After battling through the wilderness, of pain au chocolate and coffee, I have found someone else in Paris interested in macrobiotics. So I took a trip to Notre Dame yesterday lunchtime with high hopes my new friend would give me some tips and hints to the Big Life in Paris.
And I’m back. So the guy I met has been practicing macrobiotics for over 20 years and he is fully immersed in it all. By that I mean, there are levels to this approach to well-being: You can just focus on what you put into your mouth and what you do to your body, or you can dig much deeper. You can look at the way the world is managed, how we are conditioned to do certain things, and how there are some great twists of logic, which don’t add up. In the UK recently it was announced that we would be getting “obesity GPs”. Click here for BBC news story. So we are having specially trained doctors to deal with obesity. It should never get to this point. Why throw money in at the end? Why not spend double on education and empowering people to take control and responsibility for their health? It mystifies me… to a point but I am sure it’s all to do with someone, somewhere, making a lot more money from cure than they can from prevention.
Anyway, my new friend gets all this stuff and we have some great mini chats about the way things are, and the way they could be. We talk about drinking (he hasn’t been to a bar for years – whereas I have and still do) and how every film and advert is geared towards alcohol when showing people having a good time. And why it has become the norm to get home and open a bottle of wine when you have had a bad day. We talked about smoking. For example, in Paris everyone smokes. I’m generalising, but having lived and worked in London, the difference is huge. In London there seems to be some sort of small movement towards well-being and healthy living – it’s cool to be clean. It’s normal for people to buy organic, and do Yoga, and it’s becoming normal to not smoke and abnormal to smoke. But in Paris – it seems to me as if everyone has a completely different attitude – it seems to be a bit of a revolution against health or a cry out for freedom of choice. And I totally get that feeling of rebellion – I’ve been there, still go there, so I understand, but in the end you are just fighting yourself.
Anyway, we got takeaway at Maoz Falafel – you can stuff your pitta bread full of salads and vegetables from the buffet bar. It was tasty and good value with yummy sauce. It was great meeting someone who knew so much – and embraces life so much.
We went to a French book store, which focuses on alternative health and lifestyle – it’s actually a publishing house but they have a few of their books for sale as you enter. I just need to learn French – or find the same books in English. But I want to learn French. This week the third edition of Michio Kushis and Stephen Blauer’s, The Macrobiotic Way came out (it’s on sale on US Amazon now but not on UK as far as I can see). I haven’t read the other versions, but since the original was in 1985, would be interested to see what has changed, if anything. So that was my first sign of life in Paris. All good.
Maoz Falafel (around 5 euros for a large pitta with falafel). It’s just five minutes walk from Notre Dame on the left bank. (8 Rue Xavier Rivas, 75005, close to Metro Saint Michel).