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Whole Foods and Macrobiotic Menu Planning

Welcome to Whole Foods and Macrobiotic Menu Planning! You'll learn the basics of the whole foods/5 element/macrobiotic calendar and how to create meals which are appropriate for every season. Sample menus are provided for every time of year, as well as for special occasions. In addition, you'll get some ideas on the whole foods and macrobiotic approach to recovery from illness, and how to create a healing diet, or enhance an existing one.

The Power of Greens: How to Eat More Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens give us powerful nutrition from abundant chlorophyll, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Learn how to eat more of these life loving plants. Your body will thank you!

Detoxing, Alkalizing, Bone Building and Anti-Inflammatory Protocols:
Are you ready for a clean start? Feeling like you need a reset after a holiday or in general? You can support your body by gently cleansing your energetic pathways. Blood, digestion, and elimination all need attention, much in the same way we tune up our cars, change the oil, and ensure that all the fluids are adequate. Cleansing protocols can make a huge difference in how we feel, and range from juice fasts to green smoothies to one of the gentler protocols listed below, which include food.

Happy Vegan Thanksgiving: The Animal Lover's Feast
For all of my animal loving, plant eating friends, here are recipes for a vegan Thanksgiving feast that will leave every corner of you satisfied.

The Foods of Fall: Local, Seasonal Whole Foods Recipes
Autumn means apples, pears, squash, pumpkins, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, root veggies and what we call "earth colors": yellows, oranges, reds and browns are abundant in the plant kingdom this time of year. The following are recipes for this wonderfully earthy time of year. Happy cooking!

Sandwich Ideas for Every Appetite –Including Grain Free Diets
Sandwiches in some form or another are found in many parts of the world, but they are truly an American staple. Sandwiches are great picnic foods and carry well for lunch at school or the office. Beyond the obvious and typical sandwiches you see in delis, we’ve got some great ideas that may inspire you to new heights of sandwich making!

Back to School and Back to Work Lunches: The Macro Bowl
This mean, clean and green macro bowl is a vegan, gluten free, dairy free meal and perfect for a macrobiotic diet or for someone who wants a simple and effective style of eating. The simplicity of this protocol is excellent for a gentle cleanse, and gives the body the opportunity to rest and heal.

Whole Foods Passover Seder Menu
Whole foods cooking might be the last thing you'd think about when planning a Passover meal, but a beautiful, festive, healthy meal can be a refreshing change from typical fare.

Whole Foods Pumpkin Recipes From Soup to Dessert
Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients: alpha and beta-carotene and potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and E. Pumpkin is also rich in fiber and I consider it in the category of a super food. Try cooking with small round sugar pumpkins, boldly ribbed Cinderella pumpkins, calabaza (West Indian pumpkin), Hokkaido squash, Red Kuri, Kabocha, or any other deep orange, dense squash. These can be used interchangeably, with slight variations in flavor, density and texture.

A Paleo Thanksgiving Dinner
If you're living the paleo life and want to carry it over into Thanksgiving, look no further. We have a gorgeous lineup of great paleo recipes for your holiday celebration.

Time Saving Nutrition for Busy Professionals
Busy lives require good time management, and make ahead meals can tip the scales towards better nutrition when time is tight. The soups and stews that follow benefit from sitting for a day in your fridge so flavors can meld. They can also be frozen, so you can make a pot of soup or stew and freeze it in single serve containers for lunch or...

Whole Foods Recipes for Lent
In the Catholic Church and some Protestant faiths, Lent is a time of prayer and abstinence during the weeks before Easter. Mardi Gras -or Fat Tuesday- is the feast that comes just before, and was traditionally a day when rich, fatty foods were used up in preparation for Ash Wednesday, when Lent officially began. Whole foods cooking lends itself...

Almost Famous 2013: Young Chefs Compete for A Stellar Year of Mentoring
San Pellegrino’s Almost Famous Chef competition is off to a strong start. The contest, which is in its 11th year, offers culinary students the opportunity to vie for a yearlong mentorship with one of the master chef judges who preside over the finals at Napa Valley’s Greystone CIA. Contestants from all over the US and Canada convene at 10...

Cheap Eats: How to Make the Most of Your Whole Food Dollar on A Tight Budget
There’s no question that eating well can be more expensive than eating poorly. My clients often ask how they can eat well without breaking the piggy bank, and there are a number of things we can do to offset our food costs.

