by DEBORAH DODGE on April 4th
Recently on a hazy Saturday morning, I got out of my bed to do something I haven’t done yet in years; visit the Burbank Farmers’ Market. In order to give my readers a better understanding of what my topic was to be about, I felt it only necessary to follow Macrobiotic chef and teacher, Jeanne Beveridge around while she shopped for organic fruits and vegetables for her upcoming home menu. With camera in-hand I captured her picking out fresh bulbs of fennel, heads of bok choy and several funky types of squash that I’ve never seen before. “This is like candy, so sweet” she says as she holds up her favorite vegetable: kabocha squash. Some of these fruits and vegetables looked like they were visitors from other planets to me. Being a Macrobiotic chef for over 11 years, Jeanne teaches people how to self-heal naturally through knowledge and nutrition. Along with private in-home cooking lessons, she offers ongoing classes twice a week at Full ‘O Life Market on Magnolia Boulevard. Students get to actually eat the food she prepares during class. She creates new recipes weekly and all are welcome.
After our visit at the Burbank Farmers’ Market, I met up with Jeanne during one of her classes at Full ‘O Life and watched her dazzle the students on how people can reverse illnesses and aging, simply by what you feed your body. Full ‘O Life is the perfect place for this dynamic chef to teach because it is a health food store and restaurant all-in-one. This family-owned establishment recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. While other large, chain grocery stores have come and gone in Burbank, this little gem stays afloat and thrives by offering organic, healthy, nutritious options for all types of people, pets, too.
We sat at a small table in a quiet corner to conduct the interview. It’s 11:00am and we’ve beat the lunch rush. She orders veggie chili and a gorgeous salad made of freshly cut Romaine lettuce, sliced beets, and carrots with a homemade honey mustard dressing. I order a cup of their hearty vegetable barley soup and possibly the healthiest tuna melt on the planet, as it is topped with crispy cool bean sprouts and sesame seeds. Yum!
DD: I hear that nutrition can heal serious illnesses, heart disease being one of them. Can you really turn heart disease around, naturally?
JB: Most of the problems that people are having with their hearts is actually from having too many unhealthy saturated fat deposits in their blood. This means they’re over-consuming animal products. The easiest way to turn around heart disease is by eliminating animal products from a person’s diet and get them on whole grains, vegetables and vegetable proteins so you don’t have the high levels of
saturated fat deposits within the blood. The body can and will heal itself as soon as you stop eating that which is causing the problem in the first place. In as short as three months a person can turn around heart disease on a properly balanced plant-based diet.
DD: There are theories out there that tell us we, as humans were designed to eat meat.
JB: This is a controversial issue for many. In the Macrobiotic approach we believe the length of our digestive track is what tells us we are not meat eaters but plant-based diet beings. Natural meat eaters also typically have many pointed teeth – fangs and claws for hunting and a short digestive track. We don’t have any of these things. Also, our intestinal track is way too long for consuming meat. Because of the slow process of our lengthy intestines, it takes food a long time to travel through us and meat putrefies as it goes through the intestinal track and creates acid. We do not even produce the uric acid needed to break meat down, like natural carnivores do. We, as human beings are designed to consume a plant-based diet as our foundational foods. The documentary, “Forks Over Knives” is one of the best films for pointing out the validity that plant-based diets are better for overall good health. It shows that the regular consumption of animal products, refined sugars and processed foods cause acidity in the body and this is the root problem for degenerative diseases. When we’re in an acid-state, we degenerate. When we’re alkaline, we rejuvenate.
DD: I have read that an acidic body can create cancer. What is your opinion?
JB: A lot of degenerative diseases come from being too acidic for an extending period of time. For example, long term acidity creates and then feeds cancerous conditions. If a person is eating refined sugars on a regular basis and they have cancer, they’re feeding cancer. If they’re eating animal products, which turn to acid very quickly, they’re feeding the cancer. If they’re eating highly-processed foods, which turn into acid in the body…. they’re feeding the cancer. Practicing Macrobiotics and other alkalizing diets and lifestyles can reverse a cancerous condition by creating an alkaline environment internally, so that the cancer has nothing to feed off of and over time goes into remission.
