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Improved Kotsuban Makura (pelvis pillow)

9 Dec

I’ve received many inquires and requests of purchase and shipment of Kotsuban Makura since I wrote the post about pelvis diet. I’ve already sold several pillows via FlutterScape while I was registered as a seller, but I had to decline all the requests since I quit the membership. Time has passed and nowadays FlutterScape also seems to have closed down before I knew.

Yet I still receive a few inquiries and purchase requests of the pelvis pillow once in a while.
I’ve wanted to write an updated post about it when I’m back from hiatus and now I’m finally doing this. 😀

In fact, the Kotsuban Makura (pelvis pillow) I introduced in the previous post was not very durable, which I found out some time later. The material was so weak that it could easily happen that the pillow ended up with making a hole that loses air. Actually that’s what happened to mine. (Sorry if that also happened to those who bought it from me. I of course wouldn’t have sold them if that had happened to me earlier. But it happened to me after a while, which was after I sold several pillows. 😦 )

Also as time passed, several people seemed to have gone through the same experience as mine, according to the reviews of the product. I think that’s why the maker started to make an upgraded version of Kotsuban Makura at a higher price. I bought it because I wanted to continue this diet. I felt clear difference between before and after in 2 weeks, but since the pillow had a hole, it went useless and my just-lie-down exercise has stopped since then. (My waist also went back! :S)

So this is a new version! (The cover of a book looks a bit different. I broke a box to make it less bulky. So this is a small instruction textbook that came along with the pillow.)

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Mirai Nikki

19 Jun

Apple shares a review on Mirai Nikki (JP anime). 🙂
===Apple’s post starts from here===

I have never written about any anime before because usually I don’t have the time to watch any anime, or if I do, I don’t have any time to write about it. ^^”

Mirai Nikki

Well, anyway, since I’m so free now, and I’ve just finished watching a rather exciting anime, I want to share with you what I’ve been watching and I hope you will watch it and discuss it with me. I’ve been pestering all my friends to watch it so that I can have someone to talk to about what they think. Hahaha!

Mirai Nikki 未来日記
(未来 mirai = Future; 日記 nikki = Diary)
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Once a day meal can rejuvenate humans?

7 Apr

My eyes were caught by a book titled like “Hunger makes humans healthier” in Japanese. I was so curious about it that I bought the book instantly. 😀

Can you believe this man is aged 56 or 57?
He is a doctor and he shares his knowledge from medical point of view that how human body can be healthier with small amount of food. He’s been practicing once a day meal instead of three (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for over 10 years and that is the key for the youth and health he maintains. He says in his book that he was fat and less energetic when he was 35.

Actually it was not the first time for me to see his book in a book store. I’ve been curious why he looks so young for his real age since I saw other one of his books some time ago. However, the title of this book was so intriguing! The subtitle says “Eat only 1 meal a day and you will grow 20 years younger!” OHHHH…it crossed my mind that I failed in the sleep less experiment a few years ago, but I felt like trying out what Dr. Nagumo suggests in his book and if I succeed in it, that means I can also sleep less hours and still feel great!

I’m still reading the book, so today is just an introduction. Eat less and we can live longer and healthier. We can stay younger, fit and toned. Maybe we can sleep less and feel more energetic. I also remembered it’s better to eat less when we catch a cold, because we can then save energy to cure the cold instead of using it for stomach to digest the food.

This post is to be continued. 😀
I hope I can copy Dr. Nagumo’s method. XD Can you live with only 1 meal a day in exchange for 20 years’ rejuvenation?

Lie down on the pelvis pillow and tone up your body!?

17 Dec

This may be one of the easiest diet methods or exercise. You simply lie down on the pelvis pillow for 3-5 minutes and your body line changes.

It’s called Kotsuban (=pelvis) Makura (=pillow) diet, or Nerudake (=Just-lie-down) diet. The red pillow comes with the mook (magazine-like book) and the whole thing costs 1050yen.

I’ve been using this pillow as instructed in the mook for about 2 weeks and I’ve already found the difference around my waist line!
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New Ghibli Movie: Kokuriko Zaka Kara (From Up on Poppy Hill)

22 Aug

This post is created by Apple and Kirin. It’s our collaboration post! 🙂
Apple’s part starts from here…

I just got to know from my friend that there is a new Ghibli movie! I didn’t know that! I’ve just searched for the trailer on Youtube and here it is! 🙂

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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?

The movie "Confessions" and thoughts

15 Dec

Apple watched a Japanese movie titled “Confessions” that is released Jun. 2010 in Japan and is on air now in Singapore. It’s directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, who is well-known from his great works such as “Kamikaze Girls” and “Memories of Matsuko”.

===Apple’s post starts from here===

I went to watch this movie yesterday.

What’s it about? Basically, it’s about a teacher’s revenge on her students who murdered her 4-year-old daughter.

Takako Matsu is Yoko Moriguchi, a middle school teacher. And she’s devastated after her daughter’s death. She serves her revenge cold and hard.

The reason why the title of the movie is Confessions is because the movie consists of ‘confessions’ from all parties involved. At the end of the whole movie, you get the complete truth of what really happened.

I just exchanged emails with Kirin about my thoughts after watching this movie, and we touched upon the topic of children/teenagers nowadays.

The movie is chilling to me because…
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