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In The JOK Kitchen With Beth Warren

beth warren book

There is so much nutrition talk out there in this age of information, but it is really hard for the average consumer to wade through and find the truth.  Beth Warren is a Registered Dietitian with a mission to break it down and make it simple to live a healthy life.  In Living a Real Life with Real Food, Beth shows us how to live healthfully and stay energized by eating real whole foods.  She includes 50 recipes in there too to help start us off on the right foot.   My health philosophy is very similar to Beth's and I am so glad she came out with this book.  Let's learn a bit more from Beth.

Your book is geared toward the kosher consumers who are always checking labels for kosher certifications, but the nutrition facts panel is left out of the buying equation.  Most people don't even know how to use it, how does your book help?

I recognize how confusing different “health” messages are on products, including the nutrition facts label. In my book, I breakdown the food label in a way that simplifies what you should be looking for, especially in a time crunch. The way I prioritize the different categories of a food label may surprise some, but you are sure to walk out with the least processed, most healthful, kosher food choices... and fast.

How does your book and suggestions help people get energized?

Oftentimes, people come to see me in my private practice, Beth Warren Nutrition, to lose weight. But complaints of fatigue and lack of energy are usually a frequent part of their lives. As they begin incorporating more real food into their diets, or less processed, and eat the way my strategy explains in chapter 3 of the book, including eating on a schedule and balancing certain food groups, the quickest feeling they notice is more energy. They soon realize how much a lack of energy was effecting their quality of life and goals of weight-loss.

I love that you combine a recipe book with lifestyle guide, how do you feel your daily food and mood diary helps people?

There is so much more that goes into eating healthy then just the food. To quote some of my patients when they first see me, “I know what to do, I just don’t do it.” My book tackles all aspects involved in weight control and a goal of weight loss. It was never just about the food or we would be less likely to have these issues of obesity, in some cases also type 2 diabetes and other medical conditions that can be tied to weight. Adding a mood diary to a food journal, and also tracking progress of physical activity, water intake and other parameters, ensures you are tackling more than one aspect involved in weight control. By writing it down, you recognize not only how much you are really eating, but the why, how, when and other important answers to questions that help you achieve better long term weight maintenance. By also incorporating meal plans and recipes, I simply put the clincher on making people feel they can live a real life with real food, it is possible and realistic, and has something tangible they can follow and adjust to fit their real lives.

Do you address concerns that are specific to the kosher consumers? Can you give some examples?

Well, all my meal plans abide by the kashrut guidelines such as not including milk with meat in one meal, waiting the appropriate times after eating meat to have milk, when it comes to a meal plan, and also tackles practical tips for social events that are frequent in the Jewish Community, which includes the weekly Sabbath Meals. Each also incorporate the laws of Bible and Rabbinical authorities when needed, such as the appropriate challah portion on Shabbat and what that counts towards in terms of a starch portion on your plate.

I also look to use the discipline of keeping a kosher diet to use towards keeping a healthier lifestyle and discuss how they are similar behaviors.

What is your background from cooking? how did you learn? what kinds of foods do you like to cook?

I come from both an Asheknazic and Sephardic background (Syrian), so my cooking is eclectic. I then married into a Moroccan family, which further broadened my cooking repertoire. I try to use all the traditional recipes of each ethnicity, from chicken matzo ball soup to yebra and then Morrocan fish and chamin, but I look to make the recipes healthier while maintaining the quality of the heritage and flavors. And I fit them into a balanced meal plan. Also, maintaining simplicity is important to me so others can feel they can create these dishes while on a budget and time crunch.

Thanks Beth, I am so excited about this book and your Chicken and Okra Recipe