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Food for the Soul: Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating Paperback – May 20, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Gefen Publishing House (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9652294063
  • ISBN-13: 978-9652294067
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,088,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Chana Rubin provides kosher and sound dietary advice in bite-size tasty nuggets. This book gives excellent science-based nutritional counsel in a way that improves your health while enriching your soul. I heartily recommend it." --Meir Stampfer, MD, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health<br /><br />Food for the Soul is a most welcome compilation of thoughtful nutrition, dietary information and epresentative recipes geared owards a Jewish lifestyle. Food for the Soul is not a cookbook per se, but rather a guidebook for adapting to a healthier lifestyle. Chana Rubin proves that Jewish food, based on eating foods that are tasty and good, can be healthy and delicious. --Gil Marks Author of the James Beard Award-Winning Olive Trees and Honey and The World of Jewish Cooking<br /><br />This book offers recipes for 100 relatively simple and very nutritious dishes - three of which I have already tried at home and which were very successful. Some of the entries are categorized as being suitable for Shabbat, a variety of holidays or vegetarians... It would be great if this book were studied diligently by the English-speaking women of observant Jewish households, who have the power to change the diets and lifestyles of their usually large families. --Judy Siegal-Itzkovich, World Jewish Digest, September 2008

"Chana Rubin's nutritional information is tailored to the needs and obligations of keeping kosher, observing Shabbat and holidays and Jewish cultural connections to food. This is about eating in moderation, with sensitivity, care, pleasure and kavanah, or thoughtfulness." -- Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week --Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week

Food for the Soul is a most welcome compilation of thoughtful nutrition, dietary information and epresentative recipes geared owards a Jewish lifestyle. Food for the Soul is not a cookbook per se, but rather a guidebook for adapting to a healthier lifestyle. Chana Rubin proves that Jewish food, based on eating foods that are tasty and good, can be healthy and delicious. --Gil Marks Author of the James Beard Award-Winning Olive Trees and Honey and The World of Jewish Cooking

About the Author

Chana Rubin, RD earned her degree in dietetics at Oregon State University. She has worked in dietetics at a Jewish nursing home, hospitals, schools, and as a consultant to physicians. She currently resides in Be'er Sheba, Israel, where she teaches nutrition, sensible eating, and healthy, tasty cooking.

More About the Author

I'm a registered dietitian and author of Food for the Soul - Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating. I studied at Oregon State University and Oregon Health and Science University and have taught nutrition and healthy cooking in the US and in Israel.

I've also taught pre-school, tutored Bar and Bat Mitzvah students and started The Kosher Connection, a gourmet gift business. I've worked as a dietitian in a Jewish nursing home, in hospitals and schools and as a consultant to physicians.

Since writing my book, I've been blogging about nutrition and healthy kosher eating at http://healthyjewisheating.com.



Customer Reviews

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Well researched and written sound nutritional advice and dozens of recipes.
Barney Dannelke
In her book, Food for the Soul: Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating she provides information and advice about nutrition and health from a Jewish Perspective.
Helen R. Feder
I particularly like the chart on healthy substitutes for trans-fat laden dairy substitutes.
Emily Segal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
The first part of this book, which is not exactly a cookbook, discusses food and the Jewish philosophy as related to eating. Then there is a long discussion of healthy diet (One of my non-Jewish friends out and out told me she thought traditional Jewish cuisine was probably one of the most unhealthy she'd ever run across. I thought about pot-roasted brisket or noodle kugel, laden with butter and eggs, and well, I didn't exactly jump up and protest.)

So who is this book directed to? I suppose it is aimed at anyone eating a glatt-kosher diet with traditional recipes from Bubbe (grandma) and who hasn't found a way to update these traditional foods.

Jewish cooking has kind of a split personality these days; the Eastern European foods come out of a diet of deprivation in a cold climate (or as a friend puts it, where cabbage boiled in duck fat is considered a green, leafy vegetable.) But more recently, Jewish cookbooks have added the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods and healthier foods of the Sephardic Jews, who eat chick peas, cous-cous, lentils, and more vegetables in general. The biggest culprits of fat-laden dishes may be pareve (non-meat or milk) and "milchig" or dairy-based dishes. When creating a menu, the foods are either meat-containing and neutral, or dairy-containing and neutral, which means no meat lasagna with cheese or pizza-with-pepperoni, by the way.

