As a lot of you may know I recently took a trip to Japan for vacation. There were many highlights and high points about the trip. My wife and I had an amazing experience but I only want to touch on a couple of highlights right now. If you want to know more feel free to ask. My focus lately (with exception to moving into the new space) has been nutrition and everything food related after I completed my PN1 certification. So naturally, that’s what I wanted to speak about here.
Right from the get-go were were thrown right into the culture and hustle and bustle of life in Japan. Tokyo to be more specific, the countries largest city. Home to upwards of 40 something MILLION people (depending on how you look at it), you have to assume that it’s a busy place with a lot going on. Landing late on Thursday night we didn’t have too much time to really get over the anxiety of traveling to a foreign place. Waking up on Friday morning though, that was all put to rest when we came down for breakfast.
We were welcomed with smiling, friendly faces and a menu that was foreign to us, as was everything else here. However, it was written in English so we were able to read it. At the top of the menu was “Traditional Japanese Breakfast” with a few descriptors and at the bottom was “Traditional Western Breakfast” with a few descriptors. It might have read “Traditional Eastern Breakfast”, I forget what direction they recognize us coming from, but anyway. We looked across the table at each other and I said “When in Japan, do as the Japanese I guess”. So we both dove right in off the bat and started our adventures in traditional Japanese cuisine.
What came to the table is pictured here. But to describe anything that may not be recognizable: front and center grilled fish mackerel I think, going clockwise is rice of course, poached/almost raw egg, tofu and soy sauce, green tea/water, fermented bean (I forget what type - very interesting but good), miso soup, and oh, I almost forgot the pickled something and fermented plum with the fish.
HUGE breakfast! I know that was we thought, too. But we ate the WHOLE DAMN THING! I have to admit though, at first I was like “shit, fish for breakfast? I don’t know how this is going to go”. Then my GI tracts went “Hey bro, this is basically dinner for us, sack up and just eat it!”, so I did.
Thought I might feel full, never did. Thought I might not agree with fish for breakfast, but I did. Wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after eating all that new stuff, felt F’ing great! Not only was the quality of the food spot on but the execution of the preparation was spot on as well. Fresh and delicious. We found this to be true for the entire time we were there and in all the different places we visited. The food in Japan, for us anyway, was Next Level. A few things that we noticed with almost all the meals we had: lots of pickled and fermented items, soup usually miso all the time, proteins, fruits and veggies galore, carbohydrate = rice. So call it a symptom of jet lag but I doubt it, that breakfast was awesome and made me feel that way. Everything nutritious, nothing “bad”, just clean wholesome quality food. No processed crap. Don’t get me wrong, did we eat huge bowls of ramen with salty and fatty broth laden with noodles? HELL YEAH that shit is the bomb and it’s vacation of course, we indulged a little. The amount of care and attention and the quality ingredients that go into the ramen, even though it might not be the best thing to have everyday, it’s still kind of good for you in a way.
We really need to start taking a look at what we are doing to ourselves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, good wholesome quality foods can do wonders for you and your health.
Again, I could go on but I won’t. My point being that a whole country and culture has figured out a way to eat healthily, and it shows! I could probably count on one hand the amount of obese people that I saw, and even then it was probably a sumo guy or a tourist, so that doesn’t really count. Don’t get me wrong it’s not perfect, but they are doing something right. They value the food they eat and they also value the quality of the food they eat. That seems to be a cultural norm across the board. It was very interesting and eye opening to see how things are different here in the US. Convenience, processed, quick foods are all too common. We really need to start taking a look at what we are doing to ourselves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, good wholesome quality foods can do wonders for you and your health. I believe that it’s something we can all do and have access to.
I know it’s not always easy to know what to eat, or when to eat, or how to cook certain things, etc, etc. Yes, this is my shameless plug. Let me know, I can help if you truly want to change. If a whole country can adopt certain habits, so can you. There's more to come about all my nutrition stuff. In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have, quick question, let’s meet for an hour, let’s do this for 6 months “I’m In!” I’m game to help in either scenario.
I’ll leave you with this last little story. We had heard in Japan that 7/11, yes the convenience store, the same one that we have around here in the states, has really good food. Of course we had to put this to the test. So we had a lunch from 7Eleven (I think that’s the proper way to write it). It was actually awesome, fresh, tasty, varied selection and a total quality meal. I would stack it against and even pick that food against most of the places around here that I would go for lunch. Yes it was that good. Crazy to think, I know.
Anyway, good to be back and looking forward to working with you guys more on some of this stuff. Eat Good!