DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR HEALING OPTIMIZING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Way of eating is one of many important factors in optimizing the immune system and fighting off any viral infections and dis-ease. Stress in all forms results in an acidic condition, which allows the virus to easily enter and begin to proliferate. The main acid-forming nutritional factors are concentrated protein (mainly animal protein), simple sugar, and refined carbohydrates. In my opinion, they are the #1 factors in viral infections and epidemics. Over 50 years ago, George Ohsawa, the modern-day father of macrobiotics, wrote that animal protein and refined sugar are the main causes of human illness and suffering. I believe his words still hold true today, and humanity of the future will recognize the simple truth he taught. The following guidelines will support those feeling rundown, weak, or the desire to protect your body from becoming ill.
Soft brown rice or genuine brown rice cream, if digestion is weak or no appetite, serve the porridge with umeboshi plum daily. Another condiment for grain is gomashio (sesame seed and sea salt), shiso condiment, or sea vegetable condiment may be substituted or alternated.
If whole foods can be tolerated, rice balls may be given several times per week with umeboshi and nori. Millet may be substituted or alternated with rice. Other grains such as barley, whole wheat, oats, or rye may also be used.
Miso soup daily eaten daily with moderate to strong salty taste using 2-year aged barley miso or other aged miso (South River Miso and Master Miso are my favorites.) Add wakame or kombu seaweed, and seasonal vegetables; other vegetable or beans soups may be taken occasionally and seasoned with shoyu/tamari or sea salt.
Eat a modest amount of vegetables, including leafy green, round, and root vegetables. They should be steamed, boiled, sautéed, or cooked with other lighter cooking methods. Avoid the use of oil temporarily.
A small volume of beans may be taken daily if appetite and digestion allow, especially lentils, chickpeas, azuki beans, and black soybeans (1/2 cup or less per meal.) Use only organic or non-GMO soy and soy products; other beans may be substituted for these.
Small amounts of nori, wakame, and kombu daily; hiziki or arame daily.
Gomashio or roasted and ground sesame seed salt in a proportion of 16:1 may be taken. Other condiments may be used on rice, grain, or other dishes for strengthening the condition and preventing or relieving infection. These include umeboshi plums, tekka, sea vegetable powders, shiso leaf powder, and others. Only about 1 teaspoon of condiment should be taken at the meal. A touch of lemon may be used to help decongest the liver, especially if animal food has been previously eaten. But avoid too much is acidic for healing.
Eat 1 tablespoon daily of home-made pickles made with shoyu, miso, sea salt, rice bran, or other traditional medium (not sugary, spicy, or chemically treated). Sauerkraut may be taken instead.
Kukicha and occasionally roasted barley tea or other traditional non-stimulant, non-aromatic tea may be taken daily. Drink when thirsty, but when dehydrated drink continuously or as necessary. Spring, well, or filtered water may be used in cooking or for drinking. Avoid mineral water and distilled water. Ideal temperature is hot/warm or room temperate but never cold.
Use white sea salt in cooking and avoid sea salts that are grey, pink, yellow, or clumpy, as they generally have excessively high mineral content. Also avoid all commercial table salt. Use shoyu/tamari (natural soy sauce) in cooking; use miso and umeboshi as a seasoning in moderation; avoid strong herbs and hot spices.
Avoid temporarily, though a small amount of sesame oil may be brushed on skillet if the person is too malnourished and wasting away; olive or other plant oil may be substituted for sesame (either light or dark). Avoid coconut and palm oil as they are saturated and may contribute to heart disease.
Avoid all animal food temporarily as it can concentrate the virus. In extreme cases when the person is malnourished or wasting away, a small volume of white meat fish soup may be given for energy. Serve with a little lemon or grated raw daikon, turnip, or radish to aid in digestion.
Fruit and fruit juice
Avoid or reduce temporarily, but a little stewed fruit, especially that with a sour as opposed to a sweet taste, may be taken in cases of tightness or during the recovery period after the virus has been eliminated.
Nuts and Seeds
Avoid nuts temporarily except chestnuts; no nut butters. A small volume of pumpkin or sesame (1/2 to 1 cup per week) may be taken, ideally blanched or dry roasted, and eaten on grains or vegetables. Avoid tahini and other seed butters temporarily if you have any symptoms.
