Categories
#fashion #lifestyle Life Thoughts

Mindset as a Fashion

I am hungry for learning something new. Tell me a story, show me something, share thoughts and argue your ideas against mine.

Mindset flow is what I am after. 

It does sound weird but I feel I do have a constant crash on brain. 

Last week I had a conversation that inspired me. It was a meeting with a person who has been successful to build his business well and helped others to grow their businesses. When I walked in and sat down the person said something like:

“I have been in this business for over 40 years. I know how successful people think and look. You have just ordered healthy meal, you are mindful of what you order to drink, I should not say that as I don’t want to be inappropriate but you got great body shape that proves your gym discipline, you wear quality brand clothing and polished brand new red shoes, you probably got too many shoes though, anyway…if you apply this attitude into money mindset, you will make millions..”

The recipe is found. Now it is a fun part: organisation and strategy.

People say I love to use the work ‘strategy’ into any conversation I have. 

Strategy is different to plan. Say, I love strategies and strategic approach and but I dislike a plan. They are different even though they are similar.

Strategy is a pathway to achieve what you want with the tools you have to apply. Having a strategy and a plan will deliver what I want.

Having just a plan is a waste of time. I haven’t seen and event/situation where everything worked out perfectly well as planned. This is where people trying to stick to a plan that doesn’t work out and fail. Strategy, on the other hand, offers you a flexibility. It enables you to change direction and make tough decisions when it is a necessity to change a plan. 

Why are learning and strategy in one topic? These are new series of blogs I want to start writing and surely these two will be given a separate article but for the time being they are united here in this post. 

I would like to start weekly/bi-weekly learning sharing space here. At the end of the day self-development is an essential part of my journey and this box has been created to share my life journeys collecting them in one space. 

This year is meaningful. This year I experienced a strange feeling caused by my own 25th birthday… 

It is the year of the new decisions, journeys and ideas ahead. I have a strong strategy around it but don’t have a certain plan as I know it will change and I want to be adaptable, flexible and enjoy of the new era of my journey. 

When I started this blog, I couldn’t make my mind if I want to write about fitness or fashion or mindset or travel or events…therefore, I called it FashFitBox. I collected my passion and journeys in one box. I understand now that all these elements have led me where I am. 

Just a brief snapshot:

  • Fashion made me tough – it is a fancy, glamorous space. However, once you uncover this shine and glam, you will see a lot of empty faces and dark hearts as well as a lot of inspiring stories and amazing people. Fashion and modelling made my mindset stronger and my appearance more feminine which is the right combination
  • Fitness – never get over it. I have always struggled with self-control. I think I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I’ve achieve (and will achieve!) so far without my fitness journey.
  • Mindset – I can talk about self-development for hours. I like to share thoughts, I like to learn and progress. Mindset is the King of this blog.
  • Travel – travel is just a little part of this blog. I love travelling, I made my move to another continent that I still keep exploring. Travel opens horizons. The only thing people forget sometimes is to travel into themselves – a human being is one of the least explored things on the Earth…
  • Events – well, I am just a social chick and like to share experiences…and journeys.

Structure is probably the main thing I am lacking in this blog. In my defence, this blog has started as a pure sharing of my personal thoughts. One year ago when I started blogging, I haven’t thought about making it as a part of my career…now blogging…or I’d say storytelling is an essential part of my career, business and work. Therefore, it requires a certain structure – time to work on it. 

Categories
#fitness #healthychoices #lifestyle Fitness Journey

“Win the morning, Win the day”

The biggest ‘fitness lie’ I told myself was “I am going to do that really high intensity session after work”.

When work is over and you get back home or wherever you are supposed to be, the last thing you want to think is HIIT. It happens sometimes though, mostly on my days off when I am rested and fresh. However, considering I end up working on my projects 7 days a week sometimes, it is a wrong assumption I would go exercise in the evening.

This is where the power of habits comes in place. 

“Win the morning, Win the day” – something that can describe my morning habit. An energising morning session is something that gives me that fuel and productivity to perform well for the rest of the day. 

I have to admit I was not always a morning person. It was a big big effort to get me out of bed. It sounds like a miracle for me now. It doesn’t matter if I had a big day/night before, my body clock and earned habit of ‘getting up for energy’ gets me out to start my day early. 

Although, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and staying hydrated. Experts suggest adults get between seven and nine hours of solid sleep in order for our brains to function at their full capacity. And no, that’s not lay in bed for two hours scrolling on Instagram before having a few hours of interrupted sleep. You can still go out for a party or events (due to a nature of my lifestyle, I do attend a lot of events) and still perform well next day but you need to balance it well. For example, I would not go for a really hard/high intensity session after long day followed by long night out, however, something like 6 kms outdoor jogging is something that helps my body to get back on track and detox itself. 

The other part of my morning habit is consuming at least 500ml of water during or after a morning training session as long as it is before breakfast and coffee. 

Categories
#japan #lifestyle Life Thoughts Travel

Hamamatsu 浜松市

Hamamatsu was meant to be our final destination for the Rugby World Cup trip. Well, things don’t always go as planned..

Hamamatsu hosted the next rugby game Australia vs Georgia that was under thread of cancellation due to the typhoon. However, before that..

Before the announcement

We have arrived in a very nice hotel – located in the biggest building in the city – ACT Tower. We stayed on 40F and had the best city view that we could have. Moreover, the hotel had pretty good gym facilities, pool and amazing Japanese style sauna and spa. Cherry on the top was having Rugby Scottish team staying the same hotel! I managed to take a few selfies and chat about rugby with some of the best rugby players in the world!

