I guess I'm an athlete...

Good morning everyone,

Today will start out cloudy and then turn sunny. If you were planning on doing laundry this week, today might be the day to do it, because the rest of the week is looking cloudy or rainy all the way through till the middle of next week.

Some people can stuff themselves full of snacks without any repercussions, while others seem to gain weight without so much as batting an eyelid, making achieving that vaunted “Cinderella weight” a distant dream.

Perhaps it has something to do with our body types, as some tend to remain skinny while others possess extra fat by default-determining just what kind of body you have is as simple as wrapping fingers around your wrist.

“Grip your opposite wrist using the thumb and middle finger. If you’re right-handed, use your right hand to grab your left wrist.

Ectomorph — Thumb and middle finger overlapping with ease. (Difficulty in gaining body fat and muscle)

Mesomorph — Thumb and middle finger touching each other. (Loses body fat easily and gains muscle quickly)

Endomorph — Thumb and middle finger doesn’t come into contact. (Gains both body fat and muscle easily)

This is just an impression, but ectomorphs have the bodies of full marathon runners or models, mesomorphs gymnasts or athletes, and endomorphs professional wrestlers or sumo wrestlers.”

While the names may sound like aliens out of a sci-fi horror movie, it turns out this method does have a scientific basis. The concept of such body types — known as somatotypes — was first introduced in the 1940s by Dr. William H. Sheldon, whose assistant went on to develop a more robust system that’s still used to evaluate athletes today.

The theory is that calculating the wrist’s circumference in relation to height determines what kind of body frame one has. But since most people have a combination of the three body types, wrist measurements provide a rough estimate at best. Still, it’s a quick way to find out why some people have trouble shaving their weight.

So which body type are you? As a mesomorph myself, I found the wrist test to be somewhat accurate as I don’t have trouble managing my weight. But regardless of which somatotype we all are, a bit of convenience store dieting to improve our lifestyle never hurts.

Which means, I'll be off to the convenience store to pick up a snack as soon as I finish writing this...ok...maybe not till I get the munchies around 10am or so.

Have a great day!


Spicy McNuggets coming to Japan!

Good morning everyone,

It was a bit rainy yesterday and they're saying today will start off rainy, but should clear up at some point. Tomorrow will start out cloudy and turn sunny, but make sure you enjoy it, because it looks like it'll be the only sunny day this week.

Half a year ago, we saw from afar as people across America turned into stark-raving lunatics trying to get their hands on McDonald’s Schezuan dipping sauce. Now, though, fast food fans in Japan are getting some spicy McNuggets of their own.

McDonald’s Japan is releasing its new Spicy Chicken McNuggets from today. In Japan, the basic serving size for McNuggets is five pieces, which allows for the chain to turn the bite-sized morsels into a fist, promising that its newest offering will “K.O. you with spiciness.”

Seasoned with togarashi red pepper garlic, and onion, these McNuggets seem to differ from the spicy version that’s been periodically offered overseas. If nothing else, the Japanese-spec Spicy McNuggets have a much more vivid color, foretelling of a fiery assault on your taste buds to come.

This is McDonald’s Japan’s first time to offer McNuggets in anything other than the standard flavor. Considering that the chain has had great success with its Shaka Shaka Chicken line (in which you pour powdered seasonings into a bag with a piece of chicken and shake it before eating), and that spicy, boneless fried chicken is a mainstay of Japanese convenience stores, customers in Japan will likely greet the Spicy McNuggets with open arms/mouths.

If you’re craving even more spice, McDonald’s Japan is also introducing two new McNugget dipping sauces (which can also be used with the non-spicy nuggets). There’s the “exta-extra-spicy” spicy sauce…

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…and the “extra-extra kind” sour cream and onion sauce (meaning that it spares your tongue from some heat, not other people’s noses from the aroma).

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McDonald’s Japan’s Spicy McNuggets will be available for a limited time from today, priced at 200 yen for a five-pack.

I'll be getting these, along with the Gudetama McFlurry to cool down afterwards!

Have a great day!


I need a dog...

Good morning everyone,

The weekend sure didn't feel like rainy season, did it? Well, that's over. Clouds are here and rain is bound to follow at some point and continue off and on for most of the week.

Feeling stressed? Well, in yesterday's blog I mentioned that maybe having a drink to reduce your stress wasn't such a good idea. (It does help you reduce your stress, but the health risks outweigh the benefits.

However, having a dog can effect you brain and body-both in good ways. There's a book, "Made for Each Other" by author Meg Olmert. In the book she explains about the feedback system with your pet that is based on a bond which is neurochemically, psychologically and behaviorally set up between you and your pet. Basically, there's a link between how you treat your pet and how it treats you. So, how good you are to your pet is often exactly reflected back.

