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Monday, December 9, 2013

new website

hi readers!
thank you for being part of my journey. We have launched a new website and it has a blog section attached. from now on I will be posting there instead of here.
This blogsite will still be on line for people to go through and i will be often revisiting to read what I have written to be inspired and laugh about it.
I have just found a great quote
past is a good place to visit but a bad place to stay -unknown
that is so true..

I will see you on the new website xxx

Thursday, November 21, 2013

join us celebrate and help us give back

I want to share my excitement with you and hopefully we can have you at the cafe on 17th december with us.
About this time last year I was scrubbing, painting, cleaning, lifting to get Shokuiku open. still hard to believe it will be almost 1 year since we opened the door to the public.
I would love you to come and celebrate our almost 1year anniversary (we actually opened in the end of Jan but I am eager to celebrate now!).
I have always sponsored a few girls through ActionAid , which is an amazing organisation , dedicated to securing human rights, especially women and girls around the world. We are so fortunate to have means and power to be inspired and empower ourselves. I believe it is necessary and am grateful that I could share this with people who may not have the same opportunities. When you buy a ticket to come and celebrate with us, connecting with like minded others, eating our organic raw festive inspired finger foods, desserts and drinks, you are sharing this love with others. 100 percent of the profits made on this night would be going to help women and their communities enjoy real freedom. Freedom to choose. Freedom to lead. Freedom to demand what is rightfully theirs.

I have create the eventbrite site so you can book a ticket here
as you may know our place is quite small so tickets are limited

 17th December 2013   sold out
just being added 16th December 2013
6:30pm - 8:30pm
at shokuiku
120 high street, Northcote, VIC
all organic and raw festivity inspired finger foods and small dishes and drinks

hope to see you then
with love

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

november menu dinner

organic raw
dinner menu
november 2013

first course $12
beetroot and chia cracker served with spiralled zucchini in plant based cream
silver beet wrap stuffed with sunflower pate

second course $20
teriyaki non stir fry vegetables, served with nut balls
lasagna (layer of thin sliced zucchini, marinara sauce, cashew cream and carrot mince)

side salad $9
sprouted tasmanian quinoa and vegetable couscous
or baby spinach, orange and cultured macadamia fetta

dessert $10
peanut and cacao cup topped with cacao cream and candied jungle peanuts
macadamia and banana cream cake

or $46 for three course meal with a side salad

garcinia cambogia and weight loss

You might have seen these little ads coming up on your Facebook page or you may even have heard that Dr Oz, TV personality made famous by Oprah,  has been talking about this exotic fruits.
Garcinia Cambogia.
It is a fruit grown across India and Southeast Asia and it is used there as a food and its rinds are used in some traditional recipes of south India.
Apparently it has a compound called hydroxycitric acid, which is said to promote weight loss and works as appetite suppressant.

Probably the main discussion here is not whether this works or not. We do sell them at the shop along with other things like gymnema and cha de burger, which are known to help with the weight loss.
What I want to write here is the obsession  and negative attitude to the whole weight issues in the society.
Myself, like many others I know, have experienced it and still have some voices in my head sometimes. I was too thin once and I was embarrassed  how I lost all the curves. I managed to put on weight and felt self conscious about my stomach. After all if I am not embracing myself as a soul I could always find many faults in my outer self.
I started to understand that I am not my body and yet how amazing my body is. Whatever we give attention to it only gets more prominent. There are always reasons why you have put on weight or lost weight ,  in an unconscious phycological way. when i finally realise the truth about who I really am and my full potential everything became much easier. I could listen to the "voice" and still let it not control me. ( I am still leaning though!)

I have been taking this powder for a month or so now and I did lose weight, though only 2 kg or so. It could just be a placebo effect anyway but I can confidently say it came from better place this time. I see this as a supplement like any other herbs or super foods that I take regularly to help my body to work in an ultimate way. astragalus and medicinal mushrooms for my immunity, marine phytoplankton for my nervous system, zeolite to detox, MSM and schisandra berry for my skin and hair, gynostemma for its adaptogenic effects etc etc. My diet is full of these amazing super, powerful "foods". It does not mean that i am only relying on them and eat and live the way that does not serve me well. I want to live so that I can accomplish works that I am here to do, and I want to do this with passion and energy. the holistic approach makes sense to me.

Maybe I was going too deep on this issue but i would like to hear what  your thoughts are.

Garcinia cambogia
Our Garcinia cambogia fruit powder is at least 50% extract, meaning each serving contains a 50% concentration of the HCA (Hydroxycitric acid).
HCA is effective at blocking the conversion of sugars and starches into fats by inhibiting the effects of the liver enzymes ATP Cytrate Lyase which is responsible for turning carbohydrates into stored fat. as well as it works to suppress appetite by raising the level of brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin regulates mood and it is one of the chemicals produced when a person eats carbohydrate. It can sometimes lead to the craving for carbohydrate and sugary foods. Garcinia Cambogia naturally enhances serotonin without the need of eating carbohydrate.
It also is an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-viral agent
Possible Benefits
- Appetite control
Weight reduction
- Reducing the body's ability to store fat 
- Helping with urinary & uterus conditions 
- Combating ulcers 
- Relieving conditions of the throat, chest colds, & cough
- Supporting healthy joints & connective tissue
- Creates a process in the body called thermogenesis
- Alleviating constipation 
- Supporting healthy liver function 
- Helping with colic 
- Fighting intestinal worms, parasites, & Ebola virus
- Combating some strains of the flu virus 
- Lowering cholesterol & triglycerides
- Helping with catarrhal conditions of the throat, urinary system, & uterus
Suggested Use: Mix 1 teaspoon with juice or water 30 minutes prior to meals

