.

I’d love to hear about your experiments with chewing! Please feel free to share what you discover.

Interested in receiving more support around your health, your food choices and weight loss goals? Contact me today for more information or to schedule a session.

Arlyn Boltax
o54 204 4773

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Story- (Or: “My Journey From Frozen Microwave Diet Dinners and Jane Fonda Work-out Videos to Where I am Now”)

Practically all of my clients and many of my friends eventually ask me: “Were you always this healthy?” The short answer: NO! The full story follows:

My serpentine path to healthy eating began back in the 1980’s when, as a teenager, I began an endless quest for fool-proof weight loss techniques. I read women’s magazines and cut out articles with titles like “Lose 3 Inches in 3 Days!”, or “Get a Bikini Body in 2 Weeks!” I tried almost every different diet plan I read about. None lasted very long, or provided the results I wanted.

In the 80s, the hip dieter believed “fat is bad, carbs are good”. Suffice it to say I ate a lot of white bread and pasta. And plenty of Weight Watcher’s microwave dinners and fat-free foods. And bland salads with no dressing. And a lot of candy. A LOT. In college, I added cola to my repertoire and quickly became addicted to the sugar and caffeine concoction. While I exercised consistently and played college-level sports, I was never satisfied with my weight, and perpetually on a diet.

While I was a busy school teacher in the 1990s, I’d usually have a cup of coffee for breakfast and a bag of jelly beans and a box of Lemon Heads for lunch. And I couldn’t figure out why I was often tired and cranky!! I thought these foods were okay, because they were fat free. Ugh. Now I know that this eating pattern ultimately led to a tremendous addiction to sugar and refined carbs that took many years to kick.

After a few years of full-time teaching, I was exhausted! I loved my job but it was starting to wear me down. I was tired most of the time and my blood sugar was so unstable that I would often get “the shakes”. I’d stabilize my blood sugar by eating dried fruit, juice, or bread. It worked temporarily, but didn’t get to the root of the problem.

I vividly remember one evening during my spring vacation, my best friend suggested we go out for a drink. I really wanted to see her and catch up, but I was exhausted (even thought it was my vacation and I wasn’t even working!) and had to drag my self out to meet her. She had just come from a yoga class and was vibrant, energetic, flushed and happy. The contrast between my friend and how I felt and looked was alarming, and ultimately was my “wake-up call”. The very next day I went to my first yoga class.

Yoga literally turned my world upside down!
If you practice yoga, then you know what I mean. Yoga is so much more than exercise. Not only did yoga strengthen and tone my body, it also opened my heart and mind to new ways of thinking and viewing the world.

I was so profoundly impacted by yoga that I got certified to teach. I’ve been teaching yoga since 1999, have studied with some of the world’s top teachers, and hold several certifications. As I got deeper into the practice, the connection between the food I ate and my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self was revealed. My life and my diet began to evolve. There were the vegetarian years, the vegan year, and eventually the shift to a kosher diet. Along the way, I began to see the importance of eating organic, whole foods and reducing refined carbohydrates, sugar and stimulants. As I began to eat more whole grains, veggies and healthy protein, some less healthful foods dropped away naturally. Other things, like sugar and coffee, were more tenacious and continue to challenge me to this day! Learning to cook was a natural next step, both as a part of married life and a desire to take charge of my own nourishment. I began to devour cookbooks (not literally!) and learn from the pros.

Because our bodies and lives are always changing, the foods that nourish us best at any given time change as well. The birth of our first child came with a crash course in food allergies and food sensitivities, and I continued to learn and incorporate this new knowledge into my expanding repertoire. As our family grew and I was exposed to more young children and new parents, I saw that many people were struggling to feed their families. We all had questions like: What is the best food for our children? What should a new mom eat to nourish her growing baby? To lose the pregnancy weight? To maintain her sanity? How do we find time to shop, prepare and eat healthy meals? As I tackled these questions, I found myself organically sharing my experience and knowledge with others.

In 2006, I received my training and certification to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. IIN is the only nutrition school in the world that integrates all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies (such as macrobiotics and Ayurveda) with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. For more information about my education, please go to

The services I offer through Wellness From Within are a culmination of many years of classroom study, informal learning, and personal experience. As a nutrition counselor and yoga teacher, I am here to support you to make the changes necessary to improve your health and quality of life.

Could one conversation change your life? Find out by scheduling a session me. We will discuss your unique situation in depth and determine how I can help you reach your personal goals.

To schedule your introductory call, or for more information, please contact me at: 054 204 4773 or

About Me: Experience and Training

Experience and Training:

Arlyn Boltax is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and has studied with many leaders in the field of holistic health and nutrition.

Arlyn is the founder and director of Wellness From Within, a private practice providing nutritional counseling and yoga. Wellness From Within (In Hebrew: Briut M’Bifnim) offers a variety of wellness programs, each designed to educate and empower people to improve their health and relationship to their bodies through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Arlyn specializes in working with women and in helping parents nourish their growing families. Additionally, Arlyn gives dynamic and informative lectures on nutrition topics.

Arlyn is also a Certified Yoga Teacher. She has been practicing yoga for over 15 years, and has been teaching since 1999. Arlyn is certified in Om Yoga (a dynamic, vinyasa-style yoga) and prenatal yoga, and for the past 8 years has been studying Anusara Yoga with John Friend and other top Anusara teachers. She currently holds the status of “Anusara Inspired Teacher”. She is trained in yoga therapy, and uses yoga to help people recover from both acute injuries and chronic structural misalignments. She has taught yoga in corporate, medical and educational settings, to students of all ages and abilities, and also teaches unique “Jewish Yoga” classes that blend the teachings of the two ancient traditions.

Prior to becoming a yoga teacher and a health counselor, Arlyn was an English and Social Studies teacher. Arlyn received her Master’s Degree in Education from Bank Street College, and has taught in a wide variety of progressive educational settings, both public and private. The organizational and teaching skills that she gleaned from her years as a teacher have proven invaluable in her work as a yoga teacher and health counselor.

Arlyn’s most effective and influential teachers are her family! Her husband and children (ages 9, 7, 5 and 2 1/2) are constantly informing her practice by challenging her to “walk her talk” and be present in every moment.