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The Okinawa Program: How I Finally Gained Weight April 4, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in Food and Drink.
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There’s this popular book called The Okinawa Program. It’s a diet and health guide to living like the Okinawans, who have the highest average life-expectancy rate in the world.

The book outlines no-brainer diet tips like eating low-fat food and exercising, but also the metaphysical ideals of Okinawan living: connectedness to family, community and the earth, sense of spirituality, and stress management.

It claims Okinawans stay lean because they only eat until 80% full, which is advice I gladly took to heart.

But then I got here. And we were introduced to tabihodai, all you can eat. And nomihodai, all you can drink.

Some of these meals have been more food than I’ve ever been presented with in my life. Some of it is unrecognizable, but we eat it anyway. (Jojo has eaten everything from raw blowfish to raw horse.) Even our daily school lunches were sometimes more than I could eat (and then I would watch first-graders take seconds, thirds, sixths).

I almost decided to be vegetarian before I came here, but it’s a good thing I didn’t because the pork here is the best I’ve ever had. They say Okinawan pork fat actually lowers your cholesterol, which makes absolutely no sense, but it tastes so good that I’m inclined to believe it.

I almost decided to not eat anything deep-fried, but then I came face to face with an Okinawan donut and couldn’t resist. They deep fry everything here! Lacking cooking oil in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Okinawans continued to deep fry tempura in diesel oil.

But besides all this, I really do feel healthier than I have in a long time. And, I’m happy to report, I weigh the most I ever have in my life!

Gochisousama!

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Comments»

1. Haha - April 5, 2010

That luscious looking bowl of soba would do me wonders! Just looking at the photo makes me happy.

Elisa - April 5, 2010

That’s from Michiko’s house!

2. Laserbeak - April 5, 2010

Take a picture of yourself eating.

3. Totchii - April 6, 2010

Oh the pork, there’s even tv programs dedicated to talking about it.


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