Japanese Food For the Path to Wellness

We spend so much of our time trying to get more, be more and do more. By the end of this past summer the “more” had taken its toll on my poor body, so now I am all about “less” – at least until I recover and get ready for the next adventures. Last week I sprained my ankle, and that continues to slow down my exercise routine, but it has allowed me to think about the food I am eating and what works best for the new me.

For the past three weeks I have been switching over from a bread/meat/cheese/  coffee/Coke-heavy diet to one that is filled with vegetables, fruits, fish and raw foods. I have been making about a litre of fresh juice a day with the new juicer, and I have gone from eating one big meal a day to about four mini meals. The coffee has been replaced with teas of various types, and I have been able to keep to the new foods without too much heartache. The challenge is finding clean, organic food that is truly healthy. I spend so much time in the grocery store reading sodium, sugar and calorie levels that I might as well try to be ethical when it comes to animals, too. My meat intake has dropped significantly. I just feel sad for eating animals that have a factory life – there is no need to let companies treat animals so poorly, just so that I can shove back a few more ounces of cheap meat. I figure that if I cannot afford fresh fish or organic meats in small quantities, then I would be better to spend the money on high nutrient vegetables like kale or sea vegetables like wakame or arame.

The problem is that when I do go out to a restaurant, my body does a loop da loop trying to digest the heavier foods. The only real success I have had so far is the Japanese sushi places. For a foodie, it is tough to realize that one of your greatest pleasures has lost its hardcore nature. Gone are the days of literally pigging out at Au Pied du Cochon on foie gras in Montreal or doing back to back tastings at Alinea and Charlie Trotters in Chicago; gone but not forgotten. Certainly, I am trying all sorts of new foods that I would have otherwise missed out on, and in the end I will probably just accept that an extravaganza at Babbo will hurt afterwards.

My main focus this week has been on finding the balance between getting enough food but still hungry, eating too much, and eating too little. My body is dancing around how much I weigh by gains and losses of 4-6 pounds from one day to the next. The trend is loss, but I can see how dieters must become discouraged after a few yo-yos on the scale. Not me, like with my stock portfolio, I have a plan and will stick with it until I reach my goals.

Tonight’s dinner, which is featured in the photography, was buckwheat ramen, Chinese cabbage, organic kale, and Japanese sea vegetables in a miso broth with fresh pickerel. Also featured was a new sake made by Izumi Nama Cho in Toronto which is in the Distillery District. The sake was flavourful and matched the miso broth nicely. I drank it cold first, but will comfort myself up with a warmed cup after this posting.

The bowl and cup shown were both made in Japan. I adore handmade Japanese items for their unique colour palette, gorgeous feel in the hand and craftsmanship. The sake cup was purchased in Tokyo and is made of turned wood that has been lacquered. The bowl we picked up at Sanko in Toronto for about $30. It is large, but beautifully made.

On the photography front, V.’s photography submission for the PiKto Online Gallery competition has just gone up and can be found HERE while mine can still be found THERE.  V. is settling into Thunder Bay for her six week placement, and I am hanging out in the city: reading, writing, eating and getting ready for a two week visit to Prince Edward Island for the holidays. The last photograph I did for Paderno has been picked up for an ad with CostCo in January, while another is being used as a cover for their latest sale flyer, which is exciting. With over 100 negatives left to scan from the past summer, there is no shortage of work and projects. Now if only I could teach Mingus to scan negatives.

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3 responses to “Japanese Food For the Path to Wellness

  1. Ok I am reading w/interest and can see value in the juicing etc….but you have just lost me in saying you gave up coffee.
    Asking about the juicer – do you need a dishwasher or is it built so that you can wash by hand?

    • I usually drank about 6-7 cups of coffee/high grade espresso a day, so that pushed my heart rate [and the rest of my body] up quite a bit. While I did not need to quit the coffee per se, according to macro-biotic concepts, the intake of coffee causes the body to attempt to compensate for the coffee with an equal amount of its opposite – sugary goodness.
      I have been washing the juicer immediately after I use it by hand. It takes about three minutes, and then it is ready for the next day. The four parts could go in the dish washer, but I only do a cycle every three days, so I need the parts before that time. I find it really great to have vegetable juice in the morning or late at night. The tastes are clean and it helps me to use any vegetables or fruit that I might not get to before they would go bad.

  2. LOL ok, I now won’t feel so bad about the one, good/quality cup that I have each morning 😉

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