Yom Tov!

Tonight at 7:11 the sun set, kicking off my (and my fellow Jews’) fast for Yom Kippur – the day of atonement and the biggest of the High Holy Days. Now, this isn’t just a “hey, I’m not going to eat for 24 hours!” kind of fast: I can’t have food, water, or even gum!

So, what’s a food-lover to do during Yom Kippur?

  • Eat a mostly normal dinner. As much as I’d like to binge-eat, I don’t. That’s a rookie mistake I learned in college, resulting in lots of stomach aches and discomfort! Instead, I eat a dinner about 25% larger than normal and make it something satisfying to body and mind. I always pick foods I love to eat that will last a while in my belly.
  • Hydrate hydrate hydrate! I stay hydrated all day. Seriously, seriously hydrated. In a normal day, I rarely drink more than 16 ounces of liquid that isn’t coffee. Today I drank about 24 ounces of water as well as five 20-ounce bottles of [low-Calorie] Gatorade. Because the body can last longer without food than without water, this is incredibly important!
  • Stay put. Traditionally, Jews are not to perform any work; even more conservative Jews don’t operate anything with moving parts during the holy day, too. This is because the 24 hours are meant to be spent in synagogue, praying. Although I don’t do all of that, I do make sure to do minimal activity, not only to respect the day but because the less activity I do, the less thirsty I’ll get. Hello, couch potato!
  • Break the fast slowly. Similar to my first point, eating too much after not eating anything is a bad, bad idea and will result in awful tummy trouble and discomfort. For the first hour after the fast ends, I drink liquids… more Gatorade to rehydrate, maybe soup, but usually just water and sports drinks. Then I start incorporating other foods that are easy on the tummy. I don’t go and eat an entire pizza. I just kind of pretend that I didn’t fast and just eat normal. One day is nothing in the scheme of things!

Check out my dinner tonight, full of yummy things that I still feel sitting in my stomach: toasted sourdough bread, local Kentucky cheese of some kind (forgot the name! sorry!), avocado, and a bottle of VitaminWater.

50 minutes down… 23 hours 10 minutes to go!


One of my favorite things about being Jewish is the food. (Hell, food is one of my favorite things about life in general!)

Every holiday has its own delicious foods: Passover is all about charoset; Chanukah has latkes; and Rosh Hashanah has challah.

Rosh Hashanah is the kick-off to the Jewish new year. The foods you eat to celebrate usually involve sweetness and roundness. The sweet foods consumed include honey and apples (usually together) and are supposed to represent “ringing in a sweet new year”. Round foods (apples, and round-shaped challah) are symbolic of how cyclical time is.

I’m not much of a bread-baker, as it tends to take a lot of time. Mixing, kneading, rising, kneading, rising again, kneading, shaping, baking… waiting… cooling… waiting…! I’m too much of a lover of instant gratification for me to do this all the time! But, I suck it up when Rosh Hashanah rolls around!

For those who are like me, you may be nervous to try baking bread for a number of reasons, but believe me when I say that this recipe is idiot-proof! All you have to do is make sure you have all the ingredients and that you have about 3 hours to spare.

Challah, like everything else around this time, is commonly eaten with honey, but it’s delicious by itself, too. Also, challah makes the best french toast. Seriously.

You’ll love challah, I promise!