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

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3 Places to buy healthy thinly-sliced bread in Tokyo! : ヘルシーで、細切りパンを買えるトコロ!

As a Thai, I’ve always been familiar with thinly slices of bread whose size is a lot smaller than the famously soft and fluffy “Shoku-pan” bread here in Japan. The first few years here, I tried really hard to search for bread that was similar to one I ate in my home country, but I found it really difficult. Most of the bread here is tall, thickly sliced, very soft, and easily torn. Why can’t I just eat the “shoku-pan”? Well, I’m a health freak who just can’t get over the fact that one slice would cost me more than 230 kcal (average). That left so little room for me to add protein or other jam condiments to my ritualized breakfast. Although some are whole wheat bread, they’re still very high in calories.

My way out is to first go for imported hard crispbread such as that of Kavli, that I could find in many supermarkets. For the crispiness and texture, I like it a lot as I could eat more than 2 slices without worrying. Kavli always has really healthy stuffs.

But I still crave for the semi-soft thin bread to make my healthy sandwich, which can still lock in at around 350-400 kcal AFTER being filled with many veggies and proteins…

After a lot of supermarket hopping and researching, I’m proud to say I have found my finest selections!! Let’s see my top three!

1. Santoku supermarket’s selection: Saint Dolce – rye sandwich bread (6 slices)

Why I LOVE:
1. It’s rye bread, thus very healthy (fiber/complex carbs)
2. One slice has only 57 kcal, you can have  a pair of them and still below 120 kcal..that’s like HALF OF A PIECE OF shokupan! 
3. It’s wide enough to make loads of awesome sandwiches!

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 2. Kinokuniya supermarket: Four-seeds bread (5 slices)

WHY I LOVE:
1. It’s small and thin
2. Loads of walnuts and healthy seeds! (such as pumpkin seeds) and some oats as well…
3. Just plain right tasty!

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3. Kamuraya supermarket at Kagurazaka: Pasco selections!

Pasco is a well-known brand for bread. It has so many different kinds of bread but ONLY a lot of rare (and healthy) ones are sold here!

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From top: The front of supermarket…not too far from the Kagurazaka station (Tozai Metro line); whole wheat bread!! Thin slices x 5, with raisin and walnut variations…WANT THEM ALL!

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From top left: Wheat Nuggets (20 thinly-sliced whole wheat bread!! and taste so good by the way); Yume-chikara Bran rolls (6 healthy rolls made from bran, hence lots of fiber here – and it’s on sales lol); whole wheat English muffins (4 muffins, sliced into 2 for ease of making sandwich – healthy!! and it’s on sales too haha)

Note: For the wheat nuggets, you can sometimes find it in some other supermarkets though very difficult. For instance, I saw it in the super in Tokyo Midtown. If you are like me who need to have certain kinds of bread, please do me a favor, take a short trip to this awesome station and get buy those awesome bread. PS: there are a lot of interesting shops that sell good ingredients for Italian cooking there too!

Now all you have to do is to get creative about your next awesome healthy sandwich for lunch!

Pure Cafe: Indulge in Vegan Delicatessen! ピュアカフェで、ボリューム満点のビーガンフード!

So, I have been frequenting myself with Omotesando/Aoyama area lately since…you know….there are loads of healthy/organic/vegan/anything-with-a-lot-of-veggies cafes! One of those is called “Pure cafe” that I used to visit once many years back. I went there many times this couple of weeks because I found my new addiction: “Little Bite” cookies. Here’s how they look like! The left is cocoa flavor; the right is cinnamon maple flavor. My first love is cocoa but the cinnamon is not bad at all. Now I’m torn so I bought both.

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They are gluten-free and vegan, hence, no egg, white sugar, dairy products. Despite the lack of those traditional ingredients, they are sooooo good! I don’t allow myself to indulge much in desserts, but these little cookies are exceptional! I put myself on thread-mill just to eat them. That’s how bad my addiction is. Someone save me. lol
If you wanna share my love-guilt relationship with the cookies, you can buy online here and suffer with me.

