Our 2020 Vision
In 2006 while living and teaching in Portugal Bill and I drew up our plan to launch our non-profit, entitled, MACROVegan The 2020 Vision. As an essential for solving the current climate emergency, funding and donations were promised but did not come to fruition. However, we continued with our own 2020 vision creating a world were all species could live in peace. That world is a vegan world. Nothing else will bring about the change that is so desperately needed world-wide to heal our environment.
But alas, as always the world looks to SCIENCE for the answer. The Duke of Cambridge has today announced “the most prestigious environmental prize in history” in a bid to galvanise a decade of action to repair the planet. The Earthshot Prize aims to encourage and inspire people across the world to find innovative new solutions to one of the gravest problems facing the Earth.
As always, they avoid the elephant in the room. Just more of the same old same old. Science does not have the answer, humans do. Every aspect of our lives is ruled by the balancing dance of Yin and Yang, taught through the principles of Macrobiotics. It's the only thing that has ever made sense to me. Restoring and maintaining harmony with nature is key to our health and all who live here, that includes all 8.7 million species. This ancient wisdom sits at the heart of what we teach at MACROVegan .
We have grown our vision in 27 countries where we have graduates of our MACROVegan approach to life. As we launch into 2020 with high energy, passion, commitment and never- ending passion to bring about change, we ask you to join us as a new decade dawns.
By adopting the principles and following our guidelines from our latest free ebook available to download from our online store you can literally change the world with every bite. The situation we face today is solely because of you and me in thinking that human beings are at the centre of the universe, we are so wrong. We are utterly dependent on other species and we have to take care of them. We are members of one Earth community and need a new trinity that is holistic and inclusive, that embraces the entire planet and all species upon it. Soil is the source of our life and its good to remind ourselves that soil and man are not separate. Without soil there is no food and without food there is no life, trees, forests, animals or people.
My vision for a vegan world inspires me daily. To use my voice for our animal kingdom brings me the greatest joy. Please Go Vegan and love all of life.
Bill and I wish you a healthy, happy new year and as always, thank you for sharing our work. Your support is much appreciated.
In good health
The Ecological Imperative Of A Macrobiotic Vegan Diet
What is known is that the world is disintegrating before our eyes. I am not speaking about societies, they come and go. I am referring to the actual natural world, what we usually refer to as the environment – nature. When nature goes it doesn’t come back. Damage can sometimes be reversed but the extinction of a plant, an insect, a fish, a mammal or a bird is a final act. It is gone forever. With it goes the function that it served, a thread in the vast tapestry of life.
Who would do such a monstrously stupid thing? Who indeed?
Now some, but not all, realize that the existential threat of our actions are rebounding on us. As ice melts, oceans rise, insects disappear and climate-driven fires burn down the forests we consider action. We need action Sign a petition, march in the streets, force government to speak the truth and take action, force industry to clean up their act – all good stuff. Maybe we can elect green politicians that can sort it out, maybe we can force the oil and coal industries to “leave it in the ground”. Maybe someone else can undo the damage we all contribute to every day.
Our default setting is to look for someone to blame and there are plenty of villains out there, both real and imagined. Greedy business bosses, crooked politicians, industrial polluters, gods will, the arrangement of the stars or our position on the Aztec calendar. But what about us? Are we victims of a cruel world?
If we are sick we are encouraged to reflect on our actions. We seek to tease out the possible actions that we have taken that may contribute to our sickness. It is an integral part of our philosophy that we first consult the mirror before looking further afield. Once we have located the offending habits it is then our duty to correct our actions or stop complaining.
I have noticed, you may have too, that the single act that every person can do to slow and even reverse climate change is often left as an afterthought. It is no secret that raising animals and using them as food is one of the top causes of environmental destruction. Some say it is the main cause.
Yes, there are other human actions that contribute to climate change, but animal agriculture, the production of animals for meat, dairy, eggs and even fish farms are an environmental tragedy. What is known is, if we were to stop eating animals and using animal products, the world would be a better and healthier place for ourselves and future generations. The question is why don’t we just do that?
