Trader Joe’s and tofu

This tofu from Trader Joe’s is really excellent. Also, Trader Joe’s seems to have human prices, unlike Whole Foods. Whole Foods is incredibly expensive, but Trader Joe’s is actually reasonable.

This is like momen tofu in Japan, but instead of being firm it’s extra firm. I’ve never seen it in Japan. It is really good. It’s probably the best tofu I ever had. Do they sell this kind of extra firm tofu in Japan?

Trader Joe’s also seems to have a lot of things that I can almost eat, but can’t quite. For some reason a lot of the prepared foods have as their last ingredient, all the way at the bottom of the list, soybean oil. So I avoided all those products. But they looked really good except for that.

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Salad bar at Whole Foods

For my first meal in Boston we went out to whole foods supermarket in Dedham, where they have a great salad bar and dining corner.

The variety and quality is excellent, though it is a bit pricey. But it is less expensive than the salad bar at Sizzler in Tokyo.

My mother, sister and I had a good time. Tomorrow, I would prefer that my first meal of the day not be at 4 PM though. But during our meal we were excited to note that the vernal equinox had occurred. Spring has come to Boston.

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Bits and pieces: Chako, diet, iPads

Sad news to report about Chako

My neighbor, who had continued to feed Chako every day in secret from her husband, behind her house, said that after the huge 45 year record snowstorm last week, Chako has not yet returned. We strongly suspect she was unable to survive the snowstorm.

Sort of a lonely feeling that if she passed away she had to go like that. But if so, she did live the normal lifespan of a feral cat. Even though feral, she seemed sweet and quiet. We tried our best with trap, spay and release. But she could not get used to people, except for me occasionally “nose-bumping” her.

Purple did return after the snowstorm, and my neighbor continues to feed him.

Some old blog posts and pictures of Chako can be found here: http://lerner.net/tag/chako/

Diet update

I might have gone into a panic over nothing regarding my diet. Since yesterday, in one day, my weight dropped 2.2 kg = almost 5 lb. Obviously there must have been some water retention.

Nevertheless, I think all the high-glycemic foods I’ve been eating (white rice, senbei, corn-on-the-cob) has altered my hunger cycles. Plus rice has a large number of calories. So I’m going to stop eating rice every day and make a couple of minor, non-vegan, changes to my diet.

For example, I ate low-fat cottage cheese yesterday for the first time in 2 years. A container has only 224 calories, but a whopping 34 g of protein, and is very low fat, and very filling. Non-fat dairy is actually allowed on the Ornish program, so I don’t feel this is too far off.

I decided not to add chicken, but I did add some small amounts of fish (sashimi) yesterday and today. That is also very low calorie and filling. I don’t think I’ll wreck my heart trying this for a couple of months. My dietician and doctors all recommended it in fact.

In early April I have my next checkup. If my cholesterol goes up I’ll rethink. Otherwise I might continue to allow small amounts of dairy and fish as part of my diet to help control appetite and keep calories low. Everybody is different. We all have to find our best way.

iPads!

I like the iPad 4 I recently received (thanks again, Dave!) so much I’m thinking of selling it.

Sound contradictory? It makes sense to me, and I think it’s not just “gadget cravings” for the iPad Air.

The iPad 4 is such a huge improvement over my old iPad 2 in visual quality, speed and very importantly in the fact it has Siri, that I find myself grabbing for it even more than my Nexus 7 now. I really enjoy using it, even though it is heavier than my iPad 2.

Since I’ll be making a trip to the U.S. next month, it seems to me an iPad Air with cellular might be a perfect thing to take along. I can get a no commitment one-month contract with tethering in the U.S. and stay connected with all my devices from everywhere, and not bother with renting a mobile wi-fi, or separate phone, etc. The iPad Air would become my mobile hot-spot.

It seems it would be a perfect, utilitarian, light-weight carry along. And in Japan I can use a sharing data contract with my iPhone 5, so it will only be an extra 1,300 yen a month in running costs.

So I think I’ll sell my iPad 4 – and older iPad 2 – and even older iPad 1. I don’t know the combined values, but I think together they will go a long way to covering the cost of the iPad Air. So it seems worth doing.

And that’s my update for today.