Our Digestive System is Not On Call 24 Hours a Day

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I was happy to find an article in The New York Times that reinforces the importance of eating healthy meals at regular times. This is an issue I have been writing and teaching about for more than 20 years, so it is nice to see these ideas getting mainstream support. The article links the effects of eating late and consuming sweets, soft drinks, and fatty foods with acid reflux. According to the author of the article, Jamie A. Koufman, MD, acid reflux produces a variety of symptoms in addition to heartburn and indigestion. Postnasal drip, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, chronic throat clearing, coughing and asthma are often reported symptoms with patients dealing with acid reflux. I find it interesting that many of these symptoms are perceived as being unrelated to acid reflux, but according to Oriental medicine, they are related to digestive and kidney function. Dr. Koufman comments that there has been a significant rise in the number of people dealing with acid reflex in the last 30 years as our food choices and meal times deteriorate.

In our new edition of The Complete Macrobiotic Diet, we have provided clear guidance around the content and times for healthy meals. Our digestive system is only able to digest and process our food at certain times of the day, and these have become recognized as meal times around the world.

These are start times and the meal actually begins when you sit down at the dining table. We recommend that breakfast start anywhere between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and even possibly 9 a.m. Lunch should begin between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. And dinner should start between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

In addition to not eating three hours before bedtime, it is important to make lunch a regular, consistent practice. The midday meal is the one meal you do not want to miss. In today’s hectic world, it is important to take the time to share meals together. Meals are a time to return to balance and reconnect with family, friends and loved ones. Sharing food together is not only an expression of our appreciation for food and nature, but also for each other.

Birthday celebration at SHI

Birthday celebration at SHI

No Comments | Tags: acid reflux, Adjusting Your Diet, digestion, healthy living, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics, meal times

Do you soak your grain?

Posted on by Denny Waxman
Rice growing in the fields of Blue Moon Acres Farm.

Rice growing in the fields of Blue Moon Acres Farm.

A number of my longtime clients are elderly women who have come to me with a variety of health concerns.  I have counseled these women over many years regarding their diet and lifestyle practices according to macrobiotic principles.  Some of these women have had serious falls where you would except them to break a bone,  and surprisingly they have not.  I attribute their strong bones and quick recovery to their macrobiotic practice.  Even those of my clients that have experienced broken bones, have healed in about half the time expected.  This would not be the case if they had osteoporosis.

 

In addition, my longtime observation is that children who were born and raised following the macrobiotic diet and lifestyle have stronger and thicker bones than their peers.   This is something I have found to be true around the world.  Both of these situations lead me to believe that there is not a problem with phytic acid and mineral absorption from the amount of grain we eat as part of our macrobiotic practice.

 

There is a general consensus that soaking grains is desirable for taste and digestibility; however there is not a general agreement on the best method for soaking grains.  I found the information in the blog post from macrosano.com very interesting and helpful.  I would like to inform you of the way we recommend soaking grains.  Experiment and see which way you like best.  The only way to really know is to try a specific way for weeks or months and try to see which method is more suitable.  If you are not sure, you can always vary your soaking method.

 

This is our method for soaking and cooking rice.  We recommend rinsing the rice in cold water two or three times.  Measure out the water for cooking and soak overnight or longer, basically between 8-22 hours.  Overnight soaking is more beneficial.  When ready to cook the rice, add a pinch of sea salt or a half inch square piece of kombu and then boil or pressure cook as normal.

We’ve been soaking grains in this way for many years and feel very comfortable in it.  Brown rice is the most sensitive food to our intentions, feelings and emotions; it is uniquely sensitive to our own condition.  Taking time to properly prepare rice in this manner ensures a happy and satisfying meal.  Soaking and cooking rice in this manner is not an afterthought; it is an act that conveys respect and appreciation.