As to Rugby, Hamamatsu has prepared itself well for the upcoming RWC. Local bakeries made some treats looking like rugby balls (on one shelf with Halloween sweets..:/), RWC village in the busiest part of the city, special deals in locals pubs and restaurants.  

The plan was to stay two days/nights in the city. We visited Hamamatsu Castle.. Didn’t impress me. I don’t want to be biased – I believe we have seen too way many shrines and castles so Hamamatsu one was not interesting at all. 

RWC stadium was easily accessible using the JR station. At some point I felt like back home coming closer to the venue and see Wallabies jerseys and yellow-green scarfs everywhere. Event logistics after the game was poor planned again – big crowds were slowly getting to the station in the rain and the empty roads (that could be used by these crowds) were locked away without any reasonable idea why. 

Hamamatsu Wedding Central Park is another attraction to see. Again, we have seen too way many parks already so was not impressive. However, the venue itself was well-built. It reminded me a building of European gothic style that definitely stood out from tiny old Japanese shrines. 

I have to say that Hamamatsu is event hub un Japan. There is a number of Congress venues, wedding and ceremonies halls. People are coming to Hamamatsu to book their events as it is close enough to Tokyo and centre of Japan, however, it is away from all this big city mess. 

We left just before the Hamamatsu Jazz Festival started. The “Hamamatsu Jazz Week” will be celebrated this year for the 28th time. This event, which aims for “music to be everywhere in the city, creating the city itself” has livened up Hamamatsu since 1992. It is famous across Japan and its main “Yamaha Jazz Festival” offers performances from internationally famous musicians.

During this event, jazz will take over the city in the form of “concerts for families (parents and children,)” a “street jazz festival,” a “student jazz festival” and many other activities. This week offers an opportunity for not only jazz lovers, but for everybody to experience the charm of jazz. While we were there, the preparation for the Jazz week reminded me Many Jazz festival i.e. posters around, small performances taking place in CBD, etc.

After the announcement

The storm has started on the day of the game – 11th October. Fortunately, the game did go ahead. 

However, some weird stuff happened next day. Tokyo and nearby prefectures (including Hamamatsu, Shizuoka) was isolated from the rest of the country and, I would say, from the rest of the world. Our flights had been cancelled and all Tokyo international airports stopped their operation for the next 48 hours without giving us any clarity of what’s on. 

The day of the typhoon – 12th October – people didn’t come out outdoor. I tried to find what to do and went for a walk – it was scaring quiet and depressive, like after end of the world movies. All supermarkets were close; convenience stores such as Family marts, Lawsons and 7/11s were half empty as people bought as much food as they can to survive in case of typhoon would hit the area hard. 

We couldn’t find much to do so I spend over 4 hours at the gym (proud!). We ended up at the hotel bar sipping James Bond’s martinis, making friends with one Japanese bloke and playing Uno. 

13th October – morning – no sign of any typhoon or storm. Beautiful sunny day and fresh air. I used it as an opportunity to go for a long distance run along the Hamamatsu river. Discovered another amazing thing that you will never experience in Australia – a bar where you can been any gun and do some shooting. I cannot event imagine this being approved in Australia – bar and guns in one.. That was a lot of fun and I managed to practice my showreel scenes for the upcoming projects – all details to be revealed next year…anyways.

14th October – another quiet day. We explored local shops and watched Japan vs Scotland at the hotel. We have watched the news and found out that over 40 people had died in Tokyo and around 10 Shinkansens had been permanently damaged. The country had gone through huge financial loss and RWC was seriously effected with 2 games cancelled. 

It is sad that such a lovely country with so kind people experience this type of natural disasters every year. There is a curious fact that Japanese natural disasters have been country’s cures and blessings at the same time. Throwing back to the history I learned in Tokyo Samurai museum. Japan experienced two Mongolian innovations in 13th century. Both times Japan was not ready to fight against one of the strongest armies in the world back that time. Both times Japan won because a typhoon destroyed Mongolian fleet. Japanese called this typhoon Kamikaze which means “divine wind”. This term was used later in World War II for aerial suicide attacks.

Anyways, we got some clarity on the 15th October – the earliest flight back home (could forget about the trip to Mexico already – too late) was 19th October..right back to Tokyo for Volume 2 adventures!

Ang xx

Categories
#japan #lifestyle Life Thoughts Style Travel

BEPPY – OITA 別府市

Oita is the true Japanese capital for rugby. As soon as we got off the station, we were met by friendly statue of man captured playing rugby. A lot of sculptures and monuments inviting visitors to join overall cheering for rugby games. As a true fan of rugby (lol!), I wore rugby jersey and I believe this is what attracted the local SBS to ask me for an interview just on the street. They asked me who I was, what I thought of rugby in Japan, who I supported and what was my dream. It was amazing chatting to them. 

Oita is the South of the country. I picked straight up palm trees on the streets – that little reminder of Australia and my first association with Australia when I arrive there over 5 years ago. 

The area is very touristic due to its hot springs. Beppy contains world biggest amount of hot springs/onsens in the world. Based on them, the government has built heaps of special tours for visitors that are quite costly. 

On the way to Beppy we took a short half a day trip to Fukuoka, Hakata. Nice and lovely area with small temples around. This is the destination I shall start my blog with:

Hakata-ku 博多区

Hakata is one of the oldest cities in Japan. It is also famous for its seaside wharfs and ship industry. The government of Hakata started to invest in development of ship tourism in the area and it has been going well for decent 5 years. Regular port calls are coming from world famous cruise companies like Royal Caribbean – this industry makes the area one of the richest in Japan. 

