I had the opportunity to introduce traditional Japanese treatment using Konjac and loquat leaf to nourish and rejuvenate the kidney, releasing back pain to my Airbnb guests. I sometimes combine this therapy with my detox cooking class so that all the participants can rejuvenate inside and out. It is very easy to do, but very effective. You feel your body gets lighter after the treatment.
Here are the items that you need to prepare.
 1-2 Konjac (you can buy at local Asian store)
 2 towels
 loquat leaves (if you don't have it, just go without it! It is still very effective to do)
 Boil waters first and put Konjac in the Pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
 Wrap Konjac in towels. Since Konjac is very hot, you might need a few towels to warp it up to avoid burning your skin. When you apply Konjac directly to your skin, you may not feel hot at first a few minutes, but it gradually becomes unbearably hot. It supposed to be very hot to make your skin slightly pink to bring out the best result, but you need to be careful not to burn your skin at the same time!)
 Apply wrapped Konjac on the liver, kidney, or stagnated area and leave it for 20-30 minutes. (If you can get the loquat leaf, you can apply the leaf (smooth surface) directly on the skin beneath Konjac.) Please cover with a blanket over to keep the heat going.
Since I had a stiff shoulder, I also treated myself. After the treatment, I see a darkened spot on the leaf. It is the sign of absorbing the toxin. I saw many leaves got darken spots after I gave the treatments in the past.
1. It would be better to use this method while your stomach is empty.
2. Please go to the bathroom before.
3. You could use the same Konjac for a few times. But do not share it with others since Konjac can observe the toxins. After you use Konjac, you can keep it in a container with water in the refrigerator.
"Loquat leaf therapy" was introduced by Jianzhen, a Chinese monk who was an expert in medicine helped establish Buddhism in Japan. He knew loquat's leaves have significant therapeutic benefits. It developed gradually as folk medicines among Japanese. We use as internal and external medicine such as congestion, cough, lung irritation, bruises, burns, skin disorders, and many more.Research shows that loquat leave extracts contain many antioxidants, and different extracts exhibit bioactivity capable of counteracting inflammation, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, aging, pain, allergy, and other health issues.
What is Konjac as food?
According to the Japanese Konjac Association, Konjac normalizes cholesterol, prevents high blood pressure. Since it consists of 50% water and 40% Glucomannan (dietary fiber), the body finds it hard to digest, thus sliding right through you and cleaning out your intestines all the while giving you the illusion that you are full. Glucomannan is an amazingly dense, high fiber substance that can expand to 200 times its size upon entering the digestive tract. It envelops calories, carbohydrates, and fats in fiber. Therefore, as these food particles pass through your digestive system, the body regards them as fiber, and flushes them out of your body, along with the toxins in the digestive tract. It’s no wonder the Japanese call it a “broom for the stomach.” Glucomannan also attracts water in the digestive system and becomes a gel, slowing digestive processes and trapping carbohydrates so it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Konjac is one of the miracle food for detoxification.
I had a pop-up cafe for Wanowa's friends on the terrace in front of our house in Scotts Valley this afternoon! Although I could only have four parties (they dine at different times and tables) to remain social distancing, it was so lovely to see their actual faces.😀
Here's the lunch menu.
＊ Beet Salad with tofu ricotta cheese
＊ Japanese brown rice & Azuki bean risotto
with creamy potato croquettes & small side dishes on top
＊ Peach shortcake with organic hibiscus tea
(All 100% plant-based, organic, & gulten-free)
It was so much fun and joy cooking, having a background of their laughters. Having an actual conversation and exchanging smiles has a great power of healing that I never appreciated before✨✨✨
Thank you all for coming to dine at Wanowa's cafe💕💕💕
I made 100% plant-based old-fashioned café au lait flavored pudding using leftover oatmeal, which I made for my breakfast. I know it's a kind of silly long name to laugh at, but the taste of this pudding reminds me of the coffee milk packaged in the pyramid-shaped carton that came with the school lunch when I was in elementary school. We usually get plain cow milk, which I did not enjoy. But, once in a while, we get this coffee milk. It was sweet, and the bitterness of coffee made me feel grown-up every time I took a sip. It's a taste of nostalgic memories for me.
