Mitchell Duke, who also played for the Australian National Football (Soccer) Team, is now in his 4th year at Shimizu S-Pulse Football Club in Shizuoka City, a member of the J1 League with a long tradition and history.
He gracefully agreed to an interview to answer questions and express his views on culinary diet and especially vegetables in a region which boasts the largest official number of varieties in all Japan.
Question: Dear Mitchell, thank you so much for sparing your time. First of all, what was your daily diet back in Australia before moving to Shizuoka City?
Mitchell Duke: Quite heavy, actually! As a typical Ozzie (Australian) it started right away with enormous breakfasts with eggs, meat, avocadoes, bread and what else. In comparison, Japanese breakfasts would amount to calories ingested in our comparatively lighter dinners. Lunches and dinners still included large amounts of carbohydrates, what with all the steaks and pasta!
Q: What has changed since you came to Japan?
MD: Everything! I immediately began in earnest to research more into nutrition to the point of taking a TFE course in nutrition. First of all, I cut out the red meat to shift to a pescatarian (fish, especially white-fleshed fish) diet. I also came to bypass most dairies although I still eat eggs. And of course, I came to pay more attention to all vegetables of all kinds.
Q: Do you find it easy to maintain your new diet in Shizuoka (and Japan for that matter!)?
MD: Yes, indeed! There are enough restaurants (I do have to eat out, what with trips and inevitable socializing) with enough variety to allow me to choose food according to my priorities without much of a fuss. Truth to tell, my teammates often indulge in plenty of meat, especially at their favorite yakiniku restaurants. In such cases I keep to grilled vegetables and dig a lot into the kimuchi! LOL. One thing is sure: I keep my eyes and ears open for new venues and possibilities!
Q: Can you obtain your requirements when eating at the club facilities?
MD: no problem there! Meals are served on a buffet style basis which allows me plenty of options including heaps of vegetables and salads! The food there is not only plentiful, but definitely above average cafeteria!
Q: Where do you usually make your daily food shopping?
MD: So far I have used the local Max Value supermarket and other local shops, but I must admit that I probably need to investigate a bit further! The more options, the better! If you have any suggestions, I shall be the happier for it!
Q: Do you consider Shizuoka an easy place to follow your diet compared to the rest of Japan?
MD: Yes, I may say that Shizuoka is arguably the best place when it comes to satisfy my personal dietary requirements, especially when you consider that it is an endless discovery! When you choose to concentrate on vegetables, the variety offered here is nigh unbeatable! The neutral weather plays an important role when it comes to a yearlong search for the best vegetables!
Q: What are the main benefits from your present diet?
MD: First of all, weight control has become so much easier to attain. And I actually enjoy the whole experience. I haven't been sick for a long time, and most importantly I do recover faster from fatigue or injuries inherent to my occupation! The few times I do have to ingest meat I always end up feeling sluggish the next day! A kind of food hangover!
Q: The last question: would you be kind enough to introduce one your favorite restaurants to our readers?
MD: Ristorante Massimo Italian Restaurant !
Ristorante Massimo Italian Restaurant
89-1, Miho, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City
Tel : 054-335-0030
HP : http://www.geocities.jp/granmassimo/