2009년 12월 23일 수요일

Green Power

Do you know the power of green veggies? It's called enzymes, folks! Ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, I've been on a quest to find a way to incorporate better nutrition into my life. I doubt I will become a vegan or a vegetarian, because my love of meat is too great. =P HOWEVER, I have reduced my intake of meat by a lot.

Yesterday was the first time I had red meat in over four weeks. For a person who used to eat beef at every meal...this is quite an accomplishment. =P

I went and purchased a juicer and have been juicing fresh GREENS daily. I force everyone to drink it. =) What do I juice? Everything I can think of! I just go to the grocery store once a week and stock up on as many organic veggies as I can fit into my fridge. I forgot to buy some garlic and ginger, but I plan to add those as well in the upcoming weeks.

A little wheatgrass...I'm going to try and find a way to grow this off our balcony because it's a pain trying to store all this in the fridge and I don't feel like going to Whole Foods each and every day. It's REALLY difficult (near impossible) trying to juice wheatgrass using a standard juicer, so I'm debating whether to purchase a wheatgrass juicer.

Some celery and carrots!


Lots of cucumber and broccoli!

And beautiful leafy kale~

Try it! I promise it doesn't taste bad. Throw in some blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries if you want some sweetness. ;)

2009년 12월 18일 금요일

Kimchi Dwenjang Soondooboo Jjigae - (김치 된장 순두부 찌개)

So what do I eat? Lots of vegetables! For breakfast I drink green juice and have some FOCC with bread. For lunch, I usually eat a big salad with every vegetable you can think of. Then for dinner, I eat lots of tofu and steamed veggies. Here's a kimchi/dwenjang jjigae hybrid I made today.

I used my mom's homemade kimchi. She doesn't use any sugar or MSG and I asked her to refrain from using fish sauce as well. =P This is about 1/4 cup of kimchi with 5-6 TB of kimchi juice.

I then added 1 TB minced garlic, 3 TB sesame oil, 1 TB of red pepper powder and 1 Tb dwenjang. Mix it up!

I added two tubes of soft tofu. NO WATER. The water will start escaping from the tofu so wait and add a little water later if you feel you need it.

I had some shitake mushrooms and white mushrooms in the fridge, so I threw those in as well.

I love mushrooms! I eat lots of mushrooms and tofu every day!

Let it cook for about 20 minutes and you're ready to serve! =) I didn't have any green onions, but if I did I would have added some on top to finish it off.

2009년 12월 15일 화요일


Ever since I was diagnosed with ACC and heard that ACC has a propensity to come back even years after initial treatment, I started researching ways to prevent cancer. There are so many websites out there that have people who claim that they even CURED themselves of cancer by using alternative methods.

Now, I'm ALL ABOUT STATISTICS and TESTS and STUDIES so I would never try and go cure myself of cancer. However, I AM very interested in learning about ways to prevent this cancer from ever coming back.

The Budwig Diet was mentioned in every cancer nutrition book I read. It sounds so simple, but the science behind it is amazing. I don't want to go into every detail of the diet, but if you are curious and want to read about it, you can go here...

Budwig Diet - This DR was nominated for seven Nobel Peace Prizes.

Note: Dr. Johanna Budwig lived until she was 93 years young and she followed her own diet. She has been quoted in numerous publications as saying that DR's in the US came to meet with her in Europe, but when she refused to help them work on a patent for her diet (how in the world do you patent cottage cheese and flaxseed oil???) these DR's huffed and went back home. No money, no publicity?

The recipe below is supposed to be eaten every day. I'm going to try my BEST to do so for at least a few years.

Please note that this is only a part of her diet. The rest of her diet plan is pretty strict on what you can and cannot eat, as are most of the Anti-Cancer diet books I've read.

The mixture is simple. Go to any Whole Foods and buy some fresh flaxseed oil (in the refrigerated section next to the vitamins) and some organic cottage cheese.

I called Barleans direct at (800) 445-3529 and ordered the flaxseed oil in bulk. The nice lady on the phone told me that the one with High Lignans was better for cancer patients (though it tastes a lot stronger than the normal one) because it included the skin of the flaxseed as well. The price of a 32 oz. bottle was about $23. That's pretty great considering this 14 oz. bottle was $20 at Whole Foods. =P

I read the review of several people and most agreed that the Barlean's oil tasted the best. I have been using the oil to cook with as well.

Add 2/3 cups of cottage cheese to a bowl...

Then add 6 TB of flaxseed oil. Looks kinda gross, huh? =P

I threw in some blueberries (which are also cancer fighting!) for some sweetness...

Mix it in a bowl and then stick it into a blender. I was later told that this mixture needs to be thoroughly blended together.

