When talking about pasta here at Sorrento, and the fact that we were here for the first time, there was nothing more appropriate to order than Cacio E Pepe, or Cheese and Pepper, the signature dish…
And….it’s December! My favorite month of the year, after January 😛 When we think of December, we probably have a picture of feasts coming our way. It’s both a sweet and bitter experience we have to go through each year: as we indulge ourselves into Christmas cake, fresh baked goods, superb New Year feasts (many rounds for some of us), we spend time into the night thinking about what we have eaten and feel (quite) guilty about the pleasure. So…what else can we do apart from feeling so guilty?
Here are some of the ways you can save yourself and prepare for the next normal routine of eating!
1. Make your digestion process go smoothly.
After you eat, your intestines and stomach are still weak, hence, cannot digest well, To help it to work well even in the case of a lot of food, you should regularly take care of your lifestyle. Instead of drinking “cold” drinks, which would burden your intestines, opt for “hot” drinks such as green tea, which contains the slimming elements to say it simply. Also, eat something that is really soft and easy to digest. I usually went for boiled rice or congee, or just veggie soup. Avoid steak, grilled chicken, or anything that requires cutting and chewing extensively.
2. Stretch your intestines
This can be done very easily by placing one pillow on your back and lay on it. This position will put your stomach at the highest point of your body and you can feel your body stretched. Just don’t put it too high and put at least 30 minutes after your meal before doing this stretch. This would help activate your blood circulation and digestion, which would make it harder for fat to be accumulated.
3. Burn! within 48 hours after overeat with these 5 foods
Generally, it is said that it takes 2 weeks for the food you’ve eaten to turn into body fat. Hence, do something about it within the first 48 hours may help prevent your weight gain.
1. GINGER: contains enzyme that aids digestion and increases metabolism, hence you’ll burn more. Needless to say, ginger is one of the hottest ingredients in diet products in Japan right now.
2. BITTER MELON: contains Linoleic acid which helps break down the fat and burn energy. Also, it takes stored fat and uses it as energy as well as promotes the action of the recently known good “brown fat.” Eat it with eggs would ease its bitterness.
3. SEAWEEDS: (such as wakame, mekabu, konbu, or hijiki) contains Fucoidan, which prevents the absorption of fat into your body and disposes out. Seaweeds also contain Fucoxanthin, which reduces fat storage and uses excess fat as energy.
4. PINEAPPLE, KIWI, PAPAYA: contain an enzyme Protease, which breaks down protein and helps with digestive process. They also contain Potassium which helps dispose excess water, hence, prevents swelling/bloating.
5. LAMB, BEEF, OR RED PORK MEAT: contain…the famous “L-carnitine” which not only burns fat you recently take in but also the stored excess fat. It’s in red beef/pork meat, but even more so in lamb meat. Per 100 grams, lamb contains 2 times and mutton contains 6 times more L-carnitine than pork does.
I hope now you have some backup plan and don’t be afraid to welcome the joy of feasts coming this year end!
Source: Gunosy news, July 17, 2014, written by 木土さや
Picture: http://www.sodahead.com, http://www.huffingtonpost.com
As a Thai, I’ve always been familiar with thinly slices of bread whose size is a lot smaller than the famously soft and fluffy “Shoku-pan” bread here in Japan. The first few years here, I tried really hard to search for bread that was similar to one I ate in my home country, but I found it really difficult. Most of the bread here is tall, thickly sliced, very soft, and easily torn. Why can’t I just eat the “shoku-pan”? Well, I’m a health freak who just can’t get over the fact that one slice would cost me more than 230 kcal (average). That left so little room for me to add protein or other jam condiments to my ritualized breakfast. Although some are whole wheat bread, they’re still very high in calories.
My way out is to first go for imported hard crispbread such as that of Kavli, that I could find in many supermarkets. For the crispiness and texture, I like it a lot as I could eat more than 2 slices without worrying. Kavli always has really healthy stuffs.
But I still crave for the semi-soft thin bread to make my healthy sandwich, which can still lock in at around 350-400 kcal AFTER being filled with many veggies and proteins…
After a lot of supermarket hopping and researching, I’m proud to say I have found my finest selections!! Let’s see my top three!
