Friday, July 30, 2010

Exercises Part ll

US Navy 090314-N-5366K-056 Athletes battle thr...Image via Wikipedia
In Exercises Part l, I  showed you a few light exercises to do every day for about 5 minutes. Now I will show you the exercises that you should do once a week in the beginning, once a month if you reach the minimum number required. Every body should be able to do 20 sit-ups, 20 push ups and 20 squats and be able to bent over and touch the ground with the palms of the hands. Sit-ups, push-ups and squats are necessary to maintain body tonus, the bending over is like an internal massage for all your organs, flexes your spine, stretches your meridians. Perhaps the first week you will only do 10 of each exercises and bend your body till your fingers are 15 inches from the floor, but it is easy to increase, and once you have reached the minimum, you can do it once a month, just to keep in shape.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wedding Bells

Diagram of the Human Intestine. Drawn by Dunca...Image via Wikipedia

I often write about the "marriage" of ingredients.
If you eat 10 different ingredients in one meal, it will be very difficult to digest, except when you marry them:
by marry I mean a long time frying, cooking or pickling together, as then the body sees this product as only one ingredient and will digest  with more ease.
Digestion is the mechanical and chemical (enzymes and bacteria) breaking down of food into smaller components that can be absorbed into the blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a break-down of larger food molecules to smaller ones.
Food enters the mouth, being chewed by teeth (we never chew enough), with chemical processing beginning with enzymes in the saliva from the salivary glands. Then it travels down the esophagus into the stomach, where hydrochloric acid kills most contaminating microorganisms and begins mechanical break down of some food (e.g., denaturation of protein), and chemical alteration of some. The hydrochloric acid also has a low pH, which is great for enzymes. After some time (typically an hour or two), the results go through the small intestine, through the large intestine, and are excreted during defecation.
So to ease this process, we better prepare our ingredients together and for a long time; that is one of the reasons soups and stews are easy to digest; it brings all the good from the seperate ingredienst together and yet does not give problems in the digestiv track.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The word "meal" comes from the word "to mill" so this means time to chew, as when we chew, we mill our food with our teeth.
I am a 2 meal-a-day men:
when I wake up in the morning, I just drink a glass of rice milk, and even that I chew, at 11.00 I have my lunch, mostly brown rice with cooked veggies and pickled veggies. When, the day before I had dinner outside my own kitchen, my lunch is only brown rice and pickled vegetables. My lunch is easy to digest.
My dinner, which I take at 17.00, is more elaborated and with less rice as at lunch.
Most of the times it is brown rice (I only eat green tea GABA brown jasmine rice), vegetables and a vegan burger.
I don't drink just before, during or just after my meals, as I don't to dilute my digestive juices.
During day time, I drink about 1 liter of water, in which I add the juice of one lemon.
Some people need more meals a day, only a few people need one meal a day.
I rarely eat raw vegetables, except for grated carrot or grated diakon.
In my fridge, I always keep at least 5 types of pickled vegetables, and of course, my brown rice which I cook for a whole week.
I try to avoid food that is too  hot or too cold, body temperature is more than warm enough.
Sometimes I am invited for a few days to go to the beach, and those days I miss my brown rice and pickles the most. Those days I eat mostly seafood. The only fast food chain that I visit is Subway, where I eat a wheat vegetarian sandwich without cheese (less than once a month).
As you see I mostly eat whole grains, sometimes I eat whole grain noodles (once a month) and sometimes, to spoil myself, I buy a whole wheat sourdough bread (less than once a month), that I eat with my home made sauerkraut and brown mustard.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lactic Fermented Food

Lactic fermented food, also called natural pickles, are of all ages and of all cultures.
I use Annelies Schonecks book for over 25 years now, in the beginning I used earthen pickle jars, but those jars were way to heavy, and made pickling hard labour.
Since 3 years I use the jars of the Perfect Pickler, and since then, I enjoy pickling much more.