DD: Talking about healing foods, please tell us what else is good for you to eat. Obviously, vegetables and fruits…..
JB: When it comes to the human body, we need a balance of whole grains, land vegetables, sea vegetables, vegetable proteins, nuts, seeds and fruits in order to balance our diet. Each vegetable and whole grain is good for something different in the body. If we eat whole foods designed by Mother Nature we can naturally create good health. If we eat all highly processed foods that are de-natured, de-vitalized and difficult for the body to even identify, our body will reflect the imbalance in our health. And please be aware eating whole grains does not mean process whole grains – ex. a package of bread will say it’s made from whole grains, but it’s been processed into flour. It’s no longer a whole grain and the body does not treat it any longer as a complex carbohydrate but as a simple one, like sugar. So you no longer get the benefits of a whole grain which is a foundational food for optimal health.
DD: What do you normally eat for breakfast?
JB: I eat a macrobiotic breakfast, which is quite different than most American breakfasts. My meal consists of miso soup, a whole grain dish and greens. Sounds strange compared to the Standard American diet – but it makes a world of difference in my whole day. I start with miso soup to support the immune system. Miso has balance digestive flora and it is a good source of minerals. I get complex carbohydrates in the whole grains dish, for long burning energy, protein and minerals. Greens for a good blast of vitamins and green energy to boost me for a busy day. I was never satisfied with breakfast before and experienced blood sugar lows by mid-morning until I started doing this Macrobiotic approach to my morning. It is highly satisfying on many levels.
DD: Please explain what Macrobiotics is?
JB: It is a way of life based on Oriental medicine in which we are striving to bring the body into harmony with the natural world around us. So, we eat whole foods that are prepared using natural cooking techniques and fermentation. We balance our diet according to the seasons. It’s all about getting back to Mother Nature and giving the body what it needs to sustain optimal health, naturally. If you consume natural whole foods your body will create good health, it is designed to do just this. The body is constantly transforming to the way you feed it – you ARE what you eat.
DD: What made you want to become a Macrobiotic chef? Where did you study?
JB: To tell the story very simply – over a decade ago one of my family members was diagnosed with cancer. Western medicine could not do much for this person because it had metastasized into the bones, it was too far advanced. We knew about Macrobiotics and I immediately started getting educated and cooking a healing protocol to help reverse the condition. Six months later the doctors were astonished with the results – there were no signs of cancer. Over the course of the years to follow, I attended the Kushi Institute in Beckett, Massachusetts to get my certifications to become a professional chef and teacher. I have also studied with David Briscoe of Macrobiotic America, he is one of my favorite teachers and a wealth of knowledge.
DD: How easy was it to introduce this lifestyle to your children? Were they ever fast food eaters?
JB: My children were introduced to all of this at a young age, two and four years old. So they had little exposure with fast foods before this became a part of our lives. Although now, a decade later they do experience these foods on occasion. They are normal kids so of course they get into junk food sometimes, but I make sure they get a healthy foundation of whole foods when they are at home. And we have educated them through the years so they know how to be healthy naturally and how to cook.
DD: What changes have you witnessed in friends, clients, family, and your own body from eating this way?
JB: I have witnessed many different people with many different degenerative diseases reverse their conditions or put them in remission and return to good health. It has been an amazing journey. I have seen people reverse cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia, ovarian cysts, hypoglycemia, eczema, massive weight loss, Candida, irritable bowel syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, gout, heart burn, acid reflux and a whole host of other conditions. It has been wonderful to watch the human body do just what it was designed to do, self-heal. And to witness people getting empowered and taking control over their health has been the best part of teaching. Knowledge is power.
DD: At the Farmers Market, I saw many of the vendors advertising, “organic” foods. What’s the difference between organic and conventional foods?
