Secrets from My Macrobiotic Kitchen with Julie S. Ong

Eat better. Live better. Love better.


What’s your sign?

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Want to know the secret to natural healing? You may not realize that you already have the power to heal within you. When it comes to your body, you may overlook or brush aside external signs or indicators that your body is out of alignment with the natural order. Becoming more aware of your outer, as well as inner, guidance is the first step to dissolving energetic blockages to healing.

Physical indicators can be important clues you can use for guidance or direction on your path. An indicator or sign is something that shows what your current conditions are, where you are going, and how far you are from the goal. Highway signs, for example, tell you the distance yet to be traveled to reach a certain city. In your body, indicators appear as energetic balances (such as relaxation) or imbalances (such as tension) of physical health.

One way to reach your goal of a healthy body is to use physical indicators as guidance. When you are receiving guidance from your body, you will notice:

  • Your body will have a feeling of relaxation.
  • Your body will feel more energetic.
  • Your skin will be soft and elastic.
  • Your eyes will be bright and clear.
  • You will have a smile on your face.
  • You will look and feel younger.

Disease is a messenger that can help guide you to better health. Guidance, or physical indicators, that can show you where energy is blocked in your body may include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Tension in the body
  • Physical illness
  • Deficient energy or stamina
  • Bloating or swelling
  • Discolorations on the skin
  • Pain

Intuition, often called “the still small voice within,” is an ever present and trustworthy source of power, security, and comfort. What signs are you receiving? The following exercises can help you become more aware of your body’s wisdom and allow energy to flow:

  1. Close your eyes. Slowly scan your body for areas of tightness (tension, tiredness, pain, etc.).
  2. These areas of tension are guidance. What is this tension telling you?
  3. Ask yourself: “What do I truly want, in my heart, and how do I perceive it will bring me happiness and peace?”
  4. Breathe deeply and open your heart to receiving this message.
  5. Bless this message. Tell the tension that it is heard and that you are there with it.
  6. Describe any changes in your body after receiving guidance.

Use these exercises regularly to help you embrace your body’s wisdom. The best times to do them are when you are less active, such as during rest, upon waking, and just before sleeping. Preventing illness before it manifests by listening to your body’s guidance is the key to a life of freedom, happiness, and peace.

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Want to successfully juggle healthy eating with a busy lifestyle?

I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.
~Nadia Comaneci

Are you changing to a healthier diet, but struggling to include the right foods in your new meal plan? Are you wondering how to get it all done? Beginning a new meal plan requires adjustments to your daily routine. In this article, I’ll share with you the secrets of how to balance healthy eating with a busy lifestyle.

Now that you have made the decision to become healthier, you may face some “challenges” around changing dietary habits. Here are some questions you may have about how to juggle healthy eating with a busy lifestyle:

1. Does it take longer to heal?

The natural approach to healing is not a “quick” fix; healing takes time. Unlike drugs or surgery where improvements or changes occur fairly quickly, using food takes longer. By trusting in the process, you can allow the natural pace of healing to occur. You’ll experience deeper, longer lasting effects, when the body heals at its own pace rather than forcing the body to change. Mindfulness meditation while enjoying a meal is particularly helpful in calming and focusing the mind. Breathing and chewing slowly enhances digestion, relaxes the body, and promotes healing. (Refer to my blog for mindfulness meditation techniques while eating.)

2. Does cooking take longer in the kitchen?

Cooking is like any other routine that you fit into your life–you have to make room for it by setting aside the time. It will be helpful to schedule cooking in your daily plan on your calendar. When you plan your day, make some appointments in your calendar for cooking. Prepare long-cooked meals, like grains, beans, and soups, on the weekend so they are ready to heat up when you are in a rush. When you set the intention to make healthy eating a priority, your new lifestyle becomes the norm.

 3. Is eating healthy more expensive?

Over the long term, eating healthy foods is easy on your budget. Eating locally grown, seasonal whole foods saves you money not only in packaging costs but also in freshness. You will get a higher quality product and that shows up in flavor as well as in the state of your health. By paying for fresh organic food now, you are preventing disease later and that not only saves you in hospital costs, but also ensures a better quality of life in your later years.

Make sure you are getting the right foods into your meal plan. One of the easiest things you can do right now to fit healthy eating into your life is to throw away all your processed foods, including white bread, white rice, boxed cereals, and white flour products like pasta.

Now is the time to start fresh. You are on the right track and the best is yet to come!


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Eating Meditation

Give up everything [in the way of food and drink] that is not absolutely necessary to your life for at least a week or two. You will catch a glimpse of freedom, happiness, and justice. You may soon understand why Macrobiotic persons are completely immunized from disease. The decision is yours.
~ George Ohsawa, Zen Macrobiotics

Would you like to boost your immune system without pills or tonics? A long life, free of disease, and filled with peace and happiness, is available to you right now. You can discover the natural ability of the body to heal itself through simple meditation and the art of eating.

