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Menu-planning for the holidays has quickly become the transcontinental operation it was always destined to turn into. Group chats chart recipe swapping between family members around the world as soon as back-to-school season starts. This makes way for color-coded spreadsheets which lead to shopping lists planned out based on potential routes through the grocery store. May God help you if you get in the way of a Jewish mother menu-planning for the high holidays. Four-course meals have become the new norm and when you add up every meal for every holiday, the amount of food is simply staggering.
While we have finally started to acknowledge the pressure that comes from planning, shopping for, and cooking so many meals, the pressure to eat such a large amount of food remains. We have barely digested one four-course meal before we start setting the table for the next one. The beauty of breaking bread together and taking part in longstanding religious traditions over laughter and clinking glasses almost disappears beneath the pressure to live up to these impossible standards.
Rethink Your Approach
This is why we recommend rethinking your approach to food this yom tov season. Consider a more balanced technique for menu planning that allows you and your family to avoid such intense ups and downs with overeating and then feeling the need to restrict to make up for it. Make a concerted effort to create a menu that provides enough protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients but try and avoid the pressure to over-prepare. It’s reasonable to expect that your guests will leave the table comfortably full and satisfied without having to undo a few notches on their belts.
1. Take your entire yom tov schedule into account
Have you ever prepared a full four-course meal complete with place cards and swan-shaped napkins only to have your husband and kids come home full from eating at the shul Kiddush? Take your entire yom tov schedule into account when planning your meals and don’t over-prepare for days when there will be a two-course meal complete with pickled herring and a meat cholent at shul.
2. Scale down your courses
Consider choosing just a fish or soup course instead of both. You won’t take away from the beauty of the holiday by scaling back. You can also divide one salad up into smaller containers to be placed along the table to give the illusion of more food without doubling the number of recipes you’re making.
3. Plan with a theme
Consider choosing a theme and creating dishes around that cuisine for every meal. This helps you create a more limited menu without serving the same food over and over again. Try meatballs in a crockpot and freshly made pasta. Consider a Mexican theme that includes build-your-own tacos and margaritas for the grownups. Have fun with your yom tov meals and feel comfortable breaking out of the regular mold!
4. Eliminate waste and post-holiday leftovers
After the holidays end, the last thing anyone wants to look at is another piece of chicken. Make the last meal of the holiday a leftover medley. This way no food goes to waste and you won’t be stuck eating brisket out of a Tupperware at the office the following week. It’s also one less meal to worry about planning!
By shifting your mindset and saying no to all the usual holiday pressure you can ensure a smoother and less stressful yom tov season for all!
This article was originally published in Issue 436 of Whisk by Ami Magazine
By: Miriam Herst
There are countless testimonials around the internet recounting the magic of CBD. With claims that it can cure anxiety, chronic pain, arthritis, and epilepsy among many other ailments and diseases, it’s no surprise that CBD has gone from taboo to mainstream as quickly as it has. As recently as ten years ago it was hard to track down CBD. Now it seems like you can find it almost anywhere. There are no shortages of CBD-infused products; gummy bears, artisanal desserts, craft beer, green smoothies, and even topical creams are all readily available. This begs the questions: is all the hype real?
First things first, what exactly is CBD?
“CBD is an acronym for cannabinoid,” says Menucha Belkin, founder of Moonlight Herbal, a company that features adaptogens and other all-natural herbal and mineral magic. “Cannabinoid is a compound found in the hemp and cannabis plants,” Belkin continues. “Cannabinoids are essentially a form of herbal adaptogens, and work with the bodies endocannabinoid system.
“Adaptogens work like a thermostat. They read when your adrenal response is too high or too low, and work with your body to help balance cortisol levels and keep stress and anxiety at bay, aiding in PMS-related mood balance and maintenance. CBD also has some serious anti-inflammatory elements, and therefore helps manage all kinds of pain, including period-related cramps.”
It’s important to note that CBD includes all of the physical sensations of cannabis without the psychoactive effects. This makes it ideal for pain management, muscle relaxation, and anxiety relief as it causes the body to balance those cortisol levels. Because it lowers cortisol levels and promotes homeostasis, Belkin mentions that taking CBD before a yoga or meditation class can aid in focus and awareness and help you unwind on multiple levels.
CBD has quickly started to be considered a cure-all with almost mystical healing properties. “CBD is an herbal remedy,” Belkin warns. “And like all other forms of both eastern and western medicine, CBD works differently for everyone and differently at different times. You can’t know how it can help you until you try it out yourself.”
As more and more people call the ethical standards and harmful qualities of the pharmaceutical industry into question, CBD is a worthy alternative to consider. “The THC and CBD industry seems to be brimming with uncertainty,” Belkin notes. “There’s so much we don’t yet know about these miraculous herbs. What we do know is that this potent plant extract has been shown to help people heal without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals. That alone is something wonderful and something worth exploring.”
It’s important to note how dietary restrictions (religious or otherwise) comes into play when considering CBD. There are many kosher and halal-certified CBD products on the market that have been grown and extracted in a completely supervised way! Additionally, we advise you to do the research on the latest laws and regulations in your country.
In short, while CBD is certainly no magic potion, there is science backing the positive effects so many people experience when taking CBD. And with so many forms of CBD easily accessible on the market, it’s easier than ever to try it for yourself.
This articles was originally published in Wrapt Magazine, September 11, 2019
By: Miriam Herst
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