Osaka Expocity

I chose to walk to Osaka EXPOCITY (a newly built amusement park/shopping mall featuring Japan’s largest ferris wheel) today. My GPS said it would take 1 hour and 19 minutes. When I told my Japanese friends, they were mortified. But “WHY” they questioned. You see, Japan has the world’s best transportation system. Their trains are so unbelievably convenient that it doesn’t make sense to travel another way. However, seeing as I’m a New Zealander (as well as a world citizen) I did what Kiwis do best and just tackled the journey.

As I walked and walked I thought and thought. Some good, some bad, some unnecessary. I thought about how I am quickly running out of money and how I should probably start budgeting and I thought about my family and how I wish they were going with me – in saying that, I was very very lucky to join my ex-colleague and her super-adorable kids.

As I neared EXPOCITY, I started seeing groups and groups of young girls and attractive young couples. Now I must say, Osaka has some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I think it’s because they make a big effort to look pretty. Which I personally don’t think is a bad thing! Their outfits are always on point and their hair and make-up lovely. But sometimes I forget this. I see them and their perfect straight hair and super slender figures and I feel too big. Today, when I finally arrived at EXPOCITY, for the first time ever, I did a thing. I looked down at my legs which I’m often criticising and I said out loud, like a crazy lady, I said, thank you. Thank you for being fit and healthy and thank you for carrying me. Then I had one hell of a day!
image[4]Food: natural granola, honeydew melon, dried mandarin and walnuts with almond milk for breakfast, frozen raspberry and condensed milk after my walk, soba lunch, almond-milk latte, fresh gelato – I had adzuki (red beans) and milk with matcha (green tea) and last, a simple dinner of wholewheat crisp-bread, raw walnuts, watermelon and goat’s cheese.

Last, about EXPOCITY: I would say take a lot of money. Everything costs. I loved the Ferris Wheel. A shop-assistant told me the night view is even better so I’m hoping to do that before I leave. It’s definitely a good place for young children… and of course, very busy so better to go at 10am when they open and have an early lunch shortly after before the queues get too crazy.

Make A List

If you haven’t heard of Dallas Clayton, you’re missing out (big time!) so please check him out here right NOW!

Welcome back! Isn’t he an unfairly talented guy? To me, he is a huge inspiration. I only wish to inspire like he does. Last night, when I was pondering my new found smile, I came across Clayton’s latest work of art:
How could I have missed something so simple? I mean, I was trying my best to live a good life, the countryside was so beautiful. I’d started new hobbies including cycling and yoga and made unexpected friends like this ojichan (old man) and yasu. But that didn’t mean I was actively engaging in activities I knew I loved. I know this sounds vain, I really do, but in this city, I am happy because I am filling my day with activities I know that I like. I am exercising (not sitting on my bottom for 8 hours straight in a suffocating room), walking walking walking (not driving for one hour to get groceries, alone), eating healthy, dressing pretty, writing in artsy cafes, appreciating diversity, purchasing freshly-made green smoothies and enjoying the odd glance from a boy. My new life makes me feel alive and it makes me feel young!

So how about you? What makes you happy? Painting? Drawing? The ocean? Cooking? Dining out? Road-trips? Building Lego? Dancing to the Beatles? Collecting fruit-stamps, watching old movies?

Are you doing it? Could you be doing it more?

I Need Your Help

Yesterday I had an idea. One that both frightens me and makes me excited. I thought, why don’t I compile a picture book of my time here? Wouldn’t that be the very best way of closing a chapter? No pun intended. Okay, pun totally intended. What do you think? With anecdotes and recipes and maybe one or two poems (because I hear poems don’t really sell). Not that money is a focus for me whatsoever. I swear to God, all I want to do is create. I have dreamt of publishing a book ever since I was a little widdle head-scarf wearing school girl. Won’t you please help? Any ideas, any contacts, any advice, anything at all because I really don’t know one thing about doing this. Will you buy it? Is it a good idea? What do you want to see in it? Who should I contact? How do I do this?

Eagerly awaiting your comments and messages,


There Is No Such Thing As Arrival

Slow slow, day by day.

