If you have clicked on this tab you must want to know who I am, what I do and why, and where I come from. Here we go.
My name is Ignacio. Food for me used to be just mere formality. I thought: Everybody has to eat, the faster the better, in order to get on with your work and the things that matter. I also regarded food as something that feeds the senses and is pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling. However, deep inside I always had this lingering feeling that food does matter. I enjoyed cooking for relatives and friends as form of love.
It´s been nine years now since I changed my life completely by changing my eating habits, which transformed my body, mind and soul. Before that time my overall health had been very poor. Since then I have been able to verify how powerful macrobiotics is for your well-being, health and happiness.
It´s been a long bumpy road with ups and downs but way well worth it. It all started at a session I had with a psychologist. He suggested that I follow some very specific dietary guidelines. I was sent for consultations at a wholistic medical centre. I was told about the “energetics” of food, foods that had an “expansive” effect on us and others which had the opposite –“contracting”- effect. I was mind blown by the whole thing. It was all new to me. But the good thing is: it worked. And it worked on health issues I had not been able to find a cure for until then. It was powerful. Very. I was compelled to find out more.
I remember my first “macrobiotic” dinner. I went down to a store to stock up organic food. I had never heard about most of the items on my shopping list: Seitan, tofu, miso, daikon, buckwheat, millet, quinoa… what was all that about?
Maybe because I changed my diet overnight with no transition period whatsoever that its impact was so dramatic. From one day to the next I stopped taking white sugar (which I used to binge on), dairy products, baked foods, nightshades… all those foods that “shaped” me as a person. I realized why they say that changing your eating habits is so difficult. It involves renouncing foods that, in a way, give you an identity. Changing such an intimate thing entails changing the foundations of the “self” you identify with.
I must confess it was not easy at first –the reality is that I would spend all day in the kitchen. I had to do what I hadn´t done until then, that is, to take responsibility for my own health. Realizing about this proved difficult. But now it was time to heed the messages my body was sending out and take action accordingly.
Many things changed. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. I started feeling a lot better and my head felt much “clearer”. My sleep was better than ever. I started feeling more active, more focused, more optimistic, more eager to do things. I was now able to make quicker decisions. I had more vitality and I felt physically stronger.
My migraines were gone. They vanished into thin air. I was astounded. Terrible headaches had been with me day in day out for years and they had only got worse with time. Until I reached a point when I almost had them everyday. It was a living hell. But no more. They were gone. All the migraine pills I had been on had had no effect whatsoever. Why hadn´t I been told it was so simple?
My allergies too, were gone. I had been on weekly vaccines for my pollen allergies for five years. Well, the following spring was my best one so far and with the passing of time, all the sneezing, runny nose and itchy palatal started to go away. I was amazed.
I started reading George Ohsawa’s works and many other macrobiotic authors like Michio Kushi as well as some other Spanish authors. I didn´t even know that the “diet” I had been on was called “macrobiotics”. Ohsawa introduced me to a whole new world. At first his ideas looked pretty radical to me, and yet, it all made perfect sense. His writings brimmed with authority. His teachings were honest and straightforward as well as exciting. I started taking macrobiotic courses, cooking classes and I started taking steps on a path that presumably would change my life forever.
In 2014, after getting more and more involved with macrobiotics and studying at different schools in Spain (e.g. Elena Corrales, Agnés Pérez, Escuela de Vida), I attended the Macrobiotic Summer Conference near Amsterdam organised by the Kushi Institute of Europe. I had never felt so comfortable. I had never felt so “at home”, so motivated, so happy, surrounded by people who “spoke my language”. Something changed after that, although I didn´t know yet what it was.
And then it happened. I quit my job as a English teacher when I had the opportunity to study macrobiotics at the Macrobiotic Institute of Portugal: I attended the International Intensive Levels 1 and 2. It was a leap into the unknown but something inside myself was telling me that I had to follow my heart. I also attended the Kushi Institute’s Level II in Haywards Heath at Nicola and David McCarthy’s school. In 2016-2017 I enrolled for Level 3 at the Macrobiotic Institute of Portugal in Lisbon, finally graduating in September 2017.
I was determined to improve my cooking skills. I seized every opportunity to gain more experience. I helped in the kitchen at the Institute in Lisbon and I spent a whole month working in the kitchen at Organi Chiado, a highly popular restaurant in the heart of Chiado, Lisbon city centre, run by Joao Sales, one of my teachers at the Institute.
And I started giving cooking classes and macrobiotic consultations. A local vegetarian organic restaurant in Zaragoza, “La Retama”, hired me to give two courses on macrobiotic cooking. That was the beginning of a new and exciting way of life for me.
Since then I have continued to get training and experience, teaching macrobiotics, cooking workshops and giving cooking classes in several different venues in Zaragoza and the Autonomous Community of Aragon.
I am currently studying an official vocational training course on Dietetics and Nutrition, as I believe that scientific research supports what macrobiotics has been promoting for decades. This has enabled me to gain more insight into the relationship between food and health.
My cooking has been influenced by the love of health-promoting, organic produce. In my view food is all about finding the balance between simplicity, taste and beauty. I always strive for colour and variety in my dishes. I strongly believe in the power of food as a driving force for personal transformation. We are whole beings, inseparable from our bodies, minds, emotions and surrounding environment. Our attitudes, thoughts and feelings are reflected in our daily food choices and vice versa. They define who we are. That is why macrobiotics addresses diet. Change the quality of your blood and your life will change.