My basic pickle is sauerkraut: with  3 kg white cabbage, 30 gr sea salt, 20 grams fresh grated ginger and some dried herbs (clove pods, bay leaves,fennel, juniper berries, etc...) I make a very healthy pickle that reduces cholesterol, stimulates digestion, lowers high blood pressure and is just a delicious thing to eat. Indeed a pickle a day keeps the doctor away.
And of course, the sky is the limit, you do not have to limit yourself to white cabbage: with Napa cabbage you can make a delicious kimchi, last month I made for the first time pumpkin pickles, in the past I made pickles  with asparagus, and with sourdough bread and apples, and I will still experiment in the future.
Sometimes you can find books about pickling, where they use vinegar: natural pickling is never done with vinegar, as vinegar pickles contains not the beneficial bacteries you can find in lactic fermented food.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The best remedy against cough and congestion for children is mustard, not the powdered kind, but the kind you use for your sandwich.
Use mild mustard in the kid’s bathwater (much warmer than usual, but not hot).

Warm water will help the mustard vapor and clear child’s congestion (usually up to 6 hours).Use 1 cup mild mustard for 3-5 gallon water. Taste the water; it should taste like water, just a bit dirty. Keep the bathroom steamy. Wash your child with clean water to remove the mustard before drying.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Organic Fight?

BANGKOK — Entomologists deployed the first wave of an army of 250,000 tiny wasps over the weekend in a campaign to eradicate a plague of mealybugs that threatens to devastate Thailand’s
A mealy bug on a cassava stem from an affected plantation in northeastern Thailand.
The wasps, each smaller than a pinhead, home in on the mealybugs, piercing and laying their eggs inside them. The larvae devour the mealybugs from within, emerging in a few days from their mummified shells to seek new hosts.
It is the latest battle in a competition between farmers and predators for the crops that sustain them both, with this species of mealybugs feeding exclusively on cassava and the wasps feeding exclusively on the cassava-eating mealybugs.
“In that sense, it’s the perfect biological control,” said Rod Lefroy, regional research coordinator in Asia for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, a nonprofit group that has coordinated the release.
The use of wasps, which has been effective in Africa, is expected to also succeed in Thailand, the world’s leading exporter of cassava, which is also known as manioc, tapioca and yucca.In Africa, where the use of wasps to kill mealybugs was pioneered, a new plague is already threatening vast cassava plantations: a disease known as brown streak, for which no cure has yet been found.
"It’s going to be an international game of cat and mouse,” said Tony Bellotti, an entomologist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia who is a specialist in wasps and mealybugs. “As the cassava mealybug finds its way to new countries, we can send in the wasps.
Early signs of mealybug infestation have been reported in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Thailand’s neighbors. “Cassava production in Southeast Asia has enjoyed an extended honeymoon, relatively free of major pest and disease outbreaks,” Dr. Bellotti said.
Thailand, the third largest producer of cassava, after Nigeria and Brazil, accounts for 60 percent of worldwide exports of the root, which is used in foods like noodles, the flavor-enhancer monosodium glutamate and products including toothpaste.
Much larger areas are cultivated in Africa, but Dr. Lefroy said that about 50 percent of production there was consumed locally as food.
Most of Thailand’s exports go to China, which produces 40 percent of its own huge demand for the plant. China’s consumption is expected to double in the next few years, making cassava an increasingly lucrative crop.
The mealybugs, with a life cycle of about a month, can spread quickly, with each insect laying an average of 440 eggs and producing 10 generations in a year. The bugs feed on the tips of cassava plants, stunting their growth with a toxic saliva.
The threat to Thailand’s industry emerged in force last year, when 20 to 25 percent of the crop was destroyed, frightening farmers and driving up prices.
Hundreds of farmers attended the ceremonial first release Saturday in Khon Kaen, some of them gathering up handfuls of wasps for themselves, Dr. Lefroy said.
The tiny wasps neither buzz nor sting, he said. “You’ve got to be an entomologist to even think of them as wasps.”

