Cat Town, Japan.

Listen up, y’all. I’m about to tell you guys about the #1 cat lady destination in Japan: Yanaka.

Yanaka is a neighborhood in Taitō Ward, Tokyo. It’s a super traditional part of town filled with winding alleys, shrines and meticulously maintained temples. It’s a lovely place, but today we’re here to focus on the thing that makes Yanaka a magnet for nerds like me: good good kitties.

You see, Yanaka is a neighborhood with a butt-ton of stray cats. This makes sense, since it’s basically cat heaven. The streets and alleys of Yanaka are essentially just a series of hidey holes and ideal sunning spots that happen to have humans running around. Thankfully these humans are quite appreciative of their feline overlords, which is why part of Yanaka has essentially just become cat themed. It’s honestly like the neighborhood has just agreed that this is their thing now.

The first cat-themed establishment we visited in Yanaka was Nekoemon, a café with a scant 13 seats that’s covered in cat decor. The special thing about this place is that they offer a set (for roughly $15USD) that includes a cat-shaped cookie, a coffee drink of your choice and a little unfinished maneki neko figurine. Why the figurine? ‘Cause you’re about to customize yourself a neko, my friend.

The owner asked customers to choose between figurines to attract either luck or money. We picked luck and got our maneki neko along with a full assortment of markers. The owner even set out a few already painted figurines to provide inspiration.

Aside from the novel figurine offer, the café also had genuinely delicious lunch sets. They weren’t cat themed (though they had plenty of dessert options that were), but it was healthy and extremely tasty. I honestly recommend Nekoemon on all fronts. 

Here’s my finished maneki neko. Followers of the blog may recognize him.

Nekoemon is great, but it isn’t even at the center of the cat madness. No, for that we’re headed to the shopping area: Yanaka Ginza.

Even if you don’t care about cats (in which case I’ve got to ask… why did you read this far?) this street is lovely. There are shops for handcrafted items, souveniers, sweets, savory foods and a lot more.

If you aren’t all sugared up from Nekoemon, you can always stop by Yanaka Shippoya, a shop that sells cat tail donuts. The donuts are named as cats would be rather than for their flavors, and they’re honestly very nice. We had a sesame camembert one that was lovely and not too sweet.

Donuts not your bag? You can always satisfy your sweet tooth with some maneki neko shaped taiyaki from Maneki-ya. Fluffy outside, rich and creamy inside. We got the matcha custard and red bean flavor and it did not disappoint.

Okay, so you’ve had enough sugar to last you a lifetime. Know what has no calories? Cat accessories. Yanaka Ginza has a bunch of shops that specialize in just… cat stuff. Cat jewelry? Check. Cat kitchenware? Check. Cat bento? Check. Cat bags? Dear heavenly lord, check. There’s even a store that specializes in making custom cat stamps. Seriously.

That’s just one tiny corner of just one shop. We visited 3, but saw more. Most of the shops had signs asking visitors to refrain from taking photos, so we kept the camera packed away. Honestly, I get it. These are shops best explored in person. It’s fun to see how the owner of each shop has a unique aesthetic and stocks totally different items (though there is certainly some overlap). You can tell these stores are curated by cat lovers.

Oh, and of course we can’t forget the feline residents themselves. When we first hit the area we saw zero cats. None. I was honestly really disappointed, but it turns out they were all hiding from the rain that started shortly after. Those kitty instincts served them well and kept them dry, and once the rain passed we suddenly saw little cat faces poking out all over.

This sweet girl roamed the cemetery and was the first kitty we met.

Shortly after we met a pair of housecats that chirped at us quite enthusiastically.

This orange boy said goodbye to us just before we left the area. 

In conclusion: if you love fluffbutts and toe beans and are near Tokyo, get thee to Yanaka. It’s a fantastic weekend day trip that isn’t crowded to the brim with tourists, the whole neighborhood has a relaxed and peaceful vibe, and you can come home decked out in cat stuff and filled with sugar. What more could you even want? 

