Spring is definitely here in Tokyo. The temperatures are still somewhat variable, and it was quite cold last week and through the weekend, but this week has been much nicer. I have been taking advantage of the new spring weather by heading out to the park in the mid afternoon to do some reading in the sunshine. I’m clearly not the only one with this brilliant idea, as the park has been packed with local residents and playing children each time I’ve visited.
I’d been hearing for several days that the sakura (cherry blossoms) are in full bloom in specific parts of the city. Ours have been a little behind around here, but they are finally starting to open up. I predict that by the weekend they should be right around their peak. Just in time for hanami.
After my confession the other day about falling behind with the cleaning and cooking, I’ve been doing my best to get back on track. I went through the disaster zone that was my apartment yesterday and organized/tidied up as best I could, more thorough cleaning will follow. Cooking is still mostly centering around large batch comfort foods, but I have started to come up with a few ideas of foods I would like to make soon, so it seems like lack of creativity there might also be starting to pass.
In my efforts to get back on track, I decided early in the week that it would be a good time to do a bit of a modified fast or a detox to help regain some mental and physical clarity.
I haven’t talked about it at much here, but my nutrition took a slight hit from this whole earthquake and not working thing. Nothing major, but those of you who have been reading for a while or who know me in person are probably aware that I’m very organized with my food, especially during the week. I usually plan out and pack up all my meals for the day in advance (with the exception of dinner, which is planned half of the time and decided on the fly half of the time). Since I am currently in the midst of training to gain some muscle mass, I also pay quite a bit of attention to my macronutrient ratios to ensure I am getting enough protein and that I am eating at the right times.
For the first few days to a week after the quake, the planning thing, as well as the ratios, went right out the window. It just wasn’t on my priority list. Things improved after that, and I’ve still been eating quite healthy by normal standards, but in the last few weeks I feel that I have been eating just a bit too much for my current activity level and letting a little too much sugar creep in. Because of this I’ve been feeling slightly sluggish, lethargic, and have not been seeing the results of my training as much as I probably should be.
I used to do one-day fasts fairly regularly (every few months or so) up until a few years ago. I’ve always felt that they help me regain some mental clarity, get more in touch with my body, and help to reset my internal functions going forward. I also think that brief periods of strict adherence to very deliberate rules, be it though fasting or structured detoxing (like a no-sugar, no-grain detox), helps to reinforce my sense of self-control, and gives me boost of accomplishment; much in the same way that pushing through the last 10-15 minutes of a difficult run does.
Since I haven’t actually fasted in a while and had a group kick class on that day, I decided to go with a modified not-really-fasting type of fast. I decided to limit myself to liquids during the day, followed by a normal dinner after Eric got home. I ended up having two fruit and kefir smoothies for my main meals, and drinking a coconut water beverage that I’d found at Yamaya the day we stocked up on canned foods after the quake as a between meals snack. The coconut beverage sadly wasn’t pure coconut water, which I didn’t realize when I bought it. It had a bit of sugar and water added, but they were lower on the list ingredients, and it tasted alright overall.
For dinner I had pesto mashed potatoes, a few of the remaining pesto chicken mini-meatballs, and some roasted puchi-vale, which is a kale-brussels sprouts hybrid I’ve had a few times before here in Tokyo and LOVE. I hadn’t planned dessert, but in the end threw in some banana soft-serve to round out the meal.
In the end I ate just under 1200 calories on my ‘fast’, which is not drastically low, but, just like with a full fast it left me feeling very clean and refreshed. I’m not sure if it’s related, but that night, as well as the next, I fell asleep quicker than usual and slept like a baby.