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Chanukah…The Festival of Lights

December 21, 2011

Happy Chanukah!

Chanukah means DEDICATION in Hebrew — the holiday pays tribute to the dedication of a group of Jews who believed fervently in their right to religious freedom.  Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” Chanukah celebrates the miracle that occurred when the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple.  The sanctuary was torn apart by the Greco-Syrian forces.  The fighters found only enough oil to light a lantern for one day.  But the lantern blazed for eight full days.

As we celebrate this special holiday season, we should be mindful of the important things in our own lives that we are dedicated to.  One important issue that we all should be dedicated to is our own health and well-being.  As the strength of the oil kept the candles lit for eight full days, keep the strength in your own heart to be committed to improving your own health.  It may not be a magical quick fix, but with enough dedication and spirit, each and every one of us can achieve all of our goals.

Here are some “Magical” Steps to Weight Management for you to keep in mind when temptations may come your way.

Think Positive!

√Believe that the magic is within the individual, not a fad diet or pill.  YOU CAN DO IT!

Have the Right Strategies

√Eat only when you are hungry.  Smaller, more frequent meals are better than one or two large ones, if you are trying to lose weight.       

√Avoid fad diets-follow a healthy lifestyle.

√Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

√Eat a healthy breakfast every day.

√Exercise for at least 30 minutes most days a week.

√Make whole grains, fruits and vegetables the base of your menus.

Use Social and Environmental Control

√Find a buddy or a group of friends who will commit themselves to change in lifestyle.

√Keep the right foods like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nonfat dairy foods and lean meats on hand.

√Plan meals and make a shopping list so you eat more meals at home.

√Pick restaurants that offer a variety of healthy menu items such as vegetables, soups and salads.

Here is a great idea for turning an old favorite into a healthy festive option to enjoy this Chanukah season:

Potato Latkes

 Serves: 8


4 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and coarsely shredded

1 medium onion, coarsely grated

4 scallions, chopped

2 egg whites, beaten

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil



1. In a large bowl mix potatoes with the onion.

2. Wrap mixture in paper towels and squeeze out all liquid over large measuring

     cup. Potato starch will settle to bottom of measuring cup.  Slowly pour off and

     discard liquid in measuring cup, reserving potato starch.

3. In large bowl, combine potato mixture, scallions, egg whites, flour, salt, pepper

     and reserved potato starch.

4. Coat non-stick 12 inch skillet with olive oil and non-stick spray and heat over

     medium-high heat.

5. With hands, press together about 2 tablespoons potato mixture; place in skillet

     and flatten with wide metal spatula.  Repeat with remaining potato mixture.

6. Cook pancakes about 8 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. 

     Reduce heat if pancakes are browning too quickly. 


Serving Size: 2 latkes

One Comment leave one →
  1. Liora permalink
    January 2, 2012 12:02 am

    These latkes were AMAZING. My family requested that I make them all year round, because I introduced them as “Chanukah Latkes”. I think that I will make it all year round, but of course in moderation!

    Are you going to be coming out with a new cookbook anytime soon? The recipes that you give on this blog are fantastic!

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