Rice drying at Blue Moon Acres Farm

Rice drying at Blue Moon Acres Farm

2 Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Articles and Research, grains, Macrobiotics, osteoporosis, plant-based diet

Evidence is Mounting About the Relationship between Diet and Health

Posted on by Denny Waxman

It is becoming more and more evident that diet can prevent and even reverse serious illness including many cancers.  This means that our health is in our own hands.  I find it interesting that there is so much resistance to this vital and life changing information.  Two articles, Can Cancer Be Prevented- and Even Cured- Through Diet? This Scientist is Convinced it Can; T. Colin Campbell has set off a war with the food industry, and This Breast Cancer Month, Don’t think Pink- Think Green, present important information that you can use in the discussion of diet, health and illness.

Rice from Blue Moon Acres Farm.

Rice from Blue Moon Acres Farm.

2 Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, cancer prevention, diet and health, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics

More on Gut Microbes

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I found an interesting article from NPR about gut microbes and diet soda. Healthy gut microbes aide in digestion and absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste. All of these processes are supported by good eating habits and a whole-foods plant-based diet, together with naturally fermented and pickled foods. I have discussed the details of these processes in another blog.

As healthy gut microbes diminish, unhealthy ones try to take over. Certain foods specifically interfere with our healthy gut microbes. The most harmful foods are artificial sweeteners, chemicalized foods, iced drinks and cold foods like ice cream and frozen yogurt. Hard baked flour products, dairy, and animal based products also interfere with the healthy functioning of our gut. If we cannot eliminate unhealthy foods, they have more of a tendency to putrefy and toxify us.

Common sense tells us that natural foods simply prepared nurture healthy gut microbes. It has been my longtime observation that people that consume these harmful foods have more problems with weight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain kinds of cancers. It is not a good idea to wait for scientific evidence to come to a final decision regarding our diets. Grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits have weathered the test of time and have proven to support our health.

  soda-gut

5 Comments | Tags: gut microbes, healthy eating, Macrobiotics, plant-based diet, whole-foods, Yogurt

You can Nurture the Earth

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Neal Barnard wrote a great article for The Huffington Post this past summer.  He clarifies the social and environmental benefits of eating a grain and bean based diet.   It is becoming increasingly clear that the time is now to start eating grains, beans and other plant based foods directly, rather than using these foods to raise animals in factory farms.

The strengthening health approach to macrobiotics is a perfect solution to this problem, as it encourages adding, rather than taking away.  I have observed that as people make the choice to incorporate grains, beans and vegetables into their diet, the attraction to less healthy foods diminishes naturally.  Health craves health.  In my own life, brown rice was my first step towards a healthier diet.  After eating brown rice, the vegetables I had shunned for years became delicious and attractive, and after that I started to seek out more and more healthier foods.  Eating my last Philly cheesesteak at 19 years old left me with a sense of joy and adventure, rather than loss.

Jim Lyons with Blue Moon Acres Farm is growing rice in New Jersey.

Jim Lyons with Blue Moon Acres Farm is growing rice in New Jersey.

We can no longer separate personal, social, and environmental health.  The macrobiotic approach is wonderful because it gives us the guidelines to make these vitally important choices everyday and know that we are doing our part to nurture the health of our planet.  I hope you use these principles to move yourself and loved ones towards a healthier lifestyle.

No Comments | Tags: Environment, Macrobiotics, Neal Barnard, Nurture, Plant based diet, Rice

Something to Digest

Posted on by Denny Waxman

In Oriental medicine, the body is thought to be composed of complementary systems.  In our digestive system, we actually have a second brain called the enteric nervous system.  The same kind of cells are found in both systems. From birth, our gut bacteria guides the development of our immune system and brain.  This ongoing relationship continues throughout our life.  The digestive system processes liquids (food and drink); and the nervous system processes vibrations, or thoughts and images.  Healthy digestion fosters healthy thinking.

 

Creating healthy gut bacteria starts with good eating habits.  That means sitting down to eat without distractions, at regular, recurring times.  In addition, good gut bacteria are fostered by natural activities, like walking, gardening, cleaning and sex.

