By Shihan Mary Bolz
Master of Science Oriental Medicine
Master Martial Arts Instructor
Today’s economic climate and political turmoil can bring to America what is most needed: a change of lifestyle and a time of healing for all who will listen to that call. This is a time of great opportunity. This brings us a wonderful breather in a society that has “maxed out” the materialistic world and the “pleasure now” syndrome.
As usual, nature does keep all things balanced. Look at the yin-yang symbol, also known in the English language as the Tai Qi symbol, translated from the Chinese language, the Tai Qi Tu. The symbol shows the balance of the universe. The color black is used to show the yin side and the color white is used to show the yang side, because yin is dark and yang is bright; like night and day. Yin and yang are terms used to express the opposite, yet complimentary and necessary forces of nature. Also notice that within each side, there is a component of the other: white within black and black within white. This symbolizes that nothing is either black or white, but a combination of both with varying degrees of each at different points in time. And, very importantly, notice that they are in equal amounts, each color, but not at any point in time. The larger black and white portions of each side are sometimes large in area, sometimes medium-sized and sometimes narrow and small in amount. In addition, these amounts are flowing, not static. The flowing lines are not solid, closed within the circle either, they are flowing INTO EACH OTHER. The only closed, solid lines are those delineating the border of the circle. The circle represents the universe. Within this circle, you see the flow of the universe, the flow in all things within it. It applies to the macrocosm and the microcosm. It applies to all the workings of this earth, too, being part of this great system. It applies to the economy, to politics, to family, to health, to sickness, etc. So, if you look at yin as being the materialistic world, (white), and you look at yang as being the spiritual world (black), you will see that the white side has reached its ultimate, it can no longer contain itself and it starts to flow into the other side, becoming part of the black side. We are now at the tail (the narrow part of the white), where it is flowing to the other side. Great! It is about time, because we were about to burst. But nature doesn’t allow us to burst, we just change.
On national public radio, the reporters were interviewing a woman from Sacramento the other day. She and her family were one of those who have an adjustable rate mortgage on her house, and the payments will be increasing next year. She was stating to the reporter how she, her husband, and their children are adjusting their lifestyle. One statement really made a great impression on me. She said that they have been eating a lot of rice and beans. My mouth turned into a great smile and I thought, wow! that is great, they will be so much healthier. So this is what it takes to get people to eat better!
Headlines on the front page of the Sunday, October 5th Sacramento Bee, “Wealth breeds poverty of soul” which was the quote of the CEO and Chief Marshall McKay. This was referring to the Wintun Indians who are running the Cache Creek casino business. The tribe is still plagued with the problem of diabetes, substance abuse, fierce family feuds and chronic apathy.
Well, yes! When you take a look at modern China, the poor peasants are the healthiest. The rich class now over in China that have started eating more meat, milk, and refined, instant foods have a higher rate of cancer and diabetes, and other maladies. When Japan was the real Japan, prior to WWII, they were a much healthier society, eating their traditional diet. They were a richer society in the arts and in family values. Now they are laden with diseases such as depression, cancer, diabetes, and unhappiness. So much for the extreme richness they have found since WW II. They have been realizing that their old culture was not so stupid, but had a lot of value to it.
Well, guess who will now probably start realizing that their old culture had a lot of values? Yes, it is our turn. You do not need to rely on any politicians or government or business or charities. They aren’t going to do it for you. It will not matter who the next President is. Economic policy won’t matter. If you change, the market will change. It is time we rely on ourselves, take responsibility for ourselves and our own health. Taking care of our physical and mental health will take care of our financial health.
Eating healthy does not cost more. It costs less. Since when have beans and rice been more expensive than beef, turkey, chicken and fish? Since when have beans and rice been more expensive than packaged, sugar-and-chemical ridden items that people eat (I really find it hard to call that food)? Are cigarettes more important than food? You CAN quit. Are alcoholic beverages more important than food? Is eating in an expensive restaurant with poor service more important than a tasty meal at home? When you cook yourself, you are involved. Being involved with your own life is very important to the feeling of satisfaction and control. Having a meal at home brings more home life for children, couples, and friends.
So, how can you make beans and rice taste good? Good quality raw material, the proper use of salt, and chew, chew, chew. Chewing brings out the sweetness in complex carbohydrates (good for you) so you will feel satisfied and you wonâ€™t need the simple carbohydrates (bad for you). Whole grains are complex carbohydrates. Sugar and fruits are simple carbohydrates. Each mouthful, very ideally should be chewed 100 times. Make your goal 50 times, that is more easily attainable if you are used to gulping your food, like most of us are. I am going to share with you some great recipes for some of the healthiest food in the world with low cost. You can begin healing physically, mentally, and spiritually.
