There’s a sunrise and a sunset…

…every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them. ~Jo Walton
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You know all that Jazz about joy eventually (emphasis on eventually) springing from adversity? Well, lovesick when S was away, I started running around the neighbourhood at dawn every day. Here are some recent photos of the sunrises I’ve witnessed. I would say, it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health (mind, body, spirit). I hope you too will experience it. The first times aren’t easy but then you get better and then it’s not so bad, and each time you’ll feel it’s definitely worth it.

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?

Eating For Two…

So I have a confession to make… I think it’s important you know…

Hehe did it work? Did you click the link thinking I was pregnant? Ha, well it’s pretty hard here without any human interaction. As much as I love Asian babies that isn’t my confession. Yet. I want to talk to you about food bloggers. I want to tell you that contrary to our beliefs, they don’t always eat everything they make. Like, all of the foodporn on their Instagram is often just that. After they’ve put a filter on it and shared it on the World Wide Web, they, like me, probably share it with their friends or only eat a quarter and pack the rest for later. Don’t be fooled y’all. Remember the old adage: “never trust a skinny chef.”
In other words, no one stays fit off sweet potato, medijool, cashew cream cake for dessert.

Food Presentation And Why I Do It

Ever wonder why there’s food in my flowers? Sorry I mean flowers in my food? Dear reader/random passerby, wonder no more. Read about it on my new Savvy Tokyo article, HERE. Oh, and share it with your family and friends, and neighbors, and students, and pets, and keep me on their popular page.
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Wholewheat organic bread from iyouwaie.

Six Delicious and Filling Healthy Lunch Ideas

Hands up if you’ve started your diet or life-style change with a healthy breakfast and a plain salad lunch only to break it with a hangry binge come dinner? Right, happens to the best of us. Growing up, I always had a big lunch. That’s how Iranian’s do it. Kebabs or stews on rice for lunch and something light, a salad or a small sandwich for dinner. There’s no better feeling than sleeping on a light stomach and by night-time, your lunch will be burnt off and digested. This also goes for sweets or dessert. If you must have them, have them during the day. Here are 6 of my favourite delicious and filling healthy lunch ideas:

1. Brown Rice Onigiri
Fried brown rice balls. With salad. So easy. Brown a little onion with a little oil in a frying pan, add 1 cup of carrot/corn/peas mixture, fry little longer. Crack a free-range egg or two in it, mix in. Add two cups cooked brown rice. In a small jar, mix 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter, crushed ginger, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over. Cook until hot and steamy. Shape into balls using a plastic wrap. Serve with a nutty salad.

2. Frittata
Frittata is super filling and great for left-overs. Be creative with your vegetable, herb, cheese and nut combinations. Serve with salad. Recipe HERE.

3. Wholewheat Couscous Salad
Like frittata, couscous salads can have absolutely anything in them. Get creative with a colourful mixture of raw vegetables, nuts and seeds. Use wholewheat variety. Delicious! Recipe here, here and here. Boiled egg, optional. Truffle/bliss ball recipes here, here and here.

4. Grilled Fish, Tofu and Salad
This ones for those who eat fish. A big piece, pan-fried served with raw tofu on a simple green salad. Will keep you full forever. Okay, that may be an exaggeration but you get my drift.

5. Brown Rice Salad 
Basically a deconstructed brown rice onigiri. A delicious mix of raw and roasted vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and herbs. Recipe HERE.

6. Healthier Potato Salad
Mayonnaise free, potato salad. Dressed with avocado and yoghurt. Healthy fats and probiotics for the win. Enjoyed with a side of raw snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Recipe HERE.


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.


No Milk? No Problem!

I ran out of “milk” so I used water instead. The result? Mouthwatering! (See what I did there?)

1/2 cup frozen blackcurrants
1 banana
2 strawberries
2 canned pineapple rings
3/4 cup filtered water

Simply blend everything together in a food processor or blender then top with favourites.

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