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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Kitchen Wisdom for Better Health


21 Tishrei, 5779

Today is HaShana Raba, and the anniversary of when I began to see in color years ago. I make a festive meal in the sukka to celebrate that miracle.

Tonight begins the fantastically festive Simkhat Torah holiday. It will close the Jewish New Year season on a high, happy note with robust singing, sweet prayers for the well being of the world at large and for the individuals seeking personal blessings from Above.

I want to share a message that I received earlier today, and my response to it. There is a multi-faceted reality to my recovery story. Many of the kitchen wisdom for better health strategies that I used have helped other people before and I after I used them:


Hi Yocheved,
I know that you have been through a lot with your health issues, and I believe you said that because of them you are careful with the materials you use regarding food. So I wanted to ask if you have a recommendation regarding what is best to use in terms of frying pans and pots and the like and preferably where to get them in Israel.

I don't want to use teflon coated products or similar materials but I've also seen articles complaining about some ceramic products as well as aluminum or copper makes... I feel a bit lost and stuck. It feels like you can't buy anything without there being a health issue. And I'd also like something that cooks food well and can be cleaned easily if possible.

So... I thought you may be able to point me in the right direction... Suggestions?


Cast iron (IKEA), lead-free porcelain 
and lead-free enamelware 
(quality shops such as L'Gaat B'Okhel. 
Try IKEA, too), Pyrex for fried and 
regular cooking (HaStock and Stock Max 
sell them affordably!). 

If you use  aluminum baking sheets, 
please line them with organic baking paper 
sold at Nitzat HaDuvdevan. 
Aluminum leaches into cooking foods 
and is a long-known culprit in promoting 

I find copper problematic but if you find some 
copper utensils bearing a legitimate 
certification of safety, use them. 

If you fry foods you'e automatically 
creating a chemical called acrylamide 
(please read

I HIGHLY recommend that you sprinkle turmeric 
into the food before it begins to cook. 
Turmeric is a known cancer preventer. 
You can try to strike a balance when preparing 
fried foods as a treat. I don't recommend eating 
fried foods more than once weekly, 
and minimizing that to maybe 5-6 times yearly.

I banned plastic from my kitchen. 
Storage containers are made of Pyrex, 
lead-free ceramic, or lead-free porcelain. 
Cutting boards are made of wood which I oil for 
long-lasting integrity. DO NOT bake in 
synthetic silicon bake ware. Your cakes 
will leave their oiled porcelain enamel pans 
just fine. Paper baking cups for muffins 
and cupcakes are wonderful, but make sure 
that you're using baking cups, 
not decorative paper cups 
which will be absorbed into the 
batter and hard to peel away later.

Please do me and yourself a favor: 
Need to know how to cope with YOUR medical challenge? 

All the best,

Yocheved Golani, Content provider and editor
Mental Health columnist

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Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.

Fill your life with things to improve inner and outer health.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

How to Keep YOUR Medical Records in Order for Optimal Care


18 Tishrei, 5779

Whew I've had a busy day. I needed a bit of a rest to recover from yesterday's fun in the hot sun with friends (we'd gone to an annual music, food, and fun festival). I also needed to meet some journalism deadlines. A rest, write, relax, write some more routine filled my morning.

Now I'm addressing you. One of the many features in the 
EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge book is the chapter on how to organize your medical life, paperwork included. Here's an example of why such organization techniques are necessary. A very tired, very worried doctor wrote about the problem in...

Fragmented medical records 
are causing a lot of unneeded 
duplicate procedures, medical errors, 
and other problems, 
Ilana Yurkiewicz, MD, writes. (Undark)

Back to this blog and your need to keep paperwork in order: Learn how to easily acquire a complete copy of your medical records from every doctor or rehabilitation facility that worked on you. Read the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge. Buy it TODAY!

Keep your medical records in order so that medical professionals can understand what you've been through. Help them to provide optimal care, not services or medications that you don't need.

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.

Fill your time with purpose.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

So MUCH to Consider!


17 Tishrei, 5779

It's been a lovely Sukkot holiday so far. I have enjoyed time at the synagogue and in the sukka, praying for genuine peace. Sadly, though, many of us Israelis smell smoke from the arson attacks accomplished with balloons and other incendiary devices burning our crops, parks, and other parts of the holy land

Meanwhile, people are outdoors enjoying what they can at this harvest festival time when we remember the arduous trek from Egyptian slavery to freedom in Israel. Our fragile hold on life depends on the blessings of the One Above.

While we share festive fun and food, though, some celebrants wonder why there is an absence of organic etrogim, those aromatic citrons that we use for the Sukkot holiday. A significantly large niche market exists for them. 

Perhaps next year I'll be able to report that the niche has been filled so that we can make jelly and candy from cooked organic etrogim/citrons. They are presently loaded with cancer-causing pesticides to enhance the unhampered growth of these fruits that are primarily sold once yearly, for prayerful rather than edible purposes.

Here's another health concern to think about. Please share it with your insurers and doctors and coax them to foster solutions to the problem:

"Why does our health insurance system not support patients who want to improve their health?"
There are several answers to the question. I hope that the doctor will address at least some of them in the future.

I see the insurance reimbursement system as more of a sick system then a health system. It promotes the status quo rather than health change.

There are so many things to consider.

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.

Fill your mind and efforts with solutions.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fun in and Out of the Sun!


14 Tishrei, 5779

September is the hardest month of the year, when Jewish college students struggle to help their professors to understand that "I understand that your class is valuable instruction time, but, hey, I need to miss the first three weeks of the new school year..." It's  dilemma that Jewish students worldwide must overcome as we commemorate our High Holidays/Jewish New Year season.

Now that I'm well into adulthood, I appreciate Sukka-building for the holiday of Sukkot all the more. It's a fun project that heralds the last week of the High Holiday Season while symbolizing so much meaningful spirituality. 

A sukka, by the way, symbolizes GOD's protection and constant blessings. A miniature mishkan (a portable temple - the first one was built in Shilo) that preceded the REAL temple aka Bet HaMikdash, it makes us long all the more for the THIRD and Final Temple that will serve everyone in the world (as did the first two!).

Here I am having fun and out of the sun with a few friends as we put our synagogue's sukka together this morning.

Yocheved Golani 


Yocheved Golani Considering the deep, mystical symbolism of Yocheved's ceiling decoration... Water drops for Simkhat bet haShoeva (a water celebration festival), a palm frond, a Don't Speak Lashon Hara sticker, symbols for Rosh HaShana, plus a tiny sefer Tehilim. And a mysteriously purple round thingy, too...


Yocheved Golani It was an adventure with ankle-piercing tips on palm fronds, sharp scissors snapping in the air, wood splinters in a few thumbs, and ladders taller than the cross beams. But the mighty team won the day and the mitzva of setting up a sukka without killing anyone in the process! 5779 we gotcha covered!


The holiday begins tonight and lasts 8 days (the first and last days are spent in synagogue). I'll probably tap at you again on Tuesday.

 Enjoy this classic song for Sukkot, "Shlomit Builds a Sukka of Peace."

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.

Fill your time with long-lasting fun. Feel better FAST!