Archive of ‘macrobiotic’ category

Get Fit at Whole Foods

Tuesday‘s exercise: the Get Fit with Catra workout (went with Jill) consisted of…

  • 10 standing lunges
  • 10 walking lungues
  • 10 pushups
  • 1 lap around the park (< quarter mile?)

Repeat 3 times.

We also walked to and from the park, so I’d add at least another quarter mile to that. It took about 40 minutes total. I think my time for the 3 cycles was about 10 minutes, but we did stretching before and I’m also counting the walking time. During the day I walked a lot (shopping) and I think I did some of the DVF exercises in the morning.

Wednesday I did the Diane von Furstenburg exercises again. I love these. They are so simple. I did most of them while watching “Faces of Culture“, a video series that I have to watch for one of my anthropology classes. I also walked 2 miles – 1 mile each way to and from the grocery store.

Here are some foods I’ve been meaning to share. Kabocha with goat cheese (why not? It works with parm).

A “grilled” (waffle iron grill) sandwich with a chicken burger from Trader Joe’s, alfalfa sprouts (alfa-alfa is what Bobby calls these), and some cheddar. Lightly buttered on the outside for crispiness.

A classic bowl of oat bran. Oat bran, ground flax, coconut flakes, protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla, salt (always). Topped (post-picture) with real maple syrup. Real maple syrup appears on all of my oat bran bowls now. It is a staple. This bowl was put in the freezer for 10+ minutes after cooking.

Do you have a “staple” food? Mine is certainly kabocha, all the darn time. Others that make frequent appearances include oat bran, homemade ketchup, and stir-frys. Nut butters go in and out, depending on how I feel. Recently I have been rather obsessed with burdock as well.

Viva la VIA

I have never been a coffee person. I do not own a coffee machine, and I never saw the appeal of choking down the dark chestnut colored concoction anyway. I thought it was bitter. Tea always won out. Until now. Until Starbucks VIA. Disclaimer: Starbucks did not ask me to write this, I just happen to love it and I want to share my new find .

columbia via

Bobby tried VIA last week in some kind of taste test, and he said it was really good. He’s not really a coffee person, so I thought he might be on to something. I picked up a pack of 12 instant coffees in the Columbia flavor. I think it was $9.95 for the pack? That’s a decent price for coffee that tastes great, in my opinion. It’s less than $1 a cup. It’s simple to make; you just pour hot water over the coffee and stir. They have another flavor, the Italian Roast, which is stronger.

To offset my new bad habit (coffee), I went for an old healthy classic: a macrobiotic breakfast. This oat bran was cooked with flax seeds, a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut (not macrobiotic), soy and rice protein powder, and a dash of sea salt. I froze it for about 10-15 minutes before eating. I also made miso soup with water, seaweed, and miso.

19 macro breakfast

On today’s list of things to do is a walk to clear my head (airlines suck and make me pissed), some moving prep (I’ve already sold our dresser and night stands), and kabocha. I haven’t had kabocha in a while and I miss it. Bobby is at his computer class all day so I’m on my own.

What are you up to this weekend?

Recipe: Gingery Chickpeas

This recipe is so simple. It’s based off of a recipe from Meg Wolff (remember my macrobiotic experiment?). Here are my thoughts on macrobiotics (I love it):

Gingery Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (~2 cups)
  • 1 small/medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • salt, to taste
  • <1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a wok/pan over high heat. Add the ginger and chopped onion; saute for 2-3 minutes (it should start to smell really good).
  2. Add the chickpeas and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and stir everything around. As the water evaporates, mash a few of the chickpeas so that some are mushed and some are still whole. Add salt, to taste.
  4. Serve hot with bulgar, or other grain of choice.

Bobby and I both had ours with bulgar. I adore bulgar. Definitely a favorite carb. It fluffs up so much more than rice does. For dessert the night we had this dish, I had more bulgar topped with maple syrup.

I’m off to enjoy my Saturday… what are your weekend plans?

