My friends call me M.I., María,
La Suárez, Mariki, Marika,
Isabelita & María Isabel.
I have built a career on the idea that there is a better way.
Roots & Stems
Santiago de Cuba is my birthplace. As a political refugee I have had the fortune of calling many places my home including Newark, New Jersey, New Orleans, Portland, Oregon and my beloved Puerto Rico.
Cook & Farmer
I resettled in Puerto Rico in 2001. After living in cities all my life, I now live with my partner on a small farm in the foothills of the central mountain region, 35 minutes south of the metro San Juan area and the ocean.
My food dharma comes from the women and men in my family, macrobiotic food via the Kushis' and my Zen training and raw food from the Essenes of the Biogentic Socieity and lastly the teachings of Ann Wigmore. I have been blessed to have had two particularly special leaders in the natural foods movement mentor and guide me. I will be forever grateful to Kristin Suratt and Amparo Rámirez.
Culinary & Life Coach
In 1981 I began my formal study of Zen. For 25 years I studied Zen and contemplative prayer with Roshi Ben Wren and received transmission as a Dharma Bum. The parallels between detoxing with food and zazening and vertical plunging are many. My Zen training has made it possible for me to be present and support people during dynamic transformation processes with food and life.
I have also had the fortune to participate in shamanic journeys with various shamans from Peru and Colombia and, I have assisted many people in detox processes required in preperation for shamanic journeys. Again, the parallels between shamanic journeys and transformation processes with food are many.
Natural Food Trailblazer
I have gotten a glimpse of the food industry from diverse positions as a broker, manufacturer in the natural food industry, chef, culinary activist and trailblazer in the macrobiotic, raw food movements and the pure food movement l both here in Puerto Rico and in the USA. My point of view is unique and stimulating and, my work has aided in mentoring a new generation of farmers and cooks that are redefining the way in which we eat and live here on the Island and elsewhere.
Teacher & Author
In 2010 I published my notes and first book on sprouting and raw foods El arte y el éxtasis de germinar. The English translation The Ecstasy of Sprouting is scheduled to be published along with other titles in the very near future along with other titles.
I have shared my knowledge of food preparation with a rainbow of people in diverse medias and venues ranging from the projects in the urban hood to the sublime hideaways of the crème de la crème of the crop. I will continue to preach the Gospel of Peace as my karma will allow me to do so.