Friday, August 1, 2014

Overview of a Immune Boosting Vegan plant based diet with macrobiotic influences. 

A little background:

My mother had lung cancer and I called the Kushi Institute up and asked if they had any research healing the same kind of Cancer my mother had? They did, a nurse who after going on a macrobiotic diet was still alive 7 years later with no sign of cancer in her body. 

To make a long story short, I was my mother's caregiver and asked her if she wanted to look into the macrobiotic diet and she said "No".  I decided since I was taking care of her, to try and make up a pot of soup with the macrobiotic foods they recommended just so I could get them in me and keep up, while taking care of her. Then I decided to take a bowl of this soup to my Mom. She grabbed it from my hands and stood up over the sink as she ate it and afterwards said "that was exactly what I needed." 

The next morning when I checked in on her, she greeted me with a big smile and said: I had the most wonderful sleep last night. No pain, no night sweats and I slept the whole night. Now, at this time in her life, she was in a lot of pain from the cancer and she was sweating a lot etc. 

On the second night,  I brought her another bowl of soup with the macrobiotic foods in it and she had the same positive benefits.

The 3rd night, once again brought her a bowl of soup and she once again had the same positive benefits.

So, the next morning, I said: "Mom, you know each night I have brought you a bowl of soup and each morning, you have said the same thing: no pain, no sweating and slept all the way through the night. Well, that soup has macrobiotic foods in it and you have been responding well. Would you like to look into a macrobiotic diet? 
Her response was: "Stop cooking for me". It was the hardest lesson, I learned in my life. Everyone chooses how they want to leave this earth. Within, 9 months of us finding out she had lung cancer, she passed away. 

Because I saw my mom have positive benefits from a simple soup, my belief system is, just get these foods in you and stop eating foods that do not support your health: GMO's, Pesticides etc.

I am a big believer of prevention, why wait till you are sick, it is such a big up hill battle. Better to take those positive changes now and play an active role in your health, which we all should be doing.

So, in her loving memory, I am sharing this information and starting this blog.  

Image of my Mom in her early 20's

followed by an image a few months before she passed away (with Chemo hair); lovingly petting her cat.
 (She has a parotid tumor on the side of her face, in macrobitotic's I was told this was from eating too much sugar, which she did eat a lot.)

All Organic Whole Foods:  eat a varied rainbow diet

Grains, Beans, Veggies, some fruit, seeds, seaweeds and fermented foods. A well balanced varied diet.

  •  Grains: 50-60% of your plate: short and long grain brown rice, Basmati Rice: white and brown, Millet, Barley, Buckwheat, Cornmeal, Oats, Quinoa, Wild rice, Rye, Spelt, Teff and Wheat Berries. These can be cooked as a grain and also consumed as a healthy unyeasted Sourdough bread, Jappi, corn tortilla, muffins (occasionally). We will share recipes later.
  • Vegetables 30%: try and eat with the seasons, note Dr. Michael Greger, recommends at least 9 servings of veggies and fruits a day.
  1. Leafy Greens: Kale, Collards, Mustard Greens, Cabbage, Arugula, Beet Greens, Turnip Greens, Bok Choy, Watercress, Spinach, Lettuces (Eat some every day, very healthy)
  2. Root Veggies: Carrots, Onions, Turnip, Parsnips, Daikon Radish
  3. Veggies: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Corn, Snow Peas, string beans, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Sweet Potatoe, Yams etc.  
  • Beans: French Lentils, Aduki and Garbanzo Beans are the main beans to focus on but you can also have: Pinto, Black Beans, Split Peas, Black-eye Peas, Great Northern Beans, Green and Yellow Split Peas, Kidney Beans, Lima Beans, Mung Beans, Navy and Soy Beans: Tofu. (Cook your beans and freeze left overs, cans have a chemical you want to avoid)
  • Fruit: research has been finding, it is best to keep your sugar input low and in Macrobiotic fruit is rarely eaten. It can be eaten as a snack up to 3 times a week. If you do not live in a tropical climate: avoid pineapple and bananas. Berries are very beneficial. 
  • Fermented Foods: Sauerkraut, Daikon Pickles and veggies, Miso and pressed salads (Fermented foods have B12 along with Brewer's Yeast, use Dr. Bonner's or buy B12 from Dr. Mercola)
  • Seaweeds: the American diet is way too low in seaweeds which are mineral rich. When the minerals in the body get out of balance, disease starts to blossom. Dulse, Kelp, Kombu, Arame are great ways of getting your minerals. 
  • Soups: that contain grains, veggies, sea veggies and beans are ideal one pot meals. It is easy to add your seaweeds and other beneficial foods to the soup and add miso the last 1-3 minutes.
  • Condiments/Oils: I personally do not cook with oils, I water sautee and add healthy fats just prior to serving. Tahini, avocado, Olives and Flax Seed ground just prior to serving otherwise it could be rancid? You can have up to 1/2 cup of Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds a week. If you are serving Tofu or Tempeh, you do not need any more fats. If you are healthy, some nuts have benefits.
  • Macrobiotic recommends Fish 1-3 times a week but I am a vegan and just eat Tofu or Tempeh instead. Plant based foods have all the protein your body needs, you do not need any more.
  • Teas: Bancha tea by Choice, Twig Tea and Burdock tea. 
I do not practice a strict macrobiotic diet. I lean more towards a plant based vegan menu which includes macrobiotic foods. I have an eclectic point of view. I believe it is important to get these foods in you and try to do so in a way that is easy and beneficial.  The above are guidelines which you can adjust to suit your needs.

