Category Archives: macrobiotics
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
As the seasons unfold through the year, your energy shifts to mirror the natural rhythms around you. Spring freshness inspires the birth of creativity and the germination of seeds of ideas. Summer radiance turns these ideas and inspirations into action. In Fall, you are in a safe, productive state of mind, enjoying the harvest of your labors. Winter is a time for hibernation, a chance to let go of things that are wearing you down.
Including seasonal foods in your meal plan can help you live in harmony with this natural order. To celebrate the solstice, cornmeal pancakes is a perfect dish for an outdoor summer breakfast with loved ones. Upward, expansive energy of corn and other summer foods can help you develop more nurturing, loving relationships. Corn contains fire energy, which fuels the flame of passion in the heart, expanding its capacity to experience joy and love. Corn’s energy also balances the heart’s ability to regulate mental activities and relieve stress. This allows you to open your heart to give and receive love.
Summer Solstice Pancakes
Makes about 5 pancakes.
3/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon kuzu root starch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil plus 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Combine spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cornmeal in a large bowl.
- Combine rice milk, kuzu, vanilla, brown rice syrup, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl.
- Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just mixed.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
- Pour three tablespoons batter onto hot skillet and cook until brown on bottom. Flip pancake over and brown other side. Remove pancake to plate.
- Repeat with remaining batter. Oil pan between pancakes to prevent sticking.
Sex is more than an act of pleasure, it’s the ability to be able to feel so close to a person, so connected, so comfortable that it’s almost breathtaking to the point you feel you can’t take it. And at this moment you’re a part of them.
What makes really great sex, really great? Really great sex happens when there is a real energetic connection between a couple. This intimate spark is based on the energy each person brings to the relationship. Today, I’ll talk about three ways to amp up this energy for a more nurturing, loving relationship (and really great sex!).
A macrobiotic lifestyle is about living in harmony with nature by balancing life force energy within you and the environment. (This life force energy is called “chi” in Chinese.) By eating and cooking according to the seasons, you can connect with nature to strengthen your whole body, including the reproductive organs, from the inside out.
Eating a macrobiotic meal plan maximizes energy flow through the body, which translates to great sex. Follow these three tips to re-kindle the romance in the bedroom:
1. Avoid mucous-causing foods.
Food is intimately connected with your body’s health. Healing, balanced foods nourish physical health and energize the body, while mucous-causing foods, like sugar and white flour products, create stagnation and deplete the body’s natural state of wellness.
For example, a stream that flows without obstruction nourishes the plants downstream. However, if branches or rocks block the stream’s flow, the plants wither and die. Likewise, when the body is clean, energy can flow and sex is amazing. But when the body is clogged, the reproductive organs become stagnated and numb. When this happens, sexual vitality becomes diminished and relationships become compromised.
2. Eat heart healthy foods.
When your body is clogged from eating heavy, dense foods, like dairy products, meat, and greasy food, loving energy cannot flow; it becomes difficult for your heart to give and receive love. However, foods that support cardiac function enable your heart to open up to love and joy in your relationship. Heart healthy foods, like leafy green vegetables, have upward, expansive energy and nourish the upper part of the body. Then, love can flow outward, and sex becomes more than an act of pleasure; it becomes a richer experience of union and closeness.
3. Eat whole foods.
Whole foods are full of vital life force energy and have not been processed in any way. These foods contain grounding, stabilizing energy, which strengthens the reproductive organs as well as the body overall. For example, fresh, seasonal, locally grown vegetables picked fresh from the farm are bursting with vitality. This is the life force energy you need to cleanse your body and revitalize your reproductive organs.
A healthy meal you can eat to spice up your sex life is pressured cooked whole grains, like brown rice, with steamed vegetables and leafy greens. You can even include a bean dish as a protein source. Something so simple really strengthens your reproductive organs and brings you back to center, so you can enjoy a more satisfying, loving relationship with your partner.
