Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nu, And How's The Diet Going?

I was wondering if you'd ever ask me.

Believe me. I am trying. I'm walking more than I had been. And I'm trying really hard to eat more carefully, less "extra," more "no calorie" stuff, like cabbage and cauliflower.

One thing I've been doing which many diet experts consider a "no, no," is that I weigh myself almost every day. I find it helps even though it can be very frustrating and confusing, since my weight can go up and down from day to day. But I try to compare my weight by the week.

Today I weigh less than I did a week ago, but last Friday I weighed even less. I'm curious as to how much I'll weigh this Friday in comparison.

I don't always have control over my meals, the food and the times. When I managed to lose a lot of weight a number of years ago, it was after I had stopped teaching. Now that I'm back teaching, my weight has gone up. Maybe teaching is the cause...

But the bottom line is that I have to find an eating routine that works for me and gets the weight off and keeps it off. But in the meantime, you're my "diet buddy," so thanks for asking.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fresh Ginger in a "Spanish Omelet"

Way back when, in the days when I was a student in Stern College, my parents gave me a relatively generous food budget to buy all of my meals in the cafeteria with instructions not to skimp. The truth is that I'm one of those people who must eat or I don't function.

I had a breakfast routine. On an ordinary day, I would order two eggs sunnyside up. But if I was having a test that day/morning, I'd have a special breakfast, a Spanish Omelet. Recently I've been making a rather eccentric version of it. Besides the standard, onion, tomato, garlic and eggs, I add some fresh ginger.

cut and cooked in a bit of oil, covered pan

I add the eggs after the vegetables begin to cook.

I season with some coarse salt, coarse pepper and some tumeric.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem # 12, Center 1, Usually OK

This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. See #11#10#9,  #8#7,  #6,  #5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2 and #1

For a long time, I've been a fan of the WCs in Center 1, even before the new, large section was added and there was only a small public toilet set-up near the Yirmiyahu entrance/exit. When compared to the ones in the nearby Central Bus Station aka Egged (which is no longer owned by the bus company) it always had one important thing going for it, its price --FREE.

These are right near the cafe cafe, over to the right, on the way to the parking area.

And unlike the one of the Yirmiyahu Street side, this is large enough for wheelchairs, walkers, baby carriages etc. And as you can see, there are plenty of stalls.

men on left and women on right
That came in very handy the last time I was there, since I must have had the bad luck to get there before the cleaning crew. Two of the stalls were totally disgusting. A woman who came in the same time as I did quickly ran/escaped to the other public toilets hoping to find them more amenable/acceptable. Just as I was about to do the same, another woman exited a stall and reported that it was fine.

There was toilet paper, but one of the soap dispensers was empty. Unfortunately, a lot of building managements try to save money by having the cleaning crew in less often. That seems to be the situation in the public toilets of the Jerusalem Municipality. Just a few years ago, they were clean and supplied before morning opening hours and all day long, but now they aren't. I guess I have to start calling the phone numbers on the signs and complain.

Besides the Yirmiyahu entrance to Center 1, there are two on Jaffa Road. One is through the pharmacy, and the other is a bit further down towards the corner. That's a large one, accessible for handicapped, carriages etc., and there are usually bargain-priced things on sale in the open space.

Center 1 has become quite a popular mall nowadays with all sorts of stores and eating places. Yes, it's more than just a free WC.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Local Grocery Becoming a Real Supermarket!

Our local grocery store has gone up a notch. It now sells fruits and vegetables.

This has always been a well-run store, and it's actually the original in what is now a chain of three. The same person owns and runs the stores in Ofra and Eli. In Ofra, there is a separate greengrocer, which is what the situation had been in Shiloh until a few months ago. That's when the small greengrocer closed his shop. That made it possible, according to the original agreement between the two, for the grocery store to bring in fruits and vegetables, as you can see here.

The prices compare well to those in Rami Levy, which means that they are better than most stands in the shuq aka Machane Yehuda. Really, that's because the bargains in the shuq  aren't always easy to find. So, I'm glad that the prices are good. It means that there are fewer things for me to buy in Rami Levy, so I can manage easily going just once every two weeks. And also my husband can manage buying and schlepping less from Jerusalem. And it's nice to be able to support the neighborhood store and all who work there.