My second week on the crew team, our coach pulled the women’s team around after practice. Since we’d made it this far, he figured we’d stick the season out and it was time to lay down some ground rules, especially since most of our team are true novices. I’ve found his rules to be valuable, so I thought I’d share them.

1) Eat. You are now an athlete. You will need the calories, especially as you build more muscle mass. Chances are you will need to eat more. You can carry granola bars with you, eat 4 medium meals a day, drink protein shakes, do what works for you. Cutting calories while doing two workouts a day is not safe. If you’re a vegetarian or have a dietary restriction, ask questions and plan what you eat so you don’t end up nutrient deficient. 

2) You are not to step on a scale. Your body is going to change as you adapt to the sport. Muscle weights more than fat. Your weight doesn’t matter. What matters is that, because you are doing the work, you are getting stronger. (Our team doesn’t separate by weight class).

3) If anyone gives you shit about how you look or eat, crush them. You’re going to have the muscle to do it in no time. You’re all god damn Wonder Women and don’t you forget it.

He then walked over to the huddle of novice men and gave them the same lecture. They are also god damn Wonder Women.

Can we like, not knock on other peoples' favorite form of exercise?

Like, you love to run miles on end? Frickin’ rad! You hate cardio and only lift? Badass! You do yoga? Cool! You only do calisthenics?! Awesome! You only walk laps around Target to get your steps in? GO YOU! You’re being active the way that you can, or makes you happy. And if you’re doing something you hate, you probably won’t do it long enough to get the results you want. So just enjoy falling in love with being active and don’t worry about what will burn the most calories or what people are telling you you SHOULD be doing.

i had a dream last night there was a meme called “what calories?” and it was just a confused pic of Samuel L. Jackson with the text “what calories?” on it

Paint Me In A Million Dreams - Sneak Peek

I’ve been working a lot on the fic, and if everything goes well, I should be able to start posting in about two weeks. I guess it’s safe to share a first sneak peak from the first chapter! 

He could always refuse the offer.

Harry pursed his lips, one finger swiping over the bottom one. He put his car back in gear when the lights switched to green.

Of course, that would be stupid. No one refused any part in a Scorsese production. The plain thought was ridiculous. It was horrifying that Harry even entertained the idea.

According to Nick’s contact person, everyone had been surprised by Tomlinson’s performance. No one had taken his audition seriously, until the moment he had stood on stage. Harry couldn’t even imagine it, but apparently, Tomlinson had convinced them all in the mere ten minutes he’d been on stage. Which was odd, because he wasn’t actually known for quality acting.

As far as Harry was concerned, Tomlinson was not to be taken seriously. Harry could appreciate a good romantic comedy, but those didn’t require what a Scorsese required. They didn’t even come close.

Sighing, Harry parked in front of the restaurant’s entrance and handed his keys over to a clerk when he got out. He thanked him quietly and made his way inside.

“Mr Styles. Welcome,” a woman greeted him. “Mr Horan is waiting for you. If you may follow me?”

Approaching the table, Harry saw Niall already seated, sipping some beer and typing on his mobile.

“Who’s preparing my food if you’re out here?” he asked upon sitting down.

Niall looked up, grinning broadly. “I only ever cook in front of cameras anymore.”

Keep reading

60 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Going to be doing this because why not?

Day one: How tall are you, what do you currently weigh, and what do you hope to weigh after the 60 days? (Be realistic).
Day two: What is your MAIN reason for wanting to lose weight? (Be honest.)
Day three: Do you count calories? What is your daily calorie goal/allowance?
Day four: Do you work out? How many times a week?
Day five: Is there any specific event you want to lose the weight for?
Day six: Have you ever been overweight or underweight?
Day seven: Do your friends and family know you are trying to lose weight?

Week Two!
Weekly challenge: Get organised! Try to plan tomorrow’s meal the night before.

Day eight: Name 5 things you like about your body (you can do it) and the one body part you’d like to change the most.
Day nine: What is your favourite food, healthy or unhealthy.
Day ten: Do you eat breakfast? What do you usually have?
Day eleven: What are your family’s eating habits like?
Day twelve: What are your friend’s eating habits like?
Day thirteen: Is your diet ever negatively influenced by your friends? Do they pressure/tempt you to eat unhealthy food?
Day fourteen: Do you ever allow yourself a “rest day” from exercise or a “cheat day” from your diet?