The ancient Tantra traditions viewed sex as a blending of feminine and masculine energies (yin and yang), engaging universal flow of energy in a symbolic prayer or blessing. When you are in tune with natural forces and your energy flows inside and out, you are living in harmony with nature. Your relationships not only become more loving and intimate, the sex becomes really, really great.
“The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man.”
~ Madame de Stael
“Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
What is the sexiest organ in the body? You would be surprised to know that it is the brain. This is because the ability to imagine intimate scenarios and fantasies can be more stimulating than the sexual experience itself. Even the desire to be close to your lover activates endorphins in the brain. If you want to increase the energy of this organ, stay tuned for three simple additions to your meal plan that can enhance your sexual desire.
With more nerve cells in your gut than in the central nervous system, the intestines and brain are intimately connected. Often referred to as the second brain, the intestines can provide guidance (“gut feelings”) for the answers we are seeking. To nourish the lower half of the body, include these three simple basics:
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain the all vital energy of the plant, which nourishes all levels of mind, body, and spirit. Energetically balanced, whole grains are grounding and help center your whole being from the inside out, achieving peace and harmony. Thus, including whole grains in your regime not only nourishes your sexual health but also the quality of your relationship.
2. Brown Rice
Brown rice is the specific whole grain which has complete balanced carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals. Its stabilizing energy helps ground the core of the body (hara region) and supports organs in the lower part of the body like the reproductive organs.
3. Pressure Cooking
Cooking also transmutes healing energy into your food. Pressure cooking whole grains like brown rice adds warming, strengthening energy which further nourishes the lower region of the body, like the intestines.
The word desire comes from Latin, meaning ”from the stars,” pointing to the hidden spiritual forces behind our desires. So, amping up the energy of your brain and intestines increases not only your sexual desire but also enhances your connection to your intuitive power.
A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
Do all things with love.
Want to find love fast and keep love forever? Because expressions of love and gratitude are so important in a long term relationship, one way to jump start your love life is by reconnecting with Love. Preparing food from your heart is an ideal way to connect with loving energy, so the best time to do this is when you are washing your whole grains. To enhance your connection with Love, remember to open up your heart to joyful experiences.
The process of washing brown rice is an ideal opportunity to harmonize with Nature and revitalize loving energy. The more you cultivate Love, the more you will experience it. The love you add to your food is the secret ingredient to a long lasting, loving relationship.
Learn how to wash brown rice in this video. As you caress the grains of rice, feel love and gratitude for your food. Take a few moments to do these exercises to help you notice a shift in your energy:
- What sensations do you notice in your body? Is there tightness in your shoulder muscles? Or are you relaxed and at ease?
- What emotions are coming up for you? Are you feeling fearful or anxious? Or do you feel peaceful and loving?
- What thoughts are you having? Are you distracted by the past? Or are you focused on the present moment?
Remember, Love attracts Love. So, the more you express love and gratitude, the more your relationship will evolve into a deeper, richer experience, even an exciting eternal love affair.
Healthy Relationship Tip
In some languages, the word love can be expressed in many ways. For example, in Greek, there are many words for different kinds of love:
- Eros means “passionate, romantic love” with sensuous longing, such as in dating or marriage.
- Philia means “friendship” between family or friends.
- Agapē means “love” in reference to general affection, such as for a good meal, one’s offspring, or one’s spouse.
- Storge means “natural affection” used exclusively for one’s children or family.
- Thelema means “desire,” such as to be occupied with something.
Love is the universal language that transcends time. So, to find love fast and keep love forever, start by finding how many ways you can say “I love you” to your Beloved.
“In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.”
Wondering how to rekindle your relationship and spark your physical connection? Ready to try something new? It’s time to think about what you’re eating and how it affects your libido, hormones, and sex drive. There are five diets you should avoid if you want to rediscover more magic in the bedroom.