1. Santoku supermarket’s selection: Saint Dolce – rye sandwich bread (6 slices)
Why I LOVE:
1. It’s rye bread, thus very healthy (fiber/complex carbs)
2. One slice has only 57 kcal, you can have a pair of them and still below 120 kcal..that’s like HALF OF A PIECE OF shokupan!
3. It’s wide enough to make loads of awesome sandwiches!
2. Kinokuniya supermarket: Four-seeds bread (5 slices)
WHY I LOVE:
1. It’s small and thin
2. Loads of walnuts and healthy seeds! (such as pumpkin seeds) and some oats as well…
3. Just plain right tasty!
3. Kamuraya supermarket at Kagurazaka: Pasco selections!
Pasco is a well-known brand for bread. It has so many different kinds of bread but ONLY a lot of rare (and healthy) ones are sold here!
From top: The front of supermarket…not too far from the Kagurazaka station (Tozai Metro line); whole wheat bread!! Thin slices x 5, with raisin and walnut variations…WANT THEM ALL!
From top left: Wheat Nuggets (20 thinly-sliced whole wheat bread!! and taste so good by the way); Yume-chikara Bran rolls (6 healthy rolls made from bran, hence lots of fiber here – and it’s on sales lol); whole wheat English muffins (4 muffins, sliced into 2 for ease of making sandwich – healthy!! and it’s on sales too haha)
Note: For the wheat nuggets, you can sometimes find it in some other supermarkets though very difficult. For instance, I saw it in the super in Tokyo Midtown. If you are like me who need to have certain kinds of bread, please do me a favor, take a short trip to this awesome station and get buy those awesome bread. PS: there are a lot of interesting shops that sell good ingredients for Italian cooking there too!
Now all you have to do is to get creative about your next awesome healthy sandwich for lunch!
So, I have been frequenting myself with Omotesando/Aoyama area lately since…you know….there are loads of healthy/organic/vegan/anything-with-a-lot-of-veggies cafes! One of those is called “Pure cafe” that I used to visit once many years back. I went there many times this couple of weeks because I found my new addiction: “Little Bite” cookies. Here’s how they look like! The left is cocoa flavor; the right is cinnamon maple flavor. My first love is cocoa but the cinnamon is not bad at all. Now I’m torn so I bought both.
They are gluten-free and vegan, hence, no egg, white sugar, dairy products. Despite the lack of those traditional ingredients, they are sooooo good! I don’t allow myself to indulge much in desserts, but these little cookies are exceptional! I put myself on thread-mill just to eat them. That’s how bad my addiction is. Someone save me. lol
If you wanna share my love-guilt relationship with the cookies, you can buy online here and suffer with me.
Anyway, apart from a variety of cookies/healthy vegan snacks on sales here, Pure cafe provides amazing lunch! And it’s no girl-eats-salad kinda lunch, there’s a lot of food. I went for lunch with my friend and we were SO full and satisfied. Here’s mine: deep-fried Tempeh and veggies huge sandwich lunch set.
From left to right: small carrot cake (dessert), salad with beets dressing, lentils and veggies tomato stew, my huge sandwich, and minestrone soup. In the end I left the bread out or else I’ll die. lol
Apart from this, other famous lunch menus are different kinds of grain salad, Taco rice, and salad plate. Order anything, you’ll get to eat your veggies and dessert! Price is 1200 + tax.
Check out the menu and access here! Omotesando station, B3 exit
Choose your no-meat day and find an excuse to indulge in amazing food here 😉
(I’m gonna miss this place so bad…)
Upon my morning walk (and a short break at Lawson), I found this!!
Arabian Dates milk? This is a product from Tanashi, a major milk manufacturer. It includes 25% of dates juice and loads of Potassium! I have NOT tasted this though. A bit unsure if I would like it. haha
The whole cup is about 128 kcal, 3.8 g. of protein, 2.3 g. of fat, and 23 g. of carbs. The boost here is the 600 mg. of Potassium, which is 1/3 of its daily needs.
Anyone tried this? Tell me how it’s like!!
PS: I found this lady who tasted it and she said it’s mildly sweet. 🙂
“Daylesfort” : Many of you might have heard of this cafe before as it is actually pretty famous among those who like organic/healthy food. Now that I have all the time for myself to go free around town, I picked this cafe to explore. And it did not disappoint!
Let me share with you my lunch!
