Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eateries in Zushi, Rope Climb and Smoothies

Over the past month, I've eaten at a number of good restaurants...all of which happen to be in Zushi.  Just a quick commute by train, or car from Yokosuka's main base,  these places are reasonably priced and worth checking out.

Upstairs seating at Barefoot Cafe.
Barefoot Cafe -  If you want to escape the huts on Zushi Beach, try the food here.  Just across the street from the beach and about a block from Red Lobster, you can get a lunch set for 1,000 yen (about $10 USD).  I had an huge American-size BLT Sandwich, some yummy chips and salsa, and an iced coffee.  There is a quaint/rustic upstairs that you can eat outside and watch beach goers.  They also have a lighted toilet bowl....the first I have ever seen in Japan and in my life.  Very clever!

Matchpoint -  Just around the corner from one of the exits of The Shin-Zushi train exit is Matchpoint.  Another rustic interior and their specialty is curry.  They had both vegetarian and meat variations and their lunch sets also ran around 1,000 yen.  I like hearty curries, and this definitely was good.

Steak Gusto - Cruising along the beach this past weekend, we stumbled upon this place.  I had recently been told to go here, and I'm glad we did.  They had a great salad bar, that included curry, rice, fruit, and rolls.  We got the salad bar, plus a steak and chicken meal.  Everything was pretty tasty and for the two of us, the bill was only 2,300 yen.  Not bad!  They also have free parking if you get your ticket validated when you pay.

Kamakurakomachi - If you eat soy products, then this is the restaurant for you.  It is extremely small, and located about 5 minutes from the JR Zushi station.  I was taken here over 2 years ago, and have been back many times since.  They make delicious tofu patties, tofu potato salad and other wonderful concoctions.  You'd never know what you were eating was tofu.  Lunch sets also are around 1,000 yen.  
                                Latest CrossFit Challenge
                                     = The Rope Climb 

In all of my 44 years, I've never attempted to climb a rope.  Well, thanks to CF, this week I was able to have a go at it.  I was able to get my foot to pinch the rope, but I could not figure out how to pull myself upwards.  Thank goodness for U-Tube!  Its very helpful to watch videos so that I can see the form I'm supposed to be using to conquer this skill.  I hope this is easier than double-unders.

My favorite smoothie recipe at the moment.

Lately I've been on a smoothie bandwagon.  I've been making them at night, or for a snack during the day.  Although I've been trying many variations, here's by far, my favorite recipe:

1 cup of Unsweetened Almond milk
1 handful of spinach
1 scoop of protein powder (yes, even chocolate tastes good)
1 handful of blueberries

Blend all ingredients together in a blender and enjoy.  You could add some ice to give the smoothie some volume and a little crunch!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Karaoke and Healthier Sweet Treats

I still haven't figured out my new format, or where I want to take this blog.  As of this moment, I've decided to talk about something Japanese, a new skill I've attempted in CrossFit/ or new recipes that I'm dabbling in.    Since I enjoy all of these things, I might just incorporate them all into each blog, or pick a couple to talk about.  I figure that at least 1 out of the 3 topics might be of interest to someone. 
Karaoke Box at Shidax.


Although I love music and singing, I never tried Karaoke until I moved to Japan.  You can find a good selection of English songs to Karaoke at bars, or at Karaoke boxes (businesses that have individual rooms set up for singing, eating and drinking).  It is huge here, so its a must even if you don't have a quality singing voice such as myself.  The price ranges from about 200 yen (~$2.00 USD) per song in bars upwards to 3,000 yen+ ($30.00 USD and up) at a Karaoke box.  Many Karaoke boxes charge per room, plus have an all you can drink plan.  If you want to order food, the cost is extra and is similar to food you'd find at an Izakaya (fried chicken, fries, noodles, salads, etc). 

Here are a few Karaoke places I'd recommend in Yokosuka:
  • U- Style on Blue Street in the same building as Gold's Gym.  Nice rooms, has ice cream, a chocolate fountain and a soda drink bar. 
  • Shidax located a couple blocks outside of Womble Gate and across from Saikaya Department Store.  This place has a ton of rooms, a good drink menu, and reasonable food.  Its a bit pricey.
  • New Texas bar in The Honch.  200 yen per song, never too crowded. and a good ambiance.
Healthier Sweet Treats

Not only do I love food, but I have an and probably will always have an obsession with sweets.  Since embarking on a better eating plan this year, I've been trying out a number of healthier treat recipes.  I realize that many of the ingredients may be high in calories, but they satisfy my sweet tooth.  The no-bakes taste amazing right out of the freezer!

Here's a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe that actually looks like a cookie when taken out of the oven!!

Better For You Chocolate Chip Cookies (grain free, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free)
Makes about a dozen
Adapted from Detoxinista
  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (you can use slightly more or less based on your preference)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life chips (more/less if you like) or Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
2. In a bowl, whisk all ingredients (except the chips) together. When combined, gently fold in chips to incorporate.
3. Using a regular spoon, spoon about 2 TBSP worth of batter onto the cookie sheet, about 1.5 inches about. The batter is loose, but it actually doesn't spread a lot.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes (until just slightly firm). Remove from oven and let cool for another 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. This is important to make sure they "set up" right.
5. Remove cookies from sheet and allow to finish cooling on a cookie rack. Store in an airtight container.
They peel easily off of the foil. 
Healthier No Bake Cookies
1cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (soy free) or Dark Chocolate Chips
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Melt the following ingredients on the stove top.  I melted the chocolate chips in the microwave, then added the other ingredients.
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup almond butter

Once melted add that, along with the following ingredients, to a bowl:
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Place in freezer for about 30 minutes until ready to eat. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Switching up the blog

Three months have passed since my last blog post.  I have so much to write about, but am not finding the time or energy to sit down and do it much this year.  I really have enjoyed sharing our journey with those interested in reading this blog.   I am really wanting to switch up the content to incorporate our travels, healthier food ideas and fitness.   I'm still brainstorming, so be on the lookout for some different topics, etc in the near future.  I'm open to suggestions, so please message me with your comments.  I NEED your input!!