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About Mukbang we rave

If you don’t know about Mukbang yet, you might not be a full on foodie like I am. It first starts in Korea, where people would live stream themselves eating a huge amount of food, they would chat with their followers, and the audience would give them money if they feel like doing so. The mukbang hosts would usually receive food sent by their followers.

Some Korean says that with everyone being so busy these days, they don’t have friends to eat their lunch or dinner with, so they just tune in to those live streaming and eat with their favorite mukbang hosts.

Some hosts are cute skinny girls, others are more celebrated for their personality. Some would cook their own food before eating them in front of thousands of people. Some would tell jokes, others share their life experiences.

I first learnt about Mukbang in this Munchies video. Then I also got introduced to ASMR, which is basically people eating and talking and tapping or touching objects in a very gentle way. The definition of ASMR involves the fact that those sounds will make you relaxed. And as I found more about ASMR on youtube, it seems to me that many of the hosts who are just doing it because it is hot right now, they are not really good at it. Some of them just appeared to want to be sexy or sound sexy to me. So I should say for now, I don’t find ASMR my jam. Many of them are a little weird for me. But I can see that the viewers swear by some of the hosts.

I remembered my first near-ASMR experience is from EmmymadeinJapan‘s youtube videos. I remembered being a little anxious before watching the video, then her soothing voice just make me so happy!! I would recommend this channel to any foodie, she tries sweets and treats from all over the world sent by her viewers, she talks about the smell, texture, flavor in such great way that makes you want to try them too!

I myself, was at first embarrassed about watching the Mukbang videos. Because really, you are watching someone else eat, it could be weird to someone else. But I do find myself intrigued by the way people eat. I like to watch people eat if they allow me. I especially like to watch my boyfriend eat. Then I decided I would just embrace the fact that I get pleasure from watching people eat.

One factor is that they really eat a huge amount of food. It is awesome, isn’t it! That’s like my dream! Eating such big bowl of hot noodles! And also, the way that they eat make the food look so appetizing! I think it should be called talent.

Sometimes I get worried about the host’s health. Let’s be honest, nobody eat that huge amount of food in such short time, I don’t think it is good for their health. But again, it is their choice, you do what you believe in. Who knows, maybe they are just used to eating that much,  and they might not eat the whole day just to do that video. I can only say that I have my highest respect for them. This could be a really short-lived job, it could be really high maintenance when you are eating this much and want to be healthy or at least somewhat good-looking.

I guess really my point in this post is that, I am embracing the fact that I like to watch Mukbang videos and be true to myself. Haha!

Happy Christmas Eve and Christmas! I am staying at home and cleaning up! There is going to be a hot pot dinner party tonight. I am excited!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mantras

Don’t be afraid to reveal to the world who we truly are.

Don’t be a slave to yourself.

Universe will reveal its secrets to those who dare to follow their hearts.

If you go with the crowd, you can only go as far as the crowd.

I am enough.

I am abundance.

Everything is connected.

Having fun and being free.

I am grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

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About meditation

There is only your experience, and you decide what is true for yourself.

Children are always in a meditative state, we just lost the power along the way.

Meditation can be anything, cycling, running, shouting. Anything when you are being true to yourself. when you are not worried.

So is eating my bread in the morning, I could be checking instagram photos, or I can fully enjoy and appreciate my first meal of the day.

It is not about learning everything, it is unlearning what we have learned.

We all came here to play, to be happy, to make something magnificent happen.

Doing what you love, without guilt, without shame.

Love and surrender to yourself 100%, as if nothing matters.

We can experience any reality we so choose.

“I am only worthy of …” Get rid of it. Don’t abandon yourself. Don’t see yourself so low.

We are the one that govern what we feel. Don’t say it is JB who started this, you have the right to stay surfaced.

 

Credit to Infinite Waters(Diving deep) on Youtube.

 

 

 

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2015 review

I think it is high time that I review 2015, fabulous with exciting changes and improvements and self discovery.

