Monday, January 31, 2011

I've Moved!

Please update my blog address to

Due to not have any more photo posting space on Blogger I've moved to Wordpress. So far I'm having a little tough time figuring out how to take full advantage of wordpress. Any Wordpress users with advice, please I'm all ears!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Australia Trip Day 3

Oh, dear I'm not sure I can finish posting all the holiday photos. Apparently, I'm totally out of photo space even though I've been shrinking my photos. Darn it! This may be the last post in awhile until I figure out a way to add more photos to the blog without having to pay for more space. Today I was only allowed 7 photos which only covers day 3 of our trip. The rest will have to wait.

Motozo was put on babysitting duties probably by me, but look at him...he looks so pleased and Amelie looks intrigued by whatever he's looking at on the PC. I love this pic!

Day 3 was barbecue day! After a bit of sweat the guys got the fire started on the veranda and I got busy chopping up veggies, skewering, and flavoring them. Lil took care of the meat and sweet potatoes.

Max was a barbecue pro slaving away outside in the heat and smoke. Sorry for the dark shades. I'm too lazy to adjust the photos.

Amelie did an excellent job being cute and entertaining. Look at her stretching her legs! haha

Time for the prawns and sweet potatoes. I didn't photograph the rest of themeat, but there was sausage and other red meat I think all enjoyed by everyone but myself.

The veggies got a little burnt, but I wasn't complaining. We enjoyed our delicious barbecue outside while talking about foreign places we'd like to live in. Thanks for all the work you guys did for us Max and Lil and sorry I broke not 1 but 2 wine glasses (all together 3 wine glasses at the end of the trip!)

After lunch I got a major craving for vegan ice-cream, so sis and I took a walk to the grocery store and picked up a chocolate and vanilla tub which we all enjoyed in the evening while watching an interesting French movie. I can't believe I didn't photograph the ice-cream! The vanilla ice-cream tasted pretty artificial, but being that I haven't had ice-cream in FOREVER I thought it was the most delicious thing. ha. The chocolate ice-cream tasted much better (less artificial) but I'm not a big fan of chocolate flavored ice-cream so it didn't do much for me.

Day 4: Wine tasting in Hunter Valley! Fingers crossed that I can figure out a way to post more photos or else this blog may just have to be abandoned! SOB Sob

Isn't my sister and her baby so cute!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Trip. Day 1 - 2

We are back in Tokyo from our wonderful 10 day trip to Australia. Although, slightly more tired then we left. Motozo and I never seem to learn and cram a bit too much into our holidays. Or perhaps the over night flight took more out of us then we expected and it carried over throughout the trip. With dark circles under our eyes, we reminisce of our fabulous holiday with loads and loads of pictures! I'm planning to break it up into 2 day posts rather then combine all the photos into one album. I think its more fun to to see photos with a little story behind it.

Many hugs and kisses to my dear sister Lilia for hosting us at her place! Maxim, thanks for adjusting the TV for the sports channel probably more times then you'd have liked and special thanks to Amelie for being her perfect happy self. I miss my little niece to bits already!
We did a lot in the few days there, but the best thing for me was spending time with my sister and having long talks together. I wish you lived closer!

Going back to day 1. Lots of waiting and sitting on our butts. Motozo eagerly waiting for the bus to the airport.

Getting a little impatient. Waiting at the airport to board our plane. There's pros and cons for an overnight flight. But basically plane rides are kind of rough for me. I hardly sleep and food is absolutely horrible. I packed myself fruits, nuts etc, but upon arriving in Syd I had to promptly throw them away before going through customs because of Aus's strict rules. I was very sad to depart from my bag of dates.

The dates were soon forgotten after arriving at my sisters and greeted by her husband Maxim and their adorable and beautiful child Amelie! Words can not describe how lovely she is!

Volki, was not too happy with our visit which meant he was banned from our room downstairs due to my cat allergies and the poor dear seems to have some stomach issue that has him vomiting randomly.The handsome cat was bit on the thin side and did not seem himself at all. Age must be taking a toll on him. I hope he gets better soon!

Aw, too sweet! You can see where Amelie gets her eyes. Despite being really tired, I felt revived after seeing my sister and Amelie that we ended up talking for a few hours outside on their veranda before taking a nap. Amelie is not too sure about me yet, but she warmed up soon enough.

After waking up from my nap we went grocery shopping and I ooed and ahhed at all the things that are non existent in Japan.We loaded up on tons of fruits (a whole box of mango's and cherries), veggies, and other goodies.

Dinner was delicious and simple. I don't remember exactly, but I'm sure dinner was followed by cherries and mango's.

Day 2: Woke up really late at 12pm! I guess were still on Japan time which would be 10AM. I felt I could have slept longer, but the sun was calling me out for a run. I ran around their block 7xs which was almost exactly 1k and finished up 3k on a treadmill in the air conditioned gym. It felt great to exercise and I finally felt like my semi normal self.