We have literally had 4.5 hours to spend there so we managed to visit local shrines and a couple of shopping malls. Hakata is a great example of what visitors and fresh tourists need to know about visiting Japan. Moreover, I have collected some interesting facts below throughout the whole trip so far.

  • CASH CASH CASH – if you get used to operate with credit cards, change your habits in Japan. You might get away with your card in busy Tokyo, however, smaller cities have a lot of cash only places. Save your time and effort and get cash within first couple of hours upon arrival if not beforehand; Japan understands that it needs to move away from cash operations and trying to encourage its citizen to use more their credit cards – it hasn’t been accepted by the majority of the population yet; However, you may get 5-10% discount off if you are paying with credit card but many places are still cash only;
  • GUILT-FREE SWEETS – when you dedicate yourself to a healthy eating plan, you still want to get out of the plan and try some tasty treats. When you are overseas, it is almost impossible to avoid it as you want to try new things (Curious Me!). I have been reading labels of some of the Japanese treats and sweets, fortunately, found out that their treats/sweets contains lesser sugar and calories than Australia and Russian ones. Maybe they are made from rice flour and/or replaced some sugary and artificial add-ons – I don’t know (my Japanese is not strong to read it), however, the fact is the fact. You can be guilt-free when you try some awesome sweets in Japan;
  • CAPSULE HOTELS – so cooooool (never tried though lol). If you are not after fancy hotels and just need to drop your head for some rest, you can literally be checked-in in a capsule that looks like the time keeping capsule from Futurama cartoon. These “hotels” are located next to bus/train stations and night life areas;
  • 7/11 is good for SNACKS only. If you want/need to get food from 7/11 – best rule is try to avoid 7/11 labelled food. Say, 7/11 Japanese wine would taste only slightly better than Australian goon, express meals are not the freshest than in a supermarket. 7/11 made product is also not cheaper than other brands, sometimes even more expensive. If you have an opportunity to buy products in a supermarket, go there instead;
  • SUPERMARKETS HOURS – important to know. None of the Japanese supermarket will be open until 10:00-11:00am – this is normal opening time for many businesses in Japan and don’t get surprised – THE COUNTRY OF THE RISING SUN sleeps longer than we do. If you plan healthy version of your breakfast, go to the supermarket late night – you will get your yogurts, fruits or proteins (sashimi, meats, beans) with a huge discount. They try to get rid of all today’s fresh meals by making huge discounts at night (around 60-70%). It is my option for breakfast as before 11:00am the only food you can find for breakfast is donuts, breads and burnt coffee;
  • Back to WINE topic – Japan loves import wine from South America. Argentina, Spain and Chilli – countries for good red wine to try in Japan pretty much everywhere; New discovery for me that has become my favourite – California Pinot Noir;
  • CIGARETTES can be purchased from vending machines on public streets (no one cares to check IDs);
  • If you are a MORNING PERSON and love going to parks, you may see heaps of Japanese people gathering in public parks to do gymnastics together at around 6:30am – cuuuuuute;
  • Every Japanese city has its unique SHRINES and TEMPLES.

Hakata is the home of Sumo Sport. Sumo is a Japanese style wrestling in an elevated ring. Originally performed in Japanese ancient rituals and festivals, it is now Japan’s national sports. At the same time, it is also considered as form martial arts. If you are after watching martial arts or boxing, you will enjoy this – Hakata is the home for this type of sport. If you end up in Fukuoka – book a ticket to watch the wrestling. Sumo Official Tournament (honbasho) is held regularly as follows: every year, during the first or second week of January, March, July, September, and November for 15 days.

BACK TO BEPPY

We have stayed in the Beppywan Hotels & Resorts. It is a bit away from the station, however, the shuttle bus operation was outstanding so we didn’t feel “left out” from the main area of the RWC. As I expected the Hotel has its own hot spring bath so I could experience traditional Oita Onsen without visiting jigoku or “hells” – geothermally heated water bubbles up to the surface as steamy ponds or sulphurous gloop.

We have visited Rugby fan village next day after arrival and watched one of the games there. Oita was put on the international map by the 2002 World Cup. The purpose built “Big Eye” stadium, somewhat reminiscent of a giant titanium turtle, was designed by the celebrated Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa (who also designed Toyota Stadium, the Wakayama Museum of Modern Art, Kuala Lumpur Airport and the New Wing of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam).

Oita Stadium can be reached via shuttle bus from Oita Station. Oita Stadium (aka Oita Bank Dome; 大分銀行ドーム) is the home ground of J-League soccer team Oita Trinita. I believe this stadium was used for the Rugby game we watched – Fiji vs. Wales. 

I have to say that I haven’t expected this game to be so interesting. Wales did win, however, I have to give a huge credit to Fiji for their amazing performance. Never regretted attending this game!

Being a qualified event manager, I have to also note that the events operations and logistics at the end of the event was nit great at all. Crowed control (considering we had over 33,000 people at the stadium) was not planned – a lot of annoyed and frustrated people were leaving stadium nearly breaking fences. Japanese police couldn’t do much. Instead of opening a few stream lines for people heading to the buses taking them down to the main JR station, they closed the main road for taxis and made people walk long walk to the bus station. Not quite logical. Why not to let all these busses to come closer to the stadium and consequently collect crowds one by one? 

