Category Archives: Health and Life


First American Loss Confirmed in Tsunami Disaster

-by Tyler McPeek

Was just contemplating the apparent confirmation of the first American death in Japan as a result of the tsunami disaster, a lovely young girl from Virginia, a 24 year old college graduate.  Her name was Taylor Anderson, and she was an English teacher, likely doing the same job I did when I first went to Japan.  So many people were killed that it is not really surprising per say to have someone from your own country killed.  I guess I thought it might be worth noting that there aren’t any areas of any significant size or cities of even a low-moderate population in Japan that I know of, where at least one American wouldn’t be more likely than not to be among the fatalities when a major disaster strikes.  This realization can’t be entirely different than it must be for Japanese to be thinking of when they see reports of a tragedy in the USA, like 911, for example–where many Japanese were among the dead.  It makes it seem deeply personal and local.  Of course, this is not even to mention the economic and cultural shockwaves that might reverberate to one from the other in a case of chaos, disorder, and tragedy.  There’s a lot of tragedy in life, personal and distant, to varying degrees, but hope springs eternal…

TA on FB at 2011-03-22 at 4.08.00 AM EST
    I looked up Taylor on Facebook (above), wondering if she would be there, with a normal recent college grad page, with the little “add as friend” button alongside her profile.  It was there, seemingly normal, while people somewhere not to far away cry for her loss.
    Below is a link to the story on Fox:



Tragedy in Japan

-by Tyler McPeek

Not much to say that can offer solace or great insight… but I feel compelled to say something about the recent tsunami and earthquake disaster.  I would encourage all of us who enjoy “things, ideas, and people Japanese” to think of something nice you might do for someone affected or even just maybe do something as simple as getting back in touch with an old friend in JP to talk about life in the wake of the human tragedy unfolding in Honshu.  Those interested in donating can donate to the Japanese Red Cross at the following address:

Our thoughts and prayers with the victims and their families,



Tyler’s Master Cleanse (Lemonade Diet) Journal

-by Tyler McPeek


So, I decided I wanted to try something along the lines of a juice fast.  I can’t say why exactly, except that I was a little bored, I had the time to experiment, and it just seemed like a weird and cool thing to do.  In college, when hanging out with my alternative and hippie-ish, artistically geared friends (you’ll have many when you are circulating in the creative writing department of a small liberal arts college in the USA), it was often mentioned and practiced—the idea of vegan diets, juice fasts, water fasts, and the like.  So, since that time, I had always had these ideas in my mind, although I never put any energy into trying any of them in a serious way.

I went down to the local health food store and started checking out the supplements, juicers, and book section.   Of course, this was after I checked around on the internet a bit.  One thing I found out was that decent juicers, such as the pressure screw kind that press, rather than cut or puree, the fruit and/or vegetables, thus not creating heat, and therefore supposedly preserving the vitamin and nutrient content of the food—important when that juice is the only food you intend to eat for a prolonged period.  Still, I bought a book on juice fasting, that included different juice and smoothie recipes in its pages, and was prepared to buy a top of the line juicer for a few hundred dollars.  Then, I realized that there was a more extreme and intriguing option—the so-called Lemonade Diet or Master Cleanse.  One can easily research this diet oneself, but essentially it is a fast diet that dictates a person drink only water, an herbal laxative tea, twice daily, and a homemade lemonade (which is made from a strict recipe of organic, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, spring water, cayenne red pepper, and Grade B organic maple syrup).  There is also a certain procedure for preparing for it, set directions for how much and when to consume it, for how long to continue the diet (for a period of at least 10 days, and perhaps as much as a year or more), and how to come off the diet.  Some of these details might vary according to whose directions you read and what lemonade diet guru’s advice you subscribe to.  The diet has been around since at least the 1940s and the common theme is that you must drink only the lemonade and water, no food, no exceptions, for at least 10 days (with the possible and only exception being approved, no calorie, no caffeine, organic herbal tea at some points).

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