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The oil spill

We all forget the main culprit of the oil spill: the consumer. Is n't it the consumer who pays the oil companies to go dig for more oil?
But I want to talk to you about oil in the kitchen: the best oil is oil that does not change its viscosity, not even when it is put in the refrigerator. Of course it should be organic and cold pressed, but the most important is; it should be sesame oil.
Sesame oil (best kept in a dark glass bottle) is the only oil to be used for daily consumption. I use it daily to fry my veggies, but I only use about  2 liters of  sesame oil per year,
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Perhaps you have noticed some small changes on this blog: as this platform is new to me and I want it to look the same in all browsers ( I use the Chrome browser), I am trying out some designs.
What is in the loop?? More articles about exercises, about diagnosis, about the oil spill, about charity and praying,about my own meals etc... Have a great weekend  everyone!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Preventif Medicine

Yesterday, in stead of taking a shot of soy sauce, I made a traditional recipe:
I dissolved some kuzu in a cup of water (you can use arrowroot too), add a lot of fresh grated ginger, some soy sauce and put that mix on the fire, while stirring. When the mix goes transparent, add a small spoon of miso, and turn off the fire. Keep on stirring till the miso is dissolved.
This is a good medicine when you get a cold or when your digestive system is upset.
Never forget, this is only a symptomatic remedy: you should eat healthier in order to avoid the problem.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When Food becomes Medicine

As a few days ago, I had to eat out, I had some mucus in my respiratory system, and as today I am invited on my embassy for a party, I wanted to cook something to clear my system.
At least 2 times a month I make a combination of fried broccoli and carrot, this time I added 3 times more fresh grated  ginger than usual: ginger stimulates circulation and that is needed for elimination. I added also dried Shitake mushrooms, that I soaked for an hour; Shitake is especially good for eliminating mucus from the lungs.
I added brown GABA rice and pickled pumpkin, the pickled pumpkin brings ease to my large intestine, which following Traditional Chinese Medicine is the partner organ of the lungs. Before going to the party, I will probably take a shot of natural soy sauce , with a lot of fresh ginger.

Diagnosis 2

We saw already in Diagnosis 1 how you can diagnose yourself through the content of your dreams, your thinking and your behavior; today I will take about diagnose through your looks.
We start with the eyes and what the Chinese call Sanpaku:
when a baby is born, the iris, or colored part of the eye, is usually beautifully balanced between the upper and lower eye lids. It touches the upper and lower lids, so that no white, or sclera, shows above or below. The sclera is visible only to the left and right of the iris. This indicates a balanced and healthy nervous system. The baby is alert and in generally sound health.
Later, when the bottom part of the white part of the eye known as the sclera becomes visible it is referred to as 'Yin Sanpaku' by the Chinese. It represents physical imbalance in the body, and is present in alcoholics, drug addicts and people who over consume sugar or grain. Conversely when the upper sclera is visible this is called 'Yang Sanapaku'. This is said to be an indication of mental imbalance in people such as psychotics, murderers and anyone rageful. Stress and fatigue may also be a cause. When you see the mug shots of the murders in the USA, you will see that they are all very Sanpaku.
The hair: if the front of the head is bald: too much Yin (sugar, drugs, alcohol). When the back of the head is bald (like you see with a lot of Chinese living in the West), there is too much Yang in the body (meat, mostly pork). When long hair splits, there is a problems with the genitals, that problem is confirmed when the lips starts to "ripple" like you can see in with most old people.
When the lips are too thick, it is a problem with the digestive system; that person will spend a lot of time on the toilet every day. When in normal relax mode, the lips are ajar, that is also a sign of too much Yin in the nervous system.
Bags under the eyes is of course showing a problem with the kidneys, green color in the iris of the eye means cancer.
Long hair is relative Yin, that is why ladies have longer hair then men; short hair is Yang.
But we may not forget that extreme Yin can go to Yang again, so some guys have long hair and are Yang, but they are the exception. Ladies on long heels and with a lot of make up are very Yin.
Guys with a big top of the nose have a heart condition, mostly from alcohol, in the 5 elements theory, which I will discuss later, we see that unhealthy kidneys "attack" the heart, so alcoholics have mostly heart conditions.
Short people are more Yang than long people; we can see in the statistics that children in the west grow taller than any time before, this due to the high amounts of sugar that is consumed in all that junk food and the soda pops.
My teacher for Oriental Diagnosis was Dr Rik Vermuyten, but, of course, Rik is in no way responsible for any statement I make.OK I will write more about diagnosis next week.
Feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Macrobiotic Video's