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bee pollen vegan , non- vegan, or ethically harvested?

it is one of a controversial  subject in a vegan industry. It is wildly known that honey is NOT vegan, as it is produced when bees digest nectar they have collected and then regurgitate it.
But how about Bee pollen?
Bee pollen is male seeds of flowers, that means it comes from a plat based source. It is an essential food for young bees and it takes a lot of effort to collect a small amount. Imagine this … a working bee has to work 8 hours a day for one month to collect just one teaspoon of bee pollen.  One teaspoon dose contains over 2.5 billion grains of flowers. I thought I was working long hours but obviously not as hard as these amazing creatures! so from that point of view I understand most vegans do avoid any bee products. however if it can be harvested consciously in my opinion (fallen pollen in a tray collected with care and gratitude)
Bee pollen is a true superfood, containing almost all the nutrients us humans need and about 40 percent protein, mostly in a highly absorbable form. Chinese medicine regards bee pollen as an energy and nutritive tonic as well as many other cultures throughout the world

This is how I summarised in our superfood book at the cafe
Sometimes referred to as “nature’s most perfect food” bee pollen is a combination of flower pollen, nectar and the digestive juices of worker honey bees.
Bee pollen provides 96 nutrients including all known vitamins, from A to K, 28 minerals, 14 fatty acids, all 8 essential amino acids, several hormone-like compounds and all 22 known essential nutritional elements (plus other unknown yet to be identified). It contains 25-40 % protein in a highly bioavailable form and all the nutrients can be assimilated directly by the body.
Many studies have proven the natural antibiotic effects in bee pollen, including salmonella and other strains of colibacillus.
Scientists recently found that bee pollen showed a strong anti-estrogenic effect (it inhibited the natural estrogen 17 beta estradiol). Furthermore it caused no estrogenic activity or chromosome damage int he cells whatsoever.
They also found the ability to protect cells from the genotoxic effects of three common anti-cancer drugs _mytomicin C, bleomycin, and vincristine, which are used to kill cancer cells but also damage healthy DNA as well. (european journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2010 Jun 9)
Bee pollen is believed to help rejuvenate the body, stimulate organs and glands and enhance vitality. Many world class athletes have used Bee pollen to help to relieve brain fatigue and improve alertness and concentration,increase energy levels and enhance recovery. 
Bee pollen is an excellent immune system builder and eliminate toxins from the body.
Possible Benefits
-May be effective in building, restoring, and maintaining the body's cells
-May be useful in maintaining healthy blood pressure
-May assist in aiding in indigestion 
-Containing thousands of enzymes and co-enzymes
-May be helpful in improving mental clarity and memory
-May help to relieve menstrual and menopausal symptoms
-May be beneficial for lowering high blood pressure
-May be helpful for improving concentration
-May be useful in treating arthritis
-Contains 15% lecithin, which may support the nervous system and brain
-May be effective in building resistance against allergies
-May help to increase energy and endurance
-May assist in promoting a strong immune system
-May help to eliminate toxins from the body
-May be effective in increasing alertness and well-being
-Traditionally used to treat constipation
-May helps to regulate sleep and promote normal sleeping patters
-May be effective in maintaining good heart health
-May be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety
-May help to balance hormones
-May be effective in enhancing the libido
-May be beneficial in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels
-May help improve skin tone and overall skin health

Our Organic Bee Pollen Powder is responsibly and sustainably harvested from honeybees that come from wilderness areas located far away from human pollution in Canada. Worker bees are not “smoked” out, as some methods of pollen collection entail, and the pollen is not over-harvested or sprayed with chemicals.
I really wanted to get organic bee pollen as bee pollen is an air cleanness indicator and absorbs chemicals rapidly. i would love to get an organic bee pollen from Australia if possible. if you have any recommendation please let me know. And also i would love to know your view on bee products. No judgements here!

Warning: Bee Pollen is not recommended for those with pollen or bee allergies. Bee pollen should not be taken if you have had prior reactions to bee stings or bee pollen. In some cases, anaphylactic shock has been reported. If you have a history of any kind of anaphylactic shock from any allergic reaction, you should not use bee pollen. If you suffer from asthma, please consult your doctor before using bee pollen. Bee pollen contains allergens that may interact adversely with asthma.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

free demonstration

I have a couple of demonstrations planned at a couple of great events.
Sustain organic expo. - 19th and 20th october
I am doing a demo on "superfood smoothies for modern day warrior'  19th october (saturday) 1030am-
I will be showing you what to put into your dairy smoothie to protect you from the stress of the everyday life

and then
Mind body sprit  12:15pm  16th November (saturday)
I am planning to demonstrate a couple of super foods raw desserts

Both of the events are equally fantastic. I was super excited especially about the sustain expo as it doesn't hold the vent here in melbourne every year.

