My Kinomi nuts are now available at Harvey Nichols. It is a very exciting thing for me as they are a premium department store and acknowledged as a fashion leader in the UK. But obviously this is just the beginning for Kinomi. So where to go from here?
I can just tell there’s another growth opportunity coming this way for me. Whee! (and I mean that sarcastically) While I know intellectually that growth experiences are good, emotionally I am unhappy about them. Why do I need to keep growing? I thought I was done, can’t be improved upon and all that. Growth periods are often uncomfortable, embarrassing and chaotic. You don’t notice for awhile after you come out of them because you’re still reeling from the experience.
It turns out that if you put yourself out there and take risks, then you continue to grow. Back in the 90′s, with two little kids, I thought I had achieved what I needed to in life. Obviously that’s not true, look what I’ve done since then. I now realise that it’s because I didn’t have time to think about me, I was too busy trying to keep two small people alive. That all got turned on its head with our move to Tokyo. Suddenly in addition to the wellbeing of the small people, I had to think about my adjusting to a new environment. Although I had family and geography going for me, it was still a tough transition. I managed, thrived and discovered that I was not cut out for suburban living. Then came the move to London which was much tougher. Children older, no support system and a pretty hostile environment compared to my warm fuzzy life in Tokyo. But I managed and 10 years later, here I am.
This is what I think. If you look back, there is a progression in your life. Things happen to prepare you for the next stage. Of course, stepping out into the unknown is scary. The thought of going out there and trying to sell my Kinomi nuts is pretty terrifying. But I have to remember that if I think it’s the right thing to do, then I’ve been logging experience all along to help me get there. Deep breath, off I go.
Here they are, on the shelf.
I am recovering from cataract surgery. I have cataracts in both eyes and my vision is really terrible. This I am told is a blessing in disguise as I can have a corrective lens put in during surgery. I have worn glasses since I was 8 years old. So having someone tell you that you will be able to see without them doesn’t sound quite real. But there’s really nothing to do but try it, so off I went.
The operation took place in a posh private hospital in Marylebone. Hubby took a day off from work to accompany me on what is essentially a 15 minute procedure. We arrived before 9:30, the time it said in my letter and sat in the waiting room for 2 hours. I think they forgot about us since eventually someone came to ask if we were waiting to leave. This did not bode well for the day, but soon after they took us up to the room, apologising profusely. Then, they put three rounds of many drops in my eye and hung around waiting for them to take effect. Now there was a sign on my door that said “nil by mouth” which meant no food, no water. I hadn’t eaten since 8:00 and was starving so I had a nap on the very comfy bed.
They took me upstairs to the operating theatre and the most unpleasant procedure of the whole day, the inserting of the catheter in my hand. It hurt the entire time it was in and I now have a lovely bruise on the back of my hand. The surgery itself was mercifully quick because although you can’t feel any pain, you can certainly feel pressure and other actions performed by the surgeon. Some more lying around later, we came home where I vegged on the couch and went to bed early.
So I guess I was hoping for a “Eureka!” moment when everything is in crystal clear focus. Well the reality is that while things do seem a bit brighter, I am still wearing my glasses. But I have noticed as the day has gone on, that my vision is probably improving because it’s making me a bit queasy to wear my glasses. So I’m in this limbo state where I can’t see without my glasses and I can’t really see with them on either. It takes 2-4 weeks for the healing and I guess my vision will continue to improve. In 3 weeks, I will have the other eye done and only then will I be able to tell what my view of the world will be. I only know that if I really come out of this not needing any glasses except for reading, I am going out and splurging on a gorgeous pair of sunglasses. Any recommendations?
It is now the day after I wrote the above and I am still in this limbo state. I can see pretty perfectly out of my left eye, but my right eye lets it down. So, do I wear a patch for the next three weeks? It is almost Halloween. But now I can’t see my computer screen or any words at all unless I get really close. ”Welcome to my world”, hubby says. I am on my way to buy a pair of reading glasses.