Just go to youtube and type in the search function "Macrobiotic" and you will see that there is a lot of free stuff out there. Here Edward Esko about "Yin and Yang".


As I love nature, I do not use a lot of soap, as most soaps are not nature friendly, so I save nature and I save money.
For my clothes, I use only 30% of the dose that is mentioned on the box.
For the dishes, I dilute the detergent with 300 % water, and even then I do not use it every time as vegan cooking is not very greasy.
For showering, I take the most natural soap possible.

For myself, I found a small factory nearby: they have 8 fragrances, my preferred fragrance is Carrot Herb Soap, but that is probably because I am a foodie .
Of course, you can always make your own soap too. Here are some books if you want to start:

Sometimes, I am invited by friends to go to the beach, and then I make my own sun protection:
sesame oil with lemon juice: you can even use it to season your salads.
Have a clean day, and leave a comment when you want to.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Exercises Part I

These exercises, everybody can do, even if you are sick or in a wheelchair: the exercises stimulate your immune system.
Picture  1: massage very well with both hands your skull and face. As you can see in picture 2, there are many meridians on the head and they all need stimulation. Do not forget the back of your head. just under the skull .
Picture 3: put your finger in your ear and shake your hand so that the vibrations of your hand stimulate the inner ear, both sides.
Picture 4: massage as hard as possible your ear, inside, outside and the ear lobe, both sides.
Picture 5: put your fingers on your eyes and gently push inwards and massage your eyeballs.
These exercises are so easy and do not take too much time, but they have to be done daily.
After a few weeks of daily massages you will feel the result.
This technique is known as Do-in.
If you want to leave a comment, you are welcome, just click on "comments".

Sore Throat

Yes soon it will be autumn again and then, there is winter.
Here is an easy way to cure a sore throat:

take a clean kitchen towel and fold it like in picture 1, put it in water and then in the deep freezer for at least 4 hours. Just before to go to bed, wrap the cold towel around your neck.
In the morning you will have a hot towel and all sore feelings are gone.
Did you visit my latest recipe yet?? Pumpkin chips, mmm yummy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Dehydrator

One of my tools that I use every week is my dehydrator. I use it to make natural MSG, seaweed  crackers, pumpkin chips and much much more. As it dries for a long time, it makes things till 3 levels more Yang on my Yin Yang scale.
If I would live on the country side, I would probably make a solar dehydrator, but with the bad quality of air in the big city, that is out of the question.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Diagnosis 1

A good diagnosis in very important to heal, and who is better placed than YOU to diagnose yourself?
A few months ago I went with a western guy to the traditional Chinese hospital in Chinatown. While driving his car, he could not stop talking (too Yin), and when we came into the doctors office, I saw that the doctor had diagnosed him before he sat down: she smiled at me, she looks at his tongue, his face, felt the pulses the Chinese way, but that was just to confirm her first diagnosis.
Just to say: when you know what to look for, diagnosis is not that difficult: you just have to find the right book for you (see below).
There are a lot of ways to diagnose ourselves:
our dreams, our thoughts, our behavior; our looks (tongue, eyes, face), our stool, our urine, the first 3 being mental, the latter being physical.
The first symptom that something goes wrong, comes in our dreams:
if we have scary dreams, we have a problem with the kidneys, if we have a lot of anger in our dreams we have a problem with the liver. If we ignore our dreams, the same symptoms will appear in out thoughts, and if we ignore those symptoms, it will show in our behavior; people who are anxious all the time have kidney problems, people who are angry easily have liver problems.
The same way you also can diagnose problems from every organ, it needs just a little bit of study and a lot of experience. I will write more about diagnose through looks, stool and urine next week.

