Friday, July 27, 2012

Amazing French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp Part 3.

Miracle 11 miles & Japanese Tea Ceremony

After I came back from the French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp I realized how amazed and inspired I was by being 5600 feet up in the mountains with the delicious nourishing food cooked by so many wonderful, caring people on wood burning fires.

The entrance to go to French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp by George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation (G.O.M.F.) 

One week of total immersion in nature without internet or phone and just being present made me feel powerful, amazing and totally FREE. I feel I am amazing, not in an egoistical or narcissistic way, but in a humbling way.  I am still freeing the magical moments!!! I am so grateful that I am able to write and share them with you.

I have attended many conferences and risen early to do yoga, taichi, do-in and mediation. I've also undergone 5 to10 days of silent vipassana meditation in nature, gotten up at 4 am, meditated for 10 hours a day, eaten simple food etc.  
But this camp was different...

Miracle hike: I was able to hike 11 miles to the waterfall. I had resolved after I saw this year's first sunrise during a hike that I am going to practice walking with more vigor and determination. 

On September 8, 2001 I had a near-fatal car accident in Arizona. I was in a coma for three days and my heart stopped for 12 minutes. I had an out of body experience, but my desire to come was strong.  When I came back to, the surgeon said both legs were seriously damaged and one of the legs was almost amputated.  He also said I would probably never walk.  

Thirteen screws and three plates were built into my legs. It has been the hardest challenge in my life, greater than when I had cancer in 1993.

It has been over 10 years since the car accident and I knew that I need a transformation, but I never dreamed I would walk 11 miles!  
They had told me it would be an 8-mile hike so my mind was saying I have been walking one to 2 miles every week since my new-year resolution, so I may be able to walk 4 miles tops and wait for the others to finish if I felt I couldn't go on.   
The Universe had a different plan for me. 

On the way to the waterfall, it was hot and the hills were steep.  After 45 minutes of walking I could only hear my heartbeat.  For the first time after the car accident I felt the damages of my heart and lungs from the car accident. They had been crushed, bruised and crying out loud to overcome the injuries. My legs were in so much pain, and I had to separate myself from my physical part. It was almost like the out of body experience that  I had after the car accident. 

I am grateful to my body, especially to my legs for following my heart. When I got to the third creek I thought I would never make it because I was afraid something was going to happen and I might faint or break my body. Dan, our guide, asked me what I wanted to do. I said I want to put my feet in the water of the creek and think for 5 minutes.  When I am with other people usually I feel that I don’t want to burden them, so I felt I must come to a decision quickly.  My heart told me to take this moment, so I not only put my feet in the water, I dunked my head and cooled off so I could think clearly.  Then… my heart told me to keep going.   

Just writing this brings tears to my eyes, knowing how far I have come.  

I want to thank the people who helped me on the hike and patiently allowed me to finish:
Dan (hiking guide), for his expert leadership; Gloria, who carried my bag on the way back; DTK (Mr. Kaneko), who carried my lunch and gave me shiatsu massage when we stopped to rest the second creek; Eva, my walking and talking companion;  Nobu (Mr.Otake), who gave me a hand when I was crossing the creeks; Cathy, Who had an infectious vitality that encouraged me to keep up on the way back,   Brian, for his quiet and kind support;  John and Christina, who gave me a ride to the trail and for their spiritual support; and last but not least, to my heart and faith.
I thank you all from my bottom of heart!!!
You guys were all amazing!!!

Everyone at Miracle 11 miles hike

Sign and Sanae L1050263
It was all up hill on the way

Meadow L1050278
Beautiful meadow with so many different kinds of mountain wild flowers

DTK(Mr. Kaneko) was giving shiatsu massage

My feet with hiking shoes and organic tie dye socks

Me at the water fall L1050276
Me at the water fall

Last Group L1050294
On the way back the last group to walked with me

My feet when I completed the hike

Another Amazing thing happened was Japanese Tea Ceremony. 
I met Simon Brown from England for the first time. We connected in a deep level when he expressed his knowledge of WABISABI: a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection while we were talking over one lunch time.

Simon and I decided to offer Japanese tea ceremony as WABISABI at the Camp spontaneously. We did not know how many people would be interested, but it filled up very quickly. We had not planned anything so it was a very casual tea ceremony, but Simon explained the philosophy of Wabisabi and how the traditional Japanese tea ceremony was conducted.  I shared what I learned in tea ceremony lessons when I was in high school in Japan.  It was a very peaceful and serene experience, despite the lack of all the trimmings and preparation.  
Listening to the tea being poured into the cups, smelling the tea, cradling the cups in our hands… I felt the people who attended the ceremony enjoy the quiet inner beauty we all have. I thank Simon for bringing up the idea and allowing me to share my heritage of Japanese Wabisabi.

With Simon at Japanese Tea Ceremony

People enjoying at the Japanese Tea Ceremony

What was truly amazing about my experience at this camp was how I exceeded what I believed to be my physical limitations, and at the same time surpassed what I expected to achieve in terms of inner peace and beauty. 

On the last morning, I joined Mike Chen, the amazing morning greeter.  
Singing happy songs and using my innermost amplified voice to shout "Good morning" toward the open air, facing each cardinal compass point, never felt more refreshing and empowering. 

Sky of the last morning at 5:15am

I felt that this camp was my re-birth!

I thank from the bottom of my heart all the people who organized, worked and cooked wonderful real food everyday with Carl and Julia, all the friends I already knew and all the new friends I made.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Amazing French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp Part 2.

