Take Off Your Shoes!

healthy body

Take Off Your Shoes!

1 Comment 31 August 2010

Did you know that there are more than 58 muscels  in each human foot?
We love the way sneakers can keep our feet cushioned and well protected, but just  how much of all this is really good for us?

The simple act of walking uses more than 200 muscles; cushioning the feet in shoes all the time can throw you off balance, weaken the foot muscels, ligaments and tendons. Keeping shoes on our feet all the time, may inhibit sensory input from thousands of nerve endings in the soles of our feet, which can lead  to many problems in the foot, leg, and back..

I was introduced to barefoot training at a fitness conference in New York City over 10 years ago. I was excited to bring back this concept to  my group fitness class, but was uncomfortable to ask my  student to take off there sneakers. It was and is a common misconception by most, that the more cushioning and stabilization for your feet the better it was to protect your ankles, knees and back.
In actuality, its the exact opposite. An imagery I often tell my students is imagine your hand is fitted in a stiff glove, and all around the glove are lots of cushions, gels, and air pockets. With all the “stuff” around your hands it brings limited movement to your fingers. Your palms won’t be able to open and close. Your fingers won’t be able to spread open. In time, the muscles, ligaments and tendons will loose its strength. The wrist will weaken, and so will the elbow and shoulder. Everything is connected.

The same concept can be used for our feet. When you take off your shoes, the toes are able to spread out more easily, balance of the body improves, you can use your joints, ankles and hips more. A benefit of going barefoot is that it stimulates the circulation in your feet and can have a positive effect on all your organs.
Try doing a lunge with your supportative sneakers and see how that feels. Now, try the same lunge barefoot. Notice how much more control you need to contribute in order effectively do the same exact movement. Did you “thump” on the landing of your lunge knowing the supportative sneakers will protect you from the floor below?
Working out barefoot takes control, poise and mind fullness.

Try a few times a week to walk around the house barefoot. Engaging in muscles that are usually covered up.Its no wonder that babies kick off there booties- they know in order to learn to walk properly-they need there toes to touch the ground.

About 5 years ago, I had an amazing opportunity to conduct my summer classes in a karate studio in long branch new jersey.
Upon taking the space, the terms were that students must take off their sneakers in order to protect the delicate matting of the studios’ floor. I was hesitant to accept, but was way into the summer season and needed to act fast.
I agreed- we exercised 5 days a week with classes ranging from Cardio Fusion, Med ball and sculpting classes. It was a huge success. Women still come over to me with wonderful barefoot memories of that summer.
In the fall of the same year, I was determined to keep my sneakers off. I did and encouraged my students to do the same, until I stubbed and broke my toe on a dumbell while I was instructing. Since then, I will only teach barefoot training in an equipment free class to promote safety.
I was in search of a sneaker that would allow my foot the freedom yet protection from injuries.
After dozens of sneakers and years later I was finally introduced to “nike free” sneakers. These sneakers improved balance, agility, and foot strength. Thinner, lighter and more flexible designs mimic the foot’s natural form.
I encourage all my students to work out in them. If you do buy them, start off slowly-first once a week and little by little add more nike free time to a full week. At first you may feel cramping, that’s normal. In a few weeks time your feet will adjust to the new  demands.
More manufactures are following suit. As I give them a try I will send you my feedback.

Would you like to try an amazing barefoot cardio class?
Find out my schedule for WillPower&Grace. A class that infuse positive thoughts with practises borrowed from yoga, pilates.  Your feet, body and mind  will thank you!

Sari Dana
Group Movement & Lifestyle Enthusiast

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Vicky’s Mandel Bread

kosher dessert recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes

Vicky’s Mandel Bread

No Comments 30 August 2010


Famous for her  fantastic mandel bread, Vicki N. has finally agreed to share her recipe after years of selling bags full to family and friends.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tsp.vanilla
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 bag  choc. chips

4 tsp. baking powder

Mix oil and sugar in mixer. Slowly add 1 egg at a time,beat each one well.

Add orange juice and vanilla, add flour baking powder.and chips. Grease trays then  refrigerate dough for 1/2 hour to prevent dough from being sticky.then,place 3 logs  on each tray .(Wet hands to help avoid batter sticking to hands while forming the logs) Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice and then toast in oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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How You Can Preserve Your Family History

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How You Can Preserve Your Family History

No Comments 20 August 2010

by Miriam Kairey

Perhaps the best gift you can give your family is one that will last for generations.  A family tree is such a gift.   Information about our relatives that is available to us today through our elders is slipping through our fingers at this very moment.  Preserving this valuable legacy should be a priority and the time to start is now.

You may ask yourself “How do I start?” and “What do I do?”  Fortunately for us we live in the internet age.  The internet allows us to find not only documents pertaining to our ancestors, but also other relatives all over the world who we may not even know about.  To get started you need to choose a way to save your information.  You can download a free program called “Legacy” from the internet and enter your information offline.  This is an advantage if you don’t have an internet connection.  The file you make can always be transferred later to an online Genealogy site such as Geni.com or Ancestry.com.

Geni-  Free and easy to use.  It provides a good broad view of your tree so you can see many relatives on the screen at once.  However it does not provide good access to documents which are important sources of information about your relatives.

Ancestry- My choice.  You can start with a free account.  Enter all the information you can find out.  Then if you want you can opt for the paid subscription which will lead you to documents such as census, army enlistment and immigration records.  I recommend this for families that have been in the US for more than 60 years.  Newer documents are held back for privacy reasons.  Ancestry allows you to choose whether you want to make your tree Public or Private.  I recommend making it Public and choose the option to hide living people.  This way others searching for the same ancestors can more easily find their way to you.

