I was born and raised in Japan, but I have been living in the U.S. for many years. I feel fortunate to keep some of the Japanese traditions, especially I have been keeping “Hatsuhinode” Japanese tradition for many years here in America. “Hatsuhinode” is viewing the first sunrise of the New Year. According to both…
Nalu (mother) and Kai (father)’s puppies are growing smoothly.
These puppies have been teaching me about what preciousness is in life.
After three weeks old, some puppies’ teeth started to show up, but some of them had no sign of teeth so I could see their growth difference as much as their dognality (personality).
Nalu is a tall, slender, active dog so she did not grain too much weight when she got pregnant. After she gave birth, she lost weight. I want to make sure she gains weight.
Nalu ate lots of protein (beans, tofu, natto, etc. ) and sweet rice, which helps produce milk and gain weight. She also ate mochi (sweet rice cake) with nori seaweed every day.
She ate three times a day and morning snack and afternoon snack and after dinner snack.
Four weeks old, all the puppies’ teeth are growing and they started to play with each other so much. I knew that weaning time was coming so I started to make their fast weaning food.
I have done this many times, but I was hoping that this litter puppies also like my homemade weaning food for the first time.
These are some recipes I have been using and published in my Healthy Happy Pooch (HHP) book.
Puppies weaning food for breakfast and lunch (ingredients are all organic)
4 tablespoon rolled oat
4 tablespoon soy, almond, oat, or rice milk, soaked
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon raw carob
1 teaspoon apple sauce
1 pinch slippery elm
1 pinch powder kelp
1/2 tsp flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon Vegedog supplement
Mixed in a blender in the beginning.
They loved my food!
Look at Lani’s face.
As they grow, I add boiled sweet potato, broccoli, and carrot to their breakfast and lunch food.
Also, I add cooked beans and pasta instead of conventional puppy food (kibbles or canned food).
The pasta is very digestible and chewable so they like a lot.
Snack and Treats (ingredients are all organic) for the mid-morning and mid-afternoon
- Fruits: Apple sauce and/or mashed banana
- Cooked vegetables: carrot, sweet potato, squash, or soft broccoli
- Cooked whole-grain pasta
- Whole-grain bread with seed butter (pumpkin or sunflower) or dipped in lukewarm vegetable/miso soup or fruits juice
- HHP homemade sweet vegetable paste for puppies (Healthy Happy Pooch (HHP) page97)
- HHP homemade chia seed pudding and sesame seed paste (Healthy Happy Pooch (HHP) page 102)
- Nori (dried sea vegetables)
- Natural, organic plant-based dry puppy food
Puppies weaning food for dinner (ingredients are all organic)
1/4 cup beans soft-cooked pureed
1/8 cup brown rice soft-cooked, pureed
1/8 cup raw carrot, grated
1/8 cup raw leafy greens (kale or collard), finely minced
1 pinch powder kelp
1 1/2 teaspoon lukewarm vegetable soup or purified water (moisten food, if necessary)
1/2 teaspoon flax seed meal
1~2 tablespoons Natto (fermented soybeans )
Mixed in a blender a little bit.
Quantity needs to change/add as they have grown, also depending on what kind and size of the puppy.
I believe all my animal families come to me to teach me so I am grateful to learn more.
One more thing I cut their nails for the first time.
As you see, I did while they were asleep.
When I was younger, I never thought that I was just going to marry and have a child when I grow up. But after I turned 38 years old, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and could not have the baby; then, I realized that I wanted to connect with new birth.
Of course, I did not know how to experience a new birth of life at that, but the universe had a plan.
The first dog lived with me in America was Sakura (meaning my favorite flower in Japan, cherry blossom); she was eight weeks old sheltie mix and came from a shelter.
I have adopted many more dogs and cats from shelters and rescues since then naturally.
After I recovered from ovarian cancer, I read a book by Nakako Yamamoto’s “Henry Heals People.” This book was about how Nakako trained her dog, Henry, to be a service/therapy dog.
I always wanted to train my dog to be a service/therapy dog and go to hospitals and senior centers as a volunteer, so this book gave me a good clue to make it happen.
