Thursday, September 29, 2011

Introducing our NEW Restaurant - SEED BISTRO!

Hello Everybody!

It has been a while since we have posted a new blog here and a lot has happened! Last month we opened a new restaurant in West Los Angeles, Seed Bistro. It is an organic, vegan, macrobiotic, sit down restaurant. We have been working very hard here at Mugen studio to help the opening go smoothly. Now that it has been a month in operation we can say everything has been a success!

The food is created by Chef Eric to have a more fine dining approach, a more up scale experience but still at affordable prices. The dinner menu includes gluten free options as well as some raw dishes. Chef Eric has created it all with the help of Sanae to make an elegant restaurant that still has many healing options.

Here are some favorites!!

Three Seaweed Salad - Gluten Free and one of Sanae's healing recommendations:

Flageolet Bean Cassoulet:

Chocolate Mousse Terrine with Pistachio Nougatine:

Last night was also our first Community Healthy Lifestyle Support Group, held at Seed Bistro's Community table. It was a transforming experience to be able to share macrobiotic tips and recipes, as well as some of the challenges that come up when we adjust our lives to become truly healthy and happy. It was amazing to connect with other people who are like minded and may be going through some of the same challenges. At the end we realized how much we have in common as people and how important it is to openly share and be there for each other. You can join in and meet new friends by joining our MeetUp.

We hope you enjoy our NEW restaurant! Thank you so much for all of your love and support for all of these years! We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Organic Hand Made Female Napkins

Hi I am Emily, a new assistant for Sanae and Eric.

When I first started working at studio mugen in spring 2011, Sanae introduced me to Yogo (U5) touta. napkins. When she told me how they are made of organic cotton, it made sense. She explained how regular napkins can cause eczema and skin problems on the body. The doctors only helped control the eczema but after switching to touta napkins, the eczema completely disappeared!

Sanae and Yogo(U5) at Seed kitchen:

Sanae showed me the napkins and they were soooo soft! I was hooked! The touta. napkins are reusable, and come in many different shapes, sizes and thicknesses. This gives me variety for what kind of day I’m having to choose what works best. Touta also has a special cleaner that keeps the napkins stain free and soft. When I bought them, I could choose the sizes I needed and cool colors I liked, as well as the cleaning solution. It was easy to see how to take care of them because of the pictures in the book, even though I don’t speak or read Japanese.

The touta. napkins:
Napkins IMG_6713

Another girl, Kumi who works here explained to me the details in how long to soak for and how much to use. I usually use about 6 cups of water and about a teaspoon of cleaner for each napkin I’m washing, I let them soak overnight and hang dry during the day. All I kept thinking when I bought them was how much money I’m saving because I’ll never have to buy those disposable chemical-filled pads again! Thank you Yugo for making mother natures gift a little merrier! If anyone is interested in these magical products, feel free to email us at

Me and the touta. handbook:

This is touta.'s website. It is only Japanese, but there are many photos.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finding joy in our life:

Although our lives have been moving fast and furiously, I have felt good health and happiness under the summer sun & moon!

Our family consists of five dogs and one cat. I was not blessed in this life with children, but my pets are so good to me and give me unconditional love.
Next to Eric, they are the best part of my life. I make organic foods for them everyday. Our youngest, Lumi and Bubu, have been raised with my new vegan macrobiotic home-made dog food.

In our lifetime we have rescued many dogs and cats, but twelve years ago I also started raising therapy dogs as part of my mission to give back to the world. They give not only to me, but to so many, so much joy in a life that can wear us down.

Lumi just had three healthy, robust, and adorable puppies via natural birth, so now we are 8 dogs and one cat under one roof.

Here are photos and a video that I hope will bring you a smile.

Lumi and her puppies, one day old:
Lumi & puppies IMG_6503

One day old - Close up:
Lumi's Puppy IMG_6506

One week old:

Two weeks old - eyes are starting to open:

Four weeks old - Playing with their grandma:
Oro helping Lumi IMG_6601

Five weeks old:

Six and a half weeks old:


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heling Chidren Work Through Trauma in Japan


Since March 11th's Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami.
Eric and I have been thinking what we can do more than we sent donating money...

Our friend and teacher of macrobiotics and Feng Shui, William Spear has told us that he wants to do a Fundraiser for Healing Children in Japan
on May 7th, Sat. 5~7pm
Mandeville Canyon, Los Angeles.

After I had my near death experience from the car accident in 2001 I had suffer from PTSD. I felt this is something I want to do with Eric.
Our Seed is donating foods, desserts and drinks. Also gather 10 volunteers to help.

