So, one of my favorite activities to do with my husband is cooking. He and I have taken a few classes with Christina Pirello — star from the PBS show “Christina Cooks“. She happens to live in Philadelphia and creates the most delicious vegan meals, and she also has a great Italian she-woman attitude. Love her! I was recently diagnosed with borderline high cholesterol, despite having good exercise and a vegan diet. My doctor thinks it may be hereditary, but so far my mom denies this. So, I decided to get serious about macrobiotics. Christina seems to use a lot of this philosophy in her cooking, so I thought it would be a good idea.
I can tell you that after my first visit with a macrobiotic counselor, I’m a bit worried. As my counselor started to explain my new breakfast of porridge, I thought it sounded cute. You know, “Please sir, may I have some more” like Oliver. However, this is really like last night’s vegetables and rice mixed with a good quantity of water and reheated into mush for the morning. Well, that is just breakfast, or so I thought. Lunch and dinner look very similar minus the water. Most meals seem to be 60% vegetables, 30% beans or rice and then another 10% for kombu or other sea vegetables. Oh, the sea vegetables — that will be something I need to get used to. Kombu isn’t so bad, especially since you mince it into tiny pieces. Nori is okay since that is part of sushi — in fact I might even say I like it. But, to eat it everyday when it isn’t sushi … that is going to be tough. I’ve never been fond of fishy smells even as a youngster.
I think the real issue going on is what I can’t eat. I thought I was so healthy with my vegan, Whole Foods diet. What I didn’t know is that the frozen veggie patty, the whole wheat breakfast cereal and bread, and even the oatmeal was not really nutrient filled. The counselor explained with distaste that these were “snacks”, not nutrient filled meals. It seems that most products are cracked wheat, and that process already takes some nutrients out. Even worse is noticing that those emergency things like faux lunch meat, the veggie patties and tofu pups are also just considered a processed waste of time. So, the idea is that if you no longer recognize the originating vegetable or fruit, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Oh yeah, and speaking of fruit, that is just considered a form of sugar with little benefits to back it up. And tropical fruit — forget it. I almost started crying when he mentioned that one, but it makes sense. We don’t live near that food, so why should we be expelling money and pollution on such things. Please don’t remind me that you are eating pineapple right now — I love pineapple. Anyway, the real zinger was no spices. If there is anything I love, it is Indian, Mexican, spicy everything. Herbes de Provence is one of my favorites, too. Adieu, adieu, adieu.
Right now I’m creating pickles by marinating sliced carrots and cabbage in umeboshi vinegar. I realize that macrobiotics is an extremely personal thing — my counselor spent a long time looking at my medical history, careers, diet and lifestyle in making this determination. I’m hoping all this strictness is temporary and that I will soon be able to at least eat Christina Pirello’s stuff. Otherwise, I will have to seriously decide if I want to live longer, or if I want to live a life filled with mango , chocolate, and curry. It looks like the Loch Ness Monster of attachment to food has definitely been spotted.