Breakfast: Brown Rice and Fish

Brown Rice and Fish

I have been trying to be healthier and one thing that I’m trying to eat more is brown rice. The only problem with brown rice is that you usually have to soak it overnight or it will be overly al dente when you eat it. Since I am always quite busy, this is not possible so most of the times I will just go without breakfast. 

A trick that I learned from a guest on one of my tours is to soak the rice for about 20 minutes in hot water out of my water heater. This is enough time for me to check emails, go for a run, or to take a shower. After I do this. I cook up the rice and serve with any side dish.
These days our fish market tours have been quite busy so I have been getting some fish- whatever is the freshest and I have the market grill it for me. Afterwards, I will reheat it at home and I have a great breakfast that is fast and healthy.
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Korean Eats, Southeastern Seoul

Hong Yeong Jae: A Restaurant that a Bean Made

Hong Yongjae

 The story goes that there was once a well-known and respected doctor that had everything going for him in life. He had a loving family, he had a successful practice, and many friends. Everything seemed to be going well, maybe too well. Like, Job that was struck down by God in order to test his faith, the same was for this doctor. This doctor, ironically, was diagnosed late with a deadly form of cancer, so advanced that not even modern medicine could cure him.

Not knowing what to do, he looked to the small, simple soybean. He saw how food could be a medicine and so he focused on how natural food could nourish his body and cure him. Through a diet of naturally fermented food made from soybean- especially cheonggukjang, he was able to magically reverse the tide of cancer and return to health.

In tribute to the bean that saved his life, he decided to open up Hong Yeong Jae Cheonggukjang: a Korean restaurant that focuses on natural, curative food that emphasizes food made from fermented soybean paste.

Besides being healthy, the food is delicious. Each dish is prepared creatively and with an emphasis on flavor. One of the first courses had a whole tomato filled with a bean sauce with a mustard dressing. There was also natto (lightly fermented soybean) with bean sprouts. Their poached pork belly dish (bossam) was served with sour, aged kimchi- a wonderful counterpoint for the savory meat. A salad I really enjoyed had almonds, green chives and a wild sesame seed dressing. There were so many dishes that came out such as a grilled, marinated beef patties, corvina fish in a sesame, soy sauce, and even spicy octopus.

The last dish to come out was a simple bowl of Rich Soybean Paste Stew (Cheonggukjang) with a bowl of rice. This soup made from the magical beans that was able to save a doctor’s life was enlightening. The rich, creamy stew was soothing and I felt satiated. Food is medicine and we should keep that in mind.

Hong Yong Jae
3-stars out of 4 (All natural food in a modern Korean atmosphere. Food is creative and nourishing)
Seoul, Gangnam-gu Samseongdong  109-8 (서울 강남구 삼성동 109-8)

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Food News, Korean Eats

A Healthy Ratio: 7 to 3

Hwae Tteokbap

Koreans believe that the perfect ratio for food is 7 to 3.

They believe there should be 7 parts grains and vegetables to 3 parts meats and proteins. This is why bibimbap is considered to be one of Korea’s representative dish.

Since my job requires me to visit a great many restaurants in a course of a given week, this is something that I try to keep in mind so I can eat healthily. In the last year or so I have gained a bit of weight and it is something I have been battling for the last couple of months or so. The thing that is most troubling to me is my bulging “beer belly.” The main reason I have been so worried about it is that the belly is evidence that fat is building up around my organs and it might lead to future complications.

You might have noticed on the blog, that the restaurants I have frequented these days tend to be healthy or even vegan restaurants. These are places that I eat at often while also getting up early in the morning to exercise. I am trying to lead a less sedentary lifestyle.

In the mornings I have been trying to get up early and run at least 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) every morning. Today I achieved a 5 kilometer run (3.11 mile). This is something that I’m going to try to do more because (hopefully) it will speed up my metabolism and so I will be able to eat freely. Anyway, I think this is something that we should all try to do more of. Please stay healthy and try to remember the ratio 7 to 3. After all, we are what we eat.



Food News

Poison Apple: 7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat

Me and Robert Kenner: director of Food Inc

So today, I watched Food Inc. again. It’s a movie I like to watch from time to time to recenter myself and remind myself to eat healthy. During my trip to Nova Scotia, I had the opportunity to meet the director, Robert Kenner, and to hear him speak. It was an eye-opening experience and now I am trying to bring natural and local and organic to the work that I do. I read an article about the 7 foods that Food Experts don’t eat and it mentions apples. I love apples and often I don’t peel them, but this article says that there are a ton of chemicals on the apple so i should.

The other items on the list are:
1. Canned Tomatoes
2. Corn-Fed Beef
3. Microwave Popcorn (you can make your own in a brown lunch bag)
4. Non-organic Potatoes
5. Farmed Salmon
6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones
7. Conventional Apples

Go here for the complete article.

Activities/ Events

Food Matters Film Screening on August 11th

Mary-Jane Liddicoat of Healthy Homes Asia has organized a viewing of movie Food Matters on August 11th at Suji’s Restaurant. During the event there will be snacks and refreshments made from a variety of different Super Foods. After the viewing, there will be a open forum discussion on how to eat healthy in Asia.

More details on the event and video is below and I hope you can make it! I’ll be there.


Are you sick, overweight, tired, depressed, looking old before your time – or just want to stay healthy and happy? You might want to see this film.

FOODMATTERS is a hard hitting, fast paced look at our current state of health. Despite the billions of dollars of funding and research into new so-called cures we continue to suffer from a raft of chronic ills and every day maladies.

This groundbreaking documentary sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide ‘Sickness Industry’ and exposes a growing body of scientific evidence proving that nutritional therapy can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than most conventional medical treatments.

FOODMATTERS features interviews with leading medical experts from around the world who discuss natural approaches to preventing and reversing cancer, obesity, heart disease, depression, mental illness and many other chronic conditions.

Find out what works, what doesn’t and what ís killing you.
Becoming informed about the choices you have for you and your family’s health could save your life.

Date: Wednesday 11 August 2010 Venue: Suji’s, 34-16 Itaewondong, Yongsangu, Seoul tel 02 797 3698
Time: 7 pm registration for 7:30 screening
Cost: free screening; cost of 15,000 won covers light refreshments
RSVP: Wednesday 10 August
Join us at 7 pm for light refreshments (or come earlier and get your dinner!) 7:30 pm film screening starts 8:50 pm film screening ends, stay on to chat about food and health! 9:30 pm event formally closes (carry on as you wish!)
Film duration: 80 minutes Language: English only (Korean subtitles are coming SOON!)