The Best Healthy Mishloach Manot Idea Yet

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Healthy ideas for Mishloach Manot

Did you know that in the original tradition of mishloach manot people sent each other meals? No candy, no cutesy themes or environmentally harmful packaging. They just shared their meals with each other to increase the joy of Purim, forge new connections and strengthen existing ones.

There’s a lot of peer pressure surrounding mishloach manot, with women (especially) competing with each other to send the most impressive package. Each year, it seems like the mishloach manot people send are bigger, contain more junk food, cost more money and include more elaborate baked goods and fancier packaging. This causes undue stress, as we become obsessed with fitting in, being loved and being recognized for our expertise in the kitchen.

What if we could meet these needs in a healthier way – for our bodies and souls and for our friend’s bodies? It is possible to go back to basics and still send something which will be much appreciated by the recipients.

Here’s my idea: Time your mishloach manot to coincide with breakfast or lunch and send an appropriate, delicious and healthy meal. Purim morning is a busy time and many women can easily forget to sit down to a proper breakfast, so a well-timed tray of breakfast food can really hit the spot.

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9 Non Alcoholic Drinks You Can Enjoy Instead of Wine on Purim

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Non-alcoholic drinks for Purim

The Talmud (Megillah 7b) instructs people to drink until they can no longer differentiate between Haman and Mordechai. Whether that means getting a little tipsy or rip-roaring drunk is a matter of interpretation.

Drinking alcohol for women can be complicated. Some women drink on Purim and some women do not. If you don’t like alcoholic drinks, are uncomfortable with the idea of getting tipsy/drunk and losing your inhibitions or are just too busy with responsibilities on Purim, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday. Fun and delicious non-alcoholic drinks can just be just as satisfying and will add to the festivity of the holiday and make you smile. If you prefer a Purim feast where everyone remains relatively sober, ply your guests with non-alcoholic drinks so they limit their alcohol intake.

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Dear Jewish Food Hero: Why Do I Have to Do All The Work On Purim While My Husband Gets Drunk?

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Advice for wives on Jewish Purim

Dear Jewish Food Hero,

I feel guilty saying this, but I really don’t enjoy Purim. It’s supposed to be a fun, happy holiday, but it’s ruined every year by the fact that my husband gets drunk pretty early in the day and I get stuck with the all the responsibilities – sending out Mishloach Manot*, cooking for the meal, taking care of the kids, serving the meal, cleaning up, etc. And on top of all of that, I have to keep an eye on him, to make sure he doesn’t do anything dangerous. All the joy of the holiday is lost on me and I start dreading it around Tu B’Shvat!

How can I make Purim better this year? Do you have any tips for connecting to the essence of the holiday in spite of the situation?

From: Jewish woman looking for a Purim miracle

*Mishloach manot (Hebrew: משלוח מנות‎ literally, “sending of portions”; also called a Purim basket, are gifts of food or drink that are sent to family, friends and others on Purim day. The mitzvah of giving mishloach manot derives from the Book of Esther. It is meant to ensure that everyone has enough food for the Purim feast held later in the day, and to increase love and friendship among Jews and their neighbors.

Dear Jewish woman looking for a Purim miracle:

It is no wonder that you are not enjoying your Purim experience. It sounds like you are alone taking care of your children and all the holiday responsibilities while your husband is drinking.

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How To Order Healthier Foods In Restaurants

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Healthier Ways to Eat Out in Restaurants

When I eat out I want to enjoy the social experience, the restaurant ambiance and the food. I also want to feel good in my body afterwards.

Sadly, restaurant food often includes more fat (oils, butter, margarine) in cooking and in sauces and dressings and does not include enough minimally processed vegetables, fruits and starches (rice, potato,sweet potato, etc).  Many people looking for healthier options resort to eating salads, which leave them feeling hungry and unsatisfied.

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Rabbi Kook’s Vision of a Jewish Vegetarian World

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Rabbi Kook's vision for a vegetarian world.

Many of us associate Shabbat and holidays with heavy meat meals, to the point where meat-eating almost seems like an integral part of the Jewish religion. But here’s something you may not know: about a hundred years ago, a leading rabbi wrote that eating meat was far from the Jewish ideal.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, a renowned scholar and the founder of a Zionist yeshiva in Jerusalem. In 1902-03, he published articles in which he declared vegetarianism to be the ideal Jewish way to eat.

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Interview with Fermentation Expert: Sandor Katz

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Sandor Katz is a food writer, a DIY food activist, and fermentation expert. Katz is the author of two renowned fermentation books: Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation. The latter received a James Beard award. He teaches fermentation workshops around the globe.

I got Sandor’s Katz book Wild Fermentation in 2008 and started making sauerkraut. Since then, fermenting food is part of my weekly kitchen routine.  For the past two years, I have been making vegan kimchi and eating it daily.

Enjoy this special interview!

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Dear Jewish Food Hero: How Can I Eat Healthier While Traveling?

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How to eat healthy while traveling

Dear Jewish Food Hero: How Can I Eat Healthier While Traveling?

I would like to eat healthier when I travel for work and holidays. When I travel now, I tend to snack on “treats” all day and end up feeling more hungry.  When I eat in restaurants, I try to order a salad so I eat vegetables but this never fills me up and it is expensive.  And after a while, salads don’t feel fun.

Emotionally, I judge myself about my meals not being healthy and wish I could figure out how to eat more vegetables and fruits. Can you suggest how I can have fun while eating healthier while traveling?

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The Healthiest Fruits to Eat on Tu B’Shvat

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Healthy fruits to eat

Tu B’Shvat has evolved through the ages and has been associated with agriculture, Israel and environmentalism. But no matter what the association of the holiday, the custom of eating fruit has endured.

Today, most people accept the idea that how we eat affects the environment. When we eat correctly, we don’t overburden the environment. When we avoid or reduce dairy and meat consumption, we use fewer environmental resources to produce our food. Eating only what we need leaves more natural foods for others in the world and for the future. Tu B’Shvat is a good time to remind ourselves of this message.

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Interview with Ultra-Orthodox Environmental Activist: Naomi Elbinger

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Ultra-Orthodox with Environmental Activist: Naomi Elbinger

Naomi is a big part of Leshomra, an innovative Israeli non-profit spearheading a major positive shift in the Ultra-Orthodox (Charedi) community’s relationship with nature and the environment. She is also the CEO of Yes Potential, a company that builds websites. She lives in Israel and has been known to quote Dr. Suess excessively.

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