High Protein Rice and Beans (organic quality of all raw materials is best)
1 cup of short grain brown rice
1/3 cup of short grain sweet brown rice (called mochi-gome in Japanese)
1/3 cup of any beans; black soybeans, azuki beans, black turtle beans, (beans that you like)
Black soybeans and azuki beans are especially sweet and delicious.
1/3 cup of beans, one that you did not choose for the other 1/3
1/2 teaspoon of real sea salt from the sea, not mined. Eden brand is very high quality, but there are others.
4 cups of water (depending on how new or old the rice is and what kind of beans, you may need 1/4-1/2 c. more, you can experiment).
If you do not soak the beans and rice, you will need more water because the beans will be hard, at least 1/2 c. more water.
Procedure: Wash and drain the rice and beans. Soak for 4 to 8 hours. Add sea salt after soaking and just before cooking. Bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, using a heat diffuser if needed. You can adjust the cooking time to make your dish the way you prefer, crunchy or softer. Topping for your cooked rice and beans: Roasted nuts and seeds almonds, 12 minutes pumpkin seeds, 7 minutes, sunflower seeds, 10 minutes
These can be roasted ahead of time on a rainy day and stored in a tightly sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for instant use anytime.
Procedure: Roast nuts and/or seeds in the oven when roasting a large quantity. Place one layer of any kind of nut or seed on a baking sheet. Place in a preheated, 350- degree oven. Roast for the times indicated, until fragrant, beginning to pop, and browning. Stir occasionally. If desired, add soy sauce after roasting. Place hot roasted nuts or seeds in a bowl. Add 3 or 4 drops soy sauce per 1/4 cup nuts or seeds. You can combine all of them or use singly. You can also roast them in a cast iron pan on top of the stove if you have just small quantities. By combining seeds, nuts, beans, and rice you will have complete essential amino acids and protein.
You will have all the good quality nutrition and none of the saturated fat and toxins that is in meat. By using this for your protein you will change cattle-feeding farmers and ranchers into grain and bean farmers. You will save the environment, you will save the planet, you will save the animals, and you will allow more people in other countries to eat; as eating at the high-end of the food chain is very wasteful and exactly one reason there are so many other people still starving in this world. Lastly, you will save yourself, in terms of real health and money spent on the high-end health care system of conventional medicine.
1 large celery stalk, thin quarter rounds 3/4 c.
1 small cabbage, 5 cups, core, finely minced leaves, shredded, however, you like
1 medium onion, minced 1 1/2 c.
1 medium carrot, thin quarter rounds, 2/3 c
1/2 pound of tofu, cut in small cubes
8 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 Tbsp soy sauce or 2 Tbsp miso ( miso is more nutritious and easily digested)
You may season with other herbs or spices as desired, such as pepper, dill weed, thyme, or a small amount of garlic.
Procedure: Layer vegetables from bottom of the pan to top in the order listed. Add cold water. Sprinkle sea salt on top. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the tofu, simmer another 10 minutes. Season with miso (don’t boil it) or soy sauce after you shut off the heat. You may eliminate the tofu; if you do, just boil the entire soup for 30 minutes.
Dessert Crispy Rice Snacks
1/2 c. of almond or peanut butter (non-hydrogenated is very important)
1/2 c. of brown rice syrup or really unrefined honey
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups unsweetened crispy brown rice cereal (don’t buy the commercial type with sugar, Erewhon brand is the best quality, is sweetened with brown rice syrup, and Barbara’s is the second best, sweetened with fruit juice concentrate.
Mix the nut butter, sweetener, nuts, vanilla and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add cereal and stir gently until cereal is well coated. Place a dish of water nears the bowl. Using wet hands, form the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on a lightly oiled dish or on waxed paper. Variations: Roll them in shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or sesame seeds. Or add your favorite dried fruit to the mixture. You could also add Sunspire grain-sweetened chocolate chips or carob chips. Do not use traditional chocolate chips which are loaded with processed sugar and other unwanted and unnecessary ingredients.
Learning to cook again and learning not to depend on animals as a source of food will improve your health greatly. The process of relearning life is an exciting, cleansing, and healing path which you will not regret. Enjoy, eat, work, play, live, love, and laugh. Happy lifetime!