Anyway, apart from a variety of cookies/healthy vegan snacks on sales here, Pure cafe provides amazing lunch! And it’s no girl-eats-salad kinda lunch, there’s a lot of food. I went for lunch with my friend and we were SO full and satisfied. Here’s mine: deep-fried Tempeh and veggies huge sandwich lunch set.

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From left to right: small carrot cake (dessert), salad with beets dressing, lentils and veggies tomato stew, my huge sandwich, and minestrone soup. In the end I left the bread out or else I’ll die. lol

Apart from this, other famous lunch menus are different kinds of grain salad, Taco rice, and salad plate. Order anything, you’ll get to eat your veggies and dessert! Price is 1200 + tax.

Check out the menu and access here! Omotesando station, B3 exit

Choose your no-meat day and find an excuse to indulge in amazing food here 😉 
(I’m gonna miss this place so bad…)

Finally I found my way to Daylesford, British organic cafe!「デイルズフォード・オーガニック」青山に行きま~した!

“Daylesfort” : Many of you might have heard of this cafe before as it is actually pretty famous among those who like organic/healthy food. Now that I have all the time for myself to go free around town, I picked this cafe to explore. And it did not disappoint!

デイルズフォード・オーガニック青山店

Let me share with you my lunch!
Walking in, the first floor on the left would be an eating area, and on the right would be a shop area. Now there is a buffet lunch for 1100 yen (i think lol) for 60 minutes you can eat all the organic/tasty salads plus soup plus drink. I think it’s pretty good a deal considering the quality of food. For the shop, there are homemade jam, spread, olive oil, bread, and super yummy-looking bakeries! There are also some skin care and hair care products.

I could have just settled with a great deal buffet, but NO! I came all the way here, I wanted to taste as many variety of food as possible. So up the second floor I went. The ambiance is so comfy, imagine the kind of birthday party for kids where all the moms gather and chat. lol I secured the sofa table and planted myself there for hours with a book in my hands.

There are many menus to choose from and it was such a difficult choice especially that I went there alone. I could only choose one so I decided to be super picky and greedy. lol In my head, already calculated my daily allowance.

The most famous menu would be a vegetable plate where you can eat all the 6 types of daily salad with 2 pieces of bread and drink. Others would be main dish, chicken curry, burger, quiche… (by the way, the quiche dish has like the hugest quiche i’ve ever seen, bigger than a slice of pizza here in Japan.) And there are courses which give you a combination of those menus. I chose “casual lunch” course, where I could have soup, 2 types of salad to choose from, a main dish, and drink. (1800 yen) My stomach was so heavy at the end of the course but it was happy. 🙂

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First came my salads: curried cauliflower and red bell pepper + lentil and blue cheese salad. On the side were 2 slices of bread and really tasty olive oil. I mean it, the oil was really good. The flavor was really refreshing and new to my palette. Nothing like plain salad I normally tasted, so I was quite happy. (though I have to admit i’m not a fan of blue cheese. a bit too powering)

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Next came my sweet potato cream soup with a drop of olive oil. I spoiled myself by drowning a piece of bread into the bottom of the soup and let the flavor exploded when I squeezed all the soup out. Ok…no more explanation needed.

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Then my main dish came. I think it’s chicken confit with gobo, carrot, and potato. It was quite big for me but probably normal for a general standard. The meat was really tender as well as hard veggies like gobo. I swept the whole bowl up with the fluffy bread. I would say, the dish needed a little more salt just for my personal taste, so I had to drop some olive oil to give it some more depth in the later bites. Overall, the dish tasted really yum and satisfying. I just love chicken – soft chicken thigh, especially. ><

I got iced coffee afterwards. And it wasn’t a small tiny kind but a jar-like container which I liked. I spent the next hour or so finishing “Inferno” by Dan Brown and left the place. Around the area, I discovered so MANY more organic/healthy cafes…I couldn’t believe they are all here in Omotesando!

I am planning to visit these places during my time left in Tokyo. xxx
Find out more about this place here

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.

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!!