Snacks, Sweets, and Desserts
As a rule, avoid or reduce during the illness, including natural sweeteners. However, if cravings or too contracted a condition arises, up to 1 tablespoon of brown rice syrup or barley malt may be taken. A small volume of cooked fruits may also be taken, if necessary, ideally thickened with kuzu. The less sweets you eat, the better.
Medicinal Drinks and Dishes
Amount and frequency will depend on each individual.
• Ume-sho-kuzu: 1-2 small cups daily until recovered to help strengthen blood and lymph, resist infection, and reduce vomiting. Ume-sho-bancha may be taken if kuzu is not available. Ume refers to umeboshi plum; sho to shoyu or natural soy sauce, and kuzu to kuzu (kudzu) root thickener. If kuzu is not available, use kukicha (bancha twig tea). If this is not available, just use water. For the full recipe, check the last blog post.
• Shio kombu: 1/2 to 1-inch square daily for up to 10 days to strengthen the blood and restore flexibility to the heart and blood vessels and prevent hemorrhaging. This is salty kombu.
One or more of the following may also be given depending on symptoms
• Azuki Bean Tea to strengthen kidney discharge: 1 small cup daily
• Barley or Pearl Barley Tea to soften skin and facilitate discharge: 1 small cup 2-3 times per week.
• Sweet Veggie Drink: 1 small cup daily to reduce sweet cravings. (Made with 4 sweet vegetables: squash, onions, carrot, and cabbage cooked in water and no seasoning). Have blog post for the recipe as well.
• Kombu Tea: 1 small cup daily or every other day to strengthen blood.
• Dried Daikon and Shiitake Tea: 1-2 times per week or more for acute cases to facilitate discharge of excess animal protein, relieve blockages, and relax.
• Kanten (made from agar agar)to cool down the body and prevent overheating from within.
• Lotus Root: Use fresh or dried lotus root in cooking (e.g., miso soup or side dish) to help relieve internal bleeding and strengthen the lungs.
• Tofu-chlorophyl plaster on head, as much as needed, if necessary, to break a high fever. A cold cabbage leaf compress will provide relief as well.
• Roasted salt pack on the kidneys, abdomen, or other region to relieve muscle aches or pain.
Personal Counseling is available if needed. View my booking schedule HERE or message me on Instagram @themacromuse
Basic Home Remedies by Alex Jack, Bettina Zumdick, and Edward Esko. Macrobiotic home cares, including special dishes, foods, and compresses that may be helpful.
Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking by Aveline Kushi with Alex Jack, Warner Books, 1985. The principal macrobiotic cookbook.
The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, Ballantine Books, 2003. A comprehensive guide to preventing and relieving more than 200 chronic and infectious conditions, including menus, recipes, and home cares.
Ume-Sho-Kuzu Tea for Strength
This powerful tonic can be used for severe cases of weakness, lack of vitality, colds, fevers, stomach or intestinal troubles. I’ve found it particularly helpful to use the first day or two of menstruating to offset any cramps or related body pains. These ingredients will strengthen the blood, promote good digestion, and restore energy.
If you feel hungover from one drnk too many, have this upon waking (or better yet, have it before you go to bed!) You will need Umeboshi plums, Kuzu root starch, and Tamari soy sauce (ginger is optional.) These items can be found at most health food stores or online at Natural Import Company.
Dissolve a large teaspoon of Kuzu in 2 tablespoons of cold water, making sure that all the lumps and powder have been mixed well. Chop one umeboshi plum (remove the pit.) Add 1.5-2 cups of water to these ingredients and bring to a boil. You may add 5-6 drops of ginger juice at this time (grated, then strained.) Boil the mixture and gently stir until it becomes more transparent. Turn the heat on low and add 1-3 drops of tamari for an additional 5 minutes. Drink as soon as possible, as you want to take it while it is still hot. In severe case such as diarrhea or a prolonged cold, you may take once cup of the drink twice a day unil the symptoms subside. This s used as a remedy and not an everyday drink.
Can't shake those sweet cravings? Here's a remedy for you.