JB: There are many differences between organic and conventional foods but the main one focused on is the chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides that are used in conventional farming. These chemicals wreak havoc on the human body and are associated with a vast array of health problems. Also conventional farming pollutes soil and water supplies, so it is not only a problem for people but also the planet. Most consumers are concerned about the increased cost of organic foods but what I have witnessed is that those who eat mainly organic spend far less money on supplements and medical bills. So the money tends to balance itself out.
DD: How can people get a hold of you? What can they expect from one of your Full O’ Life classes?
JB: You can find more information about me and my partner Patrick on our website atwww.The7thElement.com. I offer weekly cooking classes at Full O’ Life Market that teach you all about the amazing power of whole foods and how to use them to create good health, naturally. These are no ordinary cooking classes. You will learn how the body works and how to create balance in your diet and your life. You will learn how to read your own body and emotional patterns to understand the signs and signals that your body gives you on a daily basis. And then what to do with your foods to create harmonious balance naturally. I make it simple and fun. And these gatherings have brought together a wonderful group of people that make a great support system for those on a natural path to good health. We also offer private Macrobiotic services, workshops, and yoga classes too.
After we finished our very healthy, nutrient-enriched, and guilt-free lunches, Jeanne showed me around the store and explained what a lot of the different foods were and which were good for a Macrobiotic diet. Some of these items can be found in the organic section of your local grocer, but Full O’ Life really is a one-stop-shop. I picked up a bag of quinoa (an ancient grain that’s full of protein), long-grain brown rice and millet. I am not sure I would ever give up meat, completely, but this is a good start. Jeanne instructed me to start small and gradually incorporate this much healthier way of eating into my daily ritual. It seems so logical to just eat ‘naturally’ instead of choosing the over-processed, “convenience” foods that have crept their way into our daily diets. Taking care of ourselves should be our first priority in order to thrive, be happy and live longer, healthier lives with our loved ones. Jeanne reiterates that we can have anything in moderation. Make that drive thru experience a rarity instead of a daily habit. Yes, we all know this fact, but sometimes a reminder exactly what the doctor….or in this case, what the chef, ordered.
Thank you, Jeanne Beveridge for your time, talent, knowledge and your pure love of healing others in-need.
A very special ‘thank you’ to the family of Full O’ Life, for allowing us to shoot photos and conduct our interview.
For more information, please visit: www.FullOLife.com
Don’t forget to check out the Burbank Farmers’ Market every Saturday from Sat 8 am – 12:30 pm, located at 290 E Orange Grove Ave.
Check out Jeanne’s article in Macrobiotic Guide about her life long struggle with her weight and how this approach to diet and lifestyle has changed her world!
I grew up a standard American. Living a life rich in extremes. My ideas of health were those of modern western views and far from the laws and principles of the natural world around me.
I was going through my life ping ponging from one diet fad to another, continually trying to keep off the extra weight. Searching for the latest health tips and whole heartedly trying it all. I worked out at least five days a week, two hours at a time, doing major calorie burning to stay in my favorite jeans.
I seldom over ate. If I did, I would gain five pounds in a weekend. On Monday I would be depressed and having to start the week off on a diet to rid myself of the new weight… the cycle was relentless and exhausting. Then once I was over the age of thirty and had two children, it just got harder.
My weight was slowly increasing and I was eating less and less. It did not make sense to me at the time. My blood sugar was going haywire and I needed to eat a little every three hours or I would start to get dizzy. If I did not take care of the drop in blood sugar quickly the condition would worsen and many times I would pass out. For years I had to carry juice with me wherever I went. I had several digestive issues and my skin was troubled with an all over itchiness accompanied by dry skin and frequent breakouts.
Emotionally I was on a rollercoaster as my hormones flared out of balance. I did my best to maintain calm on a daily basis and that too was mentally exhausting. I was burning out from the stress of the daily routines and not sleeping well at night. This had become my life, and I did not feel good living it, not in this condition. Yet, according to my doctors I was a healthy person and to all those around me I was in good shape. But I felt uncomfortable in my own body.