if you are already going then I would love you to come and see us at the stand. if not GET A TICKET!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

menu for October 2013

dinner menu

october 2013

first course $12
brazil nut and rainbow pepper miso soup with kelp noodles
walnut balls served with spiced tomato jam

Second course $20
buckwheat and sunflower pizza crust topped with olive tapenade and cashew ricotta
curry spiced mushroom and coconut sauce served with vegetable rice

Side salad $9
apple and celery slaw with mint
beetroot and broccoli salad with apple cider vinaigrette with pine nut crisps

Dessert $10
yumberry and rose infused tart
mocha cream brownie stacks

or $46 for three course meal with a side salad

warm drinks
herbal tea $3.00
tonic tea $3.50
herbal coffee - ask for different flavours $3.50 (.50 c extra for our freshly made almond
warm cacao
warm chai
warm latte (with herbal coffee / no caffein)

cooking class update

just a quick update on the next class.
20th October 2013 (sunday) 4:30pm - 6:30pm
make your plant based cheese
17th November 2013 (sunday) 4:30pm - 6:30pm
make your kombucha and fermented vegetable (run by kombucha expert, Tim Mcneilly)

$90 per person
Please email us at to save a space.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

spot light - fruit that can clear up your arteries

I just saw an interesting article about the fruit that may be beneficial in treating and preventing cardiovascular diseases and that is

we always knew that pomegranate is high in anti oxidant. The recent research has confirmed that pomegranate may prevent and/or reverse the primary pathology associated with cardiac mortality: the progressive thickening of the coronary arteries caused by the accumulation of fatty materials known as atherosclerosis. ( Atherosclerosis. 2013 May)

Mice with a genetic susceptibility towards spontaneous coronary artery blockages were given pomegranate extract via their drinking water for two weeks, beginning at three weeks of age.  The treatment actually increased cholesterol levels associated with very low density lipoprotein-sized particles However it reduced the size of the atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic sinus (the dilated opening above the aortic valve) and reduced the proportion of coronary arteries with occlusive atherosclerotic plaques.

A separate study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, took 10 patients with atherosclerosis and measured their carotid arteries before and after one year of supplementing their diet with pomegranate juice. After one year, the plaque clogging their carotid arteries was reduced by up to 30%, while the control group's blockages increased by 9% - effectively reversing the disease process by up to 39% within one year.  It also improved their antioxidant status by 130% and reduced the rate of LDL oxidation by 59%. Even it had a positive effect on their systolic blood pressure by 21% within the first year.

This sacred fruit is not in season right now but next time you see it at a shop, or in your backyard, make sure to grab one or two for its amazing cardiovascular health, anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects. (as well as of course its tangy and sweet flavour) It is packed with many vitamins and minerals including soluble polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins which scavenge free radicals. Antioxidants are now considered essential for good health as they protect the body from molecules which cause premature aging and help prevent DNA damage that can lead to a number of serious health conditions. Pomegranate also contains a significant amount of good sodium, calcium, vitamin C, niacin, thiamin and riboflavin.

If you are looking for pomegranate that you can use everyday, without having to squeeze the juice our of the seeds, we sell raw organic pomegranate juice powder at the shop, 120 high street, Northcote, melbourne, Australia.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

september menu 2013

our september 2013 menu

first course $12
cream of garden green vegetable soup, served with croutons
fermented nut cheese with green pesto

Second course $20
apple and zucchini wrap filled with marinated julienned vegetables and nutty mince,
served with almond cream
gnocchi with spiced tomato cream sauce with pine nut parmesan

Side salad $9
spinach salad with balsamic and strawberry dressing
cabbage and marinated mushroom salad with ranch dressing

Dessert $10
almond tart with raspberry and lemon cream cheese
double chocolate lavender brownie

or $46 for three course meal with a side salad

warm drinks
herbal tea $3.00
tonic tea $3.50
herbal coffee - ask for different flavours $3.50 (.50 c extra for our freshly made almond
warm cacao
warm chai
warm latte (with herbal coffee / no caffein)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

raw carob and white chocolate balls

I know some of you are avoiding cacao for its caffein content. (even though its caffein is quite different from caffein in other sources such as coffee and tea)
you might love a taste of carob, and you may not. I have to say I like carob but it is not my "cacao"
Anyway mixing carob and cacao butter is my way of getting close to the chocolate flavour we love.
Cacao butter is the fat portion of the cacao nib, which caffein is concentrated in. thus no caffein in cacao butter.

Because Carob is naturally sweet you don't even need to add any sweetener. just a natural energy packed ball, perfect for snacking ;-)

Carob and white chocolate ball

1 cup melted cacao butter
2 cup almond, grounded to powder
1/2 cup raw carob
pinch of salt

extra carob for coating

Process all the ingredients in a food processor and roll the dough into balls. 

coat with more carob powder

Sunday, August 18, 2013

we are always learning and sometimes it hurts

sorry to be personal again. this blog is like my dairy..
I feel the energy at our cafe is shifting. We welcomed a couple of wonderful new staff and had to let go of a couple.
After being open for a while  I know some of the reasons why many small businesses fail. It is not easy, especially if you started merely because you are so passionate about it and wanted to follow you heart.
My business skill, hospitality skill and spirituality as a person, who is a business owner, friend, mother  and many other things still need fine tuning.
I know we never stop learning. But learning in this life can hurt you so much because it is so emotionally attached. Because learning this way means you have to look deeper into yourself. Lots of guilt, shame and unworthy feeling that you learn to hide from yourself and others can surface at that time. I have learned now to recognise that but I am still at the stage that I still have difficulty letting go of them now and then.