Some updated recipes in the back include Sephardic red lentil soup (rather like Turkish red lentil soup) and matzoh brei with asparagus (fried soaked flat cracker-like bread; matzoh can be used as a pasta substitute during Passover.) Also a matzoh lasagna. Hints are given on how to reduce fats and salt in traditional foods.

This is a thoughtful book, probably aimed at those who live in a community where traditional Kosher cooking rules supreme and where change must be weighed against a strong tradition going back for hundreds of years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen R. Feder on April 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Chana Rubin is a registered dietitian who has taught nutrition and healthy cooking in the US and in Israel. In her book, Food for the Soul: Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating she provides information and advice about nutrition and health from a Jewish Perspective. It begins with showing the connections between Jewish thought and traditions and the importance of taking care of our health and bodies. The book continues with chapters covering current thinking regarding healthful nutrition and practical approaches to changing and improving our behavior and food choices.

There are chapters on how to read food labels, sorting out good vs. bad fats, understanding carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, vegetables and more. In addition this book addresses some concerns that are uniquely Jewish such as healthier Shabbat and Festival meals. Each chapter ends with a short summary - "The Bottom Line" with the author's recommendations on how to move toward healthier eating. For example, at the end of the chapter on childhood obesity, Chana Rubin gives the following suggestions: Eat meals together as a family as often as possible; Be a role model by eating healthy foods and exercising; Encourage your child to be physically active; Serve child-sized portions and limit snacking. These are simple, practical changes that a family can make to reduce the likelihood of childhood obesity. This book is filled with sensible advice for improving our health.

Over 100 recipes are also included at the end of the book. I haven't tried any of these recipes yet but plan to test out the Rice and Lentil Pilaf after Passover and the Moroccan-style Carrot Salad and Healthy Whole-wheat Challah Recipes for a Shabbat later this month. The recipes look interesting and easy to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frieda Luxenberg on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've read over hundred nutrition related books over the years and Food for the Soul is one of the most succinct and inspiring. The recipes are clear and easy to understand and it contains a wealth of information on healthy and delicious foods. My copy is well worn and occupies a prominent spot on my kitchen shelf. Frieda Luxenberg
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By Chef Idalee on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not yet finished reading Food for the Soul, however, what I have read thus far is very interesting and thought-provoking. If this can help, I would like to invite Chana to our next years Kosher Chili Cook-off event in Dallas to promote her book. Nearly 5,000 people from the community as well as from all parts of the country and even Israel came to this event. We had 43 teams competing to make Chili. This would be fabulous exposure for her. You may contact me at chaichoc@sbcglobal.net.
Confectionately yours,
Chef Idalee
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Format: Paperback
As a Holistic Nutritionist and a cookbook collector, I must say that this simple, unassuming book will be one that I turn to most often in my healthy Jewish kitchen. Food for the Soul is a wonderful book, spot on with the latest nutrition data and advice, with totally sane suggestions for a balanced lifestyle of health and happiness AND a fabulous recipe section.

Chapter 1, called "Diet and Health: The Jewish Connection" gives inspiring textual sources for Judaism's view of healthy diet and lifestyle. You wouldn't know there was such a thing in our texts based on the dietary habits of most modern Jews, but from the Bible through Maimonides and the Mishnah, we Jews are commanded to mind the body as our temple.

The next chapter, "Jewish Women: Setting the Tone with Food" is chock full with wonderful advice for women charged with feeding and caring for the family. Ms. Rubin encourages her women readers to behave in a spiritual fashion with food and make time to nourish and care for themselves as well. Bravo! This is a beautiful section in my opinion.

The following chapters get into specific nutrition and exercise information. I particularly like the chart on healthy substitutes for trans-fat laden dairy substitutes. There is even a section supporting Vegetarianism from a Jewish perspective, although the main tone of the book is to use chicken, fish, eggs and dairy moderately while decreasing red meat and increasing plants, grains and legumes. I can fly with that.

Then there are the recipes. There are 108 recipes in the book. Only 6 of them are for chicken, 12 of them are fish, 48 of are vegetarian (some with vegan option), and a whopping 42 of them are vegan! (some do have honey, but that can be subbed).
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