I use a bullet mixer.

I spread it on some gluten-free bread to make it easier to eat. =) Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before I took a bite!

2009년 12월 12일 토요일

Kadok Island

We got a new teacher last week, from Canada, who seems pretty cool and so we went out to celebrate. This is what the table setting looked like, from a good sashimi restaurant in Dongnae. Sashimi is called hue in Korean. Moving down to coastal Busan, I thought I'd be eating a lot more fish in meals but it's been pretty much the same as in Seoul.

I first thought this was some sort of pork from Jeju. It's actually whale meat and I only found out after eating it. I'm guessing it was from a pilot whale or something because the skin was so dark. It tasted fairly average, kind of like fishy beef. Not something worth going out of your way for.

These are some weird fish with big heads that you can eat. They're always curled up like cats and I have no idea what their English name is.

On the weekend we went to Kadok Island, the third biggest island in Korea. It's really close to Busan and you can get to the ferry terminal by bus. The bus will take you about half an hour and the ferry less than 10 minutes to the island.

Oh and here's some other food that I ate that same day. This is gulgukbab, an oyster rice soup that is easy to find in Busan, but less common elsewhere. For about $4 you can get a bowl of it, steaming hot with seaweed and fresh oysters. Good breakfast food.

Back to the ferry now. The ride only cost us about $3 and was fairly pleasant. The ferries constantly travel around the island during the day because there isn't a bus service. When you're tired of one part of the island, you just wait at the ferry-stop and hop on. These little kids were fighting over a bag of chips.

The island is about fifteen square kilometres and has small settlements around the place. It has it's own police station and high school, but there weren't many people out and about. We decided to have a walk up the mountain and see what was on the other side.

There seemed to be a well-established farming community, with a lot of these rice steps built into the mountain. Farming on mountains is a little bit strange coming from Australia because everything back home is very flat.

Here's a dilapidated house that looked like it had been more recently used for a soju party. I find abandoned places like these to be pretty interesting because I always wonder what makes someone pack up and leave a house behind. Would they lock the doors?

A nice artificial lake built into the mountain and unfit for swimming. Come to think about it, I haven't been swimming since I came to Korea.

We wound our way up a mountain path that turned out to be a few kilometres long. It was a pleasant walk and we had plenty of time. Those tarpaulins in the distance are covering firewood that people have chopped and left around the place.

So we got over one small mountain and the view was picturesque. Well worth the effort. There are islands in many of the harbour areas around southern Korea and most of them are heavily forested and uninhabited.

An eunheng namu, or 'bank tree'. These trees are golden yellow and seem to shed all of their leaves very suddenly, over the space of a few days.

The fallout is a little more appreciable up close. I wish my bank balance looked like this.

In the second small town we reached, we boarded the ferry again. We were actually running down the mountain to get on it and it took off, but then an island ajumma yelled and waved her hands and it pulled back in for us. Nice people. The boat stopped at another town before heading back to Busan.

It doesn't look like it, but that day was freezing cold. I had a really thick jacket on and my hands in my pockets were still frozen. I was also surprised to see ice on the roads of the island, at 3pm in the afternoon. There's never ice on the roads back home, so my Korean friend had difficulty understanding my excitement. I guess my Aussie temperament is a little too mild for these arctic outposts.

Now we're back in Busan, ferreting down a tunnel at high speeds. Koreans like to build lots of tunnels because there are lots of mountains.

This is what a DVD bang, or DVD room looks like on the inside. You can find these all over Korea. There are twenty or so rooms on average and you just pick a movie and watch it in private on a projection screen. The couches are pretty comfortable and so these are popular places for young couples to get snuggly.

This is from a Japanese restaurant in the Kyungsan area. I tend to prefer the Japanese style sushi over Korean kimbap because the rice is flavoured with vinegar. Also on the table is some seafood soup, udon noodles and off the photo on the left is some eel rice. Eel tastes a bit fatty and is an interesting alternative to fish.

It appears that some people love eye. I really like the ambiguity in this message. There's all sorts of interesting Konglish around the place, especially on people's shirts. But much of that passes by in the heat of the moment and I can't photograph it. Best to come over and see it for yourself.

See you all again after christmas! I'm working christmas and new years day (it isn't regarded as anything particularly special here), but still having a celebration or two. Should be good. Cyas!

A Weekend in Japan Part II

After finishing up a good day in Kobe, where we also happened to find a place that was giving away free hot tea, we took the railway back to Osaka.

Japan Railways sell passenger tickets at discounted prices if you buy a few thousand of them at once. This has spawned a small industry of special retailers who buy large quantities and resell them to the public at a small profit. We bought our tickets from this shop and they turned out to be about 2 dollars cheaper per ticket than buying them from the vending machines.

