Keepin’ it Kosher

I come from a multicultural background: my mother was raised Irish Catholic and my father Jewish. Because I wasn’t fond of the term “religious mutt,” I coined the phrase Jewrish and it suits me just fine. My sisters and I weren’t raised to follow either of these religions, but were taught to treat others with respect. Simple enough, right?

About ten years ago, my older sister found her calling within the Christian faith. While I was less than thrilled at first – mainly due to my own lack of understanding – over the past few year,s she and I have reached a balance when we talk about faith. She has started a blog where she writes about being a Christian, a wife, and a mother and I look forward to learning more about this aspect of her life. More recently, I have begun my own pilgrimage of our Jewish heritage.

At the end of 2011, I attended my first Shabbat services. I was uncomfortable at first, but I’ve been fortunate to reconnect with several friends from college who were more than happy to have me tag along to services. I was very excited to attend my first Shabbat dinner in January of 2012, and most recently, this past Friday, the Friday before Passover.

I have enjoyed the hospitality of my hosts, the conversation with the other attendees, and the new friendships that are developing. I was very blessed when I casually asked a few new friends, “so…what are you doing for Passover,” and all were more than happy to extend invitation to their celebrations…though, no one could understand why someone would WANT to join THEIR family. I should note: I have only attended one other Passover dinner in my life. I was 15 and no one told me we were only supposed to sip the win with prayer. My older sister was quite embarrassed when she picked me up later. I believe her exact words were “who gets drunk at Passover?” Yeah…this girl!

So far I have only found one minor challenge along this spiritual journey…the food! There is always so much of it and rarely is it “on program!” That is why I love my friend, Dr. Andersen. He always makes sure that our clients and friends know how to enjoy their holiday celebrations and maintain their healthy lifestyles, whatever might be on the menu. Below is a recent blog from a fellow health coach who has graciously taken the time to help keep Passover dinner meaningful and healthy. Enjoy!

By: Shari Marks

With Passover quickly approaching we have asked Shari Marks, mother of 6 and wife of Rabi, who has also lost 50 pounds on TSFL and Certified Health Coach to be our guest blogger and give us some tips for staying healthy through the holidays. ~ Dr. A.

Dear TSFL friends,

As we gear up preparing for Passover here, I am getting many questions regarding what to eat over the holidays.

One coach/client I know eats lean & green all day. You can still make Cauliflower pizza for lunch etc, Tuna patties (mix lil cottage cheese etc), salmon patties, fish, egg white omelets, celery sticks & she & her husband have actually lost weight over Passover.

You may choose to follow the Maintenance Plan for Pesach. Basically it involves eating 100 calories or so of protein every 2-3 hours. With a little more protein for lunch & dinner. See details below. (Note: I would only use nuts an in between meals if you pre-pack them in little snack bags & ONLY if you are able to not be the type who grabs for more.)

However should you want to try to lose weight over the holidays, I would omit the fruit and stick with the protein & green vegetables…and take a nice walk every day.

Suggested plan I follow:

Breakfast: Egg white omelet with mushrooms, spinach & scallions (Yes I eat this every morning!)

Mid Morning: Plain Non Fat Yogurt with a Strawberry or two or cottage cheese. Sometimes I take an extra serving of egg whites along with me, or have hard boiled eggs without the yellow

Lunch: Fish, salads, green vegetables, or a small serving of pureed vegetable soup (any green soup)

Mid Afternoon: Small Piece of chicken, turkey, maybe some celery, cucumbers (If I’m hungrier I’ll eat more protein here & less later on)

Dinner: By this time I’m no longer really hungry Broth or light soups only, Small piece of chicken, meat, salad, vegetables

Other (Recipe)ideas for on the go:

  • stuff tuna fish into celery or green pepper
  • egg white salad
  • almond butter on celery
  • stuff mini peppers with chicken or white turkey chop meat or make chicken or turkey patties
  • stuff zucchini with meat or chicken.
  • stuffed cabbage with chicken or meat & use grated cooked cauliflower
  • feta stuffed eggplant, eggplant Pizza

This is the maintenance plan per Dr A’s book:

Here is the Pesach plan I got from the Chapter 8 Maintenance…as per Dr A’s advice..

  • Please note that there are new additions in the newer quick start guides such as a tablespoon of peanut butter and therefore I would imagine that one can substitute Almond butter on Pesach for this.
  • A number of people are concerned and have asked for guidelines as to what they can eat over Pesach. It will help you to enjoy Pesach without regretting overeating or eating the right type of foods. Eating smaller meals every three hours keeps your metabolism up & running in a healthy manner. The menu ideas below are not for weight loss but rather maintenance.

