On March 28th, a beautiful saturday morning under a tropical sun, I had an opportunity to do a cooking demo at Kakaako farmer's market in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Thanks to all the fresh vegetables offered by local farmers, I created some simple, healthy yet tasty dishes on site. And many many local people stopped by, tried them and asked my lots of questions. I truly had a great time!
Since tropical climate is so different from our temperate "4-season" environment, the food appropriate for people in Hawaii should be a bit different from ours.
“Applying Yin-Yang principle to tropical environment”,
Eastern medicine tells us that “balance” is the key to your health. Balance of sodium-potassium, acid-alkaline, and “yin and yang energy”.
Tropical vegetables and fruits tend to have more natural cooling & relaxing effect due to their rich potassium & water content. Also they have more “expansive energy”, growing big and fast. In other words, they have “strong Yin” energy.
While this is suitable to some extent when living in tropical climate under the intense sun (strong yang energy), it is also important to maintain a healthy balance between yin and yang, or you could end up having “Yin Excess” conditions.
* This also applies to people living in temperate climate during the summer.
Symptoms of “yin excess”
feeling cold, cold hands/feet, sneezing, running nose, frequent urination, diarrhea, allergies, frequent infection, overweight, lethargy, chronic fatigue,weakness, weak/flabby muscles, spaciness, lack of concentration or “grounded-ness”
How to make a healthy balance?
Add some foods with more “yang energy” in your regular diet to prevent or balance out “yin excess” in your body.
Seaweeds are great source of minerals (yang). Small amount of good quality sea salt, miso, soy sauce (both traditionally made) and umeboshi are good seasonings to achieve more balance in your everyday meal.
Instead of eating only raw salad and other greens (more yin), include whole grains, beans, cooked root vegetables (all yang) in your dishes.
Heat (cooking), pressure (massaging with salt) also add yang quality to the dish.
Again, what's important is a balance.