15 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism Besides Exercise

You want to know what else you can do to help you burn during the day? It’s easier than you think! Just check this link out!! 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/javiermoreno/ways-to-boost-your-metabolism-besides-exercise#4cbmaic

Choose your food intake strategically. Timing is also important. Be smart when purchasing your food and plan a little bit before hand will get you far. 😉

 

Healthy food choices at Starbucks that won’t ruin your diet : ダイエット中におすすめ、スターバックスのヘルシーフード

This post is going to be about healthy food choices you can make if you happen to step into Starbucks in Japan. There are a lot of good-looking food out there in Starbucks and every time I go I have to spend sometimes thinking about what to best pair with my cappuccino. Here’re some good-for-your-body items I wanna recommend!

1. Seasonal item: 15 items Mexican Avocado salad wrap (サラダラップ 15品目 メキシカンアボカド)

サラダラップ 15品目 メキシカンアボカド

Energy: 297 kcal (below 300 kcal choice, perfect if you want to pair with a 100-smt kcal drink)
Why it’s good: apart from lots of veggies, it includes scrumptious creamy avocado sauce, edamame and kidney beans! This would leave vibrant aftertaste and avocado would make you feel satisfied.

2. Chicken and roots vegetable salad wrap (サラダラップ(根菜チキン))

サラダラップ (根菜チキン)

Energy: 155 kcal (lowest among sandwich type)
Why it’s good: this is the most long-lasting menu in Starbucks. It’s a no-brainer. Want something healthy? Just grab this and you’ll never be sorry. Did I say it’s really creamy? And trust me you’ll love the crunch from the walnuts!

3. Seasonal item: Chicken Caesar salad wrap (サラダラップ チキンシーザー)

サラダラップ チキンシーザー

Energy: 302 kcal
Why it’s good: You’ll get the creamy/tangy Caesar sauce together with loads of chicken for protein. At the bottom, you’ll find a surprise layer of boiled egg to finish your last bite.

4. Basil chicken and avocado-shrimp grain bread sandwich (グレインブレッド バジルチキン&アボカドシュリンプ)

グレインブレッド バジルチキン&アボカドシュリンプ

Energy: 340
Why it’s good: Looking for a satisfying sandwich for lunch? Just grab this! First, it’s better than plain white bread of those sandwiches in the combini. Second, it has avocado and shrimp – the most compatible pair of food, and who can say NO to avocado? Third, chicken would give you the protein and I just love its taste together with the basil sauce. It’s below 350 kcal so still a safer and healthier choice than other pastries! 

Now, don’t get lost in choosing muffins or cakes, try out some salad wraps and sandwich if you’re looking for a good healthy lunch while enjoying your favorite cup of Joe.

Philadelphia chocolate cream cheese spotted! フィラデルフィア チョコレート ã‚¯ãƒªãƒ¼ãƒ ãƒãƒ¼ã‚º

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I found this Philadelphia cream cheese in chocolate variation at Peacock supermarket, Daikanyama branch! Haven’t tried it but would love to! If you have tried it, tell me how you like it 😀

Check the supermarket here: http://www.17dixsept.jp/floor/detail.php?id=000200

Newly Opened!「MAX BRENNER CHOCOLATE BAR」at Omotesando Hills! 表参道ヒルズにオープンしたの「マックスブレナー・チョコレート・バー」

Just open in November last year, Max Brenner flied over to Omotesando Hills all the way from Israel, introducing Tokyo to a new way of enjoying chocolate. Haven’t you heard? Now we eat chocolate on Pizza!! 

Chocolate Chunk Pizza
「チョコレートチャンクピザ」(1,800円、1/2サイズ950円、1/6サイズ350円)
source: http://news.mynavi.jp/articles/2013/11/29/maxbrenner/

I saw this on the news this morning and think if any of you is a chocolate addict, then you really really shouldn’t miss this! Using pizza dough as a base, sprinkle some milk chocolate on top, pass it under hot oven til the chocolate melts, then sprinkle with white chocolate and LOADS of mashmellow, pass the whole architecture under the hot oven again to grill the soft white clouds to perfection. Anddddddd…..YES! you have your own “chocolate chunk pizza!” (or maybe you should bring a couple of friends over lol)

Another interesting chocolate treat that I’ve never seen before is this: Chocolate syringe!? 「チョコレートシリンジ」(500円) This is totally a dream come true for children! Think about being able to shoot all that sweet stuff directly into your mouth!

