Israel – first day back in Kfar Saba

I lived in Israel for 3 years (during middle school) but haven’t been back in 5.5 years. It’s kind of surreal being here. I feel like so many things are familiar. I know where things are in relation to my grandmother’s house, yet my Hebrew is practically gone (so embarrassing!) which makes me feel like a tourist. The best part is definitely seeing my friends, though. We used to be so tight in middle school and we picked up right where we left off 5+ years ago. All my girls even look the same… I hope we can say the same thing in 10 years ;)

Upon arrival at my grandmother’s place we were greeted with a small feast.  Despite having fabulous airplane food (that’s sarcasm btw), I of course could not resist to have a little taste. My grandma was really hesitant to keep the oil out of most dishes (as per my request), but for the most part did quite well. What you see here is a mashed potato/ground beef (fried) patty (she just couldn’t resist to use oil in at least something) + some veggies (roasted red peppers, eggplant/tomatoes, carrots).

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After a short nap, I enjoyed a little dessert :D

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Then it was time to meet with my friends! I was super excited :) We walked around town a bit and decided to sit down for “a drink.” This to me means alcohol but apparently they meant smoothies and milkshakes. I stuck to mineral water to save calories for the good stuff. I told the girls about my blog and they thought it was funny that I took a picture of my water… so I had to pose with the bottle too :mrgreen:

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Now that I have a hard time reading Hebrew, it almost looks exotic. What do you think? Isn’t this bottle kind of cute? :) We then hopped to another cafe. I was on a mission – I wanted “toast” – my old favorite. It’s basically a hybrid between panini and pizza on an Israeli bagel, which is nothing like American bagels… definitely bigger but lighter. Again, the menu was a bit overwhelming to me, but I was also getting a kick of being back in Israel!!!!

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The cafe (called very creatively “Cafe Cafe”) was pretty cute too :)

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I split a “toast” with my friend Zoya. This guy had mozzarella, tomatoes, red sauce and green olives, and came with a side salad.

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My portion:

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I’m not going to lie – I was not impressed with the toast (the salad was the best part). Maybe white over-processed bread with red sauce is just not my thing anymore, or maybe this was just not the right place to get it. My sister had the same craving and went to a place in Tel Aviv with her friend and had the opposite experience. She was talking about her toast all morning. I may give it another try on my next visit :)

We had a really fun time, though. There was also a bit camera playing (I SO want a super fancy one now!). Here are my 2 friends taking pictures of me, taking pictures of them. We’re such dorks :lol:

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All 4 of us, just like the old days :cool:

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Oh yeah, I also had a glass of cabernet with dinner. Apparently this is very not Israeli. Oh well, I like wine :)

Have you ever reunited with a childhood friend? How was it? What about eaten an old favorite dish? Was it as good as you remembered?

I’m a day behind in my blogging, so I can tell you already the next post will be full of fabulous eats. Hope you have a great day. What day is it anyway? Hehe, I love vacation! ;)

Getting to Israel

I’m finally in Israel! I’m using dial-up internet (eek, blogger’s nightmare) and the time difference is making me slightly zombie-like, but I’m happy to be here. Even the flight was surprisingly easy, thanks to all the “entertainment” I brought with me:

The personal tv screen that was in front of me was pretty awesome too. I’ve never seen this kind before. You could start and pause movies, shows, music and even computer games any time. I watched Duplicity and The Soloist at some point, which killed over 4 hours right there. Sweet :)

What else was sweet? This crazy mullet on the guy we saw in line for check-in in Newark:

Why would anyone in their right mind want this haircut? Beats me ;) I was trying to be all undercover taking this shot, so I snapped a photo of my sister and she did the same for me:

The food was the airplane special – kind of bluh, with a few edible items:

I never touched the dinner “entree” portion of this meal. The chicken did not look appetizing (and my sister bit the bullet and tasted it for us… it got 2 thumbs down), and the pasta around it was soggy and nasty. The salad was surprisingly yummy. Not sure what the grains in there where, but the peppers on top made everything super spicy and we both loved it. Combine that with a bread roll and a brownie, that was my Saturday night dinner. Nice, heh?

