Raw Girl in Japan

Archive for the ‘dance’ Category

Hi all – feeling a little under the weather. Full of cold and a little achey – just want to sleep. So am taking it easy today.
This has allowed time for me to sort out some photos.

Due to the heat here in Tokyo, I have been drinking a lot of smoothies. Don’t feel like eating when it’s so hot and humid. Have also been having fruity almond milk shakes.

Anyway here are the pics.

Places near my apartment
We have a lovely park, allotments, bamboo. Japan isn’t all neon lights and in a state of mad frenzy. I particularly like the last pic of the elderly guy…





Local food

Yet, we can’t find where to buy the produce….






What’s in my tummy?

Smoothies and a nice avocado as I look out at the Pacific Ocean







The western diet in Tokyo

Krispy Kreme is in central Tokyo – people line up to get in. This pic was taken on a Thursday afternoon, the second shows the waiting time!!!!



No explaination really – taken at the Sun and Moon studio, Meguro, Tokyo



Yogic Kitty

Yoga runs in the family



As I sit and write I have an orange and mango smoothie to my side. The sun is shining, I have all the windows open and a gentle breeze is flowing through my apartment. There isn’t a cloud in the sky and I’m hoping we have seen the end of rainy season for this year.

I would like to thank the guys at We Like it Rawfor adding my blurb on July 21st. If you haven’t checked out this website, please do full of information and recipes.

Raw Munchings
Peaches are nectarines are in season here, so I have been happy eating them and adding them to green smoothies. Been a little more adventurous of late with my use of greens, needed variety. Firstly, I have started using Mizuna which is widely available here – a Japanese mustard seed green. Commonly used here in salads. I also have been introduced to Mulukhiya which has been grown organically on Okinawa (southern Japanese island), but originates from the Middle East. Along with a variety of fruit, they have been adding a nice to change to my green glasses of deliciouness…Am thinking of making an avocado and mizuna soup with chopped negi. Negi is a japanese onion, often used in miso soup.I do have photos of the greens I bought, but I need to resize them. So expect them shortly. In fact I have a lot of photos as I have a new camera and have been happily clicking away.As the weather is warming up I’m not craving much to eat.  I’m much preferring smoothies or the occasional juice here and there. Am getting tired of not being able to find a non-processed juice anywhere. When walking about the urban jungle there are times when I just wish for something other than water, something a little more substantial. Yet a lot of the juices/smoothies have milk and I live in a society where you don’t request something out of the norm. The big thing to drink here during summer is iced coffee or tea. Yuk!! I haven’t done a water fast for a while, and I feel I really need to do one. Even though my body feels good it’s always nice for the digestive system to have a break. 

Raw Yogini
A couple of weeks back hubby and I attended a workshop near the coast. It was held in a tatami mat room next to a temple in Zushi (not to be confused with sushi). The workshop focussed on the hips, a dread for all dancers and yogis alike. The plan was to attend the two hour workshop, then we all head to the beach and have a picnic. Rainy season put a stop to that as the rain didn’t let up once. Having said that when holding some of the deep hip openers for a while listening to the rain was most therapeutic and helped me ease into the asana.This weekend we’re attending a shoulder opening workshop. I’ve always had quite open shoulders and upper back, so am looking forward to a challenge.I am happy to report that I have two new yoga teaching gigs, and received a text message just a couple of minutes ago to say another class has been added to my schedule on Mondays. I just love teaching yoga. It just seems to come so naturally to me. I love the planning process, creating a theme for my students.My dance vinyasa classes are being well received. Someone came to spy for another studio and couple of weeks ago, didn’t disguise themselves too well.  She let too many things slip. Ah well, curiosity and I see it as a positive as it’s the only class in Japan like it. I’ve created something most unique, and can’t be happier with the way things are going.

