My month of September was swept away by Covid. (I wrote about it on my blog, How I Care for Myself When I Got Sick with “Covid”) I had a fever for two weeks and could not eat much, but I was craving the comfort food I ate as a child and I had dreams about…
I grew up loving Japanese noodles of udon, soba, ramen, hiyamugi, and somen so much!
One of my favorite noodle dishes in summer is Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen). It is “Ramen Salad” to me!
When I started to eat vegan plant-based macrobiotic food in 1993, I thought I had to give up eating ramen noodles, but I found some companies were making vegan ramen noodles in 2005 and had been enjoying them since then.
Eric and I served Goddess Miso Ramen in the winter season at our “Seed Kitchen” restaurant in 2008~2016.
Summertime ramen must be Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen). I had to introduce it to Eric.
We do not have hot, humid summer here in Santa Monica like in Japan, but I crave to eat Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen) every summer, so I had to make it again this summer.
It is like cold soba noodles, but a much uplifted and happy feeling and cools my palette when I eat Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen); verse cold soba gives me cooling, but a grounding, contented feeling.
You can create what you want to put on the top. I like cucumber, seitan/tofu, scallion, green shiso leave, and homemade red shiso pickled ginger on top.
Japanese karashi hot mustard is on the side, with homemade tamari (soy sauce) and sesame seed sauce.
I have seen Hiyashi Chuka packages in the Japanese market, but they are full of MSG and preservatives, so I have never used them. Vegan ramen noodles are available at natural food markets here, but if you can’t find them, you can use other vegan noodles.
I hope you try making it; then you will know how delicious and enjoy summer ramen!
Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen) Recipe
For Hiyashi Chuka Sauce
- 6 Tbsp Tamari (soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice(if you want sweeter taste use orange juice)
- 1~2 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp Kombu dashi＊ or water
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp grated ginger
- ½-1 tsp la-yu (option Japanese chili oil)
- 1~2 Japanese or Persian cucumbers (or ⅓ English cucumber, julienned)
- 3 Red radish (cut into thin strips)
- ½ tomato (cut into wedges)
- 3-4 slices Seitan (cut into thin strips)
- 2 scallions (cut into thin strips)
- 3 Green shiso leaves (rinse and pat dry)
- Red shiso ginger pickle (benishoga, kizami beni shoga, if you buy them at the store, make sure there is no MSG)
For Hiyashi Chuka Noodels
- 2~3 servings of fresh vegan ramen noodles (6 oz or 170 g of fresh noodles per person)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)
- Japanese karashi hot mustard (optional side garnish)
To Make Sauce:
- ＊Kombu dashi – Stove top method: combine the kombu and water in a saucepan over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20~30 minutes. Strain out the kombu and use it for sauce when it cools (this recipe from Love, Sanae).
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk them together. You can keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To Prepare Toppings:
- Cut all the topping ingredients into thin strips (so it’s easier to eat with noodles).
To Cook Noodles:
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Separate the noodles before dropping them into the water. Cook according to package directions. Drain the water and rinse the noodles to remove starch. Soak the noodles in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain thoroughly and divide the noodles into individual plates/bowls.
- Place all the toppings and put Japanese karashi hot mustard on the side. Pour the sauce just before you eat with your favorite amount.
One of the seasonal works I do in summer with Eric is harvesting wild elderberries in North Fork.
It is usually after Umeboshi plums making in the end of June to the end of July.
Elderberry has antioxidants and many benefits for our health.
I posted my blog before on how to make elderberry tea with more information about its benefits.
I was making elderberry tea with dried elderberry most of the time since I could not harvest many fresh ones, but last year the timing was perfect when I went to North Fork, so I got so many fresh elderberries.
I saved some to dry for making tea later and tried to make enzyme syrup, juice and jam with extra fresh elderberry.
I only made Ume plum enzyme juice and Kombucha, so I did not know how elderberry works for making the enzyme syrup/juice. Wow, wow…it was so delicious. Beautiful enzyme bubbles!!!
I wanted make it again this year so every time I went to North Fork this year, I checked elder trees and hoped I would be able to harvest enough fresh ones this year too.
The elderberry flowers had a soft aroma (I made syrup and skin oil with the flowers, which I will share someday). After the flowers, the green berries were so cute.
Elder trees did not disappoint me. Thank you, elderberry trees!
Here is the juice I made this year.
It is similar to Red Shiso Juice I shared before.
The difference is I did not add any water and no cooking. It is only elderberries and beet sugar. They are fermented together.
