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  • Kosher and primal

    So in honor of Rosh Hashana, I'm looking to connect with other people who keep both kosher and paleo/primal. I'm trying to build a support system for myself. I've seen some posts about issues of kashrut, and I'm sure there must be other people who have the same difficulties I'm having with following the strictures of TWO extremely restrictive diets (especially since kashrut is a Neolithic diet).

    How do you cope with always being the one who eats differently, no matter who you are talking to or hanging out with?

    I'm constantly feeling deprived. Yesterday I was hungry, so I went out and bought some kosher ground beef and treifed it up by using it to make the first (bunless) cheeseburger of my life, just in time for the high holidays. (It was ridiculously delicious, by the way.) So I decided to post here and start getting some moral support.

    P.S. I don't use the computer on Shabbat and holidays, so I am looking forward to checking back on Sunday! Shana tova!
    Last edited by labbygail; 09-08-2010, 09:22 AM.

  • #2
    Check out my journal. I keep kosher as well. Never had a cheese burger before. Not a fan of burgers either. I also have Chrohns as well which complicates things even more. Chrohns is apparently a common disease among Jews.
    My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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    • #3
      Originally posted by labbygail View Post
      So in honor of Rosh Hashana, I'm looking to connect with other people who keep both kosher and paleo/primal. I'm trying to build a support system for myself. I've seen some posts about issues of kashrut, and I'm sure there must be other people who have the same difficulties I'm having with following the strictures of TWO extremely restrictive diets (especially since kashrut is a Neolithic diet).

      How do you cope with always being the one who eats differently, no matter who you are talking to or hanging out with?
      That part is hard for me...but not wrt kashrut. Having said that, we do eat out at regular restaurants though dh will only eat kosher meat. I however, am moving toward *only* eating grassfed meat which generally isn't kosher. I've also recently eaten shellfish.

      But for the 10 or so years of keeping kosher (ie not eating meat/milk combos, not eating shellfish, pork either at home or restaurants), for me, that was a non-issue. It just wasn't hard or isolating. It was the gluten free, veg, vegan blah blah blah that made it difficult.

      For the primal thing, it's much easier b/c I can always eat meat and veggies without having to discuss avoidances with anyone. When out with folks or at other's houses, I don't worry about tiny amounts of non-primal ingredients that might be contained in an otherwise primal item.

      This forum though, has given me support in the food realm like *nothing* I've previously experienced. It's made up for all of the dietary isolation and then some.



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      • #4
        This is a great forum, I agree! I recognize your name because people are always saying things like, "Oh, maybe cillakat will come along and answer that question for us."

        I never found keeping kosher hard or isolating until I started to question my diet instead of just eating what I've always eaten. It's like I opened a window and a flood poured in. Primal philosophies about food have spilled over into everything I thought I knew about theology and the meaning of life. (I wish I were exaggerating.)

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        • #5
          Thanks, I found your journal and took a look. I really admire the way you are taking control of your health. I guess should count my blessings...

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          • #6
            While I don't keep kosher, I did grow up in a kosher home. (We didn't observe outside of the house, but the kitchen and all food at home were kosher.) Even though I'm not kosher, there are many ways that the habits and rules of kashruth impact my cooking and eating, but they in no way interfere with sticking to a primal diet.

            Eliminating grains, sugar, and refined foods is no more difficult if you're kosher than if you're not; it's perhaps even easier to stay with the primal diet, because you're already used to following rules about what you eat, and you're not accustomed to eating lots of fast food or junk processed foods because most of those that are available aren't kosher anyway.

            Just because many of the posters here seem to think that eating bacon and bacon grease is required to follow the primal diet, that's just not true. What could be more primal than chopped liver, made from liver (calves liver or chicken liver), onions sauteed in chicken fat, and hard boiled eggs?
            Last edited by liza; 09-13-2010, 12:57 PM.

