Tuesday, March 31, 2009

blooming time / 花が咲くころ

After the rainy week has passed, this week has been in good weather. Today I looked around and I noticed that the blooming time might has come. I see flowers started to bloom finally!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Richard Avedon exhibition/ リチャードアベドン写真展

After the early morning work in the kitchen, I visited Richard Avedon exhibition at the Fotografie Museum nearby. He is one of the legendary photographers in 20th century who passed away in 2004. His work is highly recognized. I saw his large scale photographs. They are just vigorous and breathtaking.


Friday, March 27, 2009

level 1 completed / レベル1終了

We had a really nice farewell party last night. We cooked our party dinner. It was such a intense course, but I really enjoyed and I am happy that I met those classmates. We became close after spending hours in classes and eating 3 meals together everyday. 


cooking class from level1/レベル1のクッキングクラス

The cooking class is my favorite. We get to watch how the teacher is preparing the dish or sometimes we make our own dinner during the workshop. It's nice to get hands on. First, everyone was a bit confused but toward the end of the course, we became more organized and had a good teamwork. The teachers are really great. Our teacher, Weike has such a earthy calm energy and her dishes are full of inspiration. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dogs in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam there so many dogs of all different varieties. It seems very animal friendly city. Yesterday on my way home, I saw this Shiba dog, one of the most popular Japanese dogs. 
I never thought I could meet a Shiba in Holland. Although his name was in Dutch, he still looked very Japanese. I grew up with Shiba dogs and I love them! 


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dairy and Osteoporosis / 乳製品と骨粗鬆症

I want to share one of the eye opening things I learned; the reason why taking milk and dairy food leads to osteoporosis. First, I must clarify the difference between animal protein and plant-based protein. The difference is that animal protein is hard to absorb in the body as nutrients but plant based can easily be absorbed. Dairy contains animal protein and is rich in calcium, however the calcium together with animal protein can't be absorbed by your body. Further more, it makes blood acidic. Human blood is about PH 7.2, which means a little alkaline. When blood becomes acidic, it tries to balance back to alkaline. As a result, the body starts collecting minerals ,yes, minerals from your bones which leads to osteoporosis. What is worse, there is another factor, where does calcium from dairy food go in the body? It remains in your body as calcifications, accumulating in your joints. Of course that contributes to joint problems. 
I never knew how exactly dairy food contributes to osteoporosis until now. Now it's  clear! Please take care of your bones.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Morning walk

We walk 20 minutes to the school everyday.  We leave the house around 7 am. On the sunny day like this, I enjoy the fresh cold air and the gentle morning light. I notice that morning walking really activates my whole body (especially the digestive system) to be ready for the day. Now we see these daffodils on the way. 


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Macrobiotic Lunch

One of my discoveries since I started to eating here is how tastefully you can cook Tempeh . I never liked Tempeh because it has a distinguished bitter taste. Since I have started eating here, I've had a good amount of Tempeh dishes. They are all great! Especially this one, deep fried Tempeh; Tempura style is my favorite. According to a teacher, Tempeh releases the bitterness if you pan fry or deep fry it. It makes sense. People eat Azuki bean rice a lot here. But they know Japanese people usually only eat the dish in special occasions. It's such a delicious dish. Brown rice with Azuki beans is a wonderful combination for nourishing our kidney.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunny day in Amsterdam

It's  finally getting warmer. Today Saturday, people are out riding boats, having teas, walking by the canals. Because of lot of rainy and misty days in the Netherlands, when sun comes out, everybody is outside enjoying the pleasant moment. By the canals, you can see hundreds of beautiful houses with interesting structures. Some of them are built back in 17 century. 
This is a canal near the school. We had a little break after lunch to enjoy the sun.



Friday, March 20, 2009

busy school days

The past two days was really busy schooling. Today I had a class from 7:30 am till 10pm!
I am tired but in good spirit. The macrobiotic food gives me substantial energy and the lectures about the philosophy gives me inspiration and vitality. We had a dessert fiesta @ lunch time for celebrating one of our class mates. The desserts are incredibly tasty! The other photo is me @ home relaxed, making tea. I hope I can report you more tomorrow. I must go to bed...I have been waking up 6 am. good night.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The class

The course is really intense and I have been busy non stop. The teaching is really great. We learn both of the theory and practice such as cooking, Shiatsu. 
The photo is from the cooking class. The meal here is unbelievably delicious! 
For example, today's lunch was Sauteed tofu, Nori-tenpura, Brown rice, Lentil soup.
The cooking class was the basic macrobiotic food such as Nishime and Kinpira. The simple cooking is the most essential on Macrobiotics. 
In the Shiatsu class, we learned the large and small intestine meridians on our shoulders and worked on as partners. 


Sunday, March 15, 2009

My first Miso soup

I made my first miso soup! We have a communal kitchen on the floor and it has a lot of the Macrobiotic ingredients such as miso, shoyu, konbu and so on. After 3 hours of walking, a bowl of miso soup, I made with Haccho miso, was perfect for me.


The City, Amsterdam

Amsterdam has beautiful canals run through the city. When it's sunny, the brick buildings reflect on the water gives the charm. On my way to the downtown, I came across the flower stands filled with flowers and of course, tulips! They are blooming now. Tulips bloom when it's still cold. I have never seen so many kinds and colors of tulips in my life. Needless to say, I saw so many signs of Heineken on the streets.


Saturday, March 14, 2009


 Here I am in Amsterdam! After a light shower, it has remained cloudy and yeah, it's chilly. This is right outside of the house I am staying. Very European! When I go inside, there is a really steep stairs. It's very common here. Amazingly, these buildings are all connected. I am staying on the 3rd floor. 


Thursday, March 12, 2009

the course is called, "The Art of Life School".

Kushi institute, Europe provides several courses. The course called the Art of Life School is the most intensive 2 weeks session. The class starts with a morning exercise called Do-in and it continues till 19:30 which ends with dinner. Yes, it all includes 3 meals as the part of class! They are the teachers, Adelbert and Wieke Nellssen. They have been teaching macrobiotic way of life for 30 years. They look nice people:-) 

私がマクロビを勉強する学校、ヨーロッパのクシインスティチュートはアムステルダムにあります。私の取るコースは2週間刻みの集中コース。その名も”アート オブ ライフ スクール”、まさにマクロビは日常生活におけるアートなのですね。クラスは朝のどういんという

Monday, March 9, 2009

I am going to Amsterdam in 5 days!

I am going to Amsterdam in 4 days! I am nervous and excited. I have been to Europe once in the summer '95 when I was learning French in college. It has been 14 years since...
According to the weather.com, it seems as cold as Japan right now.
Hopefully, it will bring me spring soon!