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Pumpkin House promotes healthier lifestyle

By: Marie W. Conway

Date Posted: 1998-11-06

Pumpkin House owner, Yoshiko Higa, wants to "promote a healthier lifestyle" and encourages people to carefully select what goes into their bodies vice watching their caloric intake. Her interest in healthy food stems from asthma that developed when she was 27 years old. The doctor gave her medicine and she became well. As time passed she stopped taking her medicine, and then she became sick again. After reading a book written by a doctor telling people how important food intake is to your health, she decided that she probably should change her diet too. She eliminated white sugar, white rice, and ajinomoto (Japanese seasoning) and eats only organic products. About 10 years ago, Higa opened a health store selling only natural products, such as herbal tea and coffee, medicine, cosmetics, soup with calcium, snacks, and other kinds of food. If there is any kind of medicine or organic food that you are searching for, please let her know and she can try and order it for you. She has been serving nutritious food for 7 years now. There is only one style obento (Japanese box lunch) on the menu, but she changes the contents and preparation of the lunch daily. Three times a week she serves food with animal protein and the other two days, plant protein. Even though calories are not the most important part of the meal, she said all of hers are only about 500 calories. If you call in advance and tell her you are a strict vegetarian or have a health problem, she will adjust the lunch accordingly. Higa served us an obento filled with sesame seed sprinkled over brown rice, which she said is extremely good for you, green beans, carrots, potatoes, a seaweed and tofu mixture, miso soup, and guava for dessert. We ate and sipped on South African Rooibos tea which has minerals said to make you live longer, while listening to new age and folk styles of music, such as Enya and Susan Osborne. It was a very healthy experience!!

She also gives advice on what foods to eat and vitamins to take to those with a sickness or just wanting to live a healthier, happier, longer. For example, she recommends that "those with cancer should take tablets with shark cartilage, green umeboshi (Japanese plum), and Agaricus mushrooms from Brazil, and stems from shiitake (Japanese mushrooms)." Next month, she will be offering a class, in Japanese, on how to make karin, a natural drink, which helps relieve colds, sore throats, constipation, diarrhea, etc., but she said it will be easy for foreigners to understand too. To make the smaller jug will cost about 4000 and for the larger container 12,000. For more information about this class or anything else, please call Ms. Higa at 098-956-2009.

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