I took a sip of tea and smiled at my guest. Sitting in my living room was Madonna’s former personal chef, Mayumi Nishimura, and I was about to ask her all things health and diet for high-powered women.
About 7 years earlier, I had stumbled upon her book on macrobiotics in a bookstore and wound up losing 40 pounds after delving into macrobiotics concepts. The second I saw the pages of her book and seen diagrams of how to combine foods for optimal health, was the start of an obsession on all things holistic.
It was the first time that I saw my health as a direct reflection of my environment and nature, and not as a science experiment. I started understanding how some foods cool off the body, while others warm up the body. How some create contraction in the body, while others create expansion. And how to select foods based on the rate of digestion, so as to avoid added stress on the digestive system.
I felt like I was finally in control of what to choose for my body, because I knew how to identify what I needed to balance out my condition. There was no voice in the back of my head trying to argue why I should or should not have a food – my mind and actions were directly connected to what my body needed, and there was no voice in my head to get in the way. Plus, I knew what kind of effect these foods would have on my energy later on, so I could choose foods according to how I wanted to feel.
But little did I know that the meals I had been eating – whole, seasonal, simple, and energetically balanced – were exactly what Madonna herself had been eating as well!
I used to think that someone as famous and amazing as Madonna must have a crazy strict diet to maintain her busy schedule of traveling, performing, and also her strong physique. From the outside, she seemed to me someone who would be doing something so extreme that I couldn’t possible try any of it, especially on a budget.
But I found out that she is eating one of the most simple, natural diets out there.
I think it’s pretty common to look at holistic remedies and identify them with a slow life. And I think that many feel that in order to eat these kinds of foods, we have to overhaul our lifestyles to one that is slow as well.
But what I realized after this interview with Madonna’s chef is that a natural diet can enhance and support a busy schedule. If anything, it’s needed even more to keep the body healthy. It’s kind of like yoga – just because you do yoga doesn’t mean you have to live a slow, yogic life. At the same time, a person with a high-powered life can benefit even more from having yoga, even if their lives aren’t slow.
If there’s one thing from this interview I want to share with you that Mayumi said to me, it’s this: [tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]“You have to know who you are. Teach yourself what to choose to help yourself.”[/tweet_box]
You have the ability to help yourself, rather than look outward for answers. And whatever eating pattern you choose doesn’t have to dictate your lifestyle.
Yogis, what are your thoughts? How do you maintain your nutrition with a busy (even like, Madonna-level busy) schedule?