If Gwyneth can do macrobiotic then so can I

macrobiotic meal SHA Wellness Clinic

Dinner at SHA Wellness Clinic in El Albir, Spain

It’s easy to explain a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and even Mediterranean diet. But tell someone you’re going to a spa where only macrobiotic food is served and inevitably, the question is “What does macrobiotic mean?”

I know I sounded like an idiot when I told people had no idea. My only association with the word was through actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who did the macrobiotic thing for a few years, and M Café, a macrobiotic restaurant in Los Angeles that I had talked about a couple of times to Susan Irby on her The Bikini Chef radio show though I really didn’t know understand what macrobiotic meant.

All I knew was that I would be eating not just super healthy but exceptionally well at SHA Wellness Clinic because the chef Pablo Montoro had worked at Ferrán Adrià’s renowned restaurant El Bullí and in Martin Berasategui’s kitchen. I was eager to begin my “Discovery” program, the name for the uninitiated such as myself that flock to this clinic on Spain’s Mediterranean coast to detox, lose weight and learn how to take better care of themselves. I crammed my 36-inch inseam into what had to be seats with a 25-inch pitch on Iberia Express and jetted off to Alicante from Madrid.

My first introduction to macrobiotic food was breakfast, which I arrived just in time for after the 45-minute drive in a luxury sedan to SHA in the resort town of Albir, which has been overtaken by Germans and Brits. Breakfast started with a delicious mixture of carrot and fruit juice. Then I was served Miso soup, porridge, spelt toast, pears that had a hint of ginger and compote. I thought the porridge was steel-cut oatmeal but I was surprised to learn that it was brown rice and spelt milk. I had barely heard of spelt and had no idea you could make milk from it.

For lunch, I feasted on asparagus and zucchini soup topped with rice noodles, turbot paella, salad with sunflower seeds and almond crème brûlée with crumbled cinnamon. Then I was served kukicha tea, which is loaded with calcium and has tons of nutritional benefits.

Later that night I gobbled down pumpkin soup with caviar eggs, bread sticks, rolls and what appeared to be butter though I know it wasn’t, thinly sliced fresh vegetables that were so tasty that I might change my opinion of cauliflower being the worst food in the world and a white fish called “gill head.” A trio of homemade sorbet (orange, chocolate and strawberry) were presented for dessert.

Hey, I can do this macrobiotic thing for life. If it’s so good why does it sound so horrible?

The next day I met with Dr. Ken Prange, who presented me with a multi-page document on the macrobiotic diet, looked at my fingernails and tongue and suggested I cut down on sweets, or at least those made with refined sugar, and told me that my central nervous system was frayed. (“Could it be the economic conditions under which I live as a freelance writer,” I wanted to ask him?). He also suggested I eat Miso soup daily to improve my immune system after I told him I have way too many colds despite taking Spirulina, Chinese herbs and vitamin C daily.

I didn’t receive a textbook definition of macrobiotic from him so was eager to read the document he gave me. I still don’t know what it is but I’m thoroughly enjoying the dishes served at SHA Wellness Clinic.

pumpkin soup SHA Wellness Clinic

Pumpkin soup at SHA Wellness Clinic in El Albir, Spain



Filed under Aging, Beauty, Dining, Health, Spa

4 responses to “If Gwyneth can do macrobiotic then so can I

  1. Pingback: It’s time for a tune up | Kelly's Korner

  2. Pingback: Without health everything is nothing | Kelly's Korner

  3. dear Kelly

    you revive wonderful memories of the SHA & meeting yo, with your blog !
    how come i just started getting it sunday – well better late then never.
    i enjoy the refreshing reads.
    impressed about our openness regarding your muffin-top solution.(honestly didn’t notice when i met you) here in europe, especially in understating country like switzerland, we don’t address such subject – a real shame.
    maybe this is the backside of having to prove the world we are the country with the highest quality of life according to the economists ratings 2012 (best place to be born).

    anyway, already look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    hope you & Lucy are well up & don’t forget to visit me in the valais @ hameau les cleves one day. we’re only around here in winter. rest of the year is dedicated to traveling & dabbling in different business ventures.
    enjoying traveling & discovering the world, maybe a bit like you. independence gives us this freedom.

    hope the operation went well,
    corinne mariethoz

    • Dearest Corinne,

      Happy New Year! I hope you’re doing well. You were one of the highlights of my visit to SHA and I enjoyed getting to know you, and finding out about your little slice of paradise. Thanks for sending the fascinating article on the best place to be born in 2013. Lucy and I do need to visit but not during the winter.

      I hate to admit that you just started receiving the blog because posts had piled up in my Microsoft Word that I had not published. Hopefully, the new year will mean more posts. With The Jet Set Pets taking off (no pun intended), I just can’t find the time to update Kelly’s Korner. But I will try to do a better job.

      Of course I have to keep people up to date on the progress of my muffin top. Yes, you missed it in Spain because I do a very good job at keeping it hidden. Or at least I used to. I still have two to five more months before I see the full results of lipo but so far so good. I had absolutely no pain during or after the procedure and I’ve healed quite well. So now I wait and try to not stare in the mirror too much waiting for the contouring to complete.

      Looking forward to our paths crossing in the future.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s