These are the info:

The venue address will be provided with your RSVP by May 5 to:

Fortunate Blessings Foundation
24 Village Green Drive
Litchfield, CT 06759, USA
Tel +1 (860) 567-8801
Fax +1(860) 567-3304

If you are not able to attend this event, please share this with others and consider making a donation by check in the mail or through PayPal on the left sidebar of foundation’s website.

Below is from William's Blog:

Compassionate response from the global community has brought much attention to the needs of children affected by the tsunami and its aftermath. This basic manual is intended to provide support to caregivers who wish to address the specific needs of children during the six-month period following the event.

Much more can be said, and certainly much more has been written about trauma and children than is mentioned in this guide. Many resources are available to families and professionals, but few take into consideration the underlying cultural needs of this gentle nation.

After a great deal of time in discussion with community leaders, local teachers, parents and caregivers as well as considering the many different spiritual traditions of this ancient culture, this guide has been assembled as a prelude to an ongoing effort to support Japan in the months and years ahead.

With the deepest respect, I hope this guide will be of value to every child and caregiver now and in future generations.


Trauma is a wound to the energy of the body, either in physical or psychological terms. It is used to define an event which has cause harm or injury to the psyche, as in a “traumatic” event, disaster, disease or accident.

Most traumatic events are totally uncontrollable; their results shatter people’s personal sense of safety and security. Present in every episode that might be labeled traumatic is:

* Extreme fear and helplessness
* The possibility or threat of serious harm or death

Basic human nature makes it possible for most people to recover from a traumatic event with little or no counseling or support. Every individual knows instinctually how to protect his or her life and acts accordingly; moreover, the sensing and feeling nature inside each child has a remarkable capacity to reorient life after tragic events if given loving support.

A very small percentage of children will need more intensive interventions as a result of many factors, i.e. the nature of personal loss, the history of family and social interaction, the degree of personal bodily harm, etc. These special cases, too, can most often be returned to a happy childhood over time.

Normal coping mechanisms are available to children as well as to adults. While there is a reasonable concern for each child’s well being, most of them will recover from this event and go on to lead happy, productive lives.


The most common diagnosis of those who suffer ongoing problems of trauma is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. This diagnosis is often misapplied to those experiencing normal coping symptoms and as a result exaggerated expectations will frequently exceed actual psychosocial need.

Three symptoms are present in a diagnosis of PTSD:

* Reliving the experience of the event through haunting pictures, memories, flashbacks, nightmares or a sense that the event is not over; reliving the stress caused by the event when placed near or in settings where the event took place, i.e. the village near the ocean or places near the nuclear reactors.

* Avoiding behaviors in an attempt not to be reminded or exposed to the associated stress. These include disinterest in things that are normally fun, introversion or shyness beyond normal cultural mannerism, no interest in planning the future, feelings of abandonment or isolation.

* Physical Hyper-arousal leading to loss of sleep, outbursts, startling, hyper-vigilance or “jumpy” over alertness.

Often, these three symptoms are also accompanied by:

* obsessive behaviors that recreate the context of the trauma,
* dissociation and feelings of “disconnect” from others
* a burden of guilt for surviving the event itself.

The second group of three symptoms may or may not be present in a diagnosed PTSD whereas the former three are thought to be necessary to confirm a diagnosis.


Five key points to keep in mind when working with children:

1. Reaffirm safety, protection and your own concern for the child’s overall well being.
2. Monitor your own real emotions and feelings as they relate to the event, and take care of yourself so you can take care of others who need you.
3. Return to and maintain a steady routine of activities upon which a child can come to depend.
4. Watch for small problems that might develop which an early intervention (a gentle, caring chat or hug) can resolve; validate children’s emotions rather than shutting them down.
5. Allow more time that usual for simple activities, keeping in mind a slowed pace is easier to facilitate recovery.


Hope and meaning are the two essential components of resilience, the quality needed to recover our original ability. No one can speak the absolute truth and give meaning to these events, but surely all of us share a sincere and genuine hope for the future of this nation and its most precious asset, the children.

Add to that a profound faith, abundant humor, remarkable sensitivity, perseverance in the presence of hardship, amazing adaptability and enormous caring and support from others, Sri Lanka will undoubtedly recover its exquisite beauty and charm, and its people and children will soon return to life in this special island nation.


Infants and toddlers (up to 5 years old) may react with crying and clinging behavior, aware of the distress in their caregivers. Episodes of bedwetting, rocking, regressive thumb sucking, or new fears are normal.

