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Raised in Tokyo; living in the US. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱

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:


Why I spend an hour every week to buy bread and other healthy hassles

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

My mom had texted me, “Do you want me to pick up anything at the supermarket?”

We had no more bread at home, and I was thinking about going out and buying it myself. But if my mom picked it up for me, I wouldn’t have to leave the house today. It would be convenient.

I replied, “Thanks for checking in, but I don’t need anything!”

You see, my thumb had hovered over the ‘Send’ button for a brief moment — it would be so much easier if she had just picked something up at the grocery instead. I could…


Why your body, brain, and mood need you to move

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Illustrations: Kaki Okumura

I was at the end of my workout, about to close out my music app, when one of my favorite songs came on.

Oh dang, I can’t press skip on this one.

I thought I would just continue stretching to it, but I couldn’t help but start dancing. I usually don’t dance — I’m pretty awful at it — but I decided to turn up the volume full blast and pretend I was celebrating something. …


A path to a young and limber body, for any beginner

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura.

I was talking to my grandfather when I brought up how he had pretty good posture and mobility for someone quite old. He’s still walking around, working, climbing stairs, and sitting up straight. He doesn’t have any back, knee, or hip problems. Just the other week we went on a 5km walk together — not bad for 85 years old.

With my comment he smiled and nodded proudly, “It’s because of Makko Ho.”


Japanese empathy towards boredom snacking

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

I was recently asked by a reader,

“I once read this Japanese word, “Kuchisabishii” — would you mind sharing the meaning of it?”

Ah, yes. Kuchisabishii.

I’ve been hearing it a lot more these days in Japan, sometimes over Zoom calls and sometimes thrown around the house. When I catch someone eating their third snack of the day, with a guilty smile they’ll laugh, “I know, but I can’t help it. I’ve got a bad case of kuchisabishii.”

Like opening our phone to social media after we’ve promised ourselves to cut down on our screen time, it’s characterized by an…


A lesson from the Japanese supermarket on how to successfully eat in moderation

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

Where is the pint-size ice cream in Japan?

When I first moved to Japan and went grocery shopping, I was confused by what I saw. Or perhaps it’d be more accurate to say by what was lacking:

Where is the pint-size ice cream?

The freezer section was generously large and there were dozens of different flavors and types to choose from, but none of them were in the classic pint-size I was used to seeing in the United States. They had small cups, cones, ice cream bars and sandwiches. …


Our health depends on more than eating vegetables and regular exercise

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

We all know that to live a long, healthy, fulfilling life we need to eat well and get regular exercise — our doctor tells us this, we were taught about it in health class, and we see ads about healthy eating and exercise everywhere.

But there’s a missing piece to this narrative, for there’s another key factor to our well-being and health: our relationships.

What does this have to do with Tupperware etiquette? I will get to that later.

Lifelong health, happiness, and the strength of our relationships

The director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, Robert Waldinger, revealed in a now-viral TED Talk that their lifetime study…


A written exercise on how to grapple with my desires and what it means to live well

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

The idea of desires has always kind of troubled me.

Life has inevitable suffering, the cause of this suffering is desire, and to stop suffering, we must stop desiring. — First three of Buddhist Four Noble Truths

I had come to understand desire as a necessary evil, and that as long as I stood to want something, my life would be full of unhappiness. Even the desire to not suffer is a desire in itself, but if I wanted to live a good life, what should I do? To not want anything, ever?

It’s a question I’ve grappled with almost…


Secrets to keeping traditional flavors interesting, while keeping it simple

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

Japan’s favorite winter flavor

I love soy sauce. It’s light, flavorful, and generally a great complement to foods without overpowering an ingredient’s intrinsic flavors. As a dipping sauce to fresh sashimi or an added dash to my grilled salmon — soy sauce is the perfect epitome of how simple can be better when it comes to flavor.

But like any seasoning, you can only have it so often without getting bored, which is why soy sauce is often combined with other flavors to create new ones: added wasabi for sushi, a bit of sugar in teriyaki sauce, or kombu dashi broth to noodle soup…


It’s time to revisit all the dumb things we found hilarious as kids

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Credit: MoMo Productions/Getty Images

Over the past year, when I couldn’t do the things that normally brought me joy — travel, go to concerts, chat over tea with my best friend — I tried to cope in all the expected ways. I read, exercised, and learned some new skills. I forced myself to see the pandemic as an opportunity for gentle self-growth. But as the weeks stretched into months of being trapped at home, none of it was enough. I felt dull, like a robot on autopilot.

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