Why did I just find this “Caspian sea” yogurt!?

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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New Healthy Almond-milk Pudding!

I am a frequent investigator of convenience stores, especially Family Mart which seems to be everywhere: next to my apartment and in my office building. It has been long since I really found something sweet that I would crave but I spotted this milk pudding yesterday during hunting for my lunch at Famima. So yes, BOUGHT IT! Tried it too and I like it.

Why it’s good? 

1. So low in sugar!: only 3.3 g. which is about 77% less than the normal pudding in the market (I think it’s 77% sorry if I’m not precise)

2. Made from Almond milk: the flavor and smell is really nice and mild

3. Low calories: only 67 kcal! Could be a perfect little dessert after your meal! (totally guilt-free) Normal pudding would be about 120-150 kcal or more.

My opinion is that it’s really a good choice if you just look for something small to round up your meal. (or if you’re on a diet) But if you look for something more indulging and rich, full texture..this might not be for you.

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Find your “convenient” healthy food at Family Mart: ファミマでヘルシーランチアイテム!

How to find healthy stuffs in the nearest Family Mart store when you just don’t have time to do your bentou and don’t wanna spend too much eating outside. (or you’re stuck in the building on a rainy day) I have some ideas!

1. Protein: Smoked chicken slices or pastrami beef slices 

At 204 yen, you will be so satisfied both with the flavor and the protein intake. I LOVE the chicken slices! It’s so good you couldn’t tell it’s from Famima (shortened for Family Mart in Japanese). The beef is equally good so you definitely should give them a try. The chicken is about 150 kcal for the whole pack and the beef about 100 kcal. 

2. Salad

A. Basil salad for half of your color veggies intake (1/2日分の緑黄色野菜が摂れるバジルサラダ)
First, this is actually my all-time favorite. Pros: delicious and crunchy at 70 kcal. Con: pricey (220 yen) and small serving.
But it’s famima and no salad is sold in big portion. So, there needs to be some trade-off. I like it the most of all other salads though.

 1/2日分の緑黄色野菜が摂れるバジルサラダ

B. Spinach and Hijiki seaweed salad for your iron intake (Yuzu flavor) (ほうれん草とひじきの鉄分サラダ(柚子風味))
This is a great choice to add in your fiber and iron for the day. Love the crunchiness of edamame and renkon. It’s a litle bit cheaper at 198 yen.

ほうれん草とひじきの鉄分サラダ(柚子風味)

C. Hijiki seaweed and Edamame salad with steamed chicken (ひじきと枝豆の鶏サラダ)
Fiber and protein and good fat makes this salad ideal side dish for your lunch!

ひじきと枝豆の鶏サラダ

D. Seaweed and fried jyako fish salad (海藻と揚げじゃこのサラダ)
I ate this so many times! Super low in calories but the texture and crunchiness is unstoppable! Super high in fiber and refreshing, very suitable for summer. 🙂 

海藻と揚げじゃこのサラダ

For a quick and healthy lunch, pick either of the proteins above and pair it with one or two of the salads plus a piece of brown rice onigiri if you want some carbs. Instead of onigiri, you can also switch to Greek yogurt Partheno for more protein, or instant soup (choose the low-sugar one). I suggest you pack some fruits from home to office and eat it about an hour before lunch to keep your hunger at bay. 🙂

Try it out!!

Coconut water: why so popular?? 「ココナッツウォーター」なぜ人気が高いのか?

Japan has finally embraced the health trend of “coconut water” from the US. But do people really know what it is good for or why or when to drink it? Let’s check it out!

1. It is said to be a natural “sports drink” as it helps recover many nutrients after workout. For many people in tropical countries, coconut water is just like one of the juices that we drink for refreshment. In Thailand, we drink it all the time..or at least when we spot it! it has has less sugar than many sports drinks and much less sugar than sodas and some fruit juices. It has simple sugar that can be absorbed easily, as well as electrolytes and minerals to replenish your body from dehydration.

2. Don’t get confused with coconut “milk”. Coconut water can be found inside the fruit once its top is cut open. Normally, we just drop a straw into the fruit and drink it fresh! Coconut milk, on the other hand, is extracted from grounding the coconut white flesh together with the juice to get white concentrated liquid, which by the way has a bit of unique smell…Coconut milk is used a lot in cooking (eg. soup and desserts) to give a very rich flavor and texture. Be careful of the amount of coconut “milk” as it is very high in saturated fat.

3. Its appeals are that it has lower calories with very little fat but comes with packages of nutrients.
– Per 240 ml (1 cup), the calories are only 46 and almost trace amount of fat.
– contains Potassium more than 2 bananas.
– has Magnesium, Calcium, and other nutrients that help rep up the enzymes and activate your metabolism.
– helps you revive from tiredness and is said to be an effective detox

4. When to drink it? AFTER you exercise and sweat, or after coming up from Ofuro. It would really help re-hydrate you after you lose some nutrients along with your sweat. However, make sure you only drink 1-2 servings a day and not more (just like how you would drink your sports drink). 325 ml of coconut milk contains about 450-680 mg of Potassium so you don’t want to overdo it! (females should take about 2000 mg of Potassium, and males 2500 mg a day) When combined with other food you’ll be eating in one day, it could be very easy to overtake it so…just be moderate as like any other food.

Now that you know what it is and when to drink it, next time you might wanna grab it with you on your trip to the gym.

PS: This is my mom’s favorite drink of all time lol

“Pinkberry” popular frozen yogurt brand from LA coming to TOKYO!!

Born in California, LA, in 2005, Pinkberry is one of the most popular frozen yogurt franchise business. (featured in Gossip girls as well) Wait no more, Tokyo girls! It’s coming to ODAIBA, to be opened on July 18!
Pinkberry’s appealing points is that it uses only non-fat milk and yogurt, which comes in 6 flavors: original, strawberry, pomegranate, cookies&cream, chocolate hazelnuts, and mango.
On top of that, you can choose among 20 tasty toppings like chocolate, cookies, granola, nuts, etc. [what I would recommend is to choose NUTS and FRUITS; be REALLY careful about granola!]

Head up to Venus GRAND 2nd floor, 11:00~22:00
small size: 360円
middle size: 510円
large size: 660円

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.