Secrets from My Macrobiotic Kitchen with Julie S. Ong

Eat better. Live better. Love better.


Three Steps to Becoming a Better Cook

Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.
~Chef Marcel Boulestin

mid section view of a woman cutting vegetables

Have you started making healthy food choices, but are confused about how to cook these new foods? Are you wondering how to pull it all together? If you’ve started along a life-enhancing path, you may have some questions about how to cook wholesome, delicious meals for your family. In this article, we’ll explore ways to overcome your concerns about cooking.

Now that you’ve embarked on a healthy regime, you may have some “challenges” around preparing meals. To help you become a better cook, follow these three simple steps:

1. Whenever possible, use fresh organic, locally grown ingredients

A dish will go only as far as the ingredients used. Your taste buds and sense of smell will help you discern whether you are using the best ingredients. Fresh vegetables that are organic and locally grown not only taste and smell good, they also look vibrant and alive. Taking shortcuts, like using processed and imitation ingredients, make your dish look and taste artificial and lifeless. The natural approach applies to whole healing as well. Unlike processed foods, fresh ingredients have more nutrients and life force energy that help support organ function.

2. Set aside 30 minutes each day to prepare food

By setting aside half an hour each day for food preparation, you create an intention to respect the food in a more loving way. The chef’s mental and emotional states affect the outcome of the cooking process. The stress of rushing through food preparation imparts agitating energy not only to your family but also to the dish you are cooking. Cooking is a sacred activity and must be treated with loving energy. Preparing food with love sets the tone for the meal, which brings peace to whoever eats it.

 3. Make it fun

No one said you had to suffer to eat well. Here are three things you can do to make cooking fun:

  • Cook foods that you like. We all enjoy eating foods that we like, and cooking these foods makes sticking to a healthy meal plan more enjoyable.
  • Trust yourself to experiment with seasonings and herbs. When you try out new flavors, your curiosity and sense of wonder are stimulated. Like children, we can “play” with our food and come up with new flavors that enhance the dish.
  • Share your food with others. Taking pride in what you accomplish is the fuel for future endeavors. When you share your joy of cooking, you’ll feel good and will want to continue to spread the love. Also, friends who taste your dishes will ask you about the ingredients, encouraging you to develop your knowledge about the food and the cooking process.

Cooking is more than just combining ingredients together on a plate. A healthy meal is symbolic of the loving energy the chef contributes to the food. By understanding this, you can transform your meals from ho-hum to Hallelujah!

(Dave Cunningham contributed to this article.)
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Are you having a secret love affair?

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
~Harriet Van Horne


You already know about the advantages of eating healthy— a stronger immune system, reduced risk of many diseases, physical fitness, and so much more. But did you know you were born with an inner guidance system for preparing life-enriching foods? The world’s best chefs already know this. When you build a connection with food and trust your inner guidance system, the process of healthy cooking will naturally fall into place.

Here a some tips for bonding with your food and strengthening your intuition to create delicious, healthy meals:

1. Experiment.

Organic food is delicious all on its own. The simple process of steaming some organic carrots can really bring out their flavor. However, if you are entertaining or just in the mood for something different, flex your creative muscles and change a dish up. You can use additional ingredients- like sauces, herbs, spices, and condiments— to enhance the food’s natural flavors. Condiments can also help to balance a dish, enhancing flavors and boosting the energy.

2. Use all of your assets.

You may want to try time-honored family recipes to get in touch with your cultural roots. However, don’t get locked into just following those recipes over and over. As your creativity expands, you can create new dishes centered around your family’s culinary heritage.

By making some mistakes along the way, you’ll learn to balance ingredients in a meal and how to make substitutions. This is an empowering process, and it allows you to make more informed decisions instead of just following someone else’s advice or instructions. You might prefer the dish to be more spicy, less spicy, or seasoned differently. When you cook without a recipe, you can adjust the seasonings and ingredients to make it your own. You can infuse a meal with your unique flair by trusting your energy and intuition.

3. Start a love affair.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate healthy cooking into your life is to develop an intimate relationship with food. Really make it a love affair— get truly passionate about healthy food. For example, incorporate one new vegetable or whole grain into your meal plan each week.

