Category Archives: health
Not eating enough whole grains? Incorporating whole grains into your diet can be challenging when you have a busy schedule and no time to cook. Because they contain intact fiber, whole grains provide complex carbohydrates for energy while keeping blood glucose levels steady throughout the day.
Polished grains, like white rice, are digested very quickly and absorbed immediately into the bloodstream, spiking your blood glucose level, which then falls suddenly, leading to a “crash.” These erratic highs and lows of blood glucose levels contribute to diabetes, weight gain, depression, and a host of other conditions.
Traditional cultures used healing whole grains everyday in stews, soups, and salads. You can balance your diet by adding whole grains to your recipes in one week with the 7 Day Whole Grain Challenge.
Day 1: Shopping Day
Choose 2-3 whole grain recipes, make a list of ingredients, and shop! When you get home, soak grains overnight as prep for the next day’s recipe. Experiment with a variety of grains besides the staple brown rice: barley, quinoa, oat groats, amaranth, etc.
Day 2: Prep ‘n Cook Day
Cook grains and chop veggies while grains are cooking. Boil water and blanch veggies for a quick meal.
Day 3: Leftovers
Want an easy way to eat whole grains at work? Turn leftover grain into a delicious grain salad. Stir in umeboshi vinegar, olive oil, chopped scallions, and grated carrot. Take your salad to work for a healthy lunch. Before you leave, prepare another grain for soaking while you are at work. When you return home, your grain is ready to be cooked.
Day 4: Whole Grains on the Go
No time to make a whole grain lunch? Find Asian restaurants near your work and call to see which one serves brown rice. Order a delicious lunch of brown rice and sautéed veggies…and ta da! A fast and easy way to have a whole grain lunch.
Day 5: Quick Cooking Quinoa
Quick-cooking, protein-packed quinoa takes 15 minutes to cook. Keep in the fridge and mix with chopped blanched veggies for easy lunches and dinners (cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water or broth, season with shoyu soy sauce).
Want to take whole grains on trips? Make your own healthy “happy” meals! Stuff nori sheets with seasoned grains and blanched veggies and roll up to make sushi. Or roll seasoned grains into balls, stuff with a little umeboshi plum, and cover with nori sheets.
Day 7: Chewing Experiment
Have a sweet tooth? Chew each bite at least 20 times. You’ll be surprised at how sweet your whole grains become. Added benefits include better digestion and a relaxing and satisfying feeling!
Healthy Relationship Tip
Widen your definition of food. Think about this: Food includes more than just what you eat. Loving relationships, satisfying careers, spiritual growth, and exercise feed you in more ways than whole grains and veggies alone. This wholistic way of living is your primary food.
While sensuous aphrodisiacs like rose or chocolate take center stage on date night, twig-like burdock root has largely been ignored. Growing deep in the earth, burdock’s downward gathering energy nourishes the lower half of the body, including the reproductive organs. But unlike stimulants that activate the adrenals temporarily, burdock provides healing benefits that are long lasting. When your reproductive organs are healthy, so is your sex life.
Deeply strengthening to the intestines, kidneys, and reproductive organs, burdock root is also used in the macrobiotic diet to purify the blood and cleanse the liver. Its meaty flavor enhances sautes, stews, soups, and gravies. A traditional Japanese healing dish called kimpira uses braised burdock and carrot. Because it contains volatile oils, saute burdock a few minutes to allow oils to evaporate before adding burdock to a dish.
Burdock, Carrot, and Caramelized Red Onion Kimpira
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup burdock root, matchsticks
3/4 cup carrot, matchsticks
1 pinch sea salt
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add red onion and saute until caramelized. Remove onion from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and burdock and saute over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add carrots on top of burdock. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes, covered, or until vegetables are tender. Add water if necessary to prevent pan from drying out. Season with salt. Continue cooking, covered, 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook until water is evaporated. Top carrots and burdock with caramelized red onion.
Whether you are feeling lethargic or just want to improve your sex life, burdock is a natural way to increase youthful vitality in all the right places–without pills or surgery!
This pleasure, appears as poison in the beginning but is like nectar in the end, comes by the grace of Self-knowledge.