* Continual reassurances, physical contact and nurturing love are usually all that is needed for children of this age group in order to overcome the symptoms of trauma.

Middle childhood (up to 12 years old) often act out more symptoms, exhibiting aggressive behaviors or anger, avoidances and some challenge in returning to everyday routines such as school.

* Slowing down the processes and taking more frequent fun breaks than would otherwise be scheduled helps children of this age to work through their stresses. Physical movement like playing sports, martial arts or simple running games are excellent releases of stagnant energies.

Adolescent’s responses vary greatly and can more quickly accelerate into serious avoidant behaviors like substance abuse. Some extreme risk taking can also be observed as children of this age group may harbor deep feelings of abandonment and thus carry a distorted value of life.

* Soliciting help from these children to create their futures is a perfect response to this groups needs. Building projects which directly contribute to their future, creating new curtains, painting, carpentry skills and other things which allow them to be an accepted part of the adult community dramatically reduces symptoms.


For all children, it is important to keep in mind that their world is now completely different than before. Their sense of personal safety, both physical and emotional, has been forever altered.

* Each caregiver must convey a new growing safety in his or her mannerisms, behaviors, language and unconditional presence.

Children are also dealing with feelings of abandonment. Having lost one or both parents, many friends and siblings together with their neighborhoods, possessions and communities having been swept away causes enormous stress.

* Keep your word and rebuild trust. If you say, “I’ll be back tomorrow,” you must come back. If you say, “I’ll call you next week,” call. Children need to reconstruct their world through trusting caregivers’ actions. Make no promises you cannot keep.

Religious beliefs have been forever challenged. Whether discussions of the laws of karma or the will of God are offered as an explanation, children have great difficulty placing their experiences into a reliable context.

* Help children to regain meaning in life by talking openly about what has happened – not “why” it happened. Trust that they can develop their own sense of why at an appropriate time later in their lives. Give them hope, and talk about the future.


Certain very simple skills are needed to help children deal with loss:

1. Patience. Don’t rush expressions of mourning or grief. Children may vacillate between outbursts of crying and ecstatic laughter. This is a normal coping mechanism and caregivers need to follow the lead of the child.
2. Listen. Let children know you care by engaging them in simple conversations, and then be prepared to truly listen. Sharing your own feelings briefly might “open up a dialogue with a child.
3. Remember. Support children in recalling their deceased parents or siblings. Talk about what they loved, what they miss, and what they might not miss!! It is unnecessary to react in any other way than your presence.
4. Remove all blame. Some children take responsibility for the death of a parent or sibling, thinking they could have acted in a different way to warn or protect, or done something more to help. This guilt requires your sensitivity. Do everything you can to reassure the child that he or she did the best they could.
5. Play. Remember, we are helping children, and children love to play games. Too much talking does little to help them deal with loss. Dance, play games, draw, sing – anything to express feelings or process energy in the body helps in a non verbal way as well as any talking.
6. Include. Many children can benefit from hearing other children express their feelings. Work in small groups of 3, 4 or 5 children that create safe spaces to open up. Sometimes, the silent child will gain a great deal through this mechanism.


It is easy for caregivers to forget their own needs, but essential for them to take care of themselves. The degree to which you can truly be of value helping children is directly proportional to your own mental health.

* Take time out when necessary. Don’t push. Relax, and trust the process of life to slow repair the damage of trauma.

* Talk with your own family and friends to process your own feelings. You are having a real experience yourself; don’t disconnect from your emotions.

* Find safe spaces to release and process your emotions.

* Eat well and try to maintain your health.

* Exercise and keep moving; don’t be too sedentary.

* Do something to relax and “escape”; read a book, listen to music, meditate, etc. to recompose your energy.

* Let go of judgments and resentments. Ultimately, everyone is doing the best they can. Appreciate each individual and his or her own offer of support.

* Trust the process. Life goes on – every day can improve.

* Breathe. Breathe again. Keep mindful of your breath.

Monday, March 21, 2011

KAZUKO's Organic Umeboshi Plums from California

Seed Kitchen, our organic vegan macrobiotic restaurant, started offering
special organic umeboshi plums from Oroville, California.

