Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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Moving toward diets that better support our health and our life and survival on earth

Below, some better food alternatives, instead of some regular eating mistakes. These alternatives will not promote ‘pharmaceutical eating’: swallowing for your health but without any pleasure. There is and should be a fundamental difference between taking in medicine and food. So, I won’t pressure you to give up on the joy of eating or being satisfied.

  1. Tasteless Needless Foods

A big problem of eating largely tasteless foods that your body doesn’t need (white bread, white rice, white pasta, white eggs, white meat, etc.) is the addition of all kinds of stuff to artificially flavor them. These bland foods are not only bad for our wealth and health. They also take the place of tasty foods that are known to be supportive of human health.

So, first of all, enlarge the amount of naturally tasty foods in your diet. Most fruits, nuts, veggies, roots, grains, and oils bring their own great tastes. Cook red lentils in water until they dissolve. Great taste.

Watch out for misleading ‘information’ on food wrappers and in adds. On candy and alcohol, it may read, ‘Cholesterol 0’ but our body converts any excess in calories into cholesterol. Peanuts (are beans, not nuts), avocado, and olives have excellent vets — profit from them. Don’t toast your bread in air and then put fat on it; bake it in olive oil.

Slowly, reduce the total of tasteless “foods” you’re used to take in: meat (bland, needs spicing), white pasta, flour, and rice (bland, need salting), white bread (bland, needs butter, jams, cheese, spreads), caffeine drinks (bitter, need sugar, milk), alcohol (aggressive, needs any taste), etc.

When you crave the taste of animal produce (meat, fish, omelet, milk), you may buy plant-based fakes. That will be much better for the planet and may be slightly better for your health. Yet, they generally have many of the same health problems of their originals: tasteless made tasty by adding junk like spices, salts, sugar (artificial sweeteners seem poison), etc. As a half-way stage, it’s a good strategy to eat these replacements, while you’re getting used to more real foods. Check to get your vitamins.

Prioritize buying fresh locally produced unprocessed foods. Don’t over-buy so that you don’t need too big a fridge or to throw away food.

Also, stop giving perfectly tasty stuff the meat treatment. So, don’t sear up perfectly soft food, don’t put salt on cucumber, (window-)dressing on lettuce, sugar on grapefruit, chopped onion or alcohol in fruit salad, etc.

When you are craving salt, don’t put salt in the water you cook in. The food you cook will absorb the salt which you then don’t taste but you still bring into your body. Rather, after you poured off the water, mix in the salt. Better still: don’t salt food (hardly) at all. Before you take a bite, rub a minuscule amount of salt on your lower lip. The next bites will taste salty. If you still didn’t have enough, repeat.

Doctors still haven’t figured out why so many people suffer from the silent killer: high blood pressure. I’ll tell you: a ten-fold salt intake. Do you want to say: “Yes, but almost everyone does that and not everyone gets the bad result”? Answer: If a hundred people bang their heads against a wall, ten times per minute for a whole hour and three end up with a broken skull, do you wonder why they got a skull fracture? It’s from the banging. Do you wonder why the others didn’t? Of course not.

  1. Quickly Bulk-Consuming Non-Foods

A big problem of snacking, quickly stuffing yourself with tasteless non-foods, is the addition of all kinds of stuff to give taste to them. Eating these non-foods also takes away your appetite. They take the place of tasty nutritious foods that may support human health. They also drive your addictions to bad stuff like quick sugars, alcohol, salt, etc. Snack on fruit, raw veggies (beets don’t need cooking, but peel them), carrots.

Fibers in your food, all on their own, can revolutionize your whole eating and digestion. Fibers force you to chew which leaves you more satisfied. They force you to slow down eating, which limits your intake. They make you feel full which helps you stop eating. They massage your bowel muscles for easier bowel movement (no more bathroom literature).

Potato and white flour give off their sugars quickly. Blood sugar level then rises fast too. A hormone to reduce it, is dumped into the blood. Sugar level falls quickly, making you feel hungry instead of satisfied. A sure way to make money: to have you eat calories that you don’t need.

Fake eating, chewing gum, tricks the body into believing that food is on its way in. It works better to seek some privacy (to concentrate on you) and feel your feelings and have some emotional release (yawn, cry, shiver, laugh, growl or talk out-loud, stretch, etc.). After that, you look not only cool but outright adorable. Same for nicotine and alcohol. A healthy way to consume them is by yawning. Before or after? Instead of!

Don’t forget to drink lots of water. Don’t flavor your drinks. Enjoy the contrast between the food tastes and the aqua. If you dislike the taste of water (some people do), add a few drops of apple vinegar.

Opening up a can is quicker than cooking a whole meal. It becomes a problem if the meal you would make would be better than the ready-made package contains. Say out-loud: me preparing food shows how much I really care about me. A great way to train yourself into self-love.

  1. Emotional ‘Eating’ Problems

There is a real difference between eating what we need to maintain our health in ways that feel good and taking in stuff that hurts our health but tastes or feels good. The former is taking care of a rational need while the latter is an abuse of our body — to feel a certain way or (more often) to help ignore bad feelings not connected to nutrition or physical needs.

There is over-eating of calories to not feel lonely, smoking not to feel nervous (or bored), eating protein not to feel angry, drinking alcohol not to feel tense, consuming caffeine not to feel tired, etc. Try not to eat while you’re doing something else. Be mindful of your eating.

The best alternative is not just abstinence from junk intake and eating rationally. You felt “a need” to consume this junk for a reason. You were unhappy and you need to face those feelings and talk and cry about them. That makes them go away — and any urge to take in junk “foods.”

Let’s remember here too the opposite: people who can’t eat from being nervous or worried. Here helps eating tiny bits more than you feel like and then crying and trembling as long as you can (Therapeutic Eating).

Doctors know very little about food. They’re even less aware of the damage from emotional eating. They think that they can see the effects of bad eating in your blood tests. Yet, the worst bad effects of emotionally overeating, junk-eating of starvation lie in not crying when you need to.

Forgive yourself for not doing all of the above perfectly already/ever. We all have limitations and need to weigh priorities against each other. Perfectionism means ignoring the full scope of issues at play, implies a lack of balance, is a failure, is an imperfection. We thrive when we take all of life into account. This may here entail: money, habit, preferences, time, emotions, health, discomfort, carbon footprint, people close to us, not in any particular order. And steady change takes time. Give yourself time to improve. Decide to change slowly. Snap changes often don’t last.

Disclaimer: I wrote the above in a day. It can’t be perfect. Don’t sail blindly on whatever you hear or read anywhere. Check with your GP for the final word on what is healthy for you. Don’t die of a printing error!

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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