This is an update on my previous article eating in Israel for fuel and pleasure based on my experience in a Krav Maga training camp, one of the top travel experiences in my life.
This time my expectations were high, but my focus was different. The first trip was for an Immersion camp, open to people of all levels. This means training was not super intense. In addition, more than 20 people were from my gym in Sydney, so I felt less social anxiety. This time, I attended an Advanced Instructor Training program, so I knew it would be more technical and intense. We were only 4 Australians attending.
Based on the first trip, I knew what to expect in terms of food availability and what worked for me as fuel for training and recovery. The biggest change I made was to eat lighter meals (salads or sandwiches) at lunch to avoid gastrointestinal distress during the afternoon training sessions.
What I brought from home
- Single O coffee parachutes
- Chief Nutrition collagen bars
- FodBods bars
- Formulite recovery protein
- Creatine monohydrate
- Psyllium husk
- Vitamin C + zinc
I forgot to bring collagen sachets 🙁
I booked my flights on Etihad Airlines (TSV-SYD-AUH-TLV). The first leg was operated by Qantas. I had ordered gluten-free meals but unfortunately Etihad did not provide them on the longer flight (14.5 hours). The flight attendants did not have much knowledge about gluten in meals, one of them did try to find some leftover items from business class.
The stop in AUH was long, so I stayed at a lounge. It was pricey but it had showers, bad food and drinks.
On my way back I did have gluten-free meals provided but in general most food in Etihad was below average. Also, there was a substantial difference between regular, kosher and gluten-free meals.
Eating in Israel for fuel and pleasure
My strategy was the same as last time: eat breakfast at my accommodation, lunches and dinners out.
- Vitamin C + zinc
- Yoghurt (I found the equivalent to YoPRO high protein yoghurt, with 21 grams of protein per individual tub) + peanut butter (100% roasted peanuts)
- Generally out (usually salad or bowl +/- coffee)
- A couple of days we had to bring lunch, I brought a couple of sandwiches made with Schar gluten free bread with sliced shawarma, cheese, mayonnaise and wholegrain mustard. One day I brought leftover pickles as a side, the other day cherry tomatoes and a cucumber.
A bar, a mini chocolate (if having takeaway coffee) or nothing
Recovery protein + electrolytes
Out: hummus, shawarma, kebabs, fish, etc.
My goal was to eat Israeli/Middle Eastern food all the time, however I also had a couple of burgers, Italian food and Greek food when eating with friends.
Food and drinks in Israel
Things have not changed much from the last time I was there. Below are a few additional observations to my previous list:
- This time I found more places that had gluten-free bread (e.g. pita and hamburger buns) and they are very good. In some cases, they don’t cost extra money.
- Some cafes don’t charge extra for non-dairy milk.
- It seemed to me that there are more gluten-free products in supermarkets.
- You can get coffee until late.
- Many places provide wet towels.
- Most places don’t serve table water.
Once again, I did not have a bad meal. Below are my highlights of this trip:
This is a seafood restaurant that offers 9 free small salads, bread and sparkling water when ordering a main dish.
I had fish skewers which came with rice and were delicious. The sides included potato salad, tuna salad, grated carrot salad, tabouleh, some sort of tomato relish, beetroot salad, vinegar-based coleslaw, a salad with avocado, a medium-size garden salad and tahini sauce. I paid 122 shekels, more than what I usually paid for meals but well worth it. You can also order just the sides for a lower fee.
Both restaurants have great hummus with different toppings and gluten-free pita.
At Hakosem I ate hummus with beef & spinach (comes with olives, onion, falafel, fried eggplant – not gluten-free – and pita) plus soda water for 72 shekels.
At Kaspi I had hummus topped with shakshuka (comes with olives, pickles and pita) plus 2 falafel for 55 shekels (plus tip).
Sabich is a sandwich with fried eggplant, boiled egg, salad, herbs and tahini sauce, served in a pita.
This sabich shop is located in the corner of Dizengoff and Frishman, next to a falafel shop. Both shops have lines all the time. People can eat at the alfresco tables or get takeaway.
In theory, both shops offer gluten-free pita but the option was crossed out in the falafel place. I had a couple of sabich in gluten-free pita during my stay, one regular and one with extra cheese and hummus, both great. As usual, you can grab all the pickles you want for free.
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