How my “food for office” looks like

Just another random post I’d like to share. Here is an example of what I buy from Family Mart in the beginning of my working day. It usually consists of some drink, caffeine in certain form (coffee/red bull), healthy? snacks, and sometimes lunch.

On this particular day, I had to attend some presentation during lunch time so I did not have time to go out. I bought new sandwich product from Famima to try, along with Peanuts-flavor Soyjoy, smoked squid, veggies drink, and non-calorie fruity tea.

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Why did I select these? Let’s start with the tea. I love non-caloric fruity tea lineup from Dydo. They launched 3 flavors now and I love all. This one I bought is relatively new: pear and rose tea. (Details here)

Next, the Soyjoy! Now this is pretty tricky and controversial. I cannot say that this is completely a healthy choice to make. However, it is still better than other chips or chocolate snacks, or even the claimed “high-fiber” biscuits. The trick is to choose the one with lowest sugar possible. As of now, there are 2 soyjoy flavors I bought: peanuts (this one) and chocolate-almonds (I wrote about it here)

For another item for snacking my way during the morning and afternoon, I selected soft smoked squid! It’s still my favorite no matter how many times I ate it. The whole pack is about 60-70 kcal with about 6 g. of protein. Instead of eating sugary stuffs, I think it’s a pretty good chance to take in more protein! Plus, it’s so aromatic and intense in flavor. Once you put it in your mouth, it’s kinda hard to put down. (and it’s relatively cheap too! 108 yen)

I also bought Kagome veggies drink, just to feel like I’m taking veggies, which is so ironic. haha I don’t fully support people to rely on this kind of drink, but just on the day that you know you won’t have a chance to get a proper serving of salad, this may come in handy. Be sure to get the 100% veggies one and not the one with juice blend.

Last is the new sandwich! I was quite excited about this new sandwich from Famima. Why? It’s rye bread with basil/chicken and colorful veggies fillings. The taste is pretty delicious although the chicken is not that substantial. It’s so yummy and flavorful. The texture is good too: you get a crunch from almonds and green beans which goes well with the softer texture of the bread and basil spread. It tastes quite similar to the salad product I wrote about before. The whole pack is around 350 kcal, so….not too bad I think. However, to be honest, this sandwich though delicious still cannot beat the ones from Starbucks whose both quality and price are higher.

Let me know what you bought from your nearest convenience store!

How to avoid overeating at dinner party:ディナーパーティに食べ過ぎを防ぐ方法!

Maybe you’re on a diet and are doing pretty well during breakfast and lunch. But when it comes to dinner, you may find yourself fall into the traps of hunger and self-rewarding. You end up eating too much and feel guilty afterwards for ruining your diet routine. Don’t worry! Because there are many techniques you can try out to prevent yourself from overeating IN ADVANCE!

