Laughter and Healing with Verne Varona

Verne Varona and Patricia Joy Becker

Verne Varona and Patricia Joy Becker

This week I had pleasure of attending the Monday Night Vegetarian Dinners in Palo Alto, CA with my friend Patricia Joy Becker. The dinner was sponsored by the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community where head chef Gary Alinder has been preparing macrobiotic meals since the group’s inception in 1987.

The Macrobiotic diet is similar to a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet emphasizing locally-grown, non-processed foods: grains, legumes, vegetables, sea-vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts and a variety of fermented foods.

In macrobiotics, any and all foods can be consumed depending on the person’s constitution and condition. A person’s lifestyle, health issues and the climate they are living in also has a strong determining factor as to what foods will provide optimum health.  Macrobiotics offers dietary and lifestyle guidelines based thousands of years of oriental wisdom.

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Eat your “sea” veggies!

View Patricia Joy Becker's video talk on sea vegetables and seaweed.

View Patricia Joy Becker’s video talk on sea vegetables and seaweed.

Sea vegetables (also known as kelp and seaweed) are edible algae that can be eaten as is or used as an ingredient in recipes. The most common types to eat are alaria, arame, dulse, hijiki, kelp, kombu, nori, and wakame. They have been consumed by coastal people for thousands of years and for good reason. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens in his book Conscious Eating, sea vegetables are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. In fact, they are “higher in minerals and vitamins than any other class of food” and unlike land vegetables “have all the fifty six minerals and trace elements our bodies require.”  In addition to vitamins A, B, C, and E, sea vegetables contain human-utliizable vitamin B12, which is challenging to get on a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) vegan diet. For example, one-half ounce of alaria contains 10 times more vitamin B12 than the recommended daily requirement. One-half ounce of kelp has 1-2 times the daily minimum requirement and nori has 2-3 times.

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