The Yom Kippur Diet Plan

Yom Kippur Diet.jpeg

So Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar is a 25-hour day of repentance, prayer, and fasting. 


This last Yom Kippur, someone mentioned to me that some people take the idea of fasting and apply it to dieting during the year by doing a 3-day fasting. 


Uh, that sounds pretty severe and maybe even a little dangerous. 


But it got me thinking that on Yom Kippur we fast for a day and then eat a meal, so why not do that daily for dieting. 


Just subsist on one main meal a day–basically limiting intake of food to a few hours in the evening. 


This made sense to me as a moderate way that I could stay focused and disciplined without any food for about 20 hours at a time, but still give myself something to look forward to with a proper, natural dinner–almost like a natural give and take that I believe I could live with (at least for a good while). 


I thought let me give this a try!


And I did. 


First without drinking or eating. 


Then I rethought this after a few days and getting parched, and said just drink zero-calorie drinks, but no food or caloric intake during the day until the meal at the end of the day. 


And I’ve been doing this now since Yom Kippur 2 weeks ago. 


I have actually lost almost 10 pounds in that time and feel great. 


It hasn’t been hard–except for one day when the synagogue had a mega Bar Mitzvah kiddish/luncheon and I sat there and didn’t have a thing!


But otherwise, I go to work and all my activities, including working out–sometimes twice a day–and without any food.


It seems to be working. 


While previously, I stayed completely off any carbs, and still gained weight–now, I allow myself to eat everything (kosher) at dinner and am losing!


I wonder if I am on to something with this new “Yom Kippur Diet.”


I pray to Hashem that I’ve discovered something good and healthy here and am committed to seeing it through. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Advertisements

There Is Always A Bigger Fish

Fish.jpeg

So as we are about to enter Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year…


I want to share a very important lesson that I came across again this year. 


The lesson is:

No matter how big a fish you think you are, there is ALWAYS a bigger fish out there.


You may have position, title, money, status, and all the trimmings, but someone with more of this and that and the other thing (and overall power) can come along at any time–at G-d’s decree–and swallow you right up.  


I connect this to the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah when it is customary to go and cast bread (symbolic for our sins) into a natural body of water, so the fish can eat them up–and in a spiritual sense we throw away our sins and cleanse ourselves of our wrongdoings over the last year–let the fish have them. 


And like the fish eating our sins, I think another more powerful person can come and swallow us up and even spit us out (like Jonah and the Whale)–we are all fallible and mortal. 


We are made from dust and we go to dust, and my dad would joke to clean up the mounds of dust under my bed!


As we enter the New Year, may Hashem have mercy on us and bless us, and may we have peace, health, and prosperity, and may we be written in the Book of Life.


Oh yeah, and may no fish big or small come against us to cause us distress or harm–G-d is the Almighty Protector–Amen! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wide Load @McDonald’s

Wide Load.jpeg

I took this photo passing a McDonald’s. 


It just seemed so perfect.


With this SUV parked right between the McDonald’s arches.


And on the SUV are two red warning flags sticking out from the sides with a sign on top that says: 

“Wide Load” 

And in the McDonald’s window is a smiley face and a $2.99 Happy Meal special. 


With the “fast food” unhealthy eating culture that McDonald’s has so long represented, what is there really to smile about except the cheap fixings. 


If you eat at McDonald’s too much or too long then like Morgan Spurlock in the documentary “Super Size Me,” who ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days and gained almost 25 pounds and felt crappy…unfortunately the sign “Wide Load” may be descriptive of what can happen.   


This isn’t a dig at McDonald’s per se (there are many fast food joints and things that we know aren’t necessarily good for us)…moderation in life is really key. 


Healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, work-life balance, and generally taking good care of yourself is not just a nice to have, but important to our well-being.


Genetics aside, it’s the “Battle of the Bulge,” and it’s a lifelong pursuit to be healthy 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Faces of The Metro and The Times

Metro1.JPEGMetro2.JPEGMetro3.jpEgMetro4.JPEG

Do these people look happy and fulfilled or are they looking more vacant, exhausted, and miserable to you?