Anyways, apart from disappointing post event operation, that day was the highlight of the whole Oita stay.

FUNAI CASTLE

We had just a bit of a time to visit Funai Castle before we had to the game. The castle did belong to Otomo Sorin. Hid clan was a powerful one in Kyushu who during the first half of the 16th century gradually expanded their control over neighboring warlords. When Otomo Sorin became the 21st Otomo Daimyo in 1550 he continued to expand Otomo territory and eventually the family were known as the Lords of Seven Provinces.

A castle was built at Funai in 1562, but many sources credit Fukuhara Naotaka with its construction in the last few years of the 16th century, but the main keep was built by Takenaka Shigetoshi in 1602.

In 1656 a branch of the Matsudaira took control of the castle and remained there until the Meiji Period.

Most of Funai Castle burned down in 1743 and the castle was decommissioned in 1872.

All that remains today is the moat and outer walls, two towers that were reconstructed in the early 1860’s, and the stone base of the keep. In 1965 the main gate and turrets were restored, and in 1996 the covered bridge was reconstructed.

The Japanese built LED version of the castle – as soon as the sun goes down, you are able to see its “ghost version” that is displayed and visible across the centre of the city.

Categories
#japan #lifestyle Fitness Journey Life Thoughts Travel

HIROSHIMA 広島

From now on I can act like a proper tourist as all the destinations moving forward are new to me. This does include Hiroshima.

Hiroshima is a different city compared to the previous ones due to its sad historical past and unique island Majiyama. We have divided the trip into to parts to take most out of our stay in Hiroshima.

In general, Hiroshima attracts many tourists from all over the world. We stayed in APA Hotel and every time I walked to an elevator, I could meet some foreigners. We started our trip by trying Okonomiyaki – traditional Hiroshima grilled pancake. It does contain a lot of various ingredients such as egg, seaweed, bacon, wheat noodles, cabbage, bean sprouts. You can choose some add-ons with fish and meats – this dish keeps you full for the rest of the day. When you are in Hiroshima, you MUST try this dish. 

Highlight of DAY 1 – Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki used to be considered a special desert served at Buddhist ceremonies. Interesting to say but the dish was invented in beloved Osaka, however, was well adopted by Hiroshima after A-Atomic tragedy.I personally find Hiroshima style is a snacky way of making the dish – you grill all the ingredients and then lay one on another. Osaka’s way is to actually blend the ingredients and grill together – Okonomiyaki History .

The story behind Hiroshima’s “lazy” way of making Okonomiyaki can be the fact that after the Atomic bomb tragedy, survived people were starving and tried to filled themselves with whatever they could find around. People used the few ingredients they had—vegetables like cabbage and onions mixed with flour that came from the U.S. post-war rations—and whatever extra ingredients they could get their hands on to fill up their stomachs.

Okonomiyaki is best described by its translation. It literally means “whatever you want”(okonomi), “grilled (yaki). – お好み焼き .

Highlight of DAY 2 – Majiyama Island 

We got up early morning to catch one of the earliest ferries to the Island and catch nice morning sunlight. Unfortunately, traditional Itsukushima Shrine gates were closed for renovation (upcoming Olympics Games 2020), however, we managed to get inside the Shrine that isn considered to be UNESCO World Heritage. 

We started our Majiyama journey and got attacked by deer straight away. Deer are everywhere on the island – they are just a part of the nature there. They are wild but managed to merge well into human society. They do love stealing your food…or anything looking like food. You can pet them but be mindful that some of them can be aggressive (wild animals..).

Back to the Shrine – It was originally built 1423 years ago in 593CE by Saeki no Kuramoto. The place is unique for one more reason – the Itsukushima Shrine was built specifically at a location where the tides rise and fall. Back that time, the whole island wasn considered to be a god. it is said a location where the tides rise and fall was chosen specifically so the god or kami would not be damaged when they constructed the shrine. Take your time to explore the Shrine:

  • Start with at the Marodo Shrine – It has been designated as a national treasure;
  • Then The Main Shrine dedicated to the the three female deities have long been dutifully worshipped as they are the gods of the sea, transport, fortune, and the arts;
  • The O-Torii gate is best seen from inside the Shrine but was closed this time 😦 – you can also reach the gate on your feet.

We managed to watch the traditional Japanese wedding at the East corridor of Marono Shrine. 

In Russia we say when you see a happy wedding, make a wish. I made a wish looking at that beautiful procession. There was something special and magical looking at that thousand years ceremonial tradition. 

And to wishes, there was also a wish/lucky box that we all gave a try. There was no translation though so my task for the next few days to find a decent Japanese/English translator to find out my prophesy. 

Then we went on a ropeway. After some elaboration the decision was made to take one-way ticket and explore the inner island beauty, nature and temples on out feet. Never regretted about this decision. Hence, supporting my FITNESS. 

I will never stop saying to go out and explore the area on your two feet. We have discovered little temples and unique natural places that you will never see sitting in a ropeway or train. We have reached the tope of the Misen Point and walked all way down to the incredible Daisho-in Temple. The temple is not as popular as the Shrine, however, you shall walk pass countless statues on the left side of the temple garden – they are meant to give you some blessings and luck for future. 

The Majiyama Island reminded me of Bruna Island in Tasmania. They both have mountains that gives you 360 view of the area and it was breathtaking. We had to walk all way up and then down the mountain but it definitely worth it. I have to admit that my calfs and legs were extremely sore next couple of days – warm spa, roller and morning jogging helped me to relief the soreness. 

