Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Big Wave

   It is currently one of the intermediate days of the Passover holiday. After a month (more or less) of cleaning, and a few days of holiday cooking, families are out enjoying the spring weather. So instead of curling up with a book (my typical chol haMoed treat) I went walking in park of the Yarkon and along the coast (only 2 1/2 hours, from Bnai Brak to Sheraton hotel). I've been looking forward to this walk the entire last month, when I haven't had the free time to do it. On reaching the Mediterranean I saw that it was very wavy, wetting the boardwalk in a few places. That was fun to watch....
   After reaching the ocean, I walked a bit (about a half hour) along the sea-side boardwalk. At one point however, it is usually very crowded (especially on "festive" days, like today. Not wanting to mess up my aerobic step count, I elected to walk the section of the sidewalk closer to the ocean - yes I could see that it was wet, but so what if I happen to catch a big wave? So my feet will get a bit wet??? Well I caught a big wave alright- and got DRENCHED head to foot.! [So drenched that I was still wet when I arrived home an hour later. (I returned by way of public transportation.)]  I also managed to do a bit of "mini exploring" in the public garden next to the Sheraton hotel, finding a lovely view of the ocean. 
[image: view of Mediterranean Ocean]

[image: view of Tel Aviv beachfront and Marina, with Jaffa in the distance.]
From there one can also see Jaffa in the distance:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pre-Passover Update

   Yes, I know I have gone AWOL, not blogging for nearly 2 weeks (and not reading blogs of others, either, for those who are used to my "inciteful" comments…).  I am deep in the preparations for the upcoming Passover holiday, and if I have any spare time, I'd rather get out to do some walking. So how am I doing with my resolutions from two weeks ago? (previous post)?
1)      I did NOT buy eating chocolate at the supermarket, and not having the luscious swiss chocolate around helps a LOT.
2)      In previous years I usually obtained only 4 hours of sleep a night before Passover. This year I am getting 6 hours most nights (and sometimes even more), and never less than 5. Not ideal, but at least an improvement!
3)        Most days I am getting my exercise in. Sometimes, like yesterday, it takes a bit of planning. Yesterday I had errands to run:
-        To the fish store (2 minutes away)
-        To Ricki's old school to give them some study materials I had purchased for her) (10 minutes away, 8 from the fish store)
-        To buy some nuts (12 minutes away, 10 from the fish store)
-        To the health fund building to give them a paper (because their fax hasn't been working for 5 days already!) (17 minutes from home in a different direction)
-        To pay a small debt for my husband (10 minutes away in a third direction).
-        To buy morning groceries at the small grocery next door.
NORMALLY I would go to the fish store, the school, the nut store, then a long walk to the health fund, and then way over to pay the debt. And finally, I would stop at the grocery. HOWEVER, that plan would make my initial stretch have no ten-minute aerobic intervals. So instead I rearranged everything. I went to the fish store, then a ten minute jaunt to the nut store, and trailed back the smidgen to the school. Then I went to the health fund, returned to the grocery (having them deliver my stuff), and finally over to pay the debt. This way I got in over an hour's worth of aerobic exercise in without costing me any time! (GRIN)

[image: hand Matzo]
This morning I sat down to figure how many calories "layil Seder" (Seder night, the meal of Matzah and wine eaten on the first night of Passover) will "cost" me:

Hand Matzah  - 5 gezaisim (portions)–equal to about 6  machine matzahs (6 X120)= 720
4  kosot ("4 cups", half wine half grape juice , 150 cc each(
           Grape j. 300cc X 105 per 100 cc= 315
           Semi dry wine 3 X 125 per 100 cc wine= 375                                           690

1/2  hard-boiled egg (no way I will eat a whole one)                                               40
Fish , smallish portion                                                                                            150
lettuce, chrain ( horseradish with beets), BIT mayonnaise
 (1t. dabbed on fish)and a pickle                                                                           100                                                                                                                                              
Chicken                                                                                                                200
Vegies                                                                                                                    50
NO desert ("afikomen" matzah, included above in matzah is "desert")
TOTAL:                                                                                                            1250

   And I will NOT feel guilty if I go over my calorie range for the day. ("IF?!?!" Is there a question?) I will enjoy the holiday. (But seeing this will remind me to try and keep the calorie count down earlier that day!)
   And for all of you who ARE "making Pesach" (preparing for Passover) (as if any of those have time to read this…), ENJOY!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


     The bathroom scales show a significant loss this week. But before you start applauding, keep in mind that the majority of that loss is the quick shedding of the extra weight I packed on over the Purim holiday (see previous post) nashing (snacking) on cake and other types of extraneous and unneeded stuff. The good news is that I am at the lowest that I have been for the last several months. (About four months ago I managed to reach about a half kilo less than today.)
    However, I am wary to celebrate, as Pesach (Passover) is on the horizon, as well as the hectic weeks leading up to the holiday. Now I LOVE Passover, and don't even mind the house-cleaning which precedes it.  But if Purim has traditionally been a downfall for me (see previous post), Pesach, and the weeks leading up to it have even more so.
   For any of you who do not know, the pre-Passover period, for the Jewish housewife is a marathon. Passover cleaning CAN be done easily, but most of us take the chance to spring clean while getting rid of all the leaven we own. And that getting rid of the leaven makes it much more than spring cleaning.  After cleaning our house, we need to store away our regular dishes, cover all counter tops, and get out the Passover dishes. And while doing this, we need to feed our families without the benefit of kitchen facilities. (For example, imagine making a salad where to rinse each vegetable you need to run to the other side of the house to a water source.) And if you are overworked and tired, the temptation to reach into a cupboard for some luscious Passover chocolate (read "easy instant energy fix") can be pretty great. Then, you start cooking holiday meals, hopefully festive ones, which generally are NOT that low in calories. So it is no surprise that each year I gain over Passover, and I am skeptical of my ability to withstand the temptations that are impending.
   And, as I indicated in the previous post, wishful thinking about "doing better this year" is just not enough. If I want to emerge on the other side of March without a gain, I need to take some concrete action. Here's my plan:
1)      I will buy the chocolate for cooking (and the grandkids) ONLY after the kitchen is ready for Passover and fully functional. When I am able to cook up a pot of vegetable soup, the lure of the sweet "fix" should be more manageable. Yes, it will cost more in the local grocery than the supermarket, but that's OK. (And if my husband insists on having the tan temptation, he will have to buy and hide for himself.)
2)      Plan menus which are easier and less time consuming for the holiday. There is no need to cook gourmet that leftovers are "a pity" to dispose of. There are lots of pretty, healthy, and easy menus out there.
3)      Work on getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night. Even if that means less spring cleaning and less time online.
4)      Try to maintain a minimum of "walking" (exercise) time (even if only half an hour). I know that walking not only keeps my metabolism going, but it decreases my appetite, and busts away stress.
  And then, for the holiday of redemption, I hope to celebrate redemption from my former bad eating habits.