Green Tea Living

20 Jan

Apple shared some interesting tips for your health and beauty. 🙂
===Apple’s post starts from here===

Recently I’ve been reading a book by Toshimi A. Kayaki. The title is “Green Tea Living”, and in it, she introduces a ‘traditional Japanese way of life’, which I find really interesting.

The book is sectioned into 10 chapters, in which each chapter focuses on a different topic of living, for example, health, beauty, cuisine, household management, recycling, and so on. She emphasises a lot on eco-living and eating properly, which I really like.

I will just share 3 of my favourite Green Tea Living tips from her book. I actually have more than 3 favourite tips from her book, so I really do recommend this book to you if you are interested in Japanese way of life.

Let me start with one of her tips in her book on “How to Make Delicious Green Tea”.

1. Pour hot water into each cup that you will serve. This helps to cool down the boiling water. The best temperature for tea is 158°~176°F (70°~80°C).

2. Put the tea leaves into the teapot. Use about 2 tablespoons (7g) of tea for five people.

3. Transfer the hot water from the cups into the teapot.

4. Wait 30 seconds.

5. Fill up each cup evenly, little by little, until the pot is empty. Pour back and forth between the cups to get the same flavour in each one. The tea should not be too strong or too weak.

So, with the knowledge of how to make delicious green tea now, let’s go on to her helpful tips on “Green Tea Living”!

1. Green Tea Baths for Clean, Smooth Skin

Five years ago, I heard from my friend about green tea bathing.

I was incredulous. Put green tea in the bathwater? Then my friend rolled up her sleeves and pulled up her pant legs and showed me her skin. It was silky smooth. She told me she had dry, flaky skin for many years and tried many remedies, but the green tea bathing had cleaned and smoothed her skin.

I found out that green tea has a lot of vitamins – five times more than limeon, in fact. The catechins in green tea kill surface bacteria, and help to clear up damaged skin.

A German study found that an extract of green tea mixed with filtered hot water applied to the skin three times a day for 10 minutes helped repair skin damaged by radiation therapy in sixteen to twenty-two days.

Here’s how to make a Green Tea Bath:

1. Put 1 ounce (30g) of green tea in a small cotton bag.

2. Tie the bag and put it in boiling water for 15 minutes.

3. Pour the hot green tea water into your bath and relax.

2. Olive Oil For Dry Skin

Olive oil is not only for cooking. It’s good for your skin, too.

I use it to remove makeup before going to sleep at night. It completely cleans off the makeup and moisturises the skin. I usually don’t have to use anything else. I can just then go to bed.

By the way, there is a reason that olive oil will help your skin. Olive oil has Vitamins A, E, and D. These nutrients change dry skin to healthy, moisturised skin.

Olive oil was used for cosmetic care as long as 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. One reason is that it lasts a very long time without spoiling. The Egyptians used it to protect against sun burn, and you can use it for the same purpose or, even better, use it to remove foundation or eye make-up. Always use extra virgin olive oil, which is thick and rich.

3. Bring a Lunch Box to Work or School

If you are concerned about your weight and health, I recommend that you take a lunch box with you. Carrying a lunch box is going green!

School lunch in America is totally different from that in Japan. American parents pack a sandwich, an apple or some other fruit, and packaged snacks in a brown bag, so kids can throw it away when they’re finished.

Japanese kids carry a bento box in a wrapping cloth (furoshiki) to school. The wrapping cloth can be used as a place mat. Inside the bento box are usually foods of five different colours: white for rice, noodles, or bread (carbohydrates); green for vegetables (vitamins); yellow for a fried or boiled egg (lipids); red for a sour plum (minerals); and brown for the fish or meat (protein). The colour coordination means a balanced diet, and the lunch box is not something to be thrown away. It is kept and reused every day for a long time.

From this daily practice, kids learn about a balanced diet and not to waste.

Taking a lunch box can save you a lot of money, too. If you usually spend $15 including a drink at a restaurant every day, monthly you spend over $330. Yearly, that’s about $4,000. This is big money for lunch. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s very hard to monitor the ingredients of a restaurant order. Carrying your own lunch box and managing what and how much you put in it is better for your health and your budget.

Actually, there is one more tip that I’d really like to share. It’s something Kirin had written before. So I’ll just share one last tip here. If you really like what you are reading so far, you should really read the book! ^^

Bonus Tip: Fill Up 80%

I was watching a TV talk show in Japan. The guest was Dr. Hinohara.

