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Welcome to my nutrition lifestyle blog! I'm a registered dietitian nutritionist feeding bites of reliable nutrition information. I share my life through my food experiences outside of diet culture. 

Eat. Pray. Love: Israel Part 1

Eat. Pray. Love: Israel Part 1

I journeyed to Israel, witnessed my friend’s wedding, and hiked 40-miles across Galilee.

There truly are no words that I can use to describe the experience. So, I created this photo gallery in attempt to share a glimpse.

The trip was sparked by a wedding invitation from my dear friend, Rotem. I studied with Rotem at NYU, we completed our dietetic internship together. We were randomly placed into a study group of 5, so for the first semester we spent A LOT of time together. Our friendship developed over endless hours of studying, eating, and venting about grad school. A year later, we traveled to Italy for 3 weeks. Between living in New York and visiting Italy, we shared countless meals that bonded our friendship. So, of course, when she invited me to her wedding in Tel Aviv I jumped at the opportunity to venture overseas!

As I did my travel research, I read Israel is known for their beautiful hiking trails. It sparked my curiosity, so I googled “Best Hiking Trails in Israel” and up came the Jesus Trail, a 40-mile hike across Galilee, starting from Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, to the Capharnaum, where Jesus spent most of his adult life sharing his teachings. I was instantly hooked, and I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.

I’m amongst the many who consider Israel to be the holy land. So I treated this trip more like a pilgrimage journey, but knowing me, and my obsession with food, I treated it more specifically as an Eat. Pray. Love. journey. It was my way to connect with God through nature, scripture, and food.

The following is a collection of photos from the first six days of my trip. From my 13 hour layover in Belgrade, my weekend in Tel Aviv, Wedding festivities, my tour guided trip to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and to my day in Nazareth. Part 2 will consist of photos from the beginning and end of the 3-day hike on the Jesus Trail.

Enjoy!


Belgrade

Belgrade is the capital of the southeast European country of Serbia. It’s most significant landmark is the Beogradska Tvrđava, an imposing fortress at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. The fort is a testament to the city’s strategic importance to the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian and Austrian empires, and it's now the site of several museums.  Population: 1.374 million (2016) United Nations  -Wikipedia

Belgrade is the capital of the southeast European country of Serbia. It’s most significant landmark is the Beogradska Tvrđava, an imposing fortress at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. The fort is a testament to the city’s strategic importance to the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian and Austrian empires, and it's now the site of several museums.

Population: 1.374 million (2016) United Nations

-Wikipedia

took a walk down to the  Danube River  and took a nap along the ancient fortress walls. so eastern euro bum of me I know. :)

took a walk down to the Danube River and took a nap along the ancient fortress walls. so eastern euro bum of me I know. :)

the architecture was amazing.

the architecture was amazing.

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Bistro Grad Hometown Foods  //  Grilled goat cheese |   With pressed dates and rosehip jam.  Different from anything you’ve ever eaten

Bistro Grad Hometown Foods // Grilled goat cheese |

With pressed dates and rosehip jam.
Different from anything you’ve ever eaten

Bistro Grad Hometown Foods  //  Rinflajš |   Braised beef brisket, beef stock sauce, horseradish cream and sautéed vegetables. A classic Sunday night dinner meal. (It was Thursday but ya know, when in Belgrade.)

Bistro Grad Hometown Foods // Rinflajš |

Braised beef brisket, beef stock sauce, horseradish cream and sautéed vegetables. A classic Sunday night dinner meal. (It was Thursday but ya know, when in Belgrade.)

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An architectural gem in the heart of the city.  @hotelmoskva

An architectural gem in the heart of the city. @hotelmoskva


Welcome to Tel Aviv

it was shabbat so everyone was out enjoying the ocean air

it was shabbat so everyone was out enjoying the ocean air

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i landed at 4am, slept for 7 hours and woke up in time for brunch.*perfectly unplanned  So of course, I ordered my absolute favorite middle eastern meal, Shakshuka

i landed at 4am, slept for 7 hours and woke up in time for brunch.*perfectly unplanned

So of course, I ordered my absolute favorite middle eastern meal, Shakshuka

watched this beautiful sunset after laying out post brunch, also *perfectly unplanned

watched this beautiful sunset after laying out post brunch, also *perfectly unplanned


Bridal Party

@rotem braiding challah

@rotem braiding challah

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the entire food spread was hand made by Rotem’s mother. it was such a treat to experience traditional Israeli food in her grandmothers home.

the entire food spread was hand made by Rotem’s mother. it was such a treat to experience traditional Israeli food in her grandmothers home.

let’s just say, everyone was veryy excited to dig in.

let’s just say, everyone was veryy excited to dig in.

we even got some cute henna! Love you Rotem, thank you for inviting me!

we even got some cute henna! Love you Rotem, thank you for inviting me!

this cream pie was out of this WORLD!

this cream pie was out of this WORLD!