Recipe: Spicy Burdock Root Salad

Remember how I love Delica so much? Delica is that awesome Japanese delicatessen located in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

I finally figured out their recipe for the Spicy Burdock Root Salad. Their salad has lotus root, but I was all out. I subbed in water chestnuts instead. Theirs also has mizuna (a salad green), but I didn’t have that either so I just left it out. The ingredient list looks long, I know – but it’s really very simple. Texture is really important here, so make sure the onion and celery are both sliced very thinly. My mandoline helped me achieve the awesome textures, but a grater would work just as well; so would a lot of patience with a knife.

I kid you not – this will be the best salad you ever make.

FYI: Konnyaku is a Japanese yam… it’s the base of shirataki noodles. A block of konnyaku has 0 calories (just like true shirataki noodles – not the tofu kind). It’s great for digestion and overall health. I get mine at my local Asian markets. It’s next to the miso. I would also check near the tofu, or near the refrigerated noodles. If you can’t find it, I guess you could substitute a different veggie or maybe some seitan.

Maggie’s Spicy Burdock Salad

08 burdock salad

Ingredients (serves 4-5 normal people… or 1-2 crazy salad eaters)

  • 2 cups of burdock, sliced up (I used a mandoline)
  • 1 block of konnyaku, cut in small slices (or a different veggie or seitan)
  • 1 small can of water chestnuts (6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (sesame)
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated
  • chili powder and/or chili flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced (mandoline)
  • 4 stalks of celery, finely sliced (mandoline)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener, to taste)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil the konnyaku slices in water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan (wok) over high heat. Add the ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add the burdock, drained konnyaku slices, water chestnuts, and chili powder/flakes. Saute for about 5 minutes. You can reduce the heat to medium-high if you’re nervous about burning. When the burdock is tender enough to chew, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  3. Mix together the water, vinegar, and stevia. Soak the sliced onion and celery in the mix for 5 minutes, then drain.
  4. Combine the burdock mix, the onion/celery mix, the carrot, sesame seeds, Bragg’s, and salt and pepper. Top with more sesame seeds, if desired. More sesame seeds are always desired by me.

09 burdock salad

Om nom nom. Bobby and I devoured this. He actually said it was *better* than Delica’s salad. You MUST make this. If you are scared of any of the ingredients (burdock! konnyaku!) – don’t be. Burdock is amazing for you. Burdock health benefits: it’s good for the reproductive system, the skin, the digestive system, and it’s even anti-cancerous. Other burdock or konnyaku recipes:

I adore Asian/Eastern food. I love eating with chopsticks (way cooler than forks). If it were up to me, I would probably eat Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai food for every single meal. Oh wait… I pretty much do :D The only difference is that I eat oatmeal or oat bran instead of rice, and I eat squash every single day. (Sounds kind of like a cool vegan lady I know.)

What are your weird food quirks? What is your favorite food (cuisine or dish)?

Stay tuned for a silly picture and updates from this weekend’s apple picking adventures!

More Delica yums (San Francisco), oatmeal, & working out!

On Wednesday Bobby and I were up in San Francisco again for a job interview (Bobby’s). We had to go to Delica rf-1 again; we go there almost every time we are in SF. Delica is a sweet little Japanese deli/delicatessen with takeout foods. They have salads, bento boxes, soups, and other cute Japanese dishes.

I got almost the same thing as I did last time (3 salad combo), except I doubled up on the Spicy Burdock Root Salad (A spicy mix of braised burdock and konnyaku (mountain potato) tossed with thin slices of white onion, celery, julienne carrots, and wild mizuna), and got a single a serving of Hijiki and Soybean Salad (Hijiki (seaweed rich in calcium, iron, and fiber) mixed with dried soybeans, edamame, konnyaku (mountain potato), daikon, wild mizuna, fried tofu, and kuko (wolfberry)).

06 maggie delica

Bobby got the 2 salads + 1 main item combo (like last time). He opted for the Spicy Burdock Root Salad (this is our favorite), the Wasabi Garlic Potato Salad (Garlic potato salad with wasabi mayonnaise, edamame, snap peas, and romaine hearts), and for his main item he got Sweet & Spicy Chicken (Marinated chicken, lightly fried, served with sweet & spicy sauce).

07 bobby delica

We split that iced tea.

I made my rice cooker oats again for breakfast one day this week…

05 oatmeal

This time I topped them with chopped dates and a whole bunch of sesame seeds. I love adding sesame seeds to oats – they give a nice chew and crunch. I couldn’t decide which picture I liked better.