And not only is it reflected back, the pets tend to be wildly generous. More generous than we are... Your heart rate comes down, your blood pressure comes down... So, all of these great reward chemicals and anti-stress chemicals can be released in both you and the pet.

Now all I need to do is decide what kind of pet to get...oh, and to buy a house to keep it in...ha ha!

Have a great day!

Watch how much you drink-especially if you're a woman

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be pretty nice today and then cloudy tomorrow. If you need to do any laundry, you'd better do it today. The rest of the week isn't looking too good at this point...

It's hard to keep up with whether alcohol is good for us or not. One day, wine kills, and the next, it cures. When you look more closely at the research, the picture is not so clear. But one thing is certain: Alcohol affects women more than men. Even when a woman weighs the same as a man, the same amount of alcohol will be more concentrated in her bloodstream because women generally have less body water than men.

On the whole, women drink less than men. In a 2017 survey, we asked 1,500 Canadians how often they drank. Seventeen percent of women said they’re teetotalers — meaning they don’t drink at all — compared with only 12 percent of men; and six percent of women said they drink daily, while the number for men is double (12 percent).

There is some compelling evidence about some of the harms of drinking. Here’s a roundup of some recent research about the possible perils of alcohol for women.

The evidence shows a link between breast cancer and alcohol…

There have been multiple studies and reports over the years showing an association between women who drink and women with breast cancer. A report from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) said that women who consumed one drink a day had an increased risk of breast cancer. The report said that alcohol is “a convincing cause of post menopausal breast cancer,” and “probably a cause of premenopausal breast cancer.” The study showed that women who have seven or more drinks a week had a higher level of risk for breast cancer.

Other health risks of alcohol

Studies report that women can develop alcohol-induced liver and brain damage more quickly than men from the same amount of alcohol. Pregnant women are cautioned against drinking to avoid running the risk of having a baby with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). More controversially, there are studies that suggest that women become more vulnerable to violence and assault when drinking (the danger of these studies, of course, is that the findings can be used to imply that women are at fault if they drink and are assaulted. It’s important to note this is due to the societal problem of violence against women, not an internal effect of alcohol).

While there’s evidence that moderate drinking (one drink a day for women, two for men) is associated with improved heart health and stress relief, it’s overstated. The risks of alcohol usually outweigh the benefits. In any case, the benefits that alcohol can offer can be attained through much healthier activities such as exercise. If you enjoy a glass or two with dinner, go ahead. But don’t think of it as something you’re doing for your health, even if you’re toasting to it.

Have a great day! But don't drink too much!

Am I old-fashioned or are people becoming too sensitive?

Good morning everyone,

It looks like we'll have nice weather today and tomorrow, the clouds will roll in on Tuesday and we can expect some rain from the middle of the week.

The bouquet toss is a well-known tradition at weddings in the west, and its fame has earned it a spot in Japanese receptions as well. It’s said that the person who catches the bouquet will be the next to get married, so typically unmarried women eagerly gather around the bride in order to be the lucky one to catch it.

But while for some the bouquet toss is a fun tradition, for others, it’s a nightmare. For some, being singled out as a “single lady” in front of a whole party of guests is insulting and embarrassing. That being an unmarried woman at an older age implies that you are not being successful in life. Is that how they see it?

That’s why, for some, being exposed as a “single lady” in front of a large crowd, like during a bouquet toss, is almost a public execution. Some single wedding guests go so far as to say the bouquet toss is “singles harassment”. It’s so hated by single women that, sometimes, when the bride tosses the bouquet, nobody moves to catch it, and it just falls to the floor.

The opposition has been so strong that many brides in Japan nowadays are forgoing the tradition altogether. When asked in a survey whether they did or plan to do the bouquet toss at their weddings, only 42 percent of brides said yes. In another study, three out of five brides surveyed said they wouldn’t do it either.

More and more Japanese brides are substituting the bouquet toss with something else for the sake of their unmarried guests. The broccoli toss has become a popular alternative: instead of the bride tossing a bouquet, the groom tosses a stalk of broccoli, which symbolizes continuing the family line, to the single male guests. Whoever catches it takes a bite, and then it’s tossed around to other male guests. Apparently it becomes quite exciting, like a rousing rugby match.

.

▼ Perhaps throwing flower petals would be a good alternative too.

Since there are other very serious forms of harassment that occur regularly in Japan, including sexual harassment, maternity harassment and power harassment, doesn't it seem silly for singles to get so worked up about a simple wedding tradition.

But it’s not all bad! Who knows? Maybe a substitute for the bouquet toss will catch on, and a new Japanese wedding tradition will be born instead.

What do you think? Are people becoming too sensitive? Or am I just a cranky old man?

Have a great day!


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