MACROBIOTIC LIVING. AN INTRODUCTION.
An Introduction to Macrobiotic Living and Cooking
By: Kendall Monroe
Macrobiotic living. An introduction. It is said, “you are what you eat”, well, let’s just say, you are, as a result of what you eat, what you are; which is a reflection of your living-style. Macrobiotic Living. An Introduction, is just that, an understanding of something new.
In the world of Macrobiotics there are, just like politics, conservatives and liberals. Some practice strict, traditional macrobiotic diets and lifestyles, while others have a more relaxed, practical, whole-body, whole-life approach. But there is common ground in both worlds, the health of the human body and mind.
The “macrobiotic” way of living and eating came into fashion by the Japanese writer and teacher, George Ohsawa. He first introduced macrobiotic cooking to the European’s in the 1920’s. His book on macrobiotics and his testimonial-self-macrobiotic-cure of tuberculosis made “Macrobiotic” cooking popular, during the counter-culture of the 1960’s. A few culinary schools have adopted his methods.
As words, in the dictionary, we break down “macro” and “biotic” which gives us their Greek meaning origin, makros: large or long and macro: of, involving, or intended for use with relatively large quantities; and bios :living; and :of, relating to, or caused by living organisms.
Today, there is more modern belief in macrobiotic lifestyle cooking, and that is, everything in balance, including dairy and meats and nightshades.
Let’s discover how the health of our bodies are affected by what we eat. We’ve all heard, “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything”. This saying is truthful because when you are ill, all you can think about is how sick you are, or how to get well, or which Dr. you need. Your mind cannot focus on liberties and freedoms and wants, because you are too preoccupied with your illness. Let food be your first course of action for illness and for health.
Health, is the path to living life to its fullest.
Macrobiotic living is a way of life to insure that healthful path. It is a lifestyle, respectful of living; mind, body and soul. It is a carefully orchestrated and conscience balance.
Balance is the key in macrobiotic living. Balance needs to be incorporated with food, physical activities and fun.
In today’s modern age, it is hard enough to eat well, but to have your family involved in a traditionalist’s rigid food diet, which lags and lacks in certain nutritional necessities, is really not a very good idea. Many families have opted instead for a macro-biotic-Zen approach to the body and mind, but with the real world and their real health as their ultimate guide. Hence, today’s modern macrobiotic healthy-living approach.
Macrobiotic cooking is only one function of the macrobiotic healthy-living-balance Zen style. Macrobiotic living is all about balance from all angles of life. Your ingested health, your physical body health, your work, your play, your exercise, your mental thinking, your living space…it’s all about your life being in balance and you being happy from the inside out. And in order to do that, you have to first be aware, and then to practice the art of balance.
Yin and yang are the exact balance, shape, color, form, contour, space and ideologies. Life should be the same way; everything within balance of each other. Not too much, not too little. No gluttony and no self-deprivation. A little sweet a little sour, etc.
The foods that make up the menu in macrobiotic cooking need to be the same way, balanced.
Whole cereals and grains supplemented especially with beans and vegetables and oceanic fish, and miso are the traditionalist’s mainstay, but it is not practical or healthy for the modern family.
When the strict, traditional approach to macrobiotic eating and cooking is followed, necessary body-nutrients from fruits and meats and dairy such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate, and iron are missing. And if you are pregnant or nursing or growing, the traditionalist definition is not recommended for a healthy baby or a healthy pregnancy or a healthy growing body. As we know, B12, folate, iron, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C are imperative at these stages of life.
The lack of necessary nutrients has caused more modern, healthy thinkers to rethink the old way of macrobiotics. With the attitude of balance in mind, it should be noted that the sick should absolutely unbalance to rebalance. But for the regular Joe and Jane and baby, the more modern approach is far more suitable and maintainable for a truer, happy existence.
For instance, when you’re out-of-balance because you’ve over-indulged your body with too much sugar for too long, your body will adapt and will stop itself from making its natural sugar, which will in-turn impair your kidneys from properly processing. We know this as diabetes. If you’ve ever had to check your blood sugar, you know that two slices of pizza and a soda will make your numbers soar! Of course, so will a peanut butter and jelly with a banana and a glass of milk!
From now on, when you think of macrobiotics, think of balance.
Keep in mind that the transformation from modern convenient food to macrobiotic food is easy. You only have to begin.