Hey! Where's everybody been? Just kidding. Since I set up this blog, told everyone about it, and then preceded to abandon it for almost 5 months, I thought I'd better write something lest this page get sucked into never never land of the internet.
So, where I've been is at work. Yes, I got through my first semester at my new uni job. All in all it's pretty good; great boss, OK students, nice colleagues, and way cool subsidised apartment.
I can see the mountains from my front window, something I always find comforting. Unfortunately, I've come to realise that you can't really get to them without a day's cycle which leaves you too knackered to climb round in them. But I'm working on that. It takes time to find out all your options when you move to a new place and I'm patient.
Being able to cycle to work, the shops, and the local watering hole is a great plus round here. It's made me a bit lazy though. Back in Osaka, my commute consisted of long, fast-paced walks to the trains, and loads of stair climbing in the stations every morning and evening. Now I can see that the lack of exercise has caught up with me when I wasn't looking. I was so busy and stressed with work, that must've been sitting all day and shovelling the cakes in and not even realising.
This called for drastic action. I put myself on my own vegetarian version of phase one of the South Beach Diet. Since I've been in Japan, I've been making an effort to try and eat a little fish, so I'm eating that too. I even got desperate enough with the monotony of fish, vegetable, fish, vegetable... to make an attempt at eating chicken. I WON'T be trying that again. It was totally traumatic and has sent me into a rage of being my former self. I've been delving into websites, blogs, and cookbooks, basically anything I can read about healthy vegetarian eating. It's all starting to come back and is as blinding as if it had just hit me in my face. I guess I was so caught up in work that I didn't notice what was happening to my clothes (i.e getting tighter and tighter), and then in my desperation stopped at nothing to rectify the situation quickly. Basically, I forgot who I was!
I'm working on reorganising my kitchen so that I am encouraged to cook healthy, delicious meals again rather than just see the difficulty of a small kitchen and run for the crappy Japanese takeaway joints. And, contrary to popular belief, in Japan they DO eat a lot of crap food. Mostly processed, fried stuff, with lots of 'hidden' sugar and salt just like the rest of us in the modern world. There are a few healthier things on offer in restaurants, but in general, healthy food has to be cooked in the home. And, also like the rest of us, some people are good at this, and others just get the convenient stuff. Super markets often have two full isles of two-minutes noodle packets (instant ramen)and I see poeple buying them by the trolley-full! And vegetables are eaten as a small portion to go with whatever meat you are eating. I full plate of luscious steamed veggies is pretty much unheard of.
I've also started exercising regularly. I walk/jog and or do yoga everyday now, and have been able to see the difference by keeping an exercise diary.When I look back at a couple of months ago, I can't believe how sedentary I was!
Current project is making my own tahini. I've only got a motar and pestle so it takes me a couple of days worth of grinding the sesame seeds. But, I did it once before and the resulting babaganouj was awesome! Ahhhhh, getting back to slow food.