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CREATE

Have you noticed in the past few years how “food sharing” has gotten attention from the world? The value of maintaining reciprocity in social relations and to create a feeling of community is something we are seeking more and more. Creating a tableware with a rich variety in forms, sizes, and colors is a strength in the Japanese culture.

In fact, the Japanese have perfected table setting manners into an art form that many believe is more important to this culture than the food itself. It is a lovely thought to think about creating a beautiful, elegant atmosphere in which to dine.

photo credit: Pinterest

The presentation is essential. Carefully selected bowls and dishes create a harmony between the ingredients, the meal, and the plates themselves. The Japanese do not have “matching sets of dishes” like Europeans tend to possess. Rather, the serving dishes are assembled like a modernist abstract painting for each feast setting. A variety of dish materials is used in one place setting, such as;

  • Bamboo
  • Cedar
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Ceramics

So let’s put ourselves into the creative mode for your next dinner party, shall we? Here is what you will need:

  1. Japanese tea. You’ve probably heard of matcha before but I’d suggest Sakuraya. It’s made by infusing cherry blossom in hot water which gives a more unique and creative look to it. Always place on your top left.
  2. Japanese rice is a very particular variety. For traditional Japanese dishes you simply cannot substitute it with any other rice varieties like long-grain rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, Carolina type rice, etc. Always served in a bowl and placed on the left side.
  3. Japanese miso soup or bone broth. Always place the soup on the right side.
  4. Japanese main dish is fish or meat.  Seafood is predominant, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Also, with yakitori (grilled chicken), yakiniku(Korean barbeque), gyudon (beef bowl).
  5. Japanese steamed vegetables like bamboo shoots, edamame, yam, nasu (japanese eggplant). Served in a ceramic plate and always behind the soup.

The importance is to savor the present moment by taking your time and explore the culture with your guests!

Gabrielle

Live to Create.

 

 

EDUCATE

Do you ever wonder what you’re missing?  If there are some nutrition secrets that you don’t know?  I know that I do! It’s normal to approach your life the way you’ve always approached your life.  Lifestyle is genetic. Your parents generally eat and move according to how they were raised and they have passed those practices on to you.

But what if you could pick and choose from other people’s traditions and cultures?  Could you create a new lifestyle by using the best foods, herbs, and habits? Of course you can!  Change is hard, we get that, but the new traditions and habits can create an even more optimal life.  With today’s technology – you have access to all of this information.

Let’s have a quick peek at some of the healthiest habits of three very different cultures.

Japanese

For the 25th year in a row, Japanese women are at the top of the list for highest life expectancy.  What secrets can you steal from them?

  1. Eat more seaweed.  It’s a multivitamin in each bit.  Potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, vitamin C and the list goes on.  You can add it to soups, stews, smoothies or salads. Sushi, anyone?
  2. Drink green tea.  Green tea is a staple in Japanese culture.  High in antioxidants, it’s been linked to lowering the rate of everything from cancer to bone loss to improved brain function to fat loss.  The more you drink, the more it increases your health.
  3. Eat on small plates.  The Japanese eat on small plates and/or bowls.  Plus, they take their time to savor their meals.  This helps them practice portion control and can help you from overeating, too.

Danish

Americans seem to be obsessed with finding the secrets to happy living.  And since Denmark has been identified as the world’s happiest country, maybe we can steal some secrets from them.

  1.  Give yourself a food hug. Danes have long and hard winters.  During those cold months, they make hearty, rustic meals that can be shared from the same bowl.  Meat stews with root vegetables and fragrant herbs or a bowl of traditional porridge in the morning served in a special bowl can feel like true indulgence.  Enjoy these traditional stews and recipes by candlelight and savor a hot tea after dinner.
  2. Danes are big on structure.  And structure relieves you from stress.  Adding more rituals and habits can, simply put, make you happier.  With less decisions to make, you’ll have more time to daydream. We have an easy tool that you can use to add more structure in the kitchen.  This might be a good place to start.
  3. Bike.  Danes love to use their bikes.  It is one of the top bike-friendly city in Europe and locals use their bikes so much that even Copenhagen has more bikes than cars.  This probably contributes to the fact that Danes are among the fittest people in the world. Moving your body through active living relieves stress and boosts your body with serotonin – the happy hormone.

