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Kineret Rifkind Photography

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by Rhonda Spivak, October 3, 2012


Rose Reisman, a wellness expert who runs her own gourmet catering company and well known cookbook author, was the main event last week at two Women’s Philanthropy events designed to kick off this year’s CJA annual campaign. I attended the Women’s Philanthropy kick-off event on September 10, and it was great fun and very capably chaired by Randee Pollock and Susan Vickar.

Beth Goldberg, Women’s Philanthropy Chair, shared personal stories of her involvement with Federation and the Combined Jewish Appeal. Her first-hand accounts of the impact of our CJA dollars on elderly Jews in Ukraine and on local Jewish children in foster care was exceedingly moving and reinforced how fortunate we are to live in such a generous community.

Gail Asper, the CJA Annual Campaign Chair, was passionate and convincing in her remarks about the need for an increased campaign. This year’s goal is $360,000 more than last year’s $5.4 million, with money going to the 18 agencies Federation supports locally, nationally and overseas, including Israel. Allocations are used by 11 local agencies to balance their annual operating budgets so they can deliver the programs needed to support our growing community. Money that is allocated to non-local agencies is used to support programs such as birthright- Israel, March of the Living, Partnership 2Gether, immigration and absorption of new Israelis and to help struggling Jewish communities in the Former Soviet Union.

Reisman is a Registered Nutritional Consultant from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and holds several university degrees, including a BA and an MBA from York University and a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto. To date, she has written 17 books and has contributed over $1 million to breast cancer research.

Reisman was chalk full of advice and tips on how to eat healthy by avoiding unnecessary fat and cholesterol. I don't know why, but out of all the things she said, the one that I remember most is that when serving canned corn, one should not serve it "as is", because it tastes like hospital food. A simple charring in a very lightly oiled frying pan will bring out the taste and flavour. I live with a house full of Corne's - Stephen, Leah and Dov -and this tip really struck home!

I also remember Reisman, who began her career by self-publishing a cookbook, emphasized that you should make your plate of food colourful--with greens, orange, red and yellow. Brown and white food doesn’t provide much nutrition. Rose made some colourful remarks in addition to preparing colourful food. She
referred to Fettuccini Alfredo as "heart attack on a plate," and said that chances are that when you eat pasta at your favorite Italian restaurant, you are eating way too many portions of pasta.

Over the last few years, Rose Reisman has extended her health and wellness principles into a multitude of various businesses, including a highly successful cooking school, and restaurant in Toronto. She became interested in healthy eating as a result of her father and other relatives who died at a young age because for "obesity related" reasons. Although Reisman says she struggled as a child with her weight, you wouldn't know that now. She is a perfect weight, and one audience member told me to note that Reisman was cooking in high heels!

Reisman prepared four recipes for the audience, comprised mainly of women. The recipes were prepared for our eating enjoyment afterwards in the Berney Theatre foyer, and the food was colourful and great tasting, particularly the spinach potato kugel.
The evening’s recipes are posted on the Federation’s website, at

To the best of my knowledge, Rose didn't mention the word libido once throughout the entire evening. That's why I was surprised to find an article she recently wrote in the Huffington Post about foods that can bring out your sex drive:
…loaded with magnesium, a mineral your body needs to produce sex hormones".

Figs "

… phenyl ethylamine releases endorphins brought on by sex."



Chocolate "

…the capsaicin that gives peppers their heat may also increase your libido."


Hot chili peppers"



The complete article is available at . It might be worth serving chocolate covered asparagus at your Break the Fast meal!

has a nutrient that can deter erectile dysfunction."
There's an old joke about whether oysters increases sexual appetite: "I ate twelve but only six worked!" Considered an aphrodisiac for centuries, oysters contain zinc, which is useful for testosterone production in both men and women."

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.