Month: March 2012

“Right action comes in understanding relationship”

I find myself getting irritable on my train rides to work lately, perhaps it’s because I’m itching to leave and start the next adventure. As anyone who has ever lived in Tokyo knows, peak time is chaos. People pushing and squeezing to get on the train and then we all stand there like squashed little canned sardines. What annoys me though is that throughout Winter and now as we begin Spring, men continuously snort up their nasal passages (pollen allergies). It’s disgusting, but in Japan apparently it’s impolite to use a tissue and blow your nose. I know that I shouldn’t let minor things like nose snorting (and picking for that matter) irritate me and I should just let it go, so I try to remember that we are all connected, and send out love to the snorting culprits instead of irritation, which I guess is a mild form of anger. Hmmm.. It’s hard though! This excerpt from the great J Krishnamurti reminds me that as much as I’m ready to leave Japan, every day I …

SNAP 20/3/2012: Lotus lamp cuteness

Had an awesome evening with my special friend Miharu. Light veg curry at the vegan Stay Happy Cafe and chai at The Karate Chop, a local Vietnamese restaurant in Shimokitzawa, Tokyo. Could not have asked for a better evening. One thing I’ll miss when I leave is all the amazingly cute, quirky little shops and cafes… just LOVE them!

5 Essential Japanese Foods

One of the great things about living in Japan has been my exposure to a whole new world of foods. The Japanese are world-renowned for their longevity and health. Here are some healing foods that I have come to love and enjoy in my weekly diet, and I now consider essential food items. 1. THE DAIKON RADISH I absolutely LOVE daikon. I eat this mellow, clean tasting root vegetable just about everyday, either in a salad for lunch (they make great pickles) or added into a soup for dinner. Daikons taste crispy and juicy raw and turn slightly sweet when cooked. They are extremely cleansing and are used throughout Japan as a complement to raw or oily foods to aid digestion. Daikon also acts as a diuretic and decongestant, promoting the discharge of excess fat and mucus, thus facilitating weight-loss. 2. UMEBOSHI PLUM These pinky-red, salt pickled plums deliver a salty and sour punch, as I discovered when I had my first taste a few months back. Not really meant to be eaten straight from the …

SNAP 14/3/2012: White Day

Traditionally, in Japan, on Valentines Day ladies give gifts (usually chocolates, home-made is best!) to men. Then one month later on 14 March the men are expected to return this gesture (popular gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie). I received this beautiful little parcel from my boss from my favourite organic store, Natural House… He knows me so well!!

SNAP 7/03/2012: Yay for Omiyage

Had a lesson today with one of my private students, Takuya; we usually meet about once a month for a chat and some pronunciation practice. He’s a musician/songwriter who wants to go live in London and play music. He’s completely passionate and dedicated to his music and does various part-time jobs to afford him the resources to succeed. I help him with his lyrics from time to time – can you imagine how hard it must be to try and find the right words for a song in a different language, especially one so different from your native language. Anyhow, he just got back from a mini vacation and bought me some cookies as a souvenir. It’s tradition in Japan that when a person returns from a trip, they bring home souvenirs (omiyage) to friends, co-workers and relatives. Tourist sites across Japan are surrounded by many omiyage shops offering beautifully wrapped souvenirs. Gotta love Japan :)


(Photo: Mike Matas) User-Interface Designer, Mike Matas puts together a collection of stills (3000 that is!) of his 30 day trip around India, covering 2000 miles. Beautifully done. Check it out: Journey Across India video I will heading back to India in June this year for a 6 month stay. This makes me want to go to now!

Begging for Brussels…

Over the last few days I’ve had this insatiable desire to eat (strangely enough) Brussels sprouts. So today I finally bought some from my local green grocer and I’m glad I did. I didn’t know that these little guys are packed with so much goodness – rich in vitamins A, C, riboflavin, iron, potassium and fibre; they are part of the cabbage family and boast cancer-inhibiting and immune booster potential. I say bring on the Brussel sprouts! I prepared a simple dinner of fish (coated in lemon juice, rock salt & black pepper, then flash-fried in a little ghee) with steamed Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. The veg were so bright and scrumptious-looking that no sauce was necessary. However, I have been reading so many inspiring whole foods and Macrobiotic books lately that I thought I’d try something new. I’m really enjoying getting creative in the kitchen; I used to be the kind of cook that had to have a recipe and had to follow every instruction down to the last drop. But nowadays I’ve been approaching …

The Magic Of Meditation

Candace Silvers inspires in this video taken from one of her free Friday sessions. Our world, that we each individually create and perceive, is full of infinite possibilities. If only we realised the power we have in creating our realities… there is no limit to what we can create, we just have to begin NOW. We can spend years trying to do something and never get anywhere. The key lies in making a commitment and doing instead of trying to do. Candace explains these concepts so beautifully in her videos – take a look here, I am sure you’ll feel as inspired as I do when I watch them.

Home-made millet tostadas with pesto, carrot salsa & avo

Having picked up various food intolerances over the last few months, eating can sometimes prove challenging and boring and so easy to get stuck into a safe food rut. But all one needs is a little inspiration and Susan Marque! I began taking food coaching sessions from Susan a few months ago and have since learnt a great deal from her. Yesterday I decided to try her Millet Tostadas recipe, (originally developed by Susan for her then boyfriend who was having bread cravings), as I am… oh to eat bread again! Well all I can say is delicious! The tostadas were crispy and nourishing and 100% wholesome. I also made her pumpkin seed pesto (I didn’t have any fresh basil so I substituted spinach and it turned out great) and carrot salsa (I added in some chopped baby daikon radish and a dash of coriander seed). All this topped with slices of fresh avo. Aaah food bliss! Susan’s books can be downloaded here.