Chef Bill Klar’s Macrobiotic Mission
By Pam Johnson
Bill Klar wants to spread the word on balancing your life with the yin and yang of food.
The Branford resident is on a macrobiotic mission to artfully and tastefully bring Connecticut residents around to eating a healthful balance of whole foods.
Bill says macrobiotics should be seen “not just as a diet. It entails a whole philosophy of releasing emotional blockages and poisons. Once you let those go, you allow the body to heal.”
As a professional chef working in French cuisine for 21 years, Bill launched into a period of discovery after receiving a fateful cancer diagnosis at 47 years old. Now a cancer survivor, he attributes his health to the macrobiotic diet he has since adopted.
“As a chef, I ate pretty much everything you could possibly think of-fois gras, chili con carne at eight in the morning-it didn’t mean anything to me. About eight years ago, my body started feeling not too happy,” he recalls.
Bill tried a chiropractor to relieve pain in his bones and sought the advice of a naturopath for a nagging cold. Discussing his mother’s death from breast cancer and his dad’s due to prostate cancer led to the discovery of a lump in Bill’s prostate.
“I was sent to Middlesex Hospital, where they did a CAT scan and bone scan, and found 80 percent of my bone structure covered in dots of cancer,” says Bill.
Following the stage-four cancer diagnosis, “I felt like I was hit in the face with a shovel. I thought I was done,” says Bill.
Today, he believes the news changed his life. He ended his marriage, left his job and his Madison home of 20 years, and went on to study and to graduate from Kushi Institute Center for Natural Healing in Becket, Massachusetts. Also a student of Zen Buddhism, Bill had an epiphany: “If I continued to believe that I am a statistic, then I will be that. I need to change my life and the way I think.”
Together with traditional medicine, Bill embarked on a three-month macrobiotic detoxification program, followed by a lifelong habit of eating only macrobiotic foods. The practice of macrobiotic foods is based on consuming whole, unprocessed foods (Bill also eschews acid found in nightshades, like potatoes and eggplant), with perhaps fish, but no other animal proteins and no dairy.
In Bill’s opinion, today’s processed foods are contributing to illness. He recommends a movie, Fork Over Knife, for more on how a macrobiotic (with some fish)-based diet led to health success stories.
“When you buy rice, you should buy rice-not a box that contains all of this garbage,” says Bill, adding his caveat is, “If you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
“We’ve even found out there are additives in food that makes it addictive. Our government is allowing companies to make foods that have additives in it that are making us sick,” he says, adding altered foods also add to the problem.
“We’re no longer eating food when it’s altered. Our bodies are a machine, and when you alter the energy in the food, you’re going to alter the energy and bring disease in the body.”
What Bill has added to the idea of following a macrobiotic diet is his own delicious symphony of meals and dishes, arriving in never-ending combinations.
“The macrobiotic food naturopaths gave me didn’t hit home. My body didn’t say, ‘I love this,’” says Bill, as he deftly prepares a salad of seaweed, baby greens, pressed and lightly pickled (with natural salt) multi-colored carrots with daikon, and seared sea scallops, flavored with layers of herbs, fresh lemon, and olive oil.
With his chef’s art, Bill has developed what he describes as “a system of eating that’s a way of healing the body and treating the body with food. That’s what the universe told me I needed to find.”
Bill sees many possibilities for spreading the word on this healthy approach to eating and enjoying what the earth has to offer to help heal our bodies. In Guilford, Branford, and other towns, he’s offering classes and courses locally to help teach others how to follow this healthy lifestyle.
As Bill sees it, “We need to change the world.”
At his website, www.billklar.com , Klar offers a five-week class based on the natural and holistic system of macrobiotics and many other opportunities; for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org call 203-430-1035. To enroll in a fall 2013 ERACE course taught by Bill Klar, go to www.erace-adulted.org.