Real Story of Soy, Behind the Spotlight

"Knowledge Is Power" (知識は力なり)

Francis Bacon (British philosopher, 16~17th Century)


Knowing is a treasure that no one can steal from you. The hard part is to sort out which information has the truth in this deluge of information era, with internet and media.

Information is right there when we need it once we turn TV on, search on google, or connect with thousands of SNS postings (incl, my posting)... When celebs talk about "my way of staying in a good shape is having green smoothie every morning!" (I think the smoothie boom has been going on for a while now) people blindly follow that.

...WHY NOT? "Green smoothie is 'the thing' you can get a great benefit, from many nutritious veggies and fresh fruits, just in a glass! Oh don't forget soy milk in it. It's better than whole milk and has lots of phyto-estrogen, which is good for women"

How does that resonate in you?

Smoothie in morning can be great for some constitutional people, NOT FOR EVERYONE. Next, what's in the smoothie? > Kale? — NO! > Banana? — ...How is your blood sugar level? > Soy milk? — Nooo.

Just last year, 2016, I was watching a TV show in Japan, about food, health, and beauty care — every girl's best interest. Then...I got speechless!  This 'beauty advisor' was talking about how beneficial for 'all' women to drink soy milk and eat soys. When the beauty professional says so, I bet so many women go with that idea, drink soy milk and eat soys (in any form) with no doubt!  ( In US, I sense people are a bit more exposed to the information about the risks of soy. ) (**Fermented Soy products are exceptions. They are purely 'Super-Foods'**) This is a perfect example of 'a deluge of information' that can confuses people. 


Unfermented soybeans contain massive Anti-nutrients, giving negative affects on our body functions. Its known elements are listed below

• Phytate: Most of legumes and grains have Phytate. Among legumes, soy carries it the most. Phytate binds with minerals (zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium) in a body. As a result, a body loses minerals.

• Enzyme inhibitors: They block the actions of digestive enzymes, promoting digestion and assimilation of protein and carbohydrate. Due to this indigestive effect, bacterias in the large intestine have to work. That could cause unpleasant symptoms in a gut.

• Goitrogen: Soy is rich in goitrogen, which could cause goiters and inhibit the production of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is more popular among women. So please be careful if you have a history or potential of hypothyroidism. Thyroid function takes quite an important role on energy level (life force) in a body. Therefore, lowered thyroid functions mean a decline of cardiac activity.

• Isoflavone in soy (genistein): It's been encouraged to ingest soy products loudly to prevent any conditions associated with depleted female sex hormone, such as menopause, female hormone imbalances, and skin rejuvenation..., for its estrogen-like activity. But wait! Consuming excess amount can impact on a body in many different levels. First, it can interfere thyroid production. Second, it can heighten the risk of estrogen-sensitive conditions. 

If you have a history and potential of any excess-estrogen conditions, such as breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, endometriosis, fibroids etc..., please be careful with the excess isoflavone consumption.

⚠︎ It's been reported that consuming 70~75mg of isoflavone per day could bring positive feedbacks FROM ACTUAL FOODS (1 pack of Natto has 50mg / 1 pack of Tofu has 60mg). Food safety commission (in Japan) suggests to consume upto 30 mg of it FROM SUPPLEMENTS. 

• Watch out for GMO soy: In the recent history, the techinque of gene recombination (gene modification) brought a big progress in the agricultural business. More harvested crops, less herbicidal and insecticide labors. That means we can purchase those products with cheaper prices. And they are ubiquitously found not only in soy products, but also in so many food products on supermarket shelves. That all seems to make sense. We have to remember though, that's not how nature created plants originally. 

Since GMO products became prevalent in the market, chronic disease rate went higher proportionately. How do you read this correlation? 


Our ancestors hold a full of wisdom. They fermented stuff for reasons. In the process of fermentation, the anti-nutrients, above, are neutralized. Not only that, that'll add much more benefit to the food, such as beneficial bacteria for a body.

Why Bone Broth?

Coming from the latest health trend in NY, nowadays you can purchase a cup or jar of bone broth from fine butchers and restaurants. Bone broth has become accessible over time! This growing services bring an awareness toward this old remedy. ...But do you want to pay $9 for a cup every time??? Granted that making bone broth takes time and effort, and this jar is a full of nourishments! Then why don't we make own for a full of big pot with less than $9? ;p

Each sip of bone broth gives you a wide range of nourishment like...

Multi-minerals and Amino acids (composing proteins)

Gelatin, works as digestive aid

Collagen, indispensable to bone, vascular wall, and skin health

Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint health

Benefit to neutralize phytic acids* by cooking grains with broth

   *Phytic acid: contained in grains and legumes. It binds with minerals (meaning minerals cannot be assimilated into a body), and impacts on thyroid.

Bone broth alone has abundant nourishments, but adding medicinal herbs and seasonal veggies can boost up flavors and nutritional supports!