When we got back we were feeling a little tired, so Jimmy invited us back to his place to chill out for a while. We drank some coffee and played a pretty cool game with dice on the coffee table. I didn't think any sort of dice game could be entertaining, but this one was addictive. The object of the game was to make decisions and reach a certain score. I know what you're thinking, but seriously, it was good.

What would a trip to Japan be without sashimi? After some initial confusion about where to meet, we found my sister and she took us to a local sushi bar. The menu items were written all over the walls and the place was nice and cozy.

Well all I can say is that you haven't eaten sashimi until you've eaten it in Japan. The flavours of the meat are more complex and refreshing than anything I've tried overseas. The portions are cut much thicker than I expected and the wasabi is freshly ground. Chongmal masshissoyo! (very delicious!). On the table there we have some soft squid and huge slices of salmon, a popular favourite. The cups in the photo were bigger than normal, so just compare the pieces to the chopsticks.

The next day we went to Hep 5, a landmark shopping centre with a ferris wheel. Upon entering the building you're greeted by this rather confronting whale sculpture hanging from the ceiling.

This is the outdoor ferris wheel they have at Hep 5. It's base is on the seventh floor of the shopping centre and has great views of the city.

The wheel is always continuously in motion, unlike the wheels in Australia that stop to let passengers on and off. It turns slowly enough, but if you leave something in one of the carriages, you have to wait until it comes around again.

Here is the amazing insect-woman that accompanied me on my journey. In this photo we were walking in the streets between Hep 5 and the Umeda Sky Building.

And here's the Umeda Sky Building. We saw it from the ferris wheel and just kept walking along the streets towards it until it got bigger. At the top it has a 'floating garden observatory' where you can see panoramic views of the city. Those two ramps leading into the centre circle are escalators up to it.

Luckily for us it was a nice clear day. Heights have always freaked me out a little.

Osaka is a picturesque, low-lying metropolis with a lot of bridges. Unlike Busan, the mountains are far off in the distance. We stayed here for a good hour or two before moving on. In the cafeteria we ate ice-cream sandwiches.

After that we went to Osaka Castle, a big historical site in the middle of the city. The area is surrounded by a moat and used to protect a small citadel. Now it's a popular tourist attraction and has good examples of Japanese architecture.

Inside the castle grounds is a lot of good landscaping and the trees are well kept. I noticed around the streets that the trees are all neatly pruned in general.

There were a few restaurants and souvenir shops in the castle grounds, so we bought some more takoyaki. They're very tasty and Heather had a dream about them when she came back.

Here's the main building in Osaka castle. The palace was built in 1585 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi as a fortified residence, but has been knocked down several times in history. The most recent restoration was in 1997 and the results are quite stunning.

The building is now a multi-level museum with interactive displays about the area's history. This is the view from the top floor over the castle grounds. The golden fish tails on the roof are plated with 7 coats of gold leaf. They'd make a nice souvenir. There were more gold decorations on the hand rails, but they were shielded with acrylic.

After that we couldn't resist stopping off for some more sashimi. Here you can see eel on the left and o-toro (tuna belly) on the right. It's the kind of food you daydream about the day after you've eaten it.

Then we went out to dinner with my sister again. On the right is Emiko, a sociable Japanese English teacher who likes to play and talk about tennis. Apparently, her tennis coach is very good and Emiko feels somewhat inferior to his lofty abilities.

That night we ate at Izakaya, a popular type of Japanese drinking establishment. They served us a lot of fried foods with dipping sauce that were done very well. Normally a lot of deep fried food gets sickening pretty quickly, but the batter style was very light. In this picture you can see some deep fried eggplant kushiyaki on skewers.

Here we are on the final night in Japan. I really liked the sake here, it tasted a little floral or something. The waitress took this photo of us.

After going to a small bar and having some drinks, Heather and I went back to the hotel to pack up for Korea. The hotel was called Il Cuore and was in the middle of Namba, which was a great location. I'd recommend this place if you're planning on staying in Osaka for a few nights.

We missed our first flight back to Korea because we misjudged the subway timetable. Luckily the helpful airport workers booked us onto the next flight a couple of hours later, so we weren't late for work. What a tragedy that would have been.

As I was saying, both Korea and Japan have their fair share of good and bad points. Both times I've visited Japan, I've found it to be cleaner and more modern than Korea, but Korean people in general seem to be more straight forward. As the bartender in Zero put it, 'Japan is like a fantasy land, while Korea has clarity'. Both countries have fascinating cultures and much to be proud of.