Back from the Dead

Back from the Dead

Winter is the season of death, and it was all I could do to survive this past one. Our compulsions to work and eat the way we do in warmer and healthier times always seems to conspire against us during the coldest months, leaving us sniffly, feverish and bedridden. I suppose either we choose rest or nature chooses it for us – or at least so it was for me in February, the worst part of the Tokyo winter. But from every death comes new life, and the opportunity for that life to be better than the one that preceded it. Eventually, though too late, I listened to the dictates…

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Thanksgiving, or Savage Blood Ritual

Thanksgiving, or Savage Blood Ritual

Thousands of years ago, to thank the gods for a bountiful harvest, men and women of ancient civilizations would march a newborn child up to an altar. After chanting some prayers they would carve into the child’s chest with an obsidian blade and withdraw her beating heart. If it pleased the gods they would have a greater chance of a future successful harvest, and would survive to sacrifice another helpless spark of consciousness the next year. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could evolve past such barbaric practices. Unfortunately in the many generations since that dark time we have only succeeded in altering the type of sacrifice we offer. Replace…

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The True Paris Attack Wake-up Call

The True Paris Attack Wake-up Call

Text: If you want to do something to actually prevent further outbreaks of violence such as occurred in Paris over the weekend, listen to this message. The ritual slaughter that took place last weekend at the hands of living beings that barely qualify as animals, much less humans, is a wake-up call. Most people rightly see it as such, but they are waking up to the wrong conclusions about what to do. Curbs on immigration, waging a war of retribution on some foreign and scattered target, increased security measures – none of these will work because none addresses any part of WHY this happened in the first place. The real…

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An Anton Cavka Story: The Power of Three

An Anton Cavka Story: The Power of Three

I was lucky to live my first 32 years without losing a friend to anything other than distance and diverging interests. That streak ended last weekend with the death of a great man, a great friend, Anton Cavka. Anton barged into my life through Pete, a mutual friend in the party circuit in Tokyo. Shotgunning beers in his Harajuku office/house is among my earliest, hazy memories of hanging out with him. I reveled in his stories of alcohol-fueled insanity, female conquest, and the legend of his right cross from God. He was loud, bold, but with the humility necessary to know he was not everything – in his own words,…

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Blue Belt Weekly: Satsumaimo Power Bread, Where are We Going?

Blue Belt Weekly: Satsumaimo Power Bread, Where are We Going?

This week in the blue belt life – new recipe up for my Satsumaimo Power Bread. Check it out, head to the Ginza Farmers Market (or your local farmers market) for ingredients, and whip up a batch this weekend. Recently I have been devoting time to putting up recipes I have found helpful in a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. I have no intention of making this into a recipe blog – why even try when there’s Thug Kitchen? But since I am eventually going to delve into a major problem humanity faces – our attachment to the religion of carnism – I feel it is important to give solutions to that problem…

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Blue Belt Weekly: Caribbean Bean Soup, Vegetarian Recipes

Blue Belt Weekly: Caribbean Bean Soup, Vegetarian Recipes

This week in the blue belt life – posted an awesome hearty soup recipe from 500 Vegan Dishes by Deborah Gray, updated the vegetarian recipes page, and added the Mizuna Mind Opener recipe in English. Still working on a template for recipes that looks good on mobile and that I can plug recipes into relatively quickly. We eat well in the blue belt household and it is only right for me to share in that bounty. So fire these recipes up, let me know what you think, and have a productive week ahead!

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What an Ichiman Gets You at the Ginza Farmers Market

What an Ichiman Gets You at the Ginza Farmers Market

Every weekend I visit the Ginza Farmers Market to stock up on the best produce in Tokyo and catch up with my friends at the market. Each visit is a ritual – in addition to getting outside and procuring fresh foods that will drive me toward greater health, I get to build community, interact with vendors, visitors and regular shoppers, and always learn something new, about the produce, the people, or a particular area of Japan. Selection at this market is generally much better than supermarkets, with hard-to-find items like kale, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash – to name a few I picked up today – available when in season.…

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The Ginza Farmers Market Series

The Ginza Farmers Market Series

On December 6, 2014 I shot the video for “A Day at the Ginza Farmers Market” and five interviews with the manager of the market and vendors. Last week I finally uploaded the last interview video, completing the series. The market is more vibrant than ever as education spreads on healthy dietary choices and sustainable farming practices. This market really is a one-stop shop for all your culinary needs – from staples like rice and pasta to fresh fruits and vegetables to free range organic eggs to specialty items like dried shiitake and various types of seaweed. I personally do fully half of my total shopping here, with the remaining…

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