In the United States, I’m often bombarded with images and ads of fitness culture. Athleisure is the craze, and it seems that the majority of people are members of gyms like Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, or LA Fitness. Any decent hotel or typical college campus has free access to a gym, sometimes even offering workout clothes for rental. It’s the land of Alo Yoga and the birthplace to Crossfit. The most successful online influencers write about fitness, and it’s not uncommon to see someone share their workout on social media as they would their food.
I’m no biohacker, but I have a profound interest in nutrition, food, and how we can optimize our health and well-being. So of course, I always read and watch a lot of videos on new research surrounding diets like the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, paleo, and anything else that claims to be the key to optimizing our health.
Most recently, I tried intermittent fasting for 7 days. To be fair, I’m no licensed nutritionist and my diet was developed over my own research online. Here are some details on how I pursued it:
When I Ate:
Mindful eating, like all kinds of meditation, can actually be quite tricky when you’re first starting out. The mind is geared to wander and often likes to gravitate toward thinking about anything but the current moment:
Did I get feedback on my assignment yet? Should I renew my insurance for the car soon? Summer is coming and I’ll have to buy a new swimsuit but where should I shop…
In most cases daydreaming can be harmless, but when we’re eating? It can quickly spiral into overeating, digestion discomfort, and maybe even a bit of stress.
It wasn’t necessarily a school lesson or a parent’s lecture that taught me the value in punctuality, but it had simply come from the environment and people I had surrounded myself with.
The trains in Japan are nearly always on time, and if it is one minute late then announcements are made throughout the system to apologize to everyone. Business meetings always start on time — if not five minutes early — and friends consistently show up to plans when they said they would, and a courtesy “Sorry I’m running late!” …
“Did you hear about Q?”
I was meeting up with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, when she brought her up.
Q was a girl that I went to high school with — I didn’t know her that well, but she was someone who I thought of as confident, smart, and ambitious. She was often active on social media platforms, advocating for queer rights, BLM, Asian representation, body positivity, and the like. People stamped her as a “social justice warrior” but she embraced the title with grace.
I shook my head, “No, what happened?”
I went through two very extremes this past year. On one hand, I began my year looking forward to what I had already expected to be the best year of my life — celebratory events with friends and family, Olympics 2020 in my city of Tokyo, and a summer full of travel and adventure. I had no reason to believe that these things wouldn’t happen.
But of course a few months later, my expectations were completely flipped. I began to assume the worst, as the dialogue around me began to change.
“The economy is tanking!”
“Work will never be the…
When it comes to anti-aging skincare, we’ve all heard that timeless advice: wear sunscreen!
But how many of us actually wear sunscreen every day?
The RealSelf Sun Safety Report released in 2020 reported that while 62% of Americans use anti-aging products daily, only about 10% use sunscreen every day (with 46% of Americans never wearing sunscreen!). If we are willing to spend so much money and time on skincare products, why is it so difficult for many of us to build the habit of wearing sunscreen every day?
The answer is quite easy, in that sunscreen can be kind of…
If I had asked you between a tomato, white potato, and a cob of corn, what would you guess was the vegetable most popular among Japanese children?
Well, according to a survey conducted in 2020, when Japanese children (aged 12 and under, 214 kids) were asked which vegetables they liked, they ranked their favorite vegetable as the tomato, placing above both potatoes and corn.
What is love?
May 21, 2021
I checked my writing stats this morning, and found that I’m not getting as many views as I used to — this is the third month in a row that it’s going down. I should probably stop checking my phone first thing in the morning.
Feeling a bit down, I decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and did some of it in the park. Maybe the sunshine would give me motivation? Arare joined me, not really doing much but he brought a clementine with him as a snack. …
In Japan, phenomenal customer service is not limited to just high-end luxury shops and hotels. If you walk into any regular store, you will likely be greeted by an employee who will politely welcome you in, bow to you, and rush to help you as soon as they realize you need assistance. Their uniforms are crisp, clean, and appearance clearly cared for. The shelves are put together, the products aligned and organized. …