Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

5Dec/103

Didn’t Your Mother Tell You To Finish All Your Food?

Well, she was wrong!

The idea of finishing all the food on your plate goes way back to a time when they didn't know how to make food taste good, so they made a rule that you HAD to finish everything, otherwise you'd die of starvation!

No, all jokes aside think about this for a minute: when you feel satisfied, it's your body's way of telling you that you've had enough. When you feel full, your body is telling you that you ate too much. And what happens to excess food that's left on your plate? It's  thrown away.

So let's say that you serve yourself a little too much, and about halfway through the meal you start to feel full, but then your mother's voice pops up in your head says the old familiar "finish all the food on your plate" and you obediently shovel the rest down onto your already full stomach.

What just happened?! You dumped garbage right down into your body! That's right. The food that either should have never been on your plate or belongs in the trash is now in your stomach, doing you no good there at all!

My advice is: If you make the mistake of serving yourself too much, don't make another mistake by eating it!
(And start a habit of taking smaller servings and seconds if necessary.)

I know some parents are going to protest and say that their kids DO need to eat all the food that they're served, because they don't know what's good for them. Sometimes they may even lie (OMG!) and say that they're full when they actually just don't want to eat a certain food on their plate. (sneaky!) Myself being a parent I know what you mean.

So to parents I say: Use your own discretion, but for the love of God and your children, don't make a rigid rule or habit for your child of always having to finish their plate! Or you may pay for it later (in medical expenses)

Ps. To those who would argue that it's a waste of money to not finish your plate: How does that make sense? You already bought the food, cut it up, and cooked it, so how does it affect your bottom line whether or not it gets eaten? On second thought, your "bottom line" might get a little bigger if you do continue eating it! (and you can spend all your "savings" from scraping your plate on the next "get thin quick" product)

18Nov/101

Whiners are Losers!

What separates the winners from the losers in life? The list can be pretty long, but if you've ever read the book "Think and Grow Rich", which by the way is not only about making money, you'll understand that one of the most basic, yet most important things to remember if you want to be a winner in life is to keep a positive outlook.

This is not to say that you should go into a state of denial and tell yourself that you live in a wonderful place when your house really actually looks like a dump! See things as they are, but give them alternate, empowering meanings which will be beneficial to your personal growth.

In the book the author talks about his son who was born without ears, but he refused to treat him any differently than other children who had normal hearing. He explained to him about the advantages he had over others with things like getting special treatment from his teacher because of his lack of hearing and being able to sell more newspapers than others because people pity him, etc. Because his son was able to see every situation as an advantage instead of a handicap, he overcame his handicap and became an overachiever and a very successful salesman and businessman.

The people I encounter who are not making progress in their lives have three main things they whine about:

1. I don't have enough education

2. I don't have enough money

3. I don't have enough time

Education. If history ever repeats itself, which I believe it does--a lack of education never stopped the likes of Edison, Ford, and even Steve Jobs. Don't get me wrong here--I'm not knocking education, just don't let the lack of it become an excuse! If you feel you need it, GET IT!

Money, or capital may have been a necessity 30 years ago to start your own business, but today there are countless successful companies which were born of the internet revolution which required little or no initial capital investment. If you want a good example explained, buy the book: "You Call the Shots"

Time. We all have the same amount of time and you may have heard this before, but it's so true! The things in your life that take your time (youtube, gaming, cleaning the house?) now are the things that you feel are most important to you whether or not you admit it to yourself. Why not do yourself a favor and put personal-development at the top of your list? My wife is a very busy person and has 7 kids to take care of--myself included--and she said she really did not have time to fit in a daily exercise routine (and I'll admit I was almost convinced). I had to coach her and help her put it above all else, recognizing that if her health failed, then all else in her life that depended on her health, which is just about everything, would also fail. The result? She's already started each day with her exercise routine, prioritizing it above the rest of her duties, and she's on a roll!

What's on the top of your list?

22Jun/1010

You Don’t Know Pain

This morning I got a call from school asking me to come right away. My son, Makoto was hurt. From the tone of the voice on the phone I could tell that it was serious. My wife and I rushed to the school to see him.

We found him in the medical room holding his arm and crying in pain. There were two teachers trying to comfort him. His right arm was loosely wrapped in gauze, and tied in a sling around his neck. Next to him on the floor was his school-bag and hat, ready to go with him. They told us that he had fallen from a climbing frame and that he might have broken his arm.

I carried him to the car and drove to the nearest orthopedist, who right away could tell his arm was broken. After unwrapping the gauze it was obvious to the untrained eye that it was a bad break. He seemed to have a second elbow between his wrist and elbow, with his wrist pointing up at about a 45 degree angle. This sight gave me a sick feeling in my stomach, as I tried to remain calm and comfort my crying son. Natacha tried to explain to him that the doctor would have to straighten his arm in order for it it heal properly. After the X-rays we could see that both his radius and ulna had snapped completely through.

The next part was the most difficult. I had to hold him on my lap as the doctor and nurse used a large amount of force to pull apart and straighten the bones in his arm. This took about two minutes, and all the while I held my son and listened to him scream uncontrollably in excruciating pain like I've never experienced before. My wife had to leave the room as the scene was too much for her to take.

I cried.

I never wanted to see my own child suffer so much pain. I felt the pain he was suffering as he clenched my thumb with his little fist. I cried the tears he cried as he screamed in pain. I wished I could do it in his place, that somehow, me suffering the same pain would make him get better--but I couldn't.

