Tag Archives: japan

Fabulous Adventure Vacations with Just Enough R&R


There are three kinds of people in the world: those who take a vacation to totally relax. They go to place like Hawaii and Mexico to stay at an all inclusive resort to golf or spend time in the spa. A vacation is a way to get away from the world.

Then there are those who see a vacation as an adventure. It’s a chance to hike a mountain pass, to camp on the ridge and see the sunrise. A vacation is a chance to breath deep as they plunge into new experiences and to see what their bodies can do.

Then there are people like me who want a little bit of both. I want a good hike in the morning, followed by an amazing meal of local cuisine. I don’t mind getting up for sunrise as long as there is a cup of tea and a comfortable bed waiting for me at the end of the day. I want to get away from my every day, but I still want to experience what the world has to offer.  If that describes you too, I’ve got some great ideas for a fit adventure followed by a little R&R.


Hood to Coast Relay: Here’s your chance to see that amazing sunrise! This 198-mile relay race takes you from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. It’s the longest relay foot race in the world, starting early on Friday morning and lasting well into Saturday. Stay the night at the Shilo Inn in Seaside after the race to rest up, have a good meal, and catch the shuttle service back to Portland on Sunday. (more…)

6 Health Habits to Take Home from Japan


Recently I was  lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:



Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!


Kevin Griffin Lost 110 Pounds in One year When He Immersed Himself in Japanese Culture

Not long ago, Kevin Griffin worked in Wichita, Kansas. In fact, his office wasn’t far from Diets In Review. We knew Kevin was a great guy, but we didn’t realize what an internal struggle he was having with his weight. When he decided to take a job in Tokyo, Japan, we said goodbye and wished him well. When we learned what a positive impact the Japanese culture was having on him, including a 110 pound weight loss in just one year, and a total loss of 160 pounds, we knew he needed to be our next True Weight Loss Story. Recently we spoke to Kevin about his 6,000 mile journey.

Kevin Griffin Before and After

Looking back, Kevin said he realizes his weight gain in college was directly related to a sedentary lifestyle, late night eating and soda addiction. “It seems impossible now, but when I think back, I must have been drinking 30–40 ounces of soda a day,” he explained. “Cheap summer drinks and open soda fountains made it something I didn’t even think twice about.” He knew he needed to lose weight but the initial thought was too intimidating, that is until a friend started to shed pounds. ” My friend was very much like me, and seeing his results really made me believe it was possible. . . I knew I had to do it, and my friend showed me it really could happen,” Kevin said. By counting calories, he noticed an encouraging 40 pound reduction, then, he received a job offer that would take him out of the United States and out of his comfort zone.


Pepsi Special Aims to Make the Japanese Skinnier with a High-Fiber Additive

Pepsi-Cola isn’t exactly in a healthy industry. Over the past years, big soda companies like Pepsi and Coke have been scrutinized for contributing to the obesity epidemic. In light of this, Pepsi just announced a new fiber-infused flavor, “Pepsi Special,” that claims to reduce fat levels in the body. The product is only sold in Japan.

Pepsi Special contains dextrin, “a type of ‘functional fiber,'” explained our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD. “This is a fiber isolated or extracted from a plant (or, in some cases, manufactured) added to a food. Dextrins are true soluble fibers that can help improve digestion. They act as ‘prebiotics,’ undigested fibers that feed the friendly bacteria in the colon.”

Benefits of dextrin include stabilizing blood glucose, regulating insulin, reducing risk of heart disease, and reducing cholesterol and fat cell levels in the body. Dextrin can be found in glue products as well, but it’s not safe to consume in that form. There are a number of foods and medications that contain dextrin and have for about half a century, notes Hartley. “Most people eat some dextrins every day without noticing a change in weight,” she said.

Will drinking the new Pepsi product make you skinnier? Probably not.

“Pepsi Special is a gimmick. It is just another product to increase market share,” calls out Hartley. (more…)

Nike Lets You Run and Raise Money With Donate Japan Campaign

Nike has launched “Donate Japan,” a campaign designed to encourage people to log the kilometers they are running to raise money for the relief efforts in Japan after the March earthquake and tsunami devastated the country.

The way the campaign works is runners make a small donation between $5-25 to the American Red Cross and then use Nike Plus to log as many kilometers of running as you can over the course of 30 days. Many companies and individuals have teamed up with Nike and will donate money for each kilometer you run.

Nike Plus is advanced technology that makes cardiovascular training more enjoyable, competitive, and motivating. The program keeps track of your distance, best times, calories burned, and length of trainings, and also offers integrated online challenges, like “Donate Japan,” where you can compete with friends, family, or strangers all over the world.


