A Short Intro
Hi! My name is Yang, the voice, recipe developer, photographer, videographer, and webmaster behind this blog. I am also a mother of 2 boys, living with my husband and children in the suburb of Toronto, Canada. When I am not taking care of my children and home, I am busy creating nourishing foods for my family and friends. Out of the the desire to record my thoughts during the cooking process, and to share my family favourite nourishing recipes and natural remedies, I started this blog in 2016.
My Health Journey
Before my blogging life, I was an IT Consultant in my past profession, then forced to leave my career due to severe chronic illness. Some of my friends are aware that I suffered greatly from illness for many years.
At the worst point, I was completely bed-ridden for many months with chronic debilitating pain, unable to eat and sleep, seeing my weight diminishing, and my life at that point was threatened. I was diagnosed “Postpartum Wind” by Eastern medicine; and diagnosed “Fibromyalgia” by Western medicine and told it’s “incurable”. The stubborn part of me pushed myself forwards searching for the cure, and followed my intuition to turn down many medications that would have been harmful to me in the long run. Traditional Chinese Medicine saved my life when my illness reached a critical point. (I wrote about my story here)
During that period, I spent a considerable amount of time researching in alternative medicines, food cures and various diets. The journey of healing was an extremely difficult one, as every time I was met with a regression or plateau, I searched for a new solution to unlock the next piece of puzzle. Many other alternative medicines, home remedies and a nourishing diet also helped me greatly in my recovery.
I have always loved cooking and creating in the kitchen since a young age, interested in nutrition and a natural approach to life. But it wasn’t until I had experienced this very serious illness myself, I finally learned to really look after myself, physically and mentally, and allowed myself to slow down. At that time, cooking became not just a hobby, it was a necessity because I couldn’t eat most of the foods prepared by other people outside of the home, due to very weakened digestive system and overall health. Cooking also turned out unexpectedly as the best therapy to lift me out of anxiety and depressions as a result of many years of battling against chronic illness. (I wrote about how I overcome anxiety and insomnia here.)
Today I have found the path that cured myself and gained a whole new perspective on how to take care of our health. It was this experience of healing myself completely naturally from being critically ill to being able to enjoy life again made me realize the tremendous knowledge and wisdom in traditional foods and traditional medicine.
I hope that I can draw from the wisdom from the past and continue to learn in the future, at the same time, also share with others who maybe in the same situation I was – battling chronic illness, wanting to focus on foods that are nourishing and strengthening to our health. I truly hope my experience and whatever difficulties I had, can be your stepping-stone to accelerate your journey of healing.
These recipes are also for those who are in good health but want to use nourishing foods and natural remedies as a preventative measure. Today I am so grateful I no longer have any major health issues. But having gone through severe illness in the past, I now guard my health very carefully, and I try my hardest to look after my children’s health so that they have a good foundation for their lives. I truly believe: prevention is the best medicine.
What You Will Find Here
Here you will find familiar North American flavours plus a dash of the East, all carrying a consistent nourishing theme. During the years of struggling with my own health problems, I took the time to reflect on my past in search for the truth to what really is a healthy diet and life-style.
I lived the first 19 years of my life in China, influenced by my mother who was a medical doctor of Western medicine – I had extra exposure to health related topics growing up, but unfortunately also took antibiotics and other medication in my younger days not knowing their danger.
Growing up in China, I also watched my grandmother living a slow-paced traditional lifestyle and eating a healthy traditional diet – she is now over 90 year old, and still in great health. I didn’t think much of it back then, but after I moved to Canada, being all confused in my 20s and early 30s about the North American healthy diet preaches (from low-fat, low-carb, to high-protein, high-fat, and vegan), the foods I had when I was a child eventually helped me to clarify what long-term sustainable nourishing diet really means – it’s real food, inclusive diet, judging foods for their nutritional values rather than good or bad.
I also lived in Japan shortly in my teens and 20s to appreciate why the Japanese diet is very healthy. Later on, I married my husband, a second generation Indian-Canadian. When I met him, he was completely brain-washed by the North American fast food diet. Now 10+ years later, he has felt the positive impacts of home-cooked nourishing meals on his health and would not go back to the old way of eating. Through my in-law’s family, I was then exposed to many Indian flavours and spices full of health benefits. I am grateful for the many cultures I was exposed to that shaped my perspectives on food and health.
For so many reasons, this blog is dedicated to cooking with real foods and nourishing recipes. Often these are less well-known recipes because they follow a traditional diet or a new food trend to revive traditional foods that are now recognized to be healthy for us, grounded by scientific research. Many are my own original recipes or recipes with my own spin on it, but I feel they are worthy of sharing and more love by all.
In addition to food, I also share my experience in holistic health along my journey of healing.
My Food Philosophy
Although you will see recipes on my blog labelled with terms such as “gluten-free”, “paleo”, “vegan”, “raw” etc. I don’t currently follow any of these diets, but I understand it’s necessary to do so sometimes, as I was eating a more restrictive diet during my own healing. The labeling is for organization and search-ability of the blog and convenience for the readers. Special diets are very subjective to individual needs and stage of healing. The best healing diet is one that feels right to you when you listen to your own body.
I do believe in eating a balanced, whole food diet, eating more fruits and vegetables, soup and bone broth, some fermented foods and healthy fats, eating all parts of the animals (nose-to-tail eating), eating according to season, geography, focusing on nutrient-dense ingredients, incorporating organics as much as possible, and practicing proper preparation techniques to minimize harmful substance and maximize nutrition in our foods. This is the kind of traditional diet I was exposed to and familiar with growing up, also largely (although not completely) consistent with the way of eating promoted by Weston A. Price foundation.
Much of my cooking and eating philosophy is also influenced by Traditional Chinese Medicine, coinciding with ancestral wisdoms of other cultures, that believes healthy digestive system is the core and foundation of our health. Many of my recipes are focused on gut-healing. What’s good for our digestion, will in turn be the most nourishing for our overall health. I will touch on Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy as well throughout recipes on my blog, where medicines are incorporated in foods and foods are used as medicines. Traditional Chinese Medicine also emphasizes on food therapy and dialectical thinking towards food and medicine. It is a true gemstone of human heritage.
From time to time, I will also share some conflicting opinions and traditional wisdoms of Eastern and Western culture. I believe in the importance of keeping an open mind. I am hoping my philosophy of cooking and eating will come through my recipes over time.
Final Words of Appreciation
Thank you for being a reader of Yang’s Nourishing Kitchen. It’s a tremendous amount of work to run a blog but I loved every minute of it being able to help someone else to live a healthier life!
All my blog readers have access to my exclusive discount code “YANG10” to receive 10% off their entire purchase at The Perfect Supplements, a company that shares the same philosophy as myself when it comes to traditional foods and holistic health. The discount code will never expire, you can usually use it in conjunction with other promotions, and you can definitely use it as many times as you want. This is an affiliate partner of mine, meaning if you purchase through a link from my site, I will receive a small commission to help support the operation of my blog. I also believe it will help you achieve better health – win win!
Over time I have grown with my blog and come to realize that when we try our best to pay attention to what goes into us, we often overlook what goes onto us. Our skin is the largest organ, what we put on our skin have a big impact to your health. I have since then taken steps to detox my personal care products. My favourite brand is Beautycounter and after I used the products, I became a believer and a consultant. I have a Facebook group where I talk about safer skincare. If you need any help choosing products, please get in touch with me.
If you made a recipe of mine, I will be happy to hear your feedback and suggestions for improvements. I will be thrilled if you like anything enough to share with your friends. I would love to connect with you – drop me a note to say hi, find me over on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!