Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Macrobiotic Diet...

The Macrobiotic Diet as we know of it today, is commonly associated as a diet for cancer patients. Though, it does also appeal to people that are looking for a holistic approach to dieting. To go even further, the Macrobiotic