How good would it be just to receive without any attachment, expectations, guilt, and unworthiness. How good would it be just to ask for help and share my journey with others without all the above.

When someone offers to help me i still seem not be able to fully accept. It is challenging especially when the person is so dear to me. As a result I get hurt and they do too.

Hope I have learnt my lesson this time …

can you relate to this? if so is there anything that help you?

yoko xxx

Monday, August 12, 2013

are you living your dream?

I just wanted to share this with you today because it has been one of the things that I kept thinking about.
Since I have opened the cafe I am blessed with meeting people who I had followed in a social media for a while. David wolfe, jessica ainscough from wellness warrior, tara bliss, Adele aka vegie Head, lola berry, Tracy bartram,  kemi, belle from the whole pantry and more.
They are people who have followed their heart and passion and now considered as "guru" "celeb" etc. And every time before meeting people with a"profile" I catch myself excited and nervous at the same time. This insecurity of mine creeps up.
Fortunately every time after meeting them I feel relieved, reminding me again that they are just people like me and you. They come cross special because they are following their dream and trusting that the universe will giver them what they need.

Are you living your dream?

When we start thinking and daydreaming about what is possible it doesn't seem like a reality. then when we actually planning to step towards taking an action the fear, insecurities and doubts come up. The comfort feeling of having securities and certainty will block you from diving into an adventure. Some people rank these as their priority, and be Ok with the life they have. And that is Ok too.
Most of us will have to take a risk at least once in their lives. I am not just talking about starting a business or doing what we love. I am also talking about relationships and finding ourselves.
I believe this is a journey. I am a traveller and seeker, who will have to trip over, pick oneself up, get lost, find the light and keep going. Along the way I am not just looking ahead and looking for what may be waiting for me in the end but appreciate everything around me at this moment. If I have to fall over, I now have a tool to use so I can pick myself up with a giggle and I can let others to help me stand up and push me a little with appreciation.
it is not because I have done a calculation, research and finding the facts. But because I know now that everything WILL work out in the end. Whatever happening right now is happening because it is meant to happening.

so how do you like your life right now?

yoko xxx

fig and balsamic vinegar dressing

I have been using these beautiful balsamic vinegar at the cafe. Fig and balsamic vinegar are such a classic combination. Enjoy this dressing on your favourite salad. It is quite sweet so it would be good to combine with salad with some bitter greens such as rocket or mustard green. 

Fig and balsamic vinegar dressing
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
6 large dry figs
1/2 cup coconut balsamic vinegar (if not available use normal balsamic vinegar)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend all the ingredients together

Friday, August 9, 2013

what is BAOBAB?

One of our new additions to our list of superfood is BAOBAB. It has an amazing nutrients profile and the best of all it tastes so pleasant! 

Baobab is also known as “the tree of life” from Africa. it can live as long as 5000 years. Raw organic baobab fruit is highly nutritious and rich in antioxidsants, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, phosphorus, Iron, Protein and soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. It also has a high ORAC vale of 1400 per gram.
Baobab is known for its high content of vitamin C - six times more than oranges,  as well as iron - three times more than spinach, antioxidants - three times more than blueberries, calcium - three times more than milk, and potassium - six times more than bananas.
The Baobab fruit pulp shows interesting properties in the stimulation of the intestinal microflora growth. Studies carried out in Research Centers have shown that the hydrosoluble fraction of the fruit pulp has a stimulating effects on the proliferation of Bifidobacteria. In fact, soluble dietary fibers, like those contained in the pulp (about 25%), are known to have prebiotics effects stimulating the growth and/or the metabolic activity of beneficial organisms.
possible benefits
While much research is still being conducted, some of the possible health benefits of our Organic raw baobab fruit powder may include:
● Strong anti-oxidant with an ORAC value of 1,400 per gram
● Antibacterial & anti-fungal properties
● Source of soluble fibers with prebiotic activity
● Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic activity
● Increasing calcium absorption
● Anti-diarrhea, anti-dysentery activity
● Helping to fend off free radical damage
● Excellent source of many micro nutrients
● Natural & excipient
● Reducing constipation
● Supporting healthy cholesterol levels
● Relieving stomach aches
● Rich in triterpenoids beta-sitosterol, beta-amyrin palmitate, alpha-amyrin palmitate & ursolic acid

Thursday, August 8, 2013

15 ways to detox we can do regularly

Because of the way we live these days I come across the word "detox" all the time. Our water, air, soil are now polluted, the stress levels have gone up plus many processed and refined foods with full of chemicals have entered into our diet.
Once a while you may decide to go for a detox programme which may involve fasting, juicing, or even enema and colon irrigation. For those of us who feel these are not for them at this time there are many things that we can incorporate in our daily life to detox our body

