Author: Shira Isenberg

Living the Sweet Life

Q: I’m a sugar addict, and I especially love those caramel sufganiyot around Chanukah time; I look forward to them all year. But as I’m getting older, I’m more worried about what I’m doing to my body. Is sugar really as evil as all the health nuts make it...

Weighing In on Obesity in the Frum Community

Can We Create a More Health-Oriented and Less Food-Centric Culture? Q: Does being frum put one at greater risk of obesity? A: When it comes to religion and health, there’s an odd paradox. Religion tends to be somewhat protective of health, except when it comes to weight. People who...

Getting the Nutrients You Need

Q: As someone who follows a kosher diet, I want to know, are there any vitamins and minerals that I should take? A: There is nothing inherent in a Torah lifestyle that would preclude following a healthy diet. In fact, since we’re commanded to take care of our bodies,...

Shabbat Menu Makeover

How you can have an elegant and delicious Shabbat meal without sacrificing your waistline Q: How can I make healthier choices on Shabbat without feeling like I’m eating “diet foods”? A: As Orthodox Jews in the twenty-first century, we’re interested in following a healthy diet, but frequently our typical...

Conquering Potato Fatigue

Q: I’m so tired of potatoes for every side dish on Pesach. What are other options if I don’t eat gebrokts? A: As a self-professed potato lover, I feel that a meal is just not complete without potatoes. But I know not everyone enjoys these tubers to such an...

Is Pesach Cleaning Hazardous to Your Health?

Q: My asthmatic husband constantly complains about the “poisonous” sprays and cleaning products I use to clean our home. Do they really pose a danger? A: This question is especially pertinent now, when a bottle of bleach becomes our constant companion as we get down and dirty in the...

Get Lunch in the Bag

As back-to-school season is upon us, parents are once again dreading the grating task of packing lunch for their kids. In recent years, many day schools and yeshivot have wisely begun to focus on nutrition to combat the pediatric obesity epidemic and improve our children’s health, but the new...

Making a Vacation Game Plan

Q: While I’m glad I get to vacation during the summer months, it really throws my diet off-track. How can I have fun without regretting it later? A: You’ve worked hard and earned a vacation, and you want to enjoy it. At the same time, you’ve worked hard to...

Drink to Your. . . Health?

Q: With conflicting information about alcohol—it’s healthy, it’s harmful—I’m nervous about drinking the arba kosot on Seder night. Can you clarify whether it’s safe to drink and tell me how much is too much? A:  It’s no wonder you’re confused—alcohol really is a double-edged sword. Alcohol has been used...

Taking Chanukah to Heart

Q: In light of all the oily food I’ll be consuming over Chanukah, can you explain how oils can be healthy if they contain so much fat? A: Ah, Chanukah, the Festival of Oil—I mean, Light. Because oil and light are intertwined in this holiday, many of us feel...