Mid-flight snacks included these babies (the KIND bar was from a personal stash, the granola bars were available on the flight):

And breakfast close to arrival was this fun combo:

This is actually all the “side dishes” that came with breakfast. The choices were “eggs or cereal” but I thought this was enough food as is. I ate all the fruit (+ a little more that I got from our neighbor) + croissant + 2/3 of the muffin. Everything was quite yummy. Could be the 9 hours in the air though :?

Oh did I mention I ran 10 miles before the flight? No? Hehe. It was awesome! My sister and I ran to Brooklyn, got lost there for a bit, and then ran a little more on the lower east side. It was raining but we didn’t care. These long runs give me such a high for the rest of the day, I just can’t get enough of them!!! I hit a wall a little after 6 miles but my sister got me threw it. Since we got a little lost, there was also a bit more walking than usual (actually I never really walk during my runs) but my average was still 9:51 minute/miles and I’m cool with that. It’s not really about speed on those long runs. I’m just happy to finish strong, and that we did :mrgreen:

Post workout fuel: scooped out whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomato and dill. Perfection!

This post by Eve inspired me to ask them to scoop out the inside of my bagel. I thought I was going to miss the insides but I was wrong. The crunchy/chewy top is the best part of the bagel and this way everything was well contained inside instead of spilling out. I’m definitely going to start doing it more often!

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Not sure how much downtime I’ll have here but I’ll definitely try to fit a few more posts in with my Israeli eats :D

Sometimes all you have to do is ask

Hi bloggies! I am SO happy right now!! I can’t even begin to tell you how stressed out I was this morning. I’m leaving for NY tomorrow straight after work and the next day I’m going to Israel. I had so much work to do before that, I swore I could stay up all night and probably would still be unable to finish all of it. I felt so helpless and overwhelmed… I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. My boss I believe thinks pretty highly of me, and I just couldn’t handle either not meeting my deadline or handing something in that was sub-par. So I got to work bright and early and started cracking down on the work. Unfortunately the more I read, the more anxious I got. So you know what I did? I asked my boss if there was any chance I could hand my assignment in after I get back from my trip. It made total sense. There was actually no reason to rush it, except checking the box, and I didn’t want the quality to suffer. And she was ok with it! I think I felt every muscle of my body relax that very moment. It was a huge weight that was lifted off my shoulders (even though of course I’ll still have to do the work next month). Anyway, this just goes to show you that sometimes all you have to do is ask. Things may work out in your favor :D

Here are my eats from the last 2 days. You’re missing another piece of cheesecake, the rest of the chocolate covered brownie from the bottom of this post, and dinner from last night (to be covered in a separate post) :)

Banana oats with coconut, almonds and chocolate chips:

I love how the chocolate chips just melt all over the warm oats. Coconut + banana, however, is a little weird :lol:

Oikos + fruit salad:

Oh Nuts pumpkin seeds. I actually ended up eating the whole baggie I got in the HLS swag bag.

Leftover salmon + edamame from dinner at KO Prime:

Birthday strawberry cheesecake + yogi tea:

Imitation lobster:

Amazing Grass chocolate whole food energy bar:

I received this bar in the HLS swag bag as well, and I think this is the item I was the most excited to try. I knew it would be a little weird but something told me I would also love it. The verdict? Nope. This guy is not for me! I thought the chocolate coating was waxy, and the filling was fake tasting. The cocoa nibs stood out the most. I think this is what “healthy food” stereotypically tastes like, and that’s why I started this blog – to show people that healthy food does not have to be bland or weird, and can be exciting.

Something that’s healthy and I DO love: 1 Food for Life english muffin + 2 packets of Barney Butter and a large banana. Delicious and filling :mrgreen:

And of course my obsession: 1 chocolate chip Paradise Bakery cookie + tea:

I hope to be able to blog from Israel but I don’t know what the internet situation is like there. We are staying with my grandmothers who supposedly have internet, but we’ll see if it’s workable. I may also finally try to figure out Ecto to make it all happen. Do you use Ecto? If you do, how do you bulk resize your pictures? I can’t figure it out for the life of me! :)

Next time you hear from me, I may be overseeas :D

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