1. hot lemon water in the morning with or without caynne
2. include herbs that are know for detoxing (dandelion, burdock, ginger liquorice etc)
3 eat detoxing foods
- crucifers (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and broccoli sprouts)
- green leafy vegetables (kale, parsley, chard, coriander, beet greens, watercress, mustard greens)
-citrus (oranges, limes, lemons - but avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, because they contain a substance known as narigen, which can, in turn, interfere with the liver-cleansing process)
- sulfer rich foods (onions, garlic,)
-Liver healing foods (asparagus, artichoke, beets celery)
4. buy organic and be careful with animal products with hormones, chemicals and seafood with mercury
5. rebound to stimulate the lymphatic system
6. therapeutic massage
7. sweat - infra red sauna is great as it can assist in removing heavy metals from fat cells
8. eliminate - regular stool movement is important
9. invert - shoulder stand, head stand or just putting legs up against the wall can reverse the flow of gravity, stimulate the lymphatic system, and aid in blood purification
10. dry brush
11. hydrotherapy - alternate hot and cold shower to stimulate circulation and eliminate wastes.
12. still and moving mediation
13. supplement with clay or zeolite
14. detox bath with epsom salt, baking soda or drops of essential oil such as geranium, eucalyptus and juniper berry
15. oil pulling in the morning

Spring is a great time to do a detox as it is easier for the body to hold onto more fat and toxins that are stored in the fat over the winter. maybe we can do one together. what do you think?

keep well and enjoy
yoko xxx

Monday, July 29, 2013

dinner menu august

Dinner Menu 

August 2013

first course $12
curry spiced coconut and vegetable soup, served with marinated lotus root
stuffed tomato with marinated mushrooms and cashew cream

Second course $20
vegetable risotto, topped with marinated cauliflower served with gremoulata and garlic
infused olive oil
walnut and sunflower pate, served with vegetable spaghetti, pesto cream and koji fermented
celtic salt

Side salad $9
seaweed salad with spicy tahini and miso dressing
beetroot and rainbow chard with brazil nut cream

Dessert $10
vanilla and matcha mousse, served with pine nut and yacon caramel sauce
white and dark chocolate swirl cheese cake

or $46 for three course meal with a side salad

warm drinks
herbal tea $3.00
tonic tea $3.50
herbal coffee - ask for different flavours $3.50 (.50 c extra for our freshly made almond milk)
warm cacao
warm chai
warm latte (with herbal coffee / no caffein)
warm mocha
all warmed in vitamix only $5.00

Thursday, July 25, 2013

sugar sugar sugar! why we feel bad eating sweet food?

Oh how we love sweet things….
if you have a condition that requires you to cut down all the sugars, including fruits and less processed sweeteners then please follow your practitioners as well yourself.
if not i don't see sweet things as 'bad" food anymore.
For a while i was strictly avoiding everything sweet. I think i only ate maybe 2 pieces of fruits in 6 months because I was even avoiding "natural' sweet food. It was a good experience but for now I am happy with "choosing to eat sweet things consciously" path.
I find it interesting that many of us feel guilty about eating something sweet, even though our first food, mother's milk, is extremely sweet. We didn't feel guilty about it then, right? Is it because of all these processed products labelled as "guilty pleasure", "naughty habits", "bad food" ? or is it because we feel we are not worth enjoying the deliciously sweet food?  or is it the strict mind set that all the sweet food is something that is damaging to the body?

All the smoothies, desserts, cakes, biscuits and other treats at the cafe are made to be enjoyed for your tastebuds and mentally. All our sweeteners come from less processed sources, such as dried and fresh fruits, super powder that is naturally sweet (e.g. mesquite, lucuma, maca), coconut nectar and sugar, yacon syrup, stevia and lakanto. Though I still don't want to over eat them and always balance out with something green I don't feel guilty about eating them anymore. When you know that it comes from natural and whole food source and they are made with "love" it fuels my body and mind in many ways.
I stay away from overly processed sugar , including agave syrup as I learnt and experienced  negative effects on my body. I still find it hard when people kindly share or give me things that I would not normally eat. I am learning to be grateful and eat them with gratitude, and I feel it helps. But sometimes it does backfire after. I am still trying to find the balance…

I would love to know how you cope with the situation like this!

if you are interested in the effects of white sugar and alternative to them click here
Also i will be posting the latest sugar alternative that I am so excited about soon

until then, enjoy your cake "consciously"
 yoko xx

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

recipe for raw beetroot and pine nut dip

 I was at the cafe creating a dip for lunch this afternoon. I have been blessed with beautiful pine nuts lately and have been making different dishes, including raw crackers, pesto etc. I was going to make pesto again with rocket but no rocket today and saw a beautiful beetroot in a basket. This is how I love getting the inspiration.   Beetroot is abundant in winter and usually reasonably priced. We love its vibrant colour as well as its powerful blood purifying quality.  

here is a (brief) recipe

2 medium size beetroot, scrubbed clean but skin intact
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup activated pine nuts
1-2 tsp your favourite salt
juice of 1/2 lemonade or lemon
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)

food process garlic, nuts and salt. 
Add chopped beetroot and lemonade juice and process further till your desired consistency is achieved. 

Enjoy with your favourite crackers, bread or vegetables. 

If you know how I make dishes, you know I just don't measure things… so all the measurements are not exact. Enjoy experimenting yourself, have fun with tasting as you go (just don't wear a white top!)

