May 26, 2024
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‘Fit Zaidy Project’ Suggests 10 Steps to Better Health

Eli Kahan, creator of the “Fit Zaidy Project,” is offering a healthier lifestyle to his fellow zaidys ages 60+. Self-described as a typical Brooklyn zaidy, Kahan is yeshiva-raised, a Daf Yomi learner, a shul gabbai, and a former ardent kiddush goer. Through personal experience, at age 60 he came to the realization that his lifestyle was causing him serious metabolic dysfunction which was resulting in early and unhealthy aging. He began to understand that, “Although our final age is set by Hashem, how we age depends upon the efforts we invest in our personal health.”

At age 60, Kahan developed numerous back problems. Fortunately, through physical therapy and exercise, they were mostly resolved. However, while on his journey to recovery, Kahan discovered a whole new world — that of aging well in the 60+ population. He found that the current health awareness explosion is educating seniors in areas including higher protein consumption, muscle development, strength training, posture, balance, better sleep habits and more, resulting in a healthier quality of life.

In looking around at his “chevra” of zaidys (and bubbys) and their lifestyles, Kahan realized how much they can benefit from improving their often exaggerated eating styles and lack of physical exercise. So he set out to offer a dialogue which will propose a program that can provide the “seriously unfit” zaidy with a 10% energy and weight improvement within 10 weeks at no charge to the participants.

Calling his program “The Fit Zaidy Project,” Kahan is challenging his fellow zaidys with a daily 10-step guided system that they will follow for 10 weeks resulting in a 10% weight loss as well as improved energy, health and wellness. To join level 1 of the program, while accruing 100 points along the way, Kahan suggested the following:

  1. Exercise. 30-minute daily walk, brisk if possible.
  2. Sleep. Get to sleep 30 minutes earlier than your current average bedtime.
  3. Posture. Do 5-10 wall angels daily. Suggestion: research forward head posture exercises.
  4. Hydration. Drink 8+ cups of water/non-caloric drinks (teas, coffees with a little milk and sugar-free sweetener if desired, and non-caloric seltzers are free and unlimited on this program).
  5. Eating Time. Consume all calories within a 12-hour window.
  6. Non-Eating Time. Do not consume calories three hours before bedtime
  7. Protein.Try to eat 100 grams of protein, 30 grams per meal, throughout the day. Proteins include: eggs, salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, chicken, meat, cheese, yogurt …
  8. Healthy Fats. Increase daily intake of olive oil, avocados, almonds, walnuts, coconut oil …
  9. Whole Foods (unprocessed). This includes healthy fruits (pears, apples, cherries, frozen blueberries and strawberries) and colorful salads (tomatoes, arugula, kale, celery, peppers)
  10. Carbs. Lower carbs to below 150 grams daily. Reduce consumption of highly processed foods and dramatically reduce all forms of sugar as in fruit juices and soda.

Kahan is confident that by following these 10 guided steps daily, participants will develop a “health mindfulness” that will lead to increased energy and improved overall health. He is hoping to “spread the word” about “The Fit Zaidy Project” to as many potential participants as possible through articles, op-eds, in-person interviews and public awareness talks in shuls,

melave malkas and through organizations and other public venues. Kahan invites individual zaidys or couples interested in “diving deeper” into this project to contact him about arranging for a personalized “boot camp” or a buddy system with weekly coaching.

Kahan shared, “Our initial goal is to help 1,000 unfit zaidys see a 10% improvement. From this humble beginning, a developing health consciousness will lead them, B”EH, on the beautiful path to better health and aging.”

Kahan can be contacted at [email protected] or by calling (917) 589-8943. The website is under development and should be fully launched by August.


Pearl Markovitz is the senior staff writer at  the Jewish Link.

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