Check out its website here: http://maxbrenner.co.jp/

I found this brand very interesting after reading more into it. It has a very unique principle and business point of view. Max Brenner aims to liberate ways of eating and enjoying chocolate by lifting any boundary of traditional way of thinking about it. There are 4 ethos (written on their website but I’m just gonna give some shortcut here): 

  1. Chocolate Without Boundaries (チョコレートには国境も形式もない)
  2. Enjoy to The Max(チョコレートを最高に楽しもう!)
  3. Chocolate is Good for You(チョコレートは心にも⾝体にもうれしいもの)
  4. Itʼs Simple…All You Have To Do is Love Chocolate(シンプルにチョコレートを愛して)

Really interesting way of differentiating itself from other chocolate specialist shops! Of course, apart from the chocolate pizza and chocolate syringe I introduced above, there are more fun menus waiting for you chocolate lovers at the shop! (like chocolate fondue?? ;P)

Don’t hesitate to post some comments if you have gone there! 

Japanese version of Atkins Diet:「ばあさまたちにとおなし」という糖質制限ダイエット

I watched this TV program last night about two different approaches of dieting. One is to refrain from carbs and the other is to limit the calorie intake. Doctors who have tried, succeeded, and became to the advocates for either of the methods were invited to the show and discussed the advantages and the right way to proceed on each diet plan. 

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The calorie limitation approach as we know it is that we must eat within certain limited number of calories per day. But in this Japanese version, what’s interesting this that the doctor started by asking patients to find out how many calories to be cut from their normal one-day calorie intake instead of limiting whatever they’re taking to fit the ideal daily calories, which would be a lot harder to do and maintain.

The formula to find out how much calories you should cut from your daily intake to start losing weight is:
Female >> (body fat% – 20) / 60 x 30 x your body weight
Male >> (body fat% – 10) / 70 x 30 x your body weight 

Now let’s talk about the Japanese version of Atkins Diet, that is to cut carbs and anything that includes sugar but free to eat any protein and fat. The doctors kinda said that the merits are that you are not bounded by the numbers and calculation anymore, rather you just have to learn to remember which food has high sugar or carbs. For me, I think it’s a lot more limiting than the calorie count method, which is a lot easier especially in Japan that most products have calories on the labels. 

The Japanese Atkins Diet doctor introduced an easy way to remember which products that are ALLOWED during the diet period:「ばあさまたちにとおなし」or “Ba-a-sa-ma-ta-chi-ni-to-o-na-shi”. The letters represent the foods that you can feel free to combine and mix up according to your imagination lol Let’s go one by one! 

ば:バター; Ba – Butter
あ:アボカド; A – Avocado
さ:さかな; Sa – Fish
ま:マヨネーズ; Ma- Mayonnaise 
た:たまご; Ta – egg
ち:チーズ; Chi – Cheese
に:肉; Ni – Meat
と:とうふ; To – Tofu
お:オリーブオイル; O – Olive oil
な:納豆; Na – Nattou (fermented soybeans)
し:焼酎(しょうちゅう); Shi – Shouchuu or distilled spirit

I found this a bit weird at first and then I tried to understand the logic. The doctor suggested that you can take as much as you want from the items above BUT must be extremely careful not to take any form of carbs, and yes that includes salad dressings of any kind, be it super clear and non-oil stuff. Whenever you need to go to a family restaurant (like Gasto or Saizeria) be sure to order a la carte (単品)plus lots of SMALL side dishes that are all low in carbs (no potato salad whatsoever) and NO RICE. What’s more apart from rice, you cannot take any noodles like udon, soba, and ramen. You must say goodbye to bread, fruity yogurt, and even low-fat milk. Soymilk is said to be better because it contains small amount of carbs compared to low fat or non-fat milk that substitutes the fat with sugar. Fruits and veggies also need to be monitored. For instance, you can’t go eat curry rice though take off the rice because you can’t take potato or carrot, nor the curry roux. Curry is really a no-no meal lol. If you like Katsu-don, you can take off the rice, then cut off one half of the side with breadcrumb and enjoy the other side. That should give you enough satisfaction, the doctor said. If you like to go to Izakaya for drinking, then order the Shouchuu!! You prolly get by the night without taking tons of sugar with you.

