Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Torre made the switch to green tea after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and his doctor gave him a list of antioxidant-rich foods—including green tea.
But green tea isn't just healthy; it may also improve athletic performance:
[O]ne study that appeared in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology found regular use of green tea extract might improve endurance.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
And it's even healthier if it's green. And don't forget to hold the milk.
The great Toshiro Mifune as the lone swordsman Sanjuro in the Kurosawa classic Yojimbo.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Professor Sutton helps companies filter out toxic employees.
Like too many people out there, however, the article's author overlooks an important stress-busting tip: the green tea break.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Actually, researchers in this study used green tea extract, but let's remember that the extract is a subset of all the wonderful natural compounds contained in brewed green tea. Scientists are only now beginning to identify and understand those compounds. Who knows what they are overlooking now? Pop a green-tea pill and you may be missing some as-yet-undiscovered compound. Drink an infusion of natural green tea, and you're getting all of nature's bounty.
Besides, a cup of hot green tea tastes much better than a pill. It's more relaxing, too.
Architect Yoshihiro Takishita is part of a growing movement to preserve this important part of Japan's architectural tradition.
Architect Yoshihiro Takishita's centuries-old "minka" farmhouse.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The article also features a colorful, mouth-watering sushi slideshow.
Sushi chefs aren't just from Japan anymore.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The Aussie author's book is about as flattering as this photo.
But a lot of pundits are wondering if the gyroball is even real.
The alleged "gyroball" explained.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Why is this guy scanning ads for women's clothing?
A six-year Greek study found that those who took a 30-minute siesta at least three times a week had a 37% lower risk of heart-related death.
I'm not "sleeping." I'm promoting good heart health.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Researchers found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol found only in green tea, inhibits tumor growth and metastasis (spread) and also induces apoptosis—cancerous cells "commit suicide" while healthy cells are left alone.
A cup a day keeps the doctor away.
Now grandma will be able to load those 50-pound bags of dog food into the trunk by herself.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Nutritionist Joy Bauer lists foods that made you sexy, including green tea, which "helps combat bad breath and also contains fluoride."
Sing it now: "I'm too sexy for my ... bell pepper?"
Saturday, February 17, 2007
On February 5, Ryoichi Sugiura, a captain of the Sumiyoshi-kai—Japan's second-largest crime syndicate—was found shot to death in his car.
Within hours, someone fired shots into the offices of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest crime family. (You read that correctly: Japan's crime families maintain undisguised offices.) Two members of the Sumiyoshi-kai were arrested soon afterwards.
On February 8, representatives of the two families met and apparently reached a peace agreement, with the Yamaguchi-gumi admitting fault.
Then, on the 15th, the oyabun (godfather) of a Yamaguchi-affiliated organization, 70-year-old Kazuyoshi Kudo, was found dead of apparent suicide.
Mr. Kudo's group, the Tokyo-based Kokusui-kai, had been aligned against the Yamaguchi-gumi from its founding in 1958 until 2005, when Boss Kudo switched sides and swore allegiance to the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi.
Yakuza experts cite this switch as proof of the Yamaguchi-gumi's intentions to expand into Tokyo, traditionally the Sumiyoshi-kai's turf. Authorities blame these expansion attempts as the cause of an upswing in yakuza-on-yakuza violence of late.
What these guys need to do is have some green tea and mellow out.
Not that I would say that to their faces, of course...
Friday, February 16, 2007
Focusing on the fact that most people usually boil more water than they need, a British firm has designed Eco Kettle, which has a boiling chamber that is separate from the main water reservoir. That way, you can boil only the exact amount of water you need.
True, you can always conserve energy with your standard kettle by filling it up with only as much water as you need. But if, say, you are in an office environment and your water source is far from where your kettle is located, Eco Kettle would save you from making unnecessary trips to your water source.
This can either be a good or bad thing. Sometimes, having to fetch water is a good excuse to get up and stretch your legs. On the other hand, Eco Kettle's combination of convenience and saving energy is undoubtedly hard to resist for many of us.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Old stress buster: After a harried day at work, you come home and start in on the French bread until you are in a carb-induced coma. ...
New solutions: Instead of stuffing yourself with that loaf of bread, take a hot bath or shower to relax your muscles and mind.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Right now, DNA tests are being conducted to test a theory first proposed in the 1950s: that these residents of Liqian are descended from Roman soldiers.
I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Fairfax, Va: Sally,
I've lost 20 pounds in the past month. How did I do it ? You'll be amazed.
I substituted green tea for coffee, soda and whatever. I drink between 2-3 liters of green tea during the day and nothing else. Let me tell you, my pants fit a whole lot better now.
I wouldn't have believed it unless I did it myself.
Sally Squires: Another great example of finding what works for you. Thanks for weighing Fairfax and congratulations on those 20 pounds!
Switching to green tea is also the advice that Dr. Nicholas Perricone gave Oprah.
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and try our new "bilk."
Sunday, February 11, 2007
A traditional Shinto wedding procession.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Dear Mellow Monk,
What does "Okinawan tea" mean? Which tea is more effective to lose weight?
Thanks for your question.
