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Running in Tokyo/Japan - Marathon/Clubs/Track Races


A talk about this with Owain inspired me to start this forum. People who know me also know that diet is one of my main concerns with regard to being a successful age-group runner. I have been running injury-free for more than 20 years, and I think one of the reasons is my diet. One more facto I would like to mention is sufficient sleep and my practice of Tai Chi (Chinese martial arts), but these will not be topic of this forum. Owain mentioned that he had recently included Korean mixed grains into his diet, they are available at most supermarkets and are the equivalent to the Japanese "mugi" or "jusankokumai" which you can sometimes even order at family restaurants. As you may know, I run a business selling grain mills (http://www.hikiki-organic-label.jp/), but fortunately, you don't have to buy an espensive grain mill to healthy grains. An easy way is to boil them and have them with rice or porridge. Or you can try to grind them in your mixer, if you have one, then soak them in yoghurt for 20 min.to maximum 8 hours, and have them with fruit or more yoghurt. As opposed to milk, yoghurt will prevent bacteria because of it's acids, if you don't have yoghurt, well, just use water and keep the soaking time short.
This was my little bit of advice for today, I will continue with recipes and update you on the not always runner-friendly food I encounter when travelling. The picture shows my "Mexican" breakfast, well, that's definitely not on my list of recommendations. I will look out for those magic Tarahumara grains!

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Now I am staying at the Youth Hostel in Mexico City, and I am surprised how good the food is! Every morning Muesli and fruit, but I still miss the whole-wheat bread. Great are the "fibritos" available at the Mexican health-food shops, like the Australian Weetabix, but more delicious!

Today I would like to introduce my whole-grain pancake, one of my favourite runner's foods. As opposed to the industrially produced white toast on the picture above, this is the real stuff! I use 50% whole wheat and 50% brown rice, gind it in my grain-mill, add soy-milk (for vegans) or milk and eggs, mix the whole thing thoroughly,and fry it in a pan. A bit of oil may be needed depending on what kind of pan you use.

These pancakes can serve as a base for many dishes, for example:
Mexican: Add Guacamole (mashed Avocado with spices and cream cheese)
Thai: Add vegetables/salad and spicy Thai-sauce
French: Add fruits and whipped cream as for crepes
Italian: Add cheese, bacon, tomato, anything that goes on a Pizza
Every post gets healthier! This time, it's the simplest health-food you can get. Lots of fiber, carbs and minerals. Throw a few cups of whole-wheat into a fry pan. Fry until they pop, add vegetable salt, finished! great snack with beer, can easily be carried in a pet-bottle and added to anything to increase fiber intake. Whole wheat is available at Windy Hilltop Farm, one kg for 250Yen (yes, so cheap! But you have to pay shipping, so, order a lot!).Windy Hilltop Farm

Another great healthy snack is my homemade Okara cookies. They are made from freshly ground flour, partly rice, partly wheat, Okara (the stuff that is left when you make tofu, available at the tofu shop), mashed bananas and have prunes inside! You can bake them in any oven or oven-toaster. Will also post a video about it soon!

Hey Juergen. Forgot to tell you that I enjoyed the healthy instant curries you got for us. Thanks again!

We have been eating a lot of good, healthy stuff lately, including chia gel! Not sure if you have tried it yet, but it's good stuff. You no doubt read about it Born to Run. While I haven't run more than 15 miles at a time, I do feel it helps a lot on really hot days. You lose water so fast, but the chia seeds release the water in your body slowly. Anyway, that's my 2 cents for today...
I read about it in "Born to run", but have never seen it. Any idea where to get it? Anyway, the fact that we all live in different parts of the world should be considered when we talk about runner's food.
I think it can be ordered online from several different sources. In doing a google search, I saw a bunch of sites. Not sure how many ship to Japan, but I am sure some will. I bought it from Whole Foods, which sells all kinds of healthy stuff in the U.S. It's 12 bucks per pound, but you only need a few ounces.
Found one recipe:
Chia gel

And something for our Japanese friends:

And a video
Many people asked where to get whole-wheat and other grains (cheaply) in Japan. I order at:Windy Hilltop Farm
yeh i just mix chia with 9 times the volume in water. pretty straightforward. great to have a few spoonfulls before long runs.
Healthy fast-food in Ikebukuro!
If you are in a hurry, but want some healthy carbo in Ikebukuro, go to the Geijitsu Gekijo (theatre) right in front of the West exit and look out for Gonta, the Onigiri shop! You get two whole-rice onigiri, one side-dish, and free refills on Miso-soup for 525Yen. Who can beat this?

Link to Gonta
I can attest to the use of wheat. Juergen kindly gave me a batch and I also put it in the pan with oil and sea salt. It is a great addition to any meal- especially a nice curry or even by itself!




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