This is a simple home remedy that can help with those sweet cravings and spikes in energy that can occur mid-morning and mid-afternoon. It has a mild sweet flavor and relaxing energy that will help ease some of those sweet cravings.
To save time, make enough for two days and drink one cup in the afternoon at about 3 pm. I only make this remedy when I am feeling like I need some support while getting off sugar or when I am feeling tense and moody. If the cravings and low blood sugar continue, make it daily between 5-10 days depending on how you feel.
Sweet vegetable drink:
4 cups water
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely diced carrot
1/4 cup finely diced squash (butternut or kabocha)
1/4 cup finely diced green cabbage
1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a mild boil. Add the vegetables. Let it come to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer gently. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Strain the vegetables out, reserving the liquid. Serving size is 1 cup of the liquid. Will keep refrigerated for two days. Compost the strained vegetables
Nightshades vegetables include: tomato, potato, spinach, eggplant and peppers are one group of veggies you may want to minimize especially in times of stress.
Studies show they speed the heart rate and slow down digestion. They’re high and alkaloids, which block B vitamin absorption- key vitamins in coping with stress. And they may contribute to arthritic and rheumatic symptoms. They also contain oxalic acid, which binds calcium and eliminates it from the body- increasing the risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.
On a self healing diet, you may want to temporarily avoid them, while your body gains strength and learns a new, more gentle way to stay in balance. I love this nourishing pasta sauce recipe to replace tomatoes. It can also be used for pizza and lasagna.
Marinara Pasta Sauce Recipe:
6 carrots & 6c. butternut squash (or beets), diced
1 large onion, quartered
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2c. water
The Flavor& Fun
3-4 cloves garlic
1 onion, minced
1-2tsp. olive oil or sesame oil
1 tsp. basil or thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2c. parsley, minced
2 tbsp. miso or tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp. kuzu, dissolved in 1/2c. cold water (can also sub arrowroot to thicken)
For meaty texture, add:
1c. minced seitan
Or 1c. sautéed mushrooms
Use carrots and beet for a red sauce. For a delicate, sweeter orange sauce, try squash. Place basic sauce ingredients in a pressure cooker. Bring to pressure, then simmer 20 minutes. Or, pot-boil 30 minutes. Puree in blender. Add water, if needed for tomato sauce texture.
Sauté garlic, onion and herbs for 5 minutes. Add optional seitan or mushrooms and sauté 10 more minutes. next, add sauce and bring to as boil. then, cover and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors season with miso or tamari. Add kuzu (or arrowroot) stirring until thick.
These are a perfect snack for those avoiding gluten, oil, and processed sugar. Makes 7 mini cookies (give or take.) I love to make these for parties, or bring over to uplift a friend.
1/4 c Almond meal
2 tbsp Almond butter
1 tsp Almond extract
1 tbsp Ground Chia
2-3 tbsp date syrup
3 tbsp gluten free baking flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
slivered almonds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the almond butter (and some of its oil) with the almond extract, and date syrup until smooth. Combine with the dry ingredients until a sticky dough is formed. You may add more almond flour of gluten free baking flour if it is too wet. Roll a tablespoon of the dough into a ball and flatten gently with the bottom of a spoon, and lightly press down a slivered or chopped almond. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the Botton is golden brown.
2-3 tbsp. tahini
3 garlic cloves (sautéed in olive oil with sea salt)
Cumin & coriander
Umeboshi plums or paste
How to prepare the beans:
Wash, strain, and soak one cup of chickpeas overnight. Discard water and add beans to a pot or pressure cooker with enough water to cover the beans. Add a stamp size piece of kombu seaweed (to make beans more digestible) or a pinch of sea salt. Bring beans to a boil (without lid) and skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top. If using a pressure cooker, cover with the lid and lower the flame after it comes up to pressure (cook for an hour.) If boiling, beans needs about 2.5-3 hours to cook with a heavy or tight lid. Allow beans to cool. Strain the beans but keep the cooking water for blending.
In a food processor or blender, add the beans and a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend well: Squeeze half a lemon (strain out pulp and seeds), add in garlic (sautéed lightly until golden in olive oil with a couple pinches of sea salt), couple pinches of coriander and cumin, tahini, and a teaspoon or more of umeboshi paste or 1/2 plum. Add more liquid to get desired consistency and tailor the lemon, spices, and salt to your taste. Garnish with lemon zest or chopped parsley.
