Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter

Michelle Nemer On Daily Self-Diagnosis!
September 10

Number 89          August / September 2001             Peninsula Macrobiotic Community

News and Announcements

Thank you to Alane O’Rielly, Botanical Artist, for the generous donations of gorgeous flower arrangements—her own designs—for each table at the Monday Dinners.

Dinner will not be served on Labor Day, September 3.  Happy Holiday!

Monthly Vegan Potlucks!  Sunday, Aug 19, 6:30 PM, hosted by Brett Garrett in Redwood City, call 650 599-9678 to let him know you’re coming and to get directions (or see  For information on the September potluck, or if you’d like to host, call Harold Stephenson, 650 856-1125.

The San Francisco Vegetarian Society will sponsor a World Vegetarian Day Celebration on Sunday, September 30 at Fort Mason, Buildings A and C.  Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Alan Goldhamer will lead the roster of speakers.  Entertainment will include Children of the Congo, children performers of Gen Taiko (Japanese Drums), and much more.  Other attractions include food classes and vendor samples.  Volunteer help is needed, call 415 861-5244.  Also, donations in any amount are accepted, send to SFVS, P.O. Box 2510, San Francisco, CA  94126-2510.  For further information, call 415 273-5481, or see

Nijiya Market carries fresh, organic vegetables, organic brown rice, natto (fermented soybeans), and other Japanese groceries.  143 E. El Camino Real (at Grant), Mountain View, 650 691-1600.

The Organic Café in Oakland offers Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Mon-Fri, and a Weekend Buffet (11:30 AM – 8:00 PM, $9.75) Sat-Sun.  They also offer a Simple Meal (rice, beans, greens, and steamed veggies) all day Mon-Fri, $6.  No reservations needed.  Also, plans are to start lectures and cooking classes in September.  1050 40th St., 510 653-6510.

Styrofoam Recycling is now possible!  The styrofoam must be the type without flame retardent (food containers like those used for takeouts at the Monday Dinners are OK).  Food containers must be clean (wiping, then rinsing in hot water is usually sufficient).  Drop in the green bin, from 7 AM – sundown Mon-Fri, outside the door of FP International, 1050 Broadway, Redwood City, Woodside Road exit from 101.  Call 800 888-9946.

French Meadows Magic

Macrobiotic: the Great Life. If the Monday Dinners give us a taste of macrobiotics, the total immersion experience of French Meadows Summer Camp is a megadose.  The landscape of the Sierras is raked by harsh extremes of light and dark, hot and cold.  And like it or not, we are in the lair of the wild bear, and must conform.  We deliberately adapt to the primal setting with lush, varied, balanced macrobiotic food, a colorful, textured delight for the eyes as well as for the mouth, which not only nourishes and adapts, but rebirths and fuels our forsaken humanity.

At Camp, the Grand Design is really no design other than to let it happen, for, as emphasized in classes, meals, and especially in the Variety Show, each of us is simply a beautiful expression of a larger whole.  And each of us blossoms, some sooner than others.

Towards the end of the week, a critical mass forms, reaching its zenith at the Closing Circle, when expressions of humanity come pouring out.  It is no wonder that people come back, year after year.  French Meadows gets us back in touch with what it means to be human, and how good it feels.


14 Years of Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners

Chef Gary Alinder
Every Monday, 6:30 PM
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto.
305 North California Avenue at Bryant, 1/4 mile East of Alma

Sit Down or Take-out, $12.
Call 650 599-3320 by Monday 9:30 AM. Reservations Required.

Coming Events

Monday, August 13
Patrick McCarty
speaks on Food As Chemistry, Food As Energy: A Look Into The Physical And Vibrational Nature Of Food.

Monday, August 27
Robert Starkey
speaks on Life On The Mediterranean Island Of Crete.

Monday September 10
Michelle Nemer
speaks on Daily Self-Diagnosis.

Sunday September 30
World Vegetarian Day Celebration
at Fort Mason, Buildings A and C, sponsored by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society, call 415 273-5481.

It's an old adage
that the way to be safe
is never to be secure....
Each one of us requires
the spur of insecurity
to force us to do our best.
Harold W. Dodds

Miracles occur naturally
as expressions of love.
The real miracle
is the love that inspires them.
In this sense
everything that comes from love is a miracle.
Marianne Williamson

All of the animals except man know that the principal
business of life
is to enjoy it.
Samuel Butler

Foods From Crete
August 27, 2001

Lentil Soup with Mint
Rice and Chickpea Pilaf
Courgette Croquettes
Green Beans and Carrots with Onion-Garlic-Herb Sauce
Greek Salad
Lemon Cake
Traditional Mountain Tea

Cooking Classes, Dinners

James Holloway, frequent Guest Chef at the Monday Dinners, does personal home cooking, experienced in macrobiotic and classical styles, call 650 941-7466.

