Otagenki panel at Anime Expo 2014!

OK, going to be doing a panel at Anime Expo on Sunday, July 6th, at 10:15am. The room is 402AB. See you there!



Another Otagenki report: Northridge ride!

This was a bike ride that CICLE, Valley Bikery and CSUN Bike Collective put together a few months ago, and I’m just now putting it up. This was a total blast…a group ride is something you have to experience. Lots of fun, lots of support, and this ride was designed for noobs. You should try this in your neighborhood.

Otagenki Panel at Anime Los Angeles!


Get Genki, LA Ota-zoku!

I will be doing a panel at Anime Los Angeles about first steps into a healthier lifestyle. I will hopefully have some friends with me to talk about their experiences starting a health and fitness regime, and I’ll be providing basic ideas you can incorporate into your life. And no, you will not become a jock doing this!

All the details are here…


…or on the Anime Los Angeles 10 Guidebook app, or on the Anime Los Angeles 10 schedule PDF.

The first Otagenki Report is up! A fun bike ride in Santa Barbara!

Yesterday I was out and about in Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Open Streets…a lower-key version of CicLAvia, the huge event that happened 3 times this year in LA. This is the first time I’ve gone to one of these events and ridden my bike. This was incredibly fun, and I think the video I brought back says it all. Cycling is great exercise, almost everyone learned to ride a bike as a kid, and it really is true that you never entirely forget how to ride a bike. Bikes are easy to find at garage sales, and most big cities have bike collectives that sell refurbished bikes cheap and teach you how to fix or even build a bike for yourself. The bike I was on when I shot this was a garage sale find, bought 10 years ago, sitting stored for years and years and only recently fixed up and made roadworthy again. With my plantar fasciitis issues, cycling is a less stressful activity on that vulnerable part of my left foot. I actually did one of my miles yesterday in 5:16 which is a personal record!

Feel the love, share the joy, and GET OFF THAT COUCH! Otagenki!

Super 102!!! It’s never too late.

Here’s an inspiring story about a senior, Hidekichi Miyazaki, (I don’t think he’s related to the great Anime director…) who started running at 92, and now holds world records for sprinting speed. His training regimen is worth taking a really good look at, BTW…he’s not just doing Cardio here.


Adidas goes Otagenki with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!!!

Adidas is no stranger to Asian Pop Culture…one need only look at Samurai Champloo and the oddly familiar Mon crests on a few samurai’s kimonos.

Now Adidas Japan has now paired with Otaku sweetheart Kyary Pamyu Pamyu for an Otagenki-friendly fashion statement. Liking this stuff!

Now if only they’d make this available here…

Stu’s returned with more about stretching

Another Super 40 video has come out, and this is another one about the very important task of stretching before exercise. I neglect this sort of thing at my peril, you shouldn’t. And of course, since this is in Japanese, it’s another helpful lesson in comprehending spoken Japanese for those who are interested in learning that. However, the video is pretty much self-explanatory even without knowing Japanese. This one shows a way of doing a hamstring stretch without endangering your knees.

Wow, I’ve been remiss…

Here’s what’s been going on in the past months since I last updated…

1.) I attempted to organize an Otagenki walk at Anime Expo. Epic fail, the only person who walked the 2 mile course was me. Part of what I want to do with Otagenki is organize meetups, walks and hikes in my area (Los Angeles) and I totally went about it the wrong way.

2.) To that end, I have given up on using the forum service I was using for discussions here, and instead I’m going to go ahead and leverage Facebook for all the interactive parts of the site. Facebook group is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/292922240852289/ Yeah, it’s a closed group, but I am pretty good about honoring requests rapidly. Facebook is simply too good for me to ignore. Sure, there’s tons about FB that sucks, but what it does well balances out.

3.) We have also had a Fitbit group for a while now, but I haven’t promoted it at all. That will change. If you have a Fitbit, please join here! http://www.fitbit.com/group/22CYDR

4.) I’m really getting into Crossfit. If you follow my other fitness blog, Less Fat Chick, I have documented my adventures with this very demanding and very cool way of working out.

