health

Holiday Blues

I have holiday blues. Yes, there’s such a thing. I Googled it.

WAH.

Seriously though, I feel so blue tonight. I am pinning it down to these:

Over-scheduling (see previous post)
You see, I only have 2 weeks left in Japan which is why I’ve been really pushing myself to see and do everything. Also, to keep my blog fresh and up to date. Because I truly enjoy it, it is my passion and of course to keep with my hot-shot writing dreams. However, amidst all the hustle and bustle and adventuring, I seem to have forgotten I’m not superhuman. I am exhausted. But here’s the problem. It’s not like I have anything else. I do a bit of free-lancing here and there but it’s not enough to occupy an entire day. And I know you all wish you didn’t have to work a 9-5 day and/or look after your needy significant other and/or rowdy children so that you could have even a spare moment to read a novel, go for a run, drink a coffee in silence, paint your nails etc but I swear, human wiring comes with the disease of always always wanting what we don’t have.

Holiday food
My general diet for the past year and half of Japan life has been a challenge. You can read about it here. Or in short, it’s been challenging learning to shop, cook and eat for one. I miss sitting around a table and eating with others. When I do eat with others here, it’s usually eating out. Which is exciting yes, and I feel should be done cos like when else am I gonna be in JAPAN to eat this authentic soba?! But at the same time, it’s not the healthiest. And even though I try to choose the healthiest menu items and exercise everyday (sometimes walking or cycling 10+ ks), it’s still not the same as eating and living on a normal schedule in the comfort of your own hometown. All this holiday food then, is starting to make me feel bad about my body image and myself.

Unrealistic expectations of myself
A quote I’ve mentioned several times here, “comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt. During holidays, we meet countless faces. In Japan, most are settled in good jobs with babies and husbands. My current life is much much different in comparison. Again, it seems instinctive of human wiring to compare. I keep forgetting that this won’t be my life forever and that I too am chasing my dream/working towards a good future. When I compare my very undetermined life with theirs, I feel sad.

Lack of sleep
A combination of the above.

I know I’m probably being too hard on myself but I, 1. needed to get this off of my chest and tell someone seeing as I’m all alone in this wah and 2. wanted you to know that it’s not all castle and croissants and that there is depth to the pretty pictures.

Last, am going on a money and food diet.

1…2…3… (a goal-starter countdown I’ve always done as a kid for which my father would always mock me)

image
image[6]image[7]image[4]
image[5]
image[3]image[8]image[1]image[2]image[5]image[10]
image[1]
image[4]image[3]image
image[1]image[2]
image[1]image
imageimage[2]

“Write It On Your Heart…

…that every day is the best day in the year.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
image
image[9]
image[4]
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” (John Wesley)
image[7]image[8]
“May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality… First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love.” (Thomas S. Monson)
image
image[1]image[1]
“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
image[2]
image[2]
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” (John Wooden)

Make A List

If you haven’t heard of Dallas Clayton, you’re missing out (big time!) so please check him out here right NOW!

Welcome back! Isn’t he an unfairly talented guy? To me, he is a huge inspiration. I only wish to inspire like he does. Last night, when I was pondering my new found smile, I came across Clayton’s latest work of art:
13920707_10154202375245240_7589295889546517698_n.jpg
How could I have missed something so simple? I mean, I was trying my best to live a good life, the countryside was so beautiful. I’d started new hobbies including cycling and yoga and made unexpected friends like this ojichan (old man) and yasu. But that didn’t mean I was actively engaging in activities I knew I loved. I know this sounds vain, I really do, but in this city, I am happy because I am filling my day with activities I know that I like. I am exercising (not sitting on my bottom for 8 hours straight in a suffocating room), walking walking walking (not driving for one hour to get groceries, alone), eating healthy, dressing pretty, writing in artsy cafes, appreciating diversity, purchasing freshly-made green smoothies and enjoying the odd glance from a boy. My new life makes me feel alive and it makes me feel young!

So how about you? What makes you happy? Painting? Drawing? The ocean? Cooking? Dining out? Road-trips? Building Lego? Dancing to the Beatles? Collecting fruit-stamps, watching old movies?