I have discussed this with the Medical Director of the program and he has directed me to this suggested guidelines as outlined below:

  • Breakfast Options: (300-400 calories)
    • Smoothie
    • Vegetable/fruit- strawberries/peaches (size of small paperback)
    • Starch: whole wheat matza
    • Protein: 1/2 cup milk
    • or Egg white omelet/veggies
  • Lunch (200 calories)
    • Vegetable /Fruit 1 cup salad with half tomato with oil & Vinegar
    • No starch
    • Protein: 5 oz fish
  • Dinner (400 calories)
    • Vegetable/Fruit
    • Starch: whole grain Matza
    • Protein: Choice of Chicken/Meat/Fish
  • Mid/Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Fueling Options: (appox 100 calories)
    • Either 1/2 cup cucumber, 6 celery sticks, 6 slices red pepper, 1/2 cup broccoli florets dipped into fat free, sugar free dressing
    • 3 oz mixed nuts
    • 1 serving string cheese
    • 1 oz matza cracker , 1 oz smoked salmon(like kiddush)
    • 10 almonds & celery stick
    • 12 cashews
    • 29 pistachios
    • 1/2 sliced apple& 3 walnuts
    • 1 medium apple
    • half small avocado
    • grilled portobello mushroom
    • Eggplant
    • 1 cup tomato & cucumber soup
    • 2 cups baby carrots
    • large dill pickle
    • 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 5 strawberries
    • 1 cup of cream of any soup(non starchy veg)
    • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
    • 3 celery sticks with almond butter
    • 3 oz yogurt
    • 12 almonds
    • non fat low fat yogurt
    • Healthy Vegetable Soup

Here is a recipe that you will LOVE, regardless of what kind of eating plan you are on! This is a pizza made with a cauliflower crust, and it is fantastic! It is healthy and full of veggies and protein. It is low carb AND it fits the standards for a Medifast Lean & Green dinner. Winner all around!

This pizza recipe is for year round, not just Pesach!(In the process of putting together an E-Kosher Medifast cookbook)

Cauliflower Pizza
Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower first, just until tender but not mushy. Drain and let it cool completely. Then use a ricer or a cheese grater to grate the cauliflower to make 1 measuring cup full (not packed).
Mix 1 c grated cauliflower with 1/4c Eggbeaters, 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2c shredded low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese. (You can use reduced fat; Spread this mixture on a cookie sheet that has been *generously* sprayed with Pam. (Even better, use parchment paper. The crust *will not stick* if you bake it on parchment!) Use a spatula and spread/pat it into a circle about 10″ or so around. Put this into a preheated 440 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until it is very nicely browned. The edges should look almost burnt.

Take the crust out of the oven (if you used parchment, slide it off and remove the paper at this point) and top with 3T of Chunks of tomatoes or your favorite no-sugar-added pizza sauce (Walden farms sauce). Then sprinkle with 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella. You can now add your favorite pizza toppings. If you want a Lean & Green meal you should add 1/4 c veggies… I used diced canned tomatoes. Otherwise, add whatever you like: turkey pepperoni, black olives, peppers, mushrooms, etc.

Put back into the oven under the broiler, watching carefully, just until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges. Enjoy!

It tastes as good as it looks!

And yes, you can pick up the pieces and eat them with your hands if you baked it long enough. I did! Or you can eat it with a fork. Either way, this is delicious. It totally satisfies my desire for pizza. Next time, I am adding mushrooms!

Another great idea!

Tuna/Salmon Patties:

I love tuna and have it at least once a week. I make tuna salad with tuna, diced scallions, celery, tomato, dill pickle….whatever I have on hand. To this I add 2 tbl. of low fat mayo

You could also try making tuna or salmon patties. I mix 1/4 – 1/3 cup of egg beaters to 6 oz tuna, then spices (garlic powder, onion, scallions, pepper, whatever sounds good). Instead of 1 patty, I make 4 or 5 small patties. They are easy to flip that way. Hope that helps.

Matza Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Amount per Serving
  • Calories 120
  • Calories from Fat 0.0
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 0g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 0mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 27g 9%
  • Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 3g 6%
  • Est.

Burn Off The Calories

You could burn off the 120 calories from this Matzo (matza, Matzah) in a variety of ways:


I'm just a girl, who wanted to change her life. Now, I help others identify their goals and live a healthy lifestyle. I would love to be able to help YOU!

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Posted in Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

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