Become A Health Coach with MACROVegan

Become A Health Coach with MACROVegan

MACROVegan Philosophy & Lifestyle

The topic of nutrition has become a bewildering landscape of cultural myth and vested interest. There is an urgent need for a new approach to human diet, one that cuts through the commercial PR, the political caution and the nutritional confusion.

The MACROVegan approach to eating addresses these concerns with a fusion of two important doctrines.  The first of these are the ecological insights of ancient Asian health care found in macrobiotic studies. This tradition points to the benefits of seasonal, regional and ecologically sustainable nutrition.

The second set of standards come from the ethic of the modern vegan approach to eating that drives the leading edge of contemporary nutritional science proven by both medical study and extensive epidemiological research.

The MACROVegan way of eating addresses the requirements for vibrant health as well as a delicious, diverse and socially responsible way of eating.

This philosophy offers a unique approach to self-transformation.  MACROVegan practice improves our energy, stamina and flexibility as well as our mental well-being and creativity.  It also enhances intuitive instinctual and intellectual abilities and opens us up to greater levels of spiritual growth.

Food - Food has a very powerful influence on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  For many of us, trying to work out what constitutes a healthy diet can be confusing.  This is where a MACROVegan approach can help.  Macrobiotics considers the energetic quality of food and uses the polarity of expansion and contraction – yin and yang, to create balance. The vegan approach has no animals for use in any areas of our lives.

Wholegrains are the staple food of the MACROVegan diet, which also includes a wide variety of vegetables and complementary foods such as legumes, vegetables, sea vegetables, fermented vegetables, miso, nuts, seeds, fruits and a variety of condiments.

Ideally, the foods are organic, fresh, seasonal and locally grown.  The unique art of macrobiotic and vegan cooking is in creating delicious meals adapted to individual needs.

Healthy Living – Is it Still Possible?

Modern living means that for many of us it is increasingly challenging to stay healthy. The good news is that it is possible. While problems such as environmental pollution, stress and the decreasing quality of food will not disappear overnight, there are still many positive choices we can make. After all, how we choose to live is our responsibility. The most important decisions we make are those which enhance our wellbeing on every level. Each day we choose to eat food that creates health or creates disease. A MACROVegan diet is a way forward for vitality and longevity.

Happiness is the endless realisation of one’s infinite dream. George Ohsawa

Life is really very simple: What you give you, you get back. Bill Tara & Marlene Watson-Tara

We look forward to welcoming you to the Wild Atlantic Way on the West Coast of Ireland.

In good health






The Five Elements - The Five Tastes

I am a long time proponent of a vegan, wholefoods, plant-based diet.  As a passionate health counsellor and teacher within the principles of macrobiotics, I adore the whole concept of ‘chi’ as expressed within Traditional Chinese Medicine.  The five transformations of energy have always made such sense to me and I love the sense and sensibility it brings to understanding health.    The five savoury tastes are the recognised basic five tastes that are naturally contained in all foods.  In TCM, each taste is correlated with a season, a type of warming or cooling energy, and a specific body organ or system.  Theoretically, each taste nourishes a specific organ or organ system.

Practically speaking, the more you consciously include a variety of the five tastes in food preparation, the more satisfying and nutritionally enhanced your meals will be.  Sometimes just a small amount of a ‘taste’ can contribute significantly (e.g. a sprig or two of bitter-tasting parsley leaf)

The five tastes are bitter, salty, sweet, sour, and pungent.  A food will never contain one exclusive taste; there will always be a predominance of tastes.  Here are some examples of food sources and TCM medical organ connections for each taste.  It is said that a little of a particular taste can strengthen an organ system, whereas excess can weaken it. Hence, too much sugar weakens our soil energy, stomach/spleen/pancreas and contributes to digestive problems.


  • BITTER – Associated with the early and mid-summer season, (FIRE) bitter foods are thought to stimulate the heart and small intestine. These foods include dandelion, parsley leaves, mustard greens, collard greens, burdock root, sesame seeds, cereal grain coffee substitute, and some types of corn.
  • SALTY – Associated with the winter season, (WATER) salty food imparts strength and is thought to influence the kidneys and bladder. These foods include sea vegetables, miso, soy sauce, sea salt, Umeboshi salt plum, and natural brine pickles.
  • SWEET – Associated with the late summer season, (EARTH) sweet food is thought to influence the pancreas, spleen and stomach – organs of sugar absorption and distribution. Its nourishing effect is centring and relaxing.  The sweet taste refers to natural wholefoods and not the excessively refined sweet we know from white sugar.  Sweet foods make up the largest percentage of our meals.  These foods include wholegrains, vegetables – especially, cabbages, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, squashes and parsnips as well as chestnuts.
  • SOUR – Associated with the spring season, (WOOD) sour tasting food has a constrictive effect, giving quickening energy. It is thought to influence the liver and gall bladder.  These foods include sourdough bread, vinegar, wheat, sauerkraut and lemon/lime.
  • Pungent – Associated with the autumn season, (METAL) the pungent taste gives off a hot, dispersing energy and is said to be beneficial to the lungs and colon. However, an excess of these foods can irritate the intestines.  Pungent foods have been known to stimulate blood circulation and, according to TCM folk medicine, have a natural ability to help break down accumulation in the body.  In most culinary cuisines, they are commonly combined with animal protein and with foods high in fat.  These foods include scallions, daikon radish (or dried daikon), ginger, peppers, wasabi (dry mustard) and horseradish.