One year before I read Nakako’s book, I adopted eight weeks old Shepard mix puppy from a shelter, but she died three days after she came to my house. I was so shocked and cried out so much in sadness.
I went to the shelter and told them what happened to the puppy.
They said, “It is less than one month so you can exchange for any other dog.”
The puppy was not something like I want to exchange my sweater.
My stomach got twisted as I was so upset hearing that.
I also found out later that she was sick already before I adopted her.
It was such a painful experience.
After I had this awful experience, I had a chance to raise eight weeks old Golden Retriever puppy. It was a very well-known breed dog, so I should be happy, right?
But I am a kind of odd person who comes to popular things so I was not attracted to what most people like.
My husband, Eric, choose a little puppy girl, but I was not sure about this most popular kind of dog at first. Anyway, I named her “Kin,” meaning gold in Japanese, and raised her with Sakura. Sakura was a grouch older dog, but Kin put up Sakura’s stubbiness and was very patient.
Kin convinced me that why many people love Golden Retriever dogs and also showed me how kind-hearted and sympathetic a dog she was.
By the way, one of my books, Healthy Happy Pooch’s front cover photo is Kin and Sakura on the beach.
Kin looked different than usual Golden Retriever, slender, athletic, and short fur so most people thought she was Labrador, but not eating enough. She was always friendly to other people and other dogs, but she was a serious dog and supporting my emotions a lot so I felt that I could do anything freely when I was with her.
I did many things with her and went to many different places.
When I deiced to go studying Macrobiotics at Kushi Institute in Beket, Massachusett, Kin came with me and I saw her walking down to the Becket General Store with my teacher Michio Kush sensei.
I crossed America driving twice and one time Eric and I went to Prince Edward Island in Canada with Kin and her two puppies (Dore and Kula).
I trained her to be a service dog and passed a test to be a volunteer for the Los Angeles Children Hospital.
Later, I had an opportunity to have Kin’s puppies with a champion golden retriever male dog then I helped to birth Kin’s puppies in 2000. This was my first dog midwife practice and I did know anything about being a dog midwife.
Kin was 3 years old, but she taught me how to follow my heart.
I kept her daughters (Dorem Kula and Oro) and later I got another opportunity to raise Kin’s ground puppies.
They were dogs, but Kin was my dog daughter and I had dog ground daughters then later even great dog ground kids.
I never dreamed to have my kids this way, but they were really my kids and made me feel so real and happy.
Watching Kin’s happiness with her daughters and after she passed I watched her ground puppies’ birth and raising them as healthy happy puppies and dogs were my happiness.
One of Kin’s ground-son, Kona (he was Dore’s son) became a wonderful service dog and he helped Patric Ivison for about eleven years and he just retired the last year.
I am so proud of Kona.
Experiencing and helping new birth of dog’s lives is very fortunate in my life.
There are too many dogs at shelters and rescues so some people have judged and criticize me badly for birthing new puppies. I am not expecting everyone to understand or accept me.
I am not a bleeder.
I am also not birthing puppies for money.
I am raising healthy happy puppies.
I am committed to finding guardians who raise my puppies.
I have raised 18 dogs and 7 cats including 5 dogs and 7 cats from shelters/rescues in the last 30 years.
I also contribute to work as a volunteer for one of the rescues “A Purposeful Rescue,” to help animals who have had trauma, injured with Animal Communication, Animal Reiki, Bach Flowers Remedy, and Animal Massage, etc.
About 2 months ago, our Nalu gave birth to her six healthy puppies.
Our Kai is a father.
Because of this pandemic, the veterinarian hospitals were not open as usual so I was a little concerned if something happened to Nalu’s puppies what I was going to do, but everything went great.
After Nalu’s water broke, she gave birth to the first puppy in 15 minutes.
It was the most smooth births I ever helped with new puppies.
I communicate with Nalu and also gave her Animal Reiki when she got a little tired after she has four puppies. After Animal Reiki she gave birth to two more puppies. She did a really great job!