  1.  DO RESEARCH. Find out in advance where you’re going if you have a date with friends or are invited to a party. Check out the restaurant’s menu in advance and see if anything is harmful to your diet or is there anything you can eat. Even better if you can be the one who chooses the restaurant!
  2. EAT CLEAN. If you know that there’s gonna be a course menu or big party meal during dinner, make sure you have CLEAN breakfast AND lunch. NO SKIPPING MEAL here. “Clean” just means regular meal with enough protein and nutrients. Try to avoid any fatty fried food or high-calorie items during the day.
  3. HAVE MID-AFTERNOON BREAK. This is really important! See what time you have to meet up and have the following snacks in BETWEEN your lunch and the dinner.
    high fiber : dried figs or dates or fiber drinks/jelly
    Yogurt : if possible greek yogurt, which would fill you up with protein, helping you stay full longer
    fruits : those like apples (lots of fiber), grapefruits (no.1 weight-loss fruit), or anything that’s not so high in sugar. You can grab some cut-fruits (カット・フルーツ) in combini
    nuts : I rely on almonds! I usually eat about 8-9 almonds max. These little nuts really help stop your hunger!!
    soy milk : chose those without added sugar. Stay away from the fancy colors and flavors and stick to the plain old soy milk that will give you high protein!
    water: Okay, last method… if your stomach is still empty, just load it up with lots and lots of water!!
  4. WEAR TIGHT OUTFIT. This is just my optional advice. Wear your skinny jeans or something with right belts, or form-fitting top. You will be naturally aware of your appearance! Wearing tight jeans could REALLY WORK because you will kinda stop eating after you feel super uncomfortable. Just listen to how your body feels.
  5. DESSERTS?? Maybe it’s your friend’s birthday and you need to take responsible for a piece of cake. Don’t worry! Several tricks would work here:
    – ask to cut your own piece and get a slim slice.
    – if handed a plate, receive it but take off the whipped cream. Cut it by half and ask if anyone would gladly share it with you. (normally there would be someone who loves to share!)
    – just refuse it nicely and say “I’m sorry but I’m really full.”
    NEVER SAY YOU’RE ON A “DIET”. People would try to get you off track by saying “one day won’t hurt.” Instead, say “these days I’m taking serious steps to take care of my health.” (Nobody would ask you to not take care of your health ;P)
  6. BE CHOOSY. During dinner, just stick to the commonsense of diet principles. Veggies, lots of protein, no creamy dressing or fried food, and no beer or cocktail. Wow, that sounds tough but…you need to be conscious. One way to do always leave a small pile on your dish so that you would feel like there’s always something left on your plate. A glass of wine is fine but a series of soft drinks (including juices) is not. Be careful of liquid; the calories can add up fast.
  7. FOCUS ON TALKING. In the end, you’re there to talk to people. Just enjoy the company of your friends and focus on having fruitful conversation. Take your mind of food and you might be less tempted!

Hope these tricks would help you to survive the next birthday party!

Squid as a healthy snack! :おつまみの「いか」はスナックとしてすれば?

Now…If any of you are trying to go on a diet in this amazing land of sweets (I mean Japan of course), you might find it challenging when your stomach cries out for some late afternoon snacks and you know you CANT go grab that kit-kat or various good-looking chocolate at the combini. What you CAN grab, though, is all there in the Otsumami section! What am I talking about? I’m talking about certain kinds of snack that Japanese eat with beer. I am now a frequent to this section of the combini.

Most of the otsumami products is made of protein…like squid, dried fish, beef jerkey, and nuts. Now that’s healthy! This post will focus first on the squid. I didn’t understand the differences between each kind of squid products at first, so I tried out all of them. And now I have come up with my very own ranking of favorites in terms of taste and texture. I went from one combini to another to seek for the best flavor and I want to share with you guys so that you might try for yourself. You’ll discover that dieting is just a change from chocolate to something equally flavorful. (Just different flavor altogether lol)

Why am I trying to recommend this so much? First, its protein is the winner. For one serving, you can secure about 5-10 grams of protein already. Second, it’s low in carbs and fat. Nothing more to say, it’s like you’re eating tasty protein without taking in any refined carbs or bad quality fat that you might find from general snacks.

Let’s talk about the kinds of squid snack that you would find first.
1. Saki-ika (さきいか) or shredded squid. It is the driest and hardest kind,very chewy and salty.

2. Soft smoked squid (ソフトいか燻製)The kanji read as Kunsei. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this type of squid the most! It’s chewy but not to hard, not to salty, just about right. It’ll keep you chewing and satisfy your craving. I recommend this one from family mart! (only 105 yen)

3. Ring squid (いかくん)I think the “kun” part also comes from “kunsei” or smoked like the above type. Its chewiness is in between the first two types, a bit tarter, but has smoother texture, easier to eat.

Now…for the product I’m currently craving for is the CHEESE SOFT SMOKED SQUID! (チーズいかAnd it’s not just ANY cheese squid, it must be the one sold by the station vendors and Newdays combini. It looks like this:

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I can’t find its picture online so I took this by myself. Believe me, try this out! It’s very cheesy, sweet, and chewy at the same time. One of the best squid snack I have tried out.

If you like cheese, you can also try “Cheese tara”. Tara, a kind of fish, is mixed with natural cheese, and made into a short flat slices very easy to eat. I’m not such a cheese person but this is pretty acceptable for me lol

Anyway, please try out at any combini nearby your place. Go find the beef jerkey, this squid snack will be right by that! Actually, beef jerkey is also a good choice for snack, just don’t choose the sausage-looking one. That one is higher in calories.