Beni imo may be my most favorite thing about living on Okinawa. Seriously, I love this ‘tater! It’s like a sweet potato, but has lovely vanilla notes. AND IT’S PURPLE! It’s really exciting to cut into one of these beauties. The color is just so intense and somehow unexpected every time.
Last thanksgiving, I turned these into a sweet potato soufflé, which is tradition in my family. I also got a little daring and made a side dish with beni imo, Okinawan brown sugar and pineapple bits. I’ve made a Thai-inspired beni imo soup. You can use it anyway that you would use a sweet potato. They occasionally find their way into a curry, but I really like to let the color shine alone, like in this recipe. Continue reading →
Yesterday, I would have traded a slice of chocolate cake for this bitter melon dish. Crazy, but true. I wouldn’t have traded a whole chocolate cake for it though, I’m not insane. I blame the heat. My body needed some cooling bitter taste.
Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawa classic. This knobby green bitter melon is useful during the hot, humid summers of Okinawa. Chanpuru means “to mix” and can be used with any number of vegetables. The usual recipe has goya, onion, egg and pork of some variety. I didn’t do anything fancy here. I just wanted the goya. I guess it was a teensy bit fancy since I bought both green and white goya. What’s the difference, you ask? Not a clue. Continue reading →
I was inspired this week to try some new Okinawan summer veggies. I saw this huge green vegetable, with a sticker price of around $1.75, and decided that I must learn to like this, based on the price alone. I stood there in the middle of the market, entering kana into my Japanese translation app to discover that yuugao is bottle gourd! Then I Google what the heck a bottle gourd is good for. Apparently, they make delightful liquid vessels once they’re dried. Also, people eat them. I’m off to a good start! Continue reading →
I know. It sounds lame. Uninteresting. Boring even. BUT! It is delicious. Simple. And nourishing.
Ayurveda says that fruit in the morning is like gold. It’s the best time to get the maximum nourishment from fruit. Cooked apples in the morning help create ojas. We want ojas! Ojas is beauty, health and immunity.
If you’re a light-breakfast kinda person, like me, this will be perfect! If you need a heartier breakfast, eat the stewed apples 30 minutes before you eat anything else for best digestion. Ok! On to… Continue reading →
I hate buying shampoo and conditioner. Even the organic, SLS free, phthalate/paraben free kinds have a bunch of funky ingredients. Those brands sure aren’t cheap, either. It’s one of the only remaining conventional beauty products that I’ve been purchasing.
I wash my hair a lot. I’m just not one of those people that can go several days without a shampoo. I run and do a lot of sweaty yoga nearly every day. I live on an island with blazing heat and lots of humidity. 2-3 showers a day just to keep cool during the hottest bits of summer. My hair is prone to being oily in a pitta provoking climate like this one. Continue reading →
What is a dosha? Ayurveda groups the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) into three basic types of energy, collectively called Tridosha. These elements make up everything around us. The Sanskrit word, dosha, literally means fault, impurity or mistake. This sounds a bit harsh, but dosha can simply be a way to organize things. When the doshas are in balance, there is no impurity or mistake, it’s just a way to describe one’s nature. When the doshas are out of balance, we would then use it to mean fault. The following are the Tridosha types:
Vata– ether and air
Pitta-fire and water
Kapha-water and earth
Everyone is born with a specific ratio of all five elements, this is known as prakruti. Prakruti is organized by the doshas. The ratio of the doshas you were born with will be balanced for you. Everyone has a difference combination of doshas, which is why one diet will not work for all people. Continue reading →
I’ve been reading up on mead lately. It’s got me thinking about how awesome bees are and how I used to use honey on my face. Somehow, during the move to Okinawa, I forgot how great honey was as a cleanser and moisturizer. I’m bringing that back this week!
I used local unfiltered wildflower honey. It gave my face a very gentle scrub since it still had propolis and other hive particles in it. Honey has anti-bacterial properties as well as antioxidants. It smells nice. Oh, and my favorite part is that it’s FOOD, so it’s nourishing for your skin. It makes my skin feel dewy. Continue reading →
I love this pretty, buttery-yellow dessert. I feel deeply content and nourished while eating this. Cardamom and saffron have stress reducing benefits, so that makes sense. It’s a simple, no frills, no fuss kinda dessert. Continue reading →
Ayurveda is the science of life. This comprehensive system includes all aspects of our lives: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It’s a system of natural health that’s roughly 5,000 years old! Known as the “mother of all healing,” it’s regarded as the oldest healthcare system in the world. Are you wondering why you haven’t heard much about it? Well, it’s going through a revival now. The British colonization of India resulted in a massive decline of ayurveda. Western invasion invited allopathic medicine and left India’s native medicine behind. It wasn’t until Mahatma Gandhi came along that ayurveda really took off again. Continue reading →