He is ninety-seven years old and still practicing medicine, writing books and a regular column, and making appearances on TV and radio shows. He conducts seminars not only in Japan but in other countries. He came to San Francisco when he was ninety-five. He is a very busy doctor. He said his schedule is filled up ten years from now.

One of his health secrets is sleep, but not long hours of sleep – only 4 hours a night. He says people misunderstand. “Long life means long living, not sleeping.”

“Even with 4 hours of sleep, I am not tired! I want more time!”

He also said when he has a meal, he eats until his stomach feels a little more than half full, and he doesn’t get hungry until it’s time for the next meal.

(If you concentrate on work, you will forget about being hungry. Life is about doing what you love!) He said for elderly people, eating to about 60% full is best, while most adults need to fill up their stomachs to about 80%.

Hara 8 bunme, isha irazu
Fill your stomach 80%, and then you don’t need a doctor.

The Japanese say this all the time. This means before you feel completely full, stop eating and make space for some green tea, and you will finish up full and satisfied with your meal. The food is digested easily, and you won’t get an upset stomach.

Some medical researchers wanted to check out this old wisdom, so they performed an experiment with mice. They kept the mice 80% full of food every day. They figured out the mice had more energy than overly fed mice, and they had less chance of getting cancer.

Your body makes many new cells every day and changes them. If you use up energy, the bad cells naturally die (apoptosis). This results in less cancer of the liver, colon, and breasts.

Actually this traditional way of eating can help you deal with the rising cost of food.

For example, if you paid $10 for meat and vegetables last year, and now you have to pay $12, don’t complain! This is a chance to improve your health and slim down. Just keep spending $10 like last year. Of course, you get 20% less food, but that’s OK.

Your stomach is 80% full, you’ll have more energy, and soon you’ll look good too.

What do you think? Are these tips helpful and interesting to you? Do you have your own interesting ‘Japanese way of living’ tips to share?


28 Responses to “Green Tea Living”

  1. Patty January 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I've always drank Green Tea because of the anti-oxident and help digestive. But lately, I'm obssessed with green tea baking, it really open another door for a lot of possibilities. Thanks for posting this!

    • Apple January 21, 2011 at 6:45 am #

      green tea baking! Sounds absolutely delicious!! You should share some recipes sometime! ^^

  2. Kels January 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    This sounds like a lovely read!
    I am thinking about trying out the green tea bath – sounds kooky, but definitely orginal.

  3. pippo January 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Eating 80% I have also heard called "eating samurai style"

    • kirin January 21, 2011 at 6:06 am #

      lol first time to hear that! Very nice! 😉

    • Apple January 21, 2011 at 6:45 am #

      Wow! Haha! I didn't know that too! Thanks for sharing~ ^^

  4. Jeanne Platt January 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Green Tea Living, Apple! We love this charming little book. Glad to see it on Tokyo Kawaii, etc. What a fun blog! Keep up the good work.

    All the best,
    Jeanne Platt

    Jeanne Platt
    Stone Bridge Press
    Berkeley, CA 94706
    Follow us on Twitter at
    "Like" us on Facebook at

  5. Amanda January 21, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    I don't know about in America, but in Australia most kids use lunch boxes, not paper bags. ^_^ I'm sure lots of people in America use lunch boxes too because then your lunch doesn't get squished by your school books!

    I have no idea how Dr Hinohara gets by on just 4 hours sleep. I'm sure it's not normal!!

    • kirin January 21, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      Oh, then lunch box is available at many countries today. 🙂 That's good.
      I tried to live with 4 hours sleep but I failed completely. haha!

  6. kirin January 21, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Thank you, Apple.
    I was almost forgetting how good green tea was. I tend to have Hojicha (roasted green tea) more often, but now I feel like having more green tea again. ^ ^

    • Apple January 21, 2011 at 6:49 am #

      Haha! Yea! I used to drink green tea to lose weight and it worked really well~ ^^

  7. Lisa January 21, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    I've heard about using olive oil as both a make up remover as well as make up brush cleaner, and I've liked using it that way too! Olive oil seems to be a lot more expensive in Japan though! o.O
    I'll definitely try the green tea bath thing this weekend!!

    • kirin January 21, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      Me too! I'll definitely try the green tea bath!! 😀

    • Apple January 22, 2011 at 3:07 am #

      waaaa~ I wish i can try the green tea bath, but I don't have a bathtub over here. -_-" ahhh!! 😦 ok! try it and tell me how it is ok!! ^^ i want to know~

      and i just bought a bottle of organic extra virgin olive oil. Love it! Usually, I use DHC's Olive Oil Makeup Remover, and for that same amount of oil, my bottle of olive oil is S$20 cheaper. So I'm a very very happy girl now. hahaha!