A Vegetarian Holiday Feast
Home for the holidays and searching for the perfect vegetarian menu? Look no further! We have a wonderful lineup for a multiple course meal, with appetizer, soup, main course, after dinner salad and dessert all creating a beautiful and festive symphony of flavors, colors and presentation.

The Vegan Holiday Meal
Most festive menus are geared to revolve around a center of meat or fish, and we don't always see multiple course menus designed for a vegan celebration. If you are home for the holidays and want to entertain with a fabulous sit down dinner in courses, read on. We have a great line-up of recipes to make a beautiful and scrumptious meal.

The Dirty Dozen and The Fresh Fifteen
To be, or not to be? Organic, or not organic? Some fruits and vegetables are traditionally very low in pesticides and can be purchased from a "conventionally grown" source. Others, like berries and apples and greens, are particularly vulnerable to poisons. What should you buy organic? What is safe from a conventional grower?

I’m in the Mood For Love: Recipes for Sensual Eating
I’m in the Mood For Love: Recipes for Sensual Eating on Valentine's Day and Beyond

The Basic Detoxification Diet: A Gentle Body Cleansing Primer
Did you over-eat during the holidays? Have you been overloading your body with too much rich food, alcohol, sugar, and dairy? This food program is designed to help reduce inflammation, sluggishness and overall body toxicity.

Favorite Party Foods for Stress-Free Entertaining
Throwing a party anytime of year can be either seamless or stressful, depending on how you set yourself up. After 25 years as a caterer and event planner, I always tell people not to take on too much: the point of the party is to have fun, not be running yourself ragged and working the entire time you have company. That said, mixing up what’s...

Whole Foods Cooking and Baking with Squash
Squash come in dozens of varieties, shapes and colors. In summer and early fall we see the delicate yellow and green varieties: zucchini, yellow squash, avocado and patty pan. As summer deepens into fall, the wonderfully dense yellow and deep orange fleshed varieties ripen to carry us through the winter: pumpkins of all kinds, butternut,...

Holiday Treats and Sweets
Holiday goodies can be indulgent without being terrible for us. This year, instead of going overboard with the sugar and butter, why not try a few alternatives that will leave you and your guests feeling satiated without being overloaded?

Travel Tips for the Whole Foods Human:
Unless you land on one of the coasts, or in a country with wholesome culinary traditions, eating whole foods while traveling can be a daunting undertaking. A business trip or vacation can take us into many environments where the food supply is limited and/or downright unhealthy. So what to do?

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
It's interesting that Thanksgiving has become a day when we eat ourselves into oblivion, and that it marks the start of 5 weeks of overindulgence. In our family we have made a point of balancing tradition with healthier options, so along with turkey, stuffing and gravy you'll find plenty of healthy vegetables and salads. Whether you are...

Cauliflower Revisited: Soup and Side Dish Recipes
Cauliflower, like many white foods, makes a great blank canvas to add assertive flavors to. Try adding cauliflower cut into small florets to a stir-fry dish, or sauté with garlic and finish with lemon and parsley for an Italian touch. Herbs and curry spices are wonderful additions to cauliflower and can transform this hearty and humble vegetable...

David Wolfe and the Longevity Now Conference
Living foods educator David Wolfe is a dedicated advocate for health information and empowerment. His biannual Longevity Now Conference in Costa Mesa, California is an exciting opportunity for newcomers and professionals alike to gain cutting edge information on advances in the field of longevity, peak performance and anti-aging. Read on for a...

The Five Elements: Metal
This is a brief explanation of the energies and foods of Autumn, and how we can support and strengthen our health and spirits during this time of year.

Favorite Recipes for the Autumn Harvest
Fall brings us into a descending energy pattern as the earth gives off the last of her harvest. Root veggies, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, leeks and other sturdy vegetables are what remain to be harvested. Here are some favorite recipes for using the Autumn harvest.These dishes are hearty and more warming in nature than...

Navigating the Holiday Food Circuit:
The average American consumes an extra 600 calories per day between Thanksgiving and New Year's, which can translate into pounds and inches. By the time 5 weeks pass, we have effectively created new -and unhealthy- eating habits, and are faced with an uphill climb to undo the damage. So what might happen if we decided to "pick our poison"?