100% plant-based old fashioned café au lait flavored pudding
(5 mason jars of 8 onz (236 ml)
・ 1/2 cup leftover oatmeal
・ 3 cups vegetable milk (soy, oat or coconut milk)
・ 2-3 TBS dandelion coffee
🌻If you prefer the stronger coffee flavor, please add more.
🌻If you like chocolate flavor, you can use cocoa powder instead👍
・ 3 TBS maple syrup
🌻 If you like sweeter, you can add more
・ 1 tsp agar powder
・ 2 TBS tapioca starch (corn/potato starch, or kudzu)
・ A pinch of sea salt
1. Add all the above ingredients to the blender and blend well.
2. Pour the above mixture into a medium saucepan, boil over medium heat, and when thickened, simmer for another 3 minutes over low heat. (keep stirring the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatular to avoid burning)
3. Put in mason jars or glasses and cool in the refrigerator.
How to make your oatmeal
Boil 1 cup of your oatmeal (steel-cut/rolled oatmeal or any oats), 2 - 3 cups of water, and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan over medium heat until it becomes soft.
When it's a busy morning, I usually cook oatmeal. It takes only about 20 min. Well, if you compare cooking rice, this is much faster! All you have to do is to add oatmeal, water, and a pinch of sea salt in the saucepan and cook it until it becomes creamy soft. Although you may need to stir occasionally to avoid burning, it is still simple and straightforward to cook. I can make an easy, quick vegetable miso soup or warm-up leftover soup while I cook oatmeal. I love eating my oatmeal over the soup instead of milk. It is almost like a risotto, super satisfactory,fulfilling and very healthy! 😀
If I use the microwave, I know it would be much faster and convenient. But I haven't used the microwave for nearly ten years after I learned about the hazards of microwave cooking. Microwaves were originally called "radar ranges" when they were first introduced in the 1970's, You blast your food with high-intensity radar to make it hot... It does not sound natural. So, I try to use a stovetop burner for all my cooking. When I want to warm up the leftover rice, I usually steam it.
Oats are one of the most nutritious whole-grain foods having a lot of remarkable medicinal benefits, such as lowering your cholesterol, eliminating free radicals to prevent cancer, keeping bowel movements regularly with their high fiber content, stabilizing the blood sugar level, enhancing the immune system for faster healing and support hormone balance.
Since oats do not have much flavor, we can create many different types of savory dishes and desserts, such as this pudding. Besides, they are very affordable. I think it is wise to incorporate them into our cooking occasionally.
I recently posted my 100% plant-based curry bread on my FaceBook. I was a bit surprised that so many friends wanted to know the recipe. So, here is the one for you💕I hope you will try to make them for yourself and your family!
Curry bread is one of the most popular pastries in Japan. It consists of Japanese curry wrapped in a piece of dough, coated in bread crumbs, and deep-fried golden brown. When you bite into the freshly fried one, the crispiness of the outside, chewiness of the dough, and savory curry start to play a musical harmony in your mouth. It's so comforting and delicious. Since it is not sugary sweet like a doughnut, a lot of people love this bread.
To be hornet, though, I did not plan to make curry bread at first. As we are now in a shelter in place, I cook a lot of meals for my family, and I happened to make a large portion of curry, hoping to last a few days. But, my son told me that he was tired of eating curry! So, I had to invent something. If you have leftover curry, this is a great way to make something different. And the best part of this bread is that you can use any leftovers for your filling. It could be some sort of stew or egg/potato salad. And, you can freeze them before you fry. 👍👍👍
If your curry or stew has a lot of soup, you can add some mashed potatoes or beans, which I did this time, so your filling is solid enough to be in the dough. As they are going to be fried, your filling can not be juicy as it might leak from the dough while you are frying.
I hope many of you will try to make curry bread. It takes about 2-3 hours in total as your dough needs to rise. However, you don't have to wait, after you knead the dough, you can do something else and come back when it's ready for the next step. You can create many different types of bread with this dough. I sometimes make small soft table bread which can go perfect with the soup or salad!