Jerusalem

Jerusalem city scape & me

Jerusalem city scape & me

The cobble, winding streets of this city truly take you back in time.

The cobble, winding streets of this city truly take you back in time.

It was like I was walking through the Aladdin movie set.

It was like I was walking through the Aladdin movie set.

Via Dolorosa // believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion.

Via Dolorosa // believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre  // a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as "Calvary" or "Golgotha", and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.  -Wikipedia

Church of the Holy Sepulchre // a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as "Calvary" or "Golgotha", and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.

-Wikipedia

Calvary // the energy in this place was indescribable

Calvary // the energy in this place was indescribable

the marble stone believed to be where Mary washed Jesus’ body. visiting pilgrims would kneel and place a hand over the stone in prayer

the marble stone believed to be where Mary washed Jesus’ body. visiting pilgrims would kneel and place a hand over the stone in prayer

this moment of a mother in prayer holding her child’s hand captured my heart <3

this moment of a mother in prayer holding her child’s hand captured my heart <3

the empty tomb - every day theres a 2 hour line just to enter and witness the glory that happened here over 2,000 years ago. Thank you Jesus.

the empty tomb - every day theres a 2 hour line just to enter and witness the glory that happened here over 2,000 years ago. Thank you Jesus.

What you did here, God, has changed me forever. Thank you.

What you did here, God, has changed me forever. Thank you.

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The Western Wall

The Western Wall

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request the welfare of Jerusalem; may those who love you enjoy tranquility, may there be peace in your wall, tranquility in your palaces.   Psalm 122:6-7

request the welfare of Jerusalem; may those who love you enjoy tranquility, may there be peace in your wall, tranquility in your palaces.

Psalm 122:6-7

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Dead Sea

en route to the Dead Sea, descending 400 meters through the  Judaean desert

en route to the Dead Sea, descending 400 meters through the Judaean desert

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how cute is he?! or she…

how cute is he?! or she…

the coolest weirdest feeling ever! i now have skin like a baby. Seriously.

the coolest weirdest feeling ever! i now have skin like a baby. Seriously.

The rumors are true. You float! and when i mean float, i mean the water is SO dense and you are SO buoyant that it’s impossible to sit up straight without toppling over. The lifeguard kept having to remind swimmers through his megaphone to “lay on your backs!” It was actually hilarious.

The rumors are true. You float! and when i mean float, i mean the water is SO dense and you are SO buoyant that it’s impossible to sit up straight without toppling over. The lifeguard kept having to remind swimmers through his megaphone to “lay on your backs!” It was actually hilarious.


Wedding Day

10.09.18 // Rotem &amp; Nir’s Wedding day &lt;3

10.09.18 // Rotem & Nir’s Wedding day <3

i believe the exchange was…  me: omg Rotem the food is so gooooood &amp; you look beautiful!  rotem: be warned theres even more food for dinner  me: omgggg why did i wear this tight dress?!?!

i believe the exchange was…

me: omg Rotem the food is so gooooood & you look beautiful!

rotem: be warned theres even more food for dinner

me: omgggg why did i wear this tight dress?!?!

the ceremony was truly beautiful and even though it was in Hebrew I cried like 5x. I’m a sucker for weddings and grand acts of love &lt;3

the ceremony was truly beautiful and even though it was in Hebrew I cried like 5x. I’m a sucker for weddings and grand acts of love <3

Congratulations Rotem! You are soo so blessed. I love you girl!

Congratulations Rotem! You are soo so blessed. I love you girl!

dinner time !!

dinner time !!

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everything, everything, EVERYTHING was delicious. I can still taste the Wild Mushroom Panzanella in my dreams.

everything, everything, EVERYTHING was delicious. I can still taste the Wild Mushroom Panzanella in my dreams.

Until next time, Tel Aviv.

Until next time, Tel Aviv.


