goals health

Better Health: Juice Cleanse, Standard Diet

Paleo food from Denver Startup Week
Paleo food from Denver Startup Week

Last week I got a wake-up call regarding my health; amazing how a number on the scale can speak more than what it shows. I was near my heaviest last Sunday, and I knew I had to kick myself back into gear.

If you know my history, you know I have lost a lot of weight before, between 2006 – 2010. I initially lost weight in Japan (spent a semester abroad in 2006); then, I was determined to keep the weight off and maybe lose a bit more. There were periods of time between those years where I lost a little, gained a little, and so forth. 2010 I found myself at my skinniest–but not for the right reasons. I was so focused on aesthetics and pleasing others instead of caring for myself.

Well, this time around, I am focused on taking care of myself and losing the weight for my own health (and for my future children?). Over this past weekend, I participated in a 3-day juice cleanse via Pressed Juice Daily, a new juice shop in Denver. They provided me with 27 bottles for 3 days: 9 bottles per day.

I was a little nervous about trying a liquid diet, but even on Day 1, I felt fine spacing out the juices every couple of hours and focusing on that rather than my grumbling stomach. It also helped that at the end of each day, I got my ‘treat’ in the form of raw almond milk–SO delicious! I talked about my juice cleanse experience with my chiropractor today, and he said “The juice cleanse was successful for you because you are in the right mindset.” True, true, true.

I weighed myself this morning and looks like I have lost 7 lbs since last week; majority of it probably from the cleanse. Now I am slowly adding in food to my diet. Today is a salad day; tomorrow, I can include grains and legumes. And so on, so forth. Basically, I am resetting my taste buds and making sure I eat more greens and eat smaller portions. No need for any fad diets this time: Moderation is key!

In terms of fitness, I am focusing more on walking and yoga. I don’t have money to spare for a gym membership; besides, Denver has beautiful parks to walk about in, and I have the help of my friend, Jonathon, of Walk2Connect.

I am determined to lose the weight for my health this time. I’ve started tweeting about my health journey; if you want to follow along, follow the hashtag #hkhealth.

Hope you can join me on my journey!

health life reflection

Negativity on Social Networks & Seeking Help

Temperatures got you down? Don't fret!
Temperatures got you down? Don’t fret!

I woke up a few hours ago and was checking my Twitter feed, as usual. I kept coming across negative/grumpy posts from one user that I finally decided that I didn’t have to sit there and read this person’s negativity. I could simply unfollow.

The thought that crossed my mind though: I know quite a few people like that. They plaster themselves on social networks and constantly complain about how miserable they are, how much life sucks. This could all be taken as just “Oh, he’s a whiner.” or “Oh, she’s had a bad day.”

But what if these tweets, status updates, etc. are actually cries for help? What if, for these people, their lives TRULY suck?

I wouldn’t recommend leaving these people, but I would recommend suggesting to them to seek professional help. This recommendation is coming from myself, who has been in counseling for over five years. Am I seriously depressed all the time? No, but I get bouts of it. What I’ve noticed over the years is that, no matter how much I may try to avoid talk therapy, I need it, all the time. Yes, I can always talk about my sadness, my problems, with friends and family. They do care. But, since they are not psychologists or counselors, they can only do so much.

I’ve experienced this myself as well. Having a few colleagues over the years complain to me about how miserable they are, I found that their energy was draining all of mine. I wanted to help so badly, but I noticed that, after awhile, I was only talking to a wall that wouldn’t take any advice I’d give. I didn’t have any more resources to pull from to help the other party get out of their rut.

And that’s the thing. When these same individuals resort to complaining about life on social networks, it just makes things worse for the rest of us. We sit here, wanting to console our friends & family that are going through hard times, but after awhile, we can do no more. We can’t take care of everybody. We’re not all counselors or psychologists. If we’re true to ourselves and to our troubled loved ones, we would recommend seeking therapy.

Of course, in our society (the American society), talk about therapy and mental health is so taboo. But it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to feel ashamed that you’re seeking a psychologist’s help to get through your dark times. You’re helping yourself by doing this instead of wallowing away and avoiding it!

So, next time you see someone complaining about life on your social networks, give them a little nudge to perhaps seek talk therapy. They don’t need to be seriously, clinically depressed to seek that. It’ll make them feel better and more proactive about their life if they just go through a bit of talk therapy.


Daily Post Day 53: Showers or no showers

Korean-style Chinese food. Not related to this blog post obviously.

How long do you think you could go without a shower?

I’ve been without showers for up to a week or two in the past year. Not voluntarily though; more like, medical necessity (or just paranoia of opening up physical wounds?).

If you ask me how long I could go without showering voluntarily…only 2-3 days. Even with dry shampoo to freshen up my locks and baby wipes to wipe myself down during that time, I would feel quite gross by the second or third day.

I know, I know. In the olden days people used to shower only twice a year. And in some countries, showering is still not done quite so often. Perhaps it’s all just part of the way we’re brought up: we learn the norms of our society and we learn to abide by them.

health life list memories

Week in Review: Last Quarter & Running to Freedom

I can’t believe it’s already October; memories continue to flash through my mind of all that has happened in the past year. And now, here we are, on the cusp of entering 2011.

This week I’ve been working on more writing–various topics for clients. It’s good to see I’m getting some work in, especially doing what I love! But, of course, the pay could be better….