Walking in, the first floor on the left would be an eating area, and on the right would be a shop area. Now there is a buffet lunch for 1100 yen (i think lol) for 60 minutes you can eat all the organic/tasty salads plus soup plus drink. I think it’s pretty good a deal considering the quality of food. For the shop, there are homemade jam, spread, olive oil, bread, and super yummy-looking bakeries! There are also some skin care and hair care products.
I could have just settled with a great deal buffet, but NO! I came all the way here, I wanted to taste as many variety of food as possible. So up the second floor I went. The ambiance is so comfy, imagine the kind of birthday party for kids where all the moms gather and chat. lol I secured the sofa table and planted myself there for hours with a book in my hands.
There are many menus to choose from and it was such a difficult choice especially that I went there alone. I could only choose one so I decided to be super picky and greedy. lol In my head, already calculated my daily allowance.
The most famous menu would be a vegetable plate where you can eat all the 6 types of daily salad with 2 pieces of bread and drink. Others would be main dish, chicken curry, burger, quiche… (by the way, the quiche dish has like the hugest quiche i’ve ever seen, bigger than a slice of pizza here in Japan.) And there are courses which give you a combination of those menus. I chose “casual lunch” course, where I could have soup, 2 types of salad to choose from, a main dish, and drink. (1800 yen) My stomach was so heavy at the end of the course but it was happy. 🙂
First came my salads: curried cauliflower and red bell pepper + lentil and blue cheese salad. On the side were 2 slices of bread and really tasty olive oil. I mean it, the oil was really good. The flavor was really refreshing and new to my palette. Nothing like plain salad I normally tasted, so I was quite happy. (though I have to admit i’m not a fan of blue cheese. a bit too powering)
Next came my sweet potato cream soup with a drop of olive oil. I spoiled myself by drowning a piece of bread into the bottom of the soup and let the flavor exploded when I squeezed all the soup out. Ok…no more explanation needed.
Then my main dish came. I think it’s chicken confit with gobo, carrot, and potato. It was quite big for me but probably normal for a general standard. The meat was really tender as well as hard veggies like gobo. I swept the whole bowl up with the fluffy bread. I would say, the dish needed a little more salt just for my personal taste, so I had to drop some olive oil to give it some more depth in the later bites. Overall, the dish tasted really yum and satisfying. I just love chicken – soft chicken thigh, especially. ><
I got iced coffee afterwards. And it wasn’t a small tiny kind but a jar-like container which I liked. I spent the next hour or so finishing “Inferno” by Dan Brown and left the place. Around the area, I discovered so MANY more organic/healthy cafes…I couldn’t believe they are all here in Omotesando!
I am planning to visit these places during my time left in Tokyo. xxx
Find out more about this place here
This amazing “Caspian sea” yogurt has been sitting in supermarkets for years. I have seen it but never ever picked it up. And now I feel guilty. Only until a couple of days ago I ran out of yogurt and somehow decided to buy this home. The next morning the Aha moment happened to me when I dipped a spoon in the tub and lifted it. The waterfall of rich and creamy yogurt stretched from my spoon into the bowl. Never seen anything like it. Not as concentrated as the greek yogurt, but very stretchy and creamy like glue. (okay that is just to give you a mental picture)
There are 2 brands of caspian sea yogurt I spotted and tried recently:
1. Glico’s non-fat caspian sea yogurt (left)
This “Caspian sea” yogurt is so dense, so creamy, so soft, and yet so low in calories! Per 100 grams, it contains only 40 kcal with 0 g. of fat. Unlike other “non-fat” yogurt, it doesn’t contain sugar either! WIth equal proportion of carbs and protein (about 5 g. each) it is actually an ideal yogurt to support the morning routine. Again, normal non-fat yogurt needs a lot of added sugar to compensate for the lack of fat, hence making it high in carbs and is unnaturally sweet – almost to the point of too sweet for some of the brands. This added sugar also liquefies the yogurt, making the texture very watery. When poured out of the tub, you can observe water coming out first.
2. Fujikko’s Mochiri (right)
This is smaller in size and has some sugar added. One serving is about 100 kcal, 10 g. carbs, 5.5 g. of protein, and 4.5 g. of fat. This is SUPER DENSE AND CREAMY AND CONCENTRATED. YOU NEED TO TRY THIS. Period. No more I could say. It’s so good and satisfying. If you’re hungry in the middle of the day or have a late night working day. Go to any convenience store and grab this little magic in your hand. Your tongue and stomach will love you for doing so. It has 1/3 calories of normal cream cheese, and is suggested as the alternative thereof to spread on a baguette. As dense as greek yogurt, but the texture in your mouth would be different.