Nazareth

Nazareth is an Arab city located in northern Israel known as the childhood home of Jesus.   Population:  75,922 (2017)  ~80% Muslim, ~20% Christian  —————  and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. so was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.   Matthew 2:23

Nazareth is an Arab city located in northern Israel known as the childhood home of Jesus.

Population: 75,922 (2017)

~80% Muslim, ~20% Christian

—————

and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. so was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 2:23

Basilica of the Annunciation  /// Nazareth’s most prominent landmark marks the traditional location of Mary’s house where she was visited by the angel Gabriel to receive the news of her divine pregnancy

Basilica of the Annunciation /// Nazareth’s most prominent landmark marks the traditional location of Mary’s house where she was visited by the angel Gabriel to receive the news of her divine pregnancy

i wish new york streets had beautiful textile bags with a selection of nuts, seeds,legumes, and dried fruits like these…

i wish new york streets had beautiful textile bags with a selection of nuts, seeds,legumes, and dried fruits like these…

Abu Ashraf’s  // arab cafe

Abu Ashraf’s // arab cafe

we ordered everything on the menu, literally… everything. you’re looking at it.

we ordered everything on the menu, literally… everything. you’re looking at it.

maybe the best dessert i had in all of israel    katayef -   fried pancake filled with sweet goat cheese or nuts and smothered in delicious syrup

maybe the best dessert i had in all of israel

katayef - fried pancake filled with sweet goat cheese or nuts and smothered in delicious syrup

Basilica of the Annunciation  /// God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to marry a man named Joseph. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.   Luke 1: 26, 30-31

Basilica of the Annunciation /// God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to marry a man named Joseph. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Luke 1: 26, 30-31

entrance of the church

entrance of the church

this bronze door took my breath away. each block depicting scenes from the life of Jesus.

this bronze door took my breath away. each block depicting scenes from the life of Jesus.

“And the Word became flesh” Historians tell that the Grotto and it’s surroundings, being the site of the Annunciation were turned into a worship place in the 1st and 2nd Century. Early sources referred to the place as being “The House of the Virgin Mary” What supports this claim are the numerous inscriptions on the walls, mentioning Mary, which were left by pilgrims and visitors in early Christianity. In 427 AD, the first Byzantine church was built on the site. In the 12th Century, a Crusade church was built over the ruins of the Byzantine church. The current Basilica consecrated in 1969, is built over the Grotto and the ruins of four earlier churches.”  - Israel ministry of Tourism

“And the Word became flesh” Historians tell that the Grotto and it’s surroundings, being the site of the Annunciation were turned into a worship place in the 1st and 2nd Century. Early sources referred to the place as being “The House of the Virgin Mary” What supports this claim are the numerous inscriptions on the walls, mentioning Mary, which were left by pilgrims and visitors in early Christianity. In 427 AD, the first Byzantine church was built on the site. In the 12th Century, a Crusade church was built over the ruins of the Byzantine church. The current Basilica consecrated in 1969, is built over the Grotto and the ruins of four earlier churches.”

- Israel ministry of Tourism

the courtyard is lined with mosaics from around the world portraying Mary and the Christ child in different cultural styles.

the courtyard is lined with mosaics from around the world portraying Mary and the Christ child in different cultural styles.

El-Babour Spice Mill  /// a delightful 100-year-old flour mill turned spice shop

El-Babour Spice Mill /// a delightful 100-year-old flour mill turned spice shop

truly a wonderland of spices

truly a wonderland of spices

i can still smell the aroma in this place

i can still smell the aroma in this place

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of course, i brought home some of the magic :)

of course, i brought home some of the magic :)


Fauzi Azar

Fauzi Azar Inn  /// a restored 200 year old Ottoman mansion of the Azar family, now a guesthouse

Fauzi Azar Inn /// a restored 200 year old Ottoman mansion of the Azar family, now a guesthouse

the three story mansion is run by Suraida Shomar Nasser, the granddaughter of the wealthy landowner for whom the inn is named. The Azar family was once one of he richest and most influential families in the Galilee.  - Jesus Trail Guide Book

the three story mansion is run by Suraida Shomar Nasser, the granddaughter of the wealthy landowner for whom the inn is named. The Azar family was once one of he richest and most influential families in the Galilee.

