Okonomiyaki

It’s part of the $120 food challenge

This is a Japanese pancake that is very cheap and easy to do. All you need is some shredded cabbage and other ingredients such as bacon, onion, carrots and flour and egg. Oh, you’ll also need a frying pan.

We normally buy onions in bulk and we have some at home. The cabbage is about $3-$4 per kg. You can do a vegetarian one or you can do a meat one.

Recipe courtesy of Seonkyoung Longest

Normally outside its about $10-$15 per person but at home it would be half that.


The four big food trends of 2020

We talk about these trends whilst we are in lockdown due to the Coronavirus. These trends are all about living healthy and being healthy.

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Japanese inspired meals

Even though the Tokyo Olympic games have been postponed to 2021 we are still eating a lot of Japanese inspired food in the home. Think bento boxes and sushi. Japan has the lowest rates of obesity so we should learn a thing or two from them and we can adapt them to our diet. They educate their people when they are really young and from there they adopt a healthy eating regimen.

You can make your own Japanese food. Simply buy all the things that you need from the Asian grocer if you are allowed to go there (due to lockdown laws) and then get cooking.

Plant based

A lot of restaurants have one or two dishes that are plant-based and there are many blogs that are doing the same too. Coles and Woolworths have a few new items which are plant-based to make switching to that lifestyle easier for people. In the coming months, you’ll see more plant-based foods at your local supermarkets and restaurants as they try to embrace the healthier side of things.

Plastic and going waste free

A lot of countries are going waste-free. More and more supermarkets and places are going plastic bag free now and have been doing so from late last year. Reusable bags cost $0.15 each at Coles if you forget to bring one.

But now people are remembering to bring their own.

Cannabis craze.

That is the CBD oil that is widely talked about. You’ll see it more on the market in the US rather than Australia. There is a little bit of research on CBD oil but its not much and we are not fans of this craze for various reasons. One, being healthy living.


Daiso

Daiso is a Japanese department store and they are all over Melbourne. Almost everything here is $2.80. Well almost everything.

Their range changes from month to month but the categories of things they sell is the same.

You can buy your kitchenware and your grocery needs. Here they have a range of assorted items from Japan. I tried a milk tea and it was a little too earl grey for me. This tea reminds me of earl grey and Teh tarik. I have also tried their range of Japanese snacks and it was all good.

I have also bought their cute notebooks and kitchenware from here. No problems. One time I have bought a drink bottle and it lasted a while. I also buy headphones and a usb charger whilst there.

I think that during the Coronavirus times they will stay open purely because people need their homewares and foods as well as things for DIY.


Bento boxes and mindful eating.

I got this idea from Fit Bottomed girls who say that this practice is healthy.

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What is Mindful eating?

Mindful eating is about eating slow and enjoying food. It allows us to be present and enjoy food. We can tune into hunger and fullness cues. In today’s world we eat at an incredibly fast pace as we rush to get to meetings and other things on time. As a result we don’t feel full and we eat more than what we should.

A bento box is the best idea as the Japanese have been doing it for a long time now.

How we eat determines how we feel according to Kinsho Kitchen. We eat for health and pleasure rather than just for survival.

So what is a bento box?

A bento box is a Japanese style lunchbox where you can fit small amounts of food into each compartment and it is beautifully presented. We eat with our eyes.

A bento box can teach you about portion control.

Here a bento box has all your five food groups in there and some of them come with miso soup. Bento boxes allow us to savour food and eat slowly. We also can taste the different flavours of the food. Bento boxes allow us to feel some appreciation towards the food that we eat.

Bring what you have experienced from this bento meal (ie: curiosity, breath, and awareness) into your next meal and eat it slowly. No need to rush.


6 essential stores that students should know about

Students need to go shopping but want to do it on a budget? Here’s where you can find low prices in the city!

Daiso

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This store is all over the city and in all major shopping centres in Melbourne. We love them for their cheap household goods and foods. Here you can find their cheap kitchen goods for as little as $2.80. All of their goods are imported from Japan. In fact you might be able to find udon noodles there amongst other Japanese things

Some of the things are $3.80 and higher though.

My Chemist

Here they have discounted goods and perfumes. It’s important for a student to be healthy whilst they study. You can even get your prescription filled here.

Tokyo Hometown

This is a Japanese grocery store which has all the Japanese ingredients. They have all the healthy ingredients for a great cook up. Many students like to do Shabu Shabu in the winter and this place has all. They also have a great range of snacks; perfect for that study session.

The store is located in Melbourne’s CBD near RMIT.

Woolworths

Here they have everything you need under one roof and their specials change weekly. They also have a cafe in some of their stores so you can buy coffee cheaply. They are based all over Melbourne and if you sign up for their rewards card you can get things even cheaper

Chemist Warehouse

This place is located all over Melbourne and they usually have big brand sales. You can buy everything that you need for low prices everyday. If you go to the gym, you can usually buy your protein powders and snacks for cheap (usually under $5).

Target

Target sells everything cheaply. From snacks to fitbits and other fitness toys and clothing, you’ll find it here. And they are not just in the city, they are also in the suburbs.


Sushi Sushi and why it is not good for you to eat it all the time

We talk about the good and bad about Sushi Sushi.

Sushi Sushi is a franchise which focuses on just sushi. Some of them have hot meals. But I have never tried their bento boxes.

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Like most franchises, they are only there to make money. Hence some of their stores are never clean. And if you have allergies well forget it as most of their gluten-free sushi would be mixed in with their not gluten-free sushi.

They are usually in most shopping centers where the food court is. So don’t count on too much cleanliness and seating

The sushi there is not great. There are a couple of them which I don’t mind going to with my Herbalife, but other than that the rice is always bad and its made badly.