Organic, grass-fed chicken bones, gingers, and leeks are in the pot ↑

Organic, grass-fed chicken bones, gingers, and leeks are in the pot ↑

During winter seasons, it's nice to spend cozy time in house over the weekends and make bone broth. You can use whichever you like and have available, chicken, pork, beef, lamb, or fish. Beef bone broth has the most powerful boost.


What to prepare:

• Large stainless steal or enamel stockpot or crockpot (4 to 6 quart)

• Strainer

• Glass jar(s) for storing the stock in the refrigerator or freezer


• Chicken bones including cartilage parts, ideally including neck, feet and head  (bones can be from a roasted chicken or fresh)

• Rice vineger, apple cider vinegar or any acid, such as lemon juice

• Water

***Quality matters here. Use good quality / organic ingredients

Direction: time 12~48 hours

1. Combine the chicken bones, parts and other ingredients in the stockpot or crockpot, along with vinegar (1/4 cup for every 4-6 quarts but the amounts can vary) and enough cold water to cover the ingredients by @ 2 fingers. 

2. Optional: Let sit for 1 hour off heat. This increases the amount of gelatin and minerals released.

3. If using the stockpot on the stove, bring to a boil and skim the scum that comes to the top. (These are impurities and off flavors. Organic pasture based poultry will have much less scum). Then turn down to a simmer, and cover. Simmer low for 12 to 48 hours. If using the crockpot, turn on high to bring a to boil, and skim off scum. (Some crockpots will not heat high enough to bring to a boil though.) Then turn to low and let cook for 12 to 48 hours. (Optional: The time can be cumulative; i.e. not keeping the heat on overnight, the stock can cool at room temperature for up to 12 hours safely)

4. In the hour before finishing, add green herbs, salt and pepper. Salt and pepper may be omitted and added later to the dish, which incorporates the stock.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer all the bones, parts, and skin to a catch bowl. Ladleful by ladleful, strain the stock through a strainer into a glass jar for storage. Allow to cool.

6. Put in the refrigerator for up to five days (A fat layer unbroken will help the stock keep longer.) Or store in the freezer for several months. Be careful when freezing liquids in glass jars, as there is a risk of breaking the jar. Minimize the risk by keeping the level of liquid below the shoulder of the jar and not capping tightly until frozen. Also laying the jar on its side in the freezer prevents cracking. Or avoid the issue completely by using other freezer storage containers. 

***Seek out BPH free containers as BPH can leech out in freezer.

7. Optional: To save freezer space, create a reduction sauce. Use the stovetop and allow the stock to simmer at a low boil an additional few hours with the lid off, during which time much water will evaporate, leaving a thicker stock with less volume.

8. Optional: Freeze stock in muffin tins or ice cube trays and then store in zip-lock bags for easy access to small amounts to add to sauces and dishes

I added above Chinese herbs into soup to make it super medicinal :)

I added above Chinese herbs into soup to make it super medicinal :)

Herbal Mayonnaise upon your mood

Culinary herbs are so useful to enrich meals. So are condiments! ...So why don't I combine both and make my herbal condiments, that are so flavorful and has medicinal benefits at the same time. Mayonnaise is such a useful condiment in our kitchen, and ...who doesn't like Mayo!? 

Dina Falconi, herbalist in upstate NY, has a great herbal recipe book "FORAGING & FEASTING: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook". I apply her recipe on my mayonnaise with herbs of my pick. 

I like bitter as a flavor. Because bitters have a lot of benefits; bitters promote saliva and bile production, bitters are hepatic, overall they are great digestive aids! ...So my pick is parsley and a bit of thyme this time. I'd like to share the benefits from ingesting parsley.

Parsley has been treated as just a garnish on plates while it can deliver so much more to us. Parsley can provide...

Anti-Oxidant property: Beta carotene, an antioxidant, can protect our cells from free-radicals.

Bone health improvement: Excellent source of Vitamin K which is closely related to bone health.

Anti-cancer property: Myricetin, a flavonol, in parsley has been shown to be effective on chemopreventive. Also chlorophyll is a compound that can support blocking carcinogenic affect from overly burnt from animal meat.

Diuretic property: That means parsley can flush things out of the body. Very detoxifing. Its diuretic action can be well used for urinary tract infections, kidney stone, and gallbladder stone. Edema can be alleviated as well. 

*Roots are more diuretic than leaves + stems

Also, parsley is high in Vitamin C, has numerous benefits in our overall health, and minerals (iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, and copper). 

Here in recipe, I used Garlic as well. Garlic alone can give us so many therapeutic action along with great accent and flavor on foods. Known to have a great deal of actions, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, hypotensive, lowering cholesterol... Here is the important fact to take advantage of those actions, that is... to crash, chopped, or slice raw garlic cloves and leave them for 10 min. before cooking! Allicin is the compound giving us all those benefits. Garlic clove itself doesn't contain Allicin. Alliin (compound) and alliinase (enzyme) are in its cell separately. By chopping it up and break the cell structure, those two can react to each other and create Allicin. We need to let this magic happen by giving some time.


Here are what you prepare... Please remember that quality matters here.