The first part of the trip was very traditional, spiritual and exploratory. We can back to grab a bowl of ramen each and head to the hotel super tired.

Highlight of DAY 3 – Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial

The second part of our trip was more thoughtful – that made you think of one human disaster happened last century. 

I have met a fair few Japanese kids happily jumping to me asking a few English phrases and given little origami cranes in dedication to peace in the Hiroshima park. Then I have seen same kids in tears walking out of that museum. Some of them had hysteria from what they had seen inside. That place contained historical facts that couldn’t leave your eyes dry..

Hiroshima is the first city in the world that has been attacked by atomic bomb. This happened on 6th August 1945. The decision was made by the US to drop one atomic bomb in Hiroshima followed by another one in three days in Nagasaki. In the US army’s opinion, that was the best solution to stop the war in the Asia Pacific region and stop deaths..oh well, great decision to kill 140,000 innocent people in one go and destroy lives of next generations for many years ahead living in miserable conditions, developing leukaemia and cancer from radiation, suiciding themselves..

I couldn’t take photos inside the museum – there is no photo can describe what was seen inside. I took one and I deleted it right away – you cannot capture this. You need to see it with your own eyes, feel it and empathise. The place keeps stories of killed souls still screaming and begging stop the war around the world. You can feel moaning of those souls walking across the museum park begging to stop the pain. Believe me or not but the pictures of the past are duplicated in your mind when you walk pass the Atomic bomb Dome- you can see those burnt bodies, horrified faces of schoolboys and girls (the bomb was dropped 350 metres from a public school), and ruins of the beautiful city.

There are only two emotions you can see walking out of the museum – people are being quiet or crying. 

Things like that make you clearly understand why one of the Global Goals of the United Nations is to make the world atomic bomb and weapons free. 

If you are running low in time, forget about anything – The Dome is that one place you are in Hiroshima for.

Overall, if you have decent 2-3 days in the area, see the list of things worth to visit:

  • Atomic Bomb Dome 
  • The Peace Memorial Museum
  • Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the atomic bomb victims 
  • Children’s Peace Monument (dedicated in memory of Sadako Sasaki)
  • Hiroshima Castle and park nearby (I did exploring while running in the morning – nice, quiet and lack of tourist time of the day – 6:30am)
  • Okonomiyaki Food Court (Hiroshima Station area) – If you have time (I didn’t), visit the Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum
  • Miyajima Island
  • Itsukushima Shrine 
  • Daisho-in Temple

Ange xx

Categories
#fitness #healthychoices #japan Life Thoughts Travel

KYOTO 京都

Time to get out of big cities and experience old fashioned Japanese culture merged into unique nature of the continent. 

Kyoto is only 15 minutes away from Osaka (via Shinkansen) that makes easy to commute a day trip to the destination. Interesting fact that Kyoto used to be the capital of Japanese island Honsu. Therefore, it contains so many historical places, imperial palaces, temples. Due to invasion of Buddhist clergy into the Imperial government trying to influence on decisions of the Palace, the decision was made to move the capital to Edo in 19th century. 

Edo was later called 東京, meaning “Eastern Capital” which pronounces Tokyo. We all know Tokyo. 

Kyoto tried to be re-named as 西京, meaning “Western Capital”, however, came back to Kyoto giving the city that legacy of thousand-year capital (千年の都).

If you love hiking and exploring thousand year history, you should definitely go to Kyoto. There is one great FITNESS solution here that I have done in the past. As a part of that international crew that I joined fair few years ago, we went on a bike ride from Osaka to Kyoto. The distance between these two are 55,6km which makes your legs burned at the end of the day (this distance doesn’t include another 20-25 kms cruising around the city). 

Kyoto is fairly big city but mostly famous for its cultural events and nature. Heading there on a bike, you will get obsessed with its nature in its fullest. Moreover, it will make your trip more accessible to reach different temples where you can sometimes enjoy kabuki theatre or some dancing festivals.

One of the most famous festivals in Kyoto in October is Jidai Matsur (“Festival of Ages”). Day when Japanese citizens come out of their houses and dress up as people of the past to acknowledge oldest people of the land and “touch” the thousand year old history of the area.

Jidai Matsuri is held every October 22nd (*Will be held on October 26th in 2019), as it was on this day in 794 AD that Emperor Kanmu made Kyoto Japan’s imperial capital, a status that would last for over 1,000 years, right through to 1869 when the capital was then moved to Tokyo. *Note: The 2019 procession is exceptionally scheduled on October 26 as October 22 falls on the day of the Enthronement Ceremony of the Emperor in Tokyo. If you know a lovely Japanese person, do not hesitate to say some nice words on the day to them in regards to their celebration. They will appreciate the fact that you know and respect their culture and heritage. 

When you are in Kyoto, it is a MUST to visit Bamboo Forest of Nishikyo-ku and go pass Jizo-in Temple.  

The Forest is located just 15-minute from the central station of Kyoto. You will meet a lot of locals there – this is their place to go hiking, enjoy and appreciate the nature around them. Do not forget to pack some bento boxes to share picnic with your friends. 

Appreciation of beauty is another thing that I would like to highlight in this article. I have already mentioned it in my previous blog posts dedicated to Japan – great lesson to learn from Japanese: 

They do see the beauty around them, in other people, in items around them. They are very united with the universe if it makes sense. How many times we walk pass a beautiful park and do not even stop next to a bunch of beautiful flowers or natural arrangements around? We are always in a rush – the modern life demands us to be like that and it is understandable. 

