The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Japanese things, reading material, asthmatic's diet, and Temple in the Village

I don't have any cool photos for you, so check out the above commercial for Mister Donut. Although Mister Donut started as an American company, its strongest presence today is in Asia, centered around Japan. The bubbly pastel cuteness of the commercial that almost looks like a program for toddlers (a program that teaches them what scientists have been pushing all along: animals made of donuts like to eat each other) makes me want to raid a Mister Donut shop and ingest all its donut-y critter friends right now.

...Um, that's not just me, I hope.

Remember that essay about cute Japanese snacks that I wrote a long time ago? As in last year? A bunch of people responded to my survey and I never gave you the end result. it is:

Not Just Tasty: Cute Japanese Snacks as a Reflection of Japan's Rebellion Against Adulthood, Westernization, and Consumerism [evil PDF format, yup]

Yeah, long title. I wouldn't be surprised if many of my assumptions are faulty, as I didn't grow up in Japan, but my professor felt that I backed up my information well enough to deserve a good grade. [wipes sweat off forehead] (I didn't correct the errors after my teacher graded it, so...those are probably strewn throughout the paper.) I was really surprised, but glad to see that writing about a topic I was actually interested in paid off.

So about the heart-meltingly cute Mister Donut commercial, I'm going to lamely quote from my own essay (because I wouldn't suddenly pull this half-a-year-old stuff out of my brain):

Even though cuteness didn't originate from commercial endeavors, it became highly commercial through the plethora of cuteness-incorporated goods Japanese companies churned out. Kinsella believes that the idea of cute is mainly accessible through the continual "consumption" of cute goods because "Cute culture had to be entered and left in a matter of minutes or moments, which lent it to construction by ephemeral products and places of consumption of goods and leisure services" (245). Eating cute snacks is a perfect way to introduce cuteness (perhaps in a bite-sized piece) into one's life for a short period of time without making cuteness one's entire lifestyle. People know that they can't be cute all the time, so eating snacks is an acceptable way for people to retain cuteness, or something that is oppositional to adulthood, whether the eater is actually an adult or is a young person faced with the prospects of adulthood.

If you're Japanese/well versed in Japanese-ness and find that I'm way, waaay off (or a little off), please accept my apologies.

Although this came out weeks ago, I just read Bill Buford's New Yorker essay about working with Will Goldfarb. Even though snack says it took the article down, as of right now you can still download it from the link on Eater's site. Oops. It's a good read,, read it.

Surprisingly, I've never been to Room 4 Dessert, Goldfarb's dessert bar. I've gotten as far as looking through the glass doors and then passing it due to not feeling desserty enough to try it. After reading Buford's article, a part of me really wants to go try a bouncy puree of coconut cream and dried coconut milk, while the other part kinda wants a towering, plebeian hot fudge sundae smothered in whipped cream. Hohum. I guess eating the latter would make me feel guiltier about myself and the horrors I forced into my blood stream. Room 4 Dessert would satisfy my curiosity, not gluttony or search for comfort. Hmm. Mmm. Mmmh. I'll try it at some point.

On a totally different, but still food-related matter, read "Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal" (pdf) by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Ooh, someone didn't cliiiick. Don't be that person. :]

...Well, if you're not interested in farming or how the American food supply is processed and regulated, I guess you can skip it. I heard of Polyface from The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. If you're an American and care about where your food comes from and what it's made of, the book is full of important stuff you should know about (or if you're not American, you can learn about our messed up food system, weee!!!).

On that note, I finished my recommendations page where I've listened most of the food-related books I've read. If you buy anything, I made a smidgen of moolah! BUY SOMETHING! :]

I haven't updated in a while due to the lack of anything interesting to report about what I've been ingesting lately. "The Girl Who Ate Everything" is now "The Girl Who Drank A Lot Of Juice and Ate A Lot of Fruit and Subsequently Had To Pee A Lot". That title is way too long.

juice bar corner
things to be juiced

I was planning to eat lunch with Deb last Friday, but by Wednesday night my asthma had gotten so bad that I cancelled the lunch (sniffle!) and started a juice fast. From Thursday to Sunday I drank three glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice a day (diluted with water because even I find that stuff really sweet otherwise) until going insane on Sunday night and eating an unsmashed orange. Yesterday I drank two juice concoctions from Life Thyme's juice bar (I don't know what the guy at the counter must've thought upon seeing the same person within a 5 hour period) and ate some fruit for dinner. Today on day six, I'm still just eating fruit. I gave up the liquid fruit part of the diet because it was making me sad.