Have you tasted lemonade this winter? It is cross between myer lemon and true lemon. deliciously tangy with a slight sweetness, just like lemonade. 


thank you note to people who have come to see us at the cafe.

It has been nearly 6 months since we opened the door to the public now. What a journey it has been. I have learnt so much as a business person, mother, woman and as a spiritual being.
I always had an issue with a self esteem. As a person who is running a business which is exposed to the public I had to learn not to react to every negative comments and quiet days.
Every mornings and every time before we reopen for dinner on saturdays the thought comes to my mind still. "Maybe no one will turn up… (Instead of being consumed by that thought I thank that thoughts and say bye to that now)
I sometimes catch myself obsessively looking through all the negative reviews on UrbanSpoons and feeling down about them (Then I remember to concentrate on what I am doing right now and what I can learn from those reviews)
I doubt it for a moment when people tell me that they like what they are eating (then I accept simply and be grateful for that moment)
I still get the guilty feelings of not doing everything "right" and being the "right" person, especially as a mother. I have so much to do now. I work as soon as I get up and work till I go to bed. Not much time to do things or go somewhere away with my daughter anymore. even if i do then I feel guilty about not being able to get things done for the cafe. (Then I remember I am doing everything I can right now)

If I didn't love what I do I would have quitted a long time ago. I had a pleasure of having a few "famous" people coming to dine at the cafe in the short 6 months. I get so excited meeting them and inspired by them because they have so much beautiful energy from doing what they love doing. But the main reason I am still doing this is you.
You came to say that you enjoyed the meals. You shared your stories about your illnesses. You brought your daughter who you are worried that may have an eating disorder and I see her eating what I created. You come in regularly and told me Shokuiku is like your second home. You came just to say hi and see how I am. You have spared your time to share this place with your friends and followers. I feel so much love and support from you and realise that is why I am here. After a long day, before I leave the shop I still look around the quiet space and amazed to see what I and you have created together.
Shokuiku is evolving all the time. I am still learning as it goes and hope you can be patient and see us on the journey
I am so grateful. thank you

yoko xxx

Thursday, July 4, 2013

july dinner menu

dinner menu
 July 2013

first Course $12
coconut and cauliflower soup served warm with balsamic red onion and medicinal umeboshi plum puree 
 carrot spaghetti in alfredo white sauce served with nutty parmesan

Second Course $20
Open faced “cheese” and tomato tart with fresh herb vinaigrette
sweet and spicy olive and vegetable “stew” served with turmeric vegetable rice and macadamia sour cream

Side salad $9
kelp noodle and cabbage salad with teriyaki dressing
mixed leafy salad with chunky brazil nut, broccoli and garlic paste

Dessert $10
chocolate cookie sandwich with mint and coconut filling, served with mesquite cacao sauce
wild blackberry tart

or $46 for three course meal with a side salad

warm drinks
herbal tea $3.00
tonic tea $3.50
herbal coffee - ask for different flavours $3.50 (.50 c extra for our freshly made almond milk)
warm cacao 
warm chai
warm latte (with herbal coffee / no caffein)
warm mocha
all warmed in vitamix only $5.00

Sunday, June 30, 2013

shokuiku revamped!

what a month!
If you have come in recently you may have noticed a new addition to the cafe.
Beautiful art work from a great friend of mine, Naoko.
I fell in love with this at the first time I saw it. then she came in one day to explain what it is meant to her.  She said she feels like she was floating like a piece of cloud when she arrived here from her native country , Japan. This art work symbolises australia from her point of view as a little pieces (us) come together to form this country. The beautiful colour was inspired by the sunrise/sunset she encountered on the plane when she was coming back to australia from a break away.  Now I see it in a different light. so powerful and beautiful. I am so grateful to have this part of her here at the cafe.

And another exciting things  are these beautiful boxes, made with all recycled timber by highly skilled carpenter, Loren, who helped me set up this place also. his attention to the details are incredible. We are using this space to display more packaged products now. full of amazing super foods, herbs, teas and raw snacks for you to try.

I am working on another detailed book that you can browse on super foods and herbs we carry.

I will be releasing a new menu for next month soon.
thank you for visiting and talk soon

Thursday, June 13, 2013

eating organically.

If you know me, you know that I am really passionate about buying organic/ bio dynamic products. They may be a bit more expensive but I truly believe that they are worth it. It is beneficial for your health (because they are not covered with toxic pesticides, artificial ingredients and hormones etc), for the environment (less chemicals for our air, water, soil), for animals and workers (less chance of exposing them to the nasty chemicals), and of course to our taste buds.However eating conventionally grown (preferably locally grown) vegetables and fruits is better than eating none at all. You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly 80 percent by avoiding the “dirty dozen” 

dirty dozen

apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers plus silver beet and kale, zucchini

A you can see most of them are vegetables and fruits that don not have any skin or covering that you take off before eating. Sometimes when people thing they are allergic to something they are getting a adverse reactions not from the certain food but from the toxic substances that are on or in the food. 

