By Jamie Geller
Joy of Kosher

You all know my story. You’ve seen it played out on TV. I often get comments like, “You’re so much thinner in person,” or (after a particularly long holiday season) “Mazal tov; you’re expecting” when I’m not. To be honest, it’s been hard to gain the baby weight and not lose the baby weight while in the public eye.

This last pregnancy, I was especially big. After I saw the number 200 on the scale, I stopped looking. I am only 5’ 6”. There is only so much you can explain away.

Baby weight or not, my tummy is like a magnet. Every extra pound gathers around my midsection like people flocking to a clearance sale at Nordstrom. Tamar, my longtime friend, colleague, and my nutrition guru, has the same trouble spot (or so she says). I like to think maybe that’s why we get along so well.

I’ve often turned to her, begging to do something together. Tamar is a registered dietitian with a master’s in health studies. She’s got more initials after her name than some British royalty, and when it comes to eating well, I trust her implicitly. I generously offered up myself as the perfect guinea pig for her healthy-meal-plan schemes and dreams. Thank G-d, she finally heard my pleas because I’m tired of being called pleasantly plump. Truth is, I’m just plain tired (and would settle for feeling more pleasant).

That’s the real impetus for all this. Exhaustion. And to be even more honest, my sedentary lifestyle can sometimes leave me depressed. Not mentally and clinically–just a kind of lackluster feeling. Many of you know what it is like to be a mommy or daddy–what it feels like when everyone is crying at the same time (including me). It’s just totally overwhelming. When can I schedule in eating healthy and all the meal planning that goes along with it when I am just trying to keep this family of mine running smoothly? I always say that between kids, careers, and carpools, there isn’t a moment to do much more than breathe.

So that was the push for this new Fresh Families thing we’re doing. I looked at other programs that were me/mom/I focused and I needed to create something that was we/family/us focused.

Tamar was with me on this. We usually, eventually, end up on the same page. That’s what happens when you work so closely with someone for almost seven years. She knew the life I wanted included cheese, chocolate, and challah. Tamar studied, tested, and found a way for us to eat the foods we love while maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. It is this inspiration that helped us launch Fresh Families.

Our nutrition philosophy, in a nutshell (purposeful pun), is all about healthy whole foods. We focus on integrating more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts and minimizing added sugar or processed ingredients when we cook for our families.

But more importantly, it’s dinner every night that stresses me out. It’s always there, without fail, just taunting me with the “What are you gonna do with me tonight” attitude. I have mastered cooking quickly for my kids but I’ve been wanting to cook healthier for the whole family. So Fresh Families is for anyone who wants healthy, family-friendly takes on fast food–chicken nuggets, fish sticks, mac ‘n cheese. We have Fresh Families versions of all of those and more that your kids will love. [For a sample menu of Fresh Families, see or]

I’ve always loved the before-and-after pics from makeovers. This meal-makeover after pic will feature your family’s smiling faces!

Jamie Geller is the only bestselling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen–not because she doesn’t love food but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the “Queen of Kosher” (CBS) and the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (New York Times), she’s the creative force behind and JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller magazine. Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their six super kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen–quickly. Check out her new book, JOY of KOSHER Fast, Fresh Family Recipes.



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