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A taste of the Middle East

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It was around 18 years ago that Yossi Shalevich bade farewell to his family and friends in Israel to embark on a new journey in Canada.

While the father of two may have spent his childhood in a country notorious for war and violence, what he remembers is a far cry from how it’s portrayed in the media.

“I would spend as much time outside playing without ever giving it a second thought,” says Shalevich, who lived with his parents, younger brother and sister in a suburb just outside of Tel Aviv.

Shalevich, 44, was in his mid-20s when he moved to Ontario to study economics at the University of Toronto.

While he admits he was prepared to acclimatize to a new culture, he wasn’t exactly ready for the drastic change in temperature.

“I’ll never forget my first winter,” he laughs. “I looked out my window and saw the sun was shining, so I went outside in my shorts and flip flops. It was so cold it took my breathe away – it was -20 C.”

After graduation, Shalevich found work as a stockbroker/trader in downtown Toronto, a path that would lead him to his future wife, Laura, now mother of his two children, Lior, 2, and Shai, six weeks.

“She worked in the back of the trade office and we hit it off right away,” says Shalevich, who moved with his new bride to Vancouver in search of sunnier skies and a new business venture.

Shalevich, who served in the Israeli army as a lieutenant general for four years, has always been passionate about fitness, martial arts and self defense. Two years ago, the couple took a leap of faith and decided to combine his interests by opening a one-of-a-kind fitness franchise in South Surrey and Langley geared specifically to women – The 30 Minute Hit.

The 30-minute circuit is a high-intensity action-packed boxing/kickboxing workout where women can sweat and burn their way to achieving results they never thought possible, according to Shalevich.

“It’s not an easy workout, but it’s really rewarding to watch the women get in shape and gain confidence.”

Having a new business, newborn and toddler to tend to, Shalevich admits he rarely gets to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.

He prefers to whip up something quick and nutritious, like his recipe for hummus, which he shares with readers.

While it’s easily available at most grocery stores, Shalevich said he prefers to make his own from scratch.

“It’s far more fresh and you don’t have to worry about having all that sodium, plus it’s just so easy to make.”

Yossi’s Hummus


19 0z can chickpeas

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup tahini

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 hot pepper (optional)





Strain and wash chickpeas. Throw all ingredients into food processor and blend until you get the desired consistency. Dip best served with lots of Olive Oil. For an extra kick throw in thyme and cayenne pepper. Serve with warm pita bread on the side.