107. Love Yourself, Love Your Food

Devorah Shulman is a Registered Nurse and Board Certified Nurse Coach. She has certificates in whole food plant based eating and functional nutrition and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman is a marriage coach for women in business. Together they will talk about overeating, binge-eating and whole food plant based diet.


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Welcome to the Connected For Real podcast. I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, a marriage coach for women in business. And my mission is to bring God’s presence into your life, into your marriage and into your business. Let’s get started.

And we are live. Welcome everyone to the Connected for Real podcast. I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman and today with me is Devorah Shulman and I am so excited because Devorah and I have met in person multiple times and it’s just such a pleasure to finally have you on my podcast. Today we are talking about food and you, the four pillars as you guys know.

Our God is at the core marriage and business have to work together and then you as the container for all that So I want to address you Specifically when it comes to food and how you can nourish yourself how you can you know work through all of the behind the scenes baggage and things that are affecting your relationship with food.

So, okay, Devorah. Introduce yourself and then we’re going to get on from there. Okay, so thank you, Bat-Chen, for the introduction. At least I don’t have to trudge, trudge through the, the pouring rain now to get to you. That was a story last year. I, my, my son had a baby, well, my son, my daughter in law, I should say, and I was in Israel and I arranged to meet Bachan and it was a very dry winter, but the exact week that I was there was the one week that it poured.

And it was probably the poorest day. I was soaked as could be. And I was. And I went to visit Bat-Chen, the bus wasn’t running. I almost got lost on the way. I don’t forget it. It was worth it. It was definitely, oh, it was worth it. Thank God, thank God. It was memorable. We’re never going to forget that.

It was a lot of fun. And also when I came to speak in New York, you came all the way. Which was really fun. Right. That was also fun as I’m walking through the streets with my phone guiding me where to go, . But that was also a lot of fun. Thank God. Okay, so okay, who you are. So who am I? I am a registered nurse.

And I am a coach and I specifically coach around overeating and binge eating and yo yo dieting. And my goal is to help women lose the shame and finally find peace with themselves. with others and also with God, because it’s all related. How did I come to this particular thing? Well, my story is that I struggled with food and eating way back since I’m a little girl.

One of my first memories was fighting with my mother because I wanted a piece of watermelon. We didn’t have any in the house and she only had cantaloupe and I was crying. I was fat as a kid and today, unfortunately, you see overweight kids. a lot. I’m sorry. We haven’t come up with a word to describe overweight.

That’s not offensive. So I hope I’m not offending anybody. That’s not intentional, but I will say describe myself as a fat kid and I was bullied and I hated it. So I went on my first diet when I was 10 years old and in summer in between fifth and sixth grade. And I look good and I remember going shopping with my aunt and buying these beautiful dresses.

Instead of being the big size, I was actually a normal size. And I couldn’t wait to show my mother. Well, why didn’t my mother take me? My mother was sick in the hospital. My mother never got to see those dresses. She never came out of the hospital. So there I was beginning sixth grade two days before sixth grade orientation.

I was at my mother’s funeral and which is a horrible thing for a kid. So as you can imagine, I put the weight back on and it’s been was up and down and up and down and up and down for so many years. I went to Weight Watchers as a kid. I went on some type of yogurt diet. I tried a grapefruit diet. I tried starving myself.

I tried skipping lunch. I tried skipping breakfast. I went, I, I, I’m allowed to pick my own anonymity, but I am a veteran of Overeader’s Anonymous. I tried these candies that were supposed to suppress your appetite, that you eat one of these before every meal and you won’t have an appetite, you’ll eat less.

Except I ended up binging on those, on those candies. So I was a binge eater before, before it became a word or a thing, sneaking food when nobody was looking, hiding in isolation. And I carried this with me into my marriage. And all I can say is you cannot be married to two things at once. I was trying to be married to my husband and married to food at the same time.

And unfortunately food came first and it affected my mothering and it affected our finances, how many times I would. There was this frozen yogurt years ago called Elon, and I would eat a whole pint a day until a friend told me, Hey, you know, it has half the calories of ice creams. You could eat twice as much.

So I said, What do you mean? I could eat two pints? And

What a good friend. We love you. so much. Those are the types of friends you all need, my friends. Right. Or what about the other friend who decided she was going on a diet? So we have the called, it’s called the last supper phenomenon. So when you know you’re going on a diet, always on Monday. Diets always start on Monday for some reason.

