Tag Archives: spanish

Using Other Cultures: Being Smart with Food

I’m going to draw upon two cultures to make up a smart food philosophy. They can either be put together or separately, whichever you choose. I simply think it is good to keep an open mind to other cultures to see how they deal with food and use the opportunity to look at our own food habits. The two cultures I will focus on are Spanish (as in from Spain) and Japanese (as in from…Japan). Let’s look.


The Spanish have many different eating habits, including a tiny breakfast, but I’m going to focus on their lunch. The Spaniards have a time called a “siesta” around noon or a little later. This means lunch time. And lunch time is a big deal in Spain. Shops will close down for a few hours and many Spaniards will go out to restaurants for a few hours for up to three courses. I’m not saying–ditch your work for three hours and go get a five-course meal for lunch, no! You can pack a big lunch, I know that I sure do.

And this more so points to the focus around the middle of the day when our metabolism is in full gear, ripping and roaring through the food we give it. In America, most of us have our biggest meal at the end of the day, when our metabolism is starting to slow down and our body is beginning to tire. This is what I want to adopt from the Spaniards. Move the biggest meal of the day to LUNCH where your metabolism has plenty of time to break everything down rather than waiting until dinner to stuff your face and leave yourself overnight to try to digest it all. The Spanish may be wild party-ers, but they sure do know how to eat.


Another polar opposite of the typical United States eating culture, however instead of time of eating it is PORTION CONTROL AND SIZE. If you don’t know, Chris and I have a big love for the Japanese culture and plan to live in Japan for a period of time pretty soon. And that means a big love for Japanese food. Now, of course, the United States has turned small Japanese portions into all-you-can-eat sushi (opposite of portion control), and we are lovers of that too. But for everyday life, everyday eating, the Japanese set a beautiful example of eating the right nutrients in the right portion size. Why do you think the Japanese obesity percentage is so much lower than the United States’?

Protein. Vegetable. Carb. Have you heard of the bento box? Click here for an excellent blog with tons of creative bento boxes. A bento box is basically a Japanese lunch box, usually packing in rice, some kind of vegetable, and some kind of  protein (usually fish or tofu). It isn’t very big, and has no high fructose corn syrup packed into it. So instead of jumping to the supersize (a beloved American meal size), let’s try the “Bento” size. It has all the nutrients we need without stuffing ourselves to the brim. And maybe we’ll just drop the obesity rate to a more reasonable number for the US.

So let’s open our minds and our mouths and try different habits from different cultures. Who knows–it could be your next favorite thing. I sure know that I’m transfixed by the bento box. I love eating, but I love eating without feeling extremely full afterwards as well. So try it out! Cheers! Salud! 万歳 !


sajah fire

Sajah’s first fire

The Record Volume 1: Live Music Collaborations

This is a very specific post. It’s a list of my three favorite male-male live music collaborations, the best performances. I just thought of it while watching YouTube this morning while trying to wake up for the day (we don’t drink coffee). It doesn’t include every performance; it’s the first three that popped into my head but they did for a reason. They are three of my favorite songs of all time, easily top 100 list for each. Potentially top 10 and probably top 20. Here they are, in order, and why.

1. MOBO 2007 – Kano ft. Craig David – This is the Girl: First of all, this is the second most played song of all time on my iTunes, out of well over 8000 songs over the past seven-ish years. Kano is one of the most underrated rappers ever, and in my opinion, the best out of the U.K. Off his London Town album, this track has a great energy to it and I can use it in any workout. Nothing vulgar, not a bad message. It’s classy. And it has Craig David on it, arguably my favorite artist of all time. Born to Do It is my favorite album of all time and was ranked the 2nd best album ever behind Thriller by MTV viewers in a large poll. As for the performance, it’s pretty simple. Some flashy lights and big screens, but mainly these two guys just going at it. No lip syncing, no faking… this is top notch live performing just the way everyone should do it.
2. The King Stays King Sold Out at Madison Square Garden – Romeo Santos ft. Usher – Promise: This 75% Spanish/25% English bachata based love song was my song of the year for 2011 along with the last live performance. It makes sense that they both make the list then, since they are fresh in my mind. Romeo Santos, the lead singer of Aventura (band of Dominican boys from the Bronx), is a large man with a soft delicate voice that comes out of nowhere. He is the king of modern bachata and royalty in New York City. Not everyone can sell out MSG: it’s big, especially in this economy.

Usher can dance and his style and voice fits bachata nice as well. So what makes this performance worthy of the list other than the fact that I like the song. It was at the end of the concert and no one actually knew Usher was coming. Everyone went crazy when he emerged from under the stage. They both brought top notch vocals, the band has great skill and energy, tons of smooth dance moves and the two worked off one another, harmonizing beautifully.  At one point, about four minutes into the over ten minute performance, the band breaks it down and everything melts like butter. One of the best moments in a live performance I have ever seen. Good work, boys, keep making teenage girls across the country happy.


3. SBS Inkigayo 2011/10/30 – Tablo ft. Taeyang – Tomorrow: This performance is on the top three list more so because of its significance than anything else. This is one of my favorite songs, and top two from 2011 along with Promise, but this isn’t the best possible performance they could have done. Tablo, the leader of Korea’s “founding” rap group Epik High, had some background tracks running throughout his verses. I did like how they made it seem that Taeyang, Big Bang’s smooth moving and singing heart throb, wasn’t actually there as they were just using the film from the music video. When he came out for the last minute it made it that much better.

This was so exciting because it was Tablo’s first release after signing with YG, my favorite Korean music label. When the two “dapped” (NY’s terminology for the hand shake hug) it signified Tablo’s joining of YG with one of YG’s most popular and marketable artists. Throw a little big of Taeyang’s dancing and vocals in there, along with Tablo’s lyrics and style and this was one great moment on Inkigayo. (Inkigayo is a weekly television show with small audiences that features popular artists and songs in Korea at the time.)

So there you have it, top three live male-male crossover collaborations. I’m not surprised there is an English, Spanish, and Korean song. Maybe if MC Solaar and Garou threw something together there would have been a French one too.


Cheers! Listen and love your music and don’t let anyone tell you to stop listening to something you like!