Contrary to popular belief, simply taking pills or undergoing costly surgery for a quick fix is not the answer to regaining youthful sexual energy. In fact, pills and surgery can actually weaken your kidneys and reproductive organs, depleting your sex drive. The most reliable long-term solution for a healthy libido is adhering to a macrobiotic diet and avoiding the foods that cool down your libido.
Not only is it important to choose nutritious organic whole grains and vegetables, they must also be balanced energetically. To strengthen your reproductive organs and boost sexual energy, avoid these five diets at all costs:
1. Raw Foods
Today, the raw food movement is very popular. Raw foods, like fruits, salads, and smoothies, are cleansing and cooling to the body, and refreshing in hot weather. However, if eaten long term, they can put out your “digestive fire” and disperse internal warmth. Soups and stews cooked over a flame warm you from the inside out, especially in the winter, fueling the internal fires of passion, libido, and creativity.
2. Vegan Diets
Many people believe that avoiding meat is the answer to health and long life, but it doesn’t do much for your sex drive. A vegan diet can even be ungrounded and destabilizing, if you include sugar, processed food, or poor quality fats. An all-vegetable diet has cooling properties, which can be refreshing in hot weather, but its cleansing properties can deplete your body over the long term. Depending on your condition, including warming foods, such as fish once a week, can help balance the cooling quality of vegetables.
3. Atkins-like Diets
Although the warming quality of meat helps to balance the cooling energy of vegetable ingredients, over consumption of meat—such as with diets based on the Atkins or “Cave Man” model—can cause serious health problems. Because it stimulates the adrenal glands, meat brings a jolt to the kidneys, which can weaken the reproductive organs over time and gradually lower your sex drive. A meat-centric diet can also clog your arteries and lead to impotence.
4. Lacto-ovo Vegetarian Foods
If you avoid meat but eat a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, you’ll find that dairy and eggs can create mucous congestion in the reproductive organs. Heavy, high-fat dairy products may also lead to weight gain or obesity, which can cause reduced sex drive.
5. Yogic/Ayurvedic Diets
An Ayurvedic diet was traditionally used by yogis for meditation and to suppress sexuality. High in cooling foods, it focuses heavily on dairy products, spices, and tropical fruits. While this diet is good for those who live in tropical countries, it’s too extreme for temperate climates and can weaken sexual function.
A healthy diet not only helps to cleanse the body, it also revitalizes all of your organs and creates greater sexual energy and vibrancy. A macrobiotic diet of cooked whole grains, vegetables, and a little fish is the perfect regime to strengthen reproductive organs while warming the body from the inside out.
Healthy Relationship Tip
Redefine the word friend. A friend is literally a lover, as the root of the word friend comes from Old English, meaning to love. Even in Latin and Greek, the word for friend and I love are related. So, the next time you call someone your friend, remember that he or she is also your Beloved.
Ready to spice up your love life? We all know that chewing is an important part of healthy digestion. But did you know that how you chew can affect the quality of your relationships as well?
Chewing not only improves your digestion and reduces risks of illness and disease, it can also boost your sexual health and deepen the intensity of your relationship. This is because how you absorb foods impacts your sexual vitality. Here are 5 eating-related lifestyle adjustments you can make to improve your digestion and revive your sex life:
1. Eat at regular times
A regular mealtime schedule brings rhythm and balance to your daily routine. When your digestion functions on a predictable cycle, you are in harmony with the natural order, and your relationships with people, animals, food, and yourself are more nurturing.
2. Sit down to eat
The stress of eating on the go–running, standing, driving, doing business, concentrating, and reading–can lead to ulcers and poor digestion. Sit down to eat and avoid multi-tasking. Mindfully eating allows you to fully enjoy your meal and your partner’s company without distraction. This simple step not only improves digestion, but also cultivates gratitude for your food and relationship.
3. Chew more
Digestion begins in the mouth. Amylase enzyme in saliva breaks down carbohydrates so the body can more easily absorb them. The more you chew, the more complex carbohydrates (like brown rice) are converted into simple sugars and become naturally sweeter. Chewing foods 50-100 times not only improves digestion, it also allows you to more easily embrace the sweetness in life, including being with your partner.