5.) My friend Stu Levy has launched something that should be of interest to folks following this blog. He’s got fitness videos on YouTube. I’ll do another post about this…if you are working on your body and also working on your Nihongo you are going to find this an awesome tool.

Anyway, going to give this site a lot more love in the future. Let’s go Otagenki!

Genki Okonomiyaki…my take on the One Move Forward recipe.

OK, I did it! I finally gave the Okonomiyaki recipe a shot, and it turned out great!

Here, this is what it looks like when finished…

Okonomiyaki of DOOM

Pretty cool, no?

My recipe is based on this one, here:

However, one thing you must know about Okonomiyaki is that it really is one of those dishes that even the Japanese love to improvise with. One of the reasons the dish evolved was quite similar to the burrito and chilaquiles in Mexican food, pizza in Italian food, and a host of other dishes around the world: you can take the last bits of something you cooked last night and add it to the batter before grilling it on the griddle. As it turned out I wasn’t able to find bay shrimp or bean sprouts at my local Food 4 Less, so I used a can of clams and kanikamaboko (fake crab) instead of the bay shrimp, and more broccoli slaw and green onions instead of the bean sprouts. Okonomi quite literally translates as “whatever you like,” and yaki means “cooked on a grill” so yeah, you can put whatever you like in Okonomiyaki. I really did like what the chopped clams and the clam broth did with the recipe so that’s now a permanent part of the recipe as far as I’m concerned.

Genki (Healthy) Okonomiyaki
1 cup chopped cooked meat, whatever you want. I’ve had chicken in Okonomiyaki before at a really nice Japanese restaurant, so don’t just think seafood.
1 can chopped cooked clams, drained carefully, with the liquid going into a container. Measure out the liquid, reserve 1/2 cup.
1 bunch green onions, chopped.
2 cups bagged coleslaw mix
1 cup bagged broccoli slaw, or 2 if you can’t find fresh bagged bean sprouts in your store
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 1/4 cup “egg beaters” or equivalent. Good for cooking and baking, not so good for breakfast.
1 1/4 cup Whole grain baking and pancake mix. Trader Joe’s, as usual, is your friend here.
1/4 cup Oat Bran Meal. Also findable at Trader Joe’s.
1/2 cup reserved clam juice (from the canned chopped cooked clams)
1 tsp ponzu or 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Turkey bacon cut in small strips
Nonstick spray (I like Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil spray but their Olive Oil spray is good too!)
Low-sodium steak sauce, in lieu of more traditional Okonomiyaki sauce which is a salt BOMB and hard to get outside of Japanese grocery stores
Lite mayonnaise. Get Nisshin MayoDoree if you have a Japanese grocery store that carries it, but Best Foods/Hellman’s or Kraft or Trader Joe’s will do.

1.) Wash and chop the green onions. Add them into a big bowl along with the chopped meat, chopped drained clams, coleslaw mix, broccoli slaw and bean sprouts.
2.) Whisk the egg substitute, clam juice, ponzu, and Worcestershire sauce together.
3.) Mix together the baking mix and oat bran meal in a third bowl. Then make a well in the middle of it, and pour the liquid ingredients in. You want everything to combine at the consistency of crepe batter.
4.) Take the batter and mix it in with the meat and veggies.
5.) Preheat and spray nonstick spray on the griddle. Spoon out the Okonomiyaki onto the griddle, about 1/3 cup at a time, making pancakes. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, and while the first side is cooking arrange pieces of turkey bacon on the top. Flip after 4 minutes, and cook on the other side for 4 minutes or until the turkey bacon is as crispy as you like it.
6.) Drizzle on low-sodium steak sauce and lite mayo.
7.) Itadekimasu! (Be thankful for your food, and eat!)

Serves roughly four people. Cooked Okonomiyaki freezes well…just cool it in the refrigerator before freezing.
Again, I don’t have a calorie count, but all of this is pretty healthy.