Friday, June 27, 2008

Just a thought...

Whenever I mention the word Macrobiotics to someone, I usually get a perplexed look until I explain what it is, and even after I explain it, most people give me a strange look and think it's odd in some way. In the western world, it's easy to brush off foreign approaches to diet. We live in a fast-paced society where many people neglect the importance of diet and exercise. Most people I've encountered since my involvement in Macrobiotics don't know what it is, but some have heard of it. They might have some misconceptions of what it entails. For instance, some people think that a Macrobiotic diet consists only of rice and seaweed, while others think that it's limited in other ways. The point is that many people think that, with a Macrobiotic diet, one is not allowed to eat most foods. This is simply not true. The diet is very diverse and consists of many foods. Of course, what a person can eat or not eat depends on his or her condition (if any), allergic reactions (if any), personal preference, and other factors. Personally, I love the food; It's absolutely delicious! And I feel better after eating it. It also improves my brain power, emotional states, and many other facets of my life. I intend on maintaining my Macrobiotic diet from now to posterity. Till next time... !


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guests from Mexico are coming

Ok, today there's a great energy in here, Sanae just told me she's going to have 2 guests from Mexico, and we're all goin'to have lunch together (I'll get to help for lunch, God, help!! :-))...
I didn't know this, but Sanae is making available the whole macrobiotic experience at her place to whoever wants to do it...2 types of experiences: one where the person just comes here, relax, eat macrobiotic meals, and just get to live a macrobiotic lifestyle for a few days...another one, the person comes here and she/he can request to take classes from Sanae, lectures, and also got nice shiatzu massages, along with helping in the kitchen to other words, HOW TO LIVE MACROBIOTICALLY in the big city...Sanae is very good at makin' this possible, I mean, she recovered herself from a terminal disease, and she endorses a healing style, but flexible at the same time...R U askin'yourself HOW?! Well...come here and look with your own eyes....again, I said this many time, but I have 2 say I'm so grateful I get to spend here some time to learn all this, every week.
A note:
I was reading a Denny Waxman's book the other day, and I found this concept outlined in the following example: macrobiotic is to be align with nature...nature is balancing and flexible at the same time...balancing cuse is predictable: we all know when the sun will rise, when the sun will sunset (not the right English, but I don't know the word for it , sorry :-)), and the same fo the moon, we also know what way they'll both go in the sky, every day....also, at the same time, we don't know when nature will make rain, sun, cloudy, different concepts, opposite actually, in the same contest...isn't it the yin and yang factor???!
I love when all this pieces of the puzzle start to come together and I can see the whole picture...It makes me wanna go deeper and deeper in me learning about all this...I love it!! I love when all makes sense...
Anyway...that's what I'm basuically learning here the most. I read lots of books and artiocles about how things "should be", and Sanae is teachin'me that there no such things like "should" and "shouldn't" in's hard to grasp this concept, since we always hear about "no this, no meat, no dairies, etc..."...but at the end, it all makes sense....another great teaching is: start thinkin'about WHAT YOU CAN ADD TO YOUR DIET AND LIFESTYLE,rather than what You need to's kinda like seeing the glass half empty toward half full....

Anyway...back to our guests...I'm lookin'forward to meet'em...I'm sure they can talk Spanish, and I can talk Italian, and we both can communicate very well....ok,that's all for now.
I'm going to start bringing my camera so I can take some pics and show what's like in here...for now, I wish everybody a beautiful day!!ciaoooooooo

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

cookin' yummi...

Today I got out of work sooner,so I was able to go grocery shopping before coming here to Studio Mugen.
Sanae was preparing lunch, so I was watching her and she told me I could help...I thought I was too messy to actually start cooking for everybody that's here today...but she made me feel comfortable by tellin'me one thing that me,as a calculator-kinda-closed-minded european have to remember,because it's very important to macrobiotic practice: there's no right or wrong. There's no putting onions in pot before the peas, or something like that...the main thing I have to remember is TO BE FLEXIBLE, otherwise an overly tight condition (like I have) will become even tigher...good point...I haven't thought about it. Simple teaching, great concept, and even more, a huge help...I always beat myself up for forgetting to put the salt 20 minutes before the end of cooking, or I should have put 1/2 tsp of miso instead of 1/3...I always go by the book,and not too much by intuition.That's the big teaching I got out today.

Can U believe the taste that pumpkin seeds roasted with tamari soy sauce have??? Sanae mixed them in to leftovers brown rice and some light blanched scallions...sorry to repeat myself so many times in this blog, but , again, the simplest foods turn out to be so amazing just by some very simple modifications...I'm so amazed...and more to come.I can't wait.I wish I could be here 24 hours.
My best to everyone, ciao from Annalisa!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The wonderful world of Macrobiotics

Hello Macrobiotic community,

My name is Joel and I am new to Macrobiotics. I spent two months working in the kitchen at the Kushi Institute in Becket, Massachusetts, from March to May of 2008, where I learned all about Macrobiotics. Outside of my 35-40 hour commitment in the kitchen, I had the privilege of auditing Oriental Diagnosis, Shiatsu, and Acupuncture classes. In addition, I had the wonderful opportunity to learn how to cook for myself; this was invaluable and I have taken this knowledge to my home in Los Angeles where I currently practice cooking for myself in my kitchen, along with volunteering 4-5 hours a week at studio Mugen, the epicenter of the Macrobiotic community in Los Angeles.

