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Macrobiotics – living large

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Macrobiotics – living large

day6_macro_d The term “macrobiotics” was first coined be Hippocrates, father of western medicine. Macro, meaning “large” or “long,” and bios, meaning “life”, this term has been revived periodically over the centuries to describe a healthful lifestyle which includes attention to diet. Today, the most prominent figure in the field of Macrobiotics is Michio Kushi, who was a student of George Ohsawa, one of the foremost proponents of this diet/lifestyle. He, along with Sagan Ishizuka, M.D., advocated a simple grains-based and vegetable diet, and believed this responsible for curing them of serious illness. Today, there are still many who relate stories of healing through these methods. Implementation of this diet is done at many levels:

  • There is the person who adopts a loose form of these dietary principles for the purpose of overall health, maybe weight loss
  • There is the person who is battling serious illness who turns to Macrobiotics for healing, especially when he or she has found that western medicine can do no more for them
  • There is the devotee, for whom Macrobiotics has become a way of life, embracing a spirituality around it

It is the personal choice of each individual (along with a healthcare provider) to discern his or her own diet, whatever it may be. As a reminder, this site is merely a source for information and facilitation of your personal choice. It is not a promotion of any diet. Whatever your choice, or reason for your choice, the purpose of this blog is to support your success through proven techniques and methods, and fresh ideas and recipes. To follow is a basic outline of the Macrobiotic Diet:

  • Use whole, unprocessed foods
  • To the extent possible, use locally grown foods, in season
  • Eat foods in balance – this is specific
  • Eat whole grains, vegetables, beans & sea vegetables, miso soups
  • Avoid land animals, dairy, refined sugars, nightshades, simple carbohydrates
  • Seafood and alcohol in balance

There are also recommended cooking methods and techniques. These will be further expounded upon in future postings. The operating principle of this diet is balance. It is thought that balance in the foods we consume will create balance in our bodies and health. The specific ratios are as follows:

  • 50 – 60 percent whole grains
  • 20-30 percent locally grown vegetables (organic, if possible)
  • 5-10 percent beans and sea vegetables
  • 5-10 percent soups
  • 5 percent supplementary foods, including condiments, beverages, fish, and dessert

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Knowledge is Power

During one week in September (dates to be announced), anyone who is interested in experiencing this diet may join me for one meal, one day, or the entire week, in preparing and consuming macrobiotic meals. For me, this is not for the purpose of discerning benefits to health, but for learning how I can better support anyone who chooses to embark on this course. After a week of Michio Kushi’s recipes and meals, I will continue to develop my own recipes and combinations. These will probably be a bit more conducive to a modern lifestyle, while respecting Macrobiotic principles. But my hope is to gain a deeper, and more personal, connection with the diet in general. If you want to join me, at any level with which you feel is comfortable and beneficial to you, I highly recommend obtaining The Macrobiotic Way, Michio Kushi and Stephen Blauer. I ordered my book used online and only paid a couple of dollars! However, I will post recipes and ingredient information for you. If you are interested in learning more, to follow are suggested sources:

  • The Macrobiotic Way, Michio Kushi and Stephen Blauer – from which much of this material (and recipes for the Macrobiotic week) is taken. I prefer this book to some others because it is very straightforward, focuses on diet and nutrition, and is easy to read.
  • The Kushi Institute – click here – food resource, videos, testimonials, descriptions

Macro book Please note:  As with any diet, while these principles may be very useful, even life-saving for many, there is no panacea or absolute guarantee that any one method will work for everyone. While the Kushi Institute has successful treated so many with Macrobiotics, members of the Kushi family have themselves succumb to serious illness.  This does not, in itself, discredit the diet, but it should serve as a cautionary reminder… It is possible to lose balance, even with a diet designed to create it. Please monitor your health at regular intervals and always consult your healthcare provider.

  1. Ricki
    RickiSeptember 11,13

    Thanks for walking us through this. This information is such a gift. It has the potential to help a lot of people get healthier.

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaSeptember 11,13

      For the right person, this is a phenomenal diet. And it is always good to get to know new flavors and ideas! There is a yeast-free sourdough bread which I hope to make and post soon! You may like it.

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