Check out my previous post about mindfulness through appreciation of things around here .

This is why I love to visit Japan and “slow down” here. This is where you can re-unite with yourself, disappear in that Bamboo Forest to stay with your thoughts, discover new pathways and just let many things go that stuck in your soul like stones dragging you down. This is what Kyoto is about. 

Forget about FASHION here – this place is not about parade show. It is the place to discover yourself and be as you are without all these current trends, instagram stories and showcasing fancy lifestyle – leave it all for the next destinations…

Ange xx 

Categories
#fashion #fitness #healthychoices #japan #lifestyle Fashion and Beauty Fitness Journey Style Travel

OSAKA 大阪

My personal choice in Japan.

My second destination is already well-known to me and, if you read my blog notes before, majority of my previous articles were written here, based on Osaka knowledge. 

So, it is clearly cheating from me to write a blog now. Doesn’t matter – I believe you can always discover something new if you really looking for it.

The reason why I called Osaka my personal choice is it is the place where you can experience everything you need in Japan if you really looking for it. 

First of all, looking at the city from gorgeous and unique architecture design of the Umeda Sky Garden, you will clearly see that the city is very modern and reminds you a bit of a Tokyo. When you walk down from the view point and start looking around the city centre, you realise how many international places around – another similarity with Tokyo. There is one huge difference, I would say one advantage over Tokyo, the Osaka city was not built crowded and touristic. The city obviously attracts millions of tourists a year, however, it is not trying to attract them with its touristic look like Tokyo does. This is what makes this place unique to me and my experience.

Throwing back to those long 7 years ago when I arrived to Osaka for a couple of months of summer holidays. That time I didn’t enter to Japanese school so was by myself and I needed to make some friends. 

I went to Starbucks (yes, before Australia I thought it was really cool place to be lol) and found a brochure with international meet ups. My English was weak but good enough to understand what’s written there regarding type of events, dates, locations and other important details. I carried that brochure everywhere like my passport. 

My International meet up journey started when I walked it to meet and greet at one Irish pub in Shinsaibashi. No-one checked my ID when I came to the bar and ordered Asahi. I sat down next to the international group – Canadian and American guys and one Japanese girl. They started talk to me. Found may first friends! 

Interesting to say that Ai (that amazing Japanese girl is in Melbourne now doing her own business in massage and beauty industry). We managed to catch in Melbourne last year – amazing that we both ended up in Australia. 

Those international friends took me on board and introduced me to meet up organisers. They took me to bike tours to Kobe and Kyoto. They got me to volunteer to international parties where I was given wristbands at the entrance. Then they were sneaking a VIP wristband to me so I could enter a party being 17 year old. Considering over age is 20 in Japan, I wouldn’t clearly experience incredible parties walking out the venue at sunrise time!

Anyways, the bottom line, Osaka was, is and will always be international hub in Japan but more inclusive than gigantic Tokyo. Going to Irish, English or international cafes pubs to find out where they meet up – I still believe that trip was my very best one because of that. 

Osaka is a bit cleaner – again, due to its size. It is easier to navigate around the city, the metro lines are more structured. Due to the fact that I have been there so many times, I can easily give you an overview of some of the areas to visit in Osaka. I went for a run the other morning and can say that outdoor walk/run is the best way to discover hidden shops and fascinating areas. Many beautiful stores are literally condensed in the city to fit more. 

FASHION – I have already mentioned Shinsaibashi. This area of Osaka is famous for its shopping lines (“leave all your money in Shinsaibashi”), great dining and places for parties and night life. 

Shinsaibashi never sleeps. You can shop there from 10-11:00am until late night. I could see how some people were buying new party dresses, got changed in them and went straight to night clubs and pubs to keep going. 

Shinsaibashi has everything from Japanese local brands to world famous outlets; from modern styles to luxury brands. There is a big shopping mall in the heart of Shinsaibashi called Daimaru. Daimaru is like Bondi Junction Westfield – this is how good it is!

Another thing to mention is better not to plan a day trip to Osaka if you plan to see some of the Osaka’s attractions. You need to spend the whole decent day to appreciate the fashion and go through stylish outlets in Shinsaibashi. If you are aiming for fashionista title, it is a big lie to say you will get enough fashion inspiration for a couple of hours in Shinsaibashi. You need at least one full day. Then head to an Irish pub at the end of the day to share your fashion knowledge with other Internationals. If you discuss it with Japanese, it might be even more different though as they have different vision in fashion.

FITNESS – Osaka has encouraged me to use the stairs over elevators or escalators. There are a lot of walks and transfers from one metro line to another. Go for stairs! Also, due to lesser crowds, it is much nicer and better to run outdoor in Osaka. My only recommendation is try to do it before 7:20am – 1) the sun goes up and it is super humid at this time of the year (summer is even worse); 2) people are start heading to work. You may notice that many people have to travel intercity so all the metros and shinkansens are packed from early mornings. 

 Just given a small overview of the 1-day Osaka itinerary so you can cover “different aspects of Japan”.