Japanese Food Banned in Wake of Radiation Fears

Damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan

Besides the immediate health effects that the Japanese nuclear disaster may have on people within close proximity of the plant, there are concerns as to how the radiation could spread beyond the borders of Japan. While much of the worries have been assuaged by experts, there is one that is being watched closely: the food supply in Japan.

Hong Kong has suspended all imported food from five prefectures in Japan (prefectures in Japan are governed jurisdictions that are larger than cities, towns, and villages.).

India has ordered radiation tests at its ports and airports of all Japanese food originating after March 11 when the earthquake occurred.

So, how does all this play into the food imported to the U.S.? First off, less than four percent of all food imported into the U.S. comes from Japan. Even so, that is enough to concern anyone if that food is contaminated with radiation.


McDonald’s “Big America” Is a Hit in Japan

McDonalds in Japan

McDonald's Texas 2 Burger

Although Japan is often associated with long lives and a healthy diet, McDonald’s is fattening its menu with burgers named after places in America. The burgers are topped with unconventional ingredients and clock in with extremely high calorie counts.

The Texas 2 burger features chili, three buns, cheese, bacon and totals 645 calories. The Miami burger has 557 calories and contains tortilla chips. The Manhattan burger consists of pastrami and mozzarella cheese stacked on top of the beef patty.

Although McDonald’s has tried to give customers healthier options in the United States, the chain restaurant is trying to capitalize on image of “Big America” in Japan. The burgers are only available for a limited time, and many Japanese want to try them before they’re gone.


Heidi Klum Launches Trendy Active Wear Line for New Balance

By Alicia Rose

The newest trend to hit lifestyle branding comes from supermodel and established fashion designer Heidi Klum, who has partnered with New Balance to launch her new fashion line Heidi Klum for New Balance. The active wear collection launched on October 7, 2023 on Amazon.com and not only includes standard pants, hoodies and sweatshirts, but versatile sweaters, leggings, tunics, woven and knit tops, and dresses.

“Heidi Klum for New Balance combines New Balance’s expertise in fit and form with Heidi’s commitment to sophisticated style to create a versatile collection for women that is both everyday wearable and luxurious,” said Kerry Kligerman, Executive Vice President of Apparel for New Balance.

Ranging in price from $32-$168 (US dollars) the collection pieces are available in America, Japan, United Kingdom and Klum’s home country of Germany, and she says she is excited to launch a collection that is easy to shop and stylish to wear. (more…)

5 Odd Fast Foods from Around the Globe

Most of us know about the entertaining world of strange language translation goofs, particularly from Asian languages into English. There are entire websites dedicated to the phenomenon, and I think they are generally done with good-natured humor and not condescension or racism.

But, can food concepts get lost in translation? Maybe you can just chalk it up to cultural differences, but either way, the following fast food items from around the globe are sure to raise a few eyebrows, if not turn a few stomachs.

(Note:the list is largely skewed towards McDonald’s food. It’s not a conspiracy on my part, just how the cards fell in my research on global fast food items.)

1. Winter Double King Pizza at Pizza Hut (Japan)

I’ve heard of some strange pizza topping, but this one from Pizza Hut Japan takes the cake. With the cryptically named Winter Double King Pizza, you get crab, shrimp, beef, broccoli, corn, onion, mayonnaise, and potato. What do you think? Did they leave anything out? (more…)

Subway Japan Grows Lettuce in Store

You might think of Subway as a more health-conscious take on fast food, but you may not think of them as being on the cutting edge. Subway Japan has opened a new store, reports AsiaJin,  called the “Subway Yasai Lab Maru Building Store” in central Tokyo. Translation? The unique store has a “Vegetable Lab” that grows fresh lettuce for its sandwiches on the spot. All the lettuces are hydroponically cultivated and pesticide free, taking local eating to the next level. (more…)

Japan Cracks Down on Health Problems

Obesity isn’t just an American problem. We often think that we are the sole carrier of the torch, but it’s a global problem. Mexico, Argentina, Egypt, and Greece are only a few countries that have overweight rates (a BMI greater than or equal to 25) nearing the 70 percent mark, according to the World Health Organization.asian girl

Japan isn’t just “the Land of the Rising Sun”… but health care costs as well. The country is taking extreme measures to curtail expenses. The thing that is confusing is they are near the bottom of any list I see ranking overweight countries (by BMI). They are 163rd on the World Health Organization’s list of overweight (22 percent of the population).

Nevertheless, Japan’s health care costs have ballooned by 68 percent between 1989 and 2006, to $370 billion a year. Without doing a thorough analysis of everything that may be causing this increase in cost, maybe 1 in 5 people being overweight is enough for government officials to take action. (more…)