So on Sunday, forget about, forget about Shabbos. So on Sunday, you go and you buy half the grocery store, and you eat your head off. So she wanted someone to eat with. So she actually offered to buy the food for me, so that we could have our little party. So she went on her diet the next day, but I couldn’t. And the shame and the not going to things, you know, being invited to weddings and not going because of being ashamed of what I look like, taking food out of the garbage, being, being the garbage. When my kids didn’t finish eating, being the garbage can. I hated myself. I really hated myself, and I struggled off and on.

I was in one of three states, either on a diet, off a diet, just off a diet, or feeling guilty for not being on a diet. And that was my life for so many years. I had some success in overeater’s Anonymous. until I didn’t. And I read and I studied and I went to, I learned from summits. I learned from scientists.

I learned from so many things. I tried so many different things. Also, I tried paleo. It didn’t work for me. And I tried I actually, that’s how I got into studying nutrition. It also, inspired me to become a nurse. I, it became, I became a nurse because first I saw all this illness, by the way, overeating is one of the things that contributed to my mother’s early death.

She was a diabetic. I can’t say whether it was type one or type two, because. Back then they didn’t differentiate, but I remember her giving herself insulin injections twice a day and being scared. It’s very scary. And this. is so common. This is so endemic. And I just, what am I going to do? I studied, I became a nurse.

I took care of cardiac patients, watching them digging their graves with their forks. These are patients that weren’t supposed to have salt, weren’t supposed to have fat. And, and I don’t know. And they’re not even, forget about the hospital food, which is offering them cake and who knows what. The family members bringing them in deli sandwiches.

And, and they couldn’t help themselves. They couldn’t stop it. I studied. Nutrition. I couldn’t even stay in cardiac. It was just too depressing watching people die. So, I ended up going to a much happier place in the hospital. I became a labor and delivery nurse.

Which, by the way, is not always a happy place. And we’re seeing younger and younger mothers. Also having the effects of uncontrolled eating, we have, I don’t work in a hospital anymore, but we had to get a special table in the operating room, a bariatric table, because some women didn’t fit on the regular table, special bariatric beds and it’s definitely a risk for mommy and a risk for baby.

So I studied functional nutrition and then I studied, I learned about whole food plant based nutrition and I took a few courses in that. I’ve read that and finally found peace with food. I finally made peace. I finally learned a way of eating that I don’t have to weigh and measure.

I could be satisfied. I could eat food I like. And I’m not obsessed with food. Yes, I do have to cook for my family and I have to worry about, you know, make menus and I do stuff and, and I, you know, and I cook for myself and there’s no such thing as takeout for me. I found a way to make it work and thank God.

I, I love this and I love helping other people with this. Find ways to incorporate more plants into their lives and find ways to really lose that shame and make that peace with themselves and be healthy in a healthy way in a sustainable way and be able to be there for everybody else.

Oh, you got me emotional there. I did not expect that. You know what is so, it’s so much deeper than just the food, you know, and like you were saying, there’s the shame, there’s the stories, there’s the experiences, you know, like you’re so proud of yourself, you finally lost the weight, and then you lost your mother.

And the correlation between the two. is so powerful. And then it’s almost like you have to make up for it somehow, right? So you’re subconsciously just sort of soothing something that isn’t actually working, but you’re trying really hard. And it’s, it’s fascinating that you’ve tried all the things and nothing really worked until, until you figured out for yourself what works for you.

What do you think it was that really liberated you from that obsession? What finally liberated me? Well, it was a few things. First of all, I freed myself from the scale. I used to be, I’ve heard it called a scale monkey. I would get on the scale in the morning and you know, you know how it is. You have to make sure your body is all empty and everything.

And, and, and you, Step on the scale, and you don’t like where it is, maybe you’ll get a better number if you move it somewhere else, so you move it somewhere else, so you move it, and then finally you realize, okay, you’ll take the best number that it is. Now, if the scale moves down, yay, the day is fantastic.

I’m, I, I, I’m good. And you start judging yourself. I’m good or I’m bad by what I ate. And then if the scale doesn’t move or if it goes in the wrong direction, which it can do for many, many reasons that have nothing to do with what you ate the day before could be hormonal. It could be maybe Something that you didn’t go off plan, but for some reason you’re retaining a little more water.