Motozo wanted to go to the beach so we packed ourselves in the over sized van that we rented and drove to Manly Beach.

Beautiful beach with a nice shaded sea walk to walk on. Motozo was in beach heaven, but food was on our minds. We went to a nice sea food restaurant with out door seating.

I had bruschetta and a salad that wasn't special enough to photograph, but I was satisfied.

Moto and his prawns.

 Lil and Max's sea food platter. This thing was huge!

With tummy's full we went down to the beach. Moto tested out the water and wasn't too sure how wet he wanted to get.

Time to take couple photos.

We took a nice walk and rewarded ourselves with ice-cream. It was a pleasant day! Perfect weather with a nice cool breeze and lovely company. 

And that's a very simple and brief description of our first 2 days. I must brave the cold now and get a run in. How funny that just a few days ago I was running outside in shorts and sleeveless shirts. I now need to bundle up to stay warm.
Stay tuned for day 3-4.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holiday To Australia

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go to Australia!
YAY! I'm too excited! Were visiting my sister and her family in Australia for the next 10 days!
Starting off first in Sydney then going down to Melbourne to watch the Australian Open TENNIS! woohoo!
I'm looking forward to warm/hot air, meeting my sister, her husband, and most of all my niece Amelie! Hopefully, I'll still be able to get in a few quality runs, but I'm guessing we'll be doing more photo taking, picnics, long talks with sis, and some beach lounging. I can't wait!

It'll most likely be dead silent around here until I come back and upload photos.

In other news, I'm teaching a new yoga class from tomorrow morning! Every Thursday morning now I'll have another class. As much as I love teaching Yoga for Runners, I'm really looking forward to teaching a higher level class. I'm planning a grounding practice tomorrow with lots of balancing postures.

Things I hope to accomplish before our 8PM flight tomorrow.
  • Teach an awesome yoga class.
  • Get in at least a 10k run. Or some sort of exercise other then the morning yoga.
  • Either juice all my greens or make a HUGE smoothie so no greens go to waste.
  • Make sure I get to hubby's office by 3:30pm 
Once I meet hubby and were on the airport bus, I can relax and my holiday starts :-).

Now I must do a little prep for my class tomorrow and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

See you all in 2 weeks or so.

Much love.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Homemade Raw Almond Butter

I did it! I made raw almond butter! I did some research on the easiest way to make it and I decided I'm not going to add any sweetener or oil etc. I'm just going to keep it simple for my first attempt at making almond butter.
It was SO easy! Required some patience standing in the kitchen for 20mins working my food processor till it got hot and tired. But it worked and I now have fabulous almond butter that I'm madly in love with!

This is definetely my favorite way to eat almonds now.

Before I get into the whole butter making process I wanted to show the awesome Engrish on my almond bag. Hehe, that got me laughing anyway.

Lets get started. All I needed was my food processor and something to scrap down the sides with.
Dumped a cup of almonds into the processor and admired its pure raw form. Seriously, toasted salted nuts are TOTALLY different from raw. Although I still eat toasted/salted nuts, I'm starting to prefer them raw.

Time to get processing. I have to press the lid down to get it moving. Its a bit of a pain. One day I'll buy them fancy Cuisine processors. But for now, this little guy is serving me just fine!

Step one. Process almonds to a powder. I was only slightly tempted to abandon the butter and instead make cookies with my almond flour. I'm glad I continued with the butter.

After 5 minutes, things started looking promising! Things are clumping together! 

Even better! Occasionally, I stopped to scrap down the sides.

At this point, my processor is fogging up and the sides are very warm. But magic happens! I have a smooth paste baby! 

Just a couple more minutes to get it as smooth as possible. It was SO worth spending 20mins over! 

YAY! About 3/4 cups worth. It should last me for a couple of days. 

Getting super snap happy here.The photos do not do the real color of the butter justice! Its a lighter brown shade

I could not wait to test it out. Perfect with apples! The butter itself is a little bitter because I didn't add anything, but its perfect with a sweet fruit.  This has been my go-to snack for the pass 2 days! I'm definitely going to making this regularly. Way cheaper then buying store bought almond butter and something about making my own makes me feel very accomplished!

Ooo, now I'm thinking.....cashew butter, walnut butter, macadamia butter....:)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Breakfast Toppings & Raw Cookies

Today I decided to jazz up my green smoothie! I wanted a little crunch/chew, but I also wanted my greens. Easy! Pour my drink in a bowl, add some fun toppings, and enjoy with a spoon.

Organic corn flakes (don't shoot! I know corn flakes are considered empty calories, but at least they are organic and sugar free), unsweetened coconut shreds, and cacao nibs.