While Los Angeles isn't as scenic as western Massachusetts (location of Kushi Institute), volunteering at studio Mugen makes up for it. The people here are very friendly and supportive, and, since they are located in beautiful Santa Monica (near the beach), we get to enjoy the ocean breeze and the wonderful weather throughout the year.

I met Sanae at the Kushi Institute in May 2008. I expressed interest in continuing to learn at home (I live only one hour from their house), and Sanae graciously took me into the community where I am now experiencing full immersion while at the same time "giving back" to the community through my volunteership.

This journey has been a very rewarding and fulfilling one, to say the least. Since I changed my diet, I've been feeling better and have lost weight. I'm more conscious of what I eat. I've been reading books, including the ones released by Sanae and Eric. You can find out more about these books on this website.

Please come back to visit us! We'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What I learned from cooking class

Sooo...there was the cooking class last saturday...we were 9 people, some new faces to me, and some not....and the day was sunny and warm.
Can't begin to tell U how much I've learn just only by watching Eric cutting the veggies...
The recipes were from their cookbook, and when I read them I thought:"Oh,yeah,I can make this...easy!!"
...sure, but being in a live class is a complete different experience....
So many things a book cannot tell U, like why U R washing the rice in a certain way, or if U cannot have some kind of food or herbs or condiments, how U can subtitute it and, most important, WHY... A cookbook, even if it is a very good one, doesn't say that, even if , of course, the recipe means a lot, but it's not everything.
Most of the time when we cook we just follow whatever the recipe says, without questioning why we do this or that.
A book is useful, but doesn't answer your questions ...all those things U can get out of a class like this.
Making the food "cute and pretty" is also important to be able to fully enjoy it...
In Italy we say "The eye wants its part", not sure if there's a similar expression in the Usa, but I think U understand what I mean... and I've always thought that this was useless, spending a lot of time to cut the food in different shapes and forms, and, at the end, it all goes in the same place anyway, so why bother??? Well, I couldn't be more wrong... when I ate the food today I noticed how my mood was different , more cheerful, probably made so from the rainbow mix of vivid colors and shapes all the veggies had...

Personal Note: I see the whole macrobiotic thing like a LIFESTYLE and not just merely nourishes us, sure, it's our fuel, but if U R eating it in front of the tv or pc while U R checking your emails, or lying on the couch in a sleeping position, without paying any attention to relax your stomach muscles by deep breathing and not chewing each bite very well...the nutrients in the food will just not be absorbed from your body, causing all kinds of troubles in it...mental and physical.... I did it...I tried it....
When I started macrobiotic the TV was a must, phone ringing all the time, sometimes reading, and a lot of times eating standing, in 5 minutes or less (La sad...)....I felt almost no difference in my body since I started changin'my lifestyle too...that's when I started seeing the real difference, both in my mind and body.

Anyway.....just wanted to say how enthusiastic I was about the class...the simplest foods were cooked by Eric and Sanae in the most delicious way ever...

We started with a melon soup, refreshing and very summertime (Eric showed us it could have been served in a glass just as a cocktail!)....NOTE: for example, because it's fruit, I'd have consider it as a dessert...but Sanae explained me that , actually, that kind of soup it's very good to prepare your stomach before the meal...and, again, here's one of the many advantages of taking a live cooking class.

A simple salad (actually, my favorite dish of the day: quinoa, baby greens and kale with lemon and olive oil dressing) felt just like heaven in my mouth...going to the fancy gourmet veggie pancake (with tofu sour cream...yummy yummy yummy) that has nothin'to envy to IHOP...

Other dishes were brown rice and corn (simpy delicious as well, I want to try it tomorrow for lunch:-)), and Sanae made some fresh gomashio and served some carrot pickles...

I was delighted, and feeling very fortunate I have the luck to be part of all this...
I really encourage everybody taking live cooking classes...their value is just without price (I hope it's the right English...but I'm sure U know what I'm talkin'about :-)))...ciao!@!

Friday, June 6, 2008

From Annalisa

Yesterday I was pretty tense (that's just how my day started...too yang!) and I relaxed a lot when I got to the Mugen studio. ..great sunny day, miso soup (that Junko made, could she cut the scallions so nicely thin???? God, how much do I need to learn...) eaten on the porch and chatting alltogether.
Lookin'forward for the cooking class this coming saturday...and the food tasting expecially....melon soup...yummy!!!!ciao ,best to all#Annalisa