Today on the blog we have the one & only Candice Kumai. ELLE magazine has called her THE GOLDEN GIRL of the wellness world, & well, she literally is. magazine ).
Not only is she a chef & content creator, but she’s also a best-selling author ( 6 times over ), a wellness writer who has contributed to Forbes, Pop Sugar & Women’s Health ( to name a few ).
In this post she’s diving deep into her routines & matcha ritual, easy recipes, her fave skincare, & how she does it all while looking FAB.
So excited for you guys to read this post because she shares her pre-photo shoot secrets, her cocktail of choice & resources she recommends.
Let’s get right to it & welcome Candice to the blog.
Recipes, Routines & Matcha with Candice Kumai
♡ Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience.
Candice Kumai: Hi beauties! I’m Candice Kumai. I’m a journalist, six-time best-selling author & host of the Wabi Sabi podcast. I write, direct, produce & edit all of my own work, & I run three production companies in LA, NYC & Tokyo. Plus, I still model in the beauty, swimsuit & athleisure categories. xx
♡ I have to tell you, I’m not the best cook & I’m a lazy cook too. What are some ‘lazy’ go-to recipes you make for yourself when you feel overwhelmed?
CK: I think you’ll love these “hair toss” together ideas:
+ Miso avocado toast. It’s literally just toast with coconut oil, spread it with miso & top off with avocado ( spread it & toss, sounds sexual, LOL ).
+ Try a frozen raspberry & blueberry smoothie with unsweetened coconut milk, almond butter & a handful of spinach. Blend. So easy & full of nutrients!
+ Adding ½ veggies to any pasta dish ( example: mix in 50% veggies like squash, kabocha, greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, etc, with 50% pasta ), or make pizza & toss on extra veggies as a topping.
Try making some yummy Japanese eats like soba noodle salad, miso soup or Japanese fried rice. I know Zaza is part Japanese – she will love it!
♡ What is your morningg routine?
CK: I’m in bed by 8pm like a Grandma//Baachan — to make sure I get my 9 hours of sleep in. Trust me, sleep keeps you sane, focused, & looking refreshed. Plus, it’s free!
From there, it’s matcha first thing in the morning, followed by a 30-minute meditation. I make sure to consume plenty of water as I begin my day, & I’m at my desk working by 7am.
♡ Walk us through a day in the life?
CK: I make matcha as soon as I wake up.
I start my morning with a meditation from 630-7am.
730-8am: I do any self-care activities that I love or hop to my desk, or get into hair & makeup. Every day is different.
8-11am: I work at my desk ( write books, work production, cut tape, host, produce shows, work in post production, write line sheets, etc.).
11-1pm: I get a workout in & I love mentally checking out here.
Then I have afternoon meetings & wrap-up any additional work: example this week I’m packing for NY travel ( for work, Soho house meetings, writing my 7th book & prepping a line sheet for Shiseido, packing 60 gift bags & cards for our holiday mailer & about 25 orders from TheMatchaShoppe.com. I have a Wabi Sabi Podcast recording & managing my team for Kintsugi documentary prep.
Evening: catch up with a girlfriend,- Chrystal, Dana, Courts, Steph, spend time with the man & the cat he he.
♡ What does a day of eating look like for you?
CK: Matcha tea in the mornings & a lot of water are my go-tos as soon as I start my day. I only eat when I’m hungry ( i.e. almond butter & toast, avocado & miso, or a berry smoothie with spinach ).
For lunch I usually eat a big ass salad with homemade miso dijon dressing. For dinner, I stick to salmon & greens. I like eating for my brain health & honestly, sometimes I eat whatever the F I want ( my rule is: if I worked out, I’m good to do what I want ).
The key for me is: greens, berries, low sugar, low junk, low drinking & sometimes I do what I want.
♡ You’ve traveled all over the world. What are 3 things you’ve learned from traveling?
CK: Be kind to others while abroad. Keep your voices low & soft, & learn the very basics in their native language ( i.e. “Hello”, “How are you?”, “Excuse me”, “Thank you”, & “Please” ).
Be respectful to others, find out the do’s & don’ts in their native land. Be extra prepared when traveling. Research ahead of time: tipping culture, common greetings, currency exchange, important laws, religious practices, passport/visas) – aka travel smart.