Umeboshi plums are traditional Japanese pickles used in morning porridge, sushi, rice balls, salad dressings, beverages and more. Pickled with red shiso (beefsteak) leaves and sea salt, these plums taste tart and sour.
Umeboshi plums are a super alkaline food for maintaining balance and aiding the digestive process.

kazuko's organic umeboshi plums in our original blue bowl:
Kazuko's umeboshi plum with our blue bowl IMG_5963

Our long-time friend, Kazuko Yamazaki, moved to Orland, California in1968 from Japan with her husband, Jyunsei. They planted about 450 ume plum trees to realize their dream of making umeboshi plums in the U. S. They also grew red shiso leaves (Japanese medicinal herb beefsteak) in their property for making umeboshi plums. (Umeboshi plums’ reddish color comes from red shiso leaves.)
They made their umeboshi plums in the truly traditional way, as they grew the ume trees organically, picked the plums by hand, and sun dried them for three days under California’s long hours of sunshine. While sun drying they have to be turned frequently. I remember when I went to help them I learned to continuously turn each ume plum for hours so they wouldn’t get burned and stick to the bamboo matt.
They have only used selected choice sea salt and their home-grown red shiso leaves to make their premium hand-made umeboshi plums for many years.

Jyunsei passed in 2000 and Kazuko kept up the work by herself, but she eventually retired in 2008. Since Jyusei passed, she was not able to promote her umoboshi plums widely. Settled in a retirement home, Kazuko still has umeboshi plums for sale, so we decided not only to help her, but to seize this opportunity to spread the love and care with which she and Jyusei prepared these umeboshi plums.

The umeboshi plums that we received from Kazuko are made in 2003~2005.
Umeboshi plums are like wine; aged ones are rich in enzymes and have a naturally sour delicious flavor. Most companies limit their production to a yearly basis, while others use preservatives. So this is the rare occasion to find such aged umeboshi plums.

Here is an umeboshi story from my cookbook “Love, Sanae,” on page 95 (including a photo of the beautiful umeboshi plums that I turned at Kazuko’s on page 163.)
love sanae - umeplum drying inside page 163

An umeboshi story: There is “God” in the umeboshi plum!
My mom told me that when I was four or five years old, I really loved eating umeboshi. After eating the umeboshi fruit, I kept the pit in my mouth for a few hours as though it was candy. When there was no more flavor, I asked my mom to crack it open so that I could eat the insides. My mom got tired of breaking open the pits for me
and asked me why I liked eating the insides so much. My answer was “there is God inside the pit, and when I eat it, I feel God is helping me and making me feel good.” I certainly remember eating umeboshi, but I don’t recall expressing my rather profound statement. My mom just thought I was being a silly little girl, but as an adult, when I
started to teach macrobiotics and explained to her how valuable and precious umeboshi plums and pits are, she remembered what I had said as a
child. Perhaps my destiny in the universe was sealed right then and there — to follow the macrobiotic way.

Usually none organic umeboshi plums are sold at $15~16 for 7 a natural market.
We are selling Kazuko’s umeboshi plums at a special price of $15 for 8 oz or $30 for 16 oz(1 lb).
Please come and purchase some before they are gone!!!
If you can't come to our restaurant Seed Kitchen
we will ship anywhere in the U.S. so please contact us

Here are two easy a umeboshi plum recipes from "Love, Sanae" healing vegan macrobiotic cookbook. You see the cover is brown rice congee (porridge) with Umeboshi Plum!!!

1. Ume Bancha
This drink is easy to make. I find it to be a very effective
drink to perk me up in the morning before breakfast, and
the sourness of the umeboshi helps stimulate my appetite.


one-half or one umeboshi
1 cup Kukicha (twig tea)

1. Place the umeboshi in a tea cup.
2. Pour in hot tea and stir well. Drink while hot and eat the plum.

The combination of umeboshi and Kukicha (twig tea) is good for strengthening the blood and circulation through regulation of digestion.

2. Umeboshi Plum Dressing

1 1⁄2 to 2 tablespoons umeboshi plum paste (about one whole plum)
1 cup purified water or kombu dashi
2 teaspoons scallions, finely chopped

1. In a suribachi, combine the umeboshi paste and water until well blended.
2. Serve with Boiled Salad or other vegetables.

or just eat with your whole grains!!!
they are delicious so don't eat too much...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Essential Foods to Help Protect Against Radiation

Soooo shocked to find out that Quake and Tsunami happened in Japan last Fri. March 11.

Now Potential Nuclear Disaster as Radiation.

To help protect against radiation, people in danger of contamination should eat 1 or 2 bowls of miso soup every day, prepared with kombu seaweed and root vegetables and 2-3 year aged unpasteurized barley miso.

They should also consume brown rice, millet, and other whole grains prepared in whole form, Hokkaido pumpkin and other round or root vegetables, small amounts of seaweed cooked in other styles, shoyu(soy sauce) broth, umeboshi plums, gomashio and other condiments.

