Dear American Friends,

It gives me great sadness to inform you that the dairy industry that has been serving your milk, cheese, and yogurt needs has most definitely been giving you the shaft. My eyes have been opened, and I will never look at the dairy aisle the same way again.

Guys, our dairy sucks. If you want good dairy, you have to visit Israel (or possibly other countries that take their cow juice seriously).

I started out the day at the gym. I did an hour-and-a-half of cardio to try and fend off any serious hip-width damage done during our celebration of carbs the previous night. I think this particular fruit smoothie was dairy free, but I’m not entirely sure, seeing as how I just told the fellow at my new boyfriend, the juice stand, that I trusted him implicitly to tantalize my tongue.

Not a fantastic picture, we were coming back from the gym and only had Roy’s camera phone at the ready.
We think said juice drink included: mint, banana, orange juice, melon

When we got back to the apartment I snuck in a bit more snacking, and this is where my story begins…

This, my friends, is 3% yogurt. Peach passion fruit 3% yogurt.
Let’s talk percentages. If you wander the dairy aisle of an Israel grocery store, the thing that will stick out to you most is the various percentages on each carton of cheese, milk, sour cream, or yogurt. Want your yogurt to be 1.6% milk fat, sure thing. What about 5%, they have that too. Whole milk fat, got it. Completely milk fat-free, that’s available too, maybe you prefer 1% or 2% or 2.5%…see where I’m going?

Roy patiently sat by while I ate my 3% yogurt and explained to him how I used to love yogurt as a kid, but as I got older had started to think that it was rather disgusting, but now I see the error of my ways. Yogurt is amazing…just not where I live.

Patient, patient man. I’m sure he really wants those five minutes of his life back.

To change the subject from yogurt to something infinitely more interesting, he started laundering money.

I mean that he literally started washing a twenty shekel note. You see, the NIS 20 is waterproof and tear proof so that people can take it the beach and swim with it. Well, not only that, it’s also to prevent counterfeiting. Still, kinda cool. We put it to the test when we hit up the shoreline.

Welcome to the Mediterranean

The water was amazingly warm and clear. I’m not a huge beach person in general, but I had no problem wading around the beach in Tel Aviv for a full four hours.

Yeah, I swim in sunglasses.

There’s a beach here for everyone. A dog beach, a gay beach, a beach for religious folk who only want to sunbathe with same sex folk (note the spelling)

After sunbathing we went on a two-hour walk around Tel Aviv, but first we stopped at a deli for a snack. You guessed it, more dairy!

This is a super soft cheese (think slightly thinner cream cheese) with herbs. It comes in different flavors and I have a feeling it would be awesome tossed with pasta. Notice it’s a 5% cheese.

We spread it on some whole wheat bread while we walked around.

We wandered aimlessly around Tel Aviv window shopping and sightseeing for a couple of hours.

This is Rabin Square, where Yitzak Rabin was shot in 1995. Some people think he was the last hope for peace in the region. Let’s hope not.

Then we saw a deal for a delicious and nutritious meal. Anyone up for some hot dogs in their fries?

Seriously, I have no idea how these people stay so fit.

For dinner we met up with one of Roy’s closest childhood friends at a restaurant that specializes in veggie burgers; aptly called Buddha Burger.

Roy and I split three different types of burgers and a couple of Diet Sprites

One was Shnitzel flavored, which basically means breaded tofu. Another Falafel, and the last garden vegetable

All the restaurants here have diet coke and diet sprite. The options!

It was finger-lickin’ good!

I’m glad that meal was tasty because it may be my last one ever. Tomorrow I’m having my body fat percentage analyzed. Not quite sure how excited I am about that, after having gained 13 pounds during the book-writing process. I doubt I’ll be brave enough to put my number on the Internet, but I’m looking forward to telling you about the experience.