I remember being a midwife to help Kin’s puppies’ birth was the closest I felt that connecting to new birth once again.
I am grateful for the universe’s plan for me.
Many people are going through so much struggle this year because of the Pandemic, but we had no problem finding people who want to raise these puppies right away. I will post later all the puppies’ photos with people who adopt them.
I wanted to post photos and these puppies story,
but I really wanted to focus my time to raise healthy, happy puppies so there was no time till now.
Yesterday, Masayo who adopted one of the puppies sent me a message “Made your homemade treats from the Healthy Happy Pooch book. It took time to make them so I felt your love for these puppies. Thank you very much! These puppies are happiest puppies in the whole world”.
I almost cry when I read the word “Happiest puppies in the whole world”.
It is my life mission to raise the happiest puppies in the whole world!
I appreciate to new lives of puppies so much!
Since I was a child I was interested in various things and I felt that I was connected with animals, plants, and nature. As I grew up some of my passion and interest changed, but I have not changed love for dogs, cats, nature, and plants.
I have been living with multiple dogs and cats family for over 30 years. My passion for them is to raise them a healthy and happy life and offer them safe environments.
I have raised 15 dogs, six cats, and three service dogs so far.
I had ovarian cancer and was not able to get pregnant. After I healed ovarian cancer in 1993 with holistic ways and plant-based food. When my oldest dog, Sakura that time got arthritis and skin issues and did not get better with western medicines I found it logical to apply holistic healing and natural foods to her. She was 12 years old and we did not think she was going to walk again, but using holistic medicine and natural home-made food helped her. She started to walk again and recovered from her skin problem. When I saw her health got better, she really taught me that natural healing food and holistic modalities work for dogs too. So I started to make home-made natural food for my other dog and cat family. Sakura continued to walk and was able to enjoy her short hiking, lived till 16 years old, and passed in her sleep peacefully.
I took natural animal nutrition classes and animal behavior classes to learn about them. Also, have learned animal communication, Animal reiki and Bach Flower for animals, etc.
My dog and cat family have been eating homemade food since 1995. The food is organic, natural plant-based food (cats eat fish combinations), and they all have thrived and live a healthy happy life.
I have been practicing what I have learned for my own animal kids and my dogs have lived 12~16 years old and they have passed peacefully in their sleep.
My cats, Key-chain lived till 20 years old and Mai lived till 19 years old.
When they got old and have had health conditions, I have apply always holistic medicine and natural remedy first which most of the condition got better and change foods to be more healing foods.
I also apply animal reiki, massage, communication, moxibustion, and Bach Flower Remedy to help them during healing time to recover.
I have been offering my knowledge and experiences for rescued animals at the “A Purposeful Rescue” group as a volunteer.
I am offering Natural Animal Care, Healthy Happy Pooch Zoom class on Aug. 2, 2020.
at 8 am (Pacific time) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3706191853
at 11 am (Pacific time) Www.youtube.com/c/ChefAJ
If you missed these times, you can watch them on Youtube
This class will focus on homemade natural dog-nutritious food and treats from one of my books, Healthy Happy Pooch, to help dogs to live a healthy happy life and thrive.
I also will talk about healing modalities that help animals (not only dogs) and people.
Here the recipes I am going to demo at my Zoom class:
Homemade dog meal (for adult dog 60 lbs)
3 1/2 cup Well-cooked Bean (pinto, black beans or lentil)
1/5 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup Well-cooked Brown rice
1/2 cup squash, cubes
1/2 cup kale, chopped
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp alfalfa leaves or powder
1/2 g kelp powder
1,500 mg Vitamin C powder
1 tsp flax seeds powder
1 tsp hemp seeds powder
18 g Vegedog supplement
2 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
250 mg Choline
500 mg Methionine
Macronutrient distribution as a percentage of calories:
Calories per kg = 1100
Calories per cup = 248
Sweet Potato Cookies
(Makes about 70 cookies using 2 1/4 inch x 1-inch cookie cutter)
1 organic sweet potato (about 12oz)
1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 cup organic whole-wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel sweet potato, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces and steam or 15~20 minutes.
