Welcome to my website — my name is Yumiko Izawa.
My job is to invent and propose new, easy-to-learn combinations of in-season food that nourishes our body. Throughout my career, I specifically focus on fermented and preserved food. By revisiting wisdom of the traditional Japanese folk therapy and Chinese food therapy, I propose delicious, healing cuisine that support happy and healthy living by harnessing the nutrition of in-season food with suitable cooking and eating styles.
I have a favorite saying — “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I have heard, in English, that this means that women can win the heart of their loved ones by cooking delicious food. But I interpret this same saying a bit differently — to make any loved one — like our kids, our parents, and our friends and colleagues — happy and nourished, we can cook delicious and thoughtful dishes.
Let me give one small and common example of how knowledge of ingredients can help us heal from illness. Suppose someone is feeling sick, and his running nose is white. This indicates that his body is cold, and thus suggests that he can recover better by eating vegetables or spices such as green onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, or perhaps Chinese chives. But suppose the running nose is yellow. This, in contrast, suggests that his body is hot, and thus foods that cool his body can help. Even when we are not sick, food is as vital to our health as modern medication. From daily life, it is helpful to eat in-season food because it is a way to let our body be with our natural environment.
What we eat today forms the basis of who we will be tomorrow. When we know good combinations of food, our approach to our body, and perhaps even to our future, will change.
Fermented food is a cherished tradition in Japan that increases our capacity to heal and gives energy to our body. Pickles are delicious and can be preserved for a long time, but not only that, it gives good influence on our body. Our brain and body become pleasant as we eat fermented food with good smell and lactobacillus. And when we learn the joy of nourishing our body, we fall in love with fermented food. Our home has a shelf that is full of fermented and preserved food, and our family is in love with them.
I have also learned that food is vital for good thoughts. Yes, our mouth is virtually an entrance into our intestines. Studies suggest that healthy intestines are crucial for both brain functioning and beauty. By having various kinds of fermented food, let us nourish ourselves and enjoy healthy and happy living.