You may remember that I blogged about a store down the hill in the Industrial Zone. Now both are "supermarkets" competing for customers. That lowers the prices for us, too.

For the first ten years or more here in Shiloh, there was barely enough business for one small store or two to stay afloat, and now there are two supermarkets... Who could have predicted such a thing?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Vacationing Up North

Cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

Last week I posted a few pictures from our A Bissel Vacation up north taken and posted on my phone. Yes, a smartphone is very much like a mini laptop computer. I don't see the need for a tablet, even though my Samsung J7 isn't the most powerful of phones. But typing on a tiny/mini-keyboard and saying really interesting isn't for the phone. So now I'll tell you more about our vacation.

My husband works for the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, and they had joined with the Kinar-Galilee Hotel for a truly interesting program that began Thursday evening, then a tour Friday morning and a Shabbat full of activities. As an employee of the Begin Center Education Department, my husband was needed to guide one of the buses. As a result we had a wonderful weekend and finally made it to the Kinar, which is really a great hotel.

As the sun set, I took some amazing photos of the hotel grounds and Lake Kinneret:

Dr. Udi Lebel, PhD
Here are more of the photos I took. Thursday night we heard a lecture by Dr. Udi Lebel, PhD, "Beyond the Pantheon": Bereavement, Memory and the Strategy of De-Legitimization Against Herut, which was totally fascinating. He talked about the enduring hatred Ben-Gurion had for anyone who had been associated with the Etzel and Lechi. For example the two men on the screen behind Lebel were twin brothers who had both been killed during the War for Independence. The difference was that one had been with the Haganah and the other Etzel, so the family only got bereavement benefits for the son killed while in the Haganah. They were told they'd lose those benefits if they made a joint memorial for their two sons.

After that we watched the excellent one-man show, "Mr. Begin," which was totally amazing. If you have the opportunity to see it, go. It was in Hebrew.

The following morning we were off to tour to Shlomo Ben-Yosef memorial and grave in the old cemetery in Rosh Pinna, the Memorial for Mishmar HaYarden and Tel Chai.

There were two busloads of people, and we heard very positive reactions. On Shabbat there were two more lectures,  "From Ben Gurion to Levi Eshkol" by Muki Tzur and Herzi Makov, Director of the Begin Center spoke about From Menachem Begin to Yitzchak Shamir.  The veteran singing duo Tzemed Re'im were also there to entertain and act as part of the choir at the Ashkenaz synagogue.

All and all it was a really excellent program which ended after Shabbat. If they repeat the program, try to attend if you can.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dieting Again, Bring on The Cabbage!

I'm trying to make small tasty changes to reduce calories, carbohydrates and fats in my diet to lose weight and keep it off. So, I'm eating less carrots and more cabbage, cauliflower, green squash and other lower glycemic vegetables.

So last night this was dinner:

And since I didn't have eggs in the morning, I cooked eggs on it for my protein. All this was very simply cooked in a large covered frying pan:

  • onion
  • squash
  • fresh garlic
  • bit of vegetable oil
  • after partially cooked added the:
  • tomato
  • cabbage
  • and a few minutes later the eggs
  • topped with coarsely ground black pepper, no salt at all
Delicious and filling. It was a full meal. I had eaten lots of salad at lunch, so I didn't need anything raw. There's enough fiber here.

Since the laws of kashrut also require leafy vegetables, such as cabbage to be cleaned and checked, I cut up a cabbage and soaked it in salt water. After a few minutes I took out the cabbage and checked the water. Since it was clean, I rinsed the cabbage well, let the water drain out and then packed the pieces in a plastic bag to be kept refrigerated. That way it's ready to be used. I do the same with cauliflower, lettuces etc. If you find bugs, even after a second soak and rinse, check etc., then  call it a loss and dump it. When you buy these vegetables in the winter, the proper season, they are pretty clean. I don't bother buying broccoli and cauliflower in the summer; that's when they are full of bugs and had been in storage.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I Must Get about 5 kilo, 10 lbs Off Again!