- Mash the sweet potato with a fork or potato masher and transfer to a large bowl.
- Mix together whole wheat flour and applesauce into the large bowl and then add the sweet potato and blend until dough forms. Place dough on a well-floured surface and roll out until about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out shales using cookies cutter or cut dough into squares with a knife. Place cookies on an undressed backing sheet.
- Bake until crisp, 35~45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and continued cooling completely on a wire rack.
Chia Seed Pudding
(Makes 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoon organic chia seed
1 cup purified water or 1/2 cup purified water and 1/2 cup apple juice or almond milk (if your dog has weight issues then just use purified water)
- In a bowl, add the chia seeds to the liquid, and whisk them with a fork or whisk.
- After a few minutes, you will need to whisk the gel again to make sure seeds don’t clump together at the bottom of the bowl.
- Let stand for 10~15 minutes, allowing the seeds to absorb the liquid. Now the chia seed pudding is ready.
- Let your dog lick from the spoon, or add the pudding to a meal.
Love, Sanae ❤️
Wow, it has been three years since I taught my cooking class.
I was teaching plant-based macrobiotic cooking classes for over 20 years; one of the popular cooking classes was “Homemade Pickles”.
Why homemade pickles are a popular class because many pickles that you buy in the stores are made with preservatives and have even refined sugar.
Also, not easy to find organic ingredients pickles, and if you find ones they are pretty costly, so it is better to make at home.
Another big reason everyone loves pickles because there are lots of health benefits; it helps digestion, vitamins, fiber, and probiotic cultures, and it is easy to make if you follow steps!
I was scheduled to teach another Pickles class in spring 2017, but I had to cancel it.
I had to stop working completely to heal myself.
Since then, I was asked if I am going to teach how to make pickles again many times.
So my answer was, “I hope so.”
I am happy to let you know that my answer is now…
“Yes, I am teaching how to make pickles again!”
I am well now physically and emotionally.
I appreciate Ginat and Sheldon Rice to asked me to teach at their Whole Health Macrobiotic Forum-A Free Online Zoom Seminar.
July 1, Wed. 7 ~ 7:45 pm Israel time (California time 9 ~9:45 am PST).
It recoded and showing on Youtube after the live zoom.
The YouTube link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0N9IVedOlw
I hope you can watch and let’s make homemade pickles together!
Here are what pickles I am making and the ingredients so you can try to make delicious pickles with me.
Pounded Cucumber with Umeboshi Plums Pickle
3~4 Cucumbers (Japanese or Mediterranean kind with no or fewer seeds)
3~4 Umeboshi plums
Nappa Cabbage with Five Flavors Pickle
1/4 Nappa cabbage (about 1/2 lb = 250g)
1 Tablespoon Sea salt (about 15g =6 % of the weight of Nappa cabbage)
4~5 Red Radishes (about 100g = 1/4 lbs)
20 g Scallion (about 3~5 green part)
10~15 g Ginger (about one tablespoon)
5 g Kombu (thinly cut or sliced)
100g Apple, grated (about one apple)
Carrot Miso Pickle
(Quantity of Carrot and Miso depend on the size of glass jar)
One glass jar
I hope you enjoy this class and see you soon!
Writing makes me feel most connected with my soul.
But I was not able to write for over one year.
When I was going through challenging times, I usually write my journals.
After I was diagnosed with only weeks live with Stage IV Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin of the liver in the spring of 2017.
(I wrote about it on http://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/)
After completed six cycles of chemotherapy, I was getting better physically slowly, and I started to do a few things that I could not do while I was in chemo. Then, I did more and more physical work, and I lost the time to write.
I have been posting Instagram and Facebook with short descriptions, but I love writing with detail.
I realized that taking the time to write how I feel and what I do and share my photos carefully is my style, so writing a blog and send newsletter was something I enjoy.
There are many reasons I lost touch with writing my blog and sending newsletters.
Whatever the reason I have had, I just wanted to get it back on again and looking for my new path. I wish I could pick up where I left without any reservation, but in my case, I needed motivation.
