The Martial Art of Food: Health and Wellness at Aikido SF – By Edissa Nicolás

On the first Sunday in April, parents, teachers, children and adult students along with Rob Sensei and Nomura Sensei gathered at Aikido SF to learn about food in our first “Wellness & Nutrition” talk. According to Theresa Thadani and Regina Gomez Aldea, awareness and prevention are the best first steps toward a healthy lifestyle and a crucial defense against illness and disease. In the kickoff of the promising new series, the two long-time Aikido practitioners suggest everybody think about the food they’re eating and to make good choices that complement their body type and an active lifestyle which include activities such as Aikido Martial Arts training.


Personal and family history may make managing health an imperative. Depending on genetic predispositions, knowledge about healthy food and sound eating habits can be a vital and an important part of Aikido training.

Reading and understanding labels and eating brightly colored Superfoods, like those provided free at the instructional lecture, are key to health and wellness. Overall well-being integrates the whole body and is impacted by diet, physical activity and mental state. During the talk, it was explained how simply monitoring your diet could give you lots of information about your own food sensitivities and allow you to make small adjustment to ensure you feel good.

From understanding that the “All Natural” food label means absolutely nothing to recognizing that the “organic” one need only represent 70 percent of the ingredients in a packaged food, it’s clear that being savvy about food is part of staying and keeping healthy.  Food labels must indicate both “USDA” certification and the “organic” labels to be trustworthy. No matter how particular you are, taking time to read the number codes on fruit may well be worth the effort if you’re trying to avoid GMO food, which start with the number 8. If not, heading toward the freshest, most colorful food on the shelf may be your ticket to feeling good and bouncing back after a tumble to the matt. A good Aikido practice must include attention and care to the food you eat.

Some extra info:

Check out Environmental Working Group (

Fruit and Vegetable labels:

If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.

If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8”, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011

If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9”, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011