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

Red Radish & Wakame Pressed Pickle Salad

Wakame red radish ume pressed salad CR 650

Eating sour taste with fermented foods which have enzyme helps to detox your liver and gallbladder. (Liver and Gallbladder is active in spring time)

Liver and Gallbladder is active in springtime by Oriental medicine.

Making quick pressed pickles and eat as a salad is perfect for this season.

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Red Radishes with Leafy Greens from Santa Monica Farmers Market

 

Here is the recipe for you (You can use this recipe for your dog’s meal also, but take out umeboshi plums!)

Red radish and Wakame Pressed Pickle Salad

Makes: Two servings

1/4 cup soaked wakame sea vegetable, cut small

2 cups thinly sliced red radishes with the leafy greens

1~2 umeboshi plums – make a paste with knife

pickle presser or plate with rocks

 

  1. Soak the wakame till it gets soft. Cut the wakame bite size.
  1. Place the sliced red radishes with small cut the greens in a bowl and add the Wakame over
  1. Add umeboshi plum paste to the wakame and red radishes with the greens and mix very well.
  1. Place them into a pickle presser and put the top on to apply pressure or place a plate which fit to press to the bowl and put rocks to press.
  1. Allow sitting about 1~3 hours. Remove them and squeeze out excess liquid and taste.
  1. Arrange attractively in a serving dish.

 

650 Main Coast Wakame

Wakame from Maine Seaweed

 

Variation: Use daikon, Chinese cabbage or your favorite vegetables.

These pickles salad is even more delicious if aged for 2-3 days. It will keep about 1-2 weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Pickles aid digestion, strengthen the intestines and increase the appetite.

 

Bon Appetit!

Love, Sanae

Healing Elderberry Tea

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Elderberry has so many benefits for us.  Antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Sauce: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-elderberry.html

I never saw real Elderberries till we went to North Fork, California.

Since all the commercial Elderberry Tea/Syrup has sugar and I did not find dried Elderberries in any stores. Thanks for Linda in North Fork to gave me her Elderberries two years ago first time so I could make it my own. She also told me how to make it too.

When I first tasted it I felt so healing earthy taste and I could tell my cough will be gone very quickly.

It is delicious and simple to make it. If you like you can add rice syrup and is made with dried elderberries, herbs and spices.

It is super immune-boosting.
Let’s make Elderberry tea! You can purchase them

You can purchase dried Elderberries from

Mountainroseherbs &    Sunburst

 

Recipe for Simple Elderberry Tea

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of filtered water (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
  • 1 tsp rice syrup or maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, put the water and elderberries into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20~30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let it sit for 3~6 hours. This helps bring out the beneficial properties of the elderberries.
  4. Finally, strain through a fine mesh strainer and heat it up and pour into individual mugs.
  5. If you want to have sweetener then add rice syrup or maple syrup.
elder1

Photo: Beautiful Elderberry

 

Hope you enjoy homemade elderberry tea!

 

Love, 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

650 Plant Based School Furofuki Daikon 700

 

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 💖

New Year Recipe: Omedetou

Azuki bean's sprout is so cute! 小豆の芽が出て可愛い!

In the macrobiotic world, azuki bean congee has a special name: omedetou.

(Azuki beans are strengthing beans and the sprout is beautiful as the front photo.)

The word means “congratulations” and is used especially in the New Year and for happy occasions like having a baby, passing a big exam, etc. George Ohsawa (founder of the macrobiotic philosophy) named azuki bean congee omedetou for when you get well from illness. Eating this porridge in the New Year will help you have a positive mind.

 

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photo: Omedetou in my cat rice bowl

 

Makes 4 servings

 

1 cup brown rice

½ cup azuki beans

5–10 cups purified water

1″ square kombu sea vegetables昆布 (2cmx2cm)1枚

Roasted sesame seeds

 

Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Wash the rice gently, about three times. Roast till golden brown. Wash the azuki beans and remove pebbles, etc.
  2. Place the rice and beans in the pressure cooker. Add the water and kombu, cover, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  3. When the pressure is up, turn the flame to simmer and cook for 60 minutes.
  4. Remove from the flame and wait till the pressure is down.
  5. Serve with roasted sesame seeds.

 

Non-Pressure Method:

  1. Wash the rice gently, about three times. Roast till golden brown. Wash the azuki beans and remove pebbles, etc.
  2. Place the rice and beans in a stainless or ceramic pot, add water, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  3. When it starts to boil, add the kombu, cover, turn the flame to simmer, and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Remove from the flame, and wait till the pressure is down.
  5. Serve with roasted sesame seeds.