I have been taking art classes from Santa Monica College Emeritus off and on for a while. It took time after all the chemotherapy treatments, but when I got the strength back, I went back to retake Calligraphy class. I just did what I could, so mostly nothing serious, and just for fun.
At the end of the last year, I found out that I may be able to enter my artwork for the Student Art Exhibition. The exhibition was for spring 2020, and the due date was February 2020, so I wanted to try it even my artwork was chosen or not.
But I was going through another challenging time of PTSD (PTSD from my childhood and also near-death car crash, etc. ) at the beginning of the year, so I did not think I could put together my artwork. I am a turtle, so I am not a fast pace person to do anything. I need a decent time and focus for me to finish my artwork.
When I get PTSD, I have nightmares, and I am not able to do much nor go out nor talk to people. I also cry and get moody a lot and not able to focus.
I was feeling disappointed at myself, and I was just about giving up on my artwork; I got lots of love support from my animal family, especially from Leo, who was one of my dog sons.
He had health conditions of nasal cancer for more than one year and also vestibular disease condition, which caused him not able to get up his own. Still, when I worked on my artwork, he wanted to be with me in my art room and stayed until I was satisfied to finish my artwork each time. That is how I was able to complete my artwork and submit it on time. I was not sure it was good enough for the Student Art Exhibition, but it did not matter because, in the end, I had fun creating and spend time with Leo. When I sent my artwork with an original frame I have asked to make. Leo smiled at me and he said, “Mommy, good job!”.
Three weeks later, I found out that they chose my artwork. I was very thrilled and told Leo that because of him, my artwork would be at the Exhibition.
He said that he already knew it and he was delighted.
I got a big idea of making a plan to invite everyone who supported me for my recovery if they could come to the Student Art Exhibition opening reception in April.
I was so excited, but the pandemic happened, and the exhibition got cancel.
My big idea of seeing some of you in person and able to say “Thank you!” directly did not work.
I understand that so many people died and got sick. Coronavirus pandemic has not solved yet, and still many people are going through so many challenges, and many other issues are coming to must change the last few months.
Many people are standing up valuable to move the country and the world toward a new normal a future better than the old dysfunctional “normal.”
I wish I could do more to help others, but my focus is to do my best to take care of myself to stay healthy and safe right now, and this is my contribution to others, and this is my new normal.
Leo departed on May 24th peacefully in his sleep.
I miss him a lot.
He taught me so much how to fulfill life, and he told me that “Mammy, just be,” which sometimes means being irritable, exciting, tired, sad, and worry.
It is all good because they are all of you, and deep down inside, you are happy and content no matter what.
He is continuously teaching me.
Soon after his departure, I received a letter about Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition will be Online.
Online means not only people who can come to the exhibition but anybody from all over the world can see my artwork and see my new path.
I think Leo did it.
Emeritus art exhibition online. 150+ artworks on view by Emeritus students.
A live Zoom Launch Event — hosted by Emeritus Associate Dean Dr. Scott Silverman and Emeritus Gallery Curator Jesse Benson — was recorded when it was held on June 25.
Here are a link and info on how to see my artwork.
View the recorded Zoom event: Launch Event for Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online
View Artwork and Artists: Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online
In case you are not able to see this Online Exhibition, here is a photo of my artwork close up and detail.
Title: My New Path
Medium: Watercolor and Sumi Ink
Size: 14″h x 11″w x 3/4″d
The frame is white birch and linen material (you see the bottom photo).
It is a simple watercolor of Hanga print with lotus root and Sumi ink calligraphy with my haiku poem. My aiming was “Zen modest state to find a new path to move forward”
The letter of calligraphy style is Akim.
(Akim is created by German calligrapher, sculptor, and musician, Hans-Joachim Burgert. This lovely, gentle hand that is said to replicate the rhythm of the human heart) I did not know how Akim was created at first when I started to use it for my calligraphy, but I felt so familiar and it is my favorite calligraphy letter. So I have been using it for my website cover and business card, etc.