A good friend had told me about Macrobiotics, and at first I did not listen. I remember her telling me how great she felt, and she glowed when she said it. But I thought I was healthy already, so I was content with doing nothing new.
We went through pregnancy at the same time and delivered our babies only weeks apart. Over nine months, I watched her flourish through her pregnancy and once her daughter was born, her body bounced back beautifully. My 40 weeks was quite different. I developed gestational diabetes by the fifth month and ended up with twelve weeks of bed rest for premature contractions every time I stood upright in my last trimester.
I gained twice the amount of weight she gained and I was watching my portions and monitoring my blood sugar the whole time. I was consciously eating healthy by American standards, doing the latest high protein diet and following my nutritionist’s orders. I did not suspect it was food that was making such a world of difference in our separate lives.
Over the course of the next couple of years, my friend looked younger and younger, she thrived. I was looking older and my energy levels were nothing in comparison to hers. After having a baby, she had regained her natural weight and bounced back so quickly. That was not the case for me, weight had been a battle all my life and now it was a battle that I was starting to loose.
At 35, desperate, I finally took the leap and became Macrobiotic overnight. I felt like I was jumping off the edge of the cliff and had no idea what was beneath me. I went from a life filled with high protein, low calories, low fat, low sugar to a world where I don’t need to read the labels to know the facts. Simple natural ingredients will do.
The laundry list of unidentifiable “foods” was replaced overnight with whole grains, most of which I had never tried in my entire life. I learned very quickly that there was a world of vegetables out there that I had never heard of and I was fascinated at what power whole foods had on the body as I started to learn about the energies that plants contain and create. I was amazed at how I could now use my daily meals for a desired outcome.
I had a new found control over how I felt, mentally and physically. No more days of my life being ruled by upset stomachs, headaches, emotional swings and a vast array of other discomforts that I was frequently experiencing. Not only have I been awarded the gift of never having to worry about my weight again, I had found better health and happiness on the Macrobiotic path too.
With all other diets I had focused on calories and nutritional information. Reading labels on everything, it was mind numbing. All these nutritional facts mean little to me now in reference to my eating habits. I now see that the true essence of our food and their function is in the understanding of their energy and the overall balance we create with it.
I have learned how to change my current mental and physical condition by using food and its vibration to give me the desired outcome I am looking for. I handle stress differently now and it has become much easier to manage life without extreme foods in my daily routine tipping off my overall emotional balance. I am a much calmer and grounded person.
It has been an amazing transformation that my body went through. At first I did not lose a lot of weight, but I shrunk, this overall puffiness that I had all my life diminished. I was a bit confused at first when the scale only read that I had lost 7 pounds the first month because I had dropped three full pants sizes. It was like I was deflating, shrinking all over. Over the course of the next few months as baggage disappeared, a slimmer me immerged. My aches and pains disappeared and my skin began to glow.
I discovered a new found freedom with my weight and I do not have to worry about portions or counting calories. I just stick with the principles of Macrobiotics and my figure has become almost effortless. It was incredible how once my body received whole grains and a wide new variety of vegetables, it thrived. I have been able to eat more food than ever before in my life and still stay trim.
I work out far less than I have in my entire life. I am active and my days flow. Weight gain is not an issue. Now, I am at the perfect size for me. I have embraced a yoga practice and find that the strength and flexibility it creates within me is a perfect fit for my natural lifestyle. My body, over time has changed in ways that I had never imagined possible and I look younger than I did ten years ago. I am finally comfortable in my body and I love the way I feel.
My path with Macrobiotics has brought me across many people’s struggles with weight. I have become a teacher in the practice and I am astonished at what I am witnessing. I have observed many people embrace the basic principles of Macrobiotics and watched them transform.
As they start eating whole grains and vegetables the body finally receives the nourishment it truly needs and old baggage starts to melt away and discharge. People shrink, skin tightens, eye bags and wrinkles disappear, high cholesterol levels decrease, blood sugar regulates, high blood pressure comes down, degenerative conditions reverse, emotional imbalances, balance. It has all been amazing to witness.