Week three!
Weekly challenge: Add an extra 30 minutes to each work out this week, or if you weren’t going to work out at all one day, work out for 30 minutes!

Day fifteen: What is your favourite kind of exercise?
Day sixteen: Have you ever missed a work out just because you couldn’t be bothered?
Day seventeen: Have you ever been called fat? Or skinny?
Day eighteen: Do you have to eat any meals with your family? Are they for or against your diet?
Day nineteen: Have you ever lied to avoid eating something?
Day twenty: Do you binge? How often and what triggers it?
Day twenty-one: Do you listen to music when you work out?

Week four!
Weekly challenge: Switch up your diet. Try one fruit and one vegetable you’ve never tried before, and learn how to cook a new healthy meal.

Day twenty-two: Are you generally smaller or larger than your friends?
Day twenty-three: Do you feel that your weight holds you back socially?
Day twenty-four: Is losing weight one of your top priorities in life?
Day twenty-five: Do you ever eat fast food?
Day twenty-six: Do you drink alcohol? What do you generally drink?
Day twenty-seven: Does shark week make you hungrier than usual, and do you allow yourself to eat more at this time of the month?
Day twenty-eight: Are there any foods or drinks that you have completely banned yourself from consuming, or do you believe in everything in moderation?

Week five!
Weekly challenge: Go and buy yourself a nice item of clothing one size too small, hang it somewhere visible. Think about how good it will feel when you can fit it!

Day twenty-nine: What is your current weight? Have you lost, gained, or maintained your weight since day one?
Day thirty: Do you have rewards for reaching goal weight? What are they?
Day thirty-one: What are your favourite healthy snacks?
Day thirty-two: What is your weakness/one food you just can’t say no to?
Day thirty-three: Will you continue to count calories once you reach your ultimate goal weight?
Day thirty-four: Will you continue with the same exercise routine once you reach your ultimate goal weight?
Day thirty-five: Do you mainly do cardio, strength training, or both?

Week six!
Weekly challenge: Focus on one area of your body (eg. Arms/abs) and work hard on it every day of the week, I bet you’ll see a difference after 7 days!

Day thirty-six: What’s one item of clothing you’d like to wear after losing weight?
Day thirty-seven: What do you wear when you go swimming/to the beach?
Day thirty-eight: What do you generally order if you have to eat out at a restaurant?
Day thirty-nine: What has been the hardest thing you’ve had to give up?
Day forty: Have you gained weight at any point of your journey? How did this effect you?
Day forty-one: Do you drink tea or coffee?
Day forty-two: What is the meaning of life? Just kidding. If you feel happy with the way your body looks before you reach your ultimate goal weight, will you continue to try and lose weight, or will you aim to maintain?

Week 7!
Weekly challenge: Aim to have a completely “clean food” week, avoid all processed food!

Day forty-three: Apart from weight loss, have you noticed any other benefits from your healthy diet?
Day forty-four: Do you drink green tea? (If you don’t you should. Seriously.)
Day forty-five: Who is your main inspiration to lose weight? Not a celebrity, someone from real life.
Day forty-six: Do you have a favourite motivational quote?
Day forty-seven: Have you ever come close to giving up? What made you change your mind?
Day forty-eight: Did you start losing weight before making your blog?
Day forty-nine: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done in an attempt to lose weight?

Week 8!
Weekly challenge: Treat yourself. You’ve come so far already! Even if you haven’t lost any weight, you deserve to treat yourself for not giving up. Paint your nails, go shopping, go to a movie, get your hair done, anything that makes you feel good about yourself!