YUM, YUM, and oh, so fun! I loved eating breakfast with a spoon. I know I'll be doing this regularly. Oo, my mind is buzzing with topping ideas!

I realized a few days ago that I haven't made a raw dessert in sometime. I have raw almonds in my cupboards that magically have gone untouched for over a month. This is amazing people! I'm more likely to eat nuts by the handful then wait to use it in a recipe. Something about almonds though....lately I haven't been so excited about them.  I find them a little too hard on the jaw. Maybe I should blame it on all these smoothies that are giving me no jaw exercise. Should I be concerned that only 2-3 almonds is enough to make my jaw tired?

Anyway, it was time I used them. Whats a jaw friendly way to eat almonds? Processed almonds to a fine powder and make into cookies :). Oh, yeah!
These were the best raw almond cookies I've made up until now! Coconut oil and cinnamon makes everything taste good. EVERYTHING!

I should have waited to take photos in the morning to get natural light, but I couldn't wait to dig into these as soon as they hardened, so kitchen lightening will have to suffice.

I admit, I went a little over board with the coconut oil. It ended up being a bit of waste as the oil was oozing out of the dough while I was forming the cookies. I squeezed some oil out because almonds are oily as is, but the coconut oil makes everything harden beautifully in the fridge! Oh, and did I mention it also makes everything taste good?

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (I'd make these again with only 1 or 3/4 tbsp)
  • dash of salt
 Processed the first 3 ingredients in a food processor until everything was very fine. Had to stop and scrap down the sides occasionally.  I wanted my almonds pretty smooth so I processed for a couple of minutes. Added the rest of the ingredients and process to mix. It could have easily been mixed by hand as well. I tested the "dough" by pinching it with my fingers. I know its ready when it sticks together.
Formed into misshapen cookies. I actually wanted balls, but that wasn't working out for me and I was too impatient to let it sit in the fridge for a couple of minutes to harden.
After forming cookies, I placed them into the freezer for around 30mins while we ate dinner. I transferred the cookies to the fridge as they were already pretty hard at this point.

MMMM........cinnamon almond coconut cookies. DIVINE! I loved the taste the raisins gave off without being overly sweet.  My next challenge is to use the rest of my almonds to make almond butter!

Wish me luck!

New Years Recap

 Five days after New Years I finally decide its about time I get around to blogging about what we did. I had some trouble uploading photos and I'm feeling mighty lazy these days, so sorry the photos are pretty crap.

For New Years Eve a friend invited Moto and I to celebrate at their house, followed by a countdown at Shibuya crossing. For the occasion I baked some sweet potato biscuits and made a huge salad. The biscuits turned out more cookie like, but there wasn't a crumb left at the end of the evening, so I'm presuming everyone enjoyed them. :)

There were about 20+  people at Mary's place and after dinner we piled into her living room with our beverages of choice and started a game of.....I have no idea what the game is called.

Sticky paper is plastered on everyone's forehead and you have to guess who you are. Bob Dylan took forever to figure out who he was! He came so close to guessing right and then suddenly he'd choose a another musicians name that started with a B & D. It was hilarious! I am absolutely the worse person at this game! I'm terrible at remembering celebrities names and for some reason I always get someone I'm not familiar with. I got Speed Racer and I still have no idea who Speedy is? Anyone care to explain? You can tell I didn't grow up watching a lot of TV.

After a couple hours of that, it was time to go to Shibuya. We made it just in time before 12AM, but there was no countdown. Instead we ran across Shibuya Scramble each time the light turned green. You'd get about 2 meters before you're smack stuck between thousands of people who are also running across the street for no other reason than just to run across the street. When the lights turn red the police frantically start blowing their whistles ordering everyone to go back to the sidewalks. It was fun, dangerous, and crazy!

Tons of police buses and more then a couple of arrests were made. One guy was dressed only in a speedo and the police took him away for not being properly dressed. ha.

Moto's awesome photography skills after beer and champagne!  There were a lot of people so photo taking was pretty challenging with or without alcohol. After we got tired of running into crowds of people we made our way to a bar. I was too tired to do much photo taking, but I enjoyed my half priced drinks and made our way home around 2:30AM. Exhausted! I some how managed to wake up early the next morning for a run and yoga. A good way to detox and start the year fresh that's for sure!

Sunday morning I was ready to take it easy! Grabbed a simple breakfast and parked myself infront of the TV to watch Hakone Ekiden.

The absolutely best way to start the New Years in my opinon - watch people run on TV for 6 hours straight! Oh, for 2 days as well. Monday morning Motozo and I did the same thing.

It was a very interesting race between Waseda and Toyo. Waseda, the team I was rooting for, won in the end. YAY! The last time Waseda won was 13 years ago, so I was very happy for them!

By the way, for the runners in Japan. If you're ever up in Hakone, go visit the Hakone Ekiden Museum!