  1. Running, swimming and cycling.

Earlier this year, I started training for a marathon. I stick to the training program on Nike+ pretty well and get to a point where I can run up to 3h for 15 miles. I was running 4 times a week, on Fridays I would get so excited for the long run at the gym. I read a book about marathon training and educate myself. The whole training process is almost injury free, just some minor issues with IT band and balls of my feet. It turned out to be the problem with my running shoes. I lost a few pounds, because I wasn’t refueling my body properly. Then I increased the calorie intake and I am fine. In June, I increased the mileage to 88 miles, which I am quite proud of. Then I was back home for a vacation, and I just stopped the training. One reason is that I discovered swimming and cycling, and get excited over these. And also I felt very differently while swimming and cycling than running, it is refreshing, and relaxing. For running, I was super pumped and hyped. They are all good, I started to see the merits of different exercise. My fiancee started cycling with me and I am really happy to find him excited to go on weekend bike rides together. If we are not cycling, then we would go for a walk in a state park, go on the trail, take pictures of mushrooms after rain, frogs, water, sky. Some times we do long 3h rides, sometimes we do some hill work for shorter time. It was just a set time for the weekend that I am always looking forward to.

Then just a few days ago, I went to a ultra marathon race with 50k and 50 miles to volunteer. There is so much inspiration going on and I have my highest respect for the runners. Few are fit and lean, but the majority are not so much so. Fitness comes in all different shapes and sizes. Some are concentrated and determined, others are playful and singing and talking. Everybody has their own journey, everybody has their own battle to fight. Some are running alone, others have their husband or wife or even a group of friends to accompany along the way. Some throws up. Some couldn’t even talk in such agony. So many of the runners are so appreciative of us, they are saying thank you when they are at the aid station. You can see that they are just awesome people. Perfect dose of inspiration at the end of the year.

2.  Veganism.

I started learning about animal agriculture, animal rights and vegan life style earlier in the year. There are a few documentaries that are very informative and lead me to the decision of becoming a vegan. <Cowspiracy> talks about the environmental effects of animal agriculture, it has become the single biggest contributor to deforestation, sea pollution, species dying, air pollution, water usage, global warming. There is simply no way that the planet is going to support us the way we eat meat like now. We will be running out of resources.  <Earthlings> shows the clips and images from factory farms. It is just harsh to see how the animals are treated from the beginning of their lives. They are mistreated, tortured, confined to a small space, sitting directly next to each other. Their beaks, tails, horns, teeth are cut off soon after they are born. They are ill, sometimes going insane because of all the mistreatment.

There are people that inspires me to choose this lifestyle and assuring myself that this is possible, and this is healthy. Like Rich Roll, who is a ultra distance endurance runner and podcaster. Kristina, who is fully raw vegan promoter, artist. Steph Yu, who is 19 years old Asian girl who is going on adventures to discover and enjoy life. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who is an educator, pro veganator, advocate for compassionate living.

Once I adopt this lifestyle, it is not as what I had perceived. I thought vegan just means salad all day, but no, there are so many things to choose from, and honestly I never felt so satiated after each meal. And the best thing is I don’t feel lousy afterwards. The one thing I noticed is that I don’t have stomach pain or heartburn anymore. I used to struggle with heartburn after lunch almost everyday. Then it is all gone after I stopped eating meat. Also with the amount of fiber intake, morning bowel movement is never a problem again, 5min and I am done. I also started to learn so much things about compassionate living with the food for thought podcast, with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. It helped me with my earlier transition days of how I come out, how I can explain to people my decision, how to be a joyful vegan when eating out. Beyond that, there are also so many more things like how you can help injured animals you see, how animals are treated in the film making industry. I started with the understanding of veganism to be a glamorous lifestyle, but this podcast is just so eye-opening that I know that veganism is so much more than what you eat. “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything, do something, anything.” is one of my favorite quotes from her. You just see compassion beaming through her, and I feel like I am opening up a new level of consciousness. After all, vegan is not the end, it is a way to an end.

The decision to go vegan is probably the most important decision I will ever have made, for myself, for the animals, and for the people around me, and for the planet.

3.  Self love.

After the vacation home in July, I gained a few pounds. I was having a hard time accepting the fact. Then I started to realize that I should love and take care of my body no matter what. It is the only thing that I am in control of. I can nourish my body with good food, make it stronger with moderate exercise, and cherish it with great self compassion and self love. Whether you are comfortable within your own body shines through. I think the definition for fitness for me is not how I look, but what I can do. Of course it would be awesome if I have washboard abs. But I shouldn’t make it a default and say that if I have belly then I am not good, I am being lazy, or I am finding excuses, or I am eating too much. Fitness should come in all different shapes and sizes. At one point, I have filled my instagram with people with exceptional good physique. But then I deleted them all. I don’t need it. I already know what the society has imposed on us, and looking at the pictures would not be any inspiration but just recipe for self-loathing, and stress.