How to make 100% plant-based curry bread🥯🥯🥯
Left-over curry 1 cup
1 medium-sized Boiled/steamed potato
1/4 onion (sliced)
Vegetable oil 1 TBS
sea salt 1 tsp
Turmeric/Curry powder/coriander powder of your choice 1/2 each
(It is your choice to use any spices for your curry filling! )
How to make the filling
1. Boil your potatoes with a pinch of sea salt until they get soft enough to be mashed.
2. Heat your saucepan, add 1 TBS of oil and sautee your onion for 3-5 min. Then, add sea salt and turmeric/curry powder/coriander of your choice and add your leftover curry. Mix well and turn off the flame.
3. Add boiled potatoes in the saucepan and mash potatoes and mix well.
4. Make sure you season well and put it aside to cool down.
Ingredients for dough
Unbleached all-purpose white flour ３ cup
Brown rice bran 2 TBS
(If you don't have, no need to add!)
Sea salt 1 tsp
Water 1/2 cup
Soy milk 1/4 cup
vegetable oil 1 TBS
Maple syrup 1 TBS
Lukewarm water 1/4 cup
Dry Yeast 1 package (8g)
(I used Non GMO RED STAR's active dry yeast this time)
How to make curry bread dough
1. In a small bowl, add lukewarm water, maple syrup, and mix well. Then, pour yeast and dissolve and let stand until bubbles form on the surface. It takes about 3-5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, add flour, brown rice bran, sea salt, oil, yeast mixture, water, and soy milk.
3. Mix slowly with your hand, then knead until smooth and elastic for 15-20 minutes.
4. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
5. Cover and let rise until doubled for 1-2 hours.
6. Punch down the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, divide dough in 10-12, cover with a damped cloth/plastic cover for 10 min.
7. Roll out one of the pieces of dough into a 7-inch rectangle sized and place a spoonful of the curry in the center as the photo shows.
8. Close the edges. Then, turn the dough around and shape it rectangularly with your hands, and continue to do the same with the rest.
9. Brush the top of each dough with water, and spread the bread crams.
(If you don't have bread crumbs, you can skip this part.)
10. Leave them for 10-15 min to rise.
( If you have a plastic cover, please cover them.)
11. Heat the oil in a pan with medium heat about 320F.
12. Place the bread (sealed side needs to go to the bottom at first) into the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 min. per side.
12. Place the cooked curry bread onto the oil drainer butt or paper towels.
13. Place them on the plate and enjoy! 😁
Not only does Umesu (Ume vinegar) have lots of medicinal benefits, but it also has a strong sterilizing effect. Since it contains many organic acids, including citric acid and malic acid, which helps to improve energy metabolism and decompose oxides such as lactic acid and uric acid, to cleanse the blood. These Organic acids function to break down, detox, and excrete foreign substances such as viruses.
From a macrobiotic point of view, one of the functions of the breaking down of Umeasu is more like Ying-energy, and it is effective to spherical bacteria such as SURS virus and norovirus, which have Yang-energy.
Furthermore, Umesu contains sea salt = Yang energy, which works as a natural bactericidal and antiseptic to fight off the virus that has more like Ying energy (slim and long) such as Escherichia coli and tuberculosis bacteria. As a result of the combination of the two components, Umesu is an excellent antibiotic and sterilizer. But, unlike synthetically made antibiotics and other drugs, Umesu only wipes out harmful bacteria or germs, and keep alive the beneficial bacteria that help to function our immune system well.
There are a few unusual medicinal ways of using Umesu to prevent infections. Since there are no chemical or food additives, it is highly safe and no side effects, so anyone, including children, can use it.
- Making your mouthwash (Umesu 1: Water 3-6)
Gargle with Umesu water when you come home from the outside.
- Making your sanitizer spray (Umesu 1: Water 3-5)
Spray Umesu sanitizer spray on your throat and hands occasionally.
You can adjust the amount of the water up to your taste.
The above information was based on the old article written by Kenji Okabe of Musubinokai. He is a food and medical consultant, macrobiotic instructor, and renowned author.
Here's the more info. about Umesu
Mume Farm is now offering organic Ume Vinegar spray kit for $15. Their activated Ume chacoal is $20 + tax & shipping. If you are interested in their prodcut, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mume Farm:
We did it again! Thank you so much for everyone who joined our dinner get-together at First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto. Under the circumstances of COVID-19 concerns, we were so happy to see so many old & new friends to join our dinner.