There are so many other factors. So learning to say goodbye to the scale. I am not going to let the scale dictate my mood. I actually get weighed now twice a year is when I go on the scale. And that is when I go to the doctor. And. I have to say the number has been holding steady, so rather than worrying about it and the normal fluctuations that I gave up at the scale.

Another thing is this is February. February is in America. It’s American Heart Month, but heart has two connotations. There’s the human heart that pumps our blood. And since oxygen and nutrients to all parts of our body, but then there’s the heart, there’s the love. Now, what is love? There’s a book I read when I was a little girl.

My uncle had it. I love that book. It was called Love is a Special Way of Feeling. What do we love? What comes first, love or caring? The truth of the matter is caring for something or somebody is actually comes before love. So, we love our babies. Okay, God put something into us to love our babies and made them cute and sweet.

and helpless, even though there are a lot of work and there’s a lot we have to sacrifice and staying up nights for them and taking care of them through sickness and cleaning up their messes, but then and feeding them and everything, but we love them because we care for them. And what do we tend to do?

with ourselves when we hate ourselves because of what we look like, when we judge ourselves as bad because we ate something, which is not our fault because of the ultra processed food industry. But that’s a whole other story. But when we hate ourselves because of what we ate What do we do? We neglect ourselves. And you don’t have to be rich to dress nicely and to, and to, and to be neat, but we tend to, we feel like slobs. And we present ourselves as slobs, so learning that even if I’m not, when I’m, even if I’m not a size 2 or a size 0, which by the way, we don’t have to be. I could still care for myself. I still, I learned to act as if I love myself, you know, you have to love your neighbor as yourself, you cannot love your neighbor as yourself.

If you don’t love yourself first. So I had to learn that I am worth it and I can care for myself and I can care for my husband much better. If I can care for myself you know, when you fly a plane, they have these, you know, they have the little thing that they always say about safety. And they always say, you put your own oxygen mask on first.

And that is so true. And I was suffocating because I was taking care of everyone else first. And I was the martyr. Nobody likes the martyr least of all the martyr themselves. So I learned. It was a total mind shift set that I do not have to be a martyr, and I am worth it, and I can buy myself little things.

Again, I like jewelry, but I don’t like real jewelry. It goes out of style. So I buy little things for 20 or less. You know, I don’t know what that is in Shekels, so, but I buy little things. And I look good and I take care of myself and people say, Oh, you look so good. I said, well, you know, my brand is to look good.

I have to represent my brand. I feel so much better and, and that helps. And that was like one of the first things I had to love myself enough to feed myself in a way that. would support my health because if I don’t care, I’ll just eat anything and food becomes the best friend and the worst enemy.

There’s a word that somebody called. It’s a frenemy, right? And that’s what it is. What do I have to do for food? All I have to do is eat it and it does feel good while it’s going down. There is something very comforting and soothing about food as it’s going down. A newborn baby, the very first thing that a baby does. After it’s born and after it’s settled and after it’s stable and after it’s quiet and the baby’s, you know, we know is okay. The first thing you do is, the baby eats. That’s the very first thing. So, so, it’s so important to realize that Food is not the evil, but we have to love ourselves to eat the right food that supports us and supports our health I also learned eating does not make me bad. Value. Judgment is not on eating, right? Just like the weight, you know, like you were saying, I get on the scale and it tells me if I’m good or bad. It’s like, that makes no sense, right? And I, I sit down to eat and now I’m good or bad. That doesn’t make any sense either, right? And just the whole judgment on ourselves is so warped that if we could just let go of that, we’re going to be so much better off.

And I’m not talking to people who are you know, struggling with food or whatever. This is a universal issue that we have. You know, is my business successful? Oh, good. I made money today. Oh, I’m, I’m good. I’m doing good. I’m, you know, I’m on the right track. Oh, I didn’t get a client. Oh, I’m, you know, having a dry month.

Oh, something must be wrong. I must not be doing the right thing. And then we go into this whole loop of judging ourselves. Hello. The amount of money you’re making has nothing to do with what your value and nothing else has to do with your value either. You are intrinsically valuable and that is why God put you here in this world.

And I love that you’re saying this because it’s so true. So important for us to remember that. Yes, it is. And it’s, and, and when we see you go to stores and you see the mannequins are so skinny and you see people and, and, and that seems to be the value to be so skinny. How many of us can actually be that skinny? The question is, is that really the ideal, you know? And I have to tell you, my story from the other end of, you know, the other side of the coin, I was always skinny. And people always, first of all, hated me. Oh, I hate you. You’re so skinny. Which is so Can we just stop? Like, really?