Learn about the history & the culture of where you are traveling to. Remember not everything in this life is for Instagram. Learn to take in the beauty, purity & inspiration of a distant land ( including their to-die-for food ) off your apps. Be gracious to every chef, host & translator. I get embarrassed when tourists misbehave!
♡ How do you prepare for a photo shoot?
CK: This is a great question! I rarely share my preparation for shooting. But since I love you & you asked, here goes….
Regarding swimsuit & athleisure shoots: 1-2 weeks before, I focus on double-down workouts ( mostly bar method & pure barre ). That’s two workouts a day plus protein packed berry & spinach smoothies. I prioritize sleep roughly 7-10 days before the shoot – it is essential. I drink 8 cups of water & make sure to get a facial three days before the big day.
In the case of a last-minute-emergency the day before, I use Goop Glycolic Glow pads. On the night before, I use Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturiser & Shiseido Ultimune Serum + Shiseido Benefiance eye cream. You will never see me go out the night before a shoot… the night of the shoot wrap, that’s a different story.
I abstain from alcohol days & weeks before each shoot, & if I have lines, a demo or script, I’ll study that in bed for 2-3 nights before the big day. I was not this boring in high school or college.
Demo shoots like the Today Show or E! Daily Pop take me a few weeks of prep in advance.
That’s props, food, travel, accommodation, set-up at set, tear-down at set, re-packing props & post-production scheduling & preparation, depending on how much lead time I’m given. Sometimes it’s barely 2 days. For example, I’m shooting in Honolulu & I get a call that I’m booked on E! Daily Pop in LA in just 2-3 days. It’s tough, but we always make it happen.
Overall, it’s a lot of damn preparation & organization, & major self discipline. I want to look & feel my best in person, on set, & always. I also want to give everyone my best, always. In life, you’ll get one shot to impress, so make it the best.
♡ Can you break down your creative process as an entrepreneur?
CK: I currently run three production & content creation companies & have since 2007. I write, develop, produce, direct & model/host. This requires a balanced mix of time-management & organization, skills & discipline.
Creative ideas & execution best come when it’s the morning hours. Most of my inspo comes from tradition, culture, traveling, religion, spirituality, basically everything trends are not. Most of my job is about preserving culture, aka the opposite of trend-setting. I don’t look around much, I don’t copy others, I kinda just stay in my lane & create original content.
♡ Tell us about matcha. You’re the first person who told me about it & now I’m obsessed. Would love to know more about how you prepare it, the benefits, the ritual of making it, etc.
CK: I love you for it. Making matcha with a traditional bowl & whisk each morning is my meditation. It’s full of amino acids, Vitamin C, & immunity boosting properties.
Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist priest born in 1121 once stated: Matcha is “the elixir to the immortals.” You can order your own meditative matcha kit at thematchashoppe.com. I truly think it’s the JBeauty fountain of youth.
Matcha is sencha green tea, shade-grown, harvested, steamed, dried & ground into a finely milled powder. It’s important to learn about Japanese traditions from the Japanese. And I add Aura collagen powder & Nut Pods to mine each am!
♡ What’s the best, easiest cocktail recipe we all have to try?
CK: The Japanese Tokyo Highball – it is so damn good! Just ice, soda water & the best Japanese whisky you can find ( Nikka, Suntory, Ichiro’s Malt ). Japanese whisky is so sexy & it’s got an incredible historical foundation.
♡ What’s a book, podcast or resource you recommend?
CK: Book: Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Podcast: Radically Loved by Rosie Acosta
Tim Ferriss – I don’t mention this often, but I really admire what he has created for himself.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
CK: FOR REALLY GOOD KARMA:
Sign up for my juicy newsletter
Subscribe to my YouTube.
Follow me on IG: @CandiceKumai
Follow me on: Tik Tok
Buy my book: Kintsugi Wellness + write a five star review!
Purchase Your Matcha + Accessories from Japanese Women:
TheMatchaShoppe.com – we love our new customers!
Find all of my recipes here: CandiceKumai.com
There you have it- how Candice Kumai, the powerhouse entrepreneur gets it all done & then some!
Be sure to check out her recipes ( even if you’re a lazy girl like me ) & stalk her in my new book GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE SUN, for more of her tips & tricks.
I’m off to whisk my matcha.
+ listen to Candice on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER podcast.
++ stalk these collagen tea recipes.