Nobu + Hara Hachi Bu

This isn’t the first time I have gushed over my love of sushi on the blog. Some throwback posts here and here if you’re feeling nostalgic. Sushi has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember. In recent years it has been all about the sashimi. (I will have rice every now and then, but it’s easy to request rice-free rolls if you’re looking to keep your carbs in check and keep your sushi order on the lighter side). I loooove me some salmon sashimi or a poke bowl, salad-style: packed with greens, ginger, seaweed salad, avocado, and any other veggies I’m feeling. I could live off that stuff.


Now if there were ever a boujee place to hit up for some sushi, it would be Nobu. I dined at the one in Newport Beach with my mama for our favorite pastime- Ladies Lunch hehe. Highly recommend for the scenery- it’s right on the harbor, and you get to watch the yachts pull in and out #goals. It’s nestled in THE cutest  boutique shopping mall called Lido Marina Village. So get your sushi fix, then get your shop on. (My insider tip is to go to Jenni Kayne, Clare V, Jolie, then grab a pick-me-up at Honor Coffee Roasters.)

The Nobu restaurants around the world boast a long list of awards to the highest degree- there are even a few Michelin Stars in the mix (San Diego’s Nobu has one!!) Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa was born and raised in Japan, gathering his experience and artful training in Tokyo, Peru, and Argentina. The around-the-world flair is evident in the flavor and style of the menu. Nobu showcases the best of traditional sushi with a nod to the inventive fusion side of culinary artistry.

It really doesn’t get any better, in my opinion. Let’s get to the food, shall we?


My fave veggie as of late has been shishito peppers. I like to think of them as the Russian Roulette pepper. Overall, they tend to be pretty mild, but every now and then you get a HOT one that just hits ya with the spice. They are so easy to make at home- quickly blistered with a drizzle of avocado oil and a sprinkle of salt- but ordering them Nobu-Style as an app will get you the peppers served grilled with a sweet miso glaze. Heaven.


Chilled Lobster with Avocado

Now as much as I love a descriptive photo stream of sushi, I did want to discuss a very relevant topic that I conveniently have been studying in school quite a bit as of late: The centuries-old Japanese concept of Hara Hachi Bu. (Not gonna say I’m an expert, BUT I have read books, articles, and given presentations on the matter, sooo… 😉 )


Salmon wrapped around Nashi Pear

My discovery of the concept of Hara Hachi Bu started with researching the Blue Zones- areas of the world that have an unusually high number of centenarians (people who live to 100+ years!!) Let’s take a little trip to Okinawa, Japan. Think of Okinawa as the Hawaii of Japan; it’s lush, green, and tropical. Okinawa happens to be the place in the world that has THE highest percentage of centenarians (5 per 10,000 people.)


Fresh Uni with Quail Egg- a personal fave delicacy not to be missed. 

Researchers have dedicated their careers to tapping into the so-called fountain of youth, trying to figure out what makes these people live so long. Is it something they eat, something in their environment, their outlook on life, exercise, genetics, or something else? Turns out, ultimately, it’s a combination of all of these things. The Okinawan centenarians wake up with a purpose (their ikigai), they have a close social group (their moai), they get outside and garden, and among other things, they have a richly plant-based and vegetable-heavy diet. Purple sweet potatoes, bitter melon, and small amounts of fish mark some of the staples of the diet.


So where does this “hara hachi bu” thing come into play?? Every time they eat! It roughly translates to “eat until you are eight tenths full”. So essentially, eat to 80% fullness. The Okinawans take this practice very seriously, and literally say it OUT LOUD before they eat. It’s genius because it’s a reminder to pause, be conscious of your food (not just mindlessly shoveling), and pay attention to your hunger cues. It takes about 20 minutes for our bodies to send all the signals to let us know we are full, so by following the 80% rule, you can be sure you will never overeat or feel overstuffed. Just perfectly satisfied, listening to your body- Mindful Eating at its core.


Live Abalone

So let’s take a note from the 100+ club of Okinawa and be more mindful of how much we eat (major challenge with the holidays coming up, but totally worth tapping into). Try it for yourself- I’ve been hara hachi bu-ing a lot lately, and I have to say, it’s brought a lot more attention to my eating in the best way, since I can be an “overstuffer” at times haha. Have you heard of hara hachi bu before? I would love to know what you think if you give it a try!

Have a great week!



2 thoughts on “Nobu + Hara Hachi Bu

  1. Note to self while eating at NOBU: “Do note recite Hara Hachi Bu” 🙂 Note to self on Thanksgiving: “Hara Hachi Bu”

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