Now assuming you have chosen Ancestry.com, let’s get going:

  • Start with yourself.  Enter everything you know.  Next recruit other relatives to help.  Ancestry allows you to “invite” other family members to view and even work on the tree with you.  Sharing the work is fun and gets the job done quicker.  Information you gather from relatives provide valuable clues that can often be backed up with documentation you find yourself.  Sometimes a snippet of information will lead you to solving some great family mystery.
  • Collect photos.  You can scan them into your computer and upload them to Ancestry.  Then all who visit your tree can enjoy them.  Even if you never make a tree, when you visit your elder relatives, ask them to show you photos and WRITE ON THE BACK of the picture so that the names of those in the pictures will be remembered.  It is very frustrating and all too common to come across a collection of old photos and no one remembers who was in them.  Ancestry also gives you a place to type in stories told by elders in order to preserve them
  • Find relatives.  Ancestry will help you by locating other members researching the same ancestor.  It is an exciting experience to find a long-lost cousin.  As Jews we have relatives scattered all around the world and it is possible to find them.
  • Research.  You can learn so much more about your ancestors if you dig.  As mentioned, Ancestry.com can help you locate US based documents.  You can also visit ellisisland.org and search for your family (free search), however not all immigrants entered the US through Ellis Island.  Ancestry can help comb through the records of other Ports of Entry.

If you want to go back further, where to look will depend on where your ancestors are from.  A good place to start is jewishgen.org.  Here you will find a place to enter in the town your ancestors are from. For example, if you type in “Aleppo” you will be given a list of family names and researchers searching for those families from Aleppo.  You will then email the others who are researching the same name as you are.  These fellow researchers are a great source of information even if they are not related to you.  They can point you to sources relevant to your family.

You can also pay a visit to the Ackman and Ziff Genealogical Institute at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street in Manhattan.  Bring a pencil (not pen) and a notebook and expect to spend some time.  Although it is better to go there knowing what you are looking for, the folks that work there may be able to point you to helpful resources.

Uncovering your ancestry can be a long Journey or a brief trip – it’s up to you. The important thing is to take the first step.  You never know where the road will lead you.  You just may be amazed at what you find out.

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How to Organize Your Space and Free Your Mind

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How to Organize Your Space and Free Your Mind

No Comments 15 August 2010

Imagine your life a peaceful journey where you can find what you need with ease and speed. You are always prepared and ready for whatever you need or whatever comes along. How does that make you feel? Calm? Stress free? Organized? Read on for some simple, basic ways to create and maintain an organized environment.

The first step is to think in “categories”. Keeping related items together by category assures that you will store things in the appropriate places which will ultimately make everything easy to find. For example, keep your clothing categorized by keeping shirts together in one section of your closet, skirts together in another, dresses, and so on. You can even categorize your clothing by color, skirt lengths and sleeve lengths to make getting dressed quick and easy.

In the kitchen, categorize related items together such as keeping cereals on one shelf, baking items on another, cans on another, and so on.

The next step is to keep things uniform. When everything is uniform, you can easily see what you have (or don’t have) and spend less time searching. The best way to keep your clothing visible and accessible is to hang everything on uniform hangers. It will give your closet an instant makeover that you will enjoy forever.

In the kitchen, instead of shoving open boxes and bags of food into your cabinets, store everything in uniform, clear, air-tight containers. Not only will everything look neat and organized, but it will be easier to see everything and your food will stay fresher, longer.

Start organizing with these basic steps and you’ll be surprised how the rest of your organizing life falls neatly into place.

Happy Organizing!

Marie Torgueman



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Make a Splash!

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Make a Splash!

1 Comment 08 August 2010

With the heat wave we had so far this summer, chances are you’ve been lounging out by the pool more than ever! Having guests by the pool is fun and keeping the pool area organized could make entertaining (and clean up time) a splash.

It’s important to keep the pool area safe by keeping flip flops, towels and pool toys off the floor. Here’s some ideas on how to organize your outdoor/ pool area to create an inviting space for your family and guests to enjoy all summer long.  Dive in!

Hanging Float Rack

Outdoor Towel Holder

Whale Hooks for Hanging Outdoor Items

Towel Valet with Rolling Wicker Hamper

Plastic Tubs for Flip Flops and Pool Toys

Rolling Oversized Bin

For help getting organized, please  email Marie Torgeman  at  mtorgueman@yahoo.com

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Easy Holiday Fruit Cake

kosher dessert recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes

Easy Holiday Fruit Cake

No Comments 07 August 2010

This cake is so great for summertime because you can easily use up a lot of the ripe fruit in your fridge.  Its also easy to whip this recipe up early Friday morning for a Shabbat dessert and then run to the beach!
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 tsp.baking powder
1 cup flour
1/2 cup fresh peaches
1/2 cup blueberries

by Allison Srour

Whisk oil sugar eggs orange juice vanilla until it becomes creamy. Add baking powder and flour. Place batter on greased pyrex add peaches and blueberries. Bake on 350 for about 1/2 hour.  So easy and light. Enjoy.

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Announcing a Summery Shabbat Table Contest!

shabbat table settings

Announcing a Summery Shabbat Table Contest!

4 Comments 04 August 2010



Beautify your Shabbat  with a little splash of  SUMMER thrown in!

Send me your SUMMERY shabbat table pics-CLICK HERE to email me!

The photos must include your kiddush cup, challah cover and some summery elements!


Use your imagination!

CLICK HEREfor some SHABBAT  TABLES to get you started!

Lets all be inspired from one another!

Do you have friends in OTHER STATES?? OTHER COUNTRIES??

Forward  this link and lets see how everyone celebrates Shabbat all over the world!


I have a prize for every submission!

Thank you for being a part of The Jewish Hostess family!



p.s. “Everyone is gifted – but some people never open their package”~ Unknown


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