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. 

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7 Best bedtime snacking: a smaller version of breakfast! 寝る前の間食 ベスト7!

7 Best bedtime snacking: a smaller version of breakfast! 

I guess this happens to all of us: the stomach protests you just right after you lie down on your bed, you can’t sleep, the only thing running around in your head is food. Your brain then starts to haunt you with “I need fooodddd. I’m hungryyyy. Feed meeee.” And sometimes you give up and just wanna grab something to make that voice go away.

Well, in that situation it is very risky to make a wrong choice that could effect how well you sleep. You might grab chocolates, biscuits, cakes, pastry, bread, anything that is easy to munch, etc. But listen here…you can prepare your late night snacking staple ahead of time and avoid any emergency food that would make you regret after eating.

I have listed the best 7 foods that could help you survive the war with your stomach, leaving your weight intact and your sleep undisturbed.

1. 80-kcal almond milk from Glico. There are 2 flavors, plain and coffee. I personally am addicted to the coffee version. Apart from the bounty amount of vitamin E and no cholesterol, almond milk also includes more fiber content, helping you to feel full longer. By the time you might get hungry again, you probably are asleep. My best recommendation here! Check out the website: http://net.glico.jp/almond_kouka/index.html

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You can also check out another brand called Almond Breeze, although it might a bit harder to find as it is not as widely distributed as the Glico ones. Check the post about it here: https://tokyofinder.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/almond-breeze-is-here-in-japan-too-%E3%82%A2%E3%83%BC%E3%83%A2%E3%83%B3%E3%83%89%E3%83%BB%E3%83%96%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%82%BA-%E3%82%B9%E3%83%BC%E3%83%91%E3%83%BC%E3%83%BB%E3%83%95%E3%83%BC%E3%83%89/

2. low-sugar plain yogurt or greek yogurt. This is the food I ate the MOST OFTEN to calm my stomach down during midnight. It never failed me. My recommendation is those PLAIN yogurt WITHOUT sugar from Danone or greek yogurt from Morinaga that I recommended before in my previous posts https://tokyofinder.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/the-only-greek-yogurt-in-japan-%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%A7%E3%81%AE%E4%B8%80%E3%81%A4%E3%81%A0%E3%81%91%E3%81%AE%E3%82%AE%E3%83%AA%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A3%E3%83%A8%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B0%E3%83%AB%E3%83%88/

Try to stick with those with lowest amount of sugar possible because that it won’t mean anything that you’re trying choose a “healthy” choice like yogurt. You’ll be consuming more than 10 grams of sugar which is nothing different from eating a candy bar! Be sure to choose those with less than 50 kcal, and less than 8 grams of sugar for plain yogurt and put your own topping such as a bit of honey, almond slices, or a sprinkle of fiber cereal. Check out the 2 alternatives below. Greek yogurt is actually the perfect snack if you’re kinda “hungry” because it contains about 8 g. of protein, about 4 g. of carbs. Please note, however, that you should SKIP the syrup or honey accompanying this particular greek yogurt recommended above. That would push the calories up from 79 to about 100. I just don’t want you to add sugar during the night without needing too.

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3. cocoa with soy milk. This is easy! Just put 1-2 tablespoon of pure unsweetened cocoa (such as that of Van Houten, the most popular one in Japan) with a tablespoon of sugar (I usually use the 0-kcal sugar) and soy milk in your fridge. You can use low-fat milk, but I recommend soy milk because it has more protein and nutritious goodies in it that would leave your stomach calm and full. Plus, it tastes better! You can also opt for just soy milk.

4. a few pieces of fruits or a banana. Opt for something high in fiber. I often snack on half an apple (one apple here is huge) and a small glass of soy milk. Better yet, choose BANANA!! Why? Many studies have shown that banana is the magic sleeping pill as it has both magnesium and potassium which are natural muscle relaxants and Melatonin which is the hormone naturally released by your body when it’s your time to sleep. Thus, banana helps relax your body and makes you feel sleepy 🙂 Just watch how much you eat because you don’t want to eat too much fruits either! If you eat those with high water content, that might cause you to run to toilet in the midst of your sleep. And one large banana is about 132 kcal so watch it! I would say if you’re not too hungry have half of it, or opt for middle-sized banana. Well, not serious about that.

5. a few pieces of nuts. ALMONDS! No need to say much. Nuts fill you up while making you feel satisfied with the crunch. Have 10-12 pieces of almonds, keeping in mind it is about 8-9 kcal per almond, so you’ll be eating about 80-90 kcal. If you don’t mind waking up and spending a bit of time crunching your nuts instead of drinking them, then almonds are the best choice. On the other hand, don’t choose peanuts or peanut-butter.

6. a bowl of hot oatmeal or non-sugary cereal. Okay, so if you’re REALLY hungry? Go for a smaller version of breakfast here already. Grab a bowl, fill in with a few tablespoons of oatmeal, a few dried fruits, or you can just choose muesli (NO GRANOLA HERE PLEASE) and fill it with hot soy milk/skim milk. If you have no oatmeal, you can try sugarless or non-sweetened cereal. I like to incorporate a sprinkle of fiber cereal (which I would introduce in the future post).

7. hard boiled egg. If you’re on a diet that restricts your carb intake, I suggest you boil many eggs and keep them in your fridge ahead of time. Have one whole egg for 70 kcal without risking any sugar level fluctuation and still get all the goodies and protein. Very good snack if you can resist the sleepiness and have a will to crack the egg and all that. hahaha

Hope you now would be able to make some good choices!

Note about sugar: The reason why I emphasized about low sugar or non-sugary stuff is because the level of sugar in your blood affects your quality of sleep. If you eat high-sugary food, your body is stimulated to use up the sugar in the blood, leaving your blood sugar level low afterwards. When the sugar level is low, the body responds by releasing hormones called adrenaline and cortisol in order to raise the blood sugar to the normal level. HOWEVER, when these two “stress” hormones are released together, they have a side effect that makes your heart beat faster and your body to become alert and active. That is totally not what you want during the late night!

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-79360/Eat-way-better-sleep.html#ixzz31MJYuf3z

New flavors from Kikkoman Kibun Soymilk!! 紀文 豆乳飲料に「健康コーラ」味が登場 -“爽快な喉ごし”

New flavors from Kikkoman Kibun Soymilk!! 紀文 豆乳飲料に「健康コーラ」味が登場 -“爽快な喉ごし”

Most of you guys who frequent convenience stores might have seen the soy milk series by this brand before, right? Kikkoman owns this brand called Kibun, whose one of the popular products is soy milk. In a year, they keep releasing different flavors that correspond to the particular season or what is eaten in a particular national occasion. This year, on MARCH 3rd, it is scheduled to release 2 new flavors!

First is the Pear soy milk. Refreshing, sweet, and aromatic, it might be a good way to prepare yourself into the coming spring-summer. With 126 kcal per unit (200 ml), the Pear soy milk also includes 3.6 grams of fiber!, to be sold at 98 yen at retail price.

Second flavor, which I found very interesting, is the “healthy cola”. See? the name seems to be contradicting in itself! How can a cola be healthy? (If it’s not Coke zero lol). The idea is that cola gives a sense of freshness suitable for summer. You can grab this relaxing carton once coming out from Ofuro or finishing a soccer game. One unit (200ml) is ONLY 46 KCAL!!!! PLUS an impressive amount of fiber of 6.2 grams!!!! Keep an eye on this product once launched in March for 98 yen because it will only be around until September!! What???? Why low-cal products are so short-lived on the shelf. T__T

Let’s give it a try, shall we?? 😉