Elderberry Enzyme Juice Recipe
- 300 g (about 10 oz) fresh elderberries
- 150~600 g (about 5~20oz) sweetener (I used beet sugar)
To make juice to drink
- 1 tablespoon, less or more (depending on how sweet you want)
- 1 cup, cold sparkling water, cold spring water, or hot spring water
- 1 tablespoons, lemon juice and a slice of lemon
1. Prepare elderberries; trim the stems from elderberries after harvesting them. You can leave some of the leaves and stems for enforcing enzymes. There might be insects, so be careful handling them.
2. Wash elderberries with water and cleans them carefully.
3. Strain the water of elderberries in a basket and dry them as much as you can.
4. Place elderberries in a bottle jar and add beet sugar.
5. Shake the jar to mix them as much as you can.
6. Leave them a cool dark place near you and shake it every day or every other day. You can also mix it with your clean dry hand.
7. It should be ready to drink in about 3~4 weeks.
8. To drink Elderberry enzyme syrup as juice, you put 1~2 tablespoons of elderberry enzyme syrup and add about 1 cup of cold sparkling water or spring water. I usually do not put ice cubes, but If you like, you can add ice cubes. Lemon juice and a slice of lemons enhance the taste too.
You can also put hot/warm water for someone who loves a warm drink/tea.
I hope you like it and enjoy Elderberry Enzyme Juice!
Love, Sanae ❤️
P.S. Here is Elderberry Mocktail recipe that I posted for new year, if you like to try something new.
When I was about three years old, I saw my grandmother taking care of her tiny garden (Japanese saying that the size of a cat’s forehead )by the cliff of stream in front of her house.
Her loving and naturing energy to her garden’s vegetables and flowers helped them so cheerful to serve us.
It was fascinating to see them grow a little bit each morning with blight sunshine, cloudy sky, or even a rainy day with a smile because humans tend to get depressed on a cloudy day and feel sad on a rainy day.
My ground mother was a local healer to help babies who cried at night excessively and women who had Postpartum depression and hormone imbalance. She took me to Forrest to forage to find medicinal herbs/plants and mushrooms.
I always wanted to have my own garden someday and forage wild plants.
When I was seven years old, I created my tinier plant container flowers garden with a wood apple box from a fruit market in front of the five unite rental complex my parents were renting. Many people who passed by gave compliments on how beautiful my flowers were.
Since then, I have continued my garden wherever I lived, whether just a few planting pots by the window in my school dormitory or 50 plastic pots by the entrance of a guest house in Los Angeles.
I finally moved to the Santa Monica house where I have now since 1985, and when I started macrobiotic first stripped the lawn and created my rustic garden with bamboo and herbs.
I planted native California plants in the sidewalk area and built a rooftop container garden to grow medicinal herbs.
Many birds, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, ladybugs, and squirrels come to my garden and enjoy themselves—hummingbirds and doves nests on the tree branches.
I started to study herbology in 1995 with David Crow (founder of Floracopeia) at California Healing Art College in West Los Angeles.
I learned so much about native California plants and medicinal herbs.
I enjoyed recognizing those herbs when I go hiking and start foraging.
I have been learning about medicinal herbs and plants for a long time with macrobiotics.
I especially enjoy growing native California plants and medicinal herbs to make my healing tea and infused oil for my skin, health, and pain relief. I have been hoping to share what I do for a while.
Recently, Merrihew’s Sunset Garden’s new owners, Frank and Ati, were interested in what I do.
We started to talk about something we could do together.
I started going to Marrihew’s Sunset Garden since 1985 (they have been in business since 1947), and I never thought I would teach there, but my wish comes true, and I will be teaching there.
Medicinal Tea from Your Garden
Saturday, June 18th
11 am ~ 12 pm
Merrihew’s Sunset Garden
1526 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
– outside classroom next to the chicken coop
-medicinal benefits of 5 different herbs or more
-how to make infusions of fresh and dried herbs (i.e., hot tea, sun tea, sprays, etc.)
-tips for growing the herbs in your garden/pots (you can even grow a lot in a small space!)
-how/when to properly harvest the herbs
-how to dry the herbs
-fresh vs. dried
* Three kinds of organic medicinal tea tasting and handout included!*
To register and pay for the class, please go to this link
I hope some of you can come to learn plant healing power and taste them and enjoy the outdoor class ambiance.
BENEFITS OF HERBS:
Disclaimer: The information offered is for educational purposes only!
Here are the benefits of the medicinal herbs/plants I use for the class.