Why am I still just eating fruit? Because. I'm still wheezing. Although it's not as bad as before, I shouldn't be wheezing at all. I'm sure many people would like to chime in at this point about other things I could do to get better, or give me reasons as to why I'm all asthmatic, but you don't have to. Frankly, I'm just going to keep up with this diet until I get better or hate it. I'm figuring I'll get better before I hate it, not that it didn't give me some major grumpy periods over the weekend (grumpiness factors included more than food).

Obviously, I won't be eating out for a while, at least nothing interesting, so don't look forward to that. It's July 4th, which means I'm staying home and not doing anything celebratory. Hahaha, indeeeeed, I know how to have maximum fun. I was just outside helping my dad chop down a skinny tree that cracked halfway down. That was the maximum fun for the day. And of course, it made me wheeze. I hope most of you are having a more enjoyable holiday. A friend invited me to go to the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island, but I didn't feel up to traveling for a few hours on an empty stomach to see Kobayashi eat 53.75 hot dogs. Maybe next year. [sigh]

Thanks for all the comments on my previous (painfully long) entry! Unfortunately, I pooted out a while ago in attempt to reply to all the comments, but I read them all. It's funny to be missed by people who haven't met me. :) I'm touched that my readers care enough to give me health advice (the friendship advice was also helpful), but for the time being I'm only going to follow what my mum and I want to do. My sanity should stay intact as long as I focus on what I'm doing (you wouldn't go on an all-fruit diet unless you were determined to do it) and don't get distracted by other things. This update is just to tell you that...yeah, I'm alive with fairly normal brain functions.

Update (later in the day): Ah...I felt bad about not having anything interesting to say about NYC food, so I'll talk about a place I neglected to mention before.

on Sunday, the buffet disappears

Last Wednesday (before I realized that my death will probably be asthma-related) I went to Temple in the Village with Tony and Jan. They offer Asian (felt like a mix of Korean/Japanese/Chinese) vegetarian food in a narrow, no-frills environment that wouldn't be out of place in Chinatown. But it's not like you're gonna sit there for a long time anyway. Many people opt to take their food out.

example label
no oil, wow!

All the selections in their buffet table are labeled according to dietary recommendations and what objectionable ingredients they may contain. In case you don't want something oil and soy sauce free...

some stuff

...this represents about 1/4th of their offerings. Or 1/5th. Ish. And that doesn't include their rice selection between white, brown, and sticky purple. They have lots of veggies, tofu-esque things, noodly things, and some fried stuff at the end in case you don't want to feel overly healthy.


Across from the fried stuff section, they have loads of condiments for you to dress up your food with in case you do want oil and soy sauce, among other things.

my plate Tony's plate Jan's plate
no, only one plate was mine

My plate at the top cost between $4-$5 for a sampling of boy choy, glass noodles (made of potato or bean starch, I'm not sure), sweet potato, cabbage, sticky purple rice, something that might be kale, and something else that might and leafy. I like it when I can choose just how much I want to eat (not in the all-you-can-eat sense; that's when things get baaaaad) since it allows me to eat sensibly and not stuff myself with more than I should eat just because the restaurant decides to present me with a mountain of food. I think Jan and Tony also finished off their plates. I'd definitely go back to Temple in the Village due to the proximity to my workplace and numerous choices for someone avoiding wheat and dairy products.

Of course, right now I'm avoiding more than that and am already running into the problem I had as a raw foodist: I'm eating much more than I need to in order to compensate for the unsatiated feeling that comes with only eating food that's 80%+ water. (Or the unsatiated feeling that comes with being accustomed to a diet with heavier foods.) A bag of organic cherries (many of which were going bad, blech!) from Whole Foods lasted less than a day, and two oranges, a plum, and an apple met their deaths in my digestive fluids. Well, at least I'm getting a gazillion servings of fruit.


Gordon / July 4, 2006 7:00 PM

Yo that's insane!!! They're taking bites outta each other!!!! Hahaha! Crazy!

Go to hear you're still alive and doing reasonably well. Was gunna message you to see how you were doing on google talk last night but thought it would be a bit weird. Not doin anything here at home either. Hope that diet works out and your wheezing stops! Prayin for you!

