Thursday, October 26, 2006

Healthy Isn't Hard When You Are EnLITEned

Good-carb, healthy-fat and sugar-free recipes--AND KOSHER, TOO!

Shalom! I come to you today in the name of peace among the nations of low-fat and low-carb by offering to the citizens on both sides of the dietary spectrum an honest and sincere accord that should please them both. It's a brand new recipe book written by Nechama Cohen called EnLITEned Kosher Cooking.

Cohen is a Jewish woman who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two decades ago just when she was beginning her journey as wife and mother. But instead of bemoaning this and shaking her fist at God for allowing something so devastating to make her bitter about her life, she turned her energy towards keeping a positive attitude, furthered her education by eventually studying nutrition and nursing, and never letting go of the hope for a happier, healthier and more productive life.

Additionally, Cohen was so determined to help other people with diabetes that she started a support group for Jewish women suffering from Type 1 diabetes which eventually became what is known today as the largest Jewish diabetes organization in the world--The Jewish Diabetes Network. She is the CEO of that incredible organization and plays a very active role in spreading good information about preventing diabetes, educating people on how to better manage their diabetes, and to bring it under control through smart choices in their diet and lifestyle choices.

One of the things Cohen was most concerned about what the lack of clarity about what "healthy" living was supposed to look like. All the books on low-fat and low-carb have done is stir up debate in the world of weight loss, but what about converging the best ideas of both worlds by creating a recipe book that works for both diets? That's exactly what EnLITEned Kosher Cooking is all about.

Rather than debating whether low-fat or low-carb is right, Cohen says people should have a positive attitude and educate themselves better about what is truly healthy for them. She is dedicated to this principle of self-awareness and taking back control of your life by implementing strategic changes to improve your weight and diseases such as diabetes. This includes looking at the good carbs and the healthy fats that are essential for anyone desiring better health.

EnLITEned Kosher Cooking is a gargantuan 420-page book (it has to weigh at least 50 pounds!) and is stuffed with the most gorgeous pictures and easy-to-understand recipes you'll ever find in a cookbook. I REALLY enjoyed the labeling Cohen did for each recipe, describing them in the table of contents as "low carb," "reduced carb," "carb free," "low fat," "reduced fat," or "fat-free." These convenient labels will let you zero in on the kind of recipe YOU are interested in. And there are over 250 yummy ones to choose from, too!

An extremely unique feature of EnLITEned Kosher Cooking is the fact that Cohen often gives alternative recipe instructions about how you can further lower the carbohydrates in a recipe if you are livin' la vida low-carb. I personally appreciated that aspect of this cookbook because some "other" authors simply would not have cared about the carbs. Cohen genuinely does and I credit her for understanding how important this is to so many of us watching our carb counts.

The recipes are divided into soups, salads, dips, dressing & spreads, vegetables & side dishes, dairy, fish, meat & poultry, baking LITE, pies & desserts, snacks & beverages, and, of course, she includes special recipes for Passover celebrating her rich heritage. The Nutrition Facts are listed for every recipe, including calories, protein, carbs, fat, cholesterol, sodium, calcium and fiber. Additionally, she lists the fat, starch, and protein exchanges for each recipe as well.

Before she gives you the recipes, Cohen explains why she believes in lifestyle change over dieting by explaining the reasons why carbohydrate-restriction in combination with lots of fiber, watching the glycemic index, and the right kinds of fats (like flaxseed, walnuts, and olive oil) will lead to better health management. She touches on the low-fat/low-carb debate and gives you her "bottom line" conclusion about it based on the evidence which may just surprise supporters of BOTH sides!

As for avoiding sugar in her recipes (for obvious reasons since she is diabetic), Cohen breaks down all the latest and greatest sweeteners that people should use as part of their new healthy lifestyle and are featured in her recipes, including saccharine, ACE-K, aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), sugar alcohols, and stevia. These sweeteners are a must since sugar is NOT an option.

Okay, enough with the preliminary information, what about the recipes themselves?! Oh my goodness, these are all so fantastic, I can hardly wait for you to try them. How about a quick sneak peek at a few, shall we?


This vibrant orange recipe is perfect on a cold Winter's night to warm up your body without filling it up with unnecessary carbohydrates. A 2-cup serving has just 53 calories, 6g carbs, and 2.4g fat. Mmmm, great use for pumpkin, don't ya think?


Exotic and flavorful portobello mushrooms make this recipe a favorite among low-fat or low-carb diners as a meal in itself. Each stuffed mushroom contains only 98 calories, 5.3g carbs, and 3.9g fat. It also contains 5.5g protein to help fill you up!


If you like fish, then this light and easy recipe will make your mouth water. For low-carbers, instead of mashed potatoes, you can use mashed cauliflower instead. It contains 170 calories, 0.7g carbs, and 3.3g fat for each steak. Mouth-watering good!

What more can I say about EnLITEned Kosher Cooking other than GO GET IT and pick up extra copies for your friends and family members who need to eat healthier. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy this amazing new book, but you will sense the gracious heart of Nechama Cohen as you cook up each and every recipe she so freely shares.

Low-fat and low-carb advocates, prepare to be EnLITEned!

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