Foods for picnics, barbecues, and entertaining on summer holidays.
Time to fire up the grill! Fourth of July is a time when hordes of Americans come out to celebrate, and it's not all about hot dogs and hamburgers. These macrobiotic and whole foods recipes offer great ideas for picnic foods, make ahead dishes, and entertaining.

Favorite Foods for Father's Day
I have yet to meet a man who didn't appreciate a home cooked meal, so this Father's Day why not fix Dad a great, healthy dinner? From main courses to side to dessert, these recipes will please all but the most hardcore meat eaters. An added plus is a meal that helps keep our Dads healthy and strong

The Five Elements: The Water or Kidney Element
Winter governs the water element, or Zhi. It is the dormant season, when all life force burrows deep in the bosom of the earth. It is a gestational time of replenishing the wellspring of life so that when spring comes, the gathering energy will burst forth with new growth.

The 5 Elements: The Wood or Liver Element
Spring marks a miraculous bursting of energy and carries with it the energy of wood. Sap, which is nature’s lifeblood, courses through the trees; new life pushes its way up from the depths of the earth, and we are surrounded by a bright sense of renewal and creativity.

Macrobiotic Summer Salads
Easy is a key word for summer. Simple, relaxed foods, plenty of hydration, and slowing down our movement in the heat all add up to happier bodies when the temperature rises. Summer salads are a way to eat well, keep cool, and get plenty of nutrients.

Favorite Foods For Spring
Spring's arrival means it's time for spring-cleaning our bodies as well as our houses. After a few months of consuming heavier, denser foods, it's time for us to cleanse our systems and rev our internal engines. We often feel sluggish in early spring, as our bodies want to shake off the extra weight of winter and come out of hibernation.

Mother's Day Brunch
One of the things I remember about Mother’s Day when we were kids is making breakfast for our mom. It is an act of love that is timeless, an acknowledgement of the ways our mothers care for and nurture us. The recipes that follow are wonderful ideas for breakfast and brunch in honor of the woman that brought us here.

The 3 3's
Macrobiotics classifies vegetables into different categories: root, round, and green. It is recommended that we eat several vegetables from these categories on a daily basis. This helps alkalize the blood, reduce inflammation, and keep energy flowing through the body.

The Evolving Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is nothing new. In some form or another, it's been around for about 200,000 years as humans existed in a nomadic, hunter-gatherer manner. Pre-agricultural humans ate animal food, roots, wild plants, nuts and seeds. Fruits were an occasional food; present in the diet, they occupied a minority space based on seasonal gathering and drying.

Winter Dinners
During the winter we eat more dense, warming foods. Soups, stews, roots, and kidney strengthening foods as discussed in The Five Seasons and the Five Elements find their place on the macrobiotic winter table.

More On Cheap Eats: Stretching Your Whole Foods Dollar
I’ve done quite a bit of writing on eating a whole foods diet economically. Will we spend more than we would in a standard supermarket? Perhaps yes, because in theory the cost of producing many sustainably grown ingredients is higher. Yet if we look at the carbon footprint of shipping food half way around the world, the story begins to shift.

Kidney Strengthening Recipes
According to 5-element theory, our kidneys govern our vital life force energy. They regulate water metabolism, our sex organs and fertility, bones, teeth, hair and hearing. In other words, kidney energy is incredibly important to our health. We have some wonderful recipes that can nourish and strengthen our kidney 'essence' any time of year.

Macrobiotic Breakfasts
We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Most of us have experienced the “crash” from either eating poorly or not at all in the morning. The following menu suggestions should help you get started on nourishing yourself in the morning, and setting your body up for an energized day. The density of hot grain cereals and pancakes is well suited for cool weather. Tofu scramble, while not a substitute for eggs, can be a tasty, protein packed way t start your day.

Menu Planning for Fall
The article The Five Seasons and the Five Elements delineates the seasons and their corresponding foods. What follows below is a brief review of Autumn and suggestions on how to incorporate more of the metal enhancing foods into your diet.

Fall Dinners
These fall dinner menus can be used for lunch, depending on when you eat your largest meal of the day. Dinners should include a soup when possible, a grain dish, ample vegetables, and a small amount of protein as fish or beans. Include sea vegetables at least twice a week, as well as sour or pickled foods. Choose a variety of vegetables from the sweet, bitter, root, pungent and green families.