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            • #7
              labbygail:

              L'Shana Tovah! I no longer keep kosher, but can understand your feelings of restriction and being different when it comes to eating. Same as when I kept kosher, I will gladly explain why I am following the PB when asked by any friends with whom I (or my wife and kids) are dining. I always looked at eating out as an opportunity or challenge when I observed kashruth; I see PB the same way. The biggest challenge that I would have in still keeping kosher with PB is finding a source for grass-raised meat, something which our family is strict about in the home. I found a couple of listings online; the best part is a lot of the organs are kosher cuts.

              For Erev Rosh Hashana dinner at my sister's (who still keeps kosher), I enjoyed a great fleishig meal with about six veg side dishes and skipped the rice (she cooks sephardi). Unintentionally, the rice dish was the only non-primal dish the whole night.

              How are you feeling deprived when it comes to kosher and PB foods? I would think that the combination would work well (skipping the bacon part, of course). Maybe you can educate me, as I would like to introduce some of my cohorts at our synagogue to the PB lifestyle, and I know a few keep kosher.

              May you have a sweet New Year,
              Bob

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bob View Post
                labbygail:

                How are you feeling deprived when it comes to kosher and PB foods? I would think that the combination would work well (skipping the bacon part, of course). Maybe you can educate me, as I would like to introduce some of my cohorts at our synagogue to the PB lifestyle, and I know a few keep kosher.

                May you have a sweet New Year,
                Bob
                After seeing some people's responses, especially Liza's, I am coming to the conclusion that it is more psychological than anything. I blame it on having two sets of rules, but I think it's just shock at actually having to THINK about what I eat. (I never had to think about kashrut since I grew up with it and it's second nature.)

                There are some things that are easier, but some that are harder. I've been trying to pin it down, and I think it boils down to two things:

                -Challah. It's practically a mitzvah to eat challah, and I loooooove it. I know non-Jews have dietary rituals and holidays too, but they don't have a religious requirement to eat bread. Since I'm not good at "moderation," it really derails me. Some people will have no problem with this being part of their 20%.

                -While we don't eat out at restaurants a lot, we do eat out at other people's homes a lot, or at the synagogue. Those are the main times I have trouble because I feel left out of the community when I can't eat their food. Sure they'll make me food I can eat, but keeping kosher is about being part of a community who all eat the same way, and now it feels like I've placed myself outside the community.

                There are some additional issues that you may or may not run into at your shul:

                -A lot of people who keep kosher eat "dairy out" (like me). When we go to a restaurant, the only thing I can order is grilled fish and veggies. Delicious, and keeps me from having to bother with the menu, but it does contribute to feeling deprived.

                -Depending on how liberal your synagogue is, you may run into vegetarians or near-vegetarians who believe that kashrut was intended as a concession to humans' desire to eat meat. I get into arguments with these folks.

                I think it will work if you have a bunch of people at your synagogue doing it together because then they can share holiday meals.

                Oh, and don't mention that it's like Pesach year-round (even though that's exactly what it is, but without the matzah and matzah meal). That won't win any supporters.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by liza View Post
                  Eliminating grains, sugar, and refined foods is no more difficult if you're kosher than if you're not; it's perhaps even easier to stay with the primal diet, because you're already used to following rules about what you eat, and you're not accustomed to eating lots of fast food or junk processed foods because most of those that are available aren't kosher anyway.

                  Just because many of the posters here seem to think that eating bacon and bacon grease is required to follow the primal diet, that's just not true. What could be more primal than chopped liver, made from liver (calves liver or chicken liver), onions sauteed in chicken fat, and hard boiled eggs?
                  You are absolutely correct! I just get so bogged down in all the food porn that's posted here that I can't eat. I need to remember all the kosher primal goodies I can eat! In addition to the ones you mention, I can also get all kinds of herring, mackerel, and sardines really cheap at the kosher supermarket.

                  While you're right that there's no culture of eating fast food, here in Cleveland there is a huge culture of eating processed junk. We have a huge ultra-orthodox community and the kosher supermarket is stocked wall-to-wall with kosher-certified frankenfoods. A lot of them are pareve, so the modicum of real food found in the non-kosher version has been removed. There is such an obesity problem, too. It's really sad how people are completely uneducated about food: if it's kosher, it must be good to eat. Just eat less of it. Except on Shabbat (which is three huge meals every week). But don't exercise, because you should spend your time studying.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by labbygail View Post
                    You are absolutely correct! I just get so bogged down in all the food porn that's posted here that I can't eat. I need to remember all the kosher primal goodies I can eat! In addition to the ones you mention, I can also get all kinds of herring, mackerel, and sardines really cheap at the kosher supermarket.

