Sunday, September 28, 2008

Poll on gift certificates

So, I don't blog for like a month and now 3 in one night lol!

There is a poll on the right side of this entry. Could you let me know what you think about gift certificates please. I am toying with the idea of having them on my etsy site but not really sure anyone would be interested or not. The poll is just a yes or no answer so feel free to leave any comments here. Thanks!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cool weather means chocolate!

Well it seems like it is just about cool enough to start selling chocolate and other food. We are thinking about selling the unique kit kat flavors, pocky (and similar items), green tea chocolate etc. I would love to hear from people-what would you like to see us selling?

Other things (besides chocolate) we are thinking of selling:

Green tea
Green tea latte mixes
Milk tea powder
Mentos (the have different flavors)
Happy Turn (the BEST rice snack/cracker....everything you put on them tastes better-I swear!)
Miso Soup mix packs

Would really love to hear your ideas!!

Long time no blog!

I can't believe it has been so long since I blogged!! I always intend to blog but then it's 2 am and I'm tired and figure the blog won't make much sense so I don't.

Let's see....what's new. Fall is, I think, finally here. It was soooooo humid last week-felt like July and then it rained and finally there is a freshness to the air that I have really really missed!!! My honey and I will start walking again after I come home for work...can't wait!!!

Gluten free has been great. My honey has also gone gluten free. He has always had huge digestive issues so I told him he should try going gluten free for a bit to see how he feels and he said he would try. In one day we could already see the running to the toilet, no (or much much less) burping etc. He is thrilled that he feels better but less than thrilled to realize how many things are off limits now. He still makes mistakes and buys things without reading them and sure enough....wheat or soy sauce is added. I have given away a lot of food recently to friends and students-they are all happy but Futoshi isn't.

Because of the gluten free thing we have ordered fabulous bread and other products from el peto.... they have the best breads for people who can't eat wheat or gluten. They are in Canada and they do ship to the states and other countries. They are shipping mine to the states and I have a company who ships it to me in Japan. We just got their chocolate chip muffins today and OMG!! Yummy! I have known about the store for about 20 years as my grandmother used to eat their products but part of the reason I didn't order from them before is in freezer space! that we have the 2nd apartment/office we just bought a chest freezer so we can buy lots of bread and freeze it! I am beyond thrilled to have a chest freezer. I don't know anyone in Japan who has them as most homes (never mind apartments) just don't have space for one (there are no basements in Japan....that is where my family always kept ours). It is soooo beautiful! I can't wait to start filling it with things!!!

I'm planning a trip to Tokyo for next month.....lots of shopping for my business!! Can't wait to see what I find.

We will be officially opening a request shopping business. We do it now anyway but we will probably add a section to our yahoo store about the business and how it works etc. We get a lot of requests to buy things that we don't sell so we decided this would just make sense.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Going Gluten Free In Japan

About a year or so after I got here, I got sick. Really really sick. So sick that I almost left Japan. I had no idea what was wrong with me. After climbing stairs, I couldn't breathe. I woke up in the middle of the night not being able to breathe. I went to doctors and they didn't know what was wrong with me. I said it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. One doctor told me I didn't have lung cancer...hmmm....hadn't been worried about that but thanks for telling me. I really didn't know what to do. Then I went to Canada for Christmas and had no problems. Zero. I came back to Japan and the next morning ate a piece of raisin toast and instantly couldn't breathe.


I was allergic to wheat or rather gluten. This wasn't exactly new to me as my grandmother had been diagnosed with dermatitis herpetaforamis which is a terrible itchy rash caused by the gluten in wheat (and rye, barley etc). But I had never reacted like this. I got bloated but nothing so life threatening and this was life threatening. I instantly knew my life had changed and in a land I couldn't communicate in. I learned the Chinese characters for wheat and soy sauce. I learned the Hiragana for soy sauce and learned that ALL soy sauce in Japan has wheat in it and most sauces have soy sauce in it so....needless to say it was a pain trying to eat. I carried a little card around with me and showed it to waitresses "Please do not put sauce on the meat." I would be asked why so I quickly learned the word for asthma "zensoku". I knew within a minute if I had eaten something with wheat as I would start to wheeze. I then cut out dairy as I knew it wouldn't help asthma and I always felt bloated after eating it. Eating this way I lost weight, could breathe and felt great. So...that was my life for a while.

Then, the asthma reaction to wheat stopped. Not a clue why. I never fully went back to eating bread or pasta but I didn't worry that much about sauces-silly me.

Just recently I started having severe cramps after eating at my favorite yakiniku restaurant or sushi place and sometimes almost didn't make it to a bathroom. I started to think about what it could be. The only thing I could think of was sauce-as in soy sauce-as in wheat. So, since last Thursday I cut out all sauce and other things that contain wheat/gluten and I feel so much better. I also know when I get some accidentally as the cramps start. It would be soooo easy if it was just about the big things like bread, pasta, cookies etc but is shocking how many things have soy sauce in it or are dusted with flour. Potato chips, crackers, Italian dressing, nuts, most sauces etc. I now carry my own soy sauce (which ironically is made in Japan but I have to buy it from an online shop that imports it back to Japan) and have to explain to waitresses not to add sauce to meat etc. But all of this is sooo worth it. I sleep better. No need to run to the bathroom. My brain and body just feel clearer.....cleaner.

So now I have to shop online and have food delivered like rice pasta, breads, sauces, cookies etc. Thank God for the Internet!! And while it is expensive and inconvenient, feeling good is soooo worth it!


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