LOS ANGELES – I apologize to my steadily-building readership base who may have been left in suspense for the past week trying to figure out which one of Shaq’s new teammates on the Phoenix Suns visited M Café during a recent road trip.
The hint is the Suns better hope the healthy food he eats keeps him off the disabled list, because Phoenix will need forward Grant Hill quite a bit the rest of the year at the small forward spot with versatile forward Shawn Marion now in Miami.
The reason Hill made it a point to visit M Café during the Suns’ recent trip is because it’s one of the few macrobiotic restaurants in the nation, according to Bill Disselhorst, its director of operations.
With its location in Los Angeles, Disselhorst said M Café is a regular destination for celebrities who want to eat healthy, but the one celeb he named just happens to play for the team I’ve followed since I first got into sports back when I was 7 years old.
The menu Hill saw at M Café includes salads, rice bowls, hot sandwiches, burgers, panini, deli combinations, organic fries, sushi and pastries. The prices range from a simple $8.45 mixed baby greens salad to a $15.45 fish teriyaki bowl, so the prices are manageable in comparison to most food in LA.
Although a carnivore like myself would not find anything I typically eat, some of the sandwiches include seitan, which contains protein but is made from wheat gluten and is used as a substitute for meat in some of their vegetarian dishes.
Disselhorst said the restaurant receives “tremendous feedback” from loyal customers who eat there for health reasons, including a man who has cancer who eats at the restaurant because he believes it helps him get better.
The restaurant director told me a story of a woman named Mina Dobic who went to a doctor about 20 years ago when she had ovarian cancer only to be told she has two months to live.
“I can’t do anything for you, there’s nothing I can do for you,” Disselhorst said the doctor told her.
So Dobic went on a strict macrobiotic diet, Disselhorst said, repeating the word “strict” four times for emphasis, and six and a half months later she became cured of her cancer.Now Dobic consults with celebrities and average people around the world to teach them how to eat better through her Web site.
Her site suggests eating whole grains daily – such as short-, medium- and long-grain brown rice, barley, pearl barley, millet, whole-wheat berries, corn on the cob and buckwheat.
For snacks and on special occasions people should eat buckwheat noodles (soba), whole-wheat noodles (udon), wheat noodles (somen), whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, whole-rye bread and wheat gluten.
People should occasionally – meaning once or twice a week – eat sweet-brown rice, mochi, cracked wheat, rolled oats, steel-cut oats, corn grits, corn meal, rye flakes, couscous, amaranth and quinoa.
Then foods that should be eaten only infrequently as snacks are muffins, crackers, cookies, pancakes, rice cakes, chips, baked pastries, popcorn and puffed whole-grain cereals.
It’s interesting that a microbiotic diet would include snacks to be eaten infrequently that I eat fairly frequently, whereas the types of whole grains to be eaten daily are generally neglected from my diet.
I’m never going to eat a full-fledged microbiotic diet, but it would be wise to incorporate more healthy grains into my meals.
After all, I could follow a worse person’s lead in terms of eating healthy than Grant Hill.