-Jesus Trail Guide Book

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I found this book laying on a side table in the courtyard that captured my attention, then later my heart.   A Long Love Letter  by Margaret Ruth Baker - a collection of the most vivid and inspiring scriptures using variety of translations of the Bible to create a poetic tapestry. Here’s the poem written in the page pictured.  “TROUBLE  Peace, My Dear One, peace. Let not your heart be troubled. Don’t let your heart race ahead and worry about what might happen. Sufficient for the day is the trouble thereof. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble that might not even come. I can, truly, say and mean with conviction, don’t worry - be happy! As you rest in Me and have faith and trust in Me, you will realize and rejoice that I AM totally dependable.  You will learn to walk on the water of tomorrow. You will walk into the unknown and into a future that looks unsure, as if it were a solid firm foundation - the terra firma of the soul. Don’t worry or fret or be anxious about what might come. Don’t prepare for a future calamity that will never come to you. Don’t spend your time and money preparing for a day that never comes - when I have promised your plenty and abundance, over and beyond your need. I have promised a future of good, with all things working, together, for your good.  I have covenanted with you My eternal, unconditional love and My tender, loving care and guidance through any storm of life. Rest and be at peace, trust in Me and in My love. I love you.”

I found this book laying on a side table in the courtyard that captured my attention, then later my heart.

A Long Love Letter by Margaret Ruth Baker - a collection of the most vivid and inspiring scriptures using variety of translations of the Bible to create a poetic tapestry. Here’s the poem written in the page pictured.

“TROUBLE

Peace, My Dear One, peace. Let not your heart be troubled. Don’t let your heart race ahead and worry about what might happen. Sufficient for the day is the trouble thereof. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble that might not even come. I can, truly, say and mean with conviction, don’t worry - be happy! As you rest in Me and have faith and trust in Me, you will realize and rejoice that I AM totally dependable.

You will learn to walk on the water of tomorrow. You will walk into the unknown and into a future that looks unsure, as if it were a solid firm foundation - the terra firma of the soul. Don’t worry or fret or be anxious about what might come. Don’t prepare for a future calamity that will never come to you. Don’t spend your time and money preparing for a day that never comes - when I have promised your plenty and abundance, over and beyond your need. I have promised a future of good, with all things working, together, for your good.

I have covenanted with you My eternal, unconditional love and My tender, loving care and guidance through any storm of life. Rest and be at peace, trust in Me and in My love. I love you.”

a Christian hippy paradise.

a Christian hippy paradise.

they just so happened to have a cooking class that night in the dining room. it was a small group of 6 travellers, two Aussies, 1 Cali bro, a Brazillian man, and Jim and I (the “New Yorkers’) plus our incredible Christian Arab Nazarene native who was our chef for the night.

they just so happened to have a cooking class that night in the dining room. it was a small group of 6 travellers, two Aussies, 1 Cali bro, a Brazillian man, and Jim and I (the “New Yorkers’) plus our incredible Christian Arab Nazarene native who was our chef for the night.

right outside the kitchen was this stunning panoramic view of the Old City

right outside the kitchen was this stunning panoramic view of the Old City

chopping white cabbage and mint for our side salad

chopping white cabbage and mint for our side salad

i truly believe that food is the best common ground to meet and exchange connection with unfamiliar faces. it was a beautiful experience talking life and food at this table

i truly believe that food is the best common ground to meet and exchange connection with unfamiliar faces. it was a beautiful experience talking life and food at this table

we made frika (an ancient grain) with chicken and chickpeas with a side of mint and cabbage salad. perfect carb-loading meal for our 20 mile hike!  ~stay tuned for recipe~~

we made frika (an ancient grain) with chicken and chickpeas with a side of mint and cabbage salad. perfect carb-loading meal for our 20 mile hike!

~stay tuned for recipe~~

special end of our night in Nazareth, creating and sharing a meal together.

special end of our night in Nazareth, creating and sharing a meal together.

I hope you enjoyed the first half of my journey through these photos. It means a lot to me that you took the time to scroll and read it all. There’s something magical in sharing our journeys with one another.

BRB with the second half of the trip, the 40-mile HIKE! It’s awesome, and if you’ve enjoyed these photos you’ll REALLY enjoy the next collection. But first, I have to complete the NYC Marathon in a week!

If you find it in your heart to help support me, please donate what ever you can to help me reach my goal of $3,000 for God’s Love We Deliver. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Donate Here.

Thank you.

Love you.

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