There are 3 levels of this approach, though, so don’t be alarmed yet. First is the “super” level meaning you cut carbs from ALL 3 meals. The second is the “Standard” level, meaning you cut carbs only 2 meals, maybe breakfast and dinner as you might need to go out for lunch with your co-workers. The last is the easiest and most convenient level that allows you to cut carbs only one meal a day, usually during dinner. If you wanna see results fast, go with the super. But be prepared because if you are in Japan, a country where RICE is the MAIN thing in each meal, this might require you to totally change the cultural way of eating. 

Although I’m always conscious of calories, I never thought of numbers of carbs before. I used to think that avoiding fat is the safest way; now I changed my mind. I kinda wanna try taking on more protein and healthy fat than carbs and see if this can actually slim down my body. That’s gonna be my challenge for a week! 😉

Crispy Seaweed snack (パリパリごまわかめ)

As a continuous post in the theme of “chips”, this time I would like to recommend this product: “Paripari goma-wakame” or “crispy sesame-seaweed”.

As you can see from the package, it’s ONLY 70 kcal! (and about 3-4 grams of fat)
The “crispy” factor? I give it 100%.
The “flavor” factor?…its balanced saltiness would make you forget it is actually seaweed.
The “texture” factor?…The sesame seeds give it an interesting texture..each piece is thin yet airy with several layers…can’t stop munching and hearing the sound!

photos from the courtesy of this blog:http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/taka24562002/23618113.html

Where to buy it? Easy, go to Lawson or Natural Lawson (the healthy store brand of Lawson), some of the “it’s demo” shops (which I’ll blog about later), or some other stores that sell beauty and health related products such as “Ranking-ranqueen”.

Verdict: GIVE IT A TRY! With 100-something yen, you’ll have the perfect afternoon crunch! Trust me, it’ll become your go-to snack just like it became mine! 😉

Vegips (ベジップス)

As an effort to fit health into the lifestyle of the mass, vegetables need to find a new place and shape on the shelf. One of the mainstream change that we have seen recently all around the world is in the form of vegetable chips.

However, here is the point where one needs to pay special attention to, especially if one is trying to use that as a substitute snack while “dieting”. It is not meant to be a healthier version of potato chips as the media is trying to make us believe. Yes, veggie chips can be better, but that’s in case they are “baked” and not “fried” with oil. The latter would not make any difference with mere potato chips.

In Japan, similarly, there has been a new wave of “new potato chips” snacks evoked by the famous snack company that I’m sure you all have heard of – Calbee. They launched “VEGIPS”!!

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On the left is made from the onion, pumpkin, and potato VS the right side made of sweet potato and pumpkin.

This is the photo captured from the Calbee website and I’m pretty impressed about how straightforward and open they are about the nutrition label. This, to a certain degree, shows that they have confidence in the healthiness of their products.

The three points that they raised as the “kotowari” or we can say in the business term “selling points” are:
1. original way of processing the chips: the natural shape of the veggies remained, leaving a unique texture and the original flavor of the veggies.
2. there’s no other additives apart from salt.
3. the whole process from planting the seeds to final stage is kept under control, so you can be sure of safety.

Personally, I think this is a very good effort. The fat content is about 10 grams which is about half of the normal potato chips. The sodium is not high either. As an afternoon snack, the total calories are less than 200 kcal so it is still okay, given that one doesn’t have huge servings of pizza or unlimited buffet for lunch. The fiber, for the green package varies from 1.6 grams to 3 grams. (by the way, I hate it when they do this…not telling us exactly how much it is, left us guessing lol) and the right is about 2.8 grams. They claim that this is considered “high fiber”. (written so on the package)

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Verdict: is an OKAY choice but still, having this leaves you less room for other food if you plan to have a high-calorie dinner on the same day. I have a better choice in mind that I would go for when I feel a need for crunch though. That, I will tell in the later post! 😉