Raw Food in Japan

Can you go raw food in Japan?

tomato plant

The short answer: Yes, you can go raw food in Japan!

Now for the long answer…

Japan is a semi-ideal place to go raw. Just about everybody has a little patch of dirt that they grow vegetables on. If not, there are dozens of co-ops and little old ladies around that will share their harvest. Japan makes it really easy to send fresh produce all over the main island. If you walk into the post office there are gift catalogs filled with fresh produce. Sending a gift box of fruit is an easy and popular gift. When American people think of souvenirs they often think of t-shirts and key chains. In Japan the number one souvenir (omiyage) is food!

Going raw, I am considering it. What is holding me back?

I have all of the resources I need to go raw. We have farmland, we have grocery stores with fresh fruit and we have food co-ops. There is also a pretty decent offering of planting seeds and supplements on Amazon.



The only two things holding me back right now is time and winter. I cannot cut up pounds and pounds of food or prepare fresh meals with the kids running around all day. When they go to bed I might have an hour, but I have designated that time to blog and do my online hustling. If I can figure out a prep time, then we are 90% there.

via GIPHY

The winters here are brutal because there is no central heat. This is why I say Japan is a semi-ideal place to go raw. Tons of farmland, but the winters!!! Without central heat I imagine myself craving root vegetables which often need to be cooked. Also craving hot soups and casseroles. It would just be more difficult to come up with a diet that would work for the family. The ideal situation is to not be here. That would mean finding a place in Hawaii or Puerto Rico. Hawaii is a good destination, but I have never been there and don’t know anything about the islands. I have family in Puerto Rico, but again, I know nothing and have never been there. If I were alone, it would not be a big issue; but dragging the kids into the unknown might not be a good idea.

Sometimes people will comment about how expensive it is to go raw, but when I go in the store and see how expensive meat is, I just laugh. Going raw is expensive if you plan on eating “gourmet” raw food. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables….let’s be real, by the time your body gets used to the new lifestyle you will begin to save thousands of yen! You need to eat a lot less produce because it is really filling you with nutrients. Your body will be less likely to crave any food.

via GIPHY

When you first get started on raw food, the machines that you may want to use are the big cost. A vitamix blender, a dehydrator, or a fancy food processor. That is something that can come later. You can start with a really basic blender, and read up on how to start a fully raw diet.
All of the other cool gadgets can come later. Right now I just have the basics.

The main thing you should consider is how to make it work for your lifestyle. I have a farm and don’t work outside of my home. Before you go get those goji berries, one thing I highly suggest is a lot of study and research. There is no way you can start a new lifestyle without any information. This is a lifestyle for sure. I have been watching Dan(The Life Regenerator)on YouTube for years and I am just now deciding to see if I can go raw full time. I had to leave NYC to even process a fully raw life. Dan visited NY a few years ago and damn near cried at the overall lifestyle, ROTF! It is nothing to play with, but if you want optimal health, it is something to consider. For anyone living in a tropical climate it’s a no brainer. It’s harder on us who have to endure brutal winters and hectic schedules. Let’s see how it goes.

Be Well,

Tara Kamiya

 

 

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Life in Japan, Stay at Home Mom

DIY Party Decorations Faux Piñatas!

I know you are all patiently waiting for me to blog about the big birthday party I gave the kids. We had an amazing day! First I wanted to share some of the eye candy I put together for the party. These DIY party decorations can be used as general decoration, photo props or filled piñatas.

diy party decorations

First you will need to gather the things you’ll need for the project:

diy tools

Once you have all of your supplies gathered, get to work. If this is your first time making this you will need a little time to get into a comfortable space. It took me about an hour the first time, but I am crafty so I caught on quick and cranked out two more that took 30 minutes each.

Lay down your scrap cardboard and sketch out a number. It is important to try to find scrap pieces that have little or no text or print. You’ll spray paint over it, but there is no guarantee that your paint and paper will cover whatever was there before so it’s best to keep it clear of design or text.

This was the most difficult part for me. Use your ruler for straight edges and something like a plate or bowl to make those large curves come together. Be sure to sketch the bottom of all your numbers with a straight bottom if you want them to stand up. Thank goodness I realized this right away.

cut out number one

Once your sketch your number out, time to cut. Use your box cutter and scissors to get in there and get your number out without damaging your outline. The neater and more precise your cutting, the less pain later when you have to glue the sides together. Cut out 2 numbers. You will need a front and a back.

diy 5 decoration

The numbers I made came out to about 39.5cm by 27.5cm. I decided to cut out the pieces that made the sides into 7cm wide strips. I have no idea how much you will need to go all around the sides, but be generous and cut about 1.5 meters. It is always better to have more than you need so you won’t have to stop and go back a step. You can make the width whatever you like, but I feel these dimensions turned out an attractive piece.

They are large enough to be used as photo props or centerpieces. You could also use them as piñatas that the children break apart, just be sure to tape together the back side instead of hot gluing. They won’t be able to break open the hot glued cardboard. Trust me on this one.

5 year old party

Once you have your front and back number pieces and the sides cut, time to glue. Lay down your back piece on the correct side. You want the number to face you as it is pictured, not reversed. It does not matter, except that it will result in the piece you lay down first becoming the back instead of the front. That was confusing, you will be fine. Let’s move on…

Carefully glue your sides on with the hot glue gun. Glue as close to the edge as possible. I found that pre curling the sides by rolling them a bit made gluing the curves easier. I then found that getting those sharp angles right was easier by just gluing on small cut pieces of the sides rather than trying to bend the cardboard into an angle.