                    While you're right that there's no culture of eating fast food, here in Cleveland there is a huge culture of eating processed junk. We have a huge ultra-orthodox community and the kosher supermarket is stocked wall-to-wall with kosher-certified frankenfoods. A lot of them are pareve, so the modicum of real food found in the non-kosher version has been removed. There is such an obesity problem, too. It's really sad how people are completely uneducated about food: if it's kosher, it must be good to eat. Just eat less of it. Except on Shabbat (which is three huge meals every week). But don't exercise, because you should spend your time studying.
                    So much to think about.

                    We are a food-centric religion. Food is symbolic, and important. We ritualize everything about food. Clearly we have rejected the hunter part of the hunter/gatherer culture, because we will not eat hunted meat; it must be ritually slaughtered. Bread itself is important, after all, we thank G-d for bringing forth bread from the earth.

                    Use the 20% to have a bite of challah on Shabbat. I hope we all indulged enough to have a dip of honey for Rosh Hashana. And of course we have the perfect IF (Intentional Fast) starting at sunset tomorrow.
                    Last edited by liza; 09-16-2010, 03:02 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I second liza's challah recommendation. We still make challah every Friday, but my wife and I only have a bite; the rest goes for the kids's sandwiches (so the kids are at about 70/30).

                      And thank you so much for taking the time to expand on your feelings; I now understand from where your frustration comes. Thank you also for identifying some of the issues I may encounter. Fortunately, after posting the 30 Day Challenge as my facebook status, one of my shul-friends starting reading and is really motivated to go primal; in fact, he wants our families to get together to enter the grokfest picnic contest!

                      I remember the "dairy" out or "veg/fish" dish out when I kept kosher and went out to restaurants. And I remember those feelings that you encounter of being deprived, especially on those late night college trips to In'n'Out or Tommy's Burgers (an L.A. thing) - no double-doubles or chili-cheeseburgers for me.

                      I also share your frustration with our community when it comes to bad food choices. I used to live near a kosher grilled fish restaurant in an orthodox/hassidic dominated neighborhood at which I would eat every Sunday. I was in disbelief when I would see these overweight, inactive families eating together. I was happy that they were getting at least one healthy meal (the restaurant just served grilled fish, israeli salad, and french fries or rice).

                      May you all have an easy fast tomorrow/Saturday.

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                      • #12
                        I start to understand more of the frustration. All of my friends and family who are observant kosher just tell those on the outside that they're vegetarian; it works (there are many vegetarians here; they're indulged, even if not understood). They can eat at peoples' homes, can go out to restaurants (clearly they're not frum, that would be a whole different problem). But they're not trying to combine kosher with primal.

                        We live in an area that has a big enough Jewish population that it's not weird or unknown, but it's a highly assimilated population; lots of one Jewish parent, one not, etc. There's no large kosher supermarket such as labbygail talked about, so the processed food issue doesn't come up. Just some thoughts. . . comments?

                        Wishing you all an easy fast.
                        Last edited by liza; 09-16-2010, 05:21 PM. Reason: spelling

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                        • #13
                          This is getting dangerous; I'm thinking too much about the kosher/primal dichotomy, so want to verbalize some thoughts and get your reactions.

                          If you're negotiating within the kosher-world (synagogue, etc.) you only need to eliminate grains, sugars, refined foods, etc. Dairy meals include fish, cheese, eggs, and the like; meat meals include meat, so you can find appropriate things to eat whether it's a dairy or meat meal.

                          In the outer world, vegetarian meals are grain based in a way that they're not in kosher dairy meals, so it can be more of a problem. Comments?

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                          • #14
                            Eggs are parve.
                            My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                            • #15
                              Vegetarian meals are grain-based whether they're kosher or not. The only difference is that to Jews, a "vegetarian" meal almost always includes fish. Thank God.

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