Some of you may remember the classic Seinfeld episode when Elaine goes to the bakery to buy a chocolate Babka for a friend only to learn that they had just sold the last one and had only cinnamon left. There ensues a discussion of how chocolate is the King of Babka’s to which nothing can compare, followed by frantic efforts to pry the chocolate Babka from the hands of its rightful owner.
There is indeed nothing in the world like a chocolate Babka. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, a Babka is what happens when you take the dough intended for challah (egg bread) and roll it with chocolate to create something with multiple thin alternating layers of bread and chocolate. It is this bready quality that distinguishes a Babka from a cake or a torte. Oddly, one of the very best chocolate Babkas around can be found on the humble shelves of your very own Trader Joe’s. Which puts temptation my way every time I go grocery shopping!
So far during the Covid-19 lock down I have managed to remain strong and Babka free. But the other day a beautiful fresh, untouched Babka showed up in our kitchen like an uninvited guest, somehow managing to evade our sophisticated detection devices. Now, this creates a peculiar dilemma. We couldn’t take it back, and it is sacrilege to throw away perfectly good food (he rationalized). How about social distancing? I avoided close contact the first night, hoping against hope that the kids would make significant inroads, but much to my dismay, in the morning there is still was in pristine condition.
And then my defenses simply collapsed. That evening I took our sharpest knife and made the smallest incision, removing a slice no thicker than a dime. The taste, the feel were sublime. I ventured another small slice and the a third. Before I really knew what I was doing, half the Babka was gone. And then half of that half disappeared. A crime of passion! I was able to finally stop with about two inches of Babka remaining – I guess I’m not a selfish pig after all!
But this is a story not only of sin, but of redemption of a sort. So the day following my Babka orgy, I was determine to atone by doing my usual workout, which consists of a few minutes of cardio to get a little blood pumping into aging muscles and joints, followed by ab work and just enough upper body lifting to feel sore the next day. I knew I was in trouble right off the bat when I couldn’t really do the cardio.
The idea is to elevate the heart rate and increase blood flow to the muscles but I kept having to stop to catch my breath, which never happens under “normal circumstances”. The ab work was painful but I managed to get through it. But weights? OMG! I could not hit my usual number of reps for anything and actually skipped the last three of or four sets because I felt so crappy. And not just physically. It was like a mild depression had set in instead of my usual endorphin high, which I use to motivate me to cook dinner. Instead, I just sort of sat there in a daze. What was up?
Hmmm, I thought, stretching out on the sofa, what goes into a Babka? I didn’t even need to fish the package out of the trash. I knew what I would see. The two main ingredients are processed flour and processed sugar. Nutritionists routinely warn us against consuming too much (or any, if you’re being honest) highly processed foods, with white flour and granulated sugar being among the worst culprits, indeed, veritable poisons. But what happens if you do indulge? Among other things, these highly processed foods are easily convertible into glucose, which causes your blood sugar to spike and then crash creating a craving for – that’s right – more highly processed foods.
Processed sugar may be the worst thing you can eat because it is massively addictive – more so than heroine! True story. So in addition to the big sugar crash there are cravings. And at least in my case the cravings tend to settle in my brain as a dark and cranky mood. Bleached flour and granulated sugar are also just drains on your overall health and well-being, so when you consume them you can feel lethargic and enervated after the momentary elation wears off. So when I was trying to work out, my body was sending me a not so subtle message – “Hey stupid, be careful about what you put inside me. It really does make a difference!”
Luckily, I have ready access to the antidote. I dragged my sorry butt off the couch and made myself a double TLC (Tamam Life Co) Plant Greens Detox Latte. This amazing potion contains only five 100% natural, ingredients: Chlorella, an algae known to cleanse heavy metals and other toxins from the body, kale (enough said!), spinach (ahoy, Popeye!), triphala and matcha green tea, to detox your liver and boost your spirits. Yum! I had another the next morning – and proceeded to KILL my workout! Not to mention, I also added in some serious nutrients with these whole plants (that my beloved Babka could not match), such as loads of protein, fiber, Vitamin C, K, B6, folic acid, potassium and manganese.
So the moral of the story is listen to your body. You don’t always need a series of blood tests to figure out what is going on inside. If you feel tired, worn out, weak and just blah, and you don’t have the energy you normally have, maybe it’s what you’re eating. In my case the message was delivered loud and clear, with a French accent: “Cherchez la Babka!”
Get your Plant Greens Detox because we have a feeling, you might need it!