1) Hibiscus 🌺 (hibiscus sabdariffa) Family – malvaceae-mallow family Calyx
- Rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and anthocyanin.
- Fights inflammation, Lowers blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol, Promotes weight loss.
- Fights bacteria, Supports liver health and more
Taste: sour, naturally sweet, spicy, and fruity
Action: Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, hepatic, hypocholesterolemic, immune stimulant, refrigerant, reproductive tonic
Energetics: cooling and drying, uplifting, strengthening, refreshing
Use: Traditionally, hibiscus calyces have been used throughout the world as “refrigerants” to cool the body (Engels, 2007). In Egypt, hibiscus has been used as a diuretic and for cardiac and nerve diseases; in North Africa for coughs and sore throats; in Europe for colds and upper respiratory tract congestion, sleeplessness, and as a laxative and diuretic; and in Iran for hypertension (Engels, 2007).
The sour, astringent, cooling nature of hibiscus helps to cool and regulate the body’s temperature, as well as tone and cool irritated tissue and mucous membranes throughout the digestive tract and genitourinary system. This is particularly indicated in the case of overheated states and inflammation in the body, such as irritation in the liver, stomach, bladder, urinary tract, uterus, or colon. Hibiscus is also clearing, helping to move stuck mucus
in the lungs and energy in the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems.
Sauce from Herb Academy
2) Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
- Relieves gas and bloating while relaxing the digestive muscles and breaks up flatulence.
- Stimulates digestive juices and can ease nausea and motion sickness.
- Aids in colds, fevers, and flu.
Taste: sweetish odor and a warm, pungent taste with a cooling aftertaste
Action: carminative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, antiemetic, nervine, anti-microbial, analgesic
3) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Help alleviate muscle pain and improve memory.
- Boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.
Taste: acrid & aromatic
Action: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-tumorigenic, anti-nociceptive, and neuroprotectiv
4) Holy Basil, Tulsi (rama – ocimum tenuiflorum)
- Calms the nervous system, moves stagnation, colds and flu, upper respiratory illness.
- Protects against toxicity from chemicals, heavy metals, and radiations.
Taste: robust, slightly sweet flavor and crisp taste
Actions: adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety,
5) Calendula (calendula officinalis)
- Prevents muscle spasms, starts menstrual periods, and reduces fever.
- It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool
Action: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, cholagogue, hemostatic, lymphatic, vulnerary
6) Lemon Balm (melissa Officinalis) Family: Lamiaceae
- Calming and uplifting the nervous system
- Relieves spasms and gas, hot water extracts have anti-viral properties
Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool
Actions: carminative, nervine, antispasmodic, antidepressant, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, antiviral, hepatic
7) Chamomile (matricaria recutita) Family: Asteraceae
- Calming to the nervous system, anti-inflammatory
- Calming to digestive cramping and gas upset, mild
Taste: flowery, earthy and apple-like sweetness
Actions: nervine, antispasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory(抗炎剤), antimicrobial, bitter, vulnerary
4. TIPS for GROWING MEDICINAL HERBS
(your garden or pots – you can even grow a lot in a small space!)
1) If you love/like gardening or are curious about gardening, you can grow medicinal herbs even in a small container if you do not have a garden and live in an apartment. I once grew them when I was living in the school dormitory.
2) If you have a small space, choose the one easy to grow and you want to make fresh herbal tea.
3) A connection you make with plants/herbs/nature is essential.
4) As you observe the cycle of season/nature/life by little, seeds sprout and grow to produce flowers and maybe seeds again.
5) Recognizing the cycle of life is natural healing.
6) Most medicinal herbs grow like weeds in the wild. They are pretty hardy, so they usually thrive when you give decent soil, light, and water.
5. HOW/WHEN to HARVEST
1) Always harvest in the morning, after the dew has evaporated, and before the sun and heat hit the plant.
2) Make sure to use clean shears. This is beneficial both to you and the plant.
3) Buds and Flowers are best harvested just as they are opening.
4) Don’t wait for them to open fully: they will lose their medicinal potency.
5) Leaves are usually best harvested before a plant is in full bloom.
6. HOW TO PROPERLY DRY
1) Once you’ve harvested medicinal herbs for future use, I recommend drying them to preserve them.
2) Brush off and remove any organic material, such as bugs and dirt.
3) Dried quickly, protected from direct sunlight, packaged, and stored correctly
4) Minimal humidity and good airflow
5) If you use a dehydrator: a temperature should be around 90º to 110º
6) The traditional method for drying herbs is to hang them in small bundles from rafters.
