Raw Girl in Japan

Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

Absent from blogging. Family emergency. Dad has been sick. Today had surgery. Things are moving forward from now.

Back to the fruit feast tomorrow. Just haven’t been able to stay on track. Meals missed. Eating TOO MANY nuts. No sleep. Had some coffee!!!!

Am going home in a couple of weeks, just to see how things are. Is hard when you are thousands of miles away from home. Want to be all vibrant and fresh for my return. Show Mum and Dad I am doing okay and they really have nothing to worry about when it comes to me. 

Love to all.

xx

Everyday I choose an angel card. Have been doing so for over a year now. When I travel I take them with me. They speak to me. I learn from them. I like to flick through the pack sometimes and just look at the messages and focus on the pictures. I have a particular way of choosing my daily angel – the way I wish to keep secret, but there is one card that seems to come to me more often than the others and this really has helped me decide on my next venture. A venture essential to yoga, without it there is no yoga. More will be told in my New Year post.

Daily Munchings (wheatgrass and spirulina had run out this morning)

Before practice – 6.00am – MSM in water

Breakfast (10-ish) – Coconut (straight after my practice), 1 banana, Pineapple, ginger and coriander juice (amazing)

Lunch – (2.30-ih) – Apple, celery, carrot and parsley juice – perfect 

Dinner (6.00- ish) green salad and avocado

Am finishing eating before 7, making sure my body has time to digest prior to sleep.

My practice

I felt strong, connected. really flowed with the breath today. Hadn’t felt this strong for a long time. Yes, I have asanas to keep working deeper in, but the natural heat here really helps the body organically melt into a pose, while the muscles stay alive. 

I try and spend more than five breaths in poses where my body needs to open. Sometimes if I’m loving a pose I will spend longer in it. The mysore practice is a self practice. Work with where your body is at. I have never understood why people zoom their way through. Surely they are missing the beauty of the practice. As a teacher, I also listen to my body so I know how to explain deeper details of sensations arising to my students.

Every time I come to my mat I fall in love with yoga a little bit more.

Other things

The food at Yoga Thailand is vegetarian and 98% vegan. Low sugar, low fat. Healthy, organic produce. The first year I came here I was toying with becoming vegan (having been vegetarian for 20 years). The next time I was here I was more or less raw, so the staff would allow me to use the kitchen and use the fruit and veggies to make whatever I wanted. Now with the new place, (and because I am frequently here I think), the chef is playing with some raw recipes, which I have been asked to sample – of course I am happy to oblige. I have already sampled a soup, which was lovely just recommended adding a little bit of tumeric to add a bit of ZING. 

So if anyone fancies a yoga retreat, but are worried about food, please know that Yoga Thailand will accommodate your needs.

I need to sleep now. Up early to meditate and listen to my angel before practice.

xxx 


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.

xxx

Temple near to where I live

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Persimmon trees are everywhere

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as are clementines

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Todays lunch – lettuce, rocket, mizuna, banana smoothie

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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
xxxx

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.
Enjoy!

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…

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Local food

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

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What’s in my tummy?

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

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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!!!!

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

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Yogic Kitty

Yoga runs in the family

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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.

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