  8. Sui January 21, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Nice tips! Thanks for the recommendation, I might just get this next time I'm in a bookstore.

    Ah, green tea bath. I think I will try it since I've had dry skin ailment for years now~ (I've tried moisturizers, etc but that only goes so far right? lol)

    • Apple January 22, 2011 at 3:09 am #

      Ah! Do try it! I personally haven't tried this before. Anyway, for dry skin, there are other very good natural beauty recipes in the book that I feel like trying too…. I have hands that are too hard and dry for a girl! T^T

  9. cinnamon_girl January 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Apple! Thank you for this interesting post! I'm going to try both the green tea bath and using olive oil as make-up remover! 🙂
    But I just wonder, that do you recommend cold pressed olive oil or it doesn't matter? I heard, that cold pressed olive oil is better to consume.
    I agree with what that Japanese doctor says: We must fill our lives with doing something and actually "live", but I can hardly believe his 4 hour sleeping method. I think there are various factors which can influence someone's sleeping needs.
    For instance I just wonder, that would it work the same way for those who are doing physical work every day and for those who are sitting in the office whole day long as well?
    My other question is, that when does he go to sleep and how fast can he fall asleep?
    Plus as far as I know elder people don't require long hours to sleep. Does he give info about when did he actually start to sleep only for 4 hours? And does he take a nap during daytime?
    Sorry for asking too many questions, but when I hear someone saying, that 4 hours sleep should be enough, I think there should be other details concerning that.
    I hope you understood what I wanted to say. *not an English-speaker* ^^"
    And don't worry if you can't reply to my questions. I just wonder if you or Kirin heard this doctor saying anything about those things what I mentioned above.

    @ Kirin: I like hojicha too! ^o^

    • Apple January 22, 2011 at 3:21 am #

      Halo~~!!! ^^ Hehe! Thank you for liking this post! ^^ I just bought my bottle of olive oil as make-up remover~! ^^ I did a little bit of research and apparently people just use extra virgin olive oil. I didn't know there was cold-pressed olive oil before I bought mine. So after you asked, I went to google for it. and I think it's better to use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil! Here, you can take a look at this link. 🙂

      As for the 4-hours sleep, I personally don't really agree with it too. Like you said, elderly people don't need much sleep. I will definitely feel tired if I only sleep 4 hours a day. My minimum is at least 5.5h. I posted that tip though because I like the tip about eating only 80% full, and drinking green tea to fill yourself up. I tend to overeat, but now with this in mind, I will eat slowly, and before I feel full, I drink water, and I would feel just fine. Overeating usually makes me feel really sick. So… I want to train myself to eat correctly from now on. 🙂

      Anyway, hope I've at least helped you in the topic of olive oil anyway! ^^

      • cinnamon_girl January 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

        Thank you for the link! 🙂
        Well, I tried the olive oil yesterday and it completely removed my eyeshadow, but it hardly removed my mascara. Maybe I should use more oil on my cotton pad? :S

        Yea, I understand you mentioned that doctor in connection with eating only 80%. Sorry for too much "off" questions. 😛 But I'm still curious, so I'm going to check more info about him. 😉

        In my family I was taught not to drink during the meal and right after the meal, because it will dilute my digestive juices and it's not good for my digestion. My mum said it is best not to drink anything for at least an hour after a meal. And to avoid being thirsty during the meal, she suggested to drink 1 glass of water 1 hour before my meal.
        I don't know if it's true or not, but seems pretty logic to me, that's why I try to follow this way.
        I don't know if drinking hot green tea after a meal would cause the same effect (dilute digestive juices).

  10. kirin January 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm #


    I'm sorry I just noticed I forgot to mention that this post was yours at the beginning of the post when I released it.
    >"< (Now I added that part.)

    • Apple January 22, 2011 at 3:22 am #

      No problem!! And thank you!! ^^

  11. Salma January 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Green tea is a wonderful natural element for being healthy in general 🙂 I even like it more than brown tea.

    • kirin January 24, 2011 at 5:02 am #

      Sounds like green tea is loved by so many people around the world, wow! 😀

  12. Ariel February 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    hmmm.. I wonder if I can give myself a green tea facial 😛
    Thanks for the post! I loveeee this site. 🙂

  13. Akaito_san October 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Ahh tea i would like to enjoy that…

  14. Marvin Hale April 5, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I knew green tea was good as a drink, but as something to bathe in as well? If it's really that beneficial, then I might as well have the entire house plumbing reworked through a giant tank of green tea.

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