When in Japan, I'd like to keep up my healthy habits--sticking to my relatively low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet and continuing to work out--but it's not going to be easy. Not only does Japanese cooking use sugar in pretty much every dish (ever heard of 味醂 [mirin]?), but I'm going to be an hour's walk from campus, which is where the (free) gym is. Thankfully, I'll be living across from a subway station, which will cut my commute by 3o to 40 minutes. (A big thank you to my dad for having the fatherly foresight to help me out with train fare, which will undoubtedly be a boon during Sapporo's cold, snowy winter.)
|BAKE cheese tarts at Ikebukuro Station:|
delicious carbs from Hokkaido
Recently, my daily carb average has been clocking in under 80 grams. Let's look at a few estimates of what I can expect:
1 cup steamed white rice
2 oz. udon noodles
饂飩 (うどん - udon)
1 slice Japanese bread
2 oz. ramen noodles
拉麺 (ラーメン - ramen)
Mister Donut Pon de Ring
ポン・デ・リング (Misudo pon de ringu)
12 oz. Sapporo beer
So basically, everything I've enjoyed during past visits to Japan is pretty much off limits. When I'm reading nutrition labels, the kanji I need to look out for is 炭水化物 (たんすいかぶつ - tansuikabutsu), the characters for "carbohydrate." I'm hoping that at the very least, I'll be able to find cheap cauliflower at a nearby grocery store so I can rice it for a decent rice substitute for my morning natto.
In a country where many believe a meal isn't complete without a bowl of rice, it's going to be a struggle. Wish me luck in the Land of Carbs!