Picture being in high school and hitting Mickey D’s for:
before-school hot cakes and syrup
lunch-period French fries whenever you could get away
a Big Mac every day after senior-year typing class
weekend visits with your dad and sister
That’s how much, she confesses in The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics.
Back then, Jessica probably wouldn’t have imagined her future self helping other people rid their bodies of Big Macs! But she did exactly that while managing the Kushi Institute’s “Way to Health” program.
The Hip Chick’s Guide does a terrific job of presenting the philosophically challenging concepts of Yin and Yang. Jessica shows how our food choices impact the ways these forces affect our bodies.
She gets her points across with the same trademark humor that fueled her one-woman show Zen Comedy. It also earned her a profile in fashionista and Slate style columnist Simon Doonan’s Wacky Chicks.
As a lifetime fan of the Oscars, for example, Jessica devised Hollywood-inspired categories to explain the macrobiotic importance of different foods:
“Best Actor in a Leading Role” goes to whole-cereal grains. Like leading men, she says they’re “solid and dependable… strong, and have limitless energy.” Some “nominees” include brown rice, barley, millet, quinoa, whole wheat and spelt.
They make up 50 to 60 percent of a macrobiotic diet.
“Best Actress in a Leading Role” belongs to vegetables. They “bring this soft, interesting, dynamic energy to our plates and lives… Macrobiotic people try to stick to vegetables that occur naturally within their local climate, are organic whenever possible, and eaten with the season when they’re grown.”
Vegetables account for 20 to 5 percent of a macrobiotic diet.
“Best Supporting Actress” goes to beans and bean products. “She may be a little heavy, [but] she represents solid, nurturing energy.” A macrobiotic diet aims for 10 percent of them a day, but Jessica says 1 cup is enough to satisfy her.
Best Supporting Actor: 5 to 10 percent sea vegetables, such as wakame, dulse, nori or agar agar. They’re “salty, wise… and keep the story deep and meaningful.”
Best Sound Track: “warm and fluid, soups warm and soften us like music.” At 5 to 10 percent of the daily fare, they can include any or all of the other macrobiotic foods.
Something else a little wacky she teaches – chewing my whole grains about 100 times before swallowing.
So yesterday, I tried counting while chewing my brown rice during dinner. I never got past 20 before something distracted me!
Jessica too has been there. Her hilarious stories about distractions and struggling for clarity of mind have made macrobiotics seem much less intimidating.
Although she collaborated on Alicia Silverstone’s strictly vegan The Kind Diet, mostly-plant-based Jessica avoids meat and dairy products but still consumes fish.
My final take on The Hip Chick’s Guide? Thanks to my clearer understanding of Yin, Yang and the Macrobiotic diet, I’ll definitely be eating more whole grains!