Archive for March, 2012

Hi Everybody,

Sweets – it is so hard to stop eating sweets…!  Chocolates, cookies, cakes and ice creams are always very tempting.

We know it is better not to have sweets because of tonness of sugars and oils in them,  but it is so hard to stop!

According to the result of some research conducted in Japan, people who answer “Do not have any skin troubles” tend not to eat sweets much. On the other hand, among people who eat a lot of sweets, only 5% of the people answered “Do not have any skin troubles.”

It seems like there is a relationship between sweets and skin troubles, doesn’t it?

So, what is the best way to eat sweets without causing any skin troubles?

This is my tips on how to eat sweets wisely…!

1. Eat a Small Amount of Quality Sweets like a Little Bird

I try to eat only homemade cakes & cookies and quality sweets including chocolates. As we all know, homemade sweets do not have any preservatives or artificial ingredients. Also, you can reduce the amount of sugar and oils if you make sweets at home.

If you buy sweets from shops, buy expensive & quality sweets. In this case, you may not eat them all at once since they are expensive 🙂  I hear French people eat a very small sweet although they are so beautiful, they’re to die for.

2. Eat Dry Fruits when You Feel like Eating Sweets

When you consume snack food such as potato chips and sweets with high sugar content and oils, you will lose a lot of Vitamin B1 and B2.  Eating excessive sweets and snack food contribute to your weight increase and also may cause some skin problems due to a vitamin deficiency.

So, try to eat dry fruits when you feel like something sweet. They are actually great for your skin. Dried prunes, plums, and peaches contain Vitamin A, which helps in preventing dryness and flakiness of the skinVitamin B6 and Vitamin B Complex are found in dried apples, dates, peaches and apricots. These B vitamins help improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture, early appearance of wrinkles and flakiness

3. Eat Sweets around 3pm if you feel like Eating Sweets or Eat only for the Time You are Tired or before Exercise

3pm is the best time for having a sweet from the perspective of weight control.  According the above research, people who eat sweets such as chocolates between study or work for supplement purposes do not have much skin trouble. On the other hand, people who eat sweets instead of dinner or eat endlessly tend to have skin troubles. When your body does not want sugar, but you eat excessive sweets, be careful as it stresses your body.

4. Try to eat Traditional Japanese Sweets instead of Western Sweets

A lot of traditional Japanese sweets do not contain oil, which means they are a bit healthier than typical western style sweets. Also, traditional Japanese sweets use healthy ingredients such as rice, azuki beans and soybean flour.

I feel it is a bit extreme to stop eating sweets because of health reason. We are here to enjoy eating, so we should enjoy eating sweets too. When you, your family and friends enjoy having beautiful sweets with coffee or tea, this can be one of the special happy moments for everybody.

Let’s enjoy eating sweets, but eat sweets wisely…!

Yoko xoxo


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Hi Everybody,

It is getting cool and dry in the morning and night in Sydney.

This is the season I have to be a bit careful about looking after my eczema on my legs. In summer, it is fine if I forget to moisturise my legs from time to time, but now, my legs tend to get dry and itchy if I forget to apply a cream to them.

Today, I will talk about 10 causes of your skin troubles.

Although we look after our skin in a proper way and we care about what we eat, our skin may have troubles for various reasons.

Would you be able to list up 10 external and internal causes? This is very important to know because you can detect the cause of your skin problem when it happens.

<External Factors>

1. Irritation from Friction

Although friction or pressure is not strong, if is done for a certain period of time, stratum corneum (made of dead and flat skin cells) will degenerate.

2. Irritation from Chemicals

Sometimes people get a rash from sap such as sumac tree,  chemicals, and skin care products. There are two reactions: reaction by toxic substances and allergic reactions to some substances.

3. Stimulation from Environment

Hot and cold weather and UV will stimulate skin and cause skin troubles.

4. Virus and Bacteria

Virus, bacteria and fungus cause skin problems.

One or more factors stated above may cause skin problems.  Such as allergic reactions to skin care products caused by UV, is a combination of the above points 2 and 3.

<Internal Factors>

5. Internal Organs

When the liver, stomach or intestine, and kidney do not function well, this leads to an imbalance of the metabolic mechanism. As a result, various toxic substances are released from body and cause some skin problems.

6. Hormone Imbalance

I believe many women are suffering from hormone imbalances especially before a period. If you are under stress for a long time, this causes autonomic imbalance, that leads to inappropriate secretion of hormones. The examples of skin problems from this are acne,  hepatopathia blemish and menopause.

7. Reaction from Foods

An allergic reaction from particular foods is a common problem. People can get a bad acne by eating excessive sugar and oil.

8. Lack of Vitamins

Vitamin A & B are necessary to maintain your healthy skin and a lack of those vitamins may cause some skin troubles. Blemishes, acne, and dry skin are related to a lack of vitamins. 