For me, I am happy with where I am now, I have a defined tricep, my leg muscles are strong, I have a tummy, but this is just the way it is. Thinking about what others think of you is stressful. Just do whatever you feel like in accordance with your value. And the truth is, nobody really cares, everyone is all too wrapped up in their bubbles to care. So if you eat so little, and exercise so much to achieve a great figure to get some compliment, think about it. I don’t think exercise and working out should be stressful, or a burden, or you feel like obliged to do because of what others think of you. It should be fun, relaxing and rejuvenating. You should enjoy the process of it. It shouldn’t be to own someone else’s compliment, It is to own you own applause, your own compassion and your own appreciation.

So before I was checking on my Nike+ all the time whether I am still ranking the first, and if I find someone before me I would go and run some extra miles. This is just not right. When I look at pictures from when I was thinner, I am thinking, oh this looks so under-nourished, like it is not even me. I am curvy, and that’s just me. After years of struggle I am back at an optimal weight, I figured this weight is just for me. No more, no less. Right on point.

Make peace with yourself. Praise yourself. Give yourself some love. Take it easy.

4. Relationship.

I am grateful with what JB did for me as I adopt the vegan lifestyle. I stopped cooking meat for him, he doesn’t have complaint. He is cheerful and joyful all the time. He is such a gem. He has taken good care of me. And I noticed his changes, he wants to go out hiking or cycling during weekends, which I had wished for. He is still playing a lot of computer games. But I decided to not intervene or try to stop him. He has his own decisions. Everyone has their own journey. Even us, even we are together, we are just companions, we can’t share the experience. So it is of his own decision what he wants to do. It might look wrong from my standpoint, but it is their own journey, and I can’t decide what is right and what is wrong for others’ way.

5. Miminalism.

I find myself not wanting to buy things. Especially clothes. I have enough clothes, they should last for so many years to come. If I buy more, there will just be more sitting in the closet, with the current selection I have, I can’t have even wore all of them.

I like to DIY, especially my food. If I can make it, I wouldn’t buy it. Actually the first time I eat almond butter, it is my homemade one. After I tried the Costco pecan cranberry sourdough bread, I am so hooked! And I started my own sourdough culture, and now the sourdough culture is almost 1 year old! I bake with them every week now. I also make my own sauerkraut, mung bean sprouts, pistachio butter, granola.

I think it is the best to use few ingredients to make simple yet delicious food. Curry is such an example. Potato, carrot, onions, tomato, lentil and we are there. Fried noodles, fried rice.

And with our decision to spend Christmas in town, it will be an awesome minimalist holiday for us too!

 

 

Sending all the love and joy! Peace.

 

 

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2015 Holiday guide

When I came to the states in 2012, I have had some rough times for my mental health, been hospitalized, and recovered from the trauma with running, food and meditation. I perceive myself as a forgetful person. Past experiences, however strongly I felt at that point, I find myself peaceful with the experience, and go on and get concentrated and overwhelmed with just what is going on right now. I don’t talk to old school friends much, to some degree also because of some bad memories around college graduation time, things just got ugly when I am drunk and don’t sleep. I said horrible things to some of my best friends in college after they out of nowhere turned their back on me. It is funny how I am kind to and liked by my classmates for the most part of college when Bam! Everybody I cared thinks I am a bad person.

I also think I am a person who always want to settle things. If someone is not OK with me, I’d like to know why and try to communicate, you know, to solve problems. But turns out, not everything can be solved and some people just don’t go together. So I kept calm and moved on and stopped trying.

There are several important people in my earlier days that influence me a lot. I remembered after I transferred to a new class, nobody really knows me and some people just started hanging out with me. They are awesome people, and I had no idea why they chose to study together with me and staff. I am just a kind person. I treat well people that no one cares for.

I don’t talk to those important people in my life anymore, it ended bad, but whenever I thought about those innocent days, I still remembered so vividly and have gratitude and a smile in my heart.

For me, 2012-2015 are some drastic changes. I battled with Eating disorder, now in remission, started meditation, commit to vegan lifestyle, started to practice minimalism, culturing love for my body, just having more awareness for my body and also for the world around me. I find myself not so stable in mood when the holiday comes. It is happening this year too. Even though I have decided not to go anywhere, but when all my friends are leaving town, I panicked a little bit.

