Questions for MA Newsletter Spotlight
Lara, you are a full time Mum and cooking teacher in one of the UK’s most established and respected Macrobiotic schools, please can you tell us where and when you first heard about Macrobiotics and what attracted you to it?
I first came across Macrobiotics at the International Macrobiotic School. The school was then called the Holistic Cooking School and I saw an advert for it at my acupuncturists. I had always had an interest in what I ate and became vegetarian at the age of 13( albeit mainly for animal rights issues and to avoid the corn beef at girl guide camp!) . I ‘d also stopped eating a lot of refined sugar in my 20’s, so it made sense to me that I was going to eat myself well because at the time I was very depleted from having severe sickness during my pregnency and had digestive issues throughout my 20’s. It was therefore a surprise to discover Macrobiotics but as my health improved I haven’t looked back.
Where did you study and train in Macrobiotics?
I studied with Oliver Cowmeadow at the International Macrobiotic Cooking School in Devon. I joined the foundation year in 2010 for my own health interests and then found it so helpful in relation to my own well being, as well as making a lot of sense of life for me, that I went on to study for another 2 years to deepen my understanding and so that I could support others also.
As well as teaching macrobiotics do you have another interest that quietly inspires you?
I have a degree in Textile Art and feel passionate about the healing qualitites of being creative. My disseratation looked at how textiles are used in society as a force for positive change. I still sew and enjoy the process of making.
I also love to garden and grow my own food. The connection this gives me with the seasons and earth feels very nourishing and humbling.
You have family, relationships and interests and you teach macrobiotics through cooking beautiful food that inspires others greatly. Is there an interesting meeting place in you where these combine together?
These meet regularly at my dinner table and it is always interesting if sometimes challenging with 5 teenage children coming and going!
In me my macrobiotic understanding under pins everything, from simple food choices to what will I do and how today. It makes an interesting internal conversation everyday.
Please tell us about your current work, projects, workshops or courses that you are planning.
I am currently working full time at the International Macrobiotic School, where I teach cooking and theory on short and long courses at the school near Totnes and also online from my kitchen. I am teaching cooking on an 8 month online foundation course starting in February 2022 and theory on a foundation course at the school starting in October 2022. Before then I will be teaching plant based eating weekends and Looking after your Health courses, you can find all the courses listed on the website, www. macroschool.co.uk. I am personally very passionate about teaching how to make delicious and wholesome macrobiotic desserts and have started a cook book on ones specifically for children and parents. I will also be running courses on baking and desserts in 2022 online. Whilst I have neglected my social media a bit recently you will be able to find out more at _lara.holmes on instagram.
At this crucial time in the long story of our world, what do you think is the role of Macrobiotic philosophy and education in today’s world?
I would love for more people to understand through Macrobiotics how they can support and take responsibiltiy for their own health. I feel others suffering keenly and know that some simple eating and cooking habits can make a huge difference to well being. Our wonderful NHS system and staff have been under so much pressure recently I believe Macrobiotics can play a role in helping to keep our nation healthier and happier so that emergencies and severe illness can be treated quickly and without strain on patients and staff.
Our whole world is facing a huge environmental challenge and the concept of plant based eating has emerged as a supportive measure. Macrobiotics has long advocated a plant based diet and has a great insight into how to do this well. I am passionate about teaching how to do this with largely UK grown produce and would like to give a big shout out to a company called Hodmedod’s who are making this infinitely more possible as well as a thank you to all the wonderful organic farmers and veg box schemes around the country.
What’s the most relaxed and fun time that you have?
I love music and dancing, those together are my most joyful times, especially with loved ones or sometimes just in the kitchen with me and the radio!
I feel relaxed and gathered by my gardening time.