Here are some tips to save money when buying organic
-eat seasonally 
buying ingredients that are out of the seasons are expensive. Plus foods grow at a certain times for a reason
-cook from scratch
the best thing you can do for your health is to make things yourself. this way you know exactly what you are eating and how it is prepared. pre packed and packaged products may be convenient but is it up to your standard? and how long have they been sitting on the shelves?
-grow them yourself
what is better than produce from your organic store? from your garden. freshly picked produce has way more vitamins and minerals and also the energy force. 
-buy in bulk
many stores have been offering bulk options to customers. because they don't have to package they can sell things for cheaper price. why not join or start local coop where people get together to buy things in bulk. it is a great way to build a community too.

is there anything that you do to save money when buying organic? is it important for you? comment below to let me know

yoko xxx

Thursday, May 30, 2013

raw recipe for stuffed tomato with sunflower pate

If You have  come to have dinner with us in April, this is one of our entree dish.  Simple but effective, great for entertaining too.

Stuffed tomato with sunflower pate

4 round tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
sunflower pate
1 cup sunflower seeds,
soaked over night (can be
sprouted )
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley,
1 tsp tamari, or coconut
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

slice tops off tomatoes. Reserve tops. Scoop out tomato flesh and seeds, being careful not
to break tomato shells. Marinate the shells in balsamic vinegar (I like coconut vinegar,
balsamic style) for a couple of hours. Dehydrated for about 2 hours until tomatoes just start to soften.

Meanwhile make a stuffing
drain and rinse soaked sunflower seeds. Place the seeds in food processor along with
other ingredients and process until it becomes pate consistency. It should still be chunky.
when the tomatoes are ready, Fill each tomato with the sunflower mixture. Dehydrate for
another 2-3 hours until the stuffing has a little crust on top.
Serve with your favourite salad and maybe a drop of green pesto.

Monday, May 27, 2013

June dinner menu

June dinner menu

first course $12
Mediterranean cheese slice filled with Mt zero olives and semi dried tomatoes
Creamy butternut pumpkin and ginger soup served warm with walnut and pine nut crisps

Second course $20
Two colour ravioli filled with cashew ricotta, served with pear and black pepper sauce
soft butternut pumpkin risotto served with curry spiced vegetable sauce and apple and mustard

Side salad $9
Leafy greens with spirilised vegetables and black sesame ranch dressing
Silverbeet and cabbage salad with sweet and spicy beetroot dressing

Dessert $10
hazelnut and chocolate layer cake with brigadeiro filling
pomegranate and guava cheesecake served with coconut brittle

or $46 for three course meal with a side salad

warm drinks
herbal tea $3.00
tonic tea $3.50
herbal coffee - ask for different flavours $3.50 (.50 c extra for our freshly made almond milk)
these below are warmed in vitamix only $5.00
warm cacao
warm chai
warm latte (with herbal coffee/no caffeine)
warm mocha

the first winter menu. 
Please note that we decided not to take any bookings. Please arrive between 6pm and 8pm.
If you are organising a group and would like to make a booking please contact us and we will see what we can do for you.

delighted to have you at the cafe soon
yoko xxx

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


cupuacu our next top superfood
have you already heard of this fruit?
You are not alone if you have never heard this
incredible superfood. when I discovered this a
while back I was so excited. many superfoods
we have can be quite challenging to our
tastebuds. Many bitter or sour taste that can be
hard to get used to. Cupuacu is NOT one of
them. I would describe it as a mix of pineapple
and banana. this unique fruit can be used in
smoothies and other desserts. I have used this
many times in our cakes, tarts and makes a
beautiful sweet coconut cream and ice cream
It is a tree that grows in south america and
belongs to the cacao family. It has been used by
indigenous peoples for centuries.

Cupuacu is extremely nutrient-dense. It is
often compared to the popular acai berry,
cupuacu has more nutrients per grams than the
berries do.
the primary beneficial ingredient is
“phytonutrient polyphenols”, theograndins
In addition, cupuacu is packed with vitamin B1,
B2, B3, both fatty and amino acids and at least
nine antioxidants. other nutrients including
calcium, selenium is found along with a high
flavanoid content.
one of the health benefit is stimulating the
immune system while simultaneously
supporting the body’s ability to fight disease. It
has an energy boosting effect like coffee but
without any side effect (aka tired feeling
afterward). it does not contain any caffein.
Other effects reported are healthier skin ahd
hair, lowered cholesterol levels and better
I am sure we don’t have to go on about how
anti oxidants are much needed. Cupuacu
contains rich array and concentration of
unique antioxidants. it is associated with
- neutralisation of free radicals
- improvement of circulateion
- lowered blood pressure
- balance cholesterol levels
- improve brain function
- anti ageing
- mental alertness
there was no way to get this amazing
product anywhere in australia. that is why I
had to import it myself. Now You can
include this too in your diet.
our cupacu is raw and wild crafted in
powdered form, which can be easily used in
many recipes
it is available for a purchase at our shop
120 high street, Northcote, VIC 3070.
or email me for your purchase.