Indian

  1. Spice it up! Coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, mustard, cumin, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon – and the list goes on – not only add flavor but they also carry a pharmacy cabinet’s worth of benefit.  From reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, boosting metabolism and killing nasty parasites, adding more spice to your dishes will not only stimulate your taste buds but your health as well.
  2. Eat chutney with everything.  Here’s another way that you can mix different ingredients to change up your simple dish into something tasty while also adding a ton of nutrition.  An Indian cuisine seems to be incomplete without mentioning the word “chutney.” Chutney can contain yoghurt, mint, cucumber, coconut, walnut, ground peanuts and any flavor that might go well together. Just chop and mix together for extra oomph to your plain dish. If you are in a hurry, you can even have simple rice with chutney.
  3. Eat with your hands. In India, when you wander into a local restaurant or are invited to family’s home, you’ll notice that there is no cutlery.  Wash your hands and prepare yourself for a new way to experience your meal. Traditionally, meals such as different curries and rice are served on a large leaf and eaten with the right hand.  Not only is this more ecological but eating with your fingers adds another sensory experience to savoring your food. You are more likely to slow down and enjoy every bite. Finger-licking goodness.

I hope this has gotten you curious on how to add more culture to your kitchen and lifestyle.  Try one new tradition this week and see how it makes you feel. Fundamentally, non-Americans tend to eat fresh, homemade meals in a family setting.  Savor each moment together and each bite of your dish. Whether it be homemade mac n’ cheese or an indian dahl.

 

With great love and respect, I wish you a wonderful week.

Patricia, R.H.N

Eat.Real.Food

 

MOTIVATE

Three reasons why themes may be just what you needed:

  1. You have children!
    1. Kids are fussy. There’s always times where kids will have a sudden aversion to anything healthy (i.e. veggies). If you’re lucky, this happens later when they are old enough to be reasoned with using words. Unfortunately, many kids go through this at an age that is too young for a real discussion to take place.

      So, what do you do when this happens? Well, you could force-feed them but we don’t recommend that. You could let them choose what they want to eat for themselves – we don’t recommend that either.

      How about themed dinners? BINGO!

      Kids make decisions based on how they feel and not based on logic. For this reason, your approach has to be centered around their feelings and hopefully igniting some excitement towards the food you want them to eat.

      Themed dinners and meals allow you and your child to have fun while you prepare and eat the food. Whether you cater the theme around kids shows or around a certain holiday or event – finding the most exciting parts and implementing those aspects into your meal preparation will be a surefire way to get your little-one excited about eating broccoli-brains during halloween or “alien zoodles” during the next Space-X launch!

      Give it a try and don’t be afraid to try new themes when old ones lose their appeal.
  2. You’re bored of the same meals day-in and day-out!
    1. During the early 2000s it became a trend for anyone involved in the fitness industry to eat only plain food. Plain chicken with plain kale and cup of plain cooked brown rice. Sounds delicious, right?

      Well, this trend of bland food managed to creep its way into the diets of people who were simply looking to lose a couple of pounds or just eat healthier. Soon people figured they can at least throw some herbs and spices on everything to give it a little flavor, but after a while, even those meals become bland. So, how do we get that excitement back into our own meals?

      You guessed it! THEMES!

      Why not try recipes from a different culture each week?

      Every week you’ll have at least 7 new dishes to try and you’ll even expand your knowledge in the kitchen. From South Korean cuisine to Mexican feasts, you can enjoy tons of different flavor combinations while keeping your eating schedule a little more engaging.

      If your meals are going to be boring to eat, it means they’re probably boring to prepare too. Go ahead and try a week of flavorful Filipino dishes to start, and then move onto some good ol’ fashioned British hearty meals.
  3. You have guests coming over for dinner!
    1. This one is pretty simple, so I’ll keep it short.

      If you want to spark some conversation at the table with your guests, put together some dishes they’ve probably never tried.

      You may have to step outside of your comfort zone but it will be worth it in the end. You’ll be the talk of their circle the following week. Maybe they’ll even send you a few questions about where you got your recipes!

There we have it, three reasons why you should try implementing themes into your diet. We hope to hear about and see your themed dishes on our Facebook page or in our Facebook group.

 

Have an amazing week!

To your success and happiness!

Alex

 

 

 


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