Raw Girl in Japan

Archive for the ‘raw food’ Category

AArrgghhh!!! Sore throat, swollen glands, lying in bed. Hate feeling like this – useless and pathetic. I’ve been stressing alot about my upcoming course and worrying that my yoga diploma has taken a back seat for a while. My munchings have been sporadic and somewhat small. I have to take more care of myself, especially now I’m a yoga teacher. It’s important to stay healthy and full of energy as this is what your students feed off.

Refuse t ever feel like this again – take it as a lesson learned.

Am sipping on a smoothie as I write – Oj, mango, banana, raspberries, flaxseed oil and maca, courtesy of hubby.

Purchased a big bag of clementines yesterday and that is what I will eat over the weekend as I will be out and about. Am attending several workshops with the ashtanga teacher Chuck Miller: backbends, shoulder openers, inversions, and a teacher training workshop. Have never attended one of Chuck’s workshops before.

Tomorrow’s classes will be followed by an evening kirtan with Gina Sala at
Sun and Moon in Meguro (my home). Just hope my voice is back to sing and chant – then again maybe it’s a blessing if it stays away so no one else has to suffer as I use my vocal chords!!

With the yukkiness in my body today I do feel my body is crying out for a fast, so with light meals over the weekend, Monday will be a water fast from noon till noon on Tuesday. I’m not teaching on Monday, just going to an ashtanga class, Tuesday sees me teaching in the evening, by which time I will have eaten so I will be fine.

I intend to fast once a week. Should be easy to do when in Thailand, then maybe not if surrounded by durian, coconuts and all other beautiful fruits of the world.

Yes, Thailand is just a week away. I leave next Saturday. The TTC starts on Monday. Sunday will start with a Mysore practice in the morning, followed by a coconut. A few hours spent on the beach and then off into the next town Nathon to get my fruit. Have never been so excited about fruit shopping before and I still have a week to go. Is this how people feel when they plan to shop at Prada or Gucci? What a buzz…would much rather spend my pennies on a mango than an overpriced dress!

So back to now, before I drift off into Thailand heaven.

Yesterday I returned to the new raw restaurant in Tokyo, Veggie Paradise. For those who are interested in going, you need to go out the south exit at Yoyogi-uehara station. Walk up the hill for about 30 seconds and Veggie Paradise is down a street on the left. Very easy to find – I get lost in Tokyo easily and I found it!

I met with my friend KC (love you KC), who chatted to myself and a friend Mutsumi (who has just attended a raw food course in the states). KC is writing an article on raw food and nutrition for an expat magazine here. We chatted for a good 2 hours while eating yummy food (raw pumpkin soup, salad with shitake dressing, mushrooms with a cashew cheesy sauce, seaweed salad). We discussed a number of topics, not sure if I should discuss them here as I want to see the magazine article first and then maybe elaborate. What I did notice was my passion for this subject. I don’t think I had recognized it before. Was like someone had walked in a dropped a pineapple on my head and said ‘look – you can make this work here’.

So I came away buzzing, full of ideas. Thinking of yoga and raw food retreats to run here in Japan (would give us a chance to run away from the concrete and out towards the ocean). Then today I wake up feeling like crap!

Will be back on track this weekend, with the yoga and things. Living life to the full, but being more aware of my energy levels – I just get so excited though and keep going and going them wham! I’m lying in bed.

Need to get my webpages up. Many ideas, would still like your input though as to what you would like to see. Hopefully they will be ready to view late January.

So, I will leave you with some photos of yesterday.

Veggie Paradise







So clean fresh, spacious, relaxing


And to finish with, our new babies. Three stray cats that have found home on my balcony. Simply adorable.


Stay warm and healthy


I’m learning so much about myself of late. Have been reading the Baghavad Gita and The Sutras – been emotionally involved in these books. Tears run as I deepen into the words on the pages. I look at how far I have come on my journey so far. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have been so affected by these texts.

I smile.
Always smiling.

I’m happy.

Am feeling strong. I feel that I’m on a path and little can get in my way. Yet, if faced with an obstacle, a challenge I believe I would be able to deal with it.