You hate me for nothing? Like, I did nothing. And you already don’t like me because I am skinny. That’s not fair, right? So I’m very resentful of being skinny. Not only that, but it wasn’t like I had a good relationship with food or like I, you know, was healthy. It’s, it was all a learning process, you know, I learned a lot from actually my mother would bring home a lot of the Weight Watchers lessons and the things that they learned that had nothing to do with food, by the way, it was all about loving yourself and learning to forgive and just being, you know, they brought in a lot of that good stuff home and I learned a lot from that.

And I felt like this isn’t fair. There’s a support group for people who need help with food. There’s no support group for skinny people who are hated for no reason and are binging on healthy food because, you know, it’s, it’s a comfort even though we like healthy food. And like, I love dates. I love dates and nuts.

I love bananas and peanut butter. I love salad. I love a lot of things that are healthy. So, you know, if you’re looking from the outside, you’re like, Oh, this is amazing. She loves all this great stuff. Right. But like, I also need to find the balance because if I eat dates all day long, which I used to do, because they’re just such an easy grab, right?

It’s like, you’re sure you’re going to spike. You’re going to feel icky. You’re going to feel like you’re not really doing your best. You’re not going to be. Fully clear in your head. You’re going to be on a sugar high, you know, just like, just because it’s healthy sugars, doesn’t mean that’s like completely good for you.

Right. So I had to go through my process. Just as much, you know, not in the extreme dieting or whatever ways, but just finding your own thing, right? I also became sensitive to a lot of foods because my body was trying to communicate, like, stop having this and start having this and find a balance and you’re just a little off balance.

Whatever it was, I had to learn a lot about food and about myself, even though I wasn’t quote unquote fat. Right. And, you know, now that I’m pregnant, I’m this tiny little person. I’m very, you know, I’m a skinny person. Naturally, I don’t have a full sized baby inside, right? So, I’m very unprofitable. But I’m very grateful and I cannot complain because I’m just so, so grateful that I have The ability to have a baby and the ability to contain all that.

But when I feel extremely uncomfortable, I just put my hands, I’m like, Thank you, God, for making me a miracle, a walking miracle. Where else in your body could you fit a full size baby in a Really little person, right? So I think it’s just really interesting to see that it’s really not about the weight and it’s not about the food and it’s not about all of the external stuff.

Every person has their story and every person has their journey. And when we can stop judging ourselves and we can stop judging others judgment just goes down and we can just all be. In our journey and in our experiences. That is so true. And then we stop with that cycle of starving ourselves because we feel guilty for eating too much and then, until we can’t anymore, and then we go to the other extreme and the pendulum swings back and forth, back and forth.

I have a neighbor who, this is classic, when one of her children would be getting married, so she would starve herself so that she could fit into her gown for the wedding. And for the week after all those, you know, the celebrations, and, and then she would find she’s eating again and she can’t help it. She can’t help it.

God created us to want to survive. And in order to survive, we need to be able to eat enough. And as much as we try, okay, I’m not talking about like these prisoners that are going on hunger strikes and things, you know, I’m not talking about that. But, as long as we have access to food, we are going to want to eat. And all this deprivation, we cannot do it for long. We just, we just can’t. And then we start eating again. And then the guilt comes on. Besides the weight. The guilt comes on and the weight. And I have looked pregnant when I wasn’t pregnant. So, and I have been asked when I’m due. When I’m not even pregnant.

And. I, you know what? You’ve become very sensitive to people. People are hurting inside. Now, if you go throughout history, throughout much of history, the problem was not the abundance of food that we have today. The problem was not enough food. And so it’s very easy to be skinny when you don’t have enough food.

Not only that, the food that we have today, a lot of it isn’t even really food. You look at ingredients lists. Even in restaurants, and you’ll see things that you can’t even pronounce, you would never have these things in your kitchen. And they are formulated by scientists. If you know a biochemist who’s looking for a well paying job, just have them go work for a, for a processed food company.

They make a lot of money. And They formulate the food to something called the bliss point, the point where it’s not, not sweet enough, not too sweet, but just the right amount of sweetness that you cannot stop. And they have people, they put them in functional MRI machines and they drip things onto their tongues and they watch how their brains.

to see what they’re going to like the most and what they can’t resist. When I was a kid, there was a commercial for a potato chips company. I bet you a lot of you are familiar with it. It said, bet you can’t eat just one. Now, can you eat just one potato chip? So, it’s actually one of my weaknesses because they’re so crunchy and salty and they’re just right.

