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As you can see from the daily schedule I posted, we have a 50 minute lunch break every day.
At the pre-course orientation meeting, Payet-sensei told us to make sure to eat good stamina foods. Since we're in Japan, I assumed this meant starches like rice and noodles. This isn't what I would normally eat, but I decided to do what was recommended.
So for the first three days of the course, I ate noodles, mixed with chunks of boiled squash and mayonnaise. This is a dish that I learned to make from a Japanese woman. It sounds disgusting but is actually delicious. However, it was making me feel nauseous in the after-lunch keiko session.
On day 3, Crampton-sensei said something about eating protein for lunch. Then I knew I was familiar territory, so I mentioned that I normally wouldn't eat starches like this since they make me feel sleepy, and he was very open to that idea. So I decided to ditch the starches.
Ever since then I have eaten some sort of animal plus an avocado for lunch each day. I love avocados, and they don't sit heavy in my stomach. Plus you don't have to cook them at all. I didn't intend to attract attention, but one day Takenaga-san was writing in her journal at lunch and asked me what I was eating. Apparently, she tought it was hilarious that I eat an avocado every day and was recording my meals in her training journal!!
So it's become a running joke that my lunch is "avocado surprise"--i.e., an avocado plus a surprise.
On Monday of this week, I brought a whole cooked squid in a bento tray, which I had found on sale at the grocery store. I thought this would be a funny, but it didn't get much attention. Whole squid is not so good to eat, either.
how to peal an avocado with a chopstick
I've gotten to be an expert.
With one chopstick, make a puncture near the base of the avocado.
Carefully work the first inch of the chopstick under the avocado peel through the puncture in a direction perpendicular to the base-apex axis of the avocado.
Using this inserted portion of chopstick, circumnavigate the avocado. If the avocado is ripe, the peel should tear easily. At the end, you will have divided the peel into a small portion over the base, like an "avocado yarmulke," and a larger portion covering the rest of the fruit.
Insert the chopstick under the peel again in a direction parallel to the base-apex axis, and tear the larger portion of peel in this direction.
Now you can hold the avocado up by the yarmulke and remove the peel in one big piece with your fingers. If the avocado is ripe, it will come off perfectly without any mess.
You can now eat the avocado like a peach or apple. When you get down to the pit, eat around it and then remove it with your teeth. This will leave just the yarmulke with a bit of fruit in it. You can pick this out with your chopsticks.