M Cafe: Modern Macrobiotics, A Diet As A Lifestyle
With locations in Brentwood, Beverly Hills and Hollywood, California, M Cafe is a unique, laid back restaurant that features balanced, nutritious, creative cooking that builds on the foundation of Michio Kushi, a pioneer in the modern macrobiotic movement. M Cafe serves yummy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts that are created fresh daily, all while using organic, local and seasonal ingredients that do not contain any refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat or poultry...but do contain some of the best, most satisfying tastes out there. A few years ago (What?! Where has the time gone??), Myara and I had the pleasure of visiting M Cafe's Hollywood location. It was here that I learned how macrobiotics is more than just a way of cooking and eating. Lucky for us, their amazingly talented, creative and knowledgable chef, Lee Gross, was able to spend some time with us both in the kitchen and over a delicious meal to give us more insight to this interesting topic. Take a watch to learn some simple macrobiotic kitchen tricks and how to make one of his favorite recipes ~ along with some information on what it means to eat (and live!) the macrobiotic way:
Chef Gross told us: "The idea is that food will lay sort of the physiological groundwork for a peaceful existence on the planet. Macrobiotics gives you a blueprint for your own body so that you know how to work within the world, eat what you need to eat to keep yourself healthy, and allow you to dabble and have fun and eat what you want, but always come back to center."
...I like that! Don't you? It is all connected. It is truly a ripple effect. The word macrobiotic comes from “macro” which means big and “bios” which means “life”. With so many fad and super restrictive diets out there these days, the idea that a diet can actually be more of a way of life is sort of a beautiful thing. It can teach us about balance and to look at the bigger picture. In the macrobiotic diet, it is believed that if we eat foods that are whole, local and in season, our bodies will get the ideal yin and yang (balance) needed and thrive and not just survive.
Below is a handout that I received during my time at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition that goes beyond the macrobiotic food guidelines. I love to refer to when I need a reminder to slow down, chew and be mindful of what I put in my body and thus out into the world. Gratitude is attitude. Ya, I said it. If you like it, please feel free to print it out and do the same...
Macrobiotic Lifestyle Suggestions
Health is more than just eating well. Below you will find lifestyle suggestions designed to help you live a healthy, happy life. ...................................................................................................................................................................
Give generously of yourself and your resources.
View everything and everyone you meet with gratitude.
Live each day happily without focusing on your problems.
Hum or sing a happy song every day.
Foster a sense of humor.
Treat yourself to regular daily quiet time - study, pray, meditate; recharge yourself.
Include exercise as part of your daily life. Experiment with an exercise style that works for you. Try yoga, pilates, martial arts, walking, running, bicycling, rollerblading, swimming, dancing, weight lifting or competitive sports.
To increase your circulation, scrub your entire body with a hot, damp washcloth morning and/or night.
Avoid wearing synthetic or woolen clothing directly on the skin. As much as possible, wear 100% cotton clothing, especially for undergarments.
Avoid excessive jewelry on your fingers, wrists and neck; fewer rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and piercings allow your natural energy flow to circulate more freely.
Avoid chemically perfumed cosmetics.
For care of the teeth, use natural toothpastes.
Keep your home in good order, including kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living rooms. You are your home.
If possible, include large green plants in every room of your home and office to freshen and enrich the oxygen content of the air.
Minimize television watching, or at least keep a good distance away from the television. Avoid cooking with electricity, especially microwave ovens. Convert to gas when practical. Avoid water with chlorine and fluoride. Use spring water or a good-quality water filter. Chew your food well, 30 seconds per mouthful or more, until it becomes liquid.
Offer thanks before and after meals.
Do your best to be on good terms with people, especially your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends and co-workers. Communicate with them regularly, either in person or via telephone or email.
Most of all, create a positive attitude and wonderful environment around you, and enjoy the process of becoming healthier and happier every step of the way!