Still so much to learn in the kitchen, but we are learning and performing better than last time. I know it will only get better! Thank you, Penninsula Macrobiotic Community for years of dedication for supporting a healthy diet, Nate Salpeter, co-founder of Sweet Farm for a beautiful lecture about regenerative farming and humane food technologies, and all the wonderful volunteers, Judy Serbrin & Cool Planet and Social Justice Committee from First Presbyterian Church, and Cool Block and 35 for your support. And last but not least, thank you, Maureen O'Kicki, director from Grounded in Community for organizing this event.
Please join Grounded in Community for another delicious gluten-free plant-based dinner prepared by Shinobeau at the First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto on Wednesday, March 4th from 6:30-8:30 pm. Doors open at 6:20 pm.
I am going to prepare one of my all time favorite Indian dishes. Here's the menu.
⭐︎ Chana Masala (chickpea mild curry)
⭐︎ Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower & potato)
⭐︎ Indian vegetable pilaf
⭐︎ Indian Style cucumber salad with romaine lettuce.
⭐︎ Home-made gluten-free Indian bread,
⭐︎ Mango pudding (dessert)
All vegan & gluten-free
Since I make both the chickpea and potato & Cauliflower curries mild, everyone including children can enjoy, I will put spicy hot sauce aside on the serving table for those who want their food extra spicy.（╹◡╹） ♡
Please pay at the door (cash or check payable to Peninsula Macrobiotic Community).
You can sign up with Maureen O'Kicki at Grounded in Community by 3/2. Here is her email address. → email@example.com
Please remember to make a separate reservation for each guest! Also, If you want your food to go please let us know as well, so we can prepare enough packages for takeouts
We need to know the exact numbers for the attendees and takeouts. Before several days to the event, we start to go around a few farmer's markets and organic stores to purchase just to cover enough food for those who make the reservations. Since we are not the restaurant, we have a limited budget, and we can only serve a certain amount of food. So, we may not serve the dinner if anyone comes at the door without making a reservation.
venue: First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, 1140 Cowper St · Palo Alto, CA
After dinner, guest speaker Nate Salpeter, co-founder of a farm sanctuary in HMB, will discuss regenerative farming and humane food technologies. See SweetFarm.org for more information.
For more information, please click here.
Please join our Meetup members! ♡♡♡
I made 16 OBENTO (meal box to go) to celebrate Lunar new year, which will be 1/25/20. I used a lot of vegetables to cleanse and nourish our bodies.
Here’s the menu.
⭐︎ White bean soup with broccoli
⭐︎ Baked tofu ( vegan version of miso-marinated baked Cod)
⭐︎ Steamed Burdock Root with Sesame sauce
⭐︎ Sautéed daikon and carrots with Koya-Tofu
⭐︎ Roasted Brussel sprouts
⭐︎ Spicy sautéed Conjack
⭐︎ Red beets salad
⭐︎ Rice with pickled SAKURA cherry blossoms with sautéed Daikon leaves
⭐︎ Matcha and Azuki bean cake
Since I prepare the OBENTO by myself in my small kitchen, I can only make 15-16 at most. I often stay up all night to prepare as I make everything from scratch. It is hard work, and I sometimes can't help but blame myself for choosing to do this. But, at the same time, it is the precious moments of inspiration and learning. In Japan we call this "UMINO KURUSHIMI," In English, you could say there is purpose in the struggle.
It is true that no matter what you are creating, you work so hard to bring out your creation to the world. Along the process, you may encounter many blissful pains, and sometimes, it is not pretty at all. But in the end, you can get overwhelming sense of fulfillment once in a while. It could be a trivial momentum. But through accumulating it, I believe our lives can become much more vibrant.
We had hail this morning. Then, it changed into the rain. After that, the forest was filled with white fog. Then, the blue sky spread with lights. I felt the energy of purification. It was beautiful, so perfect timing to welcome the season of the winter DOYO.
We are going to embarking into the winter DOYO season starting tomorrow. Each season fixed according to the sun's longitude: Spring-27°, summer-117°, autumn-207°, and winter-297°, and about 18 days before the beginning of each season, we have DOYO seasons. Which means we have 4 DOYO seasons throughout the year. And tomorrow will be the first day of the winter DOYO.
