Many of you know that my hubby and I, and little dog Coco have moved very recently to Forest Row in East Sussex. We moved here for many reasons, there is a great Steiner school, and loads of organic and biodynamic farms surrounding the area, and its still not too far from London but definitely in the country side!
Another reason it appealed to us was because there is a fantastic Macrobiotic Shop and Cafe here. It's actually the biggest of it's kind in the entire country! The owners import all sorts of very hard to find ingredients and it's even rumoured that a very famous Celebrity orders her supplies from here (I am guessing it could be Madonna!) and Katie Holmes has also been spotted inside the shop. (There is also a very big Scientology church not too far from Forest Row.)
I have been wanting to learn more about Macrobiotics as it really does seem very interesting, and such tasty food! The whole philosophy is based on balance, 'Yin and Yang' which are two opposite ends of the spectrum. Food can be very Yin and it can be very Yang and so can people. It's actually quite easy, once you know the categories, you can figure out where someone fits into them!
The idea is to be neither too Yin or too Yang but a balance of the two. The fascinating thing about Macrobiotics is that by eating this way, they say you can actually change your own mindset and emotional state of being. You may start out being quite Yang (quite a stressful, angry person) or too Yin (up in the clouds and not grounded) and after awhile on the diet, you may become much more chilled out and relaxed and balanced - to the point where people think you are a different person!
The subject is pretty big, and some may find it confusing, but that's where attending a great course comes in handy!
The owners, David and Nicola McCarthy, have very interesting life stories.
I did the starter course which lasted for 5 weeks. We had 3 hours on a Thursday evening in a group environment where Nicola and David both spoke about many aspects of the macrobiotic diet and way of life. We learnt about the different categories of macro - what falls into them, ie what foods - eg meat and dairy are in the Yang category and we learnt about what foods are not included in the diet (foods that cannot be grown in the country you are living in ie in the UK if following it properly you would not eat any tropical fruits)
We also watched both of them cook many delicious dishes, including desserts! I must say that everything I tried was absolutely amazing and it did inspire me to go home and make them myself. This style of eating is very easy to do, you don't need to be a master chef to make the dishes just like Nicola and David do. They also gave us many different handouts and the one that really impressed me was a page on how to cut things into different shapes. I have never learnt decent knife skills so I always chop things up the one boring way! Now I know how to cut things in very appealing shapes thanks to the easy to follow instructions.
The Macrobiotic Shop offer all different courses and if you don't live near Forest Row, don't worry they do 1 day full courses so you get a 5 week course condensed into a full day.
There are other courses where they also teach you how to roll sushi (not as easy as it looks so being taught is essential!), a sweet treats course where you learn how to make sugar and dairy free desserts (macro desserts are the best!) and more intensive courses about Macrobiotic in general.
David and Nicola are both lovely people and wonderful teachers - they know ALOT about Macrobiotic and what foods fall into what category and what effect they will have on the body.
I can't recommend their courses more highly enough! Loads of fun and you get to taste what they make too!