Q: How did you start with
A: I first heard about macrobiotics when I
was 12. My mother ate a macrobiotic meal prepared
by the son of one of her friends. I was horrified
to hear that she ate seaweed even though she said
it was delicious. I first dabbled ineating brown rice
when I was 16 after reading an ancient book on macrobiotics.
My feeble try lasted three days.
I gave in to some delicious looking
biscuits when seemed infinitely more tasty than the
3 small bowls of brown rice I had eaten in an attempt
to cleanse my system. I actually started in full force
when I was 21. Ironically the son who had cooked for
my mother became my boyfriend. He was intense, energetic
and passionate about macrobiotics.
I learnt to cook in an old house
in Bath that had slate floors. We made tahini with
a stone mill and I received my first lecture on how
potatoes were the downfall of modern civilization.
I found the meals delicious, satisfying and wholesome.
I was fascinated with the philosophy
and my nose was always in a book by Michio Kushi or
George Ohsawa. When Patrick and I split up, I decided
to continue my studies. I used to cycle across London
to the Community Health Foundation to take classes
in cooking and shiatsu.
I then embarked on the in-depth
Kushi Institute courses. I was very enthusiastic,
idealistic and zealous. I took my studies extremely
seriously. Everyone seemed like that in those days.
I had a great deal of energy and life was thrilling.
I cooked for everyone and anyone. Macrobiotics made
sense and it seemed to be the way of life I had been
My studies in the early 80s
were fun and challenging. I went on to cook for people
with serious health problems, marry my teacher, move
to America, run a study house and have 7 children.
Life definitely became an adventure.
Q: What problems do you have
A: I think the principles are marvelous but
at times it is presented in a somewhat intellectual
and idealistic manner. I think more people would be
interested in a macrobiotic lifestyle if it wasnt
Often, the dietary recommendations
seem difficult and people feel that they cant
practice correctly. Macrobiotics appears overwhelming
to the beginner. This can be disheartening and creates
a dependency on counselors for continued advice and
encouragement. Instead of it being an empowering experience
it becomes disempowering.
The principles of macrobiotics actually
encourage people to take responsibility for their
health and life. Macrobiotics is a very practical
way of living. It should come from the heart. Understanding
the difference between an ideal situation and day
to day reality is important. For example, cooking
cannot be learned from a book.
One needs to practice and get involved
. To really understand the power of food, one has
to feel it deep inside. Cooking is a practical, creative
and loving experience. Its a way to really nourish
ourselves and others. There is a tendency for macro
people to get food obsessed and to forget that life
is a big, beautiful adventure. There is a lot of guilt
attached to eating the so-called wrong
foods and endless worrying about the condition of
Food is a very important aspect
of life, however it is only one part. The principles
of macrobiotics encourage you to experience and live
life to the fullest. Eating a well balanced diet can
be a springboard for such an adventure. Other areas
of life such as exercise, enjoying nature, having
fun, doing what you really want, being creative, relaxing,
meditating and helping others are also very important
and not to be forgotten.
In order for the macrobiotic movement
to grow and develop, I think the approach has to be
relaxed and focus on the positive rather than emphasize
the negative; what people are doing well instead of
their mistakes. Macrobiotics needs to be much more
practical and flexible in its application so that
people from all walks of life feel they can make changes
be it big or small.
Q: How has macrobiotics helped
A: From those early days in the 80s until
now my life has been enriched with experiences. I
feel blessed to have found macrobiotics. I have 7
wonderful children who are an utter joy to me.
I take care of them by myself and
we have a very active, fun and lively home life. Eating
macrobiotic foods has given me the vitality to take
on different challenges. I have lived in three countries
and have met many unique and wonderful people. It
has helped me to understand my own nature and character.
I love to paint, write, garden and ride horses.
I give massage, practice feng shui
and write books. I have loads of energy and a youthful
outlook on life. I love helping others and I sincerely
feel that I would be a very different person if I
hadnt changed my way of life all those years
I love creating with macrobiotic foods and the dishes
taste absolutely fantastic. My life is not always
an easy ride but I wouldnt want it any other
way. I am extremely grateful to my teachers and friends
who have helped me so much. I think macrobiotics has
given me the ability to see life with a sense of joy
Q: What do you offer and specialise in?
A: I live in an old farmhouse in Chester County
outside Philadelphia. I have taught cooking classes
and worked with private clients for the past 20 years.
I also give massage at a local spa and feng shui consultations.
I offer a Way of Life Coaching for families and individuals
who wish to make positive changes to their lifestyle.
This includes dietary, exercise,
home environment, and emotional and spiritual recommendations.
I am currently working with a group of women on issues
that relate to family life. I self publish a series
of 12 Cooklets, which are considered to be the most
practical and easy to follow recipe booklets on macrobiotic
I have written Bless the Baby, a
lovely book for new mothers about the natural and
traditional ways a mother can bond with her baby.
I also self publish Mr. Hoppitys Color Me Cookbook
for Kids which has recipes and activities geared for
Q: What one piece of advice would
you give to someone trying macrobiotics for the first
A: Keep an open mind and enjoy the ride!