Forever Discovering
I was recently asked a question by Ladybugz about what I eat during the winter months when it gets a little colder here.Good question and One I asked myself when I first went raw. Answer – I eat exactly the same as I do in summer, but I do have a few suggestions.
1. I add more green chillis to my dishes to add a natural spice and heat. You could use red, but I have cut them down due to my dosha (kapha/pitta).
2. I don’t eat anything directly out of the fridge during this time, I allow it to get to room temperature.
3. Shazzie had a great suggestion. If making soup, place the bowls in some hot water. Pour the soup to the bowls and stir occasionally for  15-30 mins. Adds just a little warmth, but doesn’t cook the soup. I’m sure this would would for raw pasta dishes to, or any marinated  veggie dishes too.
4. Exercise. Build your body temperature. I do about two hours of yoga a day, plus my teaching. I’m constantly on the go, therefore i never really feel the need for something warm as my internal fire is always aglow.
5. Invest in a dehydrator if you are wanting some warmer dishes, or use your current oven and keep it on a low setting.
6. Don’t be harsh on yourself. Take your time – if you want something cooked, have it. Allow time for your body to adjust.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m sure there are numerous please do let me know and I will add them to my website (still under construction).By the way ladybugz, you said you were living in Japan and about to do a TTC. Please write and tell me more. And thanks for the question. 

Leftover Ramblings 
So yes, all is good in the land of Em.  I read Harry Potter in less than 48 hours (yep I cried, and laughed..fabulous). Am back to my study reading. I have my Yoga Thailand pre-course assignments coming through, so have two books on the go for that and my diploma is ongoing. More books, more reading. Continue to teach english part-time. Oh, and I have my first private yoga student who I teach twice a week. A beginner who tries so hard. After three weeks and six lessons we have seen such wonderful changes to her body.   

I just love yoga

Why ‘o’ why only 24 hours in a day? Have a few moments so thought I would bring everyone up to scratch in EmLand (to be a new theme park in Florida opening next summer)!!!

Raw Munchings
ALOT of avocados. When out on the run, they are just so filling. I started taking lettuce leaves out with me, just to make quick wraps here and there. Devouring yellow cherry tommies too. Sweet, sweet, sweet!!!
Was going to make a smoothie this morn with some coconut water, but when I came to open the coconut it was far from healthy. Brown and yukky!! Actually, I kind of slaughtered the coconut, haven’t got the hang of opening one yet.

Raw Yogini
I’m tired and it is affecting my personal practice. I’m keeping to basic asanas at the moment, but staying fulling focussed on the breath which is most important.
Am loving teaching, but what with the TTC, planning my lessons, teaching and my English teaching too I am wiped out. This is the first morning in 10 where I have been home. Decided in August I’m going to take a week off from English teaching, so I can have time to myself and head to the beach and work on my diploma (which has taken a back seat).
Yesterday I was offered more yoga teaching. This will just be once in a while. Really flexible schedule, great person setting them up.
Teaching Dance Vinyasa tonight, am receiving some great feedback about the class and have had a number of people upset as the class time is too earlyand they can’t make it. Am also doing another dance workshop at the end of August.
Lots of requests for raw workshops as well.

48 hours in a day please.

Left Over Ramblings
A few months back I wrote wanted to run the Tokyo marathon next year.
Looking at what will be happening in the coming months I don’t think I will be training to partake. I really want to do it, but I have to be sensible and take care of myself – my yoga comes first and ensuring my students get the classes they deserve they need a teacher who is being compassionate to themself.
I also wrote about an ayurveda consultation I had while in Thailand. I really want to share what was discussed and will do once the TTC is completed – just 2 weeks left.

Nihongo Lesson

Lettuce – le -ta-su (Japanese sound re-ta-su)

Have a wonderful weekend

It’s Golden Week here in Japan. This is a national holiday of four days spread out through a week. This week, Monday was a holiday, Tuesday, Wednesday not, Thursday through to Saturday a holiday.Therefore the week of the title ‘Golden Week’ is a tad misleading – if not a lie.

It’s a great time to venture out as lots of people leave Tokyo to visit their family. No crowds, less noise. Lovely! The weather is glorious, a wonderful spring day. The whole day just rings ‘positivity’.

I’m in an exceptionally bouncy mood today, dunno why -just am. Am happy with the way my life is going. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much love, faith and support.

This morning I studied, then had a good think of what I want to get accomplished by the end of this year. I’m being mighty ambitious, but I really do think I can get a yoga and raw food company up and running here. Would be my dream. It will take a while, yet I have started work on the project. I have a name for the raw side of the company, am keeping stumm on that for the time being. Great plans for the website, workshop ideas, raw and yoga transformation ideas.

