Why I created Yin & Yang Living
About the Creator Moon Cho
Hello, I’m Moon, the creator and founder of Ying & Yang Living, a healthy lifestyle resource that provides Asian living tips for your mind, body and soul. I like to emphasize spiritual wellness as the foundation for healthy living because I truly believe that we must have a peaceful mind and soul first in order to build a healthy and happy life with food, exercise and other aspects of living.
I was born in Seoul, Korea. My family immigrated to America when I was only 4 years old, and I grew up in Queens, NY with 5 siblings (as the youngest, I was considered the “baby” in the family). With little English, my family and I yearned to assimilate into American culture. We had our bumps in becoming “American.” My mother always recalls our first week in America: my father bought us pizza, and on our first bite, we all spit it out. It is hard to believe that we hated pizza then. Now, we love cheese and marinara sauce, even my mom, so we have come a long way!
Even though we did our best to assimilate into America, my mother never learned how to cook any “American” food, so we grew up eating Korean meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our Thanksgiving meals were prepared in our own Korean way: turkey stuffed with root vegetables paired with Korean hot pepper paste with Korean side dishes and sticky white rice. I remember my sisters and I longing for cranberry sauce, gravy and traditional stuffing–and pumpkin pie–so, on one Thanksgiving, my sister In bought a canned gravy from the American supermarket. Not having tasted any home made gravy, we thought it was good then! And for dessert, we had fresh fruit, the Korean way!
Even on all our family outings to beaches, parks, and camping trips, we always brought Korean food in stacked bento-style containers, where one level was rice, another level kimchi (pickled fermented vegetables), another seaweed, and so on. My mom labored for many hours in the kitchen preparing what I now realize as nutritious meals.
While my father always loved fat and junk food, my mom was the opposite: she only liked healthy foods and lived a very positive life–we call her the ultimate optimist and super mom. While growing up, I remember my mom doing breathing exercises and practicing her own yoga positions, which provided the seeds for my journey to seek out healthy living. In the 80′s, my mom started cooking brown rice, a grain no one had even heard of at that time, and she always cooked meat without the skin or fat. She would meticulously trim all the fat from the beef and cut out every piece of skin on the chicken. We ate a lot of fish, mostly mackerel, white fish, cod fish, and belt fish. Also, a lot of kimchi, tofu, seaweed, and vegetables. To this day, my mom has never taken a pill in her life or had any kind of surgery. She is still active, traveling and doing yoga. My mom has been the biggest influencer in my life for healthy living.
When I entered college, where I majored in Asian Studies and minored in Art History, and did not have access to my mom’s Korean food and kimchi, I started to really appreciate Korean and Asian foods in general. Because she knew I missed home cooking, my mom sent me a care package of Korean food, which completely stunk up my dorm room with all the garlic, and I have to admit, this was a little embarrassing. I spent a lot of time with my Japanese friend, Emiko, who cooked me Japanese food in her dorm, and I loved it! Asian food in college!
After college, I spent a few years working in the fine arts–poetry organization, museums, and art galleries–and then onto the film industry, where I learned how to create, develop, write, and produce ideas. While working in film, I became a food and lifestyle buff, watching the Food Network and HGTV religiously, but I didn’t see any shows on Asian cooking or Asian living. Over the years and as I got older, I became more and more interested in my Asian roots, so I taught myself how to cook, decorate and practice healthy living through feng shui, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, etc.
When my oldest sister Sun (yes, that is her real name), now my spiritual guardian angel, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I became serious about healthy living: physically, mentally, and spiritually, as they are all integrated into one. Sun’s death inspired me to promote healthy living and make it my life-long journey to help others live healthier. Because Asian cultures and philosophies are so deeply ingrained in natural, organic and balanced ways of living, I wanted to bring Asian living tips and make it accessible to a global audience, so I created Ying & Yang Living (in Chinese, “yin” is the Moon and “yang” is the Sun). It is in the balance–the yin and the yang–that we can live our healthiest lives.
While I feel more “American” in many ways now, I always go back to my Korean and Asian roots for food and healthy living. When I’m sick, I only crave Asian food, especially Korean spicy stew kimchi jigae! Ying & Yang Living is my calling and passion, so I welcome you to share this passion with me!
I feel like the luckiest gal in the whole world because I have the best job and privilege to be able to promote healthy, happy and spiritual living messages every day — can it get any better than that? I hope the information on my website will be useful to you and help you live a healthier and happier life! Ying & Yang Living and I are here to serve You, my fellow humans, and our magical Universe. Please let me know if you have any Asian living tips of your own, comments or feedback. I would love to hear from you!
Moon (the “Ying”)
P.S. I spell “Ying” with a “g.” While I’ve always known that “yin” is spelled without the “g,” I made a purposeful choice for “Ying” with the “g” as I wanted the visual balance of “Ying & Yang” (to me, “yin and yang” is not balance ). Like I said, balance is what keeps us living our healthiest lives!
Me and my Mom…
Me (at 12) and my sister Sun (at 21) ~ We’re the “Ying & Yang”