When I go to a new location and meet new people I get shy…yes, even I!  

French Meadows camp was no exception, but gradually I was able to open myself up and meet so many wonderful people who made me feel good about being there.

I had trouble sleeping first night because I felt so cold that night so I did not know what to do, but it got hot during the day and after the second night it go much better even it was still cold at night. During the hot days I went swimming everyday in the creek. It did not even bother me that there was no water to shower with afterwards.  
I used my macrobiotic sea vegetables and grains skincare products to wash my face and body/feet everyday.  The products are truly kind to the body and to the earth. 

I took Simon’s Do-in class and Bhumi’s Yoga classin the morning, Jessica's powerful and fun class and helped Jessica’s cooking class.

Jessica's class
I saw "Chapati and Pizza making workshop" in the camp class schedule and felt I must take this class!
I did not grow up with bread making or any baking simply  because most  Japanese traditional houses do not have an oven in the kitchen.
As this year’s new transformation I have made my own sourdough bread from fermenting fruit at home. It came out so good that I wanted learn more.

The instructor, Chuck Lowery, is "the real deal" man who knows how to make good bread: he was former President & CEO of Pacific Bakery Inc 1988 ~ 2009.

I remember when I used to work at Erewhon Natural Foods Market as Macrobiotic Consultant from 1995 to 2001, I recommended his bread to so many people, and here at the Camp I  met the person who created it. 

Here are the photos from Chuck's class.


Getting out Sourdough Starter. 


Good hands and good kneading! 


Lovable Karen & Elle!


Master chef hat, Cynthia!


I had so much fun and was making chapati with Surikogi! 


Chapati for everybody's dinner!!!


Handsome Chuck and Cute Elle proud to show Pizza dough.


Pan Fried Pizza Dough...I can even make it.


Everybody is ready to eat... 


Adding Tahini sauce and ready to serve yeah!

I thank Chuck for sharing his knowledge and love for good cooking.

Look forward to try making Sourdough Stater what I learned from Chuck and I hope I can make it as good as he showed us. 

To be continue to 

Amazing French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp Part 3...

 Love, Sanae

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Amazing French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp Part 1.

This is truly the year of transformation for me.
I had the opportunity to go to French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp for the first time!
This camp has been going on for 43 years…can you believe it?
Beautiful Mountain Scenery of the Camp

French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp was one of the events I have always wanted to attend, but I used to go to the Kushi Macrobiotic Summer Conference in the East Cost to cook or teach and their dates were too close to each other. Also since we opened Seed Kitchen restaurant in Venice, California four years ago and opened another restaurant in West LA we had no life to do anything, but working, but I kept wishing that I would go to the camp someday!
The day my wish came true!
Since our second restaurant in West LA was unexpectedly closed we were sad, but we realized that we got more time to do things we wanted to do. I chose my time to go the camp. Carl and Julia were so kind to invited me even though it was almost a last minute decision and found out that my favorite macrobiotic friend, Jessica Porter was going also and I could ride with her. When a wish comes true everything works!
Carl and Julia

I was so excited to go and decided to teach something different than what I have been teaching. I have been making my own Vegan Macrobiotic Skincare products for us and friends with the ingredients that I use to cook for vegan macrobiotic food and I felt it is time for me to share. What a transformation!

Vegan Macrobiotic Skincare/Homemade Organic Skincare Class Detail
Our skin is one of our largest organs.
It takes so much abuse as we are exposed to everything from the outside world: smog, exhaust gas, dust, smoke, eating unhealthy foods and all kinds of commercial skincare products that we use daily without thinking about what they may contain.
Introducing how to make wonderful skincare products using macrobiotic ingredients we cook with everyday in our kitchens.
I showed how to make a remedy drink that helps our skin clear up and make it smooth.
Explained Liver, Large Intestine, Kidney and Lungs are most effective to skin.
There were no green leafy vegetables available to make the remedy drink so I showed how to make Green Cabbage with Daikon Radish Drink. It came out such a good taste and I think many people loved it.

Me teaching Macrobiotic Skincare Class

I also show how to make: 
Surf and Turf (Kelp & Brown Rice) Skin Scrub, Three Grains Cleanser, Hummus Mask and Cucumber & Lavender Toner. 
There was no electric so I made everything with a Suribachi and ceramic grater. I gave everybody to try them on their faces, hands, arms and more ..It was so much fun!!! 
Surf & Turf Skin Scrub (Kelp & Brown Rice)
¼ cup powder kelp
¼ cup powder brown rice
sun light
Wash brown rice gently 2~3 time with filtered water and dry them under sun or filtered sun till completely dry. Make them powdered.
Use kelp powder or make your own kelp to powdered.
Mix the powdered kelp and the powdered brown rice well together.
Transfer to a clean container.
To use, combine 1~2 teaspoons of mixture with equal amount of water to create paste. Mix of your hand and massage this paste gently into damp skin.   
Rinse well with warm water, then pat your skin.
This Scrub exfoliates dead skin cells out and tighten pores.
Surf & Turf Skin Scrub Close up

Some other recipes of my skincare will be on our newsletter next month so if any of you are interested to receive it, please email us.
Also I will start sell this products at Seed Kitchen, Venice California from September!!!
I would not know the price and all the details yet, but stay tune on my Facebook.  

With Keiko who helped my class 

To be continue to Amazing French Meadows Macrobiotic Camp Part 2.