3 year old party

Once you have your number assembled, spray paint or bush paint. It’s best to let it dry overnight. The next day, cut your paper into strips, then into fringe, leaving at least 1.5cm at the top of the fringe so you have something to glue. Be sure to glue using a glue stick. Layer neatly and straight. Please take your time! You want to cover the number completely so that it looks neat and some what professional. Mine came out great, the first picture I actually took after the party when the kids had beat them up. If mine lasted, yours surely will!

party decor

This project worked up fairly quickly and saved over ¥19000. Wishing you luck!

Be Well,

Tara Kamiya

 

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Posted in DIY, Life in Japan, Motherhood, Stay at Home Mom

Meet Fumichun

I was really lucky this past March to sit down for a quick chat with Fumichun aka Pearl Low. We met in Osaka while she was here in Japan touring.

fumi's sketchbook

First Sketchbook by Pearl Low

We discussed life, art, travel and what it’s like to grow up blasian.

She speaks some Cantonese, Japanese and of course English. When I met with Pearl, I wanted to know more about her ancestry and a few tips about confidence that I could pass on to my children. Pearl had some gems to share with me about her experience growing up. It was encouraging to meet a young woman with such positive self-esteem.fumichun

Pearl is just 21 and out here doing it! A published artist and world traveler. When Pearl set out to create a sketch book dedicated to black women I had to have one!

You can purchase her sketchbook here: shopfumi

Follow her on Instagram:Fumichunas well as check out herYouTube channel pearl low

 Be Well,

Tara Kamiya

 

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Posted in Blasian, Language, Life in Japan

5 Products you should always buy the brand

Everyone wants to save money. It’s often suggested that you buy off brand or bargain products to lower costs, but buying a subpar product will not necessarily translate into savings. Here are 5 products you should always buy the brand:

1. Clorox

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photo courtesy of www.obicreative.com

What do you want to bleach away? Girl! These dingy clothes. I have been using bleach for years. No other product whitens like Clorox. I thought buying a bargain brand would save me money, but when the clothes had to be washed twice to achieve the same results as Clorox it cost me more. Running the machine twice, using double the water and the time involved. Clorox girl, Clorox! In addition to the stellar whitening performance, I have noticed that Clorox does not leave a residue behind after washing. I can hang the clothes on the line (as we do here in Japan) or put them in the clothes dryer. Excellent results. I will not buy any other bleach.

2. Pampers

pampers

photo courtesy of www.pampers.com

You know product quality is solid when you use the brand name to describe all products available in that category. When is the last time you heard someone use the word diaper? No, it’s pampers for a reason! They fit well and they don’t leak. The absorbency cannot be matched! I have three kids, ask about me! In addition to that, they have a points reward program. I have redeemed my points once in America and once in Japan; the kids were extremely pleased with their gifts both times.

3. Crayola

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photo courtesy of www.crayola.com

Adult coloring books are a big thing right now but even before it became popular, I used to color. Yes, a grown woman buying crayons. The quality is excellent! Smooth color payoff without waxy residue. You can even find handmade crafters recycling broken Crayola crayons to make new crayons. The pigment is that good. If that is not a testament to the quality of this product, I don’t know what is. When Crayola launched their skin tone crayons, I lost it! What a fabulous idea. This should be a standard classroom product. Diversity…they got that!

Ok, let’s take an intermission. Who am I? What qualifies me to blog this blog that I’m blogging? Well, I am a 39 year old consumer and a fairly new mom. I have not always been on the cash abundance side, so I know a thing or two about saving money. My mom raised four of us as a single mom and she continued to purchase these brands when cash was a bit low. Even living abroad I have hunted these brands down. My advice here is solid folks! OK, let’s continue…

4. Brillo

brillo

photo courtesy of www.brillo.com

A scouring pad impregnated with soap (as described on Wikipedia). What more do you need? I remember using a brillo scouring pad for what seemed like an endless line up of dirty pots. When the soap finally did run out days later, I put some dishwashing liquid on that bad boy and kept using it. Sometimes when there is no more soap in the pad I like to use it to clean the oven. One box will last you for months and for the cost of one box, you cannot beat it! Excellent product, and it’s made in the U.S.


5. Vaseline

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photo courtesy of www.theglamsquadfiles.com

Last on this list, but not least. Vaseline came back hard a few years ago, remember the bling packaging? I wanted to win one of those for real! The product definitely deserves applause. How is petroleum jelly not greasy? I have no idea, but when you buy that $1.00 or ¥1.00 jar from a bargain retailer you can feel the difference right away. The quality of vaseline cannot be matched. Then there are the possible uses! There are so many hacks for vaseline, there could be a blog for that alone. A big jar at home and a mini for the purse or vanity table. The heaters that everyone uses to heat their homes dries the skin out severely in Japan, I have reached for this quite a few times. Any other petroleum product I have purchased in the past went straight in the trash after a few uses. No match!

There’s a reason why some of these brands have been around for one hundred years! These are my non negotiable brands that I use.

Please share your non negotiable brands with me, I am always on the lookout for that next lifetime product.

Be Well,

Tara Kamiya

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Posted in Life in Japan, Motherhood, Stay at Home Mom