It is best to avoid or reduce oil, raw food, animal food (including meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish), fatty food, fruit, nuts, stimulants, and alcohol until the danger is past.

If there is no facility to cook, just eat umeboshi plums, mix miso in drinking water or eat nori sea vegetables will help.
My recommendation is just chew, chew, and chew well with your prayers!!!

This approach should be more effective than simply taking iodine pills, but the iodine pills are recommended for temporary emergency use until such time as they are able to obtain miso and cook.

Here is photo of Sea Vegetable, Umeboshi plum, and Barley Miso

If you want help, please pray for people in Japan from your heart!!!
Close your eyes and send healing warm energy...

And please donate even a small amount.

Thank you!!!! Arigatou!


Monday, February 14, 2011

LOL Valentine Card!

This was 19th Valentine day for Eric and I together.

Since Eric had to work this year on Valentine day at Seed we decided to celebrate it on Feb. 12, Sat.

Eric made a delicious valentine pancake with berries and maple syrup in the morning.
I made heart shape coasters with an organic cotton and recycled cotton clothe for our teacups.
Later we went the SM beach for our early valentine sunset dinner.
We found out that we both had the same ideas of Valentine's cards this year.
They were both so funny and we laughed so much.

Almost 20 years together we are choosing LOL (lots of laugh!!!)over a romance for our valentine day.

Happy Valentine Day for you too!!!

Valentine Pancake!

Look at Eric’s face when he opened the card that I gave him. (It had smooch sounds and it surprised him so much!)

Eric and the card!

The Valentine card form Eric was licking of dog for me.

These are my first heart shape coasters.

The coasters with teacups.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My favorite day..

What is your favorite kind of day?
For me, just an ordinary one

It was a beautiful morning,
so I decided to go on the rooftop after breakfast and spend time with the sky, wind and sunshine.

There was a beautiful sound of music that the wind was making with the bamboo trees.
The birds were singing joyfully, the hummingbird was so cute as it darted about,
and the bees were busy going from purple basil flowers to flowers.
Even the airplane engine’s sound was like a musical instrument conducted by the sun.

My dogs and cat sleeping soundlessly next me was a relaxing sight and gave me a safe feeling.

So there is nothing special about this day,
but it is my favorite kind, when I am feeling connected inside and outside.
Feeling satisfied and content with the simplest,
most basic things may be the secret to happiness, after all.

Oro loves a ball so much she has to sleep with it:

Sky with Sage and Purple Basil Flowers:

Bubu and Mai-cat of 18 years old:

This red hamming bird is so beautiful and was taking a break:

Kula and Lumi (left to right)

Leo likes to keep one of his eyes open while he is sleeping:

Blueberries flowers are so cute:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Year Seed Community Celan Up!

A New Year makes one motivated to kick off a fresh beginning,
or at least I had resolved to write about all the classes and events we had,
but January came and went already. Oh, boy…

Now it was just Chinese New Year here,
so here’s a fresh look at a tradition we hold dear to our heart,
as humble and small-scale as it may seem.

Sunday, Jan. 2

The year’s first Seed Community Cleanup (SCC) day met with a rather cold morning. There was a lot of trash for us to be dealt with after the holidays. We felt energized and ready for the task.

The volunteers were Vladcka, a ceramic artist who moved to the U.S. from Czech Republic, and a SCC regular, and there was newcomer Amanda, an actress who just moved to Santa Monica from New York. She is originally from Australia and a big fan of Seed. By the time we finished the entire block we were all warmed up and we felt as though our souls got cleaned up, too. Not too many people know about our little act in the eco-green movement, but we have welcomed volunteers on Sundays since Seed opened two years ago. We looked back and counted 62 times! Still, each time we feel it’s only a beginning. There is so much more we can do to help the earth.

The next SCC is on Sunday, Feb. 13. Hope you can join us (and get 10% off from Seed’s lunch)

Vladka and Eric (from left to right)
Clean up 2011 IMG_5413

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Greeting the New Year Sunrise!

Ten years seem like a long time.
It is possible to do something you thought was impossible to do when you have waited patiently for ten years.
I used to go to the Santa Monica mountains to see the first sunrise of each new year,
as is the Japanese tradition. For ten years, after my car accident, I was not able to do this.

Last year was a very challenging year for me personally, and I really wanted to make a difference this year. So I decided to go see the New Year sunrise. I woke at 5 am even though we got in late from a new year’s eve party and went to bed at 2 am.
The Santa Monica Mountains were so beautiful, and I saw the moon in the dark blue sky.
Waiting for the sun to come up was so calming and peaceful.

Ten years were worth the wait!!!