 

Our gut is nourished by both prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are in essence fiber and serve as food for the probiotics, which are the actual bacteria and yeast that inhabit our digestive system.  Probiotics aid in the synthesis of vitamins and other valuable nutrients.

 

Fiber has a variety of functions: it activates and scours our digestive system, and binds with toxins and cholesterol to expel them from our body.  Fiber encourages the growth of healthy bacteria and suppresses the development of harmful bacteria.  Naturally fermented, pickled and unpasteurized foods are important and healthy sources of probiotics.

 

The most important prebiotics are found in whole grains, beans, fruits, and land and sea vegetables.  Sea vegetables include the most common seaweeds, like Nori, dulse, wakame and kombu.

 

Try to get a variety of naturally pickled, fermented, and unpasteurized foods, which come from grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.  The most important probiotics are miso, umeboshi plum, sauerkraut, and kimchi.  The full value of miso comes out when used as a soup.  When miso soup is made, the enzymes become activated and the liquid form is easy to absorb into the digestive system.  Umeboshi is a unique Japanese plum that encourages growth of healthy bacteria, and suppresses unhealthy bacteria.  It has a salty and tangy taste that goes well with grains.

 

Try to observe the connection between your digestion and your moods and thoughts.  I hear consistently from my counseling clients that they feel better, think more clearly, and sleep more soundly in a very short period of time.  A combination of sound eating habits, healthy activities and dietary choices creates the best nourishment and digestion.

digestive

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics

The Importance of Sunlight in the Morning

Posted on by Denny Waxman

There was a slideshow from weather.com called “7 Signs You Need More Sunlight– and Don’t Know It.” The morning sun helps many emotional and physical discomforts.

 

We have the greatest ability to release unneeded excess in the early morning hours close to sunrise. It happens as soon as our feet literally hit the ground. The sun rises with a burst of energy that evaporates the dew. This evaporation refreshes everything. The rising sun affects us similarly. This explains why it is more difficult to get started on a rainy or cloudy day. However, whether we can see the sun or not, we still have the best ability to clean and refresh ourselves early in the morning. If we go out and become directly exposed to the early morning sun, we are even more fully charged with its energy.

Philadelphia Dawn Covered with Fog and Dew

 

It’s also important to understand the overall rhythm of the day and night. We eat during the day and are active. At night we utilize the food we ate during the day to maintain and repair ourselves. We recharge our brain, nervous system and organs during the night. The activity during the day charges us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Furthermore, during the night with deep sleep, the inactivity allows us to be nourished by the celestial energies that are blocked by the sun during the day. Before we wake, we gather the physical and energetic excess to release upon rising. Upon rising, we reset our biological clocks and activate our metabolism for the day.

 

This relationship is a bit like breathing. When we breathe in more deeply, we breathe out more deeply. We connect more with our ourselves through this breathing, and receive more air and oxygen. The day for us is breathing in and gathering, and the night like breathing out and releasing. When we start the day earlier, we are able to “breathe” the day more deeply and in turn, become more nourished.

 

4 Comments | Tags: Articles and Research, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

Setting One Record Straight

Posted on by Denny Waxman

glass-of-water

An elderly client of mine who is having some issues recently received this e-mail from a well-meaning friend. I would like to comment on this misleading and potentially harmful advice. Below is a snippet from the e-mail:

“HEART ATTACKS AND WATER!

How many folks do you know who say they don’t want to drink anything before going to bed because they’ll have to get up during the night.

Heart Attack and Water – I never knew all of this ! Interesting…….

Something else I didn’t know … I asked my Doctor why people need to urinate so much at night time. Answer from my Cardiac Doctor – Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc) seeks level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. This then ties in with the last statement!

I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me. Correct time to drink water…

Very Important. From A Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body

2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs

1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion

1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure

1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack

I can also add to this… My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.”

