How Important It Is to Have Whole Grains Everyday!

Whole Barley and Brown Rice

After I got ovarian cancer 24 years ago, I learned the macrobiotic way of life. I healed the cancer with macrobiotic foods, many holistic approaches, and a natural lifestyle. I also had a serious car crash 15 years ago. I was in a coma for three days, and since my left lung and heart were crushed, they stopped working several times. Both my knees and feet were also badly crushed. The doctor told me I would not be able to walk, but I did not give up; I continued macrobiotics.

 

I started to move around after one year of bedridden life. I was able to transfer my body to a wheelchair, so I eventually went to yoga class every week. I still have pain all the time and take care of my physical and emotional disability. I had to build a strong will and discipline my mind. Macrobiotic, well-cooked, whole-grain foods have helped me keep the core of my strength.

 

My husband Eric and I have been cooking most of our foods at home with carefully chosen, organic ingredients, including whole grains, beans, fresh produce, sea vegetables, seasoning (sea salt, miso and tamari—soy sauce with no gluten), and condiments (umeboshi plum, gomashio, tekka, etc.). Also, we live a lifestyle that fits our healthy minds and bodies. We are active. Eric goes to the beach for his SUP surfing every weekend and goes skiing in winter. I practice yoga, and since last year, I teach it.

 

Traveling is fun and exciting, but it is not possible to eat like at home. We eat things that we are not used to, so our bodies have to adjust. We can avoid meat and other animal foods, but oil, spices, preservatives, non-nutritious salt, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and more are not easy to identify—so we lose our health balance sometimes.

 

The trip we had this March was the cruise of Caribbean of MSC ship which also serves Holistic Holiday Cruise (they are also call macrobiotic cruises) food once a year, so we have had travel with Holistic Holiday twice before so we trusted that we’d be all right. But we were disappointed, because this time was different from what we had before. There were almost no whole grains (brown rice), leafy greens, or sea vegetables. It was definitely vegan, plant-based food, but not macrobiotic.

 

I enjoyed the trip with Eric’s mother, aunts, cousins and nephew, but I think I lost my balance doing too much. I walked too much in Jamaica, so I was exhausted, and my feet were in so much pain—but I did not rest and instead went to a recovery panel to speak. I went to the dining room, which was even colder than usual, and they served only white pasta with tomato sauce for the vegan table. I was shocked and went to my stateroom to take a hot shower, but I already had a fever of 102. Since I was a child, a fever is my body’s signal when I lose balance. Unable to eat whole grains this trip, I realized how I was not able to keep my balance. Since I could see the ocean everyday, I found a way to keep my balance through my meditation.

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With Eric’s mom, her sisters, and brother-in-law.

 

I was so happy to be home and welcomed by our dog and cat family. I am now taking time to recover from losing my health balance this time. I realized once again that the purest foods we can prepare are in our own kitchen. Whole grains are most important for a macrobiotic life.

Here are blogs I wrote about blogs with recipes:

Traditional Brown Rice Cooking without a Rice Cooker (well-cooked brown rice)

How Many Whole Grains Do you know Besides Brown Rice?

 

My goal for 2017 is not to push too much, so I postponed the pickle-making class—but I hope to offer it soon.

Here is a pickle recipe blog for you, in case you were looking forward to coming to the pickle-making class.

 

With gratitude to be healthy and happy!

—Sanae

Furofuki Daikon

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Daikon means “big” (dai) “root” (kon) in Japanese. It is a big white radish you see at Asian markets and most health stores and farmers’ markets now.

 

When I was a child, up to 20 years old, I did not like to eat daikon unless it was made like spicy kimchee pickles. But my mother said, “Don’t worry: I did not like to eat daikon, either. I love them now, so you will love eating them when you grow up.” She was right.

 

Now, daikon is one of my favorite vegetables. Daikon grows in spring, summer and autumn/winter, but I love the autumn/winter (the end of October to February) ones the best. Many different kinds of daikon are available in America. Each has a slightly different taste, and the harvesting season also affects the taste. I think the summer daikons are a little bitter and winter ones are sweeter, but you can taste and find out for yourself.

