Never in human history has there been such a glut of food available yet human beings don't know what to eat. The vested interest of food corporations have created a tsunami of diseases across the globe. There is an urgent need for a new approach to the human diet, one that cuts through the commercial PR, the political caution and the nutritional confusion.
The Modern Macrobiotic Diet & Lifestyle
The Macrobiotic 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. Our teaching is based on habits and practices of long-standing world civilizations that continue to live without chronic diseases. A macrobiotic lifestyle emphasizes not just a plant-based vegan diet but practices including scheduled eating, taking a walk every day, and sitting down and enjoying your meals. To be completely healthy, you need to feel vibrant and balanced mentally, physically, and spiritually.
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. This way of living addresses the requirements for vibrant health as well as a delicious, diverse and socially responsible way of eating.
As you can see, there is more to living a macrobiotic way of life than getting excited every time a rock star or movie star eats a piece of tofu and then claims to be macrobiotic, but what does that mean? Is it the latest fad diet or is there some reason we hear about this approach to a healthy life so often?
Macrobiotic dietary principles have been developed over the past 50 years in America, Europe and Asia. In the 70’s my husband Bill Tara along with his teacher Michio Kushi and some other colleagues defined what a standard macrobiotic diet entailed. Macrobiotic foods include wholegrain, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and naturally pickled and fermented foods. Our MACROVegan approach avoids all animal foods, dairy, processed foods, and refined sugar.
Why does Macrobiotics have such a heavy focus on carbohydrates?
People with the greatest longevity live on a complex (unrefined) carbohydrate diet. Japan, the country with the highest life span and lowest number of chronic diseases, incorporates grains in every meal. The reason is that healthy carbohydrates go through the entire digestive process which allows all nutrients and minerals to be absorbed in the large intestine. A strong large intestine lead to healthy lungs, strong immune system, and clear thinking.
The Macrobiotic diet as it stands is one of the few that conforms to the latest nutritional theories and recommendations of such bodies as the World Health Organization. The overwhelming evidence of contemporary science is that food is a major contributing cause of many cancers, stroke, diabetes, heart disease and a variety of major illnesses. The particular dietary factors most implicated in this relationship are: Over consumption of meat, dairy and simple sugars. Diets that are dominated by these foods are also usually devoid of whole cereal grains, vegetable protein, adequate fresh vegetables and fruits, seeds and nuts. These are the foods that are the foundation of macrobiotic eating.
The macrobiotic diet is again gaining popularity simply because it works not only as a detoxifying programme, or a healing diet but is excellent for health maintenance. One of the main reasons that people are drawn to macrobiotics is that the food is delicious and filling. Modern macrobiotic diets generally feature a fusion of European, Mediterranean and Asian cooking. Remember all those movie stars? The reason they follow this programme is because it is often noted that when people eat this way, they look younger, have greater vitality and physical flexibility.
While specific dietary patterns may be suggested to suit specific health issues, the application of macrobiotic principles to nutrition is not an attempt to therapeutically cure the illness. The macrobiotic approach to eating is focused on assisting the body to recover from nutritional stress, often the result of the modern diet, and return to a more sensible state of biological balance. In the process of returning to a more balanced state the body is able to recover its own self-healing capacity.