This is an especially puzzling question for the macrobiotic community. Leaving animal products out of the diet is completely congruent with our philosophy. If making balance with nature is a goal of our practice, killing sentient creatures simply for our pleasure or to fulfill an imagined tradition is a great mistake. Ohsawa and Kushi both claimed that eating a diet with no animal products was the best way to achieve mental and spiritual health. We need to change our thinking and actions to meet the challenges at hand. These are different challenges than existed in the 60s, 70s and 80s. One Peaceful World is only possible if we save the world.
DO YOU HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME?
A great little saying that I understand comes to us from the wonderful world of investment finance is, “Do you have skin in the game?” Having Skin in the Game means that you actually put in some of your own money before advising others to invest. It means that you share personal risk in a project. You are not on the sidelines cheering, you are not an observer, you are a participant. Being a vegan means you have “skin in the game” of ecological renewal, you are serious.
When I hear that someone is 80% vegan or vegan on Fridays or vegan with some fish added my first thought is that it is like saying you are a little bit pregnant. My second thought is that they are not serious, they have no skin in the game. Environmentalists who suggest we “reduce” the amount of meat and dairy have no skin in the game, they are unwilling to make the issue of environmental health and justice a personal thing. It seems they do not want to upset anyone by doing something that may seem extreme.
Living a vegan life reinforces your commitment to the living planet every day in a very intimate way. The most common social action, eating with others, becomes a statement of purpose. This is not about shouting at people about their habits, that is childish. This is not about showing horrible pictures of animal farming, that is a form of bullying. This is about you, living a life free from violence. It is about living a life of Ahimsa, doing no harm, it is the spirit of macrobiotics.
Please go vegan and love all of life, the world needs you, right now!
In good health
Bill and Marlene
Gluten Free Diets
Separating The Wheat From The Chaff
The sudden appearance of Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance as health concerns over the past decade requires a few remarks. Gluten is a protein found in a number of cereal grains. The common offenders are Wheat, Rye, Barley, Spelt, Triticale and products derived from them. The prevalence of CD in the United States and most European countries has been identified as 0.71% of the population. The number of people thought to have a Gluten Intolerance (but not CD) is a similar number. Most of those people had not been formally diagnosed. According to an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology most people who were following a Gluten Free Diet did not have Celiac Disease.
There is no question that some people have CD (which can be confirmed by taking an antibody test), Gluten Intolerance or other poor reactions to the above mentioned grains. The symptoms of bloating, diarrhea or chronic constipation, fatigue or irritability are certainly worrying and serious damage to the intestine wall can occur with CD. This does not explain the 11 million people who claim to have CI or CD and experience symptoms when flour is consumed.
If we look at the fact that only 7% of the American population were eating “whole” as opposed to “refined” grain, we get an important insight. Most of the refined products are manufactured along with sugars, yeast, oils, trans-fats and a very wide range of other additives not to mention high gluten wheat varieties. These products produce excessive digestive stress which contributes to immune dysfunction. The actual consumption of whole grains or unadulterated grain products is not part of the assessment.
Here is What We Know Works!
My experience in working with hundreds of clients who have been told that they are gluten sensitive or intolerant is that if they change to a less stressful diet that eliminates the refined and adulterated products most can add whole grain into their diet with no problems.
Complex carbohydrates provide energy, and are rich in proteins, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and fibre. Complex carbohydrates are made into glucose (blood sugar) in the intestines. Glucose is what the body runs on. When the complex carbohydrates found in grains and vegetables are eaten, the sugars are digested and absorbed slowly into the body. They can be used when needed and stored easily. They also contain all the other nutrients (minerals, vitamin’s and fibre) essential for the sugars to be utilized.
For the Love of Grains:
Cereal grains are currently the most important nutritional component of the human diet and for thousands of years, grains have been recognized as staples necessary foods and extolled as “the staff of life.” In Roman times Ceres was the goddess of agriculture. The gifts offered to Ceres at festivals were referred to as cerealia. Since the most important gifts offered were wheat and barley, these grains naturally became known as cerealia or cereal.
The value of grains is reflected by common sayings such as: “The greatest thing since sliced bread,” signifying the absolute best, “bread and circuses” refers to keeping people happy, “cash” is called bread or dough, and “breaking bread” speaks of a sense of sharing. After this long association of grains with goodness, this staple food is under attack constantly from the meat and dairy industry.