04 oatmeal

Have you tried rice cooker oats yet?

You guys had some really good input about my post regarding rest days. I continued my pattern of unintentional and/or fun workouts the last few days – I had my accidental 5 mile walk on Thursday, yesterday I did 20 minutes of Tom Morley yoga and about a mile of walking (I consider yesterday a very lazy day; I just walked to the grocery store but got too much stuff and Bobby had to pick me up), and so far today I did a 35 minute video – Self: Slim and Sleek, Fast! Bobby has class all day so I’m on my own. We were going to go to a pumpkin festival but that will probably happen tomorrow instead.

Oddly enough, Meghann and Kath both posted about non-rest rest days yesterday! Their opinions were similar to mine. Remember to check out my workout page if you ever want to see what I’ve been doing. And don’t forget about my yoga page – it has lots of great (free) yoga resources. I should probably update it because I’ve found some more (free) sites.

Another post I enjoyed reading was Tina’s post this morning – she ate a pretty amazing looking muffin for breakfast. Muffins are actually one of my favorite foods, but I don’t really eat them that often. She reminded me that I should definitely treat myself occasionally! Back at Cornell, Bobby and I used to go to a cafe called Mate Factor and they had the most amazing muffins. This is their raspberry one (old picture). I’ve posted about Mate Factor HERE and HERE and HERE.

16 raspberry muffin

I’m off to shower and enjoy this lovely fall Saturday. What are your plans? What’s your favorite muffin?

Recipe: Rice Cooker Oatmeal

At my blogger meetup on Sunday I had one of the best bowls of oatmeal ever. I knew I had to figure out how to make such a voluminous, creamy, textured bowl of oats. Well, I did it yesterday. This method rocks. I’m thinking it would probably work in a crockpot as well – have you ever tried that?

Anyway, this is my method for rice cooker oats. They come out so creamy and delicious. They were actually better than the oats I had on Sunday.

Rice Cooker Oatmeal

32 rice cooker oatmeal

Ingredients (serves 1-2)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 and 1/3 cups water
  • 2 dashes of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon stevia (optional)
  • toppings: chopped dates, granola, crushed raw cashews

Directions

  1. Dump the water, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and stevia in the rice cooker. Press “cook”.
  2. Come back about 10 minutes before it’s done (according to the timer – this will probably be about 10 or 15 minutes after you started it) and open up the cooker. Stir around the oatmeal (it will probably be more liquidy on top) and mix it up well. Let it cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Scoop out your serving and top with your favorites. Mine are dried fruit (dates), granola, and nuts (cashews this time, but almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are also great).

31 rice cooker oatmeal

I had half for breakfast (so a 1/2 cup serving) but then I ended up eating the other half plain as a snack a few hours later. It was so good plain. I love adding cinnamon and vanilla to my oats. The stevia added a little bit of sweetness too – perfectly delicious.

If you’re short on time, this is a great method for cooking oats. You can toss them in the cooker and hop in the shower. While you’re getting ready, the rice cooker does all the work. And it’s way better at making creamy oatmeal than I am. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you should definitely consider getting one… it’s not just for rice!

Does cooking make us human?

A few weeks ago, raw food was abuzz in blogland. I gave it a try to help my digestion, but that way of eating didn’t work for me. Now that it’s fall I’ve noticed less and less talk about raw food, and more and more posts about oatmeal, baked squash, and delicious apples. It’s propitious that Bobby alerted me to this article yesterday… Did Cooking Give Humans An Evolutionary Edge? – a transcript of an NPR talk from Science Friday. It has to do with the differences between humans and other primates (like this gorilla that lives in the San Francisco zoo)…

537px-Male_gorilla_in_SF_zoo

I thought the transcript was incredibly interesting. You can also listen to the program (it’s just under 30 minutes). If you don’t have time to read or listen though, I’ll summarize here…