Susanne Jensen offers vegetarian take- outs  ($12) on Wednesdays in San Francisco, SF delivery available, reserve by 9 PM Tue, 415 661-4764.

After-Dinner Events

Speakers receive a gratuity collected from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5 suggested).

On Aug 13, Macrobiotic Counselor Patrick McCarty speaks on Food As Chemistry, Food As Energy: A Look Into The Physical And Vibrational Nature Of Food.  When evaluating the effect of a food on our health, we usually look first at its chemical composition and properties.  But chemistry alone may not be enough to effectively predict a food’s effect on us; we often need to look further, considering its more subtle energetic and vibrational qualities.  Patrick will cover the traditional nutrient view of foods, and will also explain the less well-known but fascinating energetic view, to help us select foods more prudently and achieve better balance in our lives.

Patrick’s background includes study at the Kushi Institute in Boston and the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  He co-directed the East-West Center for Macrobiotics in Eureka for nearly 20 years.  He has lectured and taught at locations around the world, and readily shares the knowledge and experience he’s gained from his very active counseling practice.  He is known for his always-fresh and enthusiastic approach to health, living, and macrobiotics.  Patrick now teaches and lectures at the Macrobiotic Foundation of Florida, where he and his family now call home.

In the 1950s, a researcher at the U. of Minnesota named Ancel Keys, along with colleagues in Finland, Holland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Japan, Greece, and the U.S., began a landmark study which followed more than 12,000 men aged 40-59 over the long term.  The Seven Countries Study was the first to establish what is commonly known today: a strong correlation of coronary heart disease with intake of saturated fatty acids and levels of serum cholesterol.  There were some surprises: the study identified a “Mediterranean diet” that was unexpectedly healthy; and on Crete, the occurrence of heart disease was even less than would be expected for those already eating the healthy Mediterranean way!

The traditional diet on Crete consists of the following: 1) olive oil in abundance, 2) very small amounts of meat, 3) lots of whole grain breads, 4) a little fish, 5) lots of fruit, 6) lots of beans and vegetables (especially local greens), 7) moderate wine drinking with meals.  (While there is much in common with macrobiotic recommendations, there are deviations, notably in the abundant consumption of olive oil.  A good cookbook is Cretan Cooking by Maria and Nikos Psilakis; it also discusses the health benefits.)

What makes the people of Crete, who have survived the Romans, Greeks, Venetians, and others, so healthy—diet, climate, attitudes, or lifestyle?  On Aug 27, Robert Starkey will offer firsthand experiences when he speaks on Life On The Mediterranean Island Of Crete.  Robert lived much of the last decade in a small, isolated village on the South coast accessible only by boat, where he and a partner taught yoga and meditation in the ruins of a 13th century castle.  The hospitable people of Loutro adopted the American Robert as one of their own.  With insights from his studies of cultural anthropology, he will share what he learned from his friends and update us on their current situation.

On September 10, Health Counselor Michelle Nemer speaks on Daily Self-Diagnosis.  This is a practical talk designed to help you learn how to keep your own condition in balance--how to interpret signs of imbalance and get yourself back on track again.  What does it mean if you arise to urinate at night? How about if you can’t get out of bed until the last minute? Learn what your urination habits, tastes in snack food, moods say about your condition. Michelle will present a simple checklist you can follow daily at home to be your own counselor.  What you need to keep yourself healthy is simple and right at your disposal.

Michelle Nemer is a health counselor with over 16 years experience in natural healing.  She was personally trained and certified by macrobiotic healthcare experts Michio Kushi, Shizuko Yamamoto and Denny Waxman.  She maintains a private practice in El Cerrito, CA and teaches natural healthcare and cooking classes throughout the United States.

Greek Lemon Cake     
by Gary Alinder

Yield: 9 cake pan

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Dry ingredients:

  • 1½ c. pastry flour
  • 1½ c. unbleached flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • pinch salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 3 T. lemon juice   (freshly squeezed--2 or 3 lemons)
  • finely minced zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 T. lemon extract
  • 1¼ to 1½ c. water

For the syrup topping:

  • 1 T. lemon extract
  • 2/3 c. rice syrup


  1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir vigorously to combine.
  4. Pour into an oiled 9 cake pan.  Bake at 350 F  20-25 min. or until the cake tests done.
  5. Once the cake is done, combine the additional lemon extract with the rice syrup in a small sauce pan.  Heat just until it comes to a boil. Prick the cake all over with a toothpick and pour the syrup topping over.
  6. Allow the cake to cool thoroughly before cutting.

From the Editor

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