Okinawan tea is simply green tea that's been slightly fermented, like Oolong tea and English tea are. However, since it's fermented, Okinawan green tea actually has less of the green tea polyphenols that are so healthy for you. And as for its weight-loss effects, no one has even produced any evidence that slightly fermented green tea is better than traditional, non-fermented green tea like Mellow Monk's.
I hope this answers your question. Here is a blog posting I wrote on the topic, with links to other postings about green tea and weight loss.
Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.
Friday, February 09, 2007
The tile mural on the wall of a public bath house. Note, at the bottom of the picture, the low-to-the-ground faucets. This is where bathers, sitting on small stools, wash up before getting into the water.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The photo below shows the artist with a piece in which the kanji for "revolution" is allegedly created with the letters of the same English word.
Can you see the word "revolution" in there?
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
With help from the staff at her rest home, the world's oldest woman celebrates the honor. The placard she's holding reads "Congratulations on your world record."
What this implies is that passive activities, such as watching TV, are more likely to lead to a restless night's sleep.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Installed at Tsuruta Elementary School No. 1 in Tsuruta City, Shizuoka Prefecture, the dispenser brews a fresh, hot infusion each morning from locally grown tea. The tea is then chilled and stored in a 50-gallon tank. The tea is dispensed through an ordinary faucet, so all the kids have to do is turn the handle to get a cup of fresh, healthy green tea.
Safety concerns are, I assume, what compelled school administrators to opt for chilled tea instead of the piping-hot variety. However, since the tea is brewed fresh on site every morning, it's rich in EGCG and other catechins, which begin to break down within hours of brewing.
This model of tea brewer/chiller/dispenser was first installed in Uji City, in Kyoto, but this marks the first purchase by a local government.
(The original article, published in Japanese at Shizuokaonline.com, is no longer available online, although the photo below still is. [Whoops, make that was. It's gone as of 2/12.])
Elementary students line up for fresh, cold, free green tea.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Personally, I don't mind the "fusty" image—I drink tea because it's healthy and relaxing and because I like the taste, not because it's trendy.
And a passage in the article highlights an unfortunate trend in tea-drinking today:
At four of the five teahouses I visited, my cup came with a timer. The style of the timer bespoke the attitude and mood of the place, from wooden hourglasses at Tea Cup and Floating Leaves to Remedy's high-tech plastic timer, which flashed red at three minutes.
Preparing and drinking tea is an art, not a science. It's supposed to be relaxing, and keeping one eye on an egg timer while your tea steeps is not exacly conducive to relaxation. Instead of using timers or thermometers, we should strive to brew by intuition, as in "Okay, that's about long enough to wait after the water has boiled before pouring" or "Yes, that's about long enough for the tea to steep." After all, the art of preparing and drinking tea was developed in an age before egg timers and thermometers.
The linked-to article reaches a sensible conclusion for anyone who feels intimidated by tea. Says the proprietor of one tea house:
"Some people are intimidated by tea. They think you have to know a lot to drink it, but that's not true. We want to make tea fans of people," says Arnold at Remedy, placing a steaming cup in front of me. "Hey, try it; it's good."
In other words, just brew it!
Green tea: Just brew it!
A natto shopper weighing her buying options.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
As in all things, grasshopper, the key is finding the right balance.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
I'm so sorry!
I did a real forehead-slapper: I had the comments feature set to notify me before publishing a reader's comment to avoid subjecting you all to a lot of spam. However, I wasn't getting those email notices because of a goof on my part, so no one's comments were getting published.
I simply assumed no one was leaving comments. In hindsight, I wonder how I could have assumed you didn't care! (sniffle)
I have just rectified the situation, however, and published a large cartload of accumulated comments that you had left in the past months. Unfortunately, there's no way to show all those comments on one page—they're each attached to their respective postings. But rest assured that your comments will appear promptly from now on. My apologies to those who took the time to leave those comments.
A scene from the upcoming commercial, which you can view at the linked-to website.
The prized bluefin tuna
Friday, February 02, 2007
In a previous posting I expressed scepticism over the companies' claim that their new green-tea-infused drink Enviga contains "negative calories"—that because of its metabolism-boosting effects, Enviga burns more calories than it contains.
Now, a watchdog group has filed a lawsuit, asserting that the claims are fraudulent.
As far as I know, the only beverage with negative calories is a cold glass of water, which will cause your body to burn about 40 calories to re-generate the heat dissipated by the cold water.
Now, it's the ladies' turn.
Young entrepreneur Yoko Otsuka has launched Tokyo's first bulter café, whose female clientele is waited on hand and foot by tuxedo-clad English-style butlers (think Anthony Hopkins's character in Remains of the Day except played by Ken Watanabe).
Thursday, February 01, 2007
But even when it's cold outside, a nice pitcher of iced green tea is still good at dinnertime or after exercising.
What's nice about this recipe is its use of orange essence—orange is a wonderful complement to green tea. Instead of orange essence, you can also try experimenting with orange peels.
And, most importanty, instead of 2 green tea bags, use two heaping teaspoons of loose-leaf green tea. Then when you're pouring the tea mixture from the saucepan to the pitcher, pour through an over-the-cup tea strainer (such as this one) to catch the tea leaves.
By the way, a tea strainer like the one above is also great for making green tea by the cup.
You can also watch a video of the TV news segment on which the article is based.