So nearly two and a half years ago, I set out on a new path. Of course when I made the decision to try the Elimination Diet for one month, I never thought I would be taking the first step in a life changing journey. I had gotten to the point through lack of exercise and excessive Ben and Jerry’s where it was lose weight or buy bigger clothes. But worse still, I had the threat of blood pressure medication hanging over me. But truthfully, it wasn’t the possible health hazard but the thought of buying bigger clothes that motivated me.
This is where luck steps in. I chose as my first place to get some exercise, a personal fitness studio that put all their clients on the Elimination Diet. What I thought was wonderful about this place was that even though I just went for their classes and didn’t sign up for any personal training, they still gave me their time and the diet. In a nutshell, the Elimination Diet is no wheat, dairy, sugar except agave, alcohol and caffeine for a month. You cleanse your system, reintroduce these foods slowly and see if you have any reaction. Despite my steady diet of Ben and Jerry’s, I am lactose intolerant. I’m also very sensitive to caffeine and hardly drink alcohol so giving up these things wasn’t hard. The sugar was really tough as well as the wheat, it meant no more cookies, cakes or a convenient sandwich when I am out. But once I started, I realised that I was much happier without them. My body functioned much better especially without the wheat and sugar. So I never reintroduced the sugar or wheat back into my diet. We all know the right way to eat. But being virtuous was not enough of a motivation for me. It took feeling noticeably better for me to make the switch. Of course I am no longer as strict as I was that first year. But I now know what to look out for when I start to eat a little too much of what I shouldn’t. The adjustments are easy to make and the change is immediate.
In addition to the eating plan, this studio offered 30 minute exercise classes. I thought, “how bad could 30 minutes be?”. Well after the first class when I tried to walk home, I stepped off the kerb, crossed the road and then I wasn’t sure I could step back up on the other side. Things got better from there, I slowly got into shape and two gyms later, I now train 5 days a week, really enjoying the feeling of being fit. But lately I’ve noticed that I am finally figuring out how to use certain muscles that I had assumed I’d been using all these years. So even though it seems like I am doing the same thing all the time, I am actually making progress.
Having a diet that suits me and being in shape means I am more clear headed and am able to multi task more effectively. It’s hard to give it your all mentally if you’re lacking stamina. Of course I still forget things all the time and make silly mistakes, but I feel like I have accomplished a lot in the last 18 months. I’ve started up my cooking classes which has led to a nut business and I’m enjoying my translation work. I’d love to get rid of the muffin top but chocolate is the one indulgence I refuse to give up so I’ll live with it I think.
When you think about it, it is your body, you choose what to put in it and how hard to work it. You have total control. Easier said than done, I’m just glad that for now I have found the right balance.
This week I participated in a trade show. I’ve done markets and I’ve run my own fairs but this was my first time at a trade only show. My lovely distributor invited me to come along and help sell my products at their stand. It was three days of being on my feet all day and meeting and talking to many many people. I enjoyed the experience tremendously, it was great getting direct feedback as people tried the products. I guess if I had to do many of them, the novelty would wear off, but since it was my first, it was much fun.
From spending three days with them, I know much more about what my distributors do and the kinds of products they carry. They are such hard working fun people and the lines they carry are so delicious that our stand was constantly mobbed with people. The first day I didn’t have time for lunch. Thank goodness I was standing behind bowls of nuts all day so I didn’t perish. There were five of us on the stand; me, my two distributors, another producer who makes cheese and a helper. We all got on well and managed not to bump into each other too much.
The people were definitely the highlight and it was fascinating to see the attitudes and the personalities that stopped and sampled my products. It was really gratifying that most people were very complimentary. I had some nice chats with pub owners, hotel food and beverage people and even met a man who is opening a gluten free, dairy free restaurant. How great is that?
Now that the show is over, the follow up begins and only then can the success of the show be gauged. I hope that I managed to inspire people enough so that they place an order and Kinomi can make its way out into the world. It’s fun to think of people I have never seen enjoying my products.
I leave you with a photo of my stand. The photo with me in it, wasn’t great so I’m not using it.