For convenient referencing, the following chart lists some basic foods that fall into each category.

BITTER – Kale, Collards, Mustard Greens, Parsley, Endive, Celery, Arugula, Grain Beverage

SALTY - Sea salt, Tamari, Miso, Sea Vegetables, Sesame salt, Umeboshi plum, Pickles

SWEET – Corn, Cooked onions, Squash, Yams, Cooked grains, Cooked cabbage, Carrots, Parsnips, Fruits

SOUR – Lemon, Lime, Sauerkraut, Umeboshi Plum, Fermented dishes, Pickles

PUNGENT – Ginger, Garlic, Raw onions, White radish, Red radish, Scallions, Wasabi, Spices

While most of your meals will contain a minimum of 60 percent sweet foods (whole- grains, vegetables, beans and fruit) aim for a full range of other tastes with major meals.  The other tastes can be represented in side dishes, sauces and condiments, emphasising a particular taste you may crave.  There is a definite art to meal balancing.

The combination possibilities are plentiful with disease-fighting nutrients.  The underlying principle dictates that these flavours, while seeming antagonistic (not compatible) are actually, by virtue of meal balancing, complementary.

Meals that include the five tastes will prove much more satisfying, in terms of limiting cravings, and more fortifying.  Many of the recipe suggestions I give to my clients take this into account.  Eventually, this will become a natural practice as you develop your cooking efficiency and planning ability and comfortably ease into your new way of eating.


You can make delicious sauces and dressings and wonderful tasting dips using all natural ingredients that incorporate the five tastes.   Toasted sesame tahini, Umeboshi plums, brown rice syrup and barley malt, Shoyu, sweet white miso, fresh ginger juice, lemon juice, and tofu, the possibilities are endless.  All of these delicious dressings can be used on salads, boiled vegetables, noodles like soba or udon, sea vegetables and many of them can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and re-used.

Remember it’s all about satisfying the taste buds so you don’t have cravings.  If you make your food too salty you will crave sugar.  If you constantly eat sugar laced foods your body will crave salt.  It’s all about balance.  Have fun and create some wonderful tasting dressings and sauces using the five tastes and make your food taste delicious.

Here is a super recipe to try that encompasses the five tastes;

Creamy Sesame Dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, slowly adding water to achieve a creamy consistency.

4 rounded tablespoons toasted sesame tahini

1 tablespoon onion, chopped

2 umeboshi plums, pitted and chopped

Dash (shoyu) soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or (barley malt)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Cup of spring or filtered water

In good health







Building Our Vision of MACROVegan in Galway, Ireland

MACROVegan ChitChat from Marlene

When your desire is great,  you cannot fail to achieve the ultimate in the end.  So, I have been reminding myself to be patient, no mean feat let me tell you. Persistence, perseverance and simply believing you will get there no matter how many setbacks you have along the way is paramount. This has been fundamental to us as we moved from country to country deciding on where that 'place' would be that would become home to our MACROVegan centre.

Well, here we are, ensconced in the beauty of the West Coast of Ireland working towards launching our MACROVegan Centre. When clients continue to respond in such a positive way and achieve incredible results renewing their health, it continually pushes us to offer our work on a much larger scale. This is our fabulous building below set in such a stunning location right on the edge of Galway Bay. We are waiting on news regarding planning permission to allow us to start the renovation work. We will offer many of our diverse programmes as well as healthy holiday breaks immersed into our Ultimate Health Experience programmes. It's very exciting to be embarking on this project.

Become a Health Coach with MACROVegan and disease-proof your family


What's News from Bill

Bill has been working on his on-line nutritional course 'Eating As If Life Matters' that is based on his work of fifty years teaching Health, Nutrition, & Human Ecology. There will be ten fabulous modules with video presentations, the book which has over 300 research studies as well as tutorials, recipes and so much more come packaged together with webinars and a student forum page. The course should be available by end May, beginning of June.

Enjoy the spring weather and use one of my teas from my book Macrobiotics for all Seasons to cleanse your liver from the heavier diet of winter.

In good health