What the Heck is Macrobiotics?

Whole wheat English muffins

Whole wheat English muffins

I can't believe I haven't written in almost a week!  I am sorry.  School is so busy as we are winding down.  I also took time out to have a nice dinner with a friend.  So here it is Friday night.  This week was a really nice one for me.  We started studying Macrobiotics which is a subject I have been looking forward to.  You are probably rolling your eyes already, thinking it is some crazy Japanese diet that only hippies follow!  And that is completely not true.  Macrobiotics does have origins in Japan, but is really a wholesome, natural diet and lifestyle that can be adopted by anyone.  You can read more about Macrobiotics here if you are really interested.  I will share here some of what I learn as I think the principles are things we can all benefit from, whether you are Macro or not. 

Blanched vegetable salad

Blanched vegetable salad

Not simply a “diet”, macrobiotic recognizes the profound effects food, environment, activities, and attitude all have on our body-mind-emotions.
— The Kushi Institute

Macro is a lifestyle that includes whole foods, self reflection, and home care, all evolved from the old traditions of Oriental medicine. The pyramid below shows the way that you should eat according to Macro.  You vary your food choices based on where you live, the season, your constitution, and any symptoms or diseases you have.  

Food Pyramid from the Kushi Institute

Food Pyramid from the Kushi Institute

Whole grains here refer to grains that look like they do in their original state.  Brown rice.  Quinoa.  Oats.  Only a little of your grains should be in the form of breads or pasta, and of course processed foods are really out.  Refined sugars and grains, packaged, processed foods, corn syrup, soda, candy, should all be avoided.  Foods should be natural, in season, and locally grown.  Eating this way will promote health and even reverse disease.  There are actually more and more studies showing that this lifestyle creates health.  It is one more example of eating real food.  Regardless of whether you follow Ayurveda, Macrobiotics or some other whole foods plan, the bottom line is to eat real food, mostly cooked at home, and mostly plants.  Common refrain, huh? 

Collard wrap with sour kraut, carrot, cucumber, avocado, red onion

Collard wrap with sour kraut, carrot, cucumber, avocado, red onion

So far the food is simple and delicious. I will share some recipes as we go along.  This one is really ringing true for me and I expect I will adopt more of this than anything else we have learned in school.  The food is comforting, delicious, and makes you feel really good.  Brown rice.  Beans.  Soups.  Fresh vegetables.  So good.  I am working on acquiring a taste for miso and sea vegetables.  I am doing well with it.  I'll share later the health benefits.  In the meantime, have a good weekend.   I'll try to share something more later this weekend.  Have a good one!