To stay fit and trim naturally:- Macrobiotic balance with whole foods and cooking techniques- Remember chew well – food should be liquid when swallowed- Take the time to eat, sit and enjoy your meal- A short while after your meal, walk for twenty minutes- Drink beverages separately from meals- Drink warm to hot liquids only- Body scrub daily
Embrace the freedom of loving your body on the Macrobiotic Path. Enjoy a long and happy life!
Jeanne Beveridge, Certified Macrobiotic Chef/Educator
Kundalini Yoga Teacher (IKYTA Certified) Jeanne was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She grew up in the kitchen where her grandmother taught her traditional Italian Cooking at a young age. Mary transmitted to Jeanne her passion for food and the importance of taking good care of the people around her.
Posted by Made Just Right on Apr 29, 2011
This afternoon, we have a salad recipe from 7th Element , a company of Macrobiotic experts in Southern California. They developed a couple of recipes exclusively for Earth Balance and we are very excited to share this one for Happy Celery and Seaweed Medley with you! This salad is perfect for lunch or dinner on a warm spring day.
7th Element provides a number of Macrobiotic services, including private cheffing, meal preparation and macrobiotic cooking and lifestyle training. Patrick and Jeanne use high quality, organic whole foods to help you trim, fortify, detoxify and emotionally balance yourself.
What are some of the things you eat to strengthen and detoxify your body? Is there something you eat regularly that is a great antioxidant?
Happy Celery and Seaweed Medley from 7th Element:
4 strips of wakame (dried seaweed)
4 cups of celery, minced
1cup red onion, cut in thin quarter moons
1/2 cup red radish, cut in thin half moons
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs brown rice vinegar
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1. Soak the wakame in a medium size bowl with water until soft
2. Cut the wakame into small pieces, place in large mixing bowl
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss thoroughly
4. Let sit 10 min, serve.
Thanks for sharing, 7th Element!
If you think you can’t enjoy decadent desserts on a macrobiotic diet , 7th Element is here to show you otherwise! 7th Element, a company of macrobiotic experts in Southern California, is the Made Just Right™ Website of the Week!
7th Element provides a number of macrobiotic services, including private cheffing, meal preparation and macrobiotic cooking and lifestyle training. Patrick and Jeanne, who run 7th Element, are both macrobiotic chefs who teach people how to eat plant-based, organic foods that detoxify and strengthen the body.
They developed a couple of recipes exclusively for Earth Balance and Made Just Right™ and we are very excited to share one of them with you this afternoon, a vegan and gluten-free Sweet Cups dessert. 7th Element says it is a perfect, healthful way to satisfy sugar cravings.
Sweet Cups Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup corn flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp golden flax seeds, ground*
2 cup yams, grated
2 cups, kabocha or butternut squash
3 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 cup apple juice
1. Combine flours and sesame oil in a medium size mixing bowl, mix thoroughly.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the ground flax seeds with 1/2 cup boiling hot water, whisk.
3. Let the flax liquid sit for 5 min, then whisk, add to dough, mix thoroughly.
4. Use your hands to knead the dough together until firm.
5. Oil a muffin pan with sesame oil, separate the dough into 12 portions, roll the dough into balls.
6. Put each dough ball in the bottom of the muffin pan, press flat to cover the sides/bottom of each section.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 min .
8. In a medium size pan over high heat combine the squashes, add water to just cover the vegetables.
9. Bring to a boil, add a pinch of sea salt, reduce heat to low and simmer 8-10 min
10. Blend until smooth with a whisk.
11. In a separate bowl combine the arrowroot powder with the apple juice, mix, add to pan, cook 5 min.
12. Remove the cups from the baking pan and place on a cookie sheet
13. Fill the cups with the squash filling, add 4-5 raisins to each cup
14. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 min
*Note: to grind flax seeds use a blender, suribachi or coffee grinder (or purchase pre-ground flaxseed meal)