Liver Loving Recipes
The following recipes are nourishing to the wood element, or liver, in five element cooking. The liver is a remarkable organ with tremendous regenerative properties. It stores and nourishes our blood, assists digestion, and carries qi into our muscles and joints. The liver, along with our kidneys, is a major filtration system for toxins. Liver...

Fall Snacks On the Go
Generally speaking, snacks are an area where many of us trip up. Finding yourself hungry in the middle of the afternoon can be a recipe for poor food choices, and making sure your home and office are stocked with healthy mini-meals or hunger busting fruits is important.

The Five Elements and the Five Seasons
What follows is a basic summary of how the 5 elements translate into a macrobiotic calendar, and how to make macrobiotic food choices that are particularly nourishing for our bodies during any time of year.

Desserts We Love for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving can be a slow food feast with desserts that are both satisfying and healthier than the American norm. We have a whole list of wonderful treats that range from low-fat to gluten-free, low sugar to vegan to just plain yummy. They can be paired with whipped cream for more traditional folks, or vegan dessert sauces for the...

Favorite Asparagus Recipes
Late spring and early summer mark the advent of asparagus season, and few vegetables carry the nutritional and healing properties of this slender, power-packed stalk. Asparagus is very rich in the B vitamin folate, as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin K and potassium, and is a diuretic plant. It contains an abundant supply of inulin, a carbohydrate that feeds healthy –and much needed- bacteria in our …

A World of Ways to Cook with Quinoa
Quinoa is an ancient, protein and vitamin rich staple food. While strictly speaking it is a seed, quinoa is eaten as a grain. It has an exceptional amino acid profile and, along with its cousin amaranth, has the highest protein content of all grains. Quinoa can be eaten as a cereal, side dish, salad, or used in baked goods. Here are some of our favorite whole foods and “new” macrobiotic recip…

Favorite Raw Recipes
These easy raw recipes are a great introduction to some of the possibilities of raw foods preparation. A few contain vinegar; if you wish to adhere to a very strict protocol, use raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute. br The list includes drinks, entrees, side dishes and salads, as well as dessert. Bon appetit!

The Many Ways to Cook with Corn
Corn is a vegetable that is both beloved and maligned. Many people write it off as being a starchy, sugar-laden vegetable with little nutritional value, but it contains valuable nutrients. Most significantly, cooked corn contains rich amounts of ferulic acid, an antioxidant that protects the heart. It's interesting to note that corn is considered a heart food in 5-element cooking, a theory that …

The Alkaline Diet
The medical community has established that an alkaline diet rich in plant foods is key to longevity, but maintaining an alkaline diet is increasingly difficult in modern western culture. Complex alkalizing minerals are contained in abundance in vegetables and a selection of fruits, yet convenience foods, soda, and excess proteins have replaced...

Bone Density 101: A Primer for Women of All Ages
Osteopenia (thinning bones) and osteoporosis (porous bones) are on the rise. Modern lifestyles, diet, and undue amounts of stress are all contributing to pushing us out of our naturally alkaline states into low-grade chronic acidosis, and our bones are taking the hit. There are several steps women can take to ensure bone health across the lifespan.

Seasonal Cleansing: Preparing Our Bodies for Transition
As each season shifts into the next, we can support our bodies by gently cleansing our energetic pathways. Blood, digestion, elimination all need attention, much in the same way we tune up our cars, change the oil, and ensure that all the fluids are adequate.

The Mobile Guide to Healthy Eats
We live in a mobile world, and eating well in our travel-oriented universe can be really hard unless you plan ahead. For all of you who struggle to maintain balance on the road, we've got some great suggestions. And no, you don't have to pack an extra suitcase full of food!

Soups for Spring
Spring brings a special tender green energy with it, and the soups we love most in spring time also carry that wonderful delicate quality. Asparagus, peas, leeks, tender young micro greens, watercress, baby spinach, ramps and artichokes all make a sweet bright appearance.

Whole Foods Spring Salads
We love salads anytime of year, but in the spring and summer they are a must on our table. Entree salads, side salads, before-or-after dinner salads are all welcome guests. The salad recipes that follow are perfect for spring, and lend themselves to presenting as appetizers, sides, entrees and some as palate-cleansing after dinner salads. Take...

