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Editorial: Why I'm an April Fool

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Why I'm an April Fool

by Morgan Jones

02 April 2003

Yesterday (April 1st) was the 8th anniversary of the day I began eating intentionally at every meal. This was the day I finally acknowledged that what I put into my mouth turns into me—my energy, my health or sickness, my thinking, my emotions—everything that makes me, me. (I've always thought it a little ironic that I finally got it on April Fools Day.)

April 1, 1995 was the day I cooked my first breakfast of brown rice, gomashio, miso soup, and blanched greens. That morning, for the first time in my life, I ate a breakfast that could keep my blood sugar stable for the entire morning. (No 10:00 AM crash that called for caffeine or a candy bar or a doughnut to see me through until lunch.) And, for the first time in my life, I had a breakfast that was alkalizing, rather than acid forming, so my immune system began to recover from 45 years of abuse in the form of the Standard American Diet.

Wow! What a difference a meal can make. I felt so energized, so focused, so peaceful all day that I decided to try an experiment. In the 6 weeks that followed, I ate every meal and every snack like my life depended on it. I chose to eat whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, miso soup, and alkalizing condiments. Not weird stuff—just grains like rice and millet and barley; vegetables like carrots and onions and squash and kale, beans like lentils and soybeans, and some sea vegetables with Japanese names: wakame, kombu, hijiki, and arame. OK, so maybe the sea vegetables seemed a little weird, but they were very tasty. Oh, and just as important, I chose NOT to eat foods with lots of simple sugar nor anything processed or preserved, and I chose not to drink anything with sugar or caffeine or ice or carbonation.

And my whole life changed—for the better. Everything. I mean absolutely everything: my energy, my sleep, my mental clarity, my memory, my eyesight, my digestion, my allergies, my sleep patterns, my aches and pains, my exercise, and the way I related to everyone else in my life.


I had never thought of myself as sick, exactly. OK, so I had low-back pain. Hey, who didn't? Oh, and my energy got a little low in the middle of the morning. And then it got really low in the middle of the afternoon. Like I really needed a nap, every day around 2:30. But surely I didn't have hypoglycemia (blood sugar instability). And, well, yes, I did feel groggy when I woke up in the morning, and my joints seemed a bit stiff (had to slowly ease my body into a sitting position before getting out of bed). But after an hour or so, I was functional enough. I mean, I was 45, and stuff like this just starts to happen when you get old.

OK, so I seemed to catch more than my share of colds—like 3 or 4 a year. And they did seem to be taking longer and longer to go away—the symptoms seemed to linger for weeks. But I was probably just working too much. Yeah, that's it. And maybe my eyesight was getting weaker and weaker, but what's so unusual about that. Oh, and my hearing was getting worse. And my memory? OK, so I was getting a little more forgetful, and sometimes it seemed more difficult to focus on solving a problem at work that required some creativity. But I could always hire folks who were younger and smarter than me, so no problem!

All right, so maybe I did wake up in the middle of the night with severe leg cramps, but I was a distance runner. I had probably just overdone it a bit on my last workout. OK, so I got a little hay fever in the spring. Who in Austin doesn't have allergies? Yeah, I would love to have weighed less (like 10 or 15 pounds), but I was certain that I could achieve this someday if I would just push a little harder next time I exercised.

At the time (before macrobiotics), I just didn't make the connection. I didn't see all these little problems as warning signs of a body and a mind in a steady decline. And of course I never made the connection between what I put into my mouth and my alternating emotions from exuberance to depression, from passivity to aggressiveness. I blamed my mood swings on fatigue or other people.

But 6 weeks of intentional eating (without backsliding or cheating) and the lesson was clear. You are what you eat. I had heard it enough, but I never really took it seriously. And I always thought it meant only the physical stuff, anyway. How utterly simple it is now to understand that even the smallest aspect of my emotional responses are just products of the chemistry of my blood and my body. And how simple to understand that my blood chemistry is a product of the chemicals (food and drink) I put into my mouth.

Why did it take me so long to get it? Maybe because the American industries that wanted me to buy processed foods, drugs, and expensive medical care had been busy my whole life telling me to believe what they were selling—without ever stopping to think for myself.

You can discover what I learned: Each of us is unique. (And why the remedy that worked so well for your cousin Tony or your sister's best friend, probably won't work for you.) You can discover that we are all smart enough to become our own nutritionists, doctors, and health counselors; to learn exactly what each of us needs to be healthy. I promise you can do it. We each have the native intelligence, the imagination, the intuition, and the life experience to be able to learn how our bodies work and to understand what to do to make ourselves healthy and happy.

And if you think it is hard to stick to a diet, forget it! When you have good information, you don't need will power.

Where to start? I suggest you join us for our Origins of Disease—Road to Recovery weekend health conference. Invest 2 days of your time to find out for yourself if any of the lessons we have learned seem like they could work for you. Then, if you like what you hear—and if you are ready to take responsibility for your own healing—you can always sign up for a basic class on healing cuisine, such as the one offered by The Natural Epicurean (the healing-cuisine cooking school in Austin) entitled The Fundamentals of Cooking for Disease Prevention.

Listen to the simple message that health is every person's birthright. It will change your life. Other than that, it's really no big deal.

Why do we teach the macrobiotic way of eating and living and thinking and healing? It's really simple: We are infinitely grateful to those teachers who shared this wisdom with us so that we have been able to heal ourselves. And the only way we can think of to repay these gifts is to pass them on to others.

Like you ...

So whenever you are ready, we'll be here


Peace, love, and brown rice,


Last modified: 02/21/05