If you’re wondering about the 8th picture, it is preparations for a temaki sushi dinner. Which is basically, hand-rolled sushi/make-your-own sushi. Sort of like Mexican taco-night but with small square-cut nori (seaweed) sheets.





Paying Attention Is Free

I think these are some of the best photos I’ve taken here. I don’t know much about photography but I try my very best. I dedicate them to my dear follower, Jin. You can follow her scummy food-blog HERE.

Peachy Green Smoothie:
1 frozen banana
1 small fresh yellow peach (pitted)
big bunch fresh spinach
1/4 cup water

Blend together and top with pretty things.

Weekend Vibes

I started looking at what other foodies were tagging their Instagram photos with and this one, #weekendvibes seemed especially popular. So, I started using it and voila! 20+ followers! Hehe. Are YOU following my Instagram yet? The following are pictures from my weekend or vibes of my weekend or the weekend of my vibes?

And, I’ve started utilizing Instagram in other ways. Maybe you hardcore foodies already do this but I began searching particular places (as opposed to specific tags), like “Tottori City” and that way, came across many a delicious foodie pictures taken at quirky restaurants and cafes that I would have otherwise never have known existed. That’s how Yasuko and I ended up at Moco Lifestyle – so stylish!

The salad is simply a cup of cooked wholewheat couscous, mixed with a can of mixed beans (drained and rinsed), cooked asparagus, raw cucumber, juicy green sultanas, a splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, sea salt and ground pepper. Delishas.


Mindful Eating For Dummies

Are you constantly hangry? Are you constantly craving EVERYTHING?

STOP! Don’t exit. This is not some generic ad for an ab-machine.

What this is, is a few simple steps in winning this seemingly impossible hunger game we, the wealthy 21st century humans, all seem to be playing.
Remember my post about the health benefits of smoothie bowls? The more we chew, the more our stomachs signal our brains that we’re full. Apparently, we’re supposed to chew our food 20-30 times before swallowing. I hear ya! Ain’t no body got time for that. Well, I ain’t got time to buy new jeans either.

Try to do this even when you’re feeling angry or upset. No doubt, you’re less likely to eat a whole packet of Oreos if you see them on a plate. This visual reality check will instantly show you that the portion is too big.

Checking the number of likes on your new profile picture can wait. Experts caution that eating meals or snacking while distracted by our cellphones and/or computers makes our food seem less satisfying. Dissatisfaction will most likely cause us to seek out more snacks later. This concept also applies to eating food “on the go”: driving/studying/etc/etc. So like, don’t eat a muesli bar with one hand and hold the steering wheel with the other. Instead, pull over and smell the roses. This means focusing on the taste, texture and aroma of each and every mouthful. Remember, we are among the very few privileged individuals of this day and age who actually have access to such an abundance of food. Which means we are seriously obliged to give our food time, energy and respect.

Lack of sleep can mess with our moods, food cravings and even cause our skin to breakout. It does this by increasing our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that causes inflammation and turns on our oil-producing glands. In addition, insufficient sleep causes hormonal changes that decrease our satiety after eating, lower the calories we burn during the day, and turn on obesity-promoting genes. BRB snoozing!

5. BEWARE OF OTHER HUMANS (A tad OTT, but true.)
Other people can hugely influence our food choices. When US researchers looked at groups of three people for the 2012 Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Cookies study, they found that if two friends restricted their intake of biscuits, the third friend followed suit, NOT ONLY when with the group but also when alone! On the other hand, when two friends ate more biscuits, the third friend also tucked into more, and again, ate more when alone. In short, pick healthy friends. Or, be that healthy friend. Let’s do this together <3

I Only Exercise So I Can Eat More

God, I love weekends. Especially when they’re not winter! Yesterday was 25 degrees celsius so I biked 20km for local oranges and organic French bread. Oh and I ate a baked sweet potato on the way. These by the way, are amazing. Their season is almost over but in the winter, you’d find them sold everywhere. I don’t know the exact oven they’re cooked in  but whatever it is, it cooks the shit out of them and leaves them all soft and squishy and some places sell it (hot baked sweet potato) with ice-cream! Yum yum oishii.

PS the flying fish are for “Boy’s Day” whatever that means and the last picture is a Persian breakfast. You can read all about that HERE.