Kristen / July 4, 2006 7:54 PM

YAY! Aliveness...maybe you should expirament with lots of cool salads and least it would be entertaining for a while (chopping things?) and should keep you wheeze free :)

Helen / July 4, 2006 8:19 PM

lol. I love that name for your new blog! I'd still read it!

Hope your wheezing subsides. It was funny that my immediate thought re: oranges was that my grandma always said oranges were bad for asthma and wheezing. But I googled it just then and whilst some say people may have allergies to asthma, others say OJ relieves asthma. So meh, I dunno. Hopefully you'll be ship-shape soon!

roboppy / July 4, 2006 10:42 PM

Gordon: Crazy, but cute! [chomp]

If you see me on Google then I'm alive and well. :) Perhaps. Well, I'm alive at least. UNLESS SOMEONE STEALS MY EMAIL. (And it's not weird to message me, hehe.)

Kristen: Cool salads...I do like cool salads! But I'm supposed to eat plain vegetables or something. Plain raw vegetables do not make for happy eats, as far as I'm concerned. That's why people put dressing on them! Doh. Maybe I can eat that soon. :\

Helen: I never heard about oranges being bad for asthma!...or good, for that matter. I figured they wouldn't make me any worse. :O MAYBE I'M WRONG! The annoying thing about health advice is that everything seems to conflict each other. At the very least, maybe everyone can agree that chicken nuggets are bad for you.

Sera: I wish the asthma would go away. It's putting a damper on my food photography. :[

Thanks for the scan! That's actually how I heard of Famima!! in the first place...hehe...nice of you to go through the trouble to scan it though. I'm so lazy when it comes to that stuff.

Kathy / July 4, 2006 11:12 PM

Hey Robyn!
I give you credit for sticking to a liquid diet - that definitely takes a lot of determination (which I seem to be lacking...) Summer is funny time, it seems like everyone in the whole food blogging sphere slows down the posting pace and extreme bouts of eating. One thing's for sure, with fewer posts, I realized that on so many occasions I've eaten, or gone out to eat for the sheer purpose of posting. Lol, you probably understand better than I! I'll cross my fingers in hope that your wheezing be gone!

From Our Kitchen / July 5, 2006 12:31 AM

Oooh, do you have a juicer? If so you should make lemonaide! My dad used to make it, back when he actually used the juicer he got for Christmas one year. It actually uses a whole bunch of apples (the entire apple, core and all) and only a couple of lemons. It's the best ever!

G / July 5, 2006 3:43 AM

Aw.. hope the asthma will be over soon. It's an awful thing to have. Thank you for posting anyway despite your feeling ill :) The asian food looks great, wish I could get that sort of stuff (authentic asian chow is hard to come by over here).

Good luck with your fruitarian diet :p

Deb / July 5, 2006 7:08 AM

Ghandi was a fruitarian for a while, you know... And look at all the amazing things he accomplished. Have you read his book or books about him? Phenomenal stuff.

I'll bet your skin looks fantastic and the weight is dropping off. High fiber!

roboppy / July 5, 2006 10:45 AM

Kathy: You don't need the determination to go on a liquid diet; you'll never need to go on a diet! ;D I've eaten out just to post about it too, hehe. It's not that weird, right? ...yeah!

From Our Kitchen: I've never heard of apple + lemon juice, but that makes sense. Thanks for the suggestion!

G: I'm just really glad that my asthma wasn't bad during my vacation. :O But yeah, I'd like it to be over; as much as I like fruit, eating ONLY fruit isn't that fun. I guess eating only one type of food no matter how much you like it would get old after a while.

...except bread. Because bread tastes like heaven.

I used to wonder how healthy I'd be if I just ate Asian food. Asians seem pretty healthy. :[

Deb: Oh no, I'm giving fruitarians a bad name! ;P If I became more Ghandi-esque, that'd probably be due to insanity...from all the fruit...hmmm. Maybe I should like, go accomplish something to get my mind off the diet.

Weight is dropping, that's for sure. That's the good thing; my favorite skirt is more comfortable now. WEEE.

Min / July 5, 2006 10:49 AM

Oooh... hope your asthma gets better more quickly! I recently had jaw surgery and I totally know what the liquid diet feels like. I even had liquid fruit for a little while, like you did, lol.

