In Israel, eating healthy when on vacation can be a double whammy……on vacation plus Jewish holidays!! Vacation is a time to relax, to not be at home, and to enjoy a different culture and foods. Some people look at a vacation as a time to indulge. Jewish holidays are based on lots of time praying in the synagogue and lots of time eating large, delicious holiday meals. This combination can result in an indulgent holiday atmosphere! The result of indulgence can average a 10 pound increase!
1. Bring healthy snacks with you for the plane and for your stay. This way you won’t be tempted to stop in the local makolet (grocery store) in Israel to grab something. Dried fruit, whole grain snacks, and whole wheat pretzels are healthy snacks.
2. Find a supermarket or visit the shuk (outdoor marketplace) first thing! Shop for fresh fruit and vegetables right away. If you are staying in a hotel, pack a paring knife in your check-in suitcase. Now you can cut and eat delicious fresh produce in your room!
3. Hotel breakfasts in Israel offer an incredible array of choices. Make good choices (fresh vegetables, salads, fruit, granola, yogurt, eggs cooked to order with less oil, and not too much bread). If you eat a good breakfast you will be less likely to splurge on something while you are touring around. Most hotels have deserts, cakes, and other sweets available for breakfast – don’t be tempted! Fill up on the healthy side of the breakfast buffet.
4. Stay away from fast food! If you must, choose a falafel over pizza. At least there are some good protein and vegetables in falafel. Even better, order half a falafel! Skip the French fries (“chips”) as they are deep fried!
5. Restaurant portions in Israel tend to be LARGE. Order one meal for two, possibly with an appetizer. If you are at a vacation rental with a kitchen, bring leftovers home with you. Don’t be afraid to stop eating when you are full. Many people were raised to “clean the plate” by well-intentioned mothers, but this often results in overeating. Some restaurants will agree to put half of the portion in a “to go” bag before you even get your order, which helps reduce your visual appetite!
5. Do not over eat at holiday meals!! Less is more!! Pay attention to feeling full and stop. Take small portions. Remember that fresh challah is delicious but filling, so don’t overindulge. Plan your meals so you know when to have a dessert and when to have extra challah!
6. Get enough sleep! Being off schedule can result in less exercising and more eating. Walk whenever you can and try not to have too many late nights.
7. Reduce alcohol consumption. A glass of wine is fine, but remember that alcohol has nearly as many calories as dietary fat, and doesn’t reduce your appetite like fatty foods can. Alcohol can also cause dehydration, which is particularly dangerous in warm, dry climates, like Israel.
8. Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track what you are eating and how much exercise you are getting. When you are out of your normal environment, its easy to lose track of what you are eating!
9. Have a good time! It’s okay to splurge once or twice but don’t overdo it.
EMA Care wishes you a wonderful vacation in Israel. Shana Tova to everyone.
EMA Care provides medical concierge, case management, and patient advocacy services to tourists, students and residents of Israel. We can be reached at email@example.com . 052 6398444 Schedule your free consultation today.
Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!
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