What is meditation?

There are two kinds of meditation: concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation.

  1. Concentration meditation

    Concentration meditation is like a laser beam, which illuminates any object of focus. This kind of meditation produces a calm, unruffled mind, that is detached from emotional and interpersonal attachment. Any object of awareness can be the focus of concentration, whether internal or external, including words (mantra), an image (flame), a spot on the body (abdomen), or a kinesthetic feeling (breath). When the mind wanders, the mind returns to the object of concentration.

  2. Mindfulness meditation

    Mindfulness meditation is like a searchlight that shines over a wide range of objects as they arise in awareness, one at a time. You notice whatever predominates in awareness from moment to moment. Relaxed, choiceless awareness develops in the mind, which directs conscious attention instantly and naturally toward the changing elements of experience. Meditation begins with focus on the breath. Then you direct your awareness to include other experiences, including the senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. When the mind wanders, the mind returns to the breath.

Unlike concentration meditation, which focuses on internal and external objects, mindfulness focuses on experiences and broad awareness. However, both meditations return to the focus object or experience when the mind wanders. This combination of detached emotions and an absence of interpersonal involvement in the development of awareness is central to both meditations.

Eating Meditation

Eating meditation is an example of mindfulness. Follow these steps when you are sitting down to a meal to become aware of the present moment, and help boost your natural immunity:

  1. Take a bite of food and put your chopsticks or fork down.
  2. Chew between 50–100 times for each bite. Proper chewing is important to stimulate digestive enzymes and alkalinize your food.
  3. Swallow your saliva. (Saliva and the water in your body are reflections of the oceans on earth.)
  4. As you chew, breathe in and out five times. (The breath inside and outside your body contains life force energy, called prana in India.)
  5. Repeat this process until all the food is gone.

What did you experience? If you experienced peace and a heightened awareness of being in the present moment, this is what mindfulness meditation is: the process of slowing down, with directed, moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental attention. When you practice eating meditation, you open your heart to the present moment, the universal source of natural healing. Your appreciation and gratitude for the food and all who contributed to providing it for your nourishment are the keys to long-lasting health, peace, and happiness.


Want an everlasting love?

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
~Virginia Woolf

Ready to embrace a “whole health” approach to your relationships? When you eat high quality foods and develop inner wisdom for optimal health and wholeness, your authentic self naturally shines through. As a result, your relationships become deeper and more intimate.

Incorporating whole foods into your diet can help to naturally boost energy, increase pleasure, and strengthen loving relationships. Here are three ways whole foods can impact your long-term relationships:

1. Whole foods nourish whole people.

Whole foods contain the all vital energy of the plant, which nourishes all levels of mind, body, and spirit. Eating organic, seasonal, locally grown vegetables and whole grains brings our bodies back into harmony with nature and its rhythms. For the best spectrum of vitamins and minerals, include a variety of vegetables in your meal plan and remember to eat the whole vegetable, including the ends and tips. This allows the energy of the entire plant to nourish your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.

2. You’re increasing energy flow to your organs.

When you eat seasonal, locally grown whole foods, you nourish and open up energy pathways in the body, which brings all organs, including your heart, back into harmony with the rhythms of nature. When your heart becomes open in a more loving way, your relationships become deeper and more intimate as well.

3. You’re building up strengthening energy in your reproductive organs.

Consider this – the more you increase energy flow to your kidneys and reproductive organs, the more strengthening energy accumulates in these organs. Now, when your reproductive organs are stronger, your overall energy and sexual vitality increases. When you’re feeling more energy and vitality, you are able to contribute to and experience the intimacy you really want.

Whole foods contain the vitality of life that contributes to health on all levels– body, mind, spirit, emotions, and relationships. A whole health regime can help reignite the spark of joy in your relationships through the natural energies of whole foods, creating deeper, more intimate relationships.


Intuitive Cooking

If you cannot face directly your sexuality, you will never discover your true spirituality. ~White Tigress Manual

Yoga is suppression with awareness; tantra is indulgence with awareness.
~Osho

Intuitive cooking is a sacred union with universal energy. By cooking according to the seasons, you revitalize your life by attaining that subtle balance of nutrients and energies that nourish you, body and spirit, and connect you with the natural world.

Here are three ways cooking nourishes your connection with the Divine:

1.  Cooking connects you with the present moment.

Ancient yogic practitioners reached union with source energy by embracing the present moment through connecting with their body. You can also learn to cultivate your connection with the present moment by using your senses when cooking. Touching, smelling, and tasting your food as you prepare delicious meals enhances your mindfulness spiritual practice.