4. Eat a moderate volume of food
Skipping meals, dieting, overeating, or under eating can all weaken your digestion, which becomes overworked and exhausted. Eating a moderate amount of food restores digestive function and boosts sexual vitality as you absorb more nutrients and energy.
5. Stick to whole foods
Over time, eating rich, heavy, or greasy foods, such as meat and hydrogenated oils, burdens digestion and blocks sexual function. Cooked whole foods, like leafy greens and grains, nourish digestion, help cleanse the body, and revitalize your reproductive organs.
Healthy digestion not only strengthens your body from the inside out, your relationships will become sweeter as well. Happy chewing!
If a man be sensible and one fine morning, while he is lying in bed, count at the tips of his fingers how many things in this life truly will give him enjoyment, invariably he will find food is the first one.
Eat with the fingers, drink with the nose.
~Joseph Delteil, ‘La Cuisine paleolithique’ (1964)
In some countries, like India, the art of eating with your hands is viewed as a sensual experience. By involving as many of the senses as possible–sight, touch, smell, and taste–you not only deepen your relationship with food, you can also reconnect with your partner on a sensual level.
Next time you sit down to a meal with your partner make it “fingers only.” Reconnect with each other on a more intimate level by feeding each other healthy finger food. Here are three finger foods to romance your lover:
1. Sexy “finger food” includes desserts and elaborate fruits
- Vegan chocolate covered strawberries
- Peeled grapes
- Vegan coconut macaroons
- Chopped dates rolled into balls and covered in coconut
2. Healthy bite sized “finger food” includes appetizers and snacks
- Mushrooms stuffed with grain and nut pilaf
- Pita pizza baked with squash sauce and veggies
- Whole wheat crackers spread with walnut and roasted mushroom pate
- Greens rolls or sushi filled with grains and veggies
- Spring rolls and dumplings
- Bite sized tempeh sandwiches
3. Foods that are dipped into a savory sauce or dressing
- Veggies dipped in pumpkin seed sauce
- Spring salad greens dipped in vinaigrette
- Green or black olives dipped in hummus
This Valentine’s Day, design a romantic “lovers only” meal using finger foods. You will not only enrich your connection with your food, you will also nurture a more intimate relationship with your partner.
All four elements were happening in equal measure – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambiance. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level.
Too many people just eat to consume calories. Try dining for a change.
Want to stick to your holistic meal plan and eat well while dining out? If you already eat vibrant, exciting foods that give you more energy, you may wonder what to eat when you’re out at parties. Even dining with family who may not understand your food choices can be frustrating.
So, what kinds of choices can you make from what’s being served on the table? Here are some things you can do to nurture your body and soul at parties:
1. Come out of the holistic closet
Here’s an opportunity to speak from your heart. Before you go to a party, tell your host that you are choosing healthier foods to eat at parties. Tell him or her about your new lifestyle and offer suggestions for substitutes, such as using whole grain bread for stuffing instead of white bread. It’s a chance for your host to incorporate healthier versions into the meal and learn more about healthier ways of eating. Often at gatherings, people will prefer the healthier version over the regular holiday fare.
2. Take a plate of food to share
Besides making sure you have something to eat, sharing a dish says, “I made this and it’s a part of my new lifestyle, and I’d love to have you try it.” People are open to new ways of eating, and they’re excited to try new foods. It’s a chance for you to share something of yourself in the spirit of the holidays.
3. Eat before you go
Sometimes bringing food is not an option, such as when you are eating at a restaurant. Having a bite to eat before you leave the house helps you eat less at the party and gives you more time to socialize, instead of worrying about what food to eat. This is a stress-free, healthier alternative to eating what will be served at the party.
Instead of being limited by food choices when dining out, you have many opportunities to eat well during the holidays. You can even become a catalyst for helping other people make healthier choices. You are a positive force for change; it all depends on the attitude you bring.
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!