How to save yourself after OVEREATING! :「食べ過ぎをなかったことに!」

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.

guilty dessert

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

Three Soy milk alternatives you should buy! :買いたい豆乳のトップ3位!

Have you ever stood in front of the milk aisle in the supermarket, staring, thinking, contemplating, and still couldn’t figure out which soy milk is the best one to bring back home? I’m here to help! 

After spending hours after hours in many different supermarkets and tasting soy milk from different brands, I have finally found a few of my favorites. By the way, I’m pretty a picky buyer. I don’t buy soy milk just because it is purely made of soy. I focus on taste and how easy it is to drink and to mix with other food, e.g. my beloved cereals, soup, coffee.

I know this might sound a little bit subjective, but I believe my choices are good for everyone in general. Here are the top THREE soy milk brands that I highly recommend! 🙂

1. AEON’s organic soy milk. (‘Topvalu’ is the brand) As you seen in the photo, it receives many certifications, confirming its quality despite the price. Clocks in at 50 kcal per 100 ml with 4.5 g. of protein, 3.1 g. of fat, and merely 1.3 g. of sugar. Considering protein and sugar content, it is the best choice! Moreover, the flavor is not too “soy”-milky, if you know what I mean. Very smooth texture, no strong smell, not overly sweet nor bitter, easily goes with my cereals and coffee. I’m not saying you won’t taste any soy in it; the delicious flavor is still there! And it’s UNSWEETENED, meaning low in sugar and carbs while it’s high in protein. Don’t get confused with other flavored soy milk products out there. You won’t wanna be drinking sugar.

Where to get this? Look for any supermarket with AEON sign as it has many sub-brands. I bought this at 198 yen (1000 ml carton) at the nearest super called “My Basket”, where everything is sooo cheap! (Cheaper than convenience stores!) Please check it out! More here: Top Valu information page (spelled correctly)

2. Provamel’s Unsweetened Soya milk. This soy milk is imported and thus the price is kinda high. However, once I tasted it, it’s so hard to switch to other brands. The flavor is sooo good on its own. You don’t need to add more sugar nor cocoa powder to cover the soy smell or flavor. it’s so refreshing and delicious I could just drink it as my treat.

Anddddd per 100 ml, it has:
Energy 45 kcal, Protein 3.7 g, Fat 2.2 g, Carbohydrates 2.4 g
Calorie and nutrients wise, it is not a bad choice at all. I just love this cuz of the taste and the lightness of it. Recommended!

But it can be difficult to buy. As far as I know, I found it in Meidi-ya supermarket Roppongi store (Click here for website), Precce supermarket Tokyo Midtown store, and LIMA cafe south Shinjuku store (LIMA cafe website). The latter is just behind my office tower. hehe

3. Otsuka’s Miruku no youni yasashii daizu. It’s a pretty long name. No, actually, it has the longest name ever! It literally means “soy milk that is as smooth as milk” (as in cow milk). I used to be addicted to this as well! Like, I HAD TO drink this and this only cuz I wasn’t well adjusted to the taste of soymilk yet. And this is precisely the main selling point of this soy milk. Its texture is so smooth, the flavor so sweet and tasty and refreshing. You can just drink it on its own. On the package, the brand emphasizes high content of calcium, isoflavone, and protein. 

Per 100 ml, it contains…
Energy 47.5 kcal, Protein 3.2 g., Fat 2.35 g., Carbohydrates 2.8 g.
Not bad for a tasty non-soy-milky choice! It comes with 2 sizes: 950 ml and 200 ml. 
Can be found easiest in most of the convenient stores and supermarkets, especially for the smaller alternative (which is usually seen in many other flavors such as strawberry, green tea, banana, grape,…but I do not recommend the flavor types).

However, when I looked closely at its label, I got discouraged a little bit when the second ingredient on the ingredients list following “soy” is “mizu ame” (syrup) and then sugar. This made me feel a bit like I was taking unnecessary sugar so I switched to other alternatives after.

ミルクのようにやさしいダイズHope you all get some good ideas of what to grab next time! In the end, I encourage you to try for yourself if you find any brand interesting! How to choose from this list: Price and quality wise, choose the first one. Self-reward/high quality, go for the second one. Not so familiar with soy milk? go for the third one. 

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!