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Monday, March 26, 2012

Bringing macrobiotic food to Indian kitchens her mission

Dehradun, March 24
From Delhi’s Metropolitan Hotel to Rishikesh’s Ananda Resort, all have benefited from Mona Schwartz’s culinary expertise and belief in macrobiotic dietary principle of “cooking food with consciousness”.
She has made several converts to macrobiotic food all over the country, including Shonali Sabherwal, the author of The Beauty Diet, who learnt macrobiotic cooking at her kitchen, after her father was diagnosed with cancer.
On Sundays in Dehradun, her lawn buzzes with activity with farmers from Rishikesh and villages setting up kiosks loaded with organic vegetables. “I provide space to the farmers, who sell organic vegetables. This is the first step towards making people aware of healthy food. They can taste scrumptious macrobiotic food made to suit the Indian taste. It comes loaded with the goodness of brown rice and oil-free snacks. All sourced from my kitchen,” averred Schwartz.
Living in India for the past 22 years, it is her mission to promote and propagate macrobiotic food which she says is in consonance with the principles of Ayurveda. “Today, the children have unlimited choices. They are keen to experiment with other food and are forgetting the traditional Indian thali. Even parents are giving in to their children’s whims and do not mind pandering to their demands. Now in Indian homes, two types of foods are being served- one for the parents and the other for the children. It is creating a divide. I am all for reintroducing thali to Indian homes with an organic touch,” she said.
Enumerating the virtues of macrobiotic diet that combines elements of Buddhism with dietary principles based on simplicity and avoidance of toxins that come from eating dairy products, Schwartz says she was introduced to the diet when she came in touch with Denny Waxman while living in the USA. “I was battling a host of health problems and undergoing treatment for leukaemia and sluggish liver. The pills that I was made to pop every day left me physically drained. Then I came in touch with Denny, who put me on a macrobiotic diet meant for patients recovering from cancer. Soon I was on the path of recovery and my faith in the diet grew by leaps and bounds,” she pointed out.
While in the USA, the macrobiotic caught up solely as a cancer diet. Schwartz has managed to promote it as a food that can be consumed by healthy people also. “I believe, if the simple principle of proportion and balance is followed, the food that you eat can never cause any harm,” she expressed.
Terming her innings in India as a second life, Schwartz said she was already in the middle of finalising a book that she hopes would spread awareness about macrobiotic diet. “I have already written seven books and this one would try to give an insight into the food habits of ancient India and how macrobiotic living complements the spirit of yoga and satvik food,” she added.

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