Are you doing it? Could you be doing it more?
image[6]image[7]image[8]image[10]image[9]
image[1]
image[3]image[4]image[5]image[2]image

Let Everything Happen To You

…Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. (Rainer Maria Rilke)
image-21.jpg
image[6]imageimage[8]image[7]image[1]image[2]image[4]image[5]
Top to bottom: morning prayer, Anisa-style banana split with NZ honey, local organic blueberries and home-made granola with Rye bread from Olivier, morning cycle featuring sky, bento love, and last but not least, my favorite healthy noms sent to me by my dear mama.

Only Human

Just because I photograph beautiful things and post inspirational quotes doesn’t mean I have it together. I’m struggling. Big time. I can’t wait to leave. Everything is so unnecessarily difficult here. None of these pictures show that though. Just like none of your Facebook friends’ photos show their reality. Life is not black and white. Sometimes it’s gloomy grey and sometimes it’s sparkling silver.
image[4]image[5]image-6image[3]image[6]image[2]image[1]image[10]image[1]
image[7]

The World Needs More Of You In It

During my year and a bit here, it has been extremely difficult to pursue my passion for healthy eating when the notion of healthy food is so scarce in the Japanese countryside. However, I have preserved. Through “bird” and “rabbit” nicknames from my colleagues for eating nuts, seeds and raw vegetables. Through lack of brown bread. And through unbelievably dare fruit prices. Often, I have made my friends and colleagues healthy cakes explaining that they’re free of gluten, dairy and sugar only to be looked at with wide eyes and responded to by: “but why?! are you on a diet?” Don’t worry I’m not blaming them, I mean, it’s not like I myself came out of my mother’s womb screaming: “quinoa”!

So, as hard as it has been, I have stuck to doing what I love. It has’t been easy and I haven’t had access to the majority of things (both ingredients and cooking materials) that I had back at home but, I have not given up.

Kate Borstein says, “Your life’s work beings when your great joy meets the world’s great hunger.” Taking that literally, my great passion does exactly that. Am I right? (Haha) but really, I know healthy food/mindfulness isn’t the answer to Trump, poverty, terrorism and homophobia but it is still something. My little something to the world.

I would like to think I have had many successes here, in changing attitudes to food (and other) but here are three recent examples of them. First, a picture sent by my neighbour who made the same vegan eggplant and tomato spaghetti that I made her, for her daughter. Next, my friend’s smoothie-bowl attempt after eating two or three in my kitchen. Last but not least, do you remember the burger place in Tottori I posted? Well, I added the chef on Facebook (because I’m creepy like that) and begged the poor dude to make me a vegan burger. Being Japan where customer service is beyond immaculate, he dutifully delivered. The patty was delicious, a little too wide and a little too flat but it was his first try and he promises to work on it.
imageimage[2]image[1]

 

Keep Stillness Inside Of You

If you keep up with my Facebook and Instagram then you might know that I went to USJ (Universal Studios Japan) yesterday. AND, it was awesome but I felt bittersweet to be there. Sweet because it was indescribably fun. Bitter because I felt for the multitudes who would never be able to enjoy such an experience because of poverty, equality, injustice or some other unfortunate circumstance. We, the wealthy generation are incredibly lucky and often we forget that. Not that going to a theme park is luck or happiness but just having the freedom, the funds and the option to do so is fortunate. Anyways, I am going to work on a Savvy Tokyo article on USJ, so to hear more and see the HD photos, y’all just have to wait. Anywho, I came across a beautiful quote today:

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. -Deepak

PS please excuse my unfortunate tan-lines in the last photo >.<
image[4]
So I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you. -Paulo Coelho
image[8]
If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all. -John Green.
image[7]
Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha

image (1)
I think you are very beautiful. And I’m not even talking about your face or legs or butt or eyes or those elbows. (Though they are all very lovely) I’m talking about you. -Bianca Cash
image
The weather isn’t perfect and my socks have gotten wet but my heart is full of promise so I’ll take what I can get. – Dallas Clayton