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January 4, 2019

DISCOVERING THE HOLY LAND DIET

Some friends warned us about Israeli food and I must say our best lunch was in Israel. This Tel Aviv joint we had for our welcome lunch offered chicken Kebab and all the fixins. We had very good freshly grilled chicken served with hummus, moutabal, baba ganoush, tabouleh and salads.

All over Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem our meals started with a selection of salads.

Market in Tel-aviv

As we moved towards the Sea of Galilee we learned about their agriculture practices and how much attention and science they had in growing vegetables.

Our whole group enjoyed the salads and the desserts as well. Freshly-made semolina flour baked and soaked in honey and topped with desiccated coconut.

After a week we realized we have had so much vegetables in all meals but none of us ever developed any stomach troubles or discomfort. Then we moved from Israel to Jordan where our guide said water was hard to come by. And there we really took care to drink only bottled water and a lot of hot coffee or tea. Still, no one developed any allergies or illness. Thank God. I guess it just was the olive oil coupled with freshly-made food. Hardly anything was processed. Even the honey and yogurt were local and fresh.

As soon as we flew and moved to Dubai, the selections for food became more international—fast food, all famous brands of fried chicken, burgers and international chains of famous bistros.

That was when the problem started because of MSG, artificial flavors, and vegetable oil. There was no more olive oil, unless you asked for it. Our bodies knew we were not eating as fresh as we did. It was olive oil versus palm oil. It was fresh local vegetables grown under natural farming versus imported vegetables whose origins we were not sure of.

We all started to compare and realized that the food we ate in Israel were all fresh and local. In Dubai, it was imported and of unknown origins. That makes a world of difference.

Last Christmas, what did you eat a lot of? And this New Year, what will you change about the way you eat?

I know I will be careful and choose only those I know the origins of.

That is my new year’s promise to myself.

 

 

Photos by Chit Juan

 

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