~ Bhagavad Gita
Love is the energizing elixir of the universe, the cause and effect of all harmonies.
~Djalal ad-Din Rumi
How would you like to transform ordinary food into healing elixir Ambrosia? Like Greek gods and goddesses, you have the power to transform everyday food into nourishing nectar through the healing power of intention. More than its biological effects on the body, food contains divine essence, your source. A loving, meditative awareness of food, when consciously cultivated, becomes a bridge to Mother Nature, the Divine, the mystery that is life itself.
Spiritually imbued food is food that has been transmuted with loving, healing energy. Your thoughts and state of mind directly influence other living beings, such as soil, plants, and animals. Likewise, you can transfer energy within your own system into your food, changing it from one form to another.
Spiritual ceremonies (chanting, rituals, prayers, cooking) initiate this transformation of energy from one form to another. By viewing food preparation as a sacred ritual, you can use loving intention to improve the quality of food for healing. In his book Messages from Water, Japanese scientist Masuru Emoto had amazing results in his experiments on water. He discovered that water exposed to limiting thoughts deformed crystals, while water exposed to loving thoughts created beautiful crystals. Does this inspire you to set your loving intention before cooking?
Like a divine offering to the gods, food transformed by love provides nourishment for the spirit. So, when you sit down to eat, say a prayer to acknowledge the contribution of all living beings to the food: sun, wind, rain, soil, plants, farmers, animals, friends and family. After all, much love went into transforming your food into Ambrosia!
Resistance is thought transformed into feeling. Change the thought that creates the resistance, and there is no more resistance.
Is it difficult for you to love yourself and openly express your truth? Holding onto the past and feeling unfulfilled can be a safe route for you, if that is what you are familiar with. But to life your life to the fullest, your success lies in releasing resistance and staying in your authentic energy.
If you choose to hold onto grievances, you fulfill a story of yourself, which is that you are limited, worthless, unloved, etc. Focusing on your limitations can help you stay in your comfort zone. However, resistance is often an indicator that your true needs are not being met. This is an unnatural state, because you are not living your truth and energy is blocked. Have you ever heard of a flower saying, “I cannot grow today, because I’m not good enough?”
Yet, when you focus on your inner beauty and unlimited potential, you surrender to BEING and your potential expands. If you want to be greater than your self-image, ask yourself what is holding you back, and speak your truth about what you really want. Are you ready to let go of past grievances and live your dream?
Remember, thought is the precursor of manifestation, so think yourself into your dream–visualize the story that represents your truth. Ask yourself what is the path of loving what is and go with the flow. My client, Lumina, did just that, transforming a limiting situation into a beautiful journey of healing and self-acceptance.
Ready to begin a sacred relationship with herself, Lumina received divine guidance telling her that uterine cancer (BeaUterine cAnswer) was the beautiful answer. Here was her opportunity to walk her path and connect with Love. Through macrobiotic cooking, Lumina was able to reach inside herself for the answer to healing. This was a transformative experience that allowed her ultimately to love herself.
“I had no idea that literally letting go of crap would also be a letting go of ‘crap’ on so many levels,” she says. ”That night, subconsciously I wanted so badly to hold onto all that I felt was holding me together. Where would I be without my angers, fears, heartaches and resentments? Who am I without all the walls and protection? I’ve learned that without them I am nowhere near empty or dead but am full, whole and more alive than I have been in years. Being able to still love myself through all of my fears, angers and resentments I’ve found that I can love my family with theirs and that today, tomorrow or next lifetime-I will be there for them. That old vision of payback is no longer where I get another day’s strength to go on without the support of my family. It’s the new vision of my heart no longer being broken that gives me all of that and more.”
Through the blessing of cancer, she chose to manage her thoughts and behaviors to align with her truth. By acknowledging that her old stories were no longer serving her, she could release them. She chose new stories that more accurately reflected her inner beauty and unlimited potential. Her blog (http://www.beauterinecanswer.com/) is her way of journaling positive evidence that reflects this new change in perception.
