Macro in NYC

•July 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

While in NY this past weekend, I was wondering how I would keep my macro diet going.  However, turns out things are pretty easy and really yummy.  A special treat was eating at Blossom –what a cute romantic hideaway in the Chelsea area.  I had a delicious layer of pistachio encrusted tofu and veggie crepe.  I also indulged in a chocolate ganache with a soy dream type cold treat.  Okay, well the dessert wouldn’t have passed macro with flying colors, but hey, it’s b-day time and a girl has to indulge.  Another fun place in the east village was Angelica Kitchen.  I had the “half dragon bowl” which consisted of some very macro rice/beans and greens along with a home-made fig newton that was so amazing because it wasn’t loaded with sugar.  You could actually taste figs in their natural form with a touch of lemon — what an awesome combo.  My husband reminded me that Angelica’s has some pretty famous nut brittle, so we took a bag of that to go.  It didn’t last long, but the texture and sweetness were perfect.  I have another visit to NYC coming up to visit a girlfriend, and to visit the Fire and Lotus Temple in Brooklyn.  So, get ready for more stories.  Continue reading ‘Macro in NYC’

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Macrobiotic Cleansing

•June 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So, I have an exciting update.  I’ve been crossing my fingers about my latest blood test, and the results are in.  After one week on my macrobiotic diet, my total cholesterol has dropped 24 points.  Now my LDL is still considered borderline, but I’m hoping that it will lower as I stay with my new lifestyle.  I really believe that with the right intention I can beat the proposal of medication, and it seems my body is already experiencing a cleansing.

So, diet is one form of cleansing, but there is something else my counselor mentioned to me.  I call it the Macro-Chammy.  Either before or after you shower, you wet a cotton washcloth with hot water and wring it out.  Then you fold it into a square about the size of the palm of your hand (or if you are me you use the kid style Ikea puppet pictured). Continue reading ‘Macrobiotic Cleansing’

Grasshopper Gardener

•June 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Today I took a class in shrub trimming at Shofuso, a Japanese tea house and garden located in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.  This is one of those “off the beaten path” places that many people here in the city don’t know about.  They celebrate the Cherry Tree Festival, have traditional tea ceremonies and other cool educational programs.  So, if you have an interest in Asian Culture, this is a must see.

Okay, now on to the shrubs.  I’ve always liked Japanese gardens, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was about them that made them so pretty — except that I recognized that they looked curvy and had lots of open space.  Well, today I learned some terminology to help address the beauty.  For instance, you won’t see an abundance of plants as much as you will see well defined composition.  From the vantage point of entering a garden, you will find lower shrubs in the front, then the medium/larger behind.  This graduation of heights is much like you see in Ikebana work.  For those of you who like Photoshop, it is a lot like thinking of layers.  These shrubs are trimmed in specific shapes –the smallest shrubs are trimmed into small domes called Tamamono.  They usually are things like Boxwoods and Azaleas.  Then the larger shrubs are trimmed into a tall dome called Entoh-kei.  There is even a beautiful undulating curve that can be formed by multiple shrubs together called O-karikomi.  I can’t be sure how these arrived at being all rounded, but I can tell you that the trees pop nicely surrounded by these simple shapes. Continue reading ‘Grasshopper Gardener’

Macrobiotic Moments

•June 24, 2010 • 2 Comments

Adzuki beans, squash and rice

So, you’ve probably been wondering how I’ve been surviving my macro diet.  Well, I’m down 7 lbs.  That’s kind of cool because I wanted to lose about 10-15 anyway.  But the real excitement are the lessons learned so far.  Maybe it’s the zen that I’ve been practicing, but I see a lot of similarities here.

The first thing is that my macrobiotic counselor informed me that I had been overeating.  Now, my BMI is right on target, so I thought he just didn’t like me.  However, what I learned is that pretty much everyone is overeating for what their body requires.  What I mean is that we are all eating mouthfuls of food of which we are probably chewing maybe 3 or 4 times before we swallow.  With mindful eating, you chew until the mouthful just falls gently to be swallowed.  Continue reading ‘Macrobiotic Moments’

Macrobiotic Mournings

•June 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

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. Continue reading ‘Macrobiotic Mournings’

Ikebana Connection

•June 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

There is a reason I was bringing up the Ikebana topic, something else I don’t want to forget.  I used to work in public television, and one of the PSA’s I was working on was for Asian Heritage Week.  I ended up interviewing a woman in the area that is well-known for her Ikebana.  At her house she worked on an arrangement on her dining room table as her husband snapped photos.  He was so interested in media and documenting — it was really funny.  She remained quiet and patient, pulling out stems and looking at them, trimming and shaping.  It probably took her an hour to do the whole thing, and she did apologize feeling as though she rushed a bit.  I hadn’t felt that at all — in fact, it was such a nice rest to watch her.  I told her that I had an interest in zen, and that I could see there were many things that were similar in what she was doing.  The idea of simplicity, letting Continue reading ‘Ikebana Connection’

Ikebana Mind

•June 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

At the Shambala Center where my zen group meets, there is a woman who does beautiful Ikebana arrangements.  I often scribble a little note to thank her for her work.  The simplicity is deceiving, and since I’ve had a class, I can tell you that many steps are taken to create these little still frames of nature.   For instance, the flower stems are to be held under water as they are trimmed.  I’m not sure if this is just smart practice with any plant, or if it is tied to energy.  Flowers and branches are not necessarily eliminated if they are imperfect — in fact, just like a hand knit scarf, the little flaws are a reminder that it is fine as it is — in fact, perfect.  Most often beginners use a method using three main branches.  These are mathematically proportional and are usually based on the measurement of the vase.  Continue reading ‘Ikebana Mind’