I have been enjoying the coursework with the International Macrobiotic Institute's online certification program, especially the homework of cooking miso soup, brown rice, barley, millet and vegetables.
In this form of eating, there is much emphasis placed on the energy of the foods we are consuming and the cooking methods we use. After about 4 weeks of eating a more vegetable rich vegan diet, I am feeling great.
Most noticeably, my mood has changed. I am a bit more even energetically, happier and more grounded. I am less likely to loose my temper (I'm sure my kids are loving this!) and I have lost a few pounds. My pain levels are way down, and I am sleeping well. My skin is a bit softer, thanks in part to the hot towel scrub I've been doing a few times a week and these dietary changes.
Macrobiotic foods are not new to me. I began following this lifestyle as a teenager and continued (loosely) until my late 20's, and am now revisiting the benefits and joys of more plant foods while learning more about how yin and yang effect our daily living through food. I am doing my best to eliminate as much animal foods as I can, with room for infrequent use.
One of my favorite additions to my diet is daily miso soup. I have been alternating between South River Miso Company's 3 Year Barley Miso, Sweet Brown Rice Miso and Chickpea Miso. These are all amazingly delicious and offer a strong dose of natural probiotics...bye bye expensive supplements!!
The addition of more sea vegetables is also welcome. My tastes have shifted a little from years past and I am happily eating my wakame, dulse and nori at least a few times per week. I have been looking forward to this shift in energy and to be able to report back that it is excellent so far.
My basic miso soup contain only a few ingredients, and falls into my category of a fast food. Having quick cooking foods to go to as a busy working mom of 4 is super important and miso soup couldn't be healthier, easier or faster.
3 cups cold spring water
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
2" piece of wakame sea vegetable
*Soak wakame and shiitake in a bowl of water for about 10 minutes or until soft.
*Remove from soaking water and cut stems from shiitake and the hard middle stem from wakame.
*Slice mushrooms and wakame and add to 3 cups of water.
*Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes.
This stock can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 3 days. Once ready to make your miso soup, reheat this stock, and dissolve your miso into the broth. Serve with finely sliced scallions as garnish.
Once you have your stock ready, you may add your favorite vegetables and simmer until soft, adding your dissolved miso at the end of cooking. It is important NOT to boil your miso, as the heat kills all the beneficial bacteria (probiotics).
Some options for miso soup:
Try exploring with miso soup and shiitake-wakame stock. These are all very healthy foods to include in our daily meals with great health and healing benefits.
For more info about the ingredients used, where to buy quality ingredients or what types of miso to try, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me your questions in the comments!