This is a wonderful book/cookbook. I have this book and it totally makes sense. See, my mother is Japanese and she has aged beautifully and of course, she can eat whatever she wants and will not gain any weight. Why, then, was I not blessed with these wonderful genes? Because, according to the book, it isn't about having fantastic genes or amazing metabolisms. . . it is all about WHAT you eat and HOW you eat it. Naomi Moriyama, the author, says that when she came to the states as an exchange student during her high school years, she gained a lot of weight. This was because of the American diet, full of fat and much bigger portions than in Japan. When she returned to Japan and went back to eating the Japanese way, the pounds immediately started to melt away.
The book suggests having many small dishes on the table to choose from and having more vegetables than anything else. I remember back to my time living in Japan and this is so true -- Japanese tables are filled with many small dishes and there is always a bowl of rice served as well as a bowl of miso soup. Instead of the American sized dinner plate, the Japanese eat off of a smaller plate, much like our salad plate. And one more thing: they use chopsticks. Try this sometime. You will be amazed at how much less food you eat and still feel satisfied.
My husband and I did this the other night. I made a smaller amount of the main protein dish. In addition, I made miso soup; rice; sauteed zucchini, carrots and shallots; and we had sashimi salmon. We ate on salad plates and just took little bits of each dish onto our plates and got more as we wanted. We had a big bowl of miso soup with tofu bits and a small bowl of rice. We also ate with chopsticks. I was amazed that we didn't even finish the protein dish (Bulgogi -- Korean 'barbecued' beef -- I will post the recipe for the marinade below), which if I would've dished it onto a normal sized dinner plate, we would have finished it all. I'm sure if we ate like this every day for a while, we would get used to it and eat less and perhaps lose some weight!
1 pound beef (we used rib-eye that was very thinly sliced)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less if you don't want it spicy)
3 green onions, sliced thinly (including whites)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp canola oil
Mix all ingredients except beef and canola oil. Put into ziplog bag and add beef. Make sure all beef is coated well. Refrigerate for 30+ minutes. Heat canola oil in frypan or wok over medium high heat. Add beef and cook until browned. Serve with rice.