 

According to Oriental medicine, different systems of the body are more active and adjust at certain times of the day to return to balance. The stomach and pancreas are most active after lunchtime. Our ideal lunchtime begins between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The stomach and pancreas become more active between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sleepiness after lunch indicates either that our digestion is weak or we’re experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

 

The kidneys and bladder are active between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. and when we are in a horizontal position. The kidneys filter toxins from our blood and regulate our water and mineral balance while we sleep. We eliminate these toxins after we rise in the morning. As we age, we tend to become more dry and lose some of our natural flexibility. The lack of flexibility in the kidneys, bladder, and prostate (in a man’s case) causes us to wake up to urinate. The modern diet full of meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, and baked goods intensifies rigidity, as do iced drinks.

 

The most important source of water is in our food.  Water in food helps flexibility. Our bodies absorb water within food more effectively through digestion. Healthy foods such as cooked grains, beans, vegetables, salads, and fruits have a naturally high water content. A variety of these foods creates a healthy balance of minerals that helps avoid cramping at night. Compare the difference in water between a chip, a dry cereal, or a cracker with that of a boiled grain. Dry foods make it difficult to absorb water effectively, much like what happens when a potted plant dries out and is then watered. Furthermore, excess water interferes with deep, refreshing sleep. We ideally use drinks and fluids for our enjoyment and to satisfy thirst.

5 Comments | Tags: Macrobiotics

Bill Clinton’s Invitation to Macrobiotics

Posted on by Denny Waxman

A recent article in AARP The Magazine: “Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became A Vegan” caught my attention. The article explains President Clinton’s mostly vegan diet, and gives readers a glimpse of what he may eat on any given day. I have been in practice as a macrobiotic educator, seminar leader and counselor since the early ’70s, enabling people to rebuild their health when dealing with issues of weight loss, life threatening diseases, heart attacks and other maladies. I do this using food and lifestyle as the basis for health. Macrobiotics is an orderly approach to life where we learn how to make healthy, balanced choices in diet and lifestyle. I enjoy working with people who want to be empowered through their health by realizing the difference food can make in accomplishing this goal. I often see people when everything else they tried has failed and witness them regain and maintain wellness without the use of a vitamin or supplements. This is possible through learning what balances the body, and what it takes to establish the kind of homeostasis that builds health. Several of my cases were documented on the show The Incurables and in published books and articles.

 

The article on President Clinton brings into focus the transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet many people undergo in order to solve a health problem or improve overall wellness. However, I notice in some instances that the adoption of a vegetarian or vegan diet does not necessarily improve health and in some cases, worsens health. People are generally on the right road with this choice, but they simply need a bit more insight about food and lifestyle. Some people give up and go back to ill health and old habits when just a few small changes would have helped them to reach their goal. I witness time and again how the combination of eating habits and complete, balanced meals creates lasting health. It is my goal in this article to bring to light what makes a balanced and healthy plant-based meal and lifestyle.

 

Many now believe that a good diet is essential to health, but know little about what constitutes a good diet. In order to build and maintain health on a plant-based diet, balance is essential. A balanced diet in the practice of macrobiotics is one that is composed of complete meals. A complete meal in my approach to macrobiotic practice consists of a grain and a separate, seasonal, regional vegetable dish. For example, rice and separately steamed kale is a complete meal, whereas a vegetable cooked with rice (although a wonderful combination) is still a grain dish.

 

Let me explain further. There are three main categories of plant-based foods: grains (some cultures eat grains and beans together), vegetables, and soups. Anything prepared with a grain constitutes a grain dish. Anything cooked in soup constitutes a soup. This means, for example, that lentils, barley and vegetables can be cooked in soup, but it is still a soup. The diversity between the food categories promotes a dynamic interaction of the foods we prepare, which enhances the nutrition of each dish. It is like having a conversation; when different people join a conversation, it becomes richer and more dynamic. It is the same way with a meal. Because grains, beans and soups are powerful, they encompass the foods that accompany them; vegetables do not possess this same power.