But I can see a happier and grown me in the future. I know this is the right way. The right way doesn’t mean it will be flowers and rainbows all the way, there could also be thrones and dark times, but I have firm belief that I am on the right path.

So since I am not leaving town as most of my friends do for this Christmas. I am staying home, with my beloved fiancee. After all, that’s all I need. Then I came up with ideas for Christmas tradition. Not sure I will be doing them all, but just coming up with so many interesting ideas just make me excited. The bucket list is like this:

  1. One Christmas movies(or not) a day till the new year’s eve.
  2. One cuisine a day homecooking including but not limited to Korean, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, trying out new recipes, vegan, from scratch. Best idea or what!!!
  3. Visit parks on sunny days.
  4. Biking together. (JB suggested midnight biking, biking without lunch, yeah sure, I overruled.
  5. Pick up yoga.
  6. Clean up room and make it more comfy and cozy.

Not so shabby~ I think this will be a real awesome Christmas without mindlessly spending so much money, eating too much food and getting anxious and guilty before the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big magic

I finished the audible version of “Big magic” narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert herself.

I was very intrigued by the part where she talks about being brave when taking on the lifelong quest to be a writer. When she decided to be a writer as a teenager, she was determined that she will stick to this path no matter how hard it will be, it is almost like a monk, she did this because she was genuinely enjoying the process of writing.

When she decided to become a writer, she didn’t hope for the writing to provide enough income for her to live. She has to work on the side to be able to write. And in fact, she was still working as a waitress after 3 of her books got published.

The creativity is like having a secret lover for her, she would want to spend time with the lover no matter what, even if it is 5 minutes a day, she would be so eager to do that. So I reflect on whether anything is like this in my life. Writing is like this for me, many times I find myself with a blog that I am surprised with. In the beginning it is only some pieces of thoughts, but during the writing process, everything is put into place. And many times, I start with a not-so-happy mood, or a problem in my head, but as I write, I find my self-talk to be a coping method or a therapeutic process.

I have to confess, when I first know that people live off their blogs, or youtube, I was so surprised. I was like I can do that too. And a part of me wants this blog to become something big some time in the future. It is the same with Instagram, many times I saw the pictures with so many likes, I was like that oatmeal doesn’t even look that special and she posts that almost every other day. I was being bitter I know. But then it has to come back to why I even started the blog in the first place.

I want to connect with people. I want others to know about me. I want to get to know other people. And the fact that I always feel so good about creating something after writing a blog is quite enough for me. So as Elizabeth suggests in the book, take your creation process seriously, as much as you could when you are doing it, but after your thing is done, and it is put out to the world, you should just take it as light as possible. You can’t guarantee people’s reaction, they might like it, they might love it, they might hate it or despise it. So counting on people’s likes to be happy with your work is just a sure recipe for unhappy.

She also described a friend who in her 40s went back to figure skating, after she deep searched her soul what really made her happy. So the friend gets up 5 in the morning before work to skate with a bunch of kids, she does this because of the pure love for it.

For me, I was so keen on running, but it almost felt like a competition against others. It is like ego saying I am the one that can run streaks and the most miles in a month. But it is just poison for the soul. Many times it is the pressure rather than the pleasure that make me go for another mile. Nowadays, I discovered swimming and cycling, they are so much fun too. And I find myself less centered around how much more I can do than other friends. It is all to my pleasure, a balanced and healthy relation with myself. No competition involved. No ego allowed here. Just take it easy.

In the book, she also talks about creative ideas being some energy force that floats around to find someone to manifest itself. Once she conceived a novel, but due to other things happening in her life, she never finished it. Then she met another fellow writer friend, and the friend told her about the novel she was writing, and holly molly, the plot is just almost exactly the same with some minor detail differences. She concluded that the idea will struck you, then stay with you for a while to see if you are really serious about it. If you are not, then it will leave you and find someone else to hang out with.

And others have described creative process to be really magical. A poet says the poems are just like words sent from somewhere above, and when he was living on a farm, and sometimes the poem struck, she has to run so fast to the cottage to find a pen and paper to catch them before they got away. “Catching the poem” is almost like chasing the wind. I also remembered Rasha, the author of “Oneness” saying that she is just channeling what is told to her by the divine, and she is just typing it out.

I am not a creative person by any stretch of definition, and I have never thought of myself to be creative in any way, but this book just encourages me to find my creative side, enjoy myself and be joyful and playful with life.

 

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred.

What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all.