  • It’s an interview with Dr. Richard Wrangham, a primatologist (someone who studies primates = humans, apes, monkeys, and prosimians) who wrote Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.
  • Dr. Wrangham proposes that cooking has actually been a key aspect of evolution and our bodies have changed over the years due to the fact that we can cook our food. It’s given us a huge evolutionary advantage because we have more time to use our brains instead of foraging and chewing all day long. (This is called biocultural evolution, when you evolve along with the tools/methods of your culture.)
  • Apes show either a preference for cooked food over raw food, or they are neutral… they never prefer raw to cooked food.
  • A human’s digestive system is 2/3rds the size of an ape’s (if you adjust for the size of the ape versus the size of the human) and we have small teeth and small mouths – not ideal for lots of chewing.
  • We’ve adapted to a “high quality” diet. (High quality meaning mostly cooked and easy to digest… not talking about the processed, industrial “food” crap that most people live on.) Cooking is what increased the “quality” of our diet.
  • We don’t have to eat large amounts of food and we don’t have to retain and ferment food for many many hours to digest it.
  • The changes to our digestive system happened about 1.8 million years ago.
  • Cooking our food increases the proportion of nutrients and energy that we’re able to digest. While a cooked carrot may technically have the same number of calories as a raw one, we are able to access more of the calories from the cooked one. Another example – when you cook an egg and eat it, you can digest about 94% of the protein. A raw egg? You digest about 60%. That’s a big discrepancy.
  • Why does cooking make things easier to digest? For protein, the process is called denaturation. The protein cells are kind of like a big ball of yarn; cooking unwinds the yarn so it’s easier to digest. One way to denature something is to put it in acid. So our stomach acid can do some of this, but cooking makes it that much easier for our bodies to digest protein. A similar process happens with starch – chains of sugars open up during cooking so that they are more readily available to absorb.
  • Humans are one of the only species that typically does not thrive on a raw diet… about half of women following a raw diet stop menstruating and most people lose weight (due to an energy shortage = significant calorie/nutrient deficiency).
  • Now this doesn’t mean that a raw diet can’t be beneficial – a lot of people are eating too much currently, so a raw diet may help them reduce the amount of food they eat (because it’s so limiting) so they can maintain their weight and feel better. A lot of the benefits that come from a raw diet are due to cutting out processed foods and chemicals. Many people have undiagnosed food allergies (gluten, wheat, dairy, etc…) and since those foods aren’t common in a high raw diet, people will feel better since they’re not eating them anymore.
  • Again, eating more raw food is not necessarily bad or unhealthy, but you should not follow a high raw diet. If you live in a place where food is scarce, you should especially *not* follow a raw diet… if you live in the US or another developed country, incorporating more raw foods into your diet is a fabulous idea if it will help you eat less and eat fewer processed, industrial foods.
  • Many people think that following a raw food diet is the most “natural” way to live… not true. We have evolved away from eating raw food. And one of the major reasons that we’ve been able to advance so far in terms of knowledge and technology is due to the fact that we are NOT like other primates – we don’t have to eat all day to get enough food, giving us time to use our gargantuan brains.

I’m learning about some similar concepts in my anthropology class. There is the idea of biocultural evolution, which basically says that our culture (using tools, cooking food, etc…) has a large influence on our evolution. The invention of tools allowed us to evolve away from huge teeth. The cultural idea of wearing clothes might be the reason that we aren’t covered in hair. And maybe cooking is responsible for changing our digestive system, our mouths, and our teeth.

What works best for me is a fairly natural diet (no processed foods) with a little bit of raw food. I am influenced by macrobiotics (completely cooked, nearly vegan but with fish, and very Japanese). I’m also influenced by the paleo diet (limited grains and carbs, lots of animal fat and protein, lots of veggies – mostly all cooked). When I eat fruit it’s usually raw I do snack on raw veggies sometimes. I love salad (obviously, again) but I don’t eat salad every day unless it’s the summer. I love my oatmeal, oat bran, baked and steamed squash, and many other cooked foods, especially in the cooler months.

What works for you? What do you think of the ideas that this guy is proposing?

San Francisco Eats

On Sunday’s blogger meetup we went to a cozy little cafe called Bread & Cocoa on Sutter Street in San Francisco. How could I resist the $2.99 oatmeal?