Have a nice weekend everybody!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Soy Products

In the beginning when you start to eat health food, you will have a tendency to "replace" your meat with soy products: don't do this!
The only soy products that are good for our body are fermented soy products:
miso(soy paste), tamari & soju (soy sauces), tempeh and natto.
Tofu is not fermented and should not be eaten on a regular basis: it is too Yin, and bad for your life essense. When I eat tofu, perhaps once every two months, I cook it first 30 minutes in soy sauce.
TVP (texturized vegetable protein) is not natural at all: it is made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil.
About 1000 B.C. some smart person in China discovered that a mold, when allowed to grow on soybeans, destroyed the toxins present and made the nutrients in the beans available to the body. This process became known as fermentation and led to the creation of the still popular foods tempeh, miso, and natto.
I will write more about all those products later, but please remember this: unfermented soybeans contain potent anti-nutrients.
In their natural form, soybeans contain phytochemicals with toxic effects on the human body. The three major anti-nutrients are phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens.
Tomorrow I will write about diagnosis.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Improve your Health

OK, now that we have established what Yin and Yang is, we gonna use those forces to harmonize our lives.
If you need personal advice, you always can contact me, the advice I give in this blog, is a general advice.
To make it easier I will give Yin and Yang grades, and for every recipe I give, I will put the grade of the dish in the recipe.
The closer to zero, the better. The most Yin you will find here are Yin -5, the most Yang will be Yang +5, not that Yin is negative or bad, and Yang is positive or good, it is just a grading system as any other.
Sugar is Yin -20 , so I never use sugar, honey is Yin -10, so you will not find honey in my recipes.
Yin -5 and Yang +5 dishes can be eaten, except by people recovering from an illness.
For people with cancer, I first advise you to see the macrobiotic counselor in your region, and stay for your food between Yin -2 and Yang +2. All will be more clear when we go along together on the path of health and happiness.
The first thing you should stop eating is processed food and restaurant food: as from now your food will be your medicine, and I am afraid that the "cook" of the McDonald's is not the best doctor, as he does not have your health in  mind when he prepare the  food.
Then we stop with refined food; no white flour, no white rice, no sugar.
If this runs well, we stop first with pork, eggs and dairy as this gives us the most mucus.
Then we stop with all meat and chicken, be sure I will give you some real healthy alternatives, like vegan nuggets, vegan meatloaf, vegan cheese, vegan burgers, all things you can make yourself at home, and that is the only guarantee for healthy food .
Ok next blog wil be about soy products, cu tomorrow

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yin Yang 2

To put it more graphic, please check this image:
You should always eat from Yang to Yin, not only in your day, but also in your meal.
In your day: the breakfast should be the most yang meal, whole cereals and cooked vegetables, a miso soup is ideal, of a Thai rice soup is also a valid alternative.
No fruits before 18.00. Do not drink during just before or just after your meals, as this dilute the digestive juices, and when you drink, you have the tendency to swallow, and not to chew.
Chewing is very, very important.
On above picture you should see that eating closer to the point of Balance is better, surely in the beginning of your diet, or when you are in bad health: the closer you stay to the point of Balance, the faster you will get healthy

Yin and Yang

First we will fine tune our compass.
Yin : slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, or tranquil; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime.
Yang : fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, or aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime.

Yang food : most animal food, miso, tamari, salt
Yin food : vegetables (tomatoes are very Yin, carrots are closer to the Balance)

Yang preparation: pickling, baking
Yin preparation : steaming, cooking

So we can harmonize Yin food by a Yang preparation, and Yang food by a Yin preparation.
Yin and Yang must be seen as relative tendencies and not as absolute values..