the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

I have a confession to make: I'm on the Stop-Light "diete." In less than "tsen" (10) months my granddaughter, Amanda, will have her bat mitzvah and I want to look pencil "dar" (thin). The late Sam Levenson wrote ("You Don't Have to Be in Who's Who to Know What's Up"), "Doctors will tell you that if you eat slowly you will eat less. Anyone raised in a large family will tell you the same thing."

The Stop-Light Diet was created by a nice Jewish doctor--and SUNY psychologist, Leonard Epstein. Foods are linked to the signals on a traffic light with "royt" (red) symbolizing high-caloric foods that should be eaten rarely; "gel" (yellow) symbolizing moderate-caloric foods that can be eaten in moderation; and "grin" (green) symbolizing low-caloric foods that can be eaten as much as a person wants. Dr. Epstein advocates replacing chips and 'tsukerl" (candy) with "der epl" (the apple), "di vayntroyb" (the grape), and " di rozhinke" (the raisin.)

"Azoy" (so), I've made a"reshime" (list) of all of my favorite foods and snacks and placed them in the "royt," "gel," and "grin" columns. "Gib a kik" (give a look:)


Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs & Ham" (nisht kosher)

Egg cream
Mel Brooks said, "The egg cream is psychologically the opposite of circumcision. It pleasurably reaffirms your Jewishness."

Charlotte Russe with REAL whipped cream

Chocolate Chanukah gelt
Chocolate Dreidels
Chocolate Menorahs

Mashuga Nuts
(Who said funny could not sell a product? Didn't Meara and Stiller sell Blue Nun? And, any nuts consumed over "di kikh opgos" (the kitchen sink) has no calories.

Sweet Lokshen Kugel
Aaron Lansky ("Outwitting History") writes about collecting Yiddish books from the "heym" of Sam and Leah Ostroff in Seagirt, B'klyn. "They walked back and forth to the tiny kitchen, returning each time with another heaping platter of Jewish food: matzo brie, herring in cream sauce, lokshn kugl, latkes, blintzes."

Gribbenes--the crisp and incredibly delicious shards of skin left in the pan after you render chicken schmaltz. (Joel Siegel said, "Never buy gribbenes from a moyel."

Halvah--a Turkish confection consisting of a paste made of ground sesame seeds and nuts mixed with honey. Oy, the chocolate covered Halvah!

A glezele tay mit varenya (cherry preserves)

Soda pop
Time Magazine reports that soda pop is "candy in a can." The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged the FDA to slap cigarette-style warning labels on these drinks.

Carrots simmered in honey. Not to be confused with "tsimmis," meaning something complicated. "Don't make a tsimmis out of it."

Movie-related foods
(Milk Duds, buttered popcorn, Junior Mints, Tootsie Rolls, Red Hots, etc.) Don't believe those who say that they don't have additional calories because they are part of the $10 entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

Pistachio "ayzkrem" (ice cream)
Another "bobe mayse" states that foods that have the same color have the same calories. So, spinach and pistachio ice cream are equal!

Salty pretzels
US Airways will eliminate bags of free pretzels on its flights starting in Sept. 2005.

Energy Bars
Dr. Mehmet Oz says that they contain sweet-tasting carbs such as chocolate, which spikes the calorie count.

Godiva: The Chocolixir. Pieces of chocolate blended with caramel or chocolate sauce. Calories: 700 (270 from fat.)

Ben & Jerry's "Chocolate Therapy" ice cream... not even a "bisseleh!"

Nathan's hotdog/Hebrew National hotdog Joel Siegel, film critic, wrote about spending his first night in New York, seeing Patsy Kelley in "No, No Nanette." At intermission he ran like a maniac to Nathan's Times Square for two franks. "How did Nathan's figure out how to pour six ounces of fat into a four-ounce hot dog?" he asked.

TV dinners
Dan Greenberg ("How To Be A Jewish Mother") wrote about TV dinners, "Not enough to fill even a sparrow." Bernard S. Raskas wrote, "A TV dinner may save time, but a home-cooked meal tastest better...The finest gift we can give to others is a portion of our time, our efforts, our thought--our personality."


Dunkin' Donuts iced latte in chocolate-dipped banana flavor. (300 calories, 90 from fat.)  It's "beser" (better) than Starbucks "Chantico," a mixture of cocoa butter and cocoa powder, with steamed milk. (390 calories, 190 from fat).

Jackie Mason's Famous B'way Lactose-Free, Dairy-free, Cholesterol-free, taste-free, cheesecake. Mason asks, "Did you ever see anyone who was miserable while eating cheesecake? No, it's not possible." Kosher, too!

Chicken Soup
Worries go down better with soup than without. Rabbi Benjamin Blech says, with a layer of fat on top, "it's yoykh mit kolesterol."

Unlimited Seltzer (2 cents plain) or a "glayzel kave" (a cup of coffee) without "der tsuker" (the sugar.)

Diet soda
Valeria Harper wrote, "The acid in diet soda destroys the calories in pizza."

Matzo balls. Leon H. Gidlin says, "soft like squeezing a baby's cheek or hard for throwing at your enemies."

Aw, for crynoutloud. Eat the "Everything" bagel already. "Host dos fardint"--you have earned it!  Yes, they're "groys" (large)! But remember what happened in 1951: the bagel status was fully recognized. New York's bagel bakers went out on strike, and the Times headlined its front-page story, BAGEL FAMINE THREATENED IN CITY/LABOR DISPUTE PUTS HOLE IN SUPPLY."

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe shares her best advice to all dieters: "No thyself."

Search for Stories Beginning with the Letter
N O P Q R S T U V W   Y Z
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

Yiddish Stuff
Jewish Humor
Schmooze News
More Majorie Wolfe
Jewish Stories
All Things Jewish
Jewish Communities of the World
Site Designed and Maintained by
Haruth Communications