Here's a Vegan Ruben Sandwich, I think you will enjoy:
(always use organic foods)

Spelt Sourdough bread, (sourdough is more beneficial)
Trader Joes Tempeh (any tempeh available in your area)
Dill Pickles

1. Cut the tempeh into 6 long strips and then in half, so you have 12 strips of tempeh. Whatever tempeh you are using, cut it into strips that will fit with the bread you are using. 
2. Two cups filtered water add 2 TBSP's of San-J Organic Tamari, reduced sodium, 2 TBSP's of Annie's Organic Worcestershire Sauce and onion and garlic powder: 1 tsp each.  Mix this mixture around to dissolve the lumps.
3. Add the tempeh to the pot and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Lightly toast the bread
6. Take a good handful of Organic Sauerkraut and rinse it in water, then wring out the excess water and repeat again. 
7. When your tempeh is done, take 4 slices of tempeh and place on un-bleached parchment paper in the broiler at 425 degrees.  Check it about every 2-3 minutes and broil it on both sides twice, till it is a rich golden brown. 
8. compile your sandwich: bread, mustard, tempeh, sauerkraut and pickle slices (also rinsed in water and slightly squeezed), if you want add some lettuce, top with bread. Put a toothpick in each side and slice in half.

You can serve this with a salad with Kale and shredded daikon to take your meal to the next level for a powerful nutritional punch. 

  • When your meal is rich in fat: tempeh or tofu, tahini etc., make sure to eat some Daikon Radish that day; it helps balance the fat.
If you wanted to take your salad to the next level, you could make it a pressed salad, add a small amount of Sea Salt: (if I am making a big salad for 3 people, I use about 1 tsp of Sea Salt) and massage the salt into the veggies, till they start to release liquid. Then put a slightly smaller bowl over the veggies and then something heavy like a jug of water etc and let it sit for 30 minutes or longer. When ready to serve: rinse the veggies in filtered water twice, to remove the excess salt. You could add a little bit of lemon or Ume vinegar, mix and serve with your sandwich. (If you are serving a pressed salad, make it first, so it will be ready, when your sandwich is done.)

Or serve it with some steamed veggies: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, a little corn and leafy greens added at the last minute. Take some of the veggie water at the bottom of the pot (which is mineral rich) and add some 3 year old Barley Miso, about 1 tsp or so and mix it with about 2-3 TBSP's of the warm veggie water for about 1-3 minutes. This will re-activate the miso and pour this over your veggies. It will give it a salty flavor and you will get the wonderful benefits of this miso. Taking your meal to the next level. 

  • The left over Tempeh and water, can keep in the refrig for about 5 days, marinating. I usually keep it in a glass bowl and place a small glass plate on top. When ready to use, take out what you need, broil and serve. It get's better as it marinates longer. 

Here is an article on miso, that is very informative: 
Dietary Practice of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors 

In our modern world with all the atomic bomb testing humanity has done and the Fukushima nuclear disaster still unfolding, we should all be eating 3 year old Barley Miso daily, which you can purchase at a local healthfood store or directly from the company:

Things Rachel Recommends at Amazon

Above is a water Saute Stir Fry Veggies with 
3.5 ounces of Tofu per person and Short Grain Brown Rice

In a pot with 1.5-2 cups of water add 2 TBSP's of Soy Sauce (low sodium), add cubed Tofu and bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. You can also soak the Tofu overnight to marinate it.

Soak 1 cup Short Grain Brown Rice over night with a postage stamp size of Kombu Seaweed. In morning pour off 1/2 of water on the top, which will leave mineral rich water you are going to use. Add to this enough water to make 2 cups, place soaked rice in the pot with diced Kombu and bring to a boil. Then lower to a simmer and cook about 20-30 minutes. 

Veggies, use enough water (1/2 to 3/4 cup) to water sautee: 1st place 3 Shiitake Mushrooms in the pot (do not use non-stick pans or plastic utensils, Stainless Steel is fine) and turn on the burner and add veggies in this order as you prep them: Onion, Daikon Radish,  Broccoli and cabbage, about 2 or more cups. (Shiitake Mushrooms after a few minutes will soften, remove from pot and remove the stem, chop and toss back in the pot). Towards the end about 5 minutes, add mung bean sprouts about 3/4 to 1 cup and  cooked Tofu, cook another 3 minutes, then add 3 year old Barley Miso and simmer for 3 more minutes. Taste and tweak to your perferences, you may want to add some lemon juice and some sauerkraut. 
(I will start to sprout my mung bean sprouts about 3 days before hand.) has great Shiitake Mushrooms in bulk, at a great price. 

Here are some links, you may find useful: