When I opened Christina Pirello's website, I was captivated by the positive energy that can be engendered by this blast of "well life". Christina Pirello is a healthy eating guru, known throughout America and beyond for her books and fun TV series, Christina Cooks.
Over the past week, Christina has been cooking in Israel. Today, she brought her team to my hometown of Efrat and had a cook-in at the home of Drs. Michael and Lois Feinerman. The Feinermans started cooking macrobiotically a decade ago, and at a healthy food seminar in Boston, Christina Pirello taught Michael had to cut vegetables to perfection.
More than 50 people gathered in the Feinermans' living room/dining room to listen and watch as Christina prepared (what she promised would be delicious) food that she said would make them feel better, live longer.
BTW, animal fats are a killer, she says.
Christina taught and talked. Her bubbly personality and good humor are just the combination needed to coax the meat eaters around us to try something new - like soy, tofu, miso.
SAVE YOUR CHILD'S LIFE
Shulamit Slotki, owner of Maaleh Adumim health food store Chalav U'Dvash, which provided the ingredients for the foods today, told me news that shocked me. She said that today's younger generation may have a shorter lifespan than their parents. All kinds of disease and illnesses in children and young adults are a result of poor eating habits in your people today – prepared foods, take out, white bread, hot dogs. It is vital that you read this article, http://searchwarp.com/swa40618.htm. After reading it, you will see that in order to save our children's very lives, we must teach them to eat healthy.
Today's food is genetically engineered, tainted with growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides and toxins that put our long-term health at real risk.
Christina, who comes from Philadelphia, said that all of America is in a health crisis. "We’ve been facing an epidemic in food-related diseases for over fifty years. We’re obese, diabetic, and dying from heart disease, cancer and a myriad of other illnesses." Christina's books, TV show and website guide people to make healthy eating fun and delicious and easy to do.
She came to Israel on the invitation of Sheldon and Ginat Rice, leaders of Israel's macrobiotic community. The Rices teach, inspire and support an entire population of people wishing to attain a healthier life. See http://www.thericehouse.com/.
CHOP CHOP CHOP
I stood in the Feinermans' kitchen this morning as five people helped prepare for the program - chopping or grating mushrooms, onions, kale, squash, carrots and green apples. There's a lot of chopping that goes into healthy eating. Bags of organic whole wheat noodles, rice milk, avocado oil (avocado oil???) and other healthy ingredients stood ready.
Christina spoke as she chopped, "Healthy food doesn't have to be weird or something your family turns their nose up." She suggests making small changes so that your family won't revolt.
SMALL CHANGES ARE LIFE CHANGES
If she only had one piece of advice, Christina said she tell people to Eat More Vegetables! "I don't care how you cook them or juice them or step on them. Your life will change completely."
After that, switch from processed grain to whole grain. "If you're eating white rice, change it up to brown rice, and add things like quinoa, barley, whole wheat and teff. Change from white bread to whole grain bread, and your life will change."
She laughed, "If people would just buy peanut butter without sugar, I'd die happy."
Christina said, "Very often people come to macrobiotics when they're sick. There aren't a lot of people walking around today saying, 'You know, life is good. I think I'll give up everything I love and go eat this vegetarian diet, where I will be in the kitchen for hours and hours and hours.'"
"Usually people come to us when they have one foot on the banana peel and the other one in the grave. And they say, 'By the way, I've got three seconds to live. Will broccoli save me now?"
Christina noted that even if you eat well for one meal, your quality of life changes. "So I advise people who are healthy, without a serious condition, to do the best they can. Make little changes. You will see the effect, which will inspire you to make more."
SOME COOKING TIPS
* Brown rice is the foundation of a meal. "The best of the best."
* When you make brown rice, which has very important nutrients, you should soak the rice, throw away the soaking water, and cook the rice. You can soak it for ask little as an hour or all day.
* Cook with sea salt, not processed table salt. "Your blood is the same chemistry as sea water. You need salt, but only in cooking, not on the table."
* When you bake a cake without eggs, you need both baking powder and baking soda, or it won't rise. The baking soda is that extra push of leavening.
* Rinse quinoa with water before cooking.
Christina continues her Natural Food Classes until Tuesday, January 12.
To find out more, contact Sheldon and Ginat Rice, 02-566-9367, http://www.thericehouse.com/.
IY"H, I'm going to post a video of the program on Voices TV in the next few days. It will be worth watching, www.voices-magazine.com .