Yes! I’m totally with you there. No, you cannot. You have to finish the whole bag. Yes. And when they formulate these again, they actually test people. It has to be if it’s not crunchy enough, then it’s soggy, then you’re not gonna like it. But if it’s too crunchy, then it’s flaky in your mouth, and then it’s not good.

So they formulate it to be just the right amount of crunch. You can’t resist. And it’s the combination. They put the flavorings and the salt and the, the sugar and the oil and, and they make these things irresistible and. And another thing is, okay, you are genetically lucky that you love healthy food naturally.

Most people, if they weren’t exposed to the processed stuff, would be very happy with real food. But then the processed stuff hijacks. Our taste buds, so back in the days when there wasn’t enough food, God made us in such a way that we like the food that gives us the most calories You know packs the most calories in every bite because if you don’t know when your next meal is coming It was an advantage.

So that’s why we liked honey That was like one of you know, the most calorie dense things and that’s why we like You know, all this fattening food for lack of better term, the proper term would be calorically dense. You know, like when I was a kid, we told a joke, what’s what weighs more, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers.

And they weigh the same except. A brick weighs more than a pound, and if you take a pound of feathers, it’ll scatter across the whole room, so the brick is more dense, and the feathers are less, and so it’s the same with calorie dense. So, romaine lettuce is not calorie dense at all, and chocolate cake Is or pizza are very calorie dense, but we tend to like the calorie dense food because when food is scarce, that was that ensured our survival.

But starting in the 1800s, that was when processed food started and they figured out ways to make things cheaper and sell more and get us to eat more of it and. Once we’re exposed to all this processed food, somehow, for most people, we like watermelon. I love watermelon. But, give a person a choice of watermelon or ice cream, most people are gonna go for the ice cream.

So, this calorically dense food, when you try to start eating real food, It’s like flat and tasteless compared to all the processed stuff, and you can’t escape it everywhere you go. It hits you. They’re advertising it, the signs, the billboards. You walk into grocery stores and What are you hit with? I think there’s more processed stuff than real food.

Yes, there is. And it’s what everybody’s eating. When you’re not eating it, you’re standing out as being a little different from everybody.

  Hey! Before we continue the episode, I want to ask you something. Are you ready to get answers from God directly? Feel more in love with your husband and more supported than ever? Run the business of your dreams without having to sacrifice any other part of your life? That is exactly what my one on one private coaching is for and I want to invite you, just you and me, for a free deep dive discovery call.

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Now back to the show.

 That’s one of the things that I wanted to tell you. Surrounding yourself with the right people is going to really help you. I was just in a retreat that was the health and wellness retreat, and it was fascinating to see how many people were just so awesome and so normal and so positive about food, and it was so inspiring to just be amongst them, you know, not be judged, They were saying, like, if you choose to eat the cake, that’s fine, it’s on you, everything’s fine, like, nobody’s judging.

Turns out there was no cake.

The dessert was baked apples and dates and nuts and you know, fruit, fruit salad. But it was really funny because, because they knew it was a health retreat, they also didn’t offer certain things because they just didn’t feel it was necessary. And so, yeah, it was just really fascinating to see the when you’re surrounded by the right people who are not just, you know, not just the right foods, right?

Not just like, okay, we’re going to externally change what’s around you. But really, the people who have worked on themselves and their ability to contain who you are without having to judge you for what you’re doing or anything. It was just so beautiful. It was such a beautiful Experience. And I think that, one of the things my mother came home with once was clean your environment.

You know, they were saying, if you don’t want the potato chips, then you don’t have the potato chips. Don’t buy them. Don’t have them in your cupboards. It’s not going to be the end of the world, but if it’s there, you’re going to constantly have to make decisions and that’s exhausting. So not only clean your environment physically, but also clean your environment. In the next level of things, which I think is really, really important.

There was actually a study done that people tend to resemble their closest friends. Now, I’m not telling you to purge yourself you know, get rid of all your friends. What I am suggesting, is instead, is to expand your circle and include Other friends that will support you that that are more similar to you.

I mean I joke around, I say, I’m in a mixed marriage. I follow my whole food plant based diet. My husband does not.