Day fifty: What’s the most calories you’ve consumed in one day? Why?
Day fifty-one: What’s the least calories you’ve consumed in one day? Why?
Day fifty-three: What’s something you’ve done to make yourself proud?
Day fifty-four: Can you see any noticeable changes in your body?
Day fifty-five: Do you believe this is a lifestyle change, and you will be able to continue with a healthy, active lifestyle for the rest of your life?
Day fifty-six: What have you enjoyed most about your weight loss journey?
Day fifty-seven: What is your current weight? Have you lost any weight since day one?

volleyballtokyoboys  asked:

How do you find your maintenance caloric intake? Does it include the standard workout week?

- First off, what are maintenance calories?
The amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight. This is determinant on many different factors (age, height, sex, lean mass, hormones, exercise/activity level, diet, etc)
- Why is this important?
In order to gain muscle mass or lose fat you will have to be either in a caloric surplus or caloric deficit respectively. To determine how many calories you need you will need to know your maintenance and add (surplus) or subtract (deficit) from that. (Note: Cardio can definitely help you put yourself in a deficit by burning more calories in your workout HOWEVER if you still end up eating more calories you may still end up at maintenance or even at a surplus!!!)
- What’s the formula?
There’s many different formulas and some might be better than others but here here is a VERY simple calories per unit weight calculation which is based on how active your lifestyle is (it is not very specific to individual and offers too wide of a range sometimes but it gives you a good guessimate for you to try to find your maintenance)…
    - normal, healthy, sedentary individuals: 12-13 kcal/lb
    - moderate activity (active 3-5x a wk): 14-15 kcal/lb
    - highly active lifestyle (active 5+ a wk): 16-17kcal/lb
ex. I am moderately active and weigh ~125lbs so… 125lbs x 14kcal = 1750kcal and 125lbs x 15kcal = 1875kcal so… ~1750-1875kcal is the range in which my maintenance most likely lies
NOW to get a more accurate measure you will have to narrow it down… for about 2-4 weeks monitor your weight by weighing yourself every morning when you wake up and before you consume any food. At the end of the week take an average of them and compare it to the previous weeks.. if it is roughly the same you have found your maintenance. Congratulations!
- What now?
I want to LOSE weight: From your maintenance start by taking ~10-20% of your maintenance away and again like the method before monitor your weight WEEKLY (it is very important to note that DAILY weigh ins are NOT A DETERMINANT OF HOW HEALTHY YOU ARE so please do not stress if it fluctuates against what your goals are) There is no exact numbers or pattern to follow when dropping the calories but if you are progressing well after ~1-2 weeks drop another ~5-10% and so on.. these results are GRADUAL and patience is very important.
I want to GAIN weight: Same as above except now you are adding ~10-20% of your maintenance calories. Monitor your results and adjust as required.

Low Calorie And No Calorie Fruits And Vegetables

Wouldn’t it be great to find foods with so few calories that you could eat as much or as many as you want without worrying about calories? Or what about​ negative calorie
​ foods, foods that use more calories during their digestion process than the amount of calories these foods possess? Are there really no cal, low cal or negative calorie foods out there?
Remember that saying “if it sounds too good to be true…” it may apply here, BUT, ​yes, there really are foods, especially vegetables that come close to the negative calorie dream​. Adding these fruits and vegetables to your diet will help you feel full sooner, feel full longer, add bulk (fiber) to your diet and most definitely help you avoid those calorie bombs like chips, fries and sodas.
Start with raw cauliflower, carrot or celery sticks.​ Celery sticks are mostly water, average about 10 calories each and can use up to 12 calories to digest. That’s negative 2 calories for a snack that can fill you up and provide some healthy fiber. ​The problem:​ you dip them in ranch dressing and ruin any progress you would have made with the veggie sticks! Make your own healthy dip with plain Greek yogurt, chives, onions and spices.
Salads!​ Green leafy vegetables, especially lettuce, kale, raw spinach and swiss chard all have minimal calories and lots of bulk and fiber to fill you stomach and lean toward that negative digestion balance. ​The problem:​ you add salad dressing, one of the most fattening, fatty and unhealthy “foods” on the grocer’s shelf. Learn to make your own with a small amount of olive oil and vinegar and spices, then dip your fork in the dressing rather than pouring the dressing on the salad.
Cucumbers, radishes and similar veggies.​ Cukes are similar to celery sticks, more water than calories and more calories to digest than they contain. Add as many fresh raw vegetables to your salads or your plate as you can. ​The problem:​ avoid avocados and coconut, both have some very healthy benefits including omega 3 fatty acids, but both are loaded with calories and don’t belong on this list!
Spices and spicy foods.​ Think about the dishes that make you sweat, what are the spices and peppers that make these dishes hot? Those spices, peppers and powders literally raise your body temperature and speed your metabolism to burn more calories (and body fat). Add these “hot” ingredients to your meals to increase flavor and spice things up. The problem: If you use any pre-packaged hot sauces or salsas, etc. check for natural ingredients, avoid artificial flavors and colors.

