Food and activities in the travel: Israel

They said Israel is a second home of start-ups after Silicon Valley now. This place definitely inspired me a lot by fresh ideas, new plans and challenging tasks. But what I liked most was people’s ability to live life here and now: just being yourself, walking, socializing, dancing, smiling and enjoying tasty food.

Food in the travel

  • Mediterranean cuisine is famous for its long positive impact on life expectancy. I could easily find both delicious and healthy food (fresh vegetable salads seasoned with local olive oil, fish and seafood) in any local cafe.
  • But… I had to abstain from eating up, even the most delicious and healthy dishes! I have discovered that food helpings tend to be really hospitable in Israel: three times larger than the average ones in Russian and European restaurants.  Here I experienced my first cheating day of not finishing the ice cream, as one scoop turned out to be much bigger than I had been used to.
  • I was really pleased by beverages variety. For instance, this is possible everywhere in Israel to select from coconut water smoothie, soymilk coffee, mint and lemon tea, or fresh juice. Actually, I encountered lots of fruit shops in every city I visited: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bat Yam and Haifa.
This is just one scoop of ice cream with one flavor in my cup, and two flavors on the cup of my friend
This is just one scoop of ice cream with one flavor in my cup, and two flavors on the cup of my friend

Activities

  • The trip was rich with strolls about Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. My mobile pedometer would register approximately 18 000 steps daily for three days running.
  • I took my time to practice in-home yoga before breakfast.
  • My friend suggested our cycling tour along Tel Aviv shoreline. To tell you the truth, bicycles were not the most comfortable ever, but cycling truly accelerated our movements, contributed to diversity of sights seen and filled our day up with brand new emotions and experiences.

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  • When planning my trips, I always google good gyms and yoga classes or ask my friends and acquaintances about such places. It was my friend Katya this time, who took me to the Russian-speaking morning yoga meditation class, which took place at a sea view classroom.
  • I had spare time for gym on Shabbat. But Shabbos, or Shabbat is a holy day when Jews refrain from work activities. That’s why I quickly designed a training program for the open-air workout. In the morning Katya and me had one-hour boot camp in front of the sea. It is noteworthy that there is plenty of space for those who want to train at the seaside.

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You will be able to find out more about that training program of mine in one of the following posts.

The sport takes place in all weathers

We can find many reasons to postpone our sport activities: with children and job we have no time for sport, not enough money to buy a gym membership, can’t go to workout alone and so on. But there are many people among us who can’t find any reason to refuse to have healthy lifestyle. Andrey has a wife, a daughter, a job and many additional projects. He doesn’t spend a single ruble to a gym membership because for more than a year he works out outdoors in all weathers. Yes, that’s right! He’s outdoors even in the severe Russian winter!

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Schoolboy in a gym

Andrey’s first sports motivation was Alexey Serebryakov, the son of his mother’s friend. Alexey is Powerlifting Junior World Champion; record holder of Russia in squats and holder of the Guinness record in pulling trains and a TU-134. Ninth grader Andrey wanted to be such strong and big too. He began his workouts in a school gym, and then continued in university. Alexey and other experienced guys were helping him answering numerous questions. Sports magazines were informational source for workout programs.

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Family, couch and TV-set

The adult life has begun: family, home, a child. There were no free of charge school or university gym anymore. But there were a couch and a TV-set, and even an alcohol. And also cookies, waffles and a computer chair in the office. So in a year Andrey’s weight increased from 83 to 110 kg. He still remembers his reflection and the moment when he said to himself: “I am never going to be fat again!”

Reappearance

Five workouts a week for 40 minutes each did the job. Andrey has lost 20 kg in six months! It was usual isolated workouts for different muscle groups plus qualitative nutrition and 20 km on the bike every day.

For the last two years Andrey is having workouts only on city training areas (street workout). He is doing it in the morning before going to work, when there’s nobody to interrupt, he is in the forest and birds are singing. By the way, this training area is considered to be the biggest street workout area in the world (750 square meters in Chelyabinsk city, Russia). Andrey still uses his bike every day and gets home faster than his wife driving a car during a rush hour.

Andrey uses training programs of two teams: madbars.com and barstarzz.com. You can find many motivating factors in street workout: studying different elements on a horizontal bar, combining them and forming a program with some cool music. Per se, it is a self-expression.

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Street workouts during winter

Last winter Andrey had workouts every day despite weather. He decided to use planning thinking so he had goals with specific time frames. One of his goals was to workout hundred days without a break. He was doing static exercises and planks instead of having rest. They say that a person needs 21 days to form a habit. Andrey did it in 35 days. On the next day he realized that he just was ready to get up and have a workout. His record is 20-minute training when it was -37 degrees Celsius outside! That moment when you are awesome just because you walked to the training area :). It turned out he was not the only awesome person that day as Andrey has met a man on a bike (!) and skiers in the forest!

Andrey had full one-hour workouts when it was -20-25 degrees of Russian winter in Ural. He doesn’t like to have workouts at home. Because it is some kind of ritual when you go somewhere out. And home is a place for having rest.

Motivation of the life

I asked Andrey about his life concept and he answered: “Life is a project with no specified time frames, but it is limited. All people have something in common. This is a death. Everybody lives how he or she wants to. You can drink or do something else. It is up to you. The point is that every day the time frames of your life project are decreasing. I want my daughter to have positive image of the father. That is why I quit smoking and drinking. My child sees me eating healthy food and having regular workouts, riding a bike, thinking of something new. That is my motivation”.

Tasted in action

“Forest extreme” is a great way to evaluate your physical and psychological level of training.

Three years ago I wasn’t indulged in sport regularly. I was eating fat meat, mayo and any sweets I wanted. In that shape and not good health one day I went to a sport attraction called “Forest extreme”. That’s how they describe it on a web-site:

Consecutive obstacles with different complexity factor on funicular lines mounted on trees on height from 1 to 8 meters above ground.

I was so ashamed after that in front of my colleagues! I became hysterical when I was on the track. I was screaming, swearing and overcame obstacles with great difficulties. I was hanging on one of them for several minutes until the instructor told me how to control my body.

Unhealthy food and lack of sports in life made me weak in all possible meanings.

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So after some years of healthy diet and regular workouts I went to more difficult track of the similar attraction and I greatly enjoyed it! Yes, sometimes I was scared but after first step I realized it was just like physical exercise. The main thing is to feel your body – it will provide you necessary skills in every specific case. It is also important to keep balance and breathe right and quietly like you do during workouts (in a gym or doing yoga).

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We can use scales, tape measure or pictures posted in Instagram to measure our sport results. But activities like “Forest Extreme” are obvious valuations of your time and money investments in healthy lifestyle. Test in action, so to say. Now “Forest Extreme” is not a challenge, it is a rest for me and I enjoy it very much!

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How to keep fit on the vacation

I’m happy to say that I can keep the body fit even being on vacation! Right now we are staying at Edensee resort & spa in Da Lat. It is surrounded by a coniferous forest and mountains, and also there is a lake nearby.

Today we woke up at 6:30 and went to play tennis. I’m glad I’m learning how to play. So  I spent 40 minutes before breakfast with the reason!

Let me say a word about breakfast in hotels. Even in a five-star hotel you have to think and choose what to eat. Sometimes I eat eggs but not today – they used oil to fry the omelet. So I had some fresh fruits and vegetables, cup of coffee and some muesli.

Two and half hours after breakfast I decided to practice yoga and meditate outside listening to the sound of the wind and birds…

I’m sure even on vacation we all can stick to a healthy diet, keep fit and find time for fitness, sport and yoga. Namaste!