7. FRESH VS. DRIED
1) Fresh-picked herbs taste good, but high-quality dried herbs can be as effective as fresh herbs.
2) The best reason to use dried herbs is that fresh herbs are unavailable year-round, and some medicinal herbs are not grown locally.
3) When making salves and oils, it is better to use dried herbs because the water content in fresh plants can spoil the oil.
If you have a question, send me email firstname.lastname@example.org or post here.
Since the Covid/Pandemic year of 2020,
the world has been threatened with fear, anxiety, irritability, loneliness, depression, and increasing domestic violence.
For more reasons, I felt strongly that we now need to connect within ourselves and focus on self-care by receiving holistic natural healing support from Bach Flower Remedy. Finding out and understanding your own feelings/mind/emotions are essential.
I am grateful that I offered my first online Bach Flower Remedy classes in Japanese from March to May 2022.
It was my first time teaching five series of Bach Flower Classes also.
I have been living in America for a long time.
Teaching in my native language, Japanese, gave me the experience of the ability to understand feelings and the mind deeper, which exposed my heart core.
I deepened my childhood favorites to open up to my life when I started to teach the class.
My heart felt so much gratitude.
I appreciate the people who took the classes and Masayo, who made these classes happen.
I shared many of my actual experiences for people to understand flower remedies.
I had so much fun sharing the flowers (some of them were the same flowers of Bach Flower Remedy) that I was growing each class.
Case study every class was so helpful; I used movie scenes/characters as case studies.
I gave one case study:
Will Smith and Chris Rock’s 2022 Oscars Incident Over Jada Pinkett Smith – which was so realistic to understand how to choose Bach Flower Remedy.
Live classes ended, but these classes are still available to take/watch by the archive.
Homework, questions, and comments are all answered by me when you send your email to email@example.com.
The detail and link are here.
Bach Flower Remedy’s gentle support has helped me for many years (since 1993), many times, hundreds of times, and thousands of times.
I hope I can offer the classes in English near future.
What is Bach Flower Remedy for people who do not know about it.
Bach Flower Remedies are made with wildflowers and plants energies transcripted to water.
Each remedy is associated with a basic human emotion. Mimulus, for example, is for when we are anxious or afraid about something specific. Taking the remedy helps us overcome our fear and face it with courage.
The remedies are in liquid form so that you can mix together the remedies you need to help balance your current emotional situation. Like Dr. Bach, we believe that healing on an emotional level has knock-on effects on other levels. A healthy emotional life and a balanced personality will allow your body to find its own natural state of health.
Dr. Bach designed his system to be simple. It may seem daunting at first, but anybody can learn how to use it. On this site, you will find all you need to get you started. We have pages where you can look up every remedy and find out what they are for. Other pages tell you how to select and take the remedies. Below you will find how they are made, and we have lots of recommendations for further reading if you want to know more.
Sources from the Bach Center, home of Dr. Edward Bach
My Bach Flower Remedy Story
I was first introduced to Bach Flower Remedies in 1993 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
I did not yet know anything about Dr. Bach or Flower Remedies.
When my acupuncturist recommended that I take four drops of Rescue Remedies every day whenever I felt stressed, I didn’t realize I was under the harmful effects of stress. But thinking back, I see that the anxiety and stress of finding out I had cancer was perhaps more deadly than the disease itself.
I had no medical insurance for treatment or surgery in America, and my family in Japan could not help me, as my father had just passed away from his cancer.
I was compelled to seek a path of self-healing holistically.
I researched and made an appointment with a macrobiotic counselor in Los Angeles.
After the counseling, I started taking cooking classes, making healing food, and using herbs and holistic medicine.
And I also tried acupuncture for a short time; I remembered that when I was growing up in Japan, my parents used acupuncture to boost their strength, so I thought it might help me.
The acupuncturist who introduced me to Rescue Remedies did not explain much about Bach Flower remedy, but I was motivated to try any holistic approach to healing.
I was only 38 years old and had just separated from my first husband, and I wanted to do so much with my life.
My decision to heal was solid, so I told myself, “No matter what, I am overcoming this challenge so that I can move on to my wonderful life.”
A few days after I started taking Rescue Remedies, I noticed that I could drive more calmly, even in the heaviest of traffic. I came home from work feeling more peaceful and could sleep better.
I thought to myself, could this little bottle of drops be helping?
I wanted to know what was inside the bottle, so I went back to the natural food store where I got it.
I bought my first Bach Flower Remedies book, Bach Flower Essences for the Family.
It was so fascinating for me to find out for the first time how flowers’ healing powers help our emotions and mental issues.