It’s sort of like getting to know someone you’ve just met. At first, it’s a little scary, because you don’t know how to behave around each other. And then after you spend some more time with them and you get to know each other, you start to build a mutual trust and feel safe around them. Eventually, you can’t imagine life without them. The same concept can be applied to your relationship with food. In the beginning, it will be a little scary, but after a while, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without your vegetables and whole grains.

As you build a love affair with food, you’ll not only make better tasting dishes, you’ll also develop an all-encompassing confidence that you can take with you out into the real world— your job, your relationships, and anything else that requires truth and intuition.


Three Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
~Norman Vincent Peale

It happens every year. You create a few resolutions that will hopefully get you back on track for the New Year. You follow through for a couple days, maybe even a couple of weeks. However, as time goes on, the enthusiasm fades and you’re right back where you started. How can you keep the momentum going and accomplish what you set out to do?

To initiate change and stay on your path, you must change the way you perceive your goals. Let’s take a look at the word resolution (re-solution). Resolution comes from Latin, meaning “to loosen or dissolve again,” which was the original meaning. So, it is about loosening your current perspective, transforming your old habits and thought patterns into something more productive.

Here are three tips for keeping your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Support your True Essence.

Rather than focusing on how something is going to happen, you will create actions that support your True Essence. This is the key to sustaining and spreading positive energy to help you move ahead.

When you examine your True Essence, you’ll find you are, at your deepest level, healthy, healed, whole, and complete. Learn to identify “should” behaviors that are not aligned with your core truth. “Should” behaviors are actions that you “should” be doing because of pressure from external sources, such as society, family, or friends. For example, you may go to the gym because your family wants you to be thin, yet you can’t meet this expectation. This inner conflict may trigger feelings, such as guilt or sadness. (As is often said in AA meetings, “Don’t should all over yourself.”)

When your emotions are triggered, receive three deep breaths and come back to the Present Moment. This will help you reconnect with your True Essence.

2. Change your thoughts.

In order for a change to take place, you must change your thoughts. This means discovering what your thoughts are and changing them so that you support your True Essence.

In your journal, keep track of your thoughts throughout the day. You may notice that you have thoughts about devaluing yourself, which will ultimately sabotage your progress. Next, meet yourself where you are and go a little higher. Begin with your belief and ask that your belief be raised. These are called Progressive Affirmations. For example, you may write the following:

  1. I need help remembering I am loved.
  2. I am beginning to remember I am loved.
  3. I am remembering more and more I am loved.
  4. I am seeing evidence I am loved.
  5. I am seeing more and more evidence I am loved.

3. Look for Positive Evidence.

During the day, notice positive evidence that supports your Progressive Affirmations. Make a note of what occurred that validated your affirmation. For example, if someone spoke respectfully to you, highlight it in your journal. Also, notice any positive change that takes place in your thoughts, emotions, and body. Answer these three questions in your journal:

  1. What are my thoughts?
  2. What are my feelings?
  3. What is showing up in my body? What physical sensations am I having?

For change to occur, you must look within, at the foundational thought patterns that initiate behavior. When your thoughts change, you will see your authentic self, and your outer world will be a reflection of your inner beauty.


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.


All you need is love, love, love . . .

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
~ Rumi

Want a vibrant, loving relationship that lasts forever? If you desire a romantic relationship, the key may be to unlock the door to the natural flow of Love. Any barriers you create against it are out of alignment with the natural order of the Universe.

Here are three ways to reconnect with your partner and allow Love to flow:

1. Restore balance with meditation and prayer.

While blockages in your relationships can be created by eating extreme or unbalanced foods, they can also be created by merely thinking negative thoughts. In such cases, you can restore balance in your relationships by re-focusing your thoughts on Love through meditation and prayer, to realign yourself with the order of the universe.

2. Focus on the positive.

Negative thoughts, just as extreme foods, can block universal energy from flowing through meridians or energy pathways in the body. However, by focusing on positive thoughts, you can come back to center.

3. Trust your intuition.

Trusting your intuition allows you to access your higher self which will guide you toward Love. All relationships can be healed when you follow your intuition in your daily macrobiotic practice.

Removing blockages to Love’s flow is the key reconnecting not only with your partner, but also with universal energy for a healthier, balanced life.


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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.