28 oatmeal

It was a humongous bowl, so I went pretty easy on the toppings. I had raisins, almonds, and in-house granola. I also added a little bit of skim milk. I actually managed to finish all but 1 bite of this gigantic bowl of oats. I brought the bloggies some homemade tea bags…

27 tea presents

For lunch we went to the Ferry Building to get our favorite – Delica rf-1. It’s a Japanese delicatessen with the most amazing salads. I got the 3-salad combo; Bobby got the 2-salad + a main item combo. Bobby got Wasabi Garlic Potato Salad (Garlic potato salad with wasabi mayonnaise, edamame, snap peas, and romaine hearts), Spicy Burdock Root Salad (A spicy mix of braised burdock and konnyaku (mountain potato) tossed with thin slices of white onion, celery, julienne carrots, and wild mizuna), and for the main item he got Tofu & Chicken Patty with Hijiki (Free-range chicken and organic tofu patty with hijiki seaweed and carrot; served in a sweet soy sauce).

29 bobby delica

I got the Spicy Burdock Root Salad, and a double serving of Hijiki and Soybean Salad (Hijiki (seaweed rich in calcium, iron, and fiber) mixed with dried soybeans, edamame, konnyaku (mountain potato), daikon, wild mizuna, fried tofu, and kuko (wolfberry)).

30 maggie delica

I think we go to Delica almost every time we head up to San Francisco. It is probably the best food I have ever eaten. I’m not kidding. It’s that good. We’re heading up to SF tomorrow so I’m sure we’ll be back.

What is your favorite restaurant, and where is it? What do you get?

Sealeg Salad (imitation crab meat)

This is actually a dairy-free recipe! I used canola-oil vegan mayo from Whole Foods.

10 seafood salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package of imitation crab meat (2.5 servings)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 small pickles, chopped (I used Chinese pickles)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • other spices (chili powder, dried onion, whatever else you like)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (vegan canola oil mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar

09 unmixed seafood salad

Directions

Break apart the crab meat. Mix everything well. EAT.

08 unmixed seafood salad

Bobby liked his on fresh toasty bread; I liked mine plain. I think I had this with some roasted squash on the side.

I’ve been roasting squash a la Clare: cut up in pieces at 425F for 25 minutes. Here was delicata:

13 roasted delicata squash

And kabocha (duh):

14 roasted kabocha

I just sprinkle some salt, oregano/dill, and cinnamon on them. I’ve heard you can use stevia, but I’m not a fan. Squash is sweet enough. I like to top them with organic, fruit-sweetened (or unsweetened) ketchup. My recipe is here.

Now have a sweet weekend! What are your plans?

(Words of the day here.)

Quinoa “Tabbouleh”

This is a simple recipe with a new (to me) grain. I think I saw it on Heather’s blog, but I’d already been itching to try it for a while. It’s now a favorite. Bobby loves quinoa too, and he especially loved this dish. We couldn’t get enough. Quinoa is not a true grain; it’s actually a grass. It’s related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Did you know its leaves can be eaten as a leafy vegetable? Unfortunately, they’re not widely available.

The Incas actually thought quinoa was sacred; they called it the “mother of all grains”. And it is a wonderful grain: it has high protein content (good for vegans and vegetarians) and includes an array of amino acids, which makes it a complete protein; it’s a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron; it’s even gluten-free and easy to digest.

Nutritionals: in 100 grams there are 370 calories, 64 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 6 grams (healthy) fats, 14 grams protein, and a myriad of vitamins: 28% Thiamine, 21% Riboflavin, 38% B6, 46% Folate, 16% E, 37% Iron, 53% magnesium, 65% phosphorus, and 31% Zinc.

I got the secret ingredient from Martha Stewart; I was watching her show while rebounding the other day.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

01 quinoa tabbouleh

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa (dry)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped leeks (raw)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (secret ingredient!)
  • 3/4 cup chopped leafy green (any will do; even lettuce works) OR parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper, to taste (more pepper than salt)

Directions

  1. Prepare the quinoa. I used a rice cooker, but you can cook it on the stove as well. The ratio is 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. Instructions here.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together. It’s that simple! Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

02 quinoa tabbouleh

This dish provides a great amalgamation of carbs, fat, and protein. It’s well-balanced meal that’s filling but not heavy; flavorful but not overpowering. Try it! This meal is almost macrobiotic (tomatoes are iffy). Hm, what is Maggie up to now…?

What’s your favorite way to eat quinoa?

(Or have you every wondered what eponymous means?)

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