• 2 fresh good quality egg yolks

• 1 tbsp of lemon or lime juice

• 1 tbsp of vinegar

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 0.5 tsp of sea salt

• 1 cup of oil (good quality olive oil is perfect. cold pressed, organic)

• 3~8 tbsp of 1~2 kinds of fresh herbs you like (It's a suggested dosage, but I'd say you can over-do herbs!)

I personally like mayonnaise to be vinegarish than creamy. So I'd bump up the amount of lemon or lime juice and/or vinegar than Dina's recipe. Also if you want mayonnaise to be light, you can add egg white.

1. Egg yolks in food processor and mix for 30 sec.

2. Add lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and mix for 15 sec.

3. Pour oil slowly and mix 3~4 min. until it creates an emulsion.

4. Place the mayonnaise in the clean glass jar and store in the fridge. It'll be flavorful for 2 month.


Benefit To Eat Foods In Season: Bitter Melon

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory, Shoku-yojo 食養生 (dietary-regimen) is one of the foundations for our wellbeing. In Japanese, it means "nourish our lives with foods". 

"Eat foods seasonally" According to the traditional wisdom.

That is to say, shoku-yojo varies in season to season. Our condition is influenced by seasons. When the air gets dry in Winter, that affects to skin externally as dry skin and lungs internally as virus and bacteria get active under dryness. In summer, our body is drained during a day, and experience the lack of sleep at night because of the heat. Also humidity can decay Spleen/Stomach function in TCM theory, meaning it can cause anorexia and indigestion. Spring and Fall, as seasons change, autonomic nervous system may be disturbed by dramatical temperature shift through a day and stress under environmental change. 

Foods in season provide nutrients, actions, tastes, and energetics which our body desires each season. The seasonal foods mean the foods, grown under the most preferable environment naturally and ripen at the best condition. Season is the time their flavor and nutrients are the richest. It's been demonstrated that the nutritional quality of spinach in season goes twice as higher as one grown in greenhouse. 

Now, I'd like to talk about one of my favorite summer vegetables, bitter melon. Bitter melon is known to help low energy in summer when we lose the appetite because of the heat. Its bitterness stimulates stomach and intestine, and improve the appetite. This summer has been hot in NY. Perfect time to try it.

BItter Melon (Momordica charantia)

Parts used: Fruit

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Area of origin: Tropical and subtropical climate (Africa, Asia, and South America)

Memo: Required condition is tropical and subtropical climate. Easy to grow. Vine. 

Harvesting: June~August is the most nutritious time to harvest

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-viral, Hypoglycemic, Cholesterol reduction

• Very rich in Vitamin C (x3 than lemon, x4 than cabbage)

     Vit. C Bitter melon contains is tolerant of heat.

     Vit. C helps to produce collagen (good for damaged skin from UV)

• Bitter taste comes from the constituent, called momordicine


     Help to lower the blood sugar and blood pressure

Indications: Diabetes prevention, weariness in summer



Cilantro Pesto: Tasty Heavy metal Detox

Cilantro (also known as CorianderCoriandrum sativam) is widely used in culinary scenes all over the world. We love it because it enriches the flavor of the dish. 

Leaves and seeds are the parts used medicinally.

Seeds are used for female complaints, such as heavy menstrual flow and urinary tract infections, and good digestive. But here, I'd like to introduce another beneficial feature of cilantro leaf that makes you want to eat more.

It is a very useful discovery, that cilantro can cleanse heavy metals deposited in our organ(s) and nervous system, made by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura, from the Heart Disease Research Foundation, New York.

Some of known toxic heavy metals are...

• Lead

• Mercury

• Aluminum

• Cadmium

• Arsenic

• Berylium

and more...

How do they go into our body? ...We are actually exposed to them every day. Air-pollutants, tobacco, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, cosmetics etc. Mercury is one of the known toxic metals, contained in vaccine as additives, deodorant products, sanitizers, and our favorite sushi topping, tuna.

And they could cause...

• Free radicals

• Accelaration of the aging process

• Poor immunity

• Learning disability

• Impairment of neural function

• Myocardial disorder

Conditions above increase the risk of arterial sclerosis, hypertension, dementia, collagen disease, osteoporosis, age-related maculopathy, cancer, chronic fatigue, numbness, headache, stomachache, change in mental conditions (depression, loss of concentration, brain-fog), poor memory, abnormal behavor, sleeping disorder, dermatitis, etc.

Pesto is a great way to consume a good chunk of cilantro daily. It's tasty and can go with many dishes, with fishes, meats, breads, pasta and so on.

Cilantro Detox Pesto Recipe:

     Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) – 2 cups

     Garlic – 4 cloves

     Nuts (and/or seeds) you like – 1/3 cup

     Flaxseed Oil – 2/3 cup

     Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp

     1. Put cilantro and oil in food processor and chop.

     2. Add garlic, nuts (seeds), lemon juice.

     3. Mix till the ingredients are blended into a paste.

Dosage: Take 2 tsp of the cilantro pesto daily for 3 weeks for cleansing toxic metals out of body.