By the time they had finished setting the bones, and making a cast for his arm, he had gotten over the pain. It seemed to disappear magically, and he even managed to crack a smile at the doctor and thank him.

Leaving the clinic, I found a renewed respect for him. He's my hero. Even though he didn't choose to break his arm or to suffer that pain, he went through it bravely, manifested when he smiled and thanked the doctor only minutes after he had caused him what was probably the severest pain he ever felt in his life.

You don't know pain until you've suffered it. You don't know pain until you've felt it through the one you love.


Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV)
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6May/104

Stick That Label Elsewhere

Yesterday I spent National Children's Day with my kids at a local park and had a great barbecue--loads of fun! On the menu we had: onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, bread, potatoes, eggplant, fish, and sausages. We had 100% fruit juice for the kids and beer for my wife and me.
Now I know that some of you are thinking that I'm going back on my word about not eating meat and all that. I tried to figure out what name I should take on to describe my eating habits, but nothing I could find fit what I am doing.

I don't eat dairy products but I'm not vegan because I eat eggs.
I don't eat red meat and chicken, but I'm not vegetarian because I eat fish.

But people don't give up trying to label me! "are you really a vegetarian?" "you're not truly vegan because blah, blah blah!"

I'm getting tired of being labeled and put in a box!

I've met some people calling themselves vegetarian who seem to believe that their life's mission is to tell everyone else how badly they are polluting their bodies and preaching that their way is best and I'd imagine that many vegans may come across the same way.

I don't want to be like that. I respect each person's decisions about what they choose to eat, and I expect them to respect mine. I don't need a title to tell me what I should or shouldn't eat, because I can make my own rules!
Yes, I have cut down on alcohol, I've eliminated caffeine and eliminated all meat with the exception of fish. I've eliminated processed foods and anything containing MSG, which includes commercial curry. Potato chips and 99% of food found in a convenience store is out also.
BUT, the above is only MOST of the time. I want my commitment to be long-term, and I also want to have the freedom to give myself exceptions whenever I feel like it, such as a BBQ on children's day. When I'm a guest, then I'll eat what's served, I just might not take a very big serving of certain foods. I want the freedom to celebrate when I feel like it, and have a beer while I'm at it.
No rules or labels for me please! I prefer guidelines.
So far it's been a 90% / 10% ratio of times I am strict on myself about the food I eat, to times that I am not, and it's working out pretty well so far.

To put it in a nutshell: I'm not vegetarian, I'm not vegan, I'm not stupid. I'm a 90/10!

31Mar/109

Are You Fit? Or Are You Healthy?

It's funny how many of us these days equate fitness with health. Although I'll stop short of saying that it couldn't be farther from the truth, I will say that there is a big difference.

The dictionary defines fitness as: [capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort] and health as: [the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor]
For the record, I would like to have both, but health comes first, if there is a choice.

There are finely tuned athletes who have had the endurance of a camel, or the strength of a gorilla, but have collapsed and been hospitalized during competition or training. I would not call that healthy. There are also those who claim to be healthy because they are not sick. This is also a misnomer for the term healthy. Being free from sickness and ailments is only half of it. If you lack vigor and energy in your life, then you are not healthy. If you are depressed, discouraged or angry frequently then you are not healthy. If you are a fit athlete who relies on unsustainable supplements and diet systems then you are not healthy.

The first step to good health is to have a healthy mind.
A healthy body depends on a healthy mind, and by that I mean that you must fill you mind with positive thoughts. Thoughts of gratitude, love and passion. It's what you focus on that you will ultimately become. You must also have a strong driving force or idea that determines and gives meaning to everything you do in life and how you live your life.

Of course your thoughts alone will not do the job of giving you a healthy life but it's the foundation on which you must build all else pertaining to health and well-being.

The second step to becoming truly healthy is education. There is plenty of information both accurate & inaccurate available online nowadays and it's hard to choose which path to follow, which is why some common sense is necessary in deciding on what you want to do.

One thing I do when researching health topics online is to dig a little deeper into articles I read and find out about the author and his/her history and any affiliation with either food, health, or pharmaceutical companies. Reports on 'scientific data' are generally sponsored. Find out who the sponsors are, and the sponsor's parent company or affiliates.

For example in the documentary "Supersize Me" the McDonald's company did their own research with professional (meaning they get PAID) health experts who agreed that a McDonald's meal can be a part of a healthy diet. However, when Morgan (the host and guinea pig) conducted his own random interview with health experts nationwide the vast majority agreed that a McDonald's meal should be avoided in order to maintain a healthy diet.

The third step, exercise, should come naturally if you have the other two in order. You are thinking positively, are motivated and driven and have a reason to live.

You also have the education that helps define what you will or will not put into your body, and what activities you will or will not engage in, and what type of exercise is suitable for yourself.
Just put the pieces together and start over.

This is the first day of the rest of your life, so make the most of it.
Don't hesitate!

I used to be a procratinator, but Tony shook me up at UPW and I've since decided on a few meaningful changes in my life. In short, I've become vegan -- no meat and no dairy products in my life 90% of the time, and I'm sticking to vegetable proteins instead, which are free of acids and other harmful elements.

I'm also drastically limiting all "whites" in my diet. White rice, white flour, and white sugar.

Drinking a minimum of 2.5 liters of water daily (if my pee has any color, I know I'm not drinking enough). Caffeine is out too, along with hard liquor, but an occasional beer or wine is okay.

The great thing is that I no longer feel the need for my morning fix of coffee, since making all the other adjustments has given me more than enough energy in the mornings to compensate.