I don't look like this anymore...
As long-time readers and old friends may remember, close to ten years ago I managed to lose about fifteen 15 kilo, thirty 30 pounds or so. And most stayed off really well. Well, until the past year or so, when a few began to sneak back.

Many of you may know the scene. A pound or two can be tolerated and not really noticed by others. Clothing still fits, and some old friends still picture us as obese, so when confronted with a slimmer than obsess us, they tell us that we've lost even more weight. Although we know it's not so...

And then the 2-3 pounds morph into 4-5 and then eight, nine or even ten, and suddenly the nice new, smaller-size clothes don't fit so well anymore.

Yes, it's time to stop eating "almost like a normal person." I must "rediscover" my self-control full-time. "Most of the time" is not enough, because the "few things extra" keep adding weight. And I must stay away from temptation... And I must try to exercise more.

And like any "addict," I have to admit that I have a problem. Yes, that's why I'm blogging it. Sigh...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Instagram, Too, Along With 365Project and 52Frames

Yes, you can follow me on Instagram now, I'm shilohbatya. I haven't posted too much yet, nor have I figured out all the stuff. But just give me a bit more time, please. I just need a bit more time to figure it all out. A few months ago I went to a workshop about it and promised myself that when I get a new smartphone, I'd join. And I kept that promise. Of course I can't expect to figure it out in a jiffy.

And I've been doing the 365project as a photographic diary, as best as I can.

This week's challenge for 52Frames was Leading Lines. I ended up using a photo I had taken at the cemetery in Tel Chai, northern Israel. It's a bit subtle for that technique, but I wanted something a different.

"Leading to..."
...the end...
I had taken lots more photos with leading lines, but I chose this one.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Original Corelle Dishes, In Use Since 1972

Yes, we have Corelle dishes bought in the summer of 1972. At that time all of the department store catalogus were featuring these sets, sold as service for four:

  • 4 dinner plates
  • 4 smaller plates
  • 4 bowls
  • 4 teacups 
  • 4 saucers
There were two versions, plain white and blue "snowflake," if I remember what ours was called correctly. 

I checked on google, but there wasn't any correct information on the dishes. Wikipedia even had an outright mistake. I know for sure that we bought this set in 1972. We married and moved to Israel in 1970 and visited New York in 1972. I can still see the catalogue page in my mind showing the dishes, though I can't remember the price. Could it have been something like $24.99?

For decades they were our "good" dishes. That is until about thirteen years ago, when my father-in-law died, and when my husband went back to New York to help clear out his parents' apartment, he brought back a much nicer set of dishes. So, we got rid of the old plastic "everyday" ones and demoted the Corelle. But on a nice tablecloth they still look pretty good.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Surprising Coffee Info & #morningcoffeehaiku

Before I give you some of my recent  #morningcoffeehaikus, I must tell you some very surprising information I discovered about coffee. Here it is in haiku form:
Dakva instant best
Machine coffee was awful
Not all hotels same

When we were in the King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem, during Chanukah, they had two different machines, which were differently programed so they'd offer more choices. And just one of them I liked. I tried a few of the choices in the Kinar Hotel machine and didn't like them, so in desperation I opened one of the packets of instant coffee, Elite's Brazilian, and that had the flavor to my particular taste preference. I actually have a jar in my closet for Shabbat, which I bought on sale a few months ago at Rami Levy. Some instant coffees are pretty good. Do you have a favorite?

Here are a few of my recent #morningcoffeehaikus. You're invited to join the "conversation" on facebook.

Lots planned next few days
will still start days with coffee
Gd willing enjoy...

Coffee at a friend
Exactly what is needed
While watching the news

nice comfort coffee
opened last batch of the old
and got a new one

Warmed up by hot mug
patience needed when perking
but makes great coffee

Friendly coffee hot
Just perfect and hits the spot
Yes, love it a lot

Yes it's so early
but it's never too early
to drink good coffee

no coffee today
fasting on 10th of Tevet
Jerusalem siege

Good morning, enjoy, drink coffee and haiku in good health!