According to the five elements theory — wood(spring), fire(summer), Earth (DOYO), metal(autumn), and water(winter) — are believed to be the fundamental elements of everything in the universe between which interactions occur. The season in CA is now winter, which is influenced by water energy, but to be precise, we will be in the Winter DOYO season combined with water and earth energy.
During the DOYO season, the unsettled air of the transformation from winter to spring is floating around us. Also, the intense energy from the Earth is arising at the same time. Earth is the energy of the soil. The soil is the place where life is born and returns. It means that the soil has two opposite sides of the force, which are reproduction/fermentation and the putrefaction/deterioration. And we get influenced by those forces. In fact, it's the season of cold and flu, and our immune system gets weaker and prone to get sick easily around this time of the year.
If we eat more processed food, fat, animal food, & white sugar, the inside of our intestines becomes close to the sate of "putrefaction/deterioration." On a process of digestion, they produce various toxins, and harmful bacteria thrive. Hence our life support energy in our body tries to discharge toxins, and you are more drawn to the energy of the soil of returns.
But, if you eat more plant-based food, and fermented food such as MISO, any types of pickles of sauerkraut, KIMCHI, Ume plums, your good bacteria in the intestine thrive. Then, it nourishes and preserves cells in the colon and the liver. So, your immune system becomes stronger and helps to prevent gastrointestinal diseases as well as cancer and heart disease. Which means that you are more drawn to the energy of the soil of born.
It is said that earth and human intestines contain approximately the same number of active microorganisms. If we give too much fertilizer, animal compost to the soil, it accumulates layers of toxic components of chemicals and prevents the growth and weaken the vitality of the crops.
We could see the same effect in our intestine. If we intake too much of chemical substances such as preservatives, coloring agents, refined sugar & salt, and too much animal protein, our intestinal wall gets stiff. Then, we create fecal impaction, which is very similar to the toxic layer in the soil.
A long time ago, human manure was used as fertilizer in Japan, which was the oldest organic cultivation in human history. By laying the manure in a fertilizer tank and fermenting it, it becomes easier for plants to absorb. The fermentation heat reaches 158F, so fungi and parasites get destroyed. The farmer bought Samurai's manure at the highest price because the quality of manure was the best compared to others. Samurai families lived in frugal; they eat one soup, one vegetable side dish, brown rice, and a bit of pickle twice a day. So, their digestive and gastrointestinal system was excellent condition.
When we are in the Doyo season, it is time to take care of your body by eating a well-balanced diet. In Japan, we eat a lot of root vegetables such as burdock, daikon, taro roots. They contain the balanced energy of heaven and Earth. Since the Earth is the color of yellow according to the five elements theory, it is good to eat yellow color vegetables such as Kabocha pumpkin, sweet potatoes. Also, chewing well is one of the essential factors in being healthy. https://wanowa.weebly.com/blog/the-miracle-of-chewing
By eating well for the next 17 days, we can embrace the spring with full of joy.
Oh, my goodness. What a fantastic way to start the new year 2020 together! I never expected that we would have close to 100 reservations (including takeouts and volunteers.) The banquet hall was full of people with laughter and buzzing.
I was so happy to see many faces from Monday dinner, a lot of friends from the Japanese community, and new local friends. They all came to dine together. Thank you all for coming to make it happen once again. Thank you to the Panninsula Macrobiotic Community for their years of dedication and achievements. We are here as a result of your decade of grass root movements. I will continue to learn and to cook a healthy healing cuisine based on the macrobiotic philosophy for the community. Thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make it successful. And last but not at least, thank you, Maureen from groundedincommunity.com, who found the beautiful venue, and organize to carry on monthly dinner! I hope we can continue to keep moving forward, generation to generation.
Wishing you a healthy & happy new year!
Here's the menu we created for this month!
⭐︎ Lentil walnut loaf packed with veggies & brown rice
⭐︎ Mushroom gravy
⭐︎ Sweet potato medallions
⭐︎ Broccoli with tahini sauce
⭐︎ Boiled Japanese turnip marinated with olive oil & lemon juice
⭐︎ Green salad with creamy Amazake dressing
⭐︎ Beets salad marinated with cranberry Amazake dressing
⭐︎ Chocolate brownie
All vegan & gluten-free
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