Father's Day Recipes for the Flexitarian Man
What's a flexitarian Dad? Father's Day Recipes for the Flexitarian Man offers a great selection of dishes for the man who eats a dominantly plant based diet, but reserves the right to indulge in an occasional chicken dinner. He's the guy who is blessedly conscious and still appreciates throwing something on the grill, or who sometimes feels a...

The Five Elements: The Fire or Heart Element
During the summer months, nature is at its most expansive, abundant manifestation. The sun is at its highest, food is plentiful, and all plant life is full of vital life force. Taoist five element theory teaches us that the element of summer is fire.

Favorite Tomato Recipes for Harvest's Bounty
Like any good gardening Italian woman, my mother has always planted tomatoes in her vegetable plot. And in high summer they would appear on her table in all forms imaginable: as soups, sauces, salads, pizzas, or very simply in a beautiful bowl on her long trestle table. She would preserve them, bottling them naked with a few sprigs of basil or...

The Five Elements: Earth or Yi
The Earth Element or Yi falls in late summer, and lasts from August 21 until the fall equinox of September 21. It is the shortest season, and is a moment of suspension between the high energies of the Fire Season and the descending energies of autumn, when light inevitably recedes, and life pulls back towards the earth. Earth time is a brief...

Cooking with Apples: Whole Foods Recipes for Every Course
Fall offers up an incredible abundance of apples: tart, sweet, juicy, crisp, complex and just plain delicious. These wonderful fruits can be eaten raw or cooked, though the latter are easier to digest.

A Chef's Holiday Meal
This festive menu is a chef's dinner adapted for a home cook who is comfortable in the kitchen. The main courses offered here -lamb or duck- are not overly hard to master, and are great dishes to have in your repertoire. I've provided suggestions for side vegetables as well. It also happens to be a gluten free meal from start to finish, and my...

Almost Famous Chef Competition 2013: A Dream Come True for Kristen Thibeault
Chef Kristen Thibeault, owner of Kombu Kitchen in Boston, won the Napa Valley finals of the Almost Famous Chef Competition on March 10. The competition, now in its 11th year, wrapped up at the Greystone CIA in St Helena, California.

The Whole Foods Easter Feast
Easter in my Italian family has always been a tumble of activity held at my aunt's farm. The feast is a joint venture in which we all participate, and the recipes that follow will give you some ideas for this festive early spring meal.

It's All About Salmon
Wild sockeye salmon is in peak season right now, so I've been inspired to highlight some of the many ways this nutrient rich, anti-inflammatory protein can be prepared. Wild salmon is one of the safest and healthiest fish currently available to us, and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is distinguished from farmed salmon by its nearly red flesh, and is far leaner than its fatty relative. These whole foods recipes are nearly all appropriate for a paleo or gluten free diet, and many of them are also suitable for a macrobiotic protocol. Regardless of how you eat, they are all delicious, interesting and easy ways to prepare this wonderful fish.

Autumn Harvest: Celebrating Community and the Fall Equinox
For a brief moment in late September, the Earth spins upright relative to the sun before beginning its tilt away for the fall and winter months. This is the moment of the equinox, and it closely follows the Harvest Moon (the full moon of September). As we do each year, my town in Southern California celebrated the harvest with a beautiful gathering.

The Mighty Mushroom: Great Whole Foods Recipes For Wild and Cultivated Fungi
Mushrooms have documented abilities to bolster immunity, cleanse and nourish the blood, and help remove toxins from the body. Beyond all of this is the fact that mushrooms are culinary marvels, full of individual personality and delicious in their own right. The following list of recipes hints at the possibilities of these wonderful woodland plants.


Holiday Baking From the Whole Foods, Gluten Free, Grain Free and Vegan Kitchens
Are you gluten free? Vegan? Still figuring it out? This lineup of holiday goodies runs the gamut from grain free to gluten free to vegan and back again for those who just want a healthier version of sweets. We have something for everyone on your list and you may discover that indulgence won't exact quite so high a price on your waistline!

Superbowl Sunday: Food and Recipes for the Whole Foods Sports Fan
We need sustenance for all the excitement of the Superbowl or any other championship game, so here are some great whole foods recipes for easy nibbling that will generate plenty of complements and happy bellies.

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