Sushi, sashimi, tempura, chicken teriyaki, beef yakitori and seafood udon soup. There’s a lot to love about Japanese food. It’s light, fresh and flavoursome. And here’s the best reason of all – it’s one of the healthiest cuisines to eat in the world. In the midst of a global epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, the Japanese are doing something right.
Wouldn’t you want to know their extraordinary secret?
Japanese-born Naomi Moriyama reveals the secret to her own high-energy, successful lifestyle–and the key to the enduring health and beauty of Japanese women–in this exciting new book. The Japanese have the pleasure of eating one of the most delicious, nutritious, and naturally satisfying cuisines in the world without denial, without guilt…and, yes, without getting fat or looking old.
As a young girl living in Tokyo, Naomi Moriyama grew up in the food utopia of the world, where fresh, simple, wholesome fare is prized as one of the greatest joys of life. She also spent much time basking in that other great center of Japanese food culture: her mother Chizuko’s Tokyo kitchen. Now she brings the traditional secrets of her mother’s kitchen to you in a book that embodies the perfect marriage of nature and culinary wisdom–Japanese home-style cooking.
If you think you’ve eaten Japanese food, you haven’t tasted anything yet. Japanese home-style cooking isn’t just about sushi and raw fish but good, old-fashioned everyday-Japanese-mom’s cooking that’s stood the test of time–and waistlines–for decades. Reflected in this unique way of cooking are the age-old traditional values of family and the abiding Japanese love of simplicity, nature, and good health. It’s the kind of food that millions of Japanese women like Naomi eat every day to stay healthy, slim, and youthful while pursuing an energetic, successful, on-the-go lifestyle. Even better, it’s fast, it’s easy, and you can start with something as simple as introducing brown rice to your diet. You’ll begin feeling the benefits that keep Japanese women among the youngest-looking in the world after your very next meal!
If you’re tired of counting calories, counting carbs, and counting on being disappointed with diets that don’t work and don’t satisfy, it’s time to discover one of the best-kept and most delicious secrets for a healthier, slimmer, and long-living lifestyle. It’s time to discover the Japanese fountain of youth….
Living lean – the 7 secrets of the Tokyo kitchen
Naomi Moriyama reveals the secrets of both the Japanese diet and the associated culture that keep the Japanese so slim and youthful. She has cleverly grouped them into two lists – the 7 secrets of the Tokyo kitchen and the 7 key foods of the Japanese diet which she calls the ‘7 pillars’:
- Small portions on beautiful bowlsOn her arrival in America, Moriyama compared with astonishment the typical Japanese portions to the bucket-sized meals she was now being served. In contrast, in Japan, small portions of food are served on beautiful, small tableware. Size and the beauty of presentation are considered very important.
- The Japanese diet is based on fish, soy, rice, vegetables and fruitTop of her list is the home cooked Japanese meal – not restaurant food. Japanese women are masters of simple home cooking which hold great appreciation. The classic home cooked meal is a piece of grilled fish with steamed rice and simmered vegetables, accompanied by a bowl of hot miso soup, to be finished off with sliced fresh fruit and a cup of hot green tea. Considerably easier than the sushi and sashimi that leap into mind when Westerners think of Japanese food!
- Rice, not bread with every mealWhile plain rice and plain bread are similar in nutritional value, plain rice with every meal eliminates the need for butter and toppings or sauces.
- Super light cookingSteam, pan-grill, sauté, simmer, stir-fry. The best cooking is the least cooking. The central idea of Japanese home cooking is to highlight the natural beauty and colours and let the essence of the food shine through.
- Dessert, but infrequentlyJapanese fare has none of the rich desserts, pastries, and sweets of European cuisines. The Japanese eat desserts and snacks less often and when they do, it’s only a tiny portion. A typical wedge of cake is one-third the size of an American slice.
- Love the power breakfastJapanese women are dedicated to whipping up home cooked breakfasts for their families. Getting the day off to a good start eliminates the need to snack on those kilojoule-laden foods mid-morning.
- Japanese women have a different relationship with foodIt’s not about dieting – just healthy eating. Japanese mothers have a saying that recommends ‘eat until you are 80 % full’. Very sound advice that ensures we don’t keep eating until we are stuffed full and therefore gaining weight.
Less is more. The Japanese diet contains a low 25 % fat, compared with around 34 % fat for an average Western diet. In addition, they eat less processed and refined foods, and their diet is lower in sugar and kilojoules than the typical Western diet.
And don’t forget that exercise forms a daily part of life – walking, bike riding and gardening.
The 7 Pillars (key foods) of the Japanese diet – and why they’re good for you
According to Naomi Moriyama, these 7 foods are what makes the difference.
- FishFish is the meat of Japan. Nearly 10 % of the world’s fish is consumed by the Japanese, yet they make up only 2 % of the world’s population. Salmon is the most sought after, followed closely by tuna. Both are excellent sources of omega-3 fats, essential for a healthy heart and mind.
Packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, vegetables are low fat, low kilojoule, and high fibre. They fill you up and stop you eating too much.
- Soy beansMiso soup, edamame, tofu, natto beans. The Japanese consume an average of 50 grams of soy per day compared to less than 5 grams for the average Westerner. Women in Japan have very low rates of breast cancer and men have lower rates of prostate cancer than women or men in Australia – thanks in part to isoflavonoids – the plant hormones from soy.
Short-grain white rice is the Japanese staple. Rich in carbohydrates, it has little sodium (salt), saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol. Plain rice is a must-have food with every meal. It’s filling and replaces many less nutritious alternatives – think creamy mash, bread with butter or pasta in a heavy sauce. Naomi suggests how you can eat even more healthily than the average Japanese. Capitalise on the expert advice to ‘eat more whole grains’: eat brown rice!
- TeaThe flavonoids from green tea help the Japanese avoid heart troubles and live longer.
Like rice, noodles are another staple. They are low in fat and full of filling carbohydrate. The Japanese cook noodles made from mung beans and buckwheat (soba), not just wheat.
Packed full of protective antioxidants, fruit that has been decoratively sliced and arranged is the dessert of choice in Japan. By eating fruit instead of large amounts of biscuits, muffins, doughnuts and pies, the Japanese reduce their intake of processed and trans fats, which helps to lower their risk of heart disease.