9. Mental Issue

Mental factors such as stress from daily life can cause skin troubles. Usually, this is not a direct reason. The inappropriate secretion of hormone is caused by stress. Acne and blemish can get worse with constant stress.

10. Inheritance   

Skin type is inherited from parents to children. Super-sensitive skin, allergy, eczema are closely related to genetic factors.

Internal factors are more complex than external factors, and sometimes external and internal factors are related each other and cause some skin troubles.

Everybody is different and some people easily suffer from skin problems, while some are not even effected under the same circumstances. In the end, you know best from your physical and mental condition, not a doctor. So, when you have some skin troubles. you can try to research yourself, not relying 100% on your doctor.

When I had eczema years ago, I went to dermatologist regularly, but I stopped going there because my eczema did not improve much.  The scary thing to me was the sorbolene cream recommend by my doctor. To me, it looked like the cream makes the surface of my legs’ skin greasy, but my skin always came out looking like a crocodile skin! I realised this cream did not improve my skin fundamentally

So, I had to search for alternative treatment – which ended up being quite simple – Healthy diet, regular & moderate exercise, good sleep, non-toxic environment, less stressful life style, positive mind and genuine natural skin care.

Of course, everybody is different, so this may not agree with you, but you can always improve on these recommendations. It is a good thing to try anyway even though you may not see much change in your symptoms.

Thank you for reading and ciao for now.

Yoko xoxo

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Hi Everybody,

Do you often eat ginger? If so, good on you

In Japan, people are accustomed to eating ginger from ancient times. The oldest medial book in Japan says that all the aristocrats in the Heian period (794-1185) understood the effectiveness of ginger and used them as cold medicine.

According to experts in Japan, ginger warms up your body and enhances blood circulation, which helps improve dulness of the skin.

Also, the benefits of ginger are endless: lowers blood cholesterol levels, helps with reducing weight, prevents colds and flu, beneficial to prevent constipation-related cancer, cleanses and stimulates blood, and etc…

Ginger also has an anti-aging effect.

Ginger’s powerful antioxidant, gingerol, helps neutralize the damaging effects caused by free radicals in the body.

In Japan, ginger has recently become the centre of attention among women (especially young women) as one of the healthy ingredients.

So called “Ginger People” have increased, and they carry a tube containing grated ginger everywhere with them and add it to their meals! A bit funny, isn’t it?

Now, there are more food products containing ginger in Japan, such as a caramel candy with ginger and black vinegar with ginger.

The popular way of eating ginger in Japan is to make ginger syrup by combining grading ginger, honey and black sugar. You can add this syrup when you drink tea.

I like rice with ginger. I also like adding ginger to udon, that is a great dish for winter because it makes your body so warm.

The weather in Sydney has been mild, but it is the turn of the season from summer to autumn. It is cool at night although it is warm during the day. When the temperature fluctuates like this, people tend to catch a cold and feel a bit down and weak.

I think ginger will help boost your energy and immune system, so it is a wonderful thing to have ginger regularly.

Let’s become “Ginger People”, shall we??

Thank you for reading and ciao for now.

Yoko xoxo

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Hi Everybody,

These days, it seems people are very busy working and worrying about their job, family and finances.

When we are stressed out, we tend to forget basic things which can make us feel better and happy.

I have listed 10 things we should remember and try to do everyday for a happy life.

You may want to write them down in your diary, so that you can remember them.

1.  Be thankful to people and things around you.

2.  Try to make several people smile a day.

3.  Use your important energy for positive thoughts and things. This means we do not use our energy for things we cannot control.

4.  Life is sometimes not fair, but we can always improve our life.

5.  Life is too short to feel jealous of people or hate people.

6.  Don’t be too strict to others and yourself.

7.  Don’t compare your life to other people’s life because we don’t know their problems.

8.  We are the only ones who can create our own happiness and we are responsible for our own happiness.

9.  Always forgive people.

10. Things will always get better no matter how bad things are at the moment.

Hope we all feel happy with a big smile everyday 🙂

Thank you for reading and ciao for now.

Yoko xoxo

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Hi Everybody,

First of all, I cannot say thank you enough to all of you who have participated in this competition.

Without your warm support, I would not have been able to end this giveaway successfully.

I am so grateful that you have visited our website and picked the product you wish to receive.

Also, you have followed my blog, twitter, and “Like” Club okoi etc… Thank you very much

Time to announce two winners….!

Two winners are…



Madam M

Congratulations !

In order to claim your prize, please email me yoko@okoii.com and let me know which product you would like to receive and your postal address. If you did not send me an email by 12:00am on 5th March (Sydney time), I will re-draw the winner.

Thank you again and hope to have a giveaway when I reach another milestone.

 Yoko xoxo

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