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Food for the Soul: Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating Paperback – May 20, 2008
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"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
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
The book contains menus in chapter seventeen that begins on page 179 and continues for over a hundred pages through page 302. These recipes are supplemented with a recipe index for items such as indexes for soups, breakfasts, lunches, suppers, salads, vegetables, and what to eat on various holidays. Rubin also includes twenty tables on subjects such as: how to burn 150 calories, comparing the calories of juices and fruits, what’s in an 8-ounce cup of milk, and sources of unwanted sugars. Her book includes valuable advice, such as the following:
• Leave the table before you are full because it takes twenty minutes after eating until a person feels that his or her stomach is full.
• How to decipher food labels.
• What are nutritional facts?
• What are good fats?
• “Cholesterol free” does not mean “fat free.”
• What happens when you eat a bagel?
• Try to eat fish twice a week.
• Men can drink two drinks a day but women only one.
• And much much more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have not yet finished reading Food for the Soul, however, what I have read thus far is very interesting and thought-provoking. Read morePublished on August 12, 2012 by Chef Idalee
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. Read morePublished on April 6, 2010 by Emily Segal
The book with its subtitle: "Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating," should
be kept readily accessible. Read more
A satisfying addition to the sub-genre of culturally oriented nutrition texts. Well researched and written sound nutritional advice and dozens of recipes. Read morePublished on September 2, 2009 by Barney Dannelke
I loved this so-much-more-than-a-cookbook book. The author gives out sound and reasonable advice on nutrition and manages to make it extremely interesting! Read morePublished on August 9, 2009 by CherylsPearls
Although not Jewish, I found this cookbook to be interesting and educational in covering many aspects of health and nutrition. Read morePublished on August 6, 2008 by Healthy Living
Chana Rubin presents sound nutritional information in an easily-read format. She does not overwhelm the reader with too much information at one time. Read morePublished on July 23, 2008 by Deborah Mendeloff, MS