To give you an idea of what I am currently doing and what I have coming up
May to June – 100 hour yoga teacher training
August – 50 hour yoga teacher training
September – 40 hour ashtanga yoga teacher training
November-September – 200 hour yoga teacher training

I am currently studying a yoga diploma, essays, essays, essays. Am loving it and am also doing an online raw food course. Am teaching English privately, next month I start teaching yoga and I practice yoga at least twice a day.

Busy I know, but I really am loving it and I do think if I wasn’t raw I wouldn’t be able to cope. The raw vegan diet, gives the energy, the passion and concentration to do it all.

GO RAW!!!!!

So, anyway more about raw foodie things.
When I was in Thailand I wrote about a new toy that I had bought that would assist in the peeling of a magnificent mango. I’ve been meaning to get photos and show you all. You may just think it’s a knife or peeler, but honestly when it does peel the skin, it’s peels so thinly allowing no loss of juice. It’s easy to use, and not too sharp so there is no fear of cutting oneself.



Not the best of photos. Sorry! The mango was brekkie – what better way to start the day.

The other day I told you all about the new green herb, ashitaba I had been given. I used two stalks with leaves in the smoothie I made. I have now tried using 4 stalks with leaves and it does add a sharper taste. Tomorrow, I’m going to have it on top of a salad and see just how sharp the taste is.

Talking of green smoothies, I want to mention Valerie. If you haven’t been following her green smoothie journey, where have you been? She is an amazing woman who is finding health, losing weight and noting all about her venture in a wonderfully written blog. I am addicted to it. For those who enjoyed Shazzie’s writings and were at a loss when she decided to say Auf Wiedershen to her blog -then this is the blog to fill the void.

She has achieved so much in just three months.
Valerie, I raise a glass of green smoothie to say a big congratulations and to tell you I am adopting you as my on-line Mum.

Cheers Valerie.

Went to two classes yesterday and this morning I practised and I have a class tonight. Am still in a battle with Marichyasana D, but each day my breath deepens and I find the twist a little easier. Slowly my hips are opening and not screaming ‘WTF’ at me. I love my practice, I feel like I’m dancing at times as asanas become more familiar.

Just always smiling.

I am happy to report we have lots of lovely food. Spinach, rocket, lettuce, coriander, basil, peppers, mushrooms, tommies (yellow and red), avocados, mangos (after all I am the mango whore), papaya, strawberries, blueberries and grapes. Opening the fridge door is like a big adventure – what to have, what to make, how much…ahhhh good food overload!!

I am even happier to report that I have found a place selling coconuts, 580yen not cheap but really not too expensive. I’m going to have to get a couple. Sometimes adding some coconut water to a smoothie just gives it that little kick, you know the zing and voila…I’m back in Thailand.

Apparently coconut water contains a range of B vitamins (excluding 6 and 12). Also folic acid and Vitamin C.

I am not too happy that the durian wasn’t ready for brekkie this morning. Ah well, tomorrow it should be and I was lucky that hubby brought me breakfast in bed this morning (well not bed futon). He did his all time classic of freshly squeezed OJ, papaya, berries and flaxseed oil. He’s such a hon.

Back to the futon/bed thing. Do you think Japanese people say, ‘It’s futon time’. ‘Make sure you make your futon before you leave this house’. ‘daddy, can I have a futontime story please?’ ‘Son, I found your porn under the futon!’

Me just been stupid. Spring seems to have finally sprung here after rain, rain and more rain.

Last night I went to yoga and practiced the 5 Tibetan Rites.
Now, I had read about them in them past yet never tried/practiced them until last night. What a wonderful feeling of lightness, openness and strength. The bonus part is that at the beginning you get to spin round like a kid, without anyone telling you ‘Don’t do that, you’ll fall and hurt yourself’ (ah the memories). Once you get into the exercises they naturally start to flow and I felt like I was dancing.

I am therefore going to add them to my practice, means I will be getting up earlier, but hey anything that will aid health, keep me looking young and keep my spine juicy then I’m going to give it a go.

Off to the fridge now to go on another adventure. Yum!

Where to start??

Well, I am MUCH better now, the nasty virus has finally left my body but has left my brain a little all over the place (and I am blond after all). You know when you have been ill and it throws your routine? I’m kind of wandering round aimlessly not knowing where to go, when to go – thank god I have lists. I am a girl who likes lists.

