Chag Notebook: Erica Cohen Lyons

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Chag Notebook: Erica Cohen Lyons

Erica Cohen Lyons is the founder and editor-in-chief of Asian Jewish Life as well as a freelance writer. When I first moved to Asia, an Israeli friend of mine immediately put me in contact with Erica and her wonderful magazine. This connection allowed me to start creating a regional Jewish community for myself, and who better to help support that aim than a woman like Erica who has made Hong Kong her home and whose mission is to create community. Let’s get to know Erica and learn from her.

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How Women Accommodate Others With Their Eating Habits

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How Women Accommodate Others With Their Eating Habits

Accommodation, n.

The act of making an adjustment to meet a need.

Accommodating, adj.

Fulfilling someone’s wishes or demands in a helpful way.

We women are SKILLED accommodators. We find out the dietary preferences of our guests before planning a meal. We offer people the more comfortable seat when dining out. We keep our eyes trained on other people’s plates or glasses, offering refills the moment they go empty.

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Challah as an Obligation: Incorporating Healthy Bread for Shabbat

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Challah as an Obligation: Incorporating Healthy Bread for Shabbat

Challah – it’s the iconic Jewish food served every Shabbat and on holidays that has somehow become representative of the Jewish experience.  It has an inspiring history, and its addition to the table is an experience we all love.

The bread is beautiful to look at–the braids, the color. When the smell of a freshly baked loaf hits your nose, it’s deeply comforting, and can trigger memories of different times and places in our lives.

We’ve shown immense creativity in updating Challah to modern diets (such as gluten free and vegan versions) and in varying the bread itself with different colors and toppings.

All the merits about Challah are true. And it is also true that eating Challah every week does not feel good in the body. Challah is a very rich food and heavy in our stomach.

Are we following a Jewish social script by continuing to serve it every week?

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Women and Self-Talk Series: Part Four, How Self-Talk Can Support You

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Women and Self-Talk Series: Part Four, How Self-Talk Can Support You

This is the final article in a four-part series on the Jewish Food Hero blog about supportive self-talk. (If you haven’t already, go back and read part one, part two, and part three.)

“Jon Blofeld poetically wrote that no matter our level of understanding, a mind fed on words such as heaven, earth, dew, essence, cinnabar, moonlight, stillness, jade, pearl, cedar, and winterplum is likely to have a serenity not to be found in a mind ringing with the vocabulary of the present age – computer, tractor, jumbo, jet, speedball, dollar, liquidation, napalm, overkill!” –Aaron Fisher, The Way of Tea: Reflections on a Life With Tea

This quote is the perfect example of how words powerfully affect the mind.

Words are important because they create your emotional landscape. How you talk to yourself creates your reality.

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Women and Self-Talk Series: Part Three, The Allure of Achievement

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The Allure of Achievement

This is part three in a four-part series on the Jewish Food Hero blog about supportive self-talk. (If you haven’t already, go back and read part one and part two first.)

In our community, there’s an overwhelming focus on achievement for all of us—men, women, and children. It’s a hallmark of our culture.

The dark underbelly of this desire is our self-talk about failure, never being good enough, and competing with others for the sake of needing to win. There’s an internal pressure that resides within us and never seems to be content with our efforts.

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Women and Self-Talk Series: Part Two, How Your Age Influences Your Self-Talk

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How Your Age Influences Your Self-Talk

This is part two in a four-part series on the Jewish Food Hero blog about supportive self-talk. (If you haven’t already, go back and read part one first.)

Last week we asked the question: “What’s going on in your life right now that may be contributing to your self-talk?”

I’ll answer part of the question with you: A lot of important things are going on in your life right now (and at every stage of your life, really).

Although, each of us feels unique (and we are) and alone with our emotions and thoughts, in reality each stage of life has its own set of themes that affect what we think about, how we feel, and how we talk to ourselves.

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Women and Self-Talk Series: Part One, What Is Self-Talk and How Can It Support You?

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What Is Self-Talk and How Can It Support You?

In listening to the stories you share with us at Jewish Food Hero, in my work counseling international women aid workers, and in my own life, a phenomenon I’ve noticed is that women are often much kinder to others than they are to themselves.

Does this sound familiar to you?

A large part of that tendency to be unkind to ourselves is the way we talk to ourselves. Yes, everyone talks to herself. No, that doesn’t make you crazy.

The truth is that every single day you’re talking to yourself—so why not make those conversations supportive?

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From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Vegan Cambodian Curry

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Vegan Cambodian Curry

Where you live deeply impact how you think, dress, and feel, how you relate to others, and especially, how you eat. Every place around the world where I have lived have shaped all these things for me in both subtle and overt ways.

When I first moved to Cambodia, I had no interest in curry. It always seemed to be meat in the curry dishes I came across (so it wasn’t an option for me).

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A Vision for a Better Food Future: Community Responses

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A Vision for a Better Food Future: Community Responses

When I first started dreaming about starting Jewish Food Hero in 2014, I felt an urgency to support the Jewish community in eating healthier food and a desire to be part of the solution in working toward food justice for people worldwide.

Food justice is defined in a variety of ways, depending on who you talk to. The definition I resonate with most is from the nonprofit Just Food which describes food justice as:

“… Communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment.”

It feels as if there’s a shift right now with people starting to deal with this global problem of food and hunger. People are taking food justice on as their life’s work, offering their communities healthy alternatives and supporting sustainable agriculture.

I’m fascinated by purpose-driven people who are working to make a difference in the world. This post showcases the responses from a diverse group of people in a variety of locations and life phases about their food justice work.

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