For the buffet part, I see lots of Korean yummies! I think the one that you couldn't identify on your plate is spinach :D

twobrain / July 5, 2006 12:06 PM

i dont think peopel normally do organge juice fasts...

too much fructose...

do cucumbers, celery... maybe some carrots maybe some beats...

and some dark green... parsley... dun know

eat some apples.... eat some oranges... but i wouldnt be drinking straight up orange juice... thats not a fast

Cathy / July 5, 2006 1:17 PM

Eeek! I admire you for being to true to your fruit diet, but I'm scared you're not getting enough fats and protein. The protein and fat will help make you feel fuller longer, but not heavy like meat will. I'm not sure how you feel about nuts and seeds, but I would recommend some nuts (whatever you like) or sunflower seeds. I got this awesome seed and nut mix at Walmart a while ago. It had soy nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, dried cherries, raisins and some other stuff. It's actually a store brand, Sam's Choice or something. $4-5 for a couple pounds and it was called "Nature Trail". They also had other kinds of "trails" depending on how evil you want your trail mix. Otherwise, I would totally eat at a buffet like that. And it's doubly awesome that they take the time to make dietary recommendations. Again, hope your symptoms alleviate soon.

roboppy / July 5, 2006 2:26 PM

Min: Jaw surgery, oh no! That sounds painful. I guess it was...drink liquid or STAAAARVE.

I should eat more korean food, it's so yummy. And...yeah, that looks be spinach. Oops. :O

twobrain: Too much fructose? You're telling this to someone who lived mainly on fruit for more than a year? ;P I think the raw food diet is why I have such a high sugar tolerance now. I still remember the first time I ate a dried date and thought it was too sweet. After a while I could eat 30 in one sitting. Disturbing? Yeah.

Anyway, the orange juice thing was only 4 days. In the past three days I've eaten different stuff. Like that apple-carrot-parsley juice I had the other day. Mmmm, tastes like...chlorophyll.

Cathy: A lot of people used to be scared that I wasn't getting enough fats and protein. >__Ani: Thanks! It sure does.

mariss / July 5, 2006 2:40 PM

I wholeheartedly support your juice fast. I don't have asthma, but I'm particularly mucuousy, esp if I eat certain foods. I'm currently on the Master Cleanse for about 14 days and I'm a foodie! So, reading your site and other food blogs is like porn to me, but I believe in living a balanced and non-mucousy life as well (whilst enjoying those contraband things like wheat) every so often. Good luck and happy fasting!

Daphne / July 5, 2006 5:01 PM

Hey robyn,

fyi: glass noodles is made from green bean flour.

Great blog and I hope your asthma gets better.


Rich / July 5, 2006 9:22 PM

We used to have a Mr. Donut (same logo, indeed the same place or brand at least) in Jamestown, NY. It was replaced with Donut Connection eventually, though. I still remember watching an old guy smoke a cigarette as he produced donuts in the wacky donut making machinery behind glass there.
It was cool to see that ad.

Diet sounds exciting.

roboppy / July 5, 2006 10:37 PM

mariss: Mm, mucusy people unite! I did two cleanses in my life...totally do not want to do em again. But they do get crap out. Ewww.

I had some cashew contraband today. Uhoh! ;P

Daphne: Thanks for the info! My asthma is getting a smidge better, but really slooowly.

Ricky: CHURROS! Those things are awesome, yet I've only had em once or twice in my life. Need mooore.

Rich: Old cigarette smoking dude making donuts doesn't fit in with the cute pastel animal feeling, but...still cool? Yeah! Um. Yeah. I wanna see a wacky donut machine.

Oh yes, the excitement is just too much for me. Want some? :P

Rich / July 8, 2006 6:46 PM

I feel like I should take the Jamestown, NY Mr. Donut story to it's logical conclusion for the internet completists, here. Mr. Donut went to Donut Connection, which was then moved when the Jamestown Ice Arena was built (or planned... then built).

Also, as for dieting, lately I'm on the 'bicycle so much I don't feel much like eating because my guts hurt' diet. It's no Jimmy Tango's Fat Busters, but it works ok.

yoko / July 13, 2006 9:38 PM

I went to the asian grocery store this evening and bought some Koala's March Chocolate Creme cookies. Just because. Now I feel cute. or... something.

Something random from the archives