Monday, May 20, 2013

grounding / earthing

vibration and natural electric energy might sound too new age for you. But more studies are finding how important this is and some are even claiming that this is The way to heal almost anything.

what is earthing?
Earthing involves coupling your body to the Earth's eternal and gentle surface energy. it means walking outside on a grass, sand on barefoot and /or sitting working or sleeping while connected to a conductive device that delivers this energy into your body.

what happens they say, is that your body becomes suffused with negative charged free electrons abundantly present on the surface of the Earth. Your body equalises to the same electric energy level as the Earth.

the list of benefits from Earthing goes on for a long time but here is a start
- defuses the cause of inflammation, and improves or eliminates the symptoms of many inflammation related disorders.
Reduces or eliminate chronic pain
-improves sleep in most cases
-increases energy
-lowers stress and promotes calmness in the body by cooling down the nervous system and stress hormones
-normalises the body' biological rhythms
-Thins blood and improves blood pressure flows
-relieves muscle tension and headaches
-lessens hormonal and menstrual symptons
-Dramatically speeds healing and helps prevent bedsores
-Reduces or eliminate jet lag
-Protects the body against potentially health disturbing environmental electromagnetic field (EMFs) - yes you are conducting this while you ar eon the computer reading this!
-Accelerates recovery from intense athletic activity

When I first hear this idea I was quite skeptical. Then I started hearing many scientific researchers and medical practitioners are talking as if this is the greatest health breakthrough

One pilot study conducted by Dr. Maurice Ghaly, measured the secretion of cortisol (stress hormone) in people before and after grounding. The study found that Earthing during the sleep "resynchronises cortisol secretion in alignment with its natural, normal rhythms.
Conditions related to chronic inflammation can be extreme, such as MS, arthritis, fibromyalagia, intestinal disorders, headaches, kidney failure, chronic pain, diabetes, cancer, allergies, and cardiovascular diseases. Earthing is said to be helpful because of the electric energy of the Earth. The energy on the surface of the planet takes the form of free and limitless supply of sub atomic particles called electrons. These electrons are negatively charged. So when you have direct contact with the Earth, they are absorbed into the body and negate any positively charged area of inflammation
Infra red images showing the reduction of inflammation that occurs from before (left) and after (right)

cortisol levels during sleep

It does make sense and testimonials from people around globe are quite amazing. We have increasingly disconnecting from nature by our lifestyle. Our plastic shoes, electronic devices, wireless connections and stressful lifestyle can all contribute to decreasing our ability to connect the healing power of the Earth. 

It is not hard thing to do or expensive. Just walk outside barefoot on grass, sand, swim in the ocean. And for those who don't have time to go outside to do this there are many reasonably priced products available. 
I now have a grounding mat (which I use while using a computer and while driving a car) as well as grounding sheet, that I sleep on. 

resources and websites, products

Thursday, May 16, 2013

more blog articles coming!

When I was having a look thorough this blog the other day I thought myself thinking "wow, I haven't posted one for so long" I used to love doing my blog but I recently shifted focusing on sending private newsletters to people who have registered for my newsletters and updates.
I now decided to post the contents in the newsletters on this blog for everyone to see. This way I can reach more people plus we can look back to previous articles on the web as well.

I feel like a reborn blogger! I am so excited to restart this journey with you. If you still would like to register for updates from shokuiku I highly recommend you to do so. I would still be sending updates, specials, and more recipes this way.
I would also love to use this place for people to connect and encourage and inspire each other. that would be so much fun ;-)

If you follow me on Facebook, I posted this…

I just wanted to share this with you. I am not sure what sort of responses I get and maybe I shouldn't voice this out because there are many opinions out there. I was on "melbourne vegan Facebook group " and I was describing my cafe. as you may know all our dishes, drinks, and desserts are vegan but we do carry bee pollen and honey for people to have if they choose to. firstly I was mistaken for saying honey is vegan (which I know it is is not) and secondly I felt like being attacked because to some carrying bee products are unethical and it is not what I say I try to do. Our honey and bee pollen come from sustainable, organic and small bee keepers or wild crafted to make sure they are not given antibiotics and pesticides etc. Also I respect that the bees are an important component of organic and sustainable agriculture and is a powerful food to us. I do not like labelling my self as anything. if I start to call myself one thing it is hard to evolve and grow. I would feel so stuck in the box. I am just ME. we all try to be compassionate and to respect others's opinions and where they are at. Who are we to judge others anyway? we have so much to learn from each other and I am just grateful to have people around me to support and inspire me continuously. thank you for letting me who I am 
I received so many beautiful encouraging comments after this, moving to discuss who we are and believing in ourselves and not letting anyone or anything cloud up your forces. I don't mean that you shouldn't listen to other people's opinion. However if you feel judged or attacked I feel it is important to stop and check what you are doing in a compassionate way.

I do love what I do and I don't cut corners. I am so grateful the opportunity to express myself and my belief in this way and have so much support from you. But I am human after all.. I get insecure and start to doubt myself sometimes. It used to be harder to pull myself out this in the past. Now I have tools to find myself again. One of the tools i have is to reach out to people, who inspire me so much to keep going.
thank you.
Hay House World Summit
if you are interested in learning more about your inner strength Hay House is doing FREE global on line world summit in June. Amazing speakers such as : Louise HayWayne DyerEsther HicksSuze OrmanCheryl Richardson, and Doreen Virtue. and many more are involved in this. I cannot wait!

Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart" - RUMII

I love this quote.

so I would love to hear your thoughts. have you ever felt judged by others? if so what did you do to pull yourself out of the cloudiness? comment below to let me know.

look forward to the next blog already