Many people imagine that eating grain will make them gain weight, but observing grain-eating cultures shows that is not the case. It is the kind of carbohydrate we eat that makes the difference. When sugars are refined and isolated we have problems. Sharp rises in blood sugar are associated with refined sugars. Excessive sugar in the diet, particularly of the refined varieties, means that the glucose must be stored in the form of Glycogen. My latest book Go Vegan is filled with delicious whole grain based recipes that you will enjoy.
The fact that our body runs on glucose (a sugar) brings up the next aspect (and one of the most perplexing) of the SAD diet. Sugar. Sugar is the single dietary component that people recognize as harmful, and yet it is one of the most cherished. When talk turns to dessert the conversation is passionate. It is always interesting to see the response when someone removes simple sugars from their personal menu. A bond with pleasure is broken, happiness evaporates. We are well and truly hooked; sugar is the most common drug of choice.
If you would like more information on the macrobiotic Human Ecology Diet visit our website: www.macrovegan.org
In good health
Bill and Marlene
Health & Healing Start In Your Kitchen
Searching For The Silver Bullet
Science is the language of the modern age. It is only challenged by religion in terms of popular belief. Roughly four hundred years ago science began its steady progress as a social force through insight and invention. The ruling belief in invisible forces driving religion was eventually replaced by the invisible forces of protons and electrons. The accusation of being “anti-science” is equivalent to the ancient curse of heresy in the secular world. Woe be to those who challenge scientific dogma.
The attitude of scientific certainty in all matters is, unfortunately, wide of the mark. Science has produced astounding benefits but can be notoriously abused. The abuse usually comes from one of two sources, they are the ethics of the application of the discovery and the question of who paid the bill. The fact that inventions and insights are often best left till the implications of their use is fully understood is something that the rush to market often ignores. The same is true of science that has been bought and paid for to support the need for a product or service that is harmful or useless.
We have the research to show that heart disease can be managed and even reversed through simple changes in lifestyle and yet we are willing to take dangerous drugs to offset the symptoms. The rate of diabetes in teens sky rockets, we know the cause and yet the problem “needs more study”. We suffer from a naive belief that science will come up with a pill or a miracle cure. We have given away our ability to act before given expert permission. It reminds me of the character from the old joke about the man who falls off a twenty-story building and is heard to say as he plunges past the tenth floor, “So far, so good”.
The study of nutrition in ancient times was focused on the medicinal effects of foods. The kitchen was where nutritional science was born in making healing soups, stews and teas. It was only in the 19th century that we started dissecting the food and looking for its hidden secrets. That approach helped solve many health problems. The links between diet and illnesses such as scurvy, beriberi, anaemia and rickets helped save lives and reduce misery. The great breakthroughs were about deficiencies. The problem is that most nutritional problems in modern society are diseases of excess. It is what we are consuming in excess that is killing us. To learn how to disease proof your family join us at our Vegan Workshop Series London 2020.
The modern diet is filled with animal fat and protein, trans-fats, refined sugars and chemical additives. It is heavy on calories and light on nutrition. The solution is simple: what is required is the opposite – a diet that is low on calories and nutritionally dense. A diet that fits these criteria is the one that we have been recommending to our clients and students for decades. Marlene's latest book is filled with delicious, nutritious recipes and educational material to guide you back to health.
The drive to discover 'what’s missing' continues to be an institutional prejudice in nutritional science. Nutrition researchers are always excited by the latest super-nutrient hiding in an obscure tropical fruit, or the single evil chemical lurking in a common vegetable. We are searching for outlaws and miracles and ignoring the simple truth that sits before us, a macrobiotic vegan diet not only promotes health but can also assist in reversing many disease processes. It is a sustainable, healing and delicious diet that promotes justice and health for all life, human and non-human alike.
Please Go Vegan and love all of life. The world needs you, right now.
In good health
Food & The Emotions
An Exploration of the Body/Mind Connection
A Day with Bill Tara & Marlene Watson-Tara
One of the most common debates in understanding human emotion is the argument between Nature or Nurture. Are our thoughts and emotions more influenced by our genetic inheritance or our lifestyle and culture?
In this one-day workshop we will use a fusion of the Ancient Wisdom of Asian medicine and the insights of Modern Nutritional Science and Psychology to unravel the mysteries of our emotional landscape. Spaces are limited so register early. You can book your place by clicking on the link.
