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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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!

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!!

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.