But it’s not always about the money, at least I try to not think about that aspect so much. This week I’ve also been out running more since I have new running shoes (see picture). I used to own a pair of pink shoes back in college but when I lost weight, the shoes ended up being too big (shoe size did shrink when I lost weight). When I first moved out here to San Francisco, I bought a new pair of running shoes then, but that pair has said its goodbyes after three years.

Seeing my new shoes sitting by my door sure makes me feel motivated to go running. Also,  I never realized before how liberating an outdoor run could be–I held back from running outdoors for a long time because I was afraid of being seen, of running alone (it’s hard for a woman to run outside alone, sadly). But, I finally decided to overcome this fear and just do it, because my indoor fitness routine wasn’t doing enough for me anymore.

Today is the start of my new 101 list in 1001 days, so I must complete my first task now: write a letter to myself to open on the last day of the journey, June 28, 2013. Should be an interesting letter.

#foodie health Japanese culture Japanese food list

100 Japanese Foods to Try

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog called Just Hungry, written by a Japanese expatriate living in Switzerland. I found her blog while searching for a recipe for 中華そば (Chinese Cold Noodle); anyway, today Maki has posted a long, interesting, and delicious-sounding list of Japanese foods that people should try. The list includes foods widely available throughout Japan with various price ranges. I thought I’d share the list here, but also link you guys to her blog as well. The blog is really handy in terms of Japanese food explanations and healthily adapted recipes.


P.S. I’ve highlighted the ones that I have tried so far, although there are a few I’m not sure about since I don’t have the kanji/explanations available.

A List of 100 Japanese Foods To Try At Least Once

  1. Properly washed and cooked, top quality new harvest white rice (shinmai)
  2. Freshly made tofu, as hiyayakko or yudofu
  3. Properly made misoshiru and osumashi
  4. Properly made homemade nukazuke
  5. Very fresh sanma (saury), sizzling hot from the grill, eaten with a drizzle of soy sauce and a mound of grated daikon radish
  6. Homemade umeboshi
  7. Freshly made, piping hot crispy tempura. I prefer vegetable tempura like shiso leaves, eggplant and sweet potato.
  8. A whole grilled wild matsutake
  9. Freshly made sobagaki with sobayu
  10. Mentaiko from Fukuoka, or tarako
  11. Onigiri with the three classic fillings: umeboshi, okaka, shiozaki
  12. Assorted fresh-as-possible sashimi
  13. Saba oshizushi
  14. Mugicha
  15. Kakifurai
  16. Morinaga High-Chew candy, grape flavor
  17. Karasumi
  18. A pot of oden, preferably with homemade components especially ganmodoki, boiled eggs and daikon radish
  19. Ika no shiokara
  20. Calpis
  21. Ankou nabe
  22. Unadon
  23. Komochi kombu or kazunoko
  24. Yamakake, either with maguro (red tuna) cubes or a raw egg
  25. Properly made gyokuro shincha
  26. Milky Candy
  27. Wanko soba
  28. Omuraisu with demi-glace sauce
  29. Handmade katayaki senbei
  30. Yohkan (yokan) from Toraya
  31. Ishi yakiimo – sweet potatoes cooked in hot stones, available from street vendor carts
  32. Natto
  33. Fresh seaweed sunomono (can also have some tako in it)
  34. Ikura or sujiko
  35. Tonkatsu
  36. Goma dofu
  37. Chawan mushi or tamago dofu – the same dish either piping hot or ice cold
  38. Freshly made mochi, with kinako and sugar, grated daikon and soy sauce or natto
  39. Gindara no kasuzuke
  40. Hoshigaki
  41. Inarizushi
  42. Chikuzen-ni
  43. Surume
  44. Yakinasu with grated ginger
  45. Tamago kake gohan
  46. Kabuki-age
  47. Nikujaga
  48. Spinach gomaae
  49. Fuki no tou
  50. Okonomiyaki
  51. Yakitori
  52. Ohagi
  53. Japanese style curry, with rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments
  54. Kenchinjiru
  55. Yakult
  56. Kakipea
  57. Takoyaki
  58. Sakura mochi
  59. Buta no kakuni
  60. Daigaku imo
  61. Kappa Ebisen
  62. Chicken tsukune
  63. Hakusaizuke
  64. Hayashi rice
  65. Goya champuruu
  66. Dorayaki
  67. Ochazuke
  68. Sakuma Drops
  69. Stewed kiriboshi daikon
  70. Takenoko gohan (or in fall, kuri gohan)
  71. Cream or potato korokke
  72. Fresh yuba
  73. Real ramen
  74. Monaka
  75. Ekiben of all kinds
  76. Edamame
  77. Chicken karaage
  78. Kuzumochi
  79. Mitarashi dango
  80. Konnyaku no dengaku
  81. Yukimi Daifuku
  82. Sukiyaki
  83. Nama yatsuhashi
  84. Panfried hanpen
  85. Nozawanazuke or Takanazuke
  86. Kiritanpo
  87. Amanatto
  88. Narazuke
  89. Aji no himono
  90. Baby Ramen
  91. Kobucha
  92. Kasutera
  93. Tazukuri
  94. Karintou
  95. Sauce Yakisoba
  96. Kamaboko
  97. Oyako donburi
  98. Atsuyaki tamago
  99. Kuri kinton
  100. Japanese potato salad

(Source: Just Hungry)