The Macrobiotic Diet The Macrobiotic diet comes to us from Japan, where they incorporated traditional folk remedies into a philosophy of living that focuses on diet among other things. The word “macrobiotic” comes from the Greek and means “long life.” So this diet is mostly concerned about living a long, healthy, balanced life by being aware of what you eat and how it affects you. In the previous diet threads, I mentioned how a change in your diet or fasting will increase your awareness of your body and what it really needs to survive. This is the primary theme of Macrobiotics, raising your awareness, and keeping yourself balanced through diet. The Macrobiotic diet is very similar to a Vegan diet with a few exceptions. The Macrobiotic diet emphasizes local, quality food products, rather than imported or commercially processed foods. Macrobiotics sees foods as yin or yang or balanced. So if you have excess yin energy, you avoid yin foods and increase your consumption of yang foods, and vice versa. In addition, certain foods should be eaten during different seasons, and individuals should avoid certain foods if they need to restore their body’s yin-yang balance. Whole grains form the core of the macrobiotic diet and are usually eaten every meal. These should be the best quality obtainable including brown rice and buckwheat pasta (soba). Cooked and raw vegetables come next, followed by beans and bean products, such as tofu, tempeh and miso; sea vegetables; mild natural seasonings; fish; nuts and seeds; mild (non-stimulating) beverages, such as bancha twig tea; and fruit. You can even eat local meat products while in transition to the Macrobiotic diet. It can be a bit of a shock to jump headlong into this diet. Newbies are advised to take a couple of months adjusting by slowly eliminating those foods that are unhealthy and gradually eating more Macrobiotic foods. Just preparing macrobiotic food is considered an art form. Veggies should be cut and prepared a certain way. A meal should be balanced from a yin-yang perspective. Yin foods that overstimulate (avoid): ·Sugar ·Alcohol ·Honey ·Coffee ·Chocolate ·Refined flour products ·Very hot spices ·Chemicals and preservatives ·Commercial milk, yogurt and soft cheeses ·Poor quality vegetable oils Dense, concentrated Yang foods that should be used sparingly. ·Poultry ·Meat ·Eggs ·Refined salt Factors that determine the best foods for an individual to consume include: ·The Season ·The Climate ·Activity ·Sex ·Age ·Health Condition ·Transition in One's Diet If you’ve never experienced Macrobiotic food done right, then I advise a trip to a Macrobiotic restaurant in your area (if you can find one). That will illustrate clearly what kinds of foods are available to Macrobiotics and the correct way to cook and serve them. This way you can see if this diet is right for you. At the local restaurant you will also come in contact with other Macrobiotics and can usually obtain information about Macrobiotic groups and cooking classes in your area. The philosophy and art of Macrobiotic cooking is very involved, and beyond the scope of this class. If you are interested in getting into this diet, I suggest you get a book on the subject or visit websites dedicated to the Macrobiotic lifestyle. Try this one: The Macrobiotic Guide Please note: much of the info here comes from Wikipedia, and my limited experience eating Macrobiotic foods. I am not, nor have ever been Macrobiotic, so I’m not a great source for detailed info or advice. Famous Macrobiotics include John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sting, Avril Lavigne, Madonna, Bob Weir, Courtney Love. If there are any macrobiotics in this group, please feel free to add your personal experiences and insights about this interesting diet.