If you spot these fancy blue tubs of yogurt in any supermarket, just be brave and give them a try!! I think they will be really good for baking as well! Indulge people!
A little bit more about Caspian sea yogurt itself, you can read more here: What is Caspian sea yogurt?
A short excerpt from that website:
Caspian Sea Yogurt is different from regular yogurt in its viscous texture and mellow taste. The viscous component EPS is produced by Cremoris FC. which is found to have many health benefits:
- Improve of constipation
- Prevention of declining skin condition by stress and other skin disorder, like Atopy
- Increase the activity of cells related immune system in the body and prevent from disease
- Suppression of cholesterol and its absorption
Dr.Yamori, Honnor professor of Kyoto University investigated the foods consumed in the Cocassas region, the birthplace of this Caspian sea yogurt. Among several yogurts, he found that Caspian sea yogurt might be the long kept secret of the people’s long longevity.
So I have been wondering about this new pudding from Morinaga recently: Veggie juice-banana pudding (Jujitsu yasai de oishii Banana pudding) .
Here it says Banana pudding with 20 kinds of veggies and fiber. Banana itself would have been nice but with veggie juice?? (this is a cooperation between Itoen’s jujitsu 60% veggie juice series and Morinaga)
So…I bought it just to satisfy my curiosity. Let me tell you about its label first: 120 kcal, protein 2 g., fat 4.3 g., carbs 17.6 g., and fiber 2.9 g. Compared to many other puddings, 120 kcal is pretty normal, but it can be better in terms of lower fat and higher fiber. Check it its product website!
Its flavor profile, HOWEVER, is really ambiguous or “Bimyou” as we say in Japanese. It’s not totally sweet. The sourness came after a while, leaving kinda weird aftertaste. The texture is normal, just like pudding in general. It kinda tastes like you are drinking diluted veggies drink with added sugar in a pudding form. lol
Sorry, morinaga….This pudding is not cutting it for me.
More pudding reviews are coming, so stay tuned!
Hi there Marvel lovers!
If you’re in Tokyo and are up for some funky lunch then was up to Tower Record cafe at shibuya! This is a special event to celebrate 75 years anniversary for Batman. The special Gotham City burger comprises of Garlic, onion, tomato, honey mustard, almonds, and mushroom! Notice the initial alphabets for the ingredients! All for 1600 yen. There is also Gotham pumpkin cheesecake for 850 yen. The cafe opens from 10 am til 11 pm!
Check it out here: http://www.shibukei.com/phone/headline.php?id=10428
Oh! and it’s only until November 3rd!
Recently, Japan has been really innovative about how containers look like. In part, I think they stimulate interest in consumers, making them pick up the product and hence increase the possibility of the first trial. It’s really refreshing to see this kind of innovation starting to pick up the pace in Japan. While flavors and contents of drinks are always changing depending on the seasons, their containers have remained the same for the past years. Only recently that Morinaga has started the trend.
First and most exciting innovation would be PREMiL! New concept of milk targeting those in their 40s-60s. There are 2 types of product options: one with fortified calcium and protein but still creamy (in blue color) AND one with added fiber and BB536 bacteria (purple color).
Now..look at their packaging! People thought these are yogurt drink at first…because the color and shape is similar to the existing package of some yogurt brands. When they picked the product up, read about it, the surprise factor came in when they realized it’s actually milk! The idea is that it would be easy to open, to pour (so the milk won’t spill if you squeeze the bottle too hard), and to keep. Some complain that it might be difficult when you need to cut the bottle for recycle purpose. Read more here: PREMiL
And then…Meiji followed suit with this bottle series…called “Shimaru bottle”. Shimaru is to close something – in this case the bottle.
Recently launched in combini are 2 variations of dairy drink: super creamy latte and matcha latte. Claiming that the cap allows you to keep the milk from spilling and to keep it for later consumption in case you don’t finish the whole thing. (the term “re-cap” is used in Japanese) Most products in the market are in the form of tetra box, so once you open you can’t really keep it long. Read more here: Shimaru bottle
Here is how the “Shiro no hito toki” (creamy latte) and matcha latte look like:
They look pretty similar, no? What do you think? Do these new shape of bottle makes you wanna buy more?