 

We are led to think that we need to get complete chains of amino acids to be well nourished. Modern nutrition insinuates that these complete amino acid chains are primarily in animal and dairy foods, which is simply not true. A varied plant-based diet also provides complete proteins.

 

A grain is the seed and the fruit of a plant literally merged into one. Different types of vegetables complement the grain. The interaction between vegetables and grains provides the most complete balance of all nutrients, not limited to proteins. Beans are a further nutritional complement to grains and vegetables, which combine well with a lunch or a dinner and help us to feel more satisfied.

 

When dining out or away from home, Italian, Indian, and Middle Eastern restaurants usually serve meals and dishes that follow the format suggested. Italian food features soups as well as pasta and vegetable dishes. Middle Eastern food often features rice with lentils, or couscous, and vegetable dishes. Falafel with pickles and lettuce on a pita is a complete meal! Consider Mexican meals also without the meat or dairy; another good choice is a vegetarian burrito without the cheese. Whether at home or away, following this format is the most important, especially if we can integrate a bean dish or a soup as well. It is better to lower the standard on food quality than to compromise the format of complete and balanced meals. White rice and broccoli conform to the format of a complete meal. These formats for a meal are by far the healthiest and are the ways the world’s civilizations have been eating for thousands of years. My wife and I went out recently and had the following meal without a soup:

 -Grilled polenta with sautéed broccoli rabe

-Cannellini beans in a light tomato broth

-I had pappardelle pasta with porcini mushrooms

-And my wife had capellini pasta with broccoli rabe and a few fresh tomatoes

         This meal had a nice arrangement of grains, vegetables and bean dishes. The soup would have likely been too much! Polenta and pasta both grains, the broccoli rabe, the vegetable and the beans made the meal even more satisfying. We accompanied the meal with a nice red wine.

 

No doubt many are watching our former President as he embraces a new way of eating to enhance his heart health and longevity. I, for one, want to see him succeed! To our beloved former President Clinton and to all of those observing and embracing his diet, I would like to suggest the following additions and changes.   Because we live in a fast paced world, people often look for a quick and easy breakfast. The answer to this need is often a smoothie.  President Clinton(and many others) often starts the day with a smoothie. I do not recommend smoothies for a variety of reasons.

 

Smoothies weaken our health because our blood absorbs the sugars so quickly that they can upset our balance of blood sugar. By adding a protein supplement to a smoothie, we run a further risk of upsetting our nutritional balance since all foods in a balanced diet already contain the proper proportion of proteins.

 

Smoothies are not the best way to start the day because they weaken rather than strengthen digestion. Good digestion is crucial for good health, well-being, and energy. The fiber in whole foods such as grains, beans, and vegetables activates digestion through the process of chewing and moving through our digestive system. Liquefying the fiber in a food can have the opposite effect because it dulls the digestive process. The fiber in food promotes regularity, absorbs toxins, and helps cultivate beneficial bacteria. Additionally, I observe in my counseling that iced beverages can shock our kidneys and digestive system. I do not recommend cold drinks for this reason. Drinks are best at room temperature or warmer.

 

Remember, healthy, balanced meals are based around a whole grain and vegetable. An excellent breakfast: miso soup followed by oatmeal and steamed greens. Miso soup aids digestion, and furthermore strengthens and nourishes the body. Miso soup is one of the two most unique probiotics on the planet(the other being naturally fermented sauerkraut). Naturally fermented miso soup, prepared with wakame seaweed and vegetables, eaten often or daily, regulates and maintains healthy digestion. Substituting miso soup for a smoothie is better for a vegetarian diet in the long term. Miso soup followed by a grain and vegetable dish is not only delicious and satisfying, but it is the best way to receive the most nutrition possible. The soup can be made in a batch to last for a few days. It can then be heated and taken in a thermos to accommodate an on-the-go lifestyle.