We toy alone, and we are accompanied by spirits.

We are terrified and we are brave.

Art is a crushing chore, and a wonderful privilege.

Only when we are at our most playful, can divinity finally get serious with us.

Make space for these paradox to be equally true inside your soul.

The treasures inside you are hoping that you will say yes.”

 

Sending all the love and peace.

 

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December without Youtube

I am an early-bed-early rise person, everytime someone learns that I go to bed around 9-10 and get up 5am, they just says: oh you are so healthy. I like it this way because I think the time in the morning is so precious and amazing that I want to spend it meaningfully and by my self.

It has been a little rough coming into December. I was hooked on Youtube. Since I became vegan, I started to binge on all the vegan youtube channels, I love to watch “What I ate in a day” videos, recipe videos, and all others concerning veganism, I guess because I was in the phase of trying to consuming all the information that I see in sight.

Then I realized that I was so unsatisfied with my own life watching others. The mental state was that they are living the life of their dream and they are way better than me. I find myself not getting excited for my morning oatmeal, or curry that I make. When anything is on youtube, they just look so much fancier than real life. I just lost the mindfulness in my everyday life. It is like my life has been sucked into watching these videos. Not cool.

So I made the decision to go in December without youtube. So far so good. I was switching my attention somewhere else, making my first video just for fun, listening to 《Big Magic》on audible, catching up on podcasts, cleaning the room.

But doing one thing doesn’t mean you will solve the problem. I always tell myself, veganism is not the final answer, it is a way to the final answer. I shouldn’t expect it to sort out everything for me.

And so, I was feeling kind of low these past 2 days. It is kind of strange, coz I have been doing tons of experiments which usually make me happy. If I have to blame something, it would be the fact that I was looking at others going out for Christmas trips and I was still working in the lab. It is like I am conditioned to compare with others growing up. I want to rank first at school, I want to be the one person that is so disciplined to workout everyday. And for this Christmas, I had decided we will not go on any long trips, maybe just a short day trip somewhere, but mainly stay in town. I think Christmas shouldn’t be about spending money, and if I go for a trip because everybody else is doing it, I probably shouldn’t do that.

When I think about it, last Christmas was pretty good memory. My boyfriend and I was in Atlanta, staying in a 4-star hotel without Internet access, going for crazy long walks in the rain, visiting the plantation, eating sushi buffet. If I have to summarize the things that has to do with a good Christmas, it would be to be with my boyfriend. Like the song”All I want for Christmas is you”. When I look at it, it is sure fun to find out about another city or town, going to tourist sites and trying new restaurants, but going for a walk in park next door is just much more relaxing than traveling. Driving long hours can be a pain, and it is like everywhere you go you have to pay the entrance tickets. And what I had in mind for this Christmas is 12 days of movies. And maybe some decorations to make our apartment all Christmasy. And some good home cooked food. Some hot cocoa maybe, and watching Friends.

But when the time comes around when everybody is gone, you are in the lab alone doing experiments all day without anyone talking to you. I just feel bad. I start to doubt my decision to stay in town.

What is Christmas to me anyway? I never celebrate it when I was back in China. It almost feels like pressure to do something really really special so it is well spent. Christmas 2012, on a cruise, stuffing myself gaining 10lbs afterwards, didn’t help with the eating disorder. Christmas 2013, in New York, worrying about my future in my mom’s friend’s house with a bunch of people who don’t even know me. Christmas 2014, Atlanta, with my boyfriend, happy. And then I realized that what is the most important for me in my life. Yesterday even in my most unhappy thoughts, I still find my boyfriend so cheerful and pleasant.

I was almost finishing <Big Magic> by Elizabeth Gilbert, who also wrote <eat, pray, love>. I love this book. I was encouraged to be the creative person, creating my own little projects just for fun. If someone likes it, awesome, but if nobody likes it, too bad. I simply can’t rely on others’ reaction to be happy. I have to enjoy the process itself. And when an idea struck, I should hold on to it, treat it like a royal, show my determination, and only then will it blossom to a creation.

In this household, I am always the one that is crying or sobbing, and my boyfriend is there to comfort me. He is just carefree and happy. I, on the other hand, am heavy and too much thinking. But it is my journey. “I know that it’s mine no matter what I do, I know that it’s mine whether I win or lose, and even though my heart needs to take its time, I know that it is mine.”

Happy Christmas everybody! I wish everyone a happy new year!!!