I could not stop reading it and felt like trying all the remedies!
I decided to study Bach Flower Remedies someday when I recovered from ovarian cancer.
I started to study and became a registered practitioner in 1995 and became Bach Flower Registered Practioner of BFRP in 2005.
I have been using Bach Flower Remedy for myself, my family (including my dogs and cats), and my friends, to help their emotional and mental balance.
I also offer Bach Flower Remedy counseling.
I recommend Bach Flower Remedy to my clients who come for macrobiotic nutrition counseling.
I have seen so much benefit for most people in their emotional/mental challenging, which they get a smoother transition to healing their physical conditions.
Bach Flower Remedy counseling, here
Wow, writing my blog!
2022 new year came.
I have enjoyed different projects each month, and already the end of April!
I wanted to write about each project, and I thought about wanting to write my blog almost every morning when I walked with my dogs.
I have one promise to myself to keep my health, rest each afternoon to balance out my active life, so I had to cut some of my activities and change my mind.
Writing a blog takes time for me, even though I love to write.
Take photos, write a draft, check my English and translate it into Japanese as much as I can because I want to share them in my native language.
I usually expect a lot of myself and want to write something meaningful blog, but I decided I just write even a few short; otherwise, I would never be able to make time to write. (Bach Flower Remedy has helped me!)
So here I listed the monthly seasonable activities that I did last four months with many photos.
January: Woodblock print tiger for this year. This one will be Online Art Show at SMC Emeritus College next month.
February: Miso making – I made barley miso, brown rice miso.
March: Lecture for dog health at Tortoise with my book “Healthy Happy Pooch” signing.
My first online class of Bach Flower Remedy for Japanese people has started.
April: My birthday – Eric’s lemon cake (lemon from my garden).
I watercolored Sweet Pea, which is April month of flower – Symbols of New beginning, Inspiration, and Creativity.
Taking time to finish my Sweet Pea gave me a relaxing feeling, and now I can write this blog.
Living a balance of life, effort, and joy.
Love, Sanae ❤️
There is a new year proverb of the Japanese:
一年の計は元旦にあり- Ichinen no kei wa gantan ni ari
Freely translation is – “New Year’s day is the key of the year! ”
The proverb’s direct meaning is that The year’s plan is made on New Year’s Day.
I usually make a plan spontaneously, but transforming it into action may sometimes take time as I get older with wise decisions.
I like free translation for New Year’s Day.
I have been practicing my new year day’s ritual to get up and see New Year’s sunrise for about 30 years. I love this ritual to lift my spirits and prepare to start the new year.
It’s has been colder winter for Santa Monica.
At 5 am on new years’ morning, my brain said, let’s stay in the Christmas gift of organic flannel sheets and stay warm.
My heart whispered, let’s see new year’s sunrise!
And… I went!
2022 new year’s sunrise in Santa Monica was 7:58 am.
I was with my husband, Eric, elderly dog daughter Lumi and her daughter Happy, and dog son of Kai.
We also had our friends and their ten-year-old son, who are all first time, come to join us to see new year sunrise. They are all Kai’s friends.
We hiked up and arrived at the spot at 6:15 am.
We waited for the new year’s sunrise to show up.
The sky transformed artistically, so many different scenes touched my emotions deeply.
But at the same time, like last year’s new year’s morning, it was very windy and also colder, and my hand started to feel like freezing with the uncomfortableness.
Our friend’s son found a very very thin paper moon (2 % of the waning crescent moon) in the sky, but we could not see it for a while.
We were saying, where is it?
Are you sure it is a moon?
Finally, we – adults, saw the thread-thin moon as we focused our hearts.
And I forgot how my hands were feeling painfully cold.
The child’s eyes captured a tiny slite moon, and we were grateful that we could see it too because of him.
Then, I realized I forgot to connect my cell phone to charge as sky was getting blighter.
I thought there were no new year’s sunrise photos this year, but the friends had iPhone 13 and sent me hight quality photos, which were no comparison to my iPhone 8.
Look at these gorgeous new year sunrise photos:
Seeing another new year’s sunrise, I felt deeply connected to the sun and nature with an appreciation for being a human being.
I felt happiness simply without material or money.
The universe (God, Higher power) planned for me to sleep without changing my cell phone on new years eve night. Ha, ha, ha!
I thought of another proverb, 塞翁が馬 -Saiyou ga uma.
Freely translation is “Fortune is unpredictable and changeable.”
It will be my 2022 motto.
2022 with gratitude, hope, and love!