 

Daikon helps eliminate excess water and animal fats from the body and has a wide range of medicinal uses. It also aids in the digestion of whole grains and vegetables. Here’s a quick breakdown of the health benefits:

 

Health Benefits of Daikon

Respiratory Health: The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activity with the expectorant properties of daikon and daikon juice make it ideal for clearing up respiratory symptoms. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm, but also eliminates bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy.

Digestive Health: Daikon juice has been shown to possess enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tract, including amylase and esterase.

Detoxification: Daikon has a diuretic benefit; it helps keep the kidneys clean and functioning at a high level by stimulating the elimination of excess toxins, fats, and even water through urination.

Cancer Prevention: Daikon not only has a high nutrient content, but it also possesses certain antioxidant phenolic compounds that have been shown to reduce various types of cancer, particularly of the stomach.

Immune System: The high concentration of vitamin C in daikon makes it an ideal partner for your immune system.

Anti-Inflammatory Action: Research has found that the level of anti-inflammatory compounds in daikon juice and the normal roots and leaves can significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body, lower the chance of developing arthritis, treat gout, and ease discomfort and pain from injuries and strained muscles.

Bone Health: Daikon is a rich source of calcium, which is essential for bone health. If you are at risk for developing osteoporosis or are beginning to feel the pain of your age, adding some daikon and calcium to your diet can definitely improve your conditions and slow the natural aging process.

Weight Loss: It is low in calories and contains no cholesterol, but it’s high in fiber and nutrient content, making it a weight-loss aid. It fills you up and gives you essential nutrients for your day without significantly boosting the number of consumed calories or cholesterol in your diet.

Skin Health: The antioxidant properties of daikon help to prevent the effects of free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism. So, you can use daikon juice or a slice of daikon for bug bites and other skin irritations.

A Word of Warning: Some evidence suggests that daikon and other radish varieties shouldn’t be eaten by people with gallstones. Other than that, daikon is not commonly known as an allergen and is generally considered healthy for anyone.

Source: Organic Facts

 

Furofuki Daikon (Simmered Daikon) Recipe

From Love, Sanae

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MAKES 4 SERVINGS

 

8 rounds (each 3/4″ thick) daikon radish

2 strips (each 7″ long) kombu

4–5 tablespoons tamari

2–3 tablespoons sesame seeds, washed

2 tablespoons barley miso

4–5 cups spring water

 

  1. Put the kombu in a pot; layer the daikon on top.
  2. Add water to half-cover the daikon, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add 1–2 tablespoons tamari for each cup of water. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until daikon is tender, about 30–40 minutes.
  4. To make sesame-miso sauce, dry-roast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-­high heat, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Stir constantly.
  5. Place toasted seeds in a suribachi and grind to a paste.
  6. Blend in miso, and thin the mixture with 2–3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
  7. Serve the daikon topped with the sesame-miso sauce.

 

Enjoy!

Love, Sanae 💖

California Organic Umeboshi Plums and Recipe

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Umeboshi plums offer really good medicinal benefits for everyone. During the holiday season, most of us eat too much; Umeboshi Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy Drink helps our intestines and alkaline levels (recipe below).

Umeboshi Plum with Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy

The combination of umeboshi plum and twig tea (Kukicha) is good for strengthening the blood and circulation through regulation of digestion.

MAKES ONE SERVING

one-half or one umeboshi plum
1 cup Kukicha (twig tea), brewed

To make the drink:

  1. Place the umeboshi in a tea cup.
  2. Pour in hot tea and stir well. Drink while hot and eat the plum.

Resource from Love, Sanae cookbook which has  many recipes of Umeboshi plums.

