A Day in the Life is a 24-hour virtual visit into the lives of the Spoon Crew — our team, our friends, and some of your favorite wellness experts. We’re giving you the all-access key to what they eat, what they do, and how they keep feeling their best, day-in and day-out.
This week, we’re spending the day with doctor of physical therapy and blogger, Kat Lieu.
Hi Splendid Spoon friends! I’m Kat Lieu, a doctor of physical therapy, certified lymphedema therapist, blogger and video producer. Recently my family and I traveled across Japan during peak cherry blossom season. This is how I spent one of my days in beautiful Kyoto.
It’s early in the morning and I’m quite jet-lagged. Everyone else is still asleep, so I meditate in one of the zen gardens in our rental home. Back inside, I wash my face, then put on a face mask, relax and take some selfies.
Back at home, I usually have a Splendid Spoon smoothie for breakfast (Plant-Based Probiotic is my favorite) or I would fast until 11AM. On vacation, we usually eat out. We find a nearby cafe that opens at 7AM. I order a honey latte and share fluffy pancakes and matcha ice cream with my son Phil. Instead of syrup, red bean paste and whipped cream cover the pancakes.
It’s common to have hearty breakfasts in Japan consisting of eggs, grilled fish, soup, rice, natto beans, and salads. At each meal, you can sample a large variety of foods, but in small portions. People are very busy in Japan, but they take their time to appreciate nutrient-packed meals.
8:30AM: Sight Seeing
After having breakfast, my family and I explore the neighborhood around our rental house. We find a lovely park by Kamo River. We try to avoid the more touristy and popular sites in Japan, and love observing how the locals spend their days. It’s the weekend, so a lot of families are relaxing and enjoying the scenic park. We’re doing the same. For a moment, the world freezes, and all we see is the beauty around us.
By April, most of the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Springtime is breathtaking in Japan. The park is close to Kyoto Botanical Gardens, so we spend our morning exploring the garden. Back at home, we try to spend time outdoors as often as we can. We are lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest.
Phil, my husband, and I play tag in the garden. It’s so important to play with our children. Phil makes me feel perpetually young, even though my knees sometimes tell me otherwise. After we leave the gardens, we visit a local Shinto shrine. I grew up in New York City where it was easy for me to experience and appreciate different cultures. I teach Phil about the customs and rituals of this shrine, and hopefully, I have opened his eyes to a world different from ours.
Before we take the subway, we grab fruit sandwiches from a local 7-Eleven. The fresh ichigo (strawberry) ones are to die for. I kid you not.
12PM: Lunch and Dinner
For lunch and dinner, we have kaiseki meals as Kyoto is known for its kaiseki. Kaiseki meals consist of small, artistic dishes, each carefully balanced and nutritious. I feel the chefs’ love and respect for food. With each bite, I experience new, refreshing flavors. It’s as if I’m eating small forests and woodlands, presented over beautiful plating.
We spend the rest of the day exploring downtown Kyoto and buying souvenirs. We often come across drinks vending machines. You can find these machines in every subway station, and down every other street. Too bad they don’t sell smoothies!
7PM: Winding down after the day
By the end of the day, we’ve walked over 20,000 steps and are ready to unwind. Back at home, we play video games or watch movies as a family, and read to Phil before he sleeps. This night, we enjoy hot baths, watch Japanese programming and anime, and quickly fall asleep. Oyasuminasai! (Good night!)
This is my second trip to Japan, and we will undoubtedly go back again. The beautiful kaiseki meals of Kyoto remind me that food is a gift, and we are blessed to be able to enjoy food. I reflect upon my past relationships with food. Whenever I gained weight, I blamed food. When I’m too tired, I dread cleaning up after cooking. When I’m too busy or having a rotten day, I make terrible food choices.
Back at home now, luckily I can rely on Splendid Spoon’s colorful and nutritious ready-to-eat soups and smoothies. #busycanbehealthy
Continue the walk in Kat's shoes by visiting her blog, find her unboxing amazing products on her YouTube, and follow her on Instagram! Craving some of Kat's Splendid faves? Check out this week's menu here.