So, how do I do it? There are ways to do it and make it work. So What I make for myself as a main course is like a side dish for him. So I do, when it comes to my cooking for the Sabbath, I will make his chicken soup, that’s fine but I also make for me, he makes the fish anyways, it has to do with a custom that he, that, that a rabbi made fish and had certain things in mind.

So my husband makes the fish and he has those things in mind. You know what? I’m never going to fight a guy who wants to go and make his own fish. Yeah. Let him do it. Exactly. Exactly. Oh, but when I was pregnant, I couldn’t even go near fish. I had to be out of the house while it was cooking and I couldn’t serve it.

So I, I totally get you. You know what? Anything a guy wants to do, just say yes. Thank you because it came from him. Yes, and I am grateful. So I do find ways to make like, we call it Cholent. It’s this bean dish that’s overnight. So I make mine. No, I actually make everybody’s and I take mine out. And then I add the other stuff to there.

So nobody is deprived. We just, we make it work. My husband, I’m also very grateful. I guess part of being older is you don’t go for the junk food. You’re, the doctor doesn’t let, right, I’m supposed to. But we don’t buy, we don’t have so much. When my grandchildren come, I can’t say I don’t buy anything for them, but when they leave, either it goes with them, or I have no hesitation to throw things in the garbage so I can keep it, keep it clean. And I learned also I try to buy things that I don’t like so much. So yes, there is a saying that you should make your environment look like your goals. And that’s not just with food, that’s with everything. So, let’s say exercise. If it’s hard to exercise and you have to go through a whole big process to make your place ready to exercise every day and take 20 minutes for that and then take 20 minutes to put everything away.

Let’s face it. You’re not gonna do it. So making it easier to support healthy things. In my ideal world, I would love to abolish processed food. It’s not happening so fast. Yeah, no, with the amount of money they’re making, no. No. You know, you made me, you reminded me of how it used to be when I was, early on in our marriage. We always have pasta with sauce and cheese on Fridays because it’s an easy go to lunch. Before we go, you know, into all the cooking and whatever. So I just didn’t like the white flour. It wasn’t doing good for me. And so I told my husband early on, I want whole wheat pasta. And that’s what I’m going to eat.

So, he used to make a big pot of white pasta and a little pot of whole wheat pasta. And then the kids would see me, you know, five years old, three years old, they’d say, I can’t eat this pasta. I don’t want the white stuff. I want what she’s eating. Because, you know, if your mother’s eating it, it must be better.

It must taste yummier. So then my husband started making a bigger pot of whole wheat and a smaller pot of white. And the more kids we had, the more it just became obvious. That the kids prefer the whole wheat. And so we stopped making the white all together. And it just became, we’re always just serving whole wheat pasta.

And, you know, and then of course I stopped eating dairy, so I started making my pasta with, you know, chickpeas and olives and tomato sauce. And so then suddenly all the kids want what mom’s having. It’s so funny. You know, it just cracks me up that It’s really not about the junkness of the food, but just sort of opening up a little bit to different ideas and different creative ways to enhance your meal.

So, if we have how do you say cilantro? Is that the English word? Cilantro? Yeah, cilantro is the English word. It’s actually Spanish, but Okay, there you go. So, you know, if we have cilantro, I’ll add cilantro, because for me, that’s a real upgrade. And, oh, my kids want it. And then if we have fresh garlic, I’ll throw in fresh garlic.

Oh, they all want it. And then eventually, like, their meal looks like a gourmet five star healthy meal, you know, from some, I don’t know what, you know, really healthy whatever. And, and they think it’s normal. And they’re eating it, and they’re devouring it, and they’re so happy they got fancy good stuff, you know?

Oh, I don’t want that white stuff. Eventually, we got so used to it that we went to someone else’s house, they had white pasta, and my kids couldn’t eat it. They said it just didn’t taste good. And I thought, isn’t that amazing? Your body gets so used to something that is a little bit more filling.

And suddenly the white stuff just feels like fluff. It doesn’t have any texture. It doesn’t have any, like, actual taste. It was just really fascinating. Well, that has to do with a very, a complicated subject about, how do I, I’m trying to figure out a simple way to say it. The microbiome. We have living inside our digestive system, our colons, there’s, I call them critters bacteria, viruses, fungi, and, and which ones are living there and which ones are supporting us. We work together. It’s, we feed them and they feed us. And If you’re used to eating whole wheat pasta, you’re going to have different critters living there than if you’re having white pasta. So your kids have the, the, the critters from the whole wheat pasta, so they’re not going to want the white stuff.