The issues surrounding what we eat and its effect on us can be confusing. Food is not only a primary fuel for our biological well-being it also has deep emotional and cultural connections. Food can either serve us for our good health and pleasure or undermine our total well-being. Our food addictions and cultural traditions often stand in the way of our better intentions.
Every year we discover more about how specific nutrients in our daily diet affect our brain chemistry. Some of these effects are positive and contribute to mental stability and improved cognitive function and some inhibit proper functions. Knowledge of these relationships can place us in a better position to improve the health of the nervous system. The implications of these discoveries are wide reaching.
By improving our mental functions and sensitivity we can better reduce stress, overcome emotional triggers and maintain a greater degree of calm. There is a reason why monastic communities all over the world have followed specific diets to assist in meditation. (Don’t worry, I will not be recommending a monastic diet.) Once we understand which foods serve us, we can make better choices.
During this day we will look at the ways that food addictions develop and how to cure them. As well as understanding the ways the food effect our mental functioning and responses to our environment.
10am to 11:30 Understanding The Ways We Form Food Habits
Biological Triggers And Dopamine
The Gut Biome And Enteric Nervous System
11:30 to 11:45 Morning Break
11:45 to 13:00 Foods That Harm And Foods That Heal Body & Mind
13:00 to 14:00 Lunch (Bring Your Own Or Dine Out)
14:00 to 16:00 The Chinese 5 Energy System of Health & Emotion
How Organic Imbalance Produces Emotional Distress
16:00 to 16:15 Afternoon Break
16:15 to 17:00 Seven Biological Keys To Emotional Health
Q & A
Bill Tara has been a macrobiotic teacher and counsellor since 1968. He was the first teacher awarded the Macrobiotic Senior Teacher certificate by Michio Kushi and was head of the Macrobiotic Teacher/Counsellor Review Board in both America and Europe.
He has been invited to 25 countries to present seminars on Macrobiotics, Environmental Issues, Five Transformation Psychology and a variety of health and healing topics. He has served on the faculty of the Kiental Institute in Switzerland, The Naropa Institute in America and represented macrobiotics and dietary reform on television and radio.
Together with Michio and Aveline Kushi he founded the Kushi Institute and worked on developing the curriculum in both England and America. He designed the Health and Healing programs for the SHA Wellness Clinic.
His publishing credits include: Macrobiotics and Human Behaviour, Your Face Never Lies (editor), Natural Body – Natural Mind, The Portal of Dreams (fiction) Eating As If All Life Matters and How to Eat Right and Save the Planet (with a Forward by Professor Gary Francione).
Marlene Watson-Tara is an expert in healthy vegan living and a much sought after health counsellor. She has witnessed the profound changes in many clients who have have suffered for years with mental health issues. When they follow her advice on plant based nutrition, they say it's like a cloud has been lifted and they feel and experience the recovery in many aspects of their lives.
Cost £69.00 includes Teas and Snacks.
In good health
THE Healthy Vegan London Workshop Series 2020
We are delighted to be recommencing our monthly workshops running throughout 2020 at our friends premises in London. Clearspring Ltd has a fabulous space that is welcoming and spacious. You can purchase your ticket from EVENTBRITE here for the first of our series - 25th January 2020 11.00A.M. TO 4.00P.M. or by contacting me to reserve a place - date for our February 8th event is also available for registration.
Spaces are limited so book early to secure your place.
Expand your understanding of healthy vegan eating, learn to prepare tasty meals that don’t break the bank and develop simple tools for healthy living.
This is a great starter class for those who desire total health and vitality through a plant- based diet and lifestyle. An opportunity to benefit from the decades of international experience of teaching, advocacy and clinical work of our MACROVegan team. We aim to make healthy living exciting and enjoyable.
Our approach is a fusion of modern nutritional science, ancient wisdom and common-sense. In this jam-packed day you will enjoy cooking sessions with demonstration and participation with plenty of tasters, informative talks on issues of health and human ecology and take home a Clearspring Starter Pack of foods to help you in the weeks ahead.
What’s Included In Your Day:
Teas and snacks, when you arrive and on your breaks.
Servings of all dishes from the menu will be offered up in Generous Tasters. You will not leave hungry.
Clearspring Starter Pack filled with fabulous products geared toward making the recipes you will be shown on the day.