  • Start with the Umeda Sky Garden. This place is open at 9:30am. Normally, nothing is open in Japan till 10-11:00am – they are not morning people at all (what a shame!). It will also give you nice natural morning light to overlook the whole city and start the day right. If you are into history, there is the illustrated museum inside the Sky Garden;
  • Head to the Osaka Castle – this is one of my favourite castles in Japan (still consider Akita has better ones but anyways). I love it because there are a lot of small gardens and temples around the castle to explore. When you get to the Castle, head up to the 8th Floor and start exploring from top to the bottom;
  • Head to Dotonbori river area taking Namba station 16th exit. It is very nice and beautiful there. You can also take the tour of the river cruising around crabs and octopuses on surrounded buildings;
  • After the river, time for get decent lunch – sushi is the go for me (Japanese Diet by Angie). There is an amazing sushi restaurant with English menu with freshest raw fish. You don’t need even worry to order anything, the plates are passing through you with whatever you like! The restaurant is located on that big crab street opposite direction to Dotonbori gates on the Starbucks side (right).
  • Also, try their popular Takoyaki that are everywhere on that street. They are very filling and made with true Japanese traditions;
  • Then jump to Shinsaibashi shops and get lost there!
  • End of at a nice Irish pub to relax as you might burn your legs after Shinsaibashi walks. Get some refreshments (I would still suggest NOT to order food in pubs and eat before – all these fish and chips and burgers you can eat everywhere; real Japanese food only made by Japanese).

Ange xx

Categories
#lifestyle Fashion and Beauty Life Thoughts Uncategorized

Script Writer – Life Creator

It is impressive how you can swim against the tides but still end up where you haven’t planned to be.
I believe that there are things that meant to happen regardless your will.
I believe that it still doesn’t let you to ignore the responsibility for your own life.
Imagine you are a script writer for a Hollywood film 🎞 – would you carelessly let a new movie script to be another fiction rubbish?
What if you are a film director of that rubbish – do you really want to sign your name off for that?
What if you are a producer of that film – you don’t want to invest your money in rubbish, do you?
Imagine you are writing ✍️ a script 📝 for your life – you don’t want this to be a rubbish.
When you have a pen and a paper to write up a script – go after your dreams there, not people.
Right sketch of your script will do its job for you and will cast the right people in your life.
Do not forget that you still hold that pen and paper – you can re-write it when needed. Also, keep in mind that some casts might want to leave your new creation as it’s not part of their plan. But it is the plan for your dreams – well, then you know what you do.
Get in and out – part of your life. Natural flow – the real beauty of life.
Blog is like a mini version of that script – you can create whatever you want and it will attract likes from right people.
I’ll finish this post to start writing my script.

~Loud Thoughts By Me

Categories
#fashion #fitness #lifestyle Fashion and Beauty Fitness Journey Life Thoughts

Fash + Fit

It was a bit of a risk to combine two different industries and expect a good result. 

Fashion – the word associated with runways, glamour, style trends. 

Fitness – Health, gym, marathons.

They are different so how can I really pitch them to be together? I can explain:

Attitude

Coming back to my previous topic about motivation – who are you training for? For yourself? To impress someone else? If you set up the right and healthy attitude, you train to look good for yourself. You want to look healthy, fit, skinnier or toned – all depends on your personal goals. Now, let’s take Fashion. If you are interested in Fashion, you probably have or aim to have a good sense of style and after important Fashion trends. You pay an extra attention to what you wear when you come out. You are getting ready before an important business meeting. What do you need Fashion for? Same thing again – for yourself? Impress someone at one event? Wear someone glamourous for horse races at Randwick? 

You start with the right attitude. You understand that things you build in life starts from you. If you have ever had an experience to move to another continent when you are a teenager that doesn’t know what she wants, you might come to realisation that you have to build self base before you can build something else in life. I cannot build my life looking at someone’s one – I need to look at what I do. I cannot get impressed by someone’s achievements only – I need to set up something for myself each month to feel I am moving. 

Attitude by @Angela_alina

When you go to the gym, you may notice more and more people are “dressing up” to the gym. Not literally. But trying to wear right sports gear, good active lifestyle brands, etc. Many fitness blogs suggest to wear “cool” gym wear to boost motivation to exercise more. I can definitely see the link between those two. You start with the attitude. You want to see yourself successful, fit, healthy and stylish. It is not a secret that you might be toned and skinny and look quite sexy but if you wear a dress that look like a bag for potatoes on you, your toned body disappears. And, of course, you can buy the most expensive suit from the best Italian designer – it probably looked so gorgeous on the runway – but it looks ugly on you because your body is poisoned with junk food, lack of movement and first signs of ageing.  I like to see and promote more on my page fashion in fitness.

It is not only wear something trendy at the gym but wear Fashion and Fitness within you..

Categories
#healthychoices #lifestyle Healthy Cooking

Legendary Wine Diet 🍷

I got to the stage to share one of those iconic diets that has blown up minds of my friends and family. 

It doesn’t sound like it is legit but trust me – whatever I place in this blog, I have personally tested before sharing. 

Red, red wine…

It can be white too as long as it is a dry wine. 

All depends on your preferences but, yes, it is the wine diet!

I got the raw idea of this diet when I had explored it. I would also like to share some other tricks that I missed out when I firstly found this diet. 

Identified benefits and results 

First of all, a quick cheat sheet about DRY wine:

  • It has low to zero carbs according to laboratory research in Washington (sounds good, hey!) 
  • It has zero fat BUT it still contains enough calories to be able to put on weight 
  • It drops your blood sugar level 
  • Your body uses different technique to digest wine
  • Red wine has resveratrol, a plant polyphenol chemical that turn body white fat (“bad/obese fat”) into brown fat that is a healthier option of body’s immune and protective system and easier to be burned
  • Wine has fewer calories than beer or heavy spirits 
  • One bottle of dry wine can contain 570-750 calories – depending on the alcohol percentage 
  • Red wine has more vitamins and minerals than white wine. 
  • Red wine in moderation is good for your heart as it increases HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) and decreases LDL (“bad one”)

The Wine diet can be considered as a separate dieting stream or be trailed as a part of the Mediterranean diet. As you might know the Mediterranean diet is based on the idea of consuming a lot of plant-based food together with some amount of dry wine. 