Right. It’s, it’s just amazing. I think also when you don’t make a big deal about anything, right, it’s not like, Oh, now we’re, you know, cutting this out or, Oh, we’re depriving of this. There’s a story to it, and there’s emotion, and there’s all these things, but if you’re just normal about food, and you just have it, you know, I love vegetables, I love lemon, I love salt.

So I will just, you know, cut up vegetables and put some lemon and salt on it, things like kohlrabi. People who have never heard of such a thing, right? It’s like such a non American food, but in Israel, there’s kohlrabi everywhere it’s so delicious. So all you do is you feel it, you cut it into little, sticks.

And we sit there and just eat it with our fingers. out. It goes so fast. And then it’s like, Oh, you didn’t get any, you know, and people come to our house and they’re like, I don’t understand. How do your kids eat this? You know, how do they even like it? It’s like, it’s just all they know. It’s normal. Right? So I think that when you normalize things and you just allow them to be Then, then that’s just what it is.

Oh, I totally agree. People say, well, what can I do? I have to have the stuff in the house for the kids. They must eat junk. They must eat junk. I’m like, says who? So I saw this very short, cute video. I don’t know where they’re from, but there’s a little girl sitting in a high chair and the mother’s offering the kid chocolate and other kinds of candy and other kinds of junk, and the kid’s just pushing it away.

No, no, no. And then the mother offers the child broccoli and the kids taking, you know, how little two year olds eat, smashing it into her mouth. And it’s just basically what the child is exposed to. And not only that, even what our babies are exposed to when utero makes a difference in what they’re going to like.

So if you have somebody who’s eating healthy during pregnancy and while nursing, that child is going to be more likely to like the healthy things. exposure. Let’s get really practical because I know, you know, like you said, it’s nice that you like healthy food, but there’s a lot out there. They just don’t like it.

They don’t want it. They’re just, it’s nice and all, but I feel like I’m eating grass or, you know, like, I’m not really interested in this thing or whatever it is that people say, I’m having a hard time, you know, getting used to the new taste. What are the best practical tips that you can give us?

Okay, the best practical tips are, there’s a few things. Number one, find recipes that are substitutes for things that you’re used to eating. For example, there is a cheese. There is something called nutritional yeast that has like a cheese like flavor that you could sprinkle on things and use and you could make even cheese sauces.

I have, you can make it from nuts. You could make it from even chickpeas. You could make cheese sauces or from carrots. So you find substitutes. I even have a recipe. You can make a substitute frank. You instead of a frank, if you take like a fat, fat carrot and you make a marinade, you soak it in the marinade, you can actually, it’s called a carrot dog.

So that’s one thing is to find recipes that are substitutes for things. So that’s one thing. Another thing is to make sure you eat enough food. A lot of times, the first thing we do is we don’t eat enough. And then it was also actually studied that most people eat between three and five pounds of food a day.

Now, of course, if you have a little tiny woman, who’s four, six, you know, that’s. You know, she’s probably going to eat less. And if you have like a, a six foot two body builder is we’ll eat more. So what happens is we go on these diets and we have two ounces of this and four ounces of that. And, and it comes out to less than two pounds of food a day.

So of course we’re hungry and we’re going to want to go for the most calorically dense food. So the truth of the matter is, Can you lose weight eating chocolate bars? Yes, you can but it’s gonna be very few of them and you’re going to be hungry so Look to make sure you’re eating enough Eat more fiber.

Again, this is something that’s going to keep our microbiome happy. It’s going to keep us full longer. It’s good for our digestive system. We might have to adjust to it if you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber. It could cause bloating and it could cause gas. So, it’s good to start low and go slow and increase with time. Enjoy spices. This is one place, the Svardim love to use tons of spices. In America, the typical spices, people have salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. or paprika. Right. And, and these are so limiting. Experiment with all different spices to get different flavors and, and add so much. I happen to love cumin. I know there are so many spices. Experiment and see what’s good. So, and as far as vegetables go, I know a lot of people, Oh, I don’t like vegetables. Vegetables are really your friend. So what you do is, again, there’s gotta be some vegetable that you dislike less than the other vegetables.

So find the one that you can tolerate and have that one and build up. Now, and don’t just give yourself taste something once and say, Oh, I don’t like it. This goes for feeding children also. It takes 14 times of exposure to become accustomed to a taste. So give yourself time. And another thing is, this is a concept called neuroadaptation.

