||In reply to the question about chewing gum before davening, you stated that it would be the same as food (i. e., forbidden). Please confirm this with your father. I would assume that you can do so, because the Beit Yosef, Orah Hayyim 210 quotes the Rosh that the definition of eating is hanaah for your innards, but simply tasting something, which is all you are doing with gum, does not fall into this category. Also see R. Jacob Emden, Mor u-Ketziah, 567 that if you chew on a sweet branch of a tree and even if you swallow it, that this is not regarded as eating, since people don't usually do so. Similarly, since you don't swallow gum, and you are just sucking out the taste, it would seem that this is not eating and therefore permitted before davening? Just my thoughts and waiting to hear what the Rav says.
As for not saying tehillim for sick people, I believe you are referring to Yoreh Deah 179:9 (Hilkhot Meonen)
Who is Jordan Hoffman? He clearly knows his stuff.