Lumina’s journey shows that life is about choices, not chances. It really is very simple; it’s about being open to living your dream. And don’t worry about what other people think of you, just think about what you want. Life is an exercise in staying in your own authenticity.
The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.
The founder of macrobiotics, George Ohsawa, said that it is very easy to cure a disease with macrobiotics, but it is much more difficult to cure the person. He meant that just by following the principles of macrobiotics and eating healthy foods, the person will cure her illness, but if she holds resistance in his body, she will go back to old habits and the dis-ease will return.
Let’s look at the underlying cause of dis-ease, which is the belief that you are separate from the whole. You must be willing to undergo a transformation on all levels for healing to occur. Because thought is the catalyst for action, it is a your thoughts that manifest dis-ease, and if these thoughts are not changed, you will continue to be stagnated.
Your thoughts have the power to affect your choice of food to eat. By managing limiting thoughts, you can make better choices in terms of food and lifestyle, change your eating habits, and achieve a healthy body. Eating energetically balanced foods strengthens your aura, which in turn helps you continue to manage your thoughts. In this way, healthy food is the foundation for spiritual thinking. For example, in Hinduism, those who meditate avoid eating garlic and onions, because these foods carry a certain energy which agitates the mind.
Energetically balanced food is important to keep your body strong to achieve all you want to accomplish. Your body is a tool, which will manifest your ideas, if you take care of it. If your body is healthy, your mind will be healthy, as well, since the energy of body, mind, and spirit are merged and influence each other. When your organs are healthy, your emotions will also be balanced. Spiritually speaking, food carries the essence of the universe, which nourishes you on many levels. When one level is imbalanced, it affects the other levels, and you become unable to function wholistically. Thus, you may see yourself as a victim, choosing to become dependent on others to make choices for you. However, when you are healthy, you can make decisions for yourself and participate in the growth of society.
Besides providing important nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for healthy organ and immune functions, the role of food in health is important in maintaining overall energetic balance of the body. Cooking is an alchemical process, so you can adjust your cooking styles to balance the constitution and condition of your body to prevent and recover from illness.
You can also eat according to the seasons, which imbue food with certain energetic qualities that nourish your energetic body. As each season unfolds, plants absorb the energy of the sun and environment. This seasonal energy is incorporated into the leaves, which is then transmuted into your aura when you eat them. Just as miso is aged for two complete summers to produce the full enzymatic activity necessary for fermentation, plants contain the activity of all the seasons.
Your energetic body is fluid and changing in response to the subtle frequencies of the universe. This energetic body manifests as your physical body. So, if your main channel of receiving universal energy is blocked, then growth of your body is stunted and illness develops. Healthy food and loving thoughts help unblock your meridians and nourish your main channel (spine), so that you can receive universal energy and live in harmony with nature.
When you forget or choose not to listen to your intuition, you rely on information from outside sources for guidance on your food choices. When your energy is out of alignment with nature, your body can become weak and vulnerable to attack from viruses and bacteria. But when you live in harmony with the environment, you can learn to listen to your intuition. An energetically balanced diet allows you to receive energy from the universe so that you can communicate with your inner guides. By listening to your intuition, you can regain health by eating foods that balance your constitution and condition and your immune system and organs clean up cancer-causing toxins and pathogens.
Your awareness of your Oneness with nature becomes clear when your universal antenna is open. Eating food that is balanced and avoiding extremes allows you to be grounded, while aligning our energies with that of the universe. By eating food that is clean of toxins that create stagnation, your body is able to receive universal energy to manifest health in the wholistic sense. This health and wholeness is true wealth, because it is not achieved through any material object. So, remember to include some good old fashioned TLC in your cooking!
Keep Your Motor Running
When it comes to living a wholistic lifestyle, a change in diet is oftentimes the hardest part of the transformation. I know that sometimes nothing tastes better than a Big Mac, but our bodies naturally crave something much more nutritionally balanced than cheap meat topped off with random condiments and out-of-season vegetables. So if it is not enough for you to think of all of the advantages you can get by eating a better macrobiotic diet, think of all the disadvantages you can avoid by making some simple dietary adjustments and becoming one with nature and with yourself.