I wrote this Haiku Poem for me and everyone to thrive and live a new path (new normal).
I hope you enjoy it and find your new path.
I am grateful to Leo, who gave me the motivation to start writing again.
as I was just finishing writing this blog, I received an email from Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition organizer, Jesse Benson.
I can’t believe it.
I had to read a few times to understand the detail: he was asking me to speak at the Online Art Exhibition Opening Reception about my artwork on Thursday, June 25th.
There are over 90 artists and 161 artworks (students can submit up to 2 artworks) in the show.
I heard they only asked a few people to speak.
Is it true they choose me to speak about my artwork?
Amazingly, they want to hear what I did.
Leo must help me again.
Now I honestly want everyone to see my artwork; art is one of healing therapy that has been helping me to recover.
Please watch the Online Art Exhibition reception.
I want to finish writing my blog that I was able to finally write after over one year with gratitude for “My New Path!”
I am grateful, thank you from my heart!
When I visited Japan in April this year I had a chance to try Red Shiso juice for the first time.
The taste was much milder than I expected and refreshing!
I love it so much so I wanted to make my own.
When I was growing up in Japan my mother used Red Shiso leaves for making pickles of umeplums and ginger, but she never made as juice so I never taste it till this time.
I only have read Red Shiso makes delicious juice and many benefits for examples: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, high levels of rosmarinic acid which stops bacteria growth, high in minerals, iron, calcium, Vitamin B1and β-carotene (10 X more than that of pumpkin), helping for summer lethargy, improves immune function, allergy, blood pressures, aging spots, etc.
So I was very happy that I was able to try this time.
I thought about it as making for a cooling summer remedy drink!
I really wanted to make it my own this summer, but had a difficult time growing Red Shiso leaves every summer.
Also, I broke my left knee after I came back from Japan while I was hiking with my dogs. I had to put my left knee above my heart so I was lyaing down most of the time. I had to grow seeds that I planted this spring in pots so I could move them where I could reach to water from my wheelchair.
I transplanted all of them into one-gallon pots and put them the east side of my house on the deck instead of the southside on the ground.
I thought they grew better with much sunlight, but I found out that they did grew much better with morning sunlight to till 2 pm.
I had so much red shiso and green shiso grew successfully this summer so my wish of making Red Shiso Juice came reality even I was in my wheelchair.
Shiso has natural preservative qualities and can be kept as a concentrate for making drinks in the refrigerator for months.
You can also freeze the Shiso juice concentrate so that you can enjoy an anti-inflammatory drink all winter long.
Here is my recipe of Red Shiso Juice. (I do not know why it calls “Red Shiso Juice” because it is actually making like tea.
Red Shiso Juice Recipe
- 300 g (about 10 oz) red shiso leaves
- 2000 ml (about 8 cups) spring water
- 150~600 g (about 5~20oz) beet sugar (Option)
- 3~5 tbs lemon juice
1. Prepare shiso leaves; cut leaves if you are growing your own shiso plant and wash and trim the stems from shiso leaves. You might find an insect just like me.
2. Wash shiso leaves with water and cleans them carefully. Soak them in a bowl for 15 min.
3. Bring 2000ml water in a large saucepan and add the prepared and washed shiso leaves and bring to boil.
4. Turn the heat down to low heat and cook the shiso leaves for about 5 minutes. The leaves color will change from purple to greenish color.
5. Drain the shiso leaves with a strainer and squeeze the leaves to extract as much as you can. It is hot so be careful not to burn your finger, I used a wooden spoon to extract all liquid.
6. Place the drained liquid back to the saucepan and bring it to simmer.
7. Add the beet sugar, and when the sugar dissolved, turn the heat off and add lemon juice in. The color change to a beautiful red.
8. Cool it down and transfer to a sterilized glass container and keep in the refrigerator which is last about 6 months.
9. To make shiso juice, place 1-2 tbs of the syrup and pour about 200 ml of cold mineral water or cold sparking water. I usually do not put ice cubes, but If you like you can add ice cubes.
Most of us seen green ones in Japanese restaurants.