Salads are all about the dressings. I made this salad for a yoga retreat, and wanted to share. I don’t use measurements, so here is my best “recipe.” I always encourage to add more of what you like so it is to your individual taste. We all have different tastes and it’s best to hone your intuition in the kitchen by improvising and having fun.
Bunch of Kale (Lacinato/Dinosaur)
1 tsp. Umeboshi Vinegar
1/2c. Roasted pumpkin seeds
1tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/4c. Chopped Parsley
Chop kale, place in a bowl with lemon juice (squeeze half the lemon over) and lightly massage kale. You may also lightly blanche the kale for 1-2 minutes if you prefer it be more tender. In a blender, add 1-2 tbsp. Lemon juice, avocado, umeboshi vinegar (add more if you prefer more salt), roasted garlic (roast in a small pan with olive oil and salt for 5-10 minutes on a med/low flame), Parsley, 1/4c. roasted pumpkin seeds, apple cider vinegar, and add water til the consistency is smooth and not too thick or watery. Garnish with remaining pumpkin seeds.
Home Remedy: Carrot/daikon drink
This remedy helps to dissolve hard solidified fat deposits existing deep inside the body (usually from animal products), and recommend taking to ease menstrual discomfort and pms symptoms. A bonus is skin improvement and shedding excess weight. It is a strong diuretic, and must be taken occasionally.
Makes 1 serving:
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely grated daikon radish
1 cup spring or filtered water
Few drops of organic soy sauce or tamari
1/3 sheet toasted sushi nori, shredded
1/3 umeboshi plum chopped
Combine grated vegetables with water in saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3-4 minutes. Add soy sauce and simmer 2-3 minutes more. Stir in shredded nori and umeboshi plum and simmer one minute more. Drink the tea and eat the vegetables while the tea is quite hot.
This spicy, pungent tea is designed to help dissolve hardened fat deposits that have accumulated in various organs. PMS and menstrual issues are caused by a sluggish liver and prevents energy (ki) from flowing. With a balanced plant based, macrobiotic way of eating, this remedy will start to restore balance in the body. This will cleanse the liver, while adding minerals to create strong blood quality. For the best results, take this tea every other day for two weeks then stop for two weeks, repeating again, if needed.
Recipe for 11 bites:
1/3 cup Cacao Powder
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1 cup Mejool Dates (pitted)
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tbsp Almond Butter
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbsp Coconut oil
Pinch of Sea Salt
How to Prepare:
Soak dates in warm water for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor until it forms a dough like consistency (or simply mash with a fork.) Roll them into balls and add optional toppings like hemp seeds, roasted walnuts, coconut flakes, or matcha powder! Enjoy right away or set in fridge for 30 minutes.
*A note about Cacao/chocolate: Macrobiotics does not allow for the use of chocolate, because of the extreme yin aspect. In good health, it is fine to consume in minimal amounts. Although yummy, it is a stimulant and has caffeine. For those on healing diets, or avoiding caffeine you can substitute with carob powder, or omit cacao altogether as the base is mostly dates.
You will love this creamy soup and much as I do (without the cream!) It is sweet, savory, comforting, and a delicious starter to any meal. Creamy soups are nourishing and a wonderful way to warm up your appetite for a meal. Try this soup and you will be pleasantly surprised.
1 head of caluliflower
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp of olive oil
1-2 tbsp chickpea miso (white miso is good too)
parsley for garnish
How to make:
Cut cauliflower into 1 inch florets, add to pot of boiling water (add more until the cauliflower is covered in water. Cover with a lid on low for 10 minutes. Add a pinch of sea salt when water comes to a boil. Heat olive oil in a soup pot on medium and add onions (sliced thin) with a pinch of sea salt. Sauté with additional water so the onions do not stick to the pot or burn. Heat on low and cover pot for 15-20 minutes. Add both cauliflower (with some water) and onions to a blender, until smooth. Bring the liquid to a medium/low heat and add diluted miso paste at the end> make sure you do not boil the miso. Cook for 5-10 minutes on low, add additional sea salt to taste. Serve with fresh chopped parsley.