Is it the Metro? 

Is it Washington, D.C.? 

Is it their work? 

Is it family issues? 

Is it the economy?

Is it health problems?


For a superpower country with supposed incredible wealth, might, and freedom to enjoy it all–what the heck is going on.


Should we blame the politics and fighting? 

Should we blame the fake news optics?

Should we blame our gnawing adversaries (Axis of Evil Russia, Iran, North Korea…)?

Should we blame materialism and consumerism (and a corresponding lack of spirituality and values in our lives)? 


We have the greatest advances in history–revolutionizing energy, transportation, healthcare, communications, and more–so much to advance our well-being, to savor, and seemingly endless more to come. 


Why aren’t people smiling?

Why aren’t people jumping for joy more? 

Why aren’t people even awake with eyes open to enjoy the life’s journey?


There should be great hope in the future–with fruitful life there is hope and with hope there is excitement and joy–but without hope all is meaningless and lost.  


What is going on out there–psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, clergy?


We are trying to do everything right.


So where are we going wrong-wrong-wrong? 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

I Met The Swamp And It Is Us

Swamp.jpeg

So with the election came promises (and hope to some) to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. and beyond. 


That means redefining the size, scope, and purpose of federal government.


It also means reducing regulations that stifle American business and competitive advantage, placing restrictions on lobbying, and imposing term limits on Congress.


Presumably, it also means addressing mounds of fraud, waste and abuse in the system (many examples of each are out there).  


So here is a funny true story from when I was traveling recently…


A gentleman is riding with me in the elevator and he turns to me to make chit-chat. 


He says, “Good morning. Where you from?”


I smile and respond, “Washington, D.C.,” and add proudly, “the nation’s capital!”


He then asks, “What do you do there?”


Feeling a little perky that morning and with the elevator ride about to come to a stop at the lobby, I quickly blurt out, “Oh, cleaning up the swamp.”


To which, the man responds with the sarcasm galore and probably a good dose of disdain, “Yeah right!” 


There was something so comical about this scene in which I sort of baited this guy and at the same time found the reaction that is all too likely throughout America.


Do people believe and are they committed that we really do the following:


– Change the status quo of big stumbling government


– Right the wrongs done by those who take advantage of the system, its power and big money


– Restrain the ginormous national debt that threatens to consume all of us


– Fairly and compassionately address the nation’s priorities including those for national security, prosperity, and well-being


– Drain the swamp from the horrendous creatures that dwell and thrive therein


And the capital is not built on a preexisting swamp, but it did come and grow, man-made, dark and deep, as a result of the greed and fear that drives too many, far too far. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When Life Has Meaning

Meaning.jpeg

What makes meaning in life?


Faith.


Family.


Friends.


Love.


Giving.


Integrity. 


Purpose.


Learning. 


Growth.


Struggle. 


Hope.


Meaning is crucial to personal happiness and wellbeing. 


Without meaning there is worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness.


Seek meaning to prolong your life and make it a life truly worth living. 😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Respect The Disabled

Respect For The Disabled.jpeg

So coming home tonight on the Metro train… 


People were switching trains in downtown D.C. 


Getting off from one train and going up the escalator to catch another. 


Every night people literally race up the escalator to catch their next ride. 


Some pushing their way on past the laggards. 


Others yelling for the people in front to “move it!”


Tonight, there was someone riding up the escalator on a wheelchair and holding unto to both sides to keep the chair from tipping over or literally rolling down backwards. 


(Usually the people in wheelchairs take the elevator and this was the first time I saw someone on the escalator riding it like this.)


So while I was expecting the people to start acting up on the escalator, running for the train on the platform.  


Instead, when they got to the wheelchair, they stopped and silently rode up with deep respect for the person holding himself steady.


There wasn’t a peep or a shove. 


I could see people missing their train, but they were thankful for their health and respectful of the man in the wheelchair. 


Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised and proud that there is still some human decency out there and that is cause for hope. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)