What's The Okinawa Diet And Should You Try It? | Clozette


We often talk about beauty and skincare when it comes to anti-ageing. But did you know that apart from working on the surface (a.k.a. your skin), an anti-ageing method that promotes life longevity is also something that you should be paying attention to? And no, we're not talking about the location of the mythical Fountain of Youth — we really have something up our sleeves on this one. 


According to recent statistics, Japan has one of the highest average life expectancies all over the world, ranking just second after Monaco. This comes as no surprise because the country has held onto its ranking for many years; they've actually become an ageing population. But what is the secret to the Japanese's long and healthy disposition in life?


Introducing the Okinawa Diet


Named after the Japanese prefecture considered globally as one of the blue zones (communities with the highest life expectancies and healthiest lifestyles), the Okinawa diet is an adapted dietary practice referring to the traditional eating methods of the Okinawans. These methods are major contributors to their continuous high ranking in the health and life expectancy index. Their diet is composed of low calories and fat but high in carbohydrates; it can be compared to a mix of plant-based and pescetarian diets. Through the years, it has evolved into focusing on protein inclusion as well. 


Looking at the basics, it's safe to say that the Okinawa diet is not that restrictive at all. In fact, aside from the range of food items you can indulge in, it also packs on the flavour with its use of herbs and spices mostly used in Chinese traditional medicine. Cool, right?


Okinawa Diet: Food staples


Stock up on these staples


Hold your horses and don't head to the grocery just yet. Nailing the Okinawa diet isn't as easy as just picking up every veggie you find in the produce aisle but rather understanding the principles behind each ingredient. 


The Okinawa diet consists mainly of vegetables, covering up to 60 per cent of the meal. Sweet potato is an Okinawan product so it definitely makes the cut, but other common ingredients in Japanese cuisine such as seaweed, bamboo shoots, pumpkin and okra are great alternatives. Carbs get a cut at around 33 per cent, which isn't too bad if you're a noodle or rice lover (and because these are Asian staples).


Okinawa Diet: Soy staples


Meanwhile, soy products like tofu and miso make up at least five per cent of the diet, complementing the one to two per cent inclusions of protein and omega-3-rich food in the form of fish, seafood or pork — horumon (innards) included. Lastly, alcohol, tea, and seasonings from spices and herbs like jasmine tea, turmeric, ginger, and the like make up another one per cent of the equation. 


If you noticed, dairy and poultry are not really included in the list and that's because they are deemed 'optional' in the diet. Think of it at the same level as sweets or junk foods. This is because, in contrast to omega-3 rich food and vegetables that also provide protein and calcium, dairy and poultry tend to deliver more fat even in a smaller serving. So following the principles of the diet, it's really more of optimising your diet to both be filling and healthy. 

Okinawa Diet: Sushi


Effortless yet strategic eating


The best thing about the Okinawa diet is probably the ease of trying it out. It doesn't really promote salads, but rather root crops, kelp, cabbages, and more incorporated in a hearty dish. These ingredients are more satisfactory than greens enhanced with a fat-filled mayo dressing for flavour. Its main principle is really simple: you're consuming all the goodies even when you eat more because you focus on the fruits and veggies rather than the high-calorie eats. 


Select legumes like soy, miso, and natto are also great alternatives to fish and pork as sources of protein, making them higher in the meal structure. But still, it doesn't ask you to completely give up on tuna rolls or yakiniku (Japanese grilled barbeque) forever. Again, it's all about focusing on eating more of what brings the nutrients in and less of what delivers the fat and the calories. 


Okinawa Diet: Pros and cons


The health pros and cons


Now we're down to the scales. As always, every method has its own highs and lows. But with such promising information about the Okinawa diet, what are the pros and cons we have to consider before diving into it? 


Let's start with the goodies first. Aside from longevity, the diet also reduces the risk of getting chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart failure. And if you have been paying attention, you might already have guessed that it is due to the amount of omega-3-rich and low-calorie selection promoted by the diet. Sweet potatoes, as well as the variety of veggies making up most of the diet, are also packed with fibre and anti-inflammatory properties. You can also imagine Vitamins A, B, C and more with all the greens involved. 



Okinawa Diet: Should you try it?


But sadly, it's not a completely happy ending. For one, natural or organically grown ingredients contribute to the effectivity of the vegetables championed in the Okinawa diet so depending on where you are, accessibility may be an issue. Soy, miso, and seaweed — which are some of the main ingredients often mentioned in an Okinawa diet meal plan — are also high in sodium, which may be bad for some, especially those with high blood pressure. Balancing it out with potassium-rich foods may be a good solution, but the risks of too much sodium intake (like acquiring a kidney disease) should also be considered.


The verdict


After all considerations and discussions, we finally answer the question we've been asking all this time: is the Okinawa diet for you? 


If we're being honest, it proves to be a stellar guide for future meal-planning. But we must also remember that Okinawans, and Japanese people in general, also have a different environment and lifestyle from us — not to mention tastebuds. 


And at the end of the day, we can take these principles and shape them into a personalised diet. Consulting a dietician or a nutritionist is, of course, a great way to know if the Okinawa diet, or any other diet for that matter, is fit for you. 


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There are many rules to follow when you're visiting the "happiest place on Earth" — no outside food allowed, selfie sticks are banned, adults are not allowed to dress up as Disney characters and so on. While most rules are common practice, forbidding fans from wearing costumes may seem strange at first — but the reasons behind it do make sense. First, the resort is concerned that ill-intentioned people might dress up as Disney characters to lure children into following them. Second, it's to preserve the integrity of the characterisation (no mean Cinderellas, please!). 