So what has been happening? Lots of wonderful things actually.

On Saturday and Sunday I ran my first contemporary dance workshops in Tokyo – such a blast. I had great students, none of whom knew anything about contemporary dance and they all gave 110% and more. I loved teaching and I loved dancing. I couldn’t have asked for the workshops to have gone any better. And my hubby gave me a huge bouquet of flowers to congratulate me.

I do have photos but they need sorting.

I had a chat with my yoga teacher/friend over the weekend as well (the workshops were held at her studio) and I am overly excited to say I will be a yoga teacher as of June. My dream come true. Although I have yet to complete some training courses my teacher has seen my practice develop over the last three years, has seen my dedication and has always known what teaching at her studio would mean to me.  This woman means so much to me. I love her dearly and can not wait to be working with her.

Somebody deleted me as one of their friends off Myspace (he wasn’t just a cyber friend). No big deal, he was being a jerk and had to take responsibility for his actions. Sometimes the  truth hurts, and we need to learn from our mistakes (our greatest teachers), but no he decided to play the victim and rather than discuss it cut me from his life. His loss, not mine.

I sent in my yoga teaching application so am now playing the waiting game. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

So lets get onto the food thing, after all that is what this blog is meant to be about (with a little waffle here and there). I have no food in the house and honestly it’s all down to the lack of the routine issue.

I’m not that hungry and have been nibbling on dates and tomatoes here and there. Think it’s down to the virus. Due to the madness of the weekend and the workshops I was unable to get ‘before’ pictures of me, so will do so on Sunday. I’m not sure if I want to do measurements, ie. waist, hips, chest…etc…See how I feel on Sunday morning.

The plan will be to continue with the devouring of fruit but to add more greens and smoothies and start being a little more adventurous with food.

Off to the supermarket to look at all the over packed fruits and veggies and weep.

Oooh, forgot to share….I have a durian awaiting to be eaten. It’s just started to open so hopefully that will be breakfast tomorrow morning. It cost 2800yen and is quite a fair size. Kitty cat keeps going up and sniffing it and our living room smells of it, which may cause nausea to some, but for hubby and I – WE LOVE IT.

So, from previous blogs you will have seen that I haven’t had much to report on the food front. Happily eating fruit throughout the day when the mood takes me. To be honest I get so busy at times that I forget to eat. This is ridiculously unhealthy I know, especially when I do about 3-4 hours yoga a day. But I have always believed not to force oneself to eat if they simply are not hungry.

I went through a stage of calorie counting (years and years ago when at dance school). The calorie book kinda became my bible which I eventually had to burn. Not a healthy approach ( the calorie counting, not the burning of the book -that was a positive release). The point system on Weight Watchers is no better from what I can gather!!

Anyway, so far today I have had:

a handful of raw almonds and some grapes.

Not much I know, but I’m feeling just fine. Things will no doubt change next week when I get to Thailand and can have an abundant amount of fruit at my fingers tips.

My man is home early tonight so I am preparing dinner for us. Nothing too fancy (infact far from). The regular raw burritos. Chopped tommies, avocado, orange pepper, basil with a raw tahini, raw apple cider, mushroom and coriander sauce all wrapped up in lettuce leaves. Simple and yummy.

The lovely Valerie (her blog is a must read, a fantastic woman. Read it here) has encouraged me to record the extra few kilos I want to lose. Now I’m going to be away from scales for two weeks (did I mention I was going to Thailand!!!!! – slap me if you want), so I will weigh myself the morning I leave (Wednesday), record the yoga I do and the fruit I devour. Now in addition to this I am setting myself a challenge.

I have always wanted to run a marathon. Don’t ask why, just have. Some may think it goes against my yoga, but I think I can learn from it. To be honest I am crap at long distance. I once got detention at school for walking the 3500 meters as I didn’t want to run it. So, in Thailand I am going to start running (on the beach – how hard can that be???)

This blog therefore will be recording (as of Wednesday) my raw diet, my yoga, my marathon training, weight loss and any other general ramblings. Oh and my dance.

Hope this keeps you inerested.

BTW. Did I tell you I was going to Thailand…….??????

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