Normally I go there on a voucher. And if you buy the Entertainment book from us there is a buy one get one free voucher.

Some of the Sushi Sushi are just ok. The one in QV is not bad. I have been to the one in Melbourne Central and that was pretty terrible.

The QV one has seating and its not in the food court which is awesome.

In 2015 when I went to the Sushi Sushi they were pretty bad. But four years later and standards have lifted a bit. If I want to go there I would go when they had just opened as their sushi has been freshly made.

I don’t expect good things from the wait staff. I never have.

Now they also have loyalty clubs. Four years ago this never happened.

They do have a good range of sushi though. They have a lot of varieties depending on what you like. The price of the rolls ranges from $3-$4 per roll and the sushi boxes from $10-$14. The deluxe boxes don’t have a lot of sushi in there for that price.

Don’t go to Sushi sushi all the time as its a waste for your money. You could go sometime though

Do you have any good or bad stories about Sushi Sushi? If so let us know in the comments below!


What foods do students eat for breakfast

Students eating breakfast is an important part of the day and without it, you cannot function well. More like it, you’ll find yourself asleep during lectures. As students, you might not have a lot of cash or time to whip up a good meal.

Its the same for the office workers who might not have time to eat breakfast or might not have the money to buy something on the way. And no our meals do not include McDonald’s as that is very unhealthy. Nor do they include Starbucks

Eating breakfast helps you to lose weight and keep it off for a long time.

So we asked some of the students and here is what they say:

Katherine: I do love my cereals and milk as I believe calcium is a good thing and does not make you fat. It is good for your bones. You can buy a 2L bottle of milk for about $4-$5 at the supermarket. Right now I am loving Freedom foods cereals as they have lots of iron and protein.

Oh I also love oats in the morning as they are full of fiber

You can also check out my Instagram for all the breakfast ideas.

Oh and I enjoy a good cup of tea to keep me hydrated in the morning. I do not have to rush anywhere!

I love going to the Queen Victoria Markets and eating all the different foods and coffee that they have.

Diana: I love my Herbalife shakes and you’ll find me making a smoothie in the morning as I generally don’t have much time for breakfast. I’ll usually put whatever fruits I have at home in there. Banana is usually a great idea.

Max: I sleep late so I usually have brunch of eggs and bacon with toast at home. I usually buy the eggs and bacon when they are on special or if I have time I will visit the markets on a Saturday

Akira: I love my Herbalife shakes in the morning. Because I am a cleaner at night, I sleep until very late in the morning.

And I also love other foods. I can eat anything from Nasi Lemak to a Japanese breakfast with rice.

Claudia: I love Chinese and Japanese breakfasts as they are full of rice and portion sizes. Here we can buy everything to make these breakfasts from the market! And the fish is very fresh at the market.

If you have any more favorite breakfasts please leave a comment.

 

 


Health and the media

I wanted to talk about this topic as it affects many people and it is one of my assignment topics for an online course that I am doing.

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Health has been featured a lot in the mainstream media and there are a lot of findings online. But some of them are a scam. The diet ads online are a scam.

Many young people spend their time online looking for health information instead of going to see a doctor. According to the Ted talk, about 90% of people look for information online. But some of that information can be wrong. A lot of things on the web can be wrong.

Too much time spent on social media can be damaging a young person’s health.  Young people should spend time outdoors and be socialising rather than indoors and being unhappy with the way that they look. That’s how suicide happens

The influence of Instagram is huge. Many people talk about fitspo and people are struggling to keep up. They see these beautiful models and they want to be just like them.

Guys you don’t have to be as skinny as them to be healthy and happy. All you need is a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle.


The Welcome Dinner project by Akira

Now I love to cook and cook lots I have. Therefore the Welcome Dinner Project is a great idea. It was started a few years ago by Ellis when she wanted to welcome new people into her home and her Australian way of life. Others were looking for the same thing. Hence that is how the Welcome Dinner Project started.

 

And it is successful. So successful that they have organised events in Footscray and Carlton. I went to the one in Carlton and I didn’t know that I had to buy food (as I thought that my partner owed me food and thought that they were coming). Normally I would have cooked a Japanese dish but bread and dip had to make do instead.

It is like this: everyone brings a dish from their home country and then they explain what is in that dish and the story behind it. It starts off with a few get to know you activities, then introductions to the food brought and then eating.

Everyone sits at a large communual table and these events attract 20-30 people, most of which are migrants but there are some that are students.

And sharing. I love Meld community’s nasi lemak. I have always been a fan of this dish since they introduced it a few years back at one of their twirlight market days. And Malaysia house makes it for their Hari Raya sometimes.

And then there is dessert for those that love to bake. But for some people they can’t have too much sugar. The facilitators will bring the drinks and the snacks such as popcorn and pretzels.

I enjoy trying everyone’s dishes and do sign up to the Welcome dinner project here. Its free to join it. But the Welcome dinner project would love a donation to cover the cost of these events.


Lets Move: Japan Festival 2016

This festival was special as it was the 17th year of the sister cities- Matsudo and Australia. Here there were not as many people as the last time and it was in the same place as always- the Box Hill Town Hall.

It was $5 to get in and people with kimonos on came for free. The money went to the Kumamoto earthquake relief as well as to the organisers to pay the rent for this place.

Here this was on a sunny Sunday where the kids enjoyed playing games. Inside there was taiko drumming and the usual education stalls. The TAFE carpark was really busy at 12:30pm but everything was so overpriced that I just settled on takoyaki and donuts from the donut van.

There was a kimono contest and the best outfit won. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to put one on properly as there are so many ties.

Here we were able to vote on the best artworks done by school students and the best one wins a great prize.

Seeing the Japanese trains were great fun. I wish Melbourne had the same sort

What would you like to see at next year’s festival? Drop me a line below.