I have seen positive results of the wine diet for around 3 weeks allowing me to loose 1.5 kg in the first week, 1.1 kg in the second week and 1 kg in my third week. So, the verdict – the diet is working!!! 

Duration of the diet: MUST NOT exceed 3 weeks

Results: 3.6 kg down

Feeling: no craving, starving feeling (if you follow the instructions below)

Enjoying my favourite races with a refreshing glass of Pinot Gris

However, before explaining the algorithm of the diet, I would like to continue with some downsides of the diet. I am not a nutritionist or a school teacher so I am not going to tell simple things about alcohol effect on your body. Any side effects described below are purely related to the wine diet. 

Side Effect to consider

The progression has stopped after 3 weeks due to some side effects of the diet that were not revealed before.

Any dry wine significantly drops your blood sugar level – therefore, you might end up at the kebab or pizza shop after a good night out drinking wine. You feel much hungrier when there is a presence of alcohol in your blood. Your craving is increased to maximum – if you are a person with low self-control, this diet is not the right for you. 

Moreover, as said above, your body uses different technique to digest wine. This is where many people who has described this diet before put the full stop. What does this technique include? How to make this technique work for you, not against you? 

Our body functioning is a very smart system. When it is attacked, it will use all its effort to fight with an “enemy”. Alcohol toxin is an enemy for any body. Therefore, your body will stop ANY digesting activity and stops what it has just been doing to prioritise “work on alcohol toxins”. Which means when you have eaten simple carbohydrates or saturated fats before wine, it will turn them into your white body fat, no matter if you haven’t eaten much before and your body needs that “energy”. When you have eaten similar crap after wine consumption because  your food craving was high, it will also turn into same fat storage. This is how you can gain weight from the wine diet.

HOWEVER, if you eat enough “absorbing” and lean food, it will assist your body to work on toxins and leave the positive results from wine consumption. 

In addition to it, I love my strength trainings that are aimed to reduce my body fat and gain some muscle weight instead. Same procedure here – your muscles stop developing when you have alcohol toxin in your blood as your body needs some time to fight with the new “enemy”.

Avoid rewarding yourself with a glass of wine after a good strength or HIIT training. Try to pick your High intensity trainings when you are not planning to go out for a fair few hours after that (your body recovers muscles differently depending on a number of factors i.e. age, gender, metabolic rate, etc.)

We got to this stage – Wine Diet 1:1 

If you are still reading this and believe it can work for you, here below what I did to have positive results of my wine diet. Please note that the results will gradually decreased and bring your more negative effects than positive so I would not recommend to keep the diet longer than 3 weeks. 

You MUST include a lot of green leafy food and good fats in every day of your diet! Some partition of protein should be included in any main meal of the day.

PART I – Morning 

As I am a morning person, I would typically end of at the gym or run in the morning. Hence, I would it breakfast rich in good carbs, vitamins and minerals. My typical breakfast would be Cocao Oat Bowl that I have described before here 

https://fashfitbox.home.blog/2019/05/18/cocoa-oat-bowl/

 The breakfast meal would include some fruits and fresh fat free yogurt. In that case, my morning tea would include 10-20 gram of peanut butter to fulfil some good fats in my body (Cocoa Oat Bowl is originally almost fat free). If I am after more “proteiny” breakfast option, I would go for egg whites omelette with a plenty of spinach or rocket. My morning tea would include a piece of fruit. 

PART II – Afternoon 

Feel it up with protein – a good piece of grilled chicken, salmon or a sirloin beef steak. I am always a bit flexible with lunch option as long as it has a plenty (up to 30 gram or more) of protein and green leaves – Italian 4 leaves mix is perfect for it. Include some vitamin enriched vegetables such as pumpkin, tomatoes, sweet potato, etc. I love to include 20-30 grams of cheese or 50 grams of avocado to fulfil good fat.

Afternoon tea – something simple, raw, non-carbohydrate food. It can be a piece of cheese or a protein bar. The most important here is to keep it one-stream i.e. good fat or protein, no carbs. It MUST be more filling than morning tea snack. 

PART III – Dinner time

Here we go! Time to crack a bottle of nice Pinot Noir (or different dry wine depending on your personal preference). Instructions:

Have a one-stream food with it so the alcohol toxin doesn’t hit you and your health. Options:

  • Cheese – blue vein, mild cheeses, just as it is, no crackers or carb food
  • Low fat ricotta or cottage cheese with celery and carrot sticks 
  • A piece of chicken, ideally, no more than ¼ chicken

And now you can enjoy your 2-2.5 glasses of wine. After one glass you may notice that your appetite has decreased, however, it is still important to consume some one-stream food (as above) to avoid bad influence of alcohol on your body and future craving feeling. 

Happy Dieting 🙂

***As said, this is the guideline for a healthy option of the wine diet only, no alcohol promotion and irresponsible drinking can be associated with the article.

Research found during trail diet weeks:

Drinking red wine is good for you — or maybe not

Watching your sugar intake? Toast to dry wine.

Drinking a plenty of red wine won’t help you lose weight

Ask the Diet Doctor: Is Red Wine Worth the Calories?