Have so many plans for 2008. Really want to build on my yoga and raw diet and educate as many people as possible here. The raw network is building and I think I can help build it a little more.

Will post more tomorrow after I’ve been back to Veggie paradise, just wanted to share some photos from today.

Have a great Halloween wherever you are.


Temple near to where I live


Persimmon trees are everywhere


as are clementines


Todays lunch – lettuce, rocket, mizuna, banana smoothie


How happy am I? Go on guess. I don’t think there is a word to describe how I am feeling at the moment.
I don’t know where to start, so much to tell.

I suppose the big news is that there is now a raw food restaurant in Tokyo. It is called Veggie Paradise and it’s in Yoyogi-uehara on the Odakyu Line. I’m going again next week and will get more information to put up here. Colin, if you are reading we should try and meet up?

I went along with my friend Marie who interviewed me for a newspaper (thank you Marie, you are wonderful). I know..me interviewed for a paper. My god!

What struck me first about the place was walking in and not detecting an ‘overcooked’. Everything was clean and fresh. You can see into the kitchen and it’s all orderly, no steam, no clanging of pots and pans.

I was in my element. How lovely it felt not having to ask about what was in the food, checking there were no hidden meat products. Was it vegan….the usual. Don’t expect me to visit any other restaurant in the metropolis again – Veggie Paradise is where I will be at.




Will get more pictures when I go next week.

Last weekend saw the Earth Day Market in Yoyogi Park. It offers the chance for farmers to come together and sell their organic produce. Not only food was sold, but cruelty cosmestics, hemp and organic cotton clothing, oh and organic pet food. The turn-out was good, and from checking the website I think there could be another market early in November.

Prices were reasoanable, and there was a fair variety of veggie produce.

Yoyogi Park


Veggies, veggies everywhere




Kettle with a message


An Ideal World


We purchased a number of items, which have been used in salads and smoothies throughout the week. Really wish there was something like this weekly.

Now one thing that did annoy me was this deceitful advertising…..only beer was to be found. Don’t tease a mango whore…


Speaking of mangos, this leads me to Thailand. Yes, my return is just two weeks away.

I’ve rabbited on long enough today (Marie I used rabbited for you). I promise to you all to write more frequently, I will try daily just so you know what is happening in my raw yogic life. Still have lots to share, but will be easier to break it uo over the next few days.

Have a fabulous day

I promise to write an update over the next couple of days.Lots to tell.* There is a raw food restaurant here in Tokyo….* Have just completed a 40 hour ashtanga teacher training with the magnificent David Swenson* Am teaching LOTS of yoga and forever learning* Nashi season is here.* Lara bars can be found in Tokyo.* Feeling positive about combining my raw food and yoga here in Japan. Really think it’s going to work. Love to all. Have a fabulous raw weekend.Mxxxxx 

Raw Munchings

Yesterday started with almond banana milk. Then slept and slept and slept. Awoke and filled myself up with mango and dragon fruit, then an hour later had some cashews. I’m naughty with nuts, I can munch on them and never stop. I need to stop doing that, makes me feel gulity somehow. Much prefer having nuts in a liquid form, like almond milk or once in a while making cashew cheese.

Just had an orange and banana smoothie for breakfast. Was nice as my hubby and I are home together this morning, so we did some yoga together then had the smoothies. As I write our empty glasses are infront of me.

Something my husband finds most amusing about me is the dregs I leave in all drinks, water, juices, smoothies. I can never finish a glass of anything, I always leave a little. Water he is most shocked, often asking ‘What’s wrong with the water dregs’ and I answer ‘They are dregs, that’s what’. Kinda similar to when I used to eat bread (when did I last do that???) and I wouldn’t eat the crust – would eat round it. Strange!

Raw Yogini
I’m teaching two yoga classes tonight, so went through the advanced class I had planned with hubby this morning. Worked on arm strengthening and handstands. Love handstands, takes me back to being a kid (like reading Harry Potter). So, we did the practice, tough going I have to say. My hubby created several pools of sweat on the mat and I had to cut the practice short and lead us into savasana. May have to tone it down a bit for class tonight.