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Photo: Umeboshi Plum with Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy

 

We have been offering California organic umeboshi plums since 2011. My longtime friend Kazuko and her husband, Jyunsei, planted about 450 ume plum trees after they move to the US in 1968. It was their dream to make California organic umeboshi plums. They also grew organic red shiso leaves (Japanese medicinal herb beefsteak) on their property in order to make umeboshi plums (the plums’ color comes from red shiso leaves).
They made their umeboshi plums in the truly traditional way: They grew the ume trees organically, picked the plums by hand, and sun-dried them for three days under California’s long hours of sunshine. When I went to help them make the plums, I learned to continuously turn each one for hours so it wouldn’t get burned or stick to the bamboo mat.

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Photo: Drying ume plum before pickling with red shiso leaves

 

For many years, Jyunsei and Kazuko have used only selected sea salt and organic, home-grown red shiso leaves to make their premium hand-made California organic umeboshi plums.

Jyunsei passed in 2000, and Kazuko kept up the work by herself, but she eventually retired in 2008. Since Jyunsei passed, Kazuko was not able to promote her umeboshi plums widely. Settled in a retirement home now, she still has the plums but no access to sell them. We decided to help her and seize this opportunity to spread the love and care with which she and Jyunsei prepared these plums. We have sold at least 400 pounds of them all over the US. I even gave them to Japanese friends as gifts, and they said they never see such high-quality aged organic umeboshi plums in Japan anymore.

The plums we received from Kazuko were made in 2003–05, so they are aged. They contain more alkaline and super enzymes with high healing properties than any umeboshi plums you can find anywhere.
Umeboshi plums are like wine; the aged ones are rich in enzymes and have a naturally sour, delicious flavor. Most companies limit their production to a yearly basis, and many of them are not organic, while others use preservatives. So, this is a rare occasion to find aged, organic umeboshi plums.

 

We have a limited quantity, so if you want to get these special California organic umeboshi plums, click here to order.

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When you receive the plums, transfer them to a glass jar or container and keep them in a cool dark place—but not in the refrigerator—to preserve the enzymes and healing properties. They have not been in a refrigerator for about 10 years.

 

Hope you get to taste these rare umeboshi plums before they are all gone.

Love,

Sanae💖

 

Kula, Golden Retriever Life With Her Cancer, Part 5: Keeping Healthy Gums

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After Kula was diagnosed with spleen cancer she was not able to walk so I decided to do all-holistic bodywork to help her walk again.

Morning body routine before morning remedy drink and/or breakfast:
1. Massage her gums
2. Body scrub
3. Shiatsu
4. Do-in exercise

I felt that massaging Kula’s gums were important, since she had abuses on her left-side gums, as you can see in the photo. Her gum area was discharging pus. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Lane showed me how to make a gum rinse formula with green tea and myrrh essential oil (which is very good for gums and can also be used as a mouthwash to help eliminate dental infections) and massaged her gums with loquat tea (made from loquat leaf) and sea salt every day.

Here I am showing photos of Kula’s abscess how it got better.

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Holistic veterinarian Dr. Lane is disinfecting Kula’s abscess on May 27, 2016

 

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Kula’s abscess gum on May 30, 2016

 

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Kula abscess gum on June 3, 2016

 

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Kula’s abscess on July 15, 2016

 

Recipe

For dogs:
1 cup green tea or loquat leaf tea
2 drops myrrh essential oil (if for cats, I just use sea salt, since cats are very sensitive to essential oil)

For people:
1 cup green tea or loquat leaf tea

4–5 drops myrrh essential oil

 

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Loquat leaf and the tea and myrrh essential oil with a soft gum brush

 

Use a very soft, small toothbrush. If you want to, you can use your finger (usually index).

Photo: Toothbrush and loquat leaf

In this video, I am massaging Kula’s gums.

Wishing healthy gums and teeth for your dog and you!
Love, Sanae 💖

Kula, Golden Retriever, Life with Her Cancer Part 2

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Finding the Right Remedy of Fever is The Key.

Kula was diagnosed with spleen cancer on May 18, 2016, and she is on her healing path for her life with macrobiotic food and natural remedies with a holistic vet. Dr. Sally Lane.
Overall her health got better with her new healing diet, herbal medication, reiki, moxibustion, acupuncture, massage, Do-in exercise, body scrub,  and healing power stones etc. The type of cancer she has does not give her pain, so she is spending her 13-year retirement life comfortably.