 

You may not know that quinoa, although a wonderful food is a wild grass and not a grain– like that of rice or barley.  Although high in protein, quinoa does not provide the same nutritional balance within the body as do grains. So, eating and incorporating quinoa into a diet is healthy, but quinoa is no substitute for a vital whole grain. That is, it could be the base of a dish with other vegetables, but it does not complete the meal.

 

Apart from primarily focusing on what to eat, considering how and when we eat is equally important. Many clients report that one of the most profound and immediate effects–even from those without vegetarian diets– is that of having regular and consistent meal times. Our digestive system is not “on call” as our lifestyles may like it to be, but eating when the digestive system is most active helps us to be more satisfied.

 

Honoring the relationship between the body and mind by having meals at the same time everyday regulates digestion, hormones and stabilizes blood sugar. Starting breakfasts no later than 9 a.m., starting lunches no later than 1 p.m. and starting dinners no later than 7:30 p.m. works best and even accommodates a diverse or varied schedule. If we have a couple of hours after our last meal before we sleep, sleeping becomes easier too. Developing these habits promotes long-term health for the vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike. I have clients that have lost weight and improved their health simply by adhering to regular meal times and taking the time to eat slowly and chew until the food is liquid in their mouth and then swallowed.  This liquefying also helps to maintain or improve health.

 

For a vegetarian or vegan diet that promotes health, it is not simply a matter of eating vegetables and cutting out dairy and meat. It involves developing health-supporting habits. We get much more benefit from the habits we practice than the habits or behaviors we abstain from. In the short term, we benefit from avoiding animal and dairy foods, but the habits we form are what promote long-term health. My concern is that President Clinton’s current diet will not nourish his health and vitality in the long run, nor allow him to operate at full potential. I am concerned that he is using up his reserve nutrition to keep going and is not replenishing himself with meals that are complete and balanced nutritionally. I encourage President Clinton to start having grain and vegetable based meals while also trying to include a bean dish and a soup on a daily basis as well. Savory soups condition our digestive system and help to absorb the maximum nutrition from our foods. I believe smoothies compromise digestion and interfere with overall absorption of nutrients.

 

The combination and interaction of grains, beans, vegetables and soups not only satisfy more, but also nourish us much more deeply on all levels. Even just one meal a day with this combination will yield health-enhancing results in a short period of time–in a matter of days or weeks.

 

If you are choosing to become vegan or vegetarian in an effort to have optimal health, I want this blog to serve as an encouragement to you and provide the information to take you to the next step for optimal health. You have given up meat and dairy and I support this choice. I now invite you to embrace the right combination of plant-based foods to give you a healthy life with sustained energy, vitality and balance.  Take my challenge and try eating for one or two weeks based on the menus below. I promise you will feel wonderful, operate at full capacity and fulfill your destiny to eat healthy.

 

Compiled and designed by Susan Waxman, this sample menu is for those who enjoy cooking and demonstrates the variety of grains, vegetables and flavors possible in one week. There is further direction on how to use leftover dishes in future meals, whether incorporated or as a separate dish. If you follow a gluten free diet, there are minimal substitutions necessary to tailor the menu. The versatility within this week can also be modified to fit the pace of your lifestyle and modifications for vinegars or vegetables where appropriate. I’ve provided links to some of the foods that may be unfamiliar. Check out more recipes on Susan’s blog called “Taste with Integrity”. Have fun, enjoy, and let me hear about your experience of the challenge!

photo-2

Day 1

Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 * Soft millet cooked with sweet vegetables - onions and cauliflower                                                                                                                                      

 * Quick steamed leafy greens (collards or kale) with fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

* Brown rice cooked with pearled barley

* Miso soup with naturally fermented miso  (wakame sea vegetable, dried shitake mushrooms, daikon radish, napa cabbage; finely chopped scallion garnish)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sautéed and simmered sweet root vegetables using toasted sesame oil (carrot, onions; seasoned with shoyu(natural soy sauce),fresh grated ginger  juice)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Blanched vegetable salad (bok choy, broccoli, and red radishserved with brown rice/cider vinegar condiment)

