Healthy and Sane

Israel – day 2 – celebrating grandma’s birthday and discovering new places

September 1st, 2009 · 11 Comments · Israel

Wow, I’ve been a lazy bum today. I’ve been up for nearly 7 hours, and haven’t done anything so far. I’m trying to convince myself to step outside for a workout but it’s so hot in the apartment that the idea of going out to where it’s even hotter, makes me a little queezy. Anyways, at least yesterday was an action packed day so I have lots to cover here 😉

My sister and I got up at 7:30 am to get a workout in (how’s that for dedication on vacation? :) ) and had our pre-workout snack… 1 stolen Nature Valley oats ‘n honey bar from the plane + coffee:


Have you ever had this bar? I used to eat them like it was my job back in college 😆 If you have, you probably know that there are normally 2 bars inside the package. The plane version had only 1, which I thought was normal since they obviously have snacks custom made, but I was surprised to find out that the same packages in Israel also only have 1 bar. Do Americans really need 2 bars and double the calories? 😕

About 45 minutes later, we were off on a run … until we realized it was a billion degrees out and super humid. After 1.5 miles we were kind of done so instead of torturing ourselves in the heat I decided to create a little boot camp for us in the playground (where it was a bit more shady). We had a lot of fun (in that masochistic way)! The heat and the slight hill we were on made it quite the challenge… in a good way 😉 About an hour later, we were both spent. My sister’s HRM said she burnt 688 calories. Wow, I’m good. Haha 😆

Post workout we hit a local convenience store and I spotted this guy:


This is basically liquid tart yogurt and it really hit the spot! So creamy and delicious. Lots of protein too to repair those muscles 😀 Then we showered and went for a walk around our old hometown. First stop was at a local bakery for a few treats we’ve been missing: burekasim and rughalah.



The burekas on the left had onions in it, so I only had 1. It is basically puff pastry filled with different stuff. This guy had spinach and cheese. Yum! The rughalah was chocolaty and doughy. Just what I’ve been missing (I had 1 for a snack right away and another one later in the day). Great stuff here :mrgreen:

Oh yeah, I also had a juicy peach before leaving the house.


Our walk was nice. We recognized so many old spots, like our old fruit and veggie shop, and also saw some businesses turn over. Our old hair salon is now a toy store. Funny. One cool thing on our walk was this recycling cage:


The sign says: “It’s crazy not to recycle.” I agree! We saw a few of these around town. Very cool.

Next up: lunch at Makom Balev (translated as “place in the heart”) to celebrate my grandma’s 75th birthday! The restaurant is kind of in the middle of no-where in Raanana, and has a cute garden where they grow some of their produce. My kind of place 😉



My sister and I drank to my grandma’s health (this is a glass of Riesling). The grandmas were drinking water.

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The water was pretty cool too. I think that’s lemongrass. Can you guys identify these leaves?

And now onto the meal. We decided to take advantage of Israel’s restaurant week. Kind of funny that it’s here now, since it just ended in Boston. Maybe I brought it on 😉 I started with some portabello mushrooms stuffed with creamy mixed mushrooms and topped with breadcrumbs. This was really delicious and very indulgent. I had 1 of them, and opted to save room for the rest of the meal.


For my entree some fresh fish sounded great, so I ordered the whole fish with vegetables and green butter.


Wow, so fresh and wonderful. Veggies included eggplant, zucchini, and diced tomatoes and the sauce was slightly lemony, buttery and was subtle enough as to let the fish shine. I loved my entree and polished off nearly the entire thing 😀

I was getting perfectly full by this point (not too stuffed, just happy full) but of course dessert was coming our way. There were 2 options: sorbet and frozen yogurt and my sister and I decided to order both and try each others’.



Both desserts were really nice (I preferred the frozen yogurt, my sister the sorbet) but I only had a few spoonfuls. I wanted to leave this fine meal on a good note instead of being weighed down for the rest of the day. Overall, I really liked this lunch! 😀

Fast forward a few hours, I met up with my friends for drinks and dinner at Namal Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv’s port), which was such a good spot. Very European… lots of restaurants, cafes and dance bars right on the water. Such a great vibe, I had no idea places like this existed in Israel! The cafe we chose was named Cafe Nimrod and it was great. I started with my second glass of Riesling for the day and ordered a salad:

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My salad was awesome! It had lots of candied dried fruit, cherry tomatoes, seeds and 3 mini-toasts with olive spread and goat cheese rounds.


Really great stuff! It also came with this mini-bread loaf which I am sure had crack in it. 😆


I originally was going to stay away from the bread (since my salad already had a few slices) but after 1 bite of it with some sun-dried tomato spread (in the background) I couldn’t stop! I had a few slices until I ran out of the spread and continued picking at it throughout the night. All those seeds and nuts were so addictive. I loved it!

My gorgeous girls:


Another fun night! I also got to meet my friends’ boyfriends and husband, which was really nice. Now I’m off to get ready for our next night out. Too bad this trip is nearly over :( although I also really miss my husband.

Sorry for the long post. Too much good stuff to share and I couldn’t hold back 😉 I’ll try to squeeze my final post before our flight back home tomorrow morning. Are you guys getting excited for the long weekend ahead? I already am! 😛

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Tiffany

    Those desserts look so amazing! My belly just rumbled a bit looking at them. Yum!

    And that shirt really does look super cute on you. The color just pops!

  • #2 - dee (the apple hill adventurer)

    hi there! its my first time to your blog and i really enjoy reading it!

    all of that food looks so delish. i really love traveling, not just because i love seeing new places, but i love trying new foods

    that bread with sun dried tomato spread sounds soooo good!

  • #3 - lola

    i am so jealous of you, i’ve always wanted to go to israel. maybe someday =) the food looks fantastic!

  • #4 - Katy

    This is awesome I get instant updates on your trip. All the food looks great too. Have a safe flight back!

  • #5 - Shannon

    So much good food! Glad you are enjoying such a relaxing week away!

  • #6 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I love your pink top!
    I agree about the Nature Valley bars…always wondered why two were necessary 😉
    Rughalah looks soooo good. Kind of like a pan au chocolate in France?

  • #7 - RunToTheFinish

    yeah, keep up with the pics, I am living vicariously through you as I think isreal is one place I may not ever visit…my list is just so big!

    hmm nature valley bars…of course we need 2! ok maybe not

  • #8 - Israel – day 3 – saved the best food for last

    […] Israel – day 2 – celebrating grandma’s birthday and discovering new places […]

  • #9 - nicole

    the food looks fantastic.
    wow! I am craving some humus now.

  • #10 - Shira

    Welcome to Israel :)

    If you go to the supermarket you’ll see that the dairy product section is gigantic, because Israelis love dairy and everyone eats yogurt, white cheeses, and all sorts of innovative stuff. =D Hope you have fun here!

  • #11 - Elina

    Thanks all for your compliments on my shirt 😉

    Lara – the rugalah are kind of like mini chocolate croissants… a little heavier/less flaky too. I love them!

    Dee – so glad you like the blog! I hope you stay!! 😀

    Shira – I LOVE all the dairy products in Israel. I definitely ate my share of cheese on the trip, and finally enjoyed a yummy yogurt before the flight. Mmm :)