However, Disney-goers have found a clever way to still dress up as their favourite characters sans a costume and it's called Disneybounding. Typically, this means having to interpret a character's signature ensemble using modern clothes or creating an outfit inspired by the colour palettes strongly associated with them. For example, if you want to dress up as Winnie The Pooh, you could wear a red shirt with an ochre skirt. It's all about capturing the essence of the look.



The term was coined by major Disney stan and style blogger Leslie Kay who gained popularity for her website for all things Disney called "Disneybound". Years after posting her first Disneybounding outfit, this style genre has become so popular that it went from niche to mainstream fashion. Wanna try it out? Here are some Disneybounding tips to get you started.


Determine the dominant colour



Most fictional characters, especially animated ones, will often have a signature colour or print associated with them. For Queen Elsa of Arendelle, it's teal. For Marie from the Aristocrats, it's always going to be baby pink. For Moana, it's orange geometrical patterns and the list goes on. Look closely at the character's ensemble and see which colour primarily pops out and work with that shade. It's the easiest to follow among all the Disneybounding tips on this list.


Wear iconic accessories



Colours are not the only thing that marks a character, particular trinkets are also what makes them distinguishable. Wearing a signature artefact is an easy cheat to putting together a great Disneybounding outfit. It could be in the form of a scarf, bag or shoes so you can be as creative as you like.


Go for colour blocking



One of the Disneybounding tips that you should never forget is that you don't need to emulate the costumes completely. Even something as simple as colour-blocking can already be great for the look. Pick several shades present in a character's costume and layer them up. Usually, these shades are already complementary so it's like taking style advice from the characters themselves.


Do it with a partner



Whether you're dressing up as the evil stepsisters of Cinderella with your bestie or as Beauty and the Beast with your bae, there's no doubt that Disneybounding is more fun when you do it as a pair. You can even go as the same character but in different style variations.


(Cover photo from: @utakowo/@littlesweetkaren)


Caught the travel bug? Here's where to go next according to your zodiac sign.


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Following their rainbow-themed capsule releases last year, Rainbow Mickey is back again with a bigger array of products for their Rainbow Disney Collection 2019. We're talking plushies, wearables, and even the iconic Mickey ears headband dressed in rainbow colours, that can be enjoyed by both the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike. It's worth noting that 10 per cent of the total sales sold the entire month of June will be donated to GLSEN, an organisation championing LGBTQ+ rights and programs in an academic setting. Pretty awesome, don't you think?


But we get you! Disney + rainbows + many items to choose from = one overwhelmed shopper. So to make it easier for you, we narrowed down the best picks from Disney's latest Rainbow Collection that's totally sending us #PRIDE vibes. 


Rainbow Disney Collection Minnie Mouse Ear Headband


USD27.99 (shopdisney.com)


Of course, let's start with the staple. If you're going in for some Disney merch, it's no secret that the headbands are the first ones to get your hands on. We had a bit of a hard time choosing between this, the Rainbow Mickey version or the Minnie Mouse Rainbow Ribbon version, but we figured that nothing beats going all out with the colours and the shine. 


Rainbow Disney Collection Mickey Mouse Heart Bangle by Alex and Ani


USD44.95 (shopdisney.com)


For the fashionistas out there who want a subtle accessory that still makes a statement, this pick just spells perfection. Elevated with an enamel charm featuring Mickey's gloved hands forming a rainbow heart, it's also decorated with tags labelled 'infused with positive energy' and 'recycle' that delivers good vibes all over. Plus, it's designed to be adjustable for the perfect fit, making it a great gifting option. You can also get the silver option with a Rainbow Mickey charm if that suits your fancy more. Or better yet... just grab both! 


Rainbow Disney Collection Mickey Mouse Ringer T-Shirt for Adults - Disneyland



USD29.99 (shopdisney.com)


Souvenir tees are the heart of every amusement park visit so it's no surprise that this collection includes one as well. This pick is serving us looks with a retro-style neck and cuff ribbing, combined with the modern appeal of screen-art Mickey dressed in rainbow colours. Whether you're Disneybound or not, this is a wardrobe piece that's just destined to be a favourite. 


Rainbow Disney Collection Mickey Mouse Travel Tumbler with Straw


USD16.95 (shopdisney.com)


Bringing your own straws and tumblers when travelling is becoming a major thing right now because of many 'Save The Earth' movements. And one way to encourage people to follow the trend is through this gorgeous double-wall glittered tumbler. Featuring Mickey-heart-hands on one side and a 'Believe In Love' message on the other, talk about spreading the message of both #LoveIsLove and #LetsGoGreen in style. 



Rainbow Disney Collection Mickey Mouse Earrings by CRISLU



USD75.00 (shopdisney.com)


Looking to wear your support for pride on the daily or even at the most elegant of affairs? This collection has something for you, too. Set in .925 sterling silver and an 18-carat rose gold finish, this pair features a cubic zirconia crescent embellished with a Mickey-ears cutout. Subtle, stunning, and oozing with both pride and Disney-lovin', this piece also has a lifetime warranty to ensure that it will last as long as Disney's timeless legacy. 


(Cover photo from: shopdisney.com)


Complete your Disney-fied style with these beauty looks inspired by your fave Disney princesses


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