For many people, change is difficult. We grow so accustomed to our routines that it becomes our comfort zone and we are reluctant and stubborn if someone tries to push us out of it. Often, it takes a life altering experience to break those confines and make us realize that change would not only be beneficial to us, but to those around us as well.
My moment of awakening happened in 2002 when my grandfather was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. The pain became unbearable for him and we could only rely on medication to try and ease it. A dear Japanese friend of mine suggested putting him on a macrobiotic diet and let the food soothe his body. Understandably, we were met with skepticism and resistance from many in the family who only knew the "take a pill for it" method, but I insisted that we try. Gradually, over the course of two weeks he became pain and medication free. Although he passed, seeing him happy and energetic for the last days of his life made me a believer in the healing properties of food.
I attended school to further study macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Massachusetts and finished levels 1 and 2 of training. With my newfound knowledge, I returned to Guam and opened Healthy Hearts with hopes of educating and helping the people of Guam eat healthier and live happier lives. After all, I believe "happiness lies in health." After a few years of retailing organic ingredients and products at the store it became clear that although people were willing to try out a healthier way of living, most were unwilling to put in the work necessary to cook in a new way. It was then that I decided to open up the café at Healthy Hearts. It was the perfect compliment to our retail operation. Inspired by how flavorful "healthy" food could be, customers became motivated to do a little of the work themselves and the changes started happening. Their energy levels went up and medications, ailments, and blood pressure went down. The business flourished in an area where people didn't eat particularly healthy. It was extremely rewarding to see all the changes our customers were making in their diets. Fast forward twelve years and fate brings us to the beautiful state of Florida.