 

Enjoy your omedetou and chew well!

Love,

Sanae💖

Bancha Twig Tea (Kukicha)

kukicha-apple-juice

I love tea.
Yes, I am Japanese.
I’ve also been told that I was English in a previous life so that naturally gives me the title of “Tea Lover.”

 

Since I was about 7 years old, one of my favorite things was taking a tea break with my mother’s housekeeper, Mrs. Kato. We usually had bancha (harvested from the same tree as sencha grade, but it is plucked later than sencha, giving it a lower market grade). It is considered to be the lowest grade of green tea. There are 22 grades of bancha. Its flavor is unique; it has a stronger organic straw smell than sencha (a type of Japanese ryokucha/green tea prepared by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in hot water). Mrs. Kato said sencha was too strong for a child, and usually, it is for guests. I tried some, but I did not like it because it tasted bitter.

I started to learn Japanese tea ceremony when I was 17 years old. I used macha, a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It was very creamy, and its aromatic taste matched the Japanese tea ceremony sweets. Macha is for special times, but it is high in caffeine. I am not able to drink it most of the time since I am sensitive to caffeine now, so my favorite tea became non-caffeinated herbal tea, like rosehip tea and bancha twig tea (kukicha).

Kukicha is very low in caffeine. Most of the caffeine is in the leaves, which are not used, and the rest is reduced by the aging process. Kukicha is called “three-year bancha” in Japan, because after the stems, stalks and twigs of the tea are picked, they are dried in the sun and aged for three years before roasting. I usually do not feel any caffeine effects, and it is safe for children to drink.

Kukicha has a unique flavor and aroma among teas, due to its aging process and becoming more alkaline. And the benefits of kukicha are numerous. It is an important part of the macrobiotic diet and is thought to lead to stable health and longevity.

It also good to add apple juice when you want to have a little sweet taste when your body gets too tight and need to relax. I usually add a half purified water and a half apple juice and heat up. You can add a slice of apple too.

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I use Eden’s Tea Bag for when I am traveling or going out for lunch/dinner. It still give a good taste of Kukicha.

 

Benefits of Kukicha Tea

Most of the benefits of kukicha tea stem from its alkalizing properties. Prevention of numerous diseases is achieved through alkalization of bodily fluids and tissues and consequent balanced levels of acidity. A diet containing white flour, sugars, dairy products, eggs and meat raises the body’s acidity and eventually results in fatigue, premature aging, weakened immune system, heart, kidney or bladder conditions, and problems with weight, joints and bones. A body containing too much acid draws minerals from bones and other organs and stores fat.
Twig tea (kukicha) is abundant with minerals like copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, zinc and fluoride, as well as A, C and B-complex vitamins and flavonoids. Like green tea, it contains polyphenolic catechins, which are famous for their anti-cancer action. The most powerful of these substances is epigallocatechin, which prevents cancer by discouraging the growth of tumors and stopping it from spreading within cells. Kukicha is also known to promote digestion. Moreover, it has a high content of tannin, which helps clean the body from toxins. Tannin can even free the body from nicotine and radioactivity, which is why it is recommended for people who take many medications.

Similarly to green tea, kukicha regulates the levels of blood sugar, and by lowering high blood pressure, it prevents strokes and heart disease. Being an immunity booster, it helps combat virus-induced colds and flu. Kukicha can also promote weight loss, slow down the aging process, and prevent ulcers. When brewing twig tea, it is important to use hot water, but not boiling. Once boiled water has cooled, the tea is steeped for three minutes at the most. It can also be served cold, with the addition of apple juice, and enjoyed throughout the day—even by children.

Many health benefits may be gained from drinking kukicha, including:

  • Contains six times more calcium than cows’ milk, helping to build bone density
  • Contains 2.5 times more vitamin C than oranges
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Helps with digestion
  • Combats fatigue
  • Benefits people suffering from bladder infection and heart diseases
  • Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
  • Fluoride helps reduce plaque and bacterial infection
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Low in caffeine
  • Burns fat

Source

How to Make Twig Tea (Kukicha)

2–3 cups purified water (depending on how strong you want to make the tea)

1 tablespoon twig tea (kukicha)

Place the water in a teakettle, and bring to a boil. Place the twigs directly in the pot or in a tea ball. Reduce the flame to low, and simmer 3–5 minutes. If adding the tea directly to the pot, strain through a tea strainer when serving.

 

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Umeboshi Plum With Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy

http://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2016/11/30/california-organic-umeboshi-plums-and-recipe/