Have to say though, with the heat and humidity a vigorous vinyasa class does aid a natural purification. Feels good. I’m not one for this so called hot yoga where the room is filled with a blast of unnatural heat, but when you sweat in the natural heat it’s so much more organic.

Raw ramblings
I have another assignment for my Yoga Thailand TTC. I have to write about a Sivananda, Ashtanga and Iyengar class I attend. Ashtanga is no problem. Sivananda I will go to today at 12.30pm, Iyengar, really do not know when i will get to a class.

I’ll have a few hours to kill before I have to get back to the studio and teach, so I may head to the pool and plan my weekend classes. Yes, there are pools hidden away in the great Metropolis, you just need to search for them or know someone who is a ‘pool queen’. I know a pool queen!

That’s all for today.
Have fun

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


Again, I have been receiving some lovely messages – thanks all you rock. Ladybugz I answered your question in a comment under my last blog. Travis and Jamie I have sent you both emails.

Raw Munchings
Was ravenous when I awoke this morning, and happily demolished sliced banana and half an avacado. Was very unlike me as I really am not a breakfast person, but maybe it was due to being out all day yesterday?!? I sat and ate with mashed avocado on my face – natural facial cleanse. If it’s good enough for our insides it’s good for the outside too.

As I write I’m drinking freshly squeezed watermelon. Really hitting the spot now that the weather is heating up here in Tokes. Seeing that watermelon is widely available here at present I think I will a 48 hour watermelon cleanse – both eating a drinking watermelon. Will do it on Saturday and Sunday as I have a lot of fruit in the apartment at the moment and if I know there is a mango nearby the cleanse will be broken. Those darn mangos for being so delicious and always tempting me.

Raw Yogini

Just finished a two hour home practice. Worked on the hamstrings and psoas. I’m teaching tonite so was playing and preparing for the class. I feel my body is strong enough for more advanced asanas, more arm balances. My body is light, but strong. I have had to do alot of work on my upper body – I had an inbalance lower body stronger, upper weak. My body is balancing out now.
I like to play with asanas at home, spend more more time on my ‘challenges’ and allow my body to open to the pose.
I’m lucky.

I taught two classes yesterday – one kids class then a beginners. Today I teach a vinyasa flow and Yin. Have been offered some more teaching work. How fortunate I am that all just falls into place. I can’t get over how different my life is compared to the one I had 12 months ago. I’m living my dream

Raw Discovering
A few entries back I shared with you all that i used to be anorexic. I was 20, at dance college and recovering from a back injury. Am I fully recovered? Does anyone ever fully recover? I have learned why is all started and it wasn’t to do with the stereotypical thin dancer syndrome. It was personal issues from my childhood.
I saw a counsellor (no help), saw a nutritionalist who was lovely but never really guided me. Made me keep a diary and kept track of my weight. She never commented on the food I ate, just kinda laughed that I ate veggie sausages!!

It’s got me thinking can a raw vegan diet help a recovering anorexic or anyone with an eating disorder?

I have been watching some of the anorexic documentaries on Youtube recently. The first one was THIN – following 4 girls at the Renfrew Center in Florida. What shocked me was how unhealthy the meals being dished up were. The focus was to offer ‘high calorie’ meals, yet there was a high fat content too – yukky, nasty cling to your arteries fat. And I’m sorry, but judging by the size of some of the carers at the center they lived off this kind of stuff daily. They really weren’t promoting the diet in any shape or form.

Anorexics get to a point where calories do control their lives, so why tell them that they have to consume a certain number a day to gain weight? Couldn’t there be more focus on the nutritional value. Couldn’t it highlight the meals are simple? The simplisity keeps you feeling light yet satisfied.Explain that including fruit in your diet just doesn’t mean having an apple.

People with eating disorders probably haven’t eaten big meals in a long, long time, so why force them to eat something that will physically and mentally upset them?

If you think I am rambling, I’m sorry. I would love to hear anyone elses opinions on this matter. We all know the raw diet is a healing diet, I think the introduction of such a diet could help.

I’ll leave it there for now.

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