2. Cooking awakens your intuition.

Cooking according to the seasons helps you strengthen your connection with nature and universal forces. These universal forces are also known as intuition or inner guidance. Through cooking, you connect with your senses, which are a profound resource for awakening your intuition to heal from the inside out.

3. Food preparation is a sacred ritual.

As you use your loving intention (guided by intuition) to improve the quality of food, this healing energy removes blockages in the energy flow through the body. Benefits include:

  • Improved sexual health
  • Greater emotional stability
  • Radiant complexion
  • Higher levels of immunity
  • Fewer doctor trips

And more abundant joy!


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Want to get the glow?

A bit of lusting after someone does wonders for the skin.
~Elizabeth Hurley

Want to revitalize your sex life and get that “glow?” You may already know that eating a healthy diet and using natural products have an important impact on the quality of your skin and overall health. What you may not know is that an exfoliating body scrub boosts sexual vitality as well.

Besides removing dead skin cells and stagnated oils in pores, a full body scrub has many health benefits, including:

  • Increasing blood, lymph, and energy circulation
  • Helping the body discharge fat and toxins under the skin
  • Allowing environmental energy to flow through body
  • Relieving stress and relaxing the body
  • Helping break down fatty deposits beneath the skin
  • And improving sexual and overall vitality!

The body scrub is most effective as a cleansing aid when it’s done twice each day, in the morning and evening: Morning energy moves outward and upward. Doing a body scrub first thing in the morning activates energy flow and sexual vitality in your body. Evening energy, however, moves downward and inward, producing the tendency for rest and relaxation. So, an evening body scrub calms and relaxes you, melting and dissolving away tension and stress.

How to Get the “Glow”

To get started, all you need is a clean organic cotton wash cloth and a basin of hot water. It’s easy to take a few minutes every day to add a body scrub to your regular cleansing routine:

  1. Fill a basin with hot water. Wet an organic cotton washcloth and wring it out.
  2. Scrub your extremities in a back-and-forth direction toward the heart.
  3. Wet the washcloth again, wring it out, and move on to scrub another part of the body. Rub the cloth in a back and forth motion over the skin until it is pink.
  4. Remember to scrub your face, hands, each finger, and both feet.

A body scrub puts us in touch with universal energy and the rhythms of nature: the waxing and waning, and the upward and downward flow of the environment. When this universal energy flows through your body, not only will you get the “glow,” you will revitalize your sex life as well!

Healthy Relationship Tip

Lifestyle adjustments in addition to your body scrub routine can make a world of difference in the quality of your love life. Including some of these can help remove toxins from your body and enhance your sexual vitality:

  • Exercise helps promote perspiration and improve circulation
  • A macrobiotic diet helps discharge toxins and strengthen your overall metabolism
  • Walking a half hour in nature also removes toxins and allows your skin and lungs to breathe fresh, clean air


Ready to put the sizzle back in your love life?

The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.
~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ready to put the sizzle back in your love life? Want to re-ignite the spark in the bedroom? A spicy, hot romance is closer than you think. Today, I’ll talk about three simple ways you can heal your love life naturally.

Problems arise in the body when universal energy is prevented from flowing through meridians (energy channels). Reproductive health may become compromised and this has an adverse affect on your intimate relationship. Follow these three simple “R’s” to re-kindle the romance naturally:

1. Restore balance with whole foods

A common cause of problems in the body is over consumption of extreme foods. Extreme foods, like sugar, create a roller coaster ride of a “high” which then leads to a  “crash.” Long-term chaotic spikes of highs and lows eventually deplete the body. Careful selection of whole foods, such as brown rice and vegetables, restores natural, healthy energy flow in the body. When balance is restored, all areas of your life become transformed, including your love life. Through this natural way, you can re-connect with your partner on a deeper, more profound level.

2. Rejuvenate with tea

Hydration is essential, especially in the hotter months when the heat outside and the air conditioning inside can lead to dehydration. Macrobiotic teas not only promote relaxation in mind, body, and spirit, they also help dissolve fat and cleanse mucous congestion in the body. When these blockages are removed, universal energy can flow to reproductive organs and sexual function is restored. Great macrobiotic teas include twig tea, roasted brown rice tea, roasted barley tea, and corn silk tea.

3. Revive your mojo with miso

One bowl of miso soup daily helps dissolve fat and mucous in the reproductive organs, restores energy, and improves sex drive. Barley or brown rice miso neutralizes toxins, alkalinizes the blood, and provides beneficial bacteria for the intestines. Prepare the soup with various vegetables like wakame seaweed, chopped carrots, onion, daikon, or shiitake mushrooms. Green leafy vegetables may be added when the soup is almost ready to serve. Prepare the soup in its simplest form by adding 1 teaspoon of barley miso to 1 cup of liquid.