 

Mid-afternoon snack -Fresh carrot, apple and celery juice

 

Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 * Farro with sautéed vegetables and white beans (red onions, baby kale and navy beans)                                                                                            

Steamed sweet potato

* Fresh arugula salad with tofu cheese

* Poached pear in a balsamic barley malt reduction

 Day 2

Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 * Soft cooked rice and barley using the leftover rice

* Blanched vegetable salad (napa cabbage, broccoli and carrots)

 

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

* Leftover farro with sautéed vegetables and white beans

* Miso soup made with naturally fermented miso (wakame sea vegetable, onions, turnips and turnip greens; scallion garnish)                      

* Leftover steamed sweet potatoes

Quick-sautéed leafy greens (baby bok choy, and collards greens)

 

 Mid afternoon snack – Warm apple cider with fresh lemon

 

 Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Pan-fried millet croquettes using the left over millet and corn meal flour with vegan tartar sauce (tahini based with horseradish and fresh herbs)

* French lentils cooked with onions and leeks and fresh herbs

* Quick-steamed kale with fresh lemon

* Sauerkraut or kimchi

*Fresh fruit kanten(agar)

 Day 3

Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

*Steel-cut oats with maple syrup

*Blanched vegetable salad(collards, green cabbage, and carrots)

 

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 *Brown rice cooked with sweet brown rice with a condiment of lightly toasted chopped walnuts                                                                                

*Miso soup made with naturally fermented miso(wakame sea vegetable,  dried hen-of-the-woods mushroom, onion and watercress)                  

*Leftover French lentils*Quick Steamed mustard greens with mustard dressing

 

Mid Afternoon snack -Fresh Carrot apple and orange juice

 

Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

*Udon style noodles with sautéed vegetables and creamy tofu sauce(onions, baby kale, feather like carrot matchsticks and tofu cream cheese)     

*Special Vegetable Dish – Nishime Style(long-steamed vegetables) cooking(onions, green cabbage, hard winter kabocha or buttercup squash, and parsnip)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

*Fresh salad(Hearts of Romaine lettuce, cucumbers and pickled red onion)Served with a light vinaigrette dressing

*Amasake lemon pudding

Day 4

Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

*Leftover steel-cut oats with a condiment of ume-shiso sprinkles

*Quick-steamed napa cabbage

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 * Vegetable sushi roll using your leftover brown rice and sweet rice (fried tempeh, sauerkraut, blanched carrots and cucumber, or keep it simple using cucumber, fresh shiso leaves and umeboshi paste) Susan’s special sauce made with roasted tahini, umeboshi paste and mustard; wasabi is optional                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

* Leftover Nice

* Quick-sautéed leafy greens using extra virgin olive oil (baby bok choy and bok choy)

 

Mid – afternoon  Pick me up – Warmed apple cider with fresh lemon

 

Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Couscous with sautéed vegetables (red onion, carrot and green peas)                                                                                                                                

* Chickpea stew (onion, burdock root, sweet potato and spices)                                                                                                                                            

Fresh arugula and Belgium endive salad

* Red grape fruit kanten

Day 5

Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 * Steamed sourdough bread with apple butter or your favorite fruit spread

* Blanched vegetable salad (cabbage, kale and red radish)

 

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

* Leftover couscous

* Leftover chick pea stew

* Quick steamed collard greens with fresh lemon

* Quick pickles made with umeboshi vinegar

 

Mid-afternoon snack – fresh carrot and leafy greens juice

 

 Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 * Brown rice cooked with quinoa – toasted sesame seeds

* Leftover cream of cauliflower soup with fresh herb garnish

* Sautéed broccoli using olive oil

* Fresh iceberg lettuce and hearts of romaine salad (cucumber, radicchio and  tofu cheese)                                                                                                 

Leftover red grape canteen

 Day 6

Breakfast

* Soft corn grits (make extra, pour into a pyrex dish and let sit to use the next day)

* Water-sautéed baby kale

 

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

* Leftover brown rice and quinoa

* Miso soup (wakame sea vegetable, turnips, turnip greens and chopped scallions)                                                                                                         

* Arame sea-vegetables with onions, carrots, fresh tofu

* Quick-steamed collard greens with fresh lemon

 

Mid- afternoon snack – warmed and diluted amasake

 

Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Penne pasta with sautéed broccoli rabe and sun-dried tomatoes

* White beans with sautéed escarole

* Fresh arugula salad with pickled red radish, poached pears and toasted pine nuts

 

Day 7

Breakfast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

* Soft rice porridge

* Quick-steamed watercress

 

Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

* Pan fried polenta

* Leftover white beans

* Blanched vegetable salad (napa cabbage, broccoli)

* Quick umeboshi vinegar pickles

 

 Mid-afternoon pick me up – Fresh tangerines

 

Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

* Brown rice cooked with lentils and sautéed onions

* Miso soup (wakame sea vegetable, dried shitake mushrooms, daikon radish and leafy greens)

* Leftover Arame sea-vegetable dish

* Pressed salad with Tahini dressing (green cabbage, celery and cucumber and red radish)

* Baked apple stuffed with toasted walnuts and currants

To a great life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment | Tags: Articles and Research, Macrobiotics

Macrobiotics and Seasonal Health

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I recently read a blog called “A Season Pattern to Mental Health.”

Macrobiotics plays a large role in this pattern for a couple of reasons:

Our blood sugar follows the suns movement, thus it follows the seasons as well.  As humans, blood sugar should slowly start to rise after midnight so that we can wake up early in the morning ready for activity.  Gradually, it should start to fall shortly after lunch around 2pm so that we can fall sleep.

Unfortunately, the natural cycles seems uncommon.  The opposite of healthy blood sugar is called hypoglycemia.  In a hypoglycemic situation (hypo means low), our blood sugar doesn’t rise early enough so that we can get up and go in the mornings.  We need caffeine and sugar to wake us up.  Most often, eating too much sugar is an overreaction to our lower level of blood sugar in the mornings.  Our pancreas secretes insulin and once it is processed, our blood sugar falls rapidly so that we become useless in the afternoon.  We suffer from sleepiness, low energy, and slow thinking.  As blood sugar dips, we feel anxious and irritable until sometimes we reach a level of anger.  When this anger erupts, we can feel our heart rate rise which contributes to a  sudden spike in blood sugar.  After any sudden spike, we experience a drastic decline.  It is very common that blood sugar will fall so low that we feel restless.  At this stage, we actually need to raise it to be able go to reach a state of sleep.  Overnight we secrete insulin to lower our blood sugar, and when the sun rises we’re not ready to wake up.  The pattern goes on and on.

We all know we feel better in the summer, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  When the sun is out and the days are bright, it is much easier to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. When the days are shorter and darker, it makes it harder for our blood sugar to come up in the morning.  In the winters, to sustain healthier blood sugar, eating more cooked foods will ward off the urge to raise and lower blood sugar in an effort to gain energy.

In reference to the blog: Certain diseases and problems are much more common in the winter.  Depression, anxiety, and chronic pain have been documented as more prevalent during these darker  and shorter days.  This is exacerbated by a poor diet and chaotic eating habits.

The remedy to this blood sugar problem is simple: Eat quality food in an organized timely manner.  The most important meal in reseting this cycle is lunch.  Eat lunch every day between 12 and 1pm.  It resets the biological clock.  Also, walking outside can have this effect as well.  Get outside and enjoy yourself as often as possible, even in darker or gloomier days.  When these habits become part of your life, it will not take long to notice the change.  You’ll feel better physically, feel things deeper, and be more present in your life.   

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotics