Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Winter Woes

There are only two things I like about this time of year: the beautiful colours of the changed leaves and the nearing of my holiday. Without a winter holiday to look forward to (Laos) I'd probably go nuts. But I can, so I don't.

I've a stack of photos to put up. When I get around to it. But in the meantime, I've been VERY productive. I'm achieving a lot of things at the moment. Whether this has anything to do with the new eating or not I don't know. But it's all good.

Did I mention I bought a Brita water filter? Loving it! I also bought a Braun hand blender, which is SO awesome I can't describe how awesome it is.

Anyway, the food thing is going well and I'm experimenting more.

Last Friday was a national holiday and I dragged Jen and Jan to try VEGGIE PARADISE, the new raw restaurant in Yoyogi-Uehara, with me. It was SOOOOO good. That's all I can say. It was really really good. I definitely plan to be dragging a lot more people there in the near future. And the manager is absolutely lovely and she gives 'cooking' classes there, which I'm dying to do. Only thing is, they're in Japanese - unless I can find five other people wanting to take the class and then she'll do it in English.

Yoyogi-Uehara is SUCH a cute area. I would love to live there. I saw an organic food shop - possibly the first I've seen since I came here and the houses were really cute... and it was just a really nice area - and it's only 5 minutes by train from Shinjuku. Bet it's really expensive though.

On Sunday there was a World Music Festival in Yoyogi Park which was pretty cool. At one point we were all waving around incense sticks. It may have been for world peace, but I'm not really sure. I inhaled a lot of incense that day. And ate the first cooked food I'd had all month (falafel) - and really didn't feel right afterwards.


I've made an observation: Shinjuku station seems to have a very strange rule in the mornings: between 7 and 8am everyone rushes for the escalator and then walks up on both sides. Between 8 and 9am everyone rushes for the escalator - and then stands still on BOTH sides - after nearly killing each other to get there. Most odd. MOST annoying.


Have I mentioned how cold it is? My apartment is COLD. The balcony doors let all the cold air in and the heater fan is high up on the wall so, if I'm standing I can be really hot but if I'm sitting down on the futon (my normal position), the heat tends to only sporadically filter down. Great.


My skin seems to be clearing quite well. Having to contend with the new diet and the onslaught of cold weather and hot dry rooms isn't the best thing for sensitive skins, but it IS getting better.


I've decided to give up eating raw fish. I'm 100% vegan now. I'm a little surprised I've not lost more weight than I have though - in 3 and a bit weeks I lost just under 2kgs. I'm not really sure why this number is so low but it IS something, and that's the point.


Photos soon. Promise!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Raw

So, this detox thingy:

I've now been on this diet for almost two weeks. I've had no caffeine or alcohol in this time and no cooked or processed foods, just raw vegetables and fruit. I've also been eating sashimi (raw fish) every couple of days.

You know what? Whilst I've been feeling tired (as normal) I've not been feeling lethargic. I've been feeling a bit gassy while my stomach is adjusting (and this IS settling down now, thankfully) BUT I've not felt bloated like I did before.

I used to eat too much. Even though the majority of what I ate was pretty healthy, the fact IS I ate too much. And obviously it was the wrong things for my body because even after a huge meal, I'd feel hungry again within an hour generally.

On this diet, I've not felt hungry. And if I've felt the need to fill-up a bit between meals, I'm happy to grab a juice. And it does the trick. I've also started drinking warm water to fill my stomach up more.

I am very much an all or nothing person. When I had no restrictions on my diet, although 'healthy' was always on my mind, 'convenient' always won, and so I bought and ate a lot of crap. Now that my options are limited, I'm finding it much easier.

And my fridge is filled with yummy food whereas it was empty previously. AND I've found I'm spending considerably less money on food than I was.

I feel I've lost a little weight. Well, it'd be pretty stange if I hadn't. In fact the only downside is that my skin has gone pretty bad BUT this is part of the detox and I think it's starting to calm down now. I'm hoping so anyway.

Like I think I said last post, this did start off as a month long thing but I'm going to continue it into the long-term - with the exception of mid-December onwards when I'm going to reintroduce foods slowly so when I go away at xmas to Lao I don't have problems there. Come January when I get back though, I'll restart it.

Also, I finally went into the local council gym in the local park here. Of course it's more basic than a swisher gym, but they only charge 500 yen an hour (couple of quid) and no joining fee, plus it's only a 15 minute cycle away. I've not been yet - but I did pick up the information about it! Small steps!

Anyway, enough before I bore everyone rigid. Anyone still reading?

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today it's 13 sodding degrees. I'm going into hibernation mode. Expect to see me out and about again sometime in April. Okay, I'm kidding but I do find the cold weather such a demotivator for everything. Everything apart from spending time in my PJ's under my duvet. I spend a lot of time like this in winter. Maybe I was a bear in a previous life, or something.

Of course, the other problem with the colder weather is what to wear every day when you have to deal with the sauna that is the crush hour on the trains. I mean it's bad enough having to remove a cardigan and scarf so you don't sweat to death, let alone trying to figure out what to do with a coat when you can barely move your arms. Horrible.

My enjoyment of the crush hour is definitely not improving. It's the unbearability of all that body contact first thing in the morning with complete strangers. Or if it's not body contact then it's someone's bag in your back. Horrible, horrible. And on the rare occasion you actually get a seat, it feels like winning the lottery....

Actually, the other day on the train there was a girl, of about 12-years old, standing up, holding a strap... and sleeping. It was kind of interesting to watch. Especially when she lost her grip and fell on top of a sleeping salaryman. They both kind of looked at each other, resumed their previous positions, and went back to sleep. I was amused.


I'm spending this month detoxing. Since I've been in Japan I've been shoving so much crap into my body. So, I've decided it's time to do something about it and that means starting with a detox. I'm having no caffeine or alcohol for a month and I'm only eating raw food (fruit, vegetables with some raw fresh every couple of days). Already I'm feeling better after I eat. Well, maybe a little bit gassy, but not as blimpy as I tended to feel after eating.

Of course I'll lose weight doing this, and I'm not so naive as to not realise when I go back to normal diet some of the weight will go back on again but it's also about clearing up my skin and shrinking my stomach and then starting on a proper healthy diet, getting more energy, doing exercise, and so on.

Anyway, I've been doing this for a week, and I'm actually enjoying it!

UPDATE: I've been thinking that I'm going to keep this up for the foreseeable future. People that have known me long enough may remember when I went totally dairy and yeast free for about nine months... and felt fantastic? Well, the dairy and yeast intolerances that provoked that diet went away and so I slowly reintroduced them to my diet, then more and more ... and even though I never really went back onto bread before I came to Japan the problem was that IN Japan I was eating a lot of bread and food on the run.

For the first time, my fridge is full (in the land of shared housing - ie England) I used to fantasise about having my own fridge (ie - more than one shelf in a shared fridge in a shared house) and yet here, in Japan, it has remained almost empty for much of the time.

Making lunch before I go to work, even at 6.30am takes only minutes and it's nice not having to trawl the conbeni looking for something interesting to eat.

I'll restart booze and green tea after a month - in moderation. But I really can't think of any reason to go back to cooked food. I mean in restaurants I should be able to find a few options, and if not, then occasionally slipping won't kill me. This first month, though, I AM being stict.

It's all a bit confusing though. I mean, if I want to buy nuts - how on earth do I know if they are cooked or not? (IF it's on the labelling, I certainly can't understand it - anyone know the kanji for 'this is okay for you to eat as it's raw'?!)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hello Punishment!

Anyway, this story about Thai police who misbehave being forced to wear Hello Kitty armbands to humiliate them totally amused me. Can't think why....

I think it should become standard issue in Tokyo. But that's only my opinion!
Actually, the guy in the picture looks rather chuffed about it, don't you think?!