By Maital Ledder

Hello, hello! My name is Dr. Sarah Bas Yekusiel, MD, and of course, health guidance counsellor of the Jews of Goshen, Mitzrayim. Here with me is Rina Bas Yitzhar, a health conscious mother of seven who would like to guide us through their healthy lifestyle and how they cope in general. Welcome, Rina!

Rina Bas Yitzhar- Hello, I’m so glad to be here!

SBY- Ok, first of all, please tell us a little about yourself and your family.

RBY- Well, our family is vegetarian which is quite difficult in these circumstances being that most of the nation’s diet consists of meat. I myself am vegan; I’ll explain soon how that works. My husband on the other hand does occasionally eat meat, though only when strictly necessary. He’s makes sure I’m not around when he eats it!

SBY- Impressive! So what does your vegan diet consist of? And do your children partake in eating only vegan?

RBY- No, my children are vegetarian. It is a little difficult being vegan; the food options are limited, but with a little creativity it can work. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and we also eat a lot of nuts and seeds.

SBY- And how about carbs? What do you do for protein? And what about dessert on Shabbos?

RBY- Well we eat bread for carbs, I happen to make delicious spelt and oat bread which we use for challah on Shabbos as well. I don’t want to boast, but Miriam Hanevia herself asked me the other day for the recipe!*

SBY- Wow!

RBY- As for protein, nuts and some seeds are protein. Other than that we eat mushrooms, lentils and soy beans which are high in protein as well. And for dessert, I make a spelt dough which I fill with a date and nut paste. My children love it.

SBY- I’d love the recipe for that as well! My children are always asking me to make them a different type of dessert. Thanks for that. Ok, and on to my last question- since when did you keep this diet? Do your children feel different from their peers and if so, how do they deal with it?

RBY- We have been sticking to this diet for as long as I can remember, and I strongly advise it to anyone and everyone! My children do not feel left out or different, they are used to this specific lifestyle. Occasionally some of my children curiously ask what meat and fish tastes like and if they can taste some, and I don’t know any of the answers. So I leave that up to my husband- that’s his department!

SBY- Thank you so much Rina, I wish you much Hatzlacha with this in the future.

RBY- Thank you.

*This was before the Jews left Egypt, so Rina didn’t know about matzah yet. I’m sure that when the Jews left Egypt she baked delicious oat and spelt matzah, and maybe even gave some to Miriam to try!