May 31, 2011
20 years ago, I came here and I was an Israeli in America. After six long years away I was finally able to take a trip with my daughter to Israel to visit my family for Passover, and as I soaked up the changing culture I realized I was an American in Israel.
Boy, has Israel changed! Their real estate is booming, the technology has caught up with ours, and they are all equally engulfed in reality TV. One thing is for certain though, they haven’t adopted our obsession with the word “diet”. Even though everyone is watching the Israeli version of “American Idol” on their iPhones, no one - and I mean no one - cares about flat abs or the size of their thighs. And it shows! They walk everywhere, the food is real and organic, and their biggest worry is having enough food to feed whoever might show up for Shabbat dinner… no RSVP required.
My sister, Galit, was hungry at 9 on a Saturday night, so she called me up to see if I’d like to go out for kebabs. She showed up at 10 and we were eating by 10:30. As a trainer and nutritionist I get the question all the time: “When can I eat my dinner?” and my clients live their lives by the schedules I give them. But while I was sitting across the table from my sister, who I hadn’t seen in six years, I realized we weren’t there for the food. Everyone in that restaurant was there for the experience; the joy of sharing a meal with friends and family. In America, food is primary. How pathetic!
If there were a book of rules, I broke every single one while I was in Israel. The best part is that I enjoyed every moment of it. And needless to say, I didn’t have to go on a detox diet when I returned. In fact, I was healthier and happier. The moral of the story is, if your body says, “I’m hungry!” then feed it! F*ck the rules. After all, it seems to me the rules aren’t really working for Americans.
Peace + Veggies