Monthly Archives: March 2017

You Are What’s Important To You

Your health is a reflection of how you take care of yourself. When I got married to Kaz, he made a funny joke that, “I better not get fat.” In return, he better not become bald (please don’t tell my husband). I kept mind of it, I love myself, and the chances that I will get fat isn’t a worry. I knew that if I became fat, it was because I didn’t take care of myself, I didn’t eat right. Growing up, we only ate at home. Eating out was unheard of, and having a snack meant eating fruit or vegetables. That was my upbringing and although here and there I do eat out and snack on junk food, it isn’t a bad habit. I learned to stop and do my best to stick with our Bland Diet Sheet. Is food important to you? I think the new sensational food fads are over rated. You will constantly hear of new findings in science about diets, and diet interventions. I don’t believe in special diets like the protein diets or all fruit diets or even juicing. If weight is the problem, stop eating bad and create a balanced meal. Start changing your life style. Science has nothing to do with our eating habits, it is our own discipline. And when you don’t feel well do something about it.

Food is highly important for our own existence. For survival needs, people everywhere could eat the same food, to be measured only in calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins. But people of different backgrounds or cultures eat very differently. You might say that different cultures have different food choices. (The word choice is used here not necessarily in an active sense, granting the possibility that some choices could be imposed rather than selected.) We see how food habits change and seek to explore the reasons and consequences. You are what you eat! What may work well for one may be bad for others.

The Chinese diet has a long, complicated history, based on thousands of years of Chinese medicine. Chinese culture is based on the philosophy of “yin” and “yang”, as well as the “Five Elements.” From medicine, and martial arts, to dance, and cooking Chinese culture is built on a foundation of balance, harmony, contrast, and adapting to change.

Part of that balance can be implemented with food. Each organ is tied to an element and a taste. For example, bitter is tied to the heart and fire. Sweet: spleen/earth, sour: liver/wood, spicy: lungs/metal, salty: kidneys/water.) In building a healthy meal, all five of these tastes should be incorporated. That is said to keep the body in balance, which in turn protects it from disease.


Why Diets Won’t Work

For thousands of years, the concept of balance from Chinese philosophy kept Chinese communities from straying from the traditional diet. There were always periods of shortage and periods of wealth. When food was available, it was prepared according to the recommendations of Chinese medicine.
During the Cultural Revolution, from the 1900’s there has been a dramatic shift in the way people grew and imported food, as well as eating habits. Cereal consumption shot up in 1952 and so did “junk” food consumption. The proportion of energy intake from fat tripled, and by 1982 China saw its first significant rise in the number of overweight people and those stricken with diet-related cancers. We must look back to wisdom for guidance.

Many weeks ago I watched a movie called “Mr. Church” which tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook. This movie inspired me to start cooking at home, using fresh herbs and spending more time in the kitchen. Nothing beats a home cooked meal. It really reminds me of how my grandma raised us, dinner was always served on time and every dinner was served with pride. There wasn’t any need of going out to eat. It would be my wish to have a farm and a family chef. In the teaching of I Ching, the element Earth is to seed our lands to grow crops and to create life. It is the cycle of life. In the month of March we celebrate Earth Day. So plant those seeds, celebrate our lives with great crops, and create those great healthy meals with friends and family.

A new car needs an oil change, when was the last time you had an oil change? Schedule your quarterly health check and share your recipes. Find your passion in cooking and start with the book The Joy of Cooking and get inspired by watching Mr. Church.