That when you’re used to eating the ultra processed stuff, that is much tastier than anything. that naturally occurs. It will taste flat for a while, but Over time, and this varies for people, it could take days, it could take weeks, it could take months, but over time, your taste buds will become more sensitive to the subtle flavors of real food.

And the day will come that you may taste something that you used to like, let’s say a regular cake. And there are cakes you can make that won’t destroy your health. There are recipes, but let’s say you go taste a regular conventional white flour, sugar and oil cake, and you’re gonna go, Ooh, this is so sweet.

How could I ever stand that? I had that with Coke. I used to be addicted to Coke when I was growing up. Coke was the thing, you know, we all had Coke on our table and at weddings and everything. Finally, I decided one day that’s it. I’m stopping. I’m not drinking Coke anymore.

And then years and years later, I tasted Coke and I was like, ew, I can’t even, I can’t even gulp it down. Like. I can’t. I, ugh, it was so bad. And I realized, yikes, my body totally changed. what it tolerates because, you know, there’s just a, an adjustment that happens. So incredible. Yes. I also find very interesting.

The same people that could eat, let’s say the same breakfast every single day for years and years and years. Let’s say they have their coffee and a danish. They have that same breakfast. As soon as they start eating healthy, then they become bored with the food.

The truth of the matter is Analyze what you are eating every day, and you’ll see we tend to make the same things over and over and over again. We cycle through like weekly, biweekly. When it comes holidays, then we’ll experiment. But some people even make the same things for every holiday, right? So it’s good to experiment once in a while.

I know. I find when I buy cookbooks. I usually end up, one or two recipes in the whole cookbook is the one that, that becomes part of my repertoire of recipes. So realistically, do we need so many things? I actually put out a cookbook that, it’s not my, most recipes are not mine, it’s more, it’s a compilation of other recipe people, you know, chefs, you know, recipe development is a whole art in and of itself.

And the funny thing is I belong on some groups and some people will ask for recipes and other people will post the exact recipe that’s in my book. People download recipe books and recipes and they don’t even look at them. Right, right. It’s amazing. Okay, our time is over and it’s sadly, this is an amazing conversation.

I want you to tell people where they can find you and where they can find your recipe books, where they can find working with you, because this is just incredible, the amount of knowledge and support that you can give. the people who really need it. So the first place you can go is my website. You see my name up here says it’s just devorahshulman.

com and on there is a link to to download my cookbook. It’s called, plant based food swaps, basically substitutions of whole food plant based recipes for things that you know and love. That’ll get you on my mailing list. I send out a newsletter every week. I’m also on Facebook. I’m on Instagram.

I’ve done a few YouTube videos. I should do more. And. I’m on LinkedIn, which I don’t really post there either, but you can, as long as you look up Devorah Shulman, you will find me on all these places. So again, but the easiest is devorahshulman. com and I even give a phone number. I let people, that’s my business phone number and you could call me, leave a message.

You could text. I do get back to you eventually. I love it. I love it. And I just want to point out, you said I should be there. No, there is no should. I want to be there, maybe. I’ll get that. You know, I get to be there. That’s awesome. But there’s no shoulds here because we’re all about, you know, healthy relationship with food and with ourselves.

I think should just makes us feel bad about not being somewhere. Not necessary. So, I’m gonna, I’m gonna help you delete that right now. You don’t have to do anything if you want to. One day when I’m ready. Exactly, exactly. Listen, nobody, it doesn’t say in any place in the Torah, you shall be in all the social media platforms and show up daily.

It’s something that we do in order to serve, and we do what we can and what we want and what we get to do. To the best of our ability, I definitely don’t want anyone to feel like they can beat themselves up for not being somewhere or for not showing up enough. So I’m going to give you permission to let go of that. I love you so much. Thank you for being here. for joining me. Thank you for having this conversation. This has been really fascinating. And as usual, you guys know there is a podcast episode that drops every Monday with another guest. So make sure you subscribe and you rate and review, and I will see you next time.

Don’t forget to be connected for real. Thank you so much for being with us.

 And that’s it! Thank you for listening to the very end. I would love if you can leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. Those are things that tell the algorithm this is a good podcast and make sure to suggest it to others. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people became more connected for real? And now take a moment and think of someone who might benefit from this episode.

Can you share it with them? I am Rebbetzin Bat chen Grossman from connectedforreal. com. Thank you so much for listening and don’t forget you can be connected for real.