Two Talks: Understanding the Gut Biome with Dr Mahesh Mesh Shah and What You Eat and Who You Are with Bill Tara
Demonstration and Participation in preparation of todays menu with Marlene Watson-Tara and Jutta List
Your health questions answered by the whole team.
Recipes and educational tutorials to download to your electronic device.
What’s On The Menu With Quick Meals For Busy People
- Miso Broth With Tamari & Ginger
- Creamy Short Grain Brown Rice Risotto With Roasted Flaked Almonds
- Thai Chickpea Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Coconut Curry
- Energised Greens Topped with Sweet Balsamic Glaze & White Sesame Seeds
- Mini Orange Chocolate Pots
NEW YEAR SPECIAL REDUCED COST £169
People come to the vegan way of living for many reasons. It may be personal health, animals or environment but creating and maintaining good health is something we all need.
Learn the simple yet effective ways to create a perfect diet.
- Lose Weight
- Prevent Disease
- Gain Vitality
- Lower Cholesterol
- Reverse Type II Diabetes
- Reduce Inflammation
- Learn The Art of Graceful Ageing
We look forward to welcoming you.
In good health
Vegan Health Coaching
Health Counselling & Food Coaching Service with International Author, Health Counsellor & Cooking Teacher Marlene Watson-Tara. Based in Godalming, Surrey, Marlene is an expert in her field with 40 years’ experience of transforming lives around the world. As a high profiled and dedicated health counsellor and teacher she brings decades of experience in her studies from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Macrobiotics and is also a graduate in Plant-Based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell Centre for Nutrition, Cornell.
An unhealthy diet sets in motion a downward spiral of physical deterioration that leads to many illnesses including cancer. Eating well today means eating a whole-foods plant-based diet, there is no question about that. For a lifetime of health, you must eat food as it grows in its natural form.
Suffering from a host of degenerative diseases? Need help getting started, or clarification on just what it takes to eat well as part of your healthy lifestyle? Come and learn about ‘diet and the development of disease’ at our Ultimate Health Experience Retreat. Bill and I will share a combined 90 years of teaching experience that will change your life.
I have counselled people around the world with many illnesses from cancer to heart disease, digestive problems, diabetes, a host of auto-immune diseases including many forms of arthritis, autism, eczema etc., I assist them with their recovery back to renewed health. What we eat is the key to human destiny. I design a 21-day dietary/lifestyle programme for clients that assists the body in recovery by removing the nutritional stress and facilitating discharge of excess. My cooking classes and workshops are educational, fun and include a delicious tasting lunch. Prevention is key to a long and vibrant life. Good health is sustainable for all. The biggest form of mass destruction lies at the end of your fork.
(A) One Hour Health Consultation Via Skype Or Telephone: Cost: £75
(B) Full Prescriptive Programme In Person or Via Skype Includes 6 Week Follow up (2 on Skype, 4 on email) downloadable cooking classes and a 70 page booklet designed with recipes and medicinal teas for your particular health needs: £250
I look forward to guiding you back to renewed health.
In good health
Vegan Cooking & Nutrition Classes Godalming and London
The world at large is moving more and more towards a plant-based diet and a vegan way of life. As a long time vegan, this makes my heart sing with joy. The vanguard of modern nutrition now agrees that plant-based diets are not only better for our health but are far superior to animal-based diets. My joy is to be able to share my work with so many who come to learn the basics of cooking and eating a delicious array of dishes. They are in awe of the absolute delicious tastes and variations that they are introduced to at my cooking classes and workshops.
The key to success is using a variety of wholegrain, beans, vegetables from land and sea, seeds, nuts, fruits and delicious condiments such as pickled and pressed vegetables.
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter Vegan Cooking Classes in Godalming and London with International Author & Teacher Marlene Watson-Tara
I am a health expert with four decades of teaching. As the international author of Go Vegan I will bring you back to nature's way of eating. You not only feel natural you become naturally better in every way. Seeing is believing. I teach a user-friendly common sense approach to understanding food. My classes are fun and informative. We will cook together, eat lunch together and enjoy some educational lectures and presentations. In the meantime, you can start enjoying my recipes immediately.
I look forward to meeting you and sharing my decades of experience to enhance your health, wellbeing and longevity.
In good health