Using Chopsticks to Lose Weight
“I lost over 10 kilograms and dropped two dress sizes.” –Kimiko Barber
Kimiko Barber had no plans to be a cook or food writer. When she left her native Japan in the 1970s for the United Kingdom she was going to study serious subjects.
After a stint in a British boarding school, she did study economics and took a first-class degree. Then she moved into investment banking.
She knew when she went to Britain that she would have to depend on the recipes she had learned from her grandmothers to survive. But the idea of spreading Japanese cuisine to the British did not occur to her.
Then, after some years as a successful investment banker, a chance visit to a specialized cookbook store was like a revelation to Kimiko. She began to focus on being a cook and food writer.
Barber became in demand for her clear and concise explanations of Japanese cooking, most of it based on what she had learned from those grandmothers.
But then she made a new discovery: While writing two Japanese cookbooks back-to-back, she ate only Japanese food and used chopsticks to save washing up, while she sampled and checked all those dishes, she had a surprise.
“I lost 10 kilograms and dropped two dress sizes!” Barber gives the credit to two things: the Japanese food she ate, and the fact that by using chopsticks, she was slowing down her eating and taking smaller bites.
Since it takes time for our stomachs to send the signal that we are full to our brains, if we eat more slowly we get that signal without over eating.
Barber’s discovery of how important it can be to use chopsticks to control weight led to another book, The Chopsticks Diet. Barber is in demand on British TV for her clear explanations of Japanese ingredients and how to use them.
She has now written a number of cookbooks, and a couple of her recipes — Smoked Mackerel Salad with Broccoli, Green Beans and Miso and a Mushroom Miso Soup — are available in a piece she wrote in the Financial Times on the Chopsticks Diet.
After finishing the book with Barber, Takemura went off to Istanbul to expand Turkish knowledge of sushi. If you buy just one book on sushi, this would be a good choice.
Not content with just explaining Japanese food, Barber recently wrote a brief guide to brewing a perfect cup of Japanese green tea, published in the Financial Times.It’s a great guide and check list, even if you’ve been making green tea all your life!