5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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Are you like most health-minded people that make this mistake?

Healthy fuel for exercise

Step away from the sports drink!

As many of you know, I’m deep into my training for the Miami Marathon this coming January 24. I’m walking a half marathon to benefit Friendship Circle of Maryland, an organization that promotes friendship and inclusion for children with special needs. As I analyze what I eat and drink pre and post workouts, I know one thing: I’m not going to go the route of Powerade and Gatorade.

I’m going to give you a number of healthy exercise fuel tips over the next few months, leading up to the race. Today, we’re talking liquids and electrolyte hydration. When we truly physically exert ourselves we lose electrolytes our bodies need to function, such as salt and potassium. At extremes, when you’re doing something like running a marathon (not jogging 3 miles), it can be dangerous not to replace them.

Why Sports Drinks are not good for you

Contrary to popular advertisements, humans were not designed to require high fructose corn syrup and food coloring – with a side of electrolytes – to re-hydrate after physical activity. Some kids – and adults – are consuming these drinks on an almost daily basis. Yuck! Talk about negating all the good you’ve done through your physical activity… What if someone asked you to drink gasoline for your health? That’s what food coloring is made from.


As many of you know, I’ve been on a tear to eliminate food coloring from my family’s diet. I am 100% sure that my son needed an exorcism the last time he had too much food coloring. I’m going for almost zero digestion on the home front because, unfortunately, I cannot control what other people give my children. You would think in an era of life-threatening food allergies, people would stop giving other people’s children food without permission. Somehow, candy (without nuts) is considered a no-permission needed food and is still being used as a reward in and out of school. But I digress….

So that’s food coloring. On to high fructose corn syrup. Whether or not you believe that this substance is worse than sugar or responsible for the increase in obesity in the United States, I think it’s common sense to limit our consumption.

Now that you know traditional sports drinks are a bad idea, what are some good alternatives?

Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Coconut water: Naturally contains electrolytes, and slightly sweet without added sugar or corn syrup


Tart Cherry Juice: Good for inflammation and muscle recovery


Beet Juice: Good for blood flow and optimal muscle performance


A friend of mine said that she makes a natural sports drink using tart cherry juice and salt. I’m not sure if she adds coconut water or not. I think I’ll try this and add a scoop of the dehydrated coconut water powder*

Product Details

I bought to throw into green smoothies. I’ve also taken to adding chia seeds to my green smoothies. The effect is like a bubble tea smoothie with healthy fats and protein. In fact, there is a new “gel” for extended physical exertion, made from chia seeds.

Chia Seeds in a glass 3

(Sports gels will be a topic for another blog post). There are also new products made from very concentrated beet juice so you can ingest one or two liters per day, without actually drinking that much beet juice.

Have a great, physically active, hydrated day!


*This link will take you to my new Amazon store (look under Your New Pantry Essentials).  For a direct (affiliate) link to the product on Amazon, click on the picture of the coconut water powder. I wanted to make it easier for you to find all of my recommended products in one place. I will earn a small commission if you purchase products through my store. I didn’t want to set anything up like that for a long time because I’m a journalist, not a blogger (bloggers typically make money from referral commissions). However, in my efforts to make things more convenient for my community, the natural set up happens to give me a commission, so I’m just going to take it. I hope you don’t mind!



Ready? Set? Schedule!

For my book launch event, I talked about how, as a community, we can transform each others lives. What if we didn’t have to feel guilty and disgusting after a Shabbat or yuntof (holiday) meal? What if we didn’t put our friends and family in the position of having to make difficult decisions at every meal? What if we didn’t feel like we were set up for failure at every meal? What if we could make hearty, healthy meals where our guests leave full, satisfied, and happy, instead of miserable and hating themselves? We have the power to do that.

I told the attendees that I’ve done that with the heartiest of 6 foot 3 meat eaters and you can too.

I’m eager to hear about how we can work together to support your community.
If you looking for a fundraising event that is also inspirational and educational and supports or transforms the health of your community members, talk to me today (even if you aren’t in the DC area).

Supporting your community in a commitment to a healthy lifestyle is priceless!

Are you a…

Raising money for a cause, organization or event?

Show your community you care about them at the same time you provide a fun bonding event with real value and healthy support – and raise needed funds with my easy fundraising formula/event plan.

Email me at to start a conversation about your goals and what would be best for your organization. I will then send you more details and my specific recommendations.

Example Workshops:

  • Healthy Cooking demo night
  • 10 tips, tricks and tools to make your kids enjoy eating their fruits and veggies
  • How to get dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less
  • Comprehensive Healthy Shabbaton
  • “Help! My kid is a vegetarian!”
  • Fun/healthy kitchen tools demonstration
  • Healthy Shabbat substitutions
  • Chinese Shabbat in an hour
  • 3 Steps to a Healthy Family and a Healthy You
  • 3 Secrets to Sanity in the Kitchen
  • Fruit Funshops
  • Green Smoothie workshops
  • Simple cooking for college students and new graduates (Everyday dinners, Healthy Snacks and Shabbat/Holidays)
I look forward to hearing from you!

For more options and information you can also go to my workshop page:

Yours in health,

HFHY Front Cover with dash Cookbook Front Cover



Looking for a Healthy Dinner in 10 minutes? Look no further!

For my second vegan Passover this past year, I was determined not to starve! :) - Not that I really starved the year before – I just didn’t have a lot of options. I googled “vegan passover” and what did I find?! This fabulous domain name is owned by Rena Reich, a vegan blogger in Israel (formerly of Texas). I loved her vegan Passover e-cookbook and we quickly became online “friends.” She recently asked me to guest blog for her and here is what we published this week!


Vegan Start

10 Minute Taco Bar

You come home from work or carpool or kids’ afterschool activities and have no idea what’s for dinner. Put down the box of pizza bagels! There is a different 10 minute family dinner that will give you lots of protein and veggies! It’s even quicker than ordering pizza! Here is your new go-to 10 minute dinner, with ingredients that are pretty easy to keep on hand, or use for something else if you never get around to making the tacos. We all need as much flexibility as we can, right?

2015-10-13 12.15.14

Get the recipe here!