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Special Features > Jeffrey Reel

 Q 

How did you start with macrobiotics?

 A 

It's a long story. I had known, since age 12 or so, that milk was not good for the human body -- at least after weaning, and mother's milk in fact. But like most goof-balls my age, I had been indroctrinated into drinking milk and eating lots of dairy products. At the time, I did not know what the alternative to dairy would be. Ten years later I am living in San Franscisco and volunteering at the Institute for Food and Development Policy, an organization co-founded by Francis Moore Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet." This book introduced the American public to alternative diets. It was a ground-breaking book. In the book, Frankie listed many alternative diets, but she warned us away from one dangerous one -- macrobiotics, because the macrobiotic diet discouraged consuming dairy products. So a light went on in my head and I immediately turned my attention to the East Coast, where a Mr. Michio Kushi was teaching. I moved to Manhattan shortly after that and began attending Thursday evening lectures at the Doral Inn in mid-Manhattan. I have never looked back since.

 Q 
How has macrobiotics helped you?
 A 

Too long to mention. Although I was not suffering any health problems at the time, macrobiotics (and by that I include Do-In, meditation, breathing exercises as well as diet) allows me the opportunity to advance physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, yes even politically.
The sky is the limit.

 Q 

What do you offer and specialise in?

 A 

I import/distribute organic Japanese brown rice sake. I write essays (newspapers and magazines) on health, politics, spirituality and the environment. I will soon be living in both the United States and Japan with the aim of opening a macrobiotic bed & breakfast in Japan, perhaps a store as well.

 Q 
What one piece of advice would you give to someone trying macrobiotics for the first time?
 A 

If you are not being pushed by a specific, acute health concern, introduce yourself to it gradually, but be consistent and give it time. Take cooking classes, and find others practicing macrobiotics who can help support your practice. Enjoy as much as you can eating other people's cooking in the beginning.

Jeffrey Reel
JeffreyReel@aol.com

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