Sunday, June 14, 2009

Zeh LO Bishvilech!

First, a Hebrew lesson.

Phrase number one: גם זה לטוב pr. gam zeh l'tov. "This is also for the good". This is the phrase used by an excessively happy-clappy person to describe the bad shit that happens to someone else. Everything, EVERYTHING is a gift from G-d. Oh, your cat just peed all over your chocolate supply? And your child is on drugs? And you are up five kilo? Gam zeh le tov!

Phrase number two: זה לא בשבילך pr. zeh lo bishvilech. "This is not for you". My diet group leader's mantra. This mantra applies to any food product which you like and which you might believe should be for you, but which contains more calories per square inch than the number of coffee shops per Tel Aviv square mile (rough estimate = a lot). So really, this food is not for you.

You will nee the above phrases for this post.

On Friday, I went to the shuk. I had invited myself over to Practical Yael's house for dinner and she asked me to bring rugelach from the Marzipan bakery. The Marzipan bakery has pretty much the best rugelach in the world. In fact, its rugelach are much, much better than the rugelach than those of the bakery on the other side of the shuk, where I was injured. Had I gone to the Marzipan bakery instead of that bakery, I may have avoided the bombing altogether. But then, this blog would have never come to be. And you would have been bored. So gam ze l'tov! (See how the phrase is used? Isn't it so clever?) Besides, the bus stop itself is still by the first bakery. And I was blown up at the bus stop, and not at the bakery. So, really, the source of my rugelach did not matter. I would have been blown up either way.

But I digress.

Anyway, so I went to the shuk where I spent my time buying enough vegetables for a family of four for like, a year. If anyone ever tells you that the shuk is good for people on a budget (and they will, because people always say that), please be aware that they are lying. What happens is that you go and all of a sudden you realize that you need five butternut squash. And four eggplants. And half a dozen cucumbers. Even though when you were at home and looking at what you already had in your fridge, you did not think you needed them at all. The reason for this is because the moment you get near the shuk little shuk viruses enter your brain and eat it and turn you into some creepy zombie thing that runs around the shuk buying outrageous quantities of vegetables.

The other thing I did at the shuk was to try to stick to my diet. I did so by making extensive use of the diet group leader's mantra. Every time I passed a falafel place, a shipudia (specializes in meat skewered on an iron spit and grilled--my favorite is Sima), a bakery or any place selling prepared foods I sternly reminded myself "zeh lo bishvilech". And you know, it worked! Even when I was at the Marzipan bakery itself! Though I did notice that I was receiving a lot of strange looks. Note to self: next time, I should say this silently. And without wagging my finger in my face.

So all would be well and good, were it not for the extra rugelach. A co-worker is putting together an office event and I, like an idiot, volunteered the fact that I was going to the shuk and offered to pick up a couple kilos of rugelach and bring them to the office on Sunday. Unlike the rugelach which I bought for Practical Yael, and which are now safely ensconced at her house (or to be more accurate, safely making their way through the digestive systems of her five children), these rugelach are in my freezer. And they are taunting me. They want me to eat them. But I cannot do that. I promised the co-worker that I would bring them to the office. How bad would it look if I were to show up with 1.5 kilos of rugelach instead of two? And besides I must stick to my diet.

Suffice it to say, it has not been pretty.

For the last 36 hours I have endured periodic outbursts in which run I to the freezer, open the door, scream "zeh lo bishvilech! zeh lo bishvilech!" at the rugelach and then slam the freezer door shut. Then I run to a corner where I spend 10 minutes crouched, sobbing and poking myself in the belly.

All I can say about this is that it is a good thing that I am not married. My husband would have called the men in the white coats hours ago and had me committed hours ago. So gam zeh le tov that I am single.

One more hour and the god-forsaken rugelach are out of my house.


e.e. said...

Gila, here's my tip for the week (I'm weight watching too):
Cook yourself bland, uninteresting, unspiced food.
For a lousy cook like me, this is child's play.
And it really works!

Gila said...

What is the advantage to the bland food?

Baila said...

Let me get this straight, "gam ze le tov" that you were blown up-- so I have a fascinating blog to read, have made a friend, have the opportunity to LOL at you screaming at your rugelach?

Well then I guess I need to thank that terrorist, huh? He (or was it a she?) has certainly enriched my life...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

When the revolution comes, the first people against the wall will be dietitians. Or maybe the second, after them telemarketing yobs.

e.e. said...

Simple, Gila.
It's not tasty, so you only eat until no longer hungry - avoiding the common sin of gluttony!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Does it make me a bad person if I laugh at your misery???

Considering that you write about your misery in such a funny way, I don't think I should feel too guilty!

Of course, my willpower has dwindled down to nothingness... so I might laugh, but I am impressed all the same!!

quick correction: the phrase is "gam zu l'tovah!"
(don't know why it is "zu" rather than "zeh" or "tovah" rather than "tov" but that's the way it is)

SA said...

Good for you! You really got yourself through that. But really, try to treat yourself to something small and within your diet. It is possible. My diet allows a 100 calorie treat every day, and it really helps. 1 row of bittersweet chocolate, or one of those 92 calorie Elite chocolate bars really work. So do Energy 100 cal granola bars that have a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom. Diet chocolate puddings are also yum.

Stop torturing yourself. Although you get good posts out of the torture, it's really unnecessary.

And i disagree with the bland food. Yummy satisfying, low cal food is much better. I just made a great soup last week:

1 cauliflower
1 carrot
2 zuchini
1 container of mushrooms, any kind you like
1 leek
1 onion
1 bunch Alei mangold (swiss chard)
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp pareve soup mix, to taste

Saute onion and leek till transluscent, add the rest of the vegetables except AM and saute till soft. Add water to cover, salt and soup mix. Bring to a boil, add chopped leaves. Cook 40 minutes. Take off the heat and blend until smooth.

It tastes like creamy potato soup. Great to have all week and shabbat.

SquarePeg613 said...

You are just too funny!

SquarePeg613 said...

You are just too funny!

Tzipporah said...

No, dear Gila, the reason it is good that you are not married is that if you indeed had 2 kilos of such delicious stuff in the freezer you would find, on Sunday morning, that you had only 1 kilo left - because your husband had eaten the rest!! (They are sneaky that way.)

Damn, now I really miss the shuk. I'll have to make do with our over-priced organic free-range carrots and ecologically-a-little-too-friendly beets from the local farmer's market. Hippies.

Michael said...

Comment to RivkA:
Don't want to be too nitpicky, but if you're already correcting the grammar, I'll throw in my two cents.
I believe the phrase is actually "gam zo l'tovah" rather than "gam zu l'tovah", as the word "zu" is actually a synonym for "asher" (as in "am zu ga'alta").

And Gila, if you ever need any help disposing of Marzipan rugelach and I happen to be in the same city as you, I am more than willing to volunteer my services. :)


Anonymous said...

I cannot stop laughing. I am single in my upper thirties. You are pricelsess. About marzipan, a friend of mine would run leftover rugelach/cakes uner the water for a while until they were soggy enough to guaranty she would not root through the garbage for them.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Michael, I wondered about that, but never heard anyone actually say "zo." I meant to ask some friends who know more grammar than I do, but I keep forgetting.

I can't call any of them at this hour!!

Btw, I'm also happy to help with the ruggelach!!