Here is a short list of fruits and vegetables that should provide the “bulk” of any meal or snack if you are trying to lose weight:
Vegetables:​ Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery,
Chicory/Radicchio, Cucumbers, Endives, Green beans, Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Radishes, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini.
Fruits:​ Apples, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cranberries, Grapefruits, Honeydew, Lemons/Limes, Mangoes, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangerines, Watermelon.
Herbs & Spices:​ Anise, Cayenne, Chili peppers, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander/Cilantro, Cumin, Dill, Fennel seeds, Flax seeds, Garden cress, Garlic, Ginger, Parsley, Onion, Mustard seeds, Watercress.

accidemia  asked:

One day HDuke brought a slushie to school, and JD was so disgusted he lurked behind Veronica and gave Duke passive-aggressive glares until she finally challenged him. Veronica had to break up the fight

Tiny JD “but Veronica slushies are MY THING”
Heather “fine you can keep them slushies are gross anyway and they have a ton of calories”
Veronica “what the heck is a calorie”

My Goals before Top Surgery

- Lose enough weight that my hips go down. I’ve realised that I don’t actually have a naturally big-hipped figure. But my weight goes straight to my hips. This is only to do with appearance - i don’t want to be left with a feminine torso even after top surgery.

- Get into the healthy weight BMI category, or as close as I possibly can. This ISNT for appearance. I’ll heal better and have better results if my body is the healthiest it can be.

- Improve general health. I already eat a balanced and healthy diet but I’m going to pay more attention to what my calories are made up of - and start taking vitamins

- Tone. Again, pure vanity here. I would like a fairly toned upper half. Having a toned chest makes it easier for the surgeon, but will also mean that my post-surgery torso looks as attractive as possible.

What I’m doing to get that:
- Sticking to the calorie recommendation given to me by MyFitnessPal. Having one protein - heavy cheat day every 2 weeks - I’m having one tomorrow! I’ve stuck to this for almost a month.

- Jogging 2+ miles a day along with half an hour of bodyweight exercises. I do core daily and alternate chest and shoulders.

I will get there. I’ve got 4 months and I will get as close as I possibly can. Maybe I won’t hit exactly what I want but I know I’ll improve.

Like this if you’d like weekly update posts - it would definitely motivate me but I don’t want to clog up everyone’s Tumblr!

anonymous asked:

Okay, so. My name is Sarah, I'm 20 years old and tall, around 5'8. I'm also overweight. Not obese, I'd put myself somewhere between 220-240 lbs. I'm getting a YMCA pass soon. I know at my height I can never be 150 and healthy but even getting down to 190 would make me happy. I tried running every day to lose weight but I hurt my knee because of my heaviness and couldn't continue. Any tips on how to burn enough fat to exercise without hurting myself? I really want a body that I can be proud of.

Adjust your diet first. Drop your calorie intake and adjust your fridge contents to healthier ones and you’ll see the weight drop that way first. You can find out what a good calorie intake would be for you by making a MyFitnessPal account. Cut things out like soda, chips, candy, super sugary lattes from Starbucks, all that stuff. You can also do things like walking, biking, swimming, and floor exercises (check out blogilates on youtube) to help burn some calories. This will get you down to a manageable weight and you’ll be able to exercise more often without hurting yourself :)