Kula is enjoying being on the deck after dinner.

Kula enjoys being on the deck her retirement life

 

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Kula’s remedy for her fever: Lotus root tea and brown rice soup with daikon juice

 

One challenge Kula faces is high fever from time to time since the diagnosis. Last week her fever was almost 106 ℉ (normal dog temperature is 101 ~ 102.5 ℉). This was the highest her temperature had been, so I was concerned, even though I understood that cancer patients suffer from high fever intermittently in reaction to the body’s attempt to detox and/or purify cancer cells and bring them back to being healthy cells. When I had ovarian cancer in 1993 I also had a high fever from time to time.

Kula’s holistic vet Dr. Lane said sometimes if the tumor is changing in any way it can elicit a fever that can be persistent or cyclic.

When her fever goes up I try to lower it with cucumber juice, apple juice, watermelon juice, and/or cool lotus root creamy tea and brown rice cream with daikon juice. I also give coconut water when fever is very high  fever that caused by yang condition. I spray her body with water with peppermint essential oil with Bach flower Rescue Remedy.

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Taro Plaster with Loquat leaves

 

I also apply a tofu plaster, taro plaster or cold towel compress. She likes all the juices and cooling liquids and tofu/taro plasters – Her favorite is cool lotus root creamy tea to drink and tofu/taro plaster over her tummy, but making all these remedies take time so sometimes it is not easy for me to apply them. To make easier for me I have used a cold towel to help lower the temperature quickly, but it does not work for her. Indeed a cold towel is much easier to apply, but her body temperature drops too fast, making her start to shake.

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Kula with her cabbage cap for her fever

 

When the right remedy works she feels very comfortable and sleeps for a couple hours, so I had to experiment with different types of remedies in different combinations. Then it occurred to me: cabbage leaves!
Yes, it turns out Kula’s favorite remedy is cabbage leaves for her head, ears, chest and tummy. It required many cabbage leaves, but it was quite easy to put them all over her body. (cabbage leaves are used for an inflammation and apply on a breast cancer in macrobiotic healing).

 

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Kula loves cabbage on her head and chest and taro plaster on tummy

 

The only problem was that her dog family (especially Bubu) would come to steal her cabbage leaves while she slept, and she would wake up when there were no more cabbage leaves left on her head and body. Well, at least cabbage is good for the digestion and safe to eat, and I only use organic cabbage.

 

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Bubu and Lumi were making move to steal cabbage from Kula

 

If you are looking for a remedy for you or your family, including your animal family, the key is finding the right remedy for natural healing.

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Kula eating her healing food for her fever

 

I hope Kula continues to get better as she navigates her healing path.

 

To be continued…

Love, Sanae💖

Macrobiotic Plant-Based Vegan Dessert

Dates and Almond Finger Sweets

We love simple and pure for making a little dessert for us.

The last weekend we taught a cooking class and one of recipe was “Dates and Almond Finger Sweets” as a traveling dessert. Everyone loved them so much there was nothing for us to taste!

 

Health Classics 2016 cooking class

Health Classics 2016 cooking class

It only has two ingredients with a small amount of water.
We chose three different coating this time.

Here is recipe for you!

Dates & Almonds Finger Sweet

Makes 12 pieces

To make the balls:

4 oz pitted dates

2 oz almond meal

1 tablespoon water

 

For the coating:

2 tablespoons grain coffee

2 tablespoons kinako powder

4 leaves of mint

 

  1. mix in food processor the dates and almond meal to a paste, add water if necessary to make it sticky to hold together.
  2. Divide the mixture into 12 pieces (about 0.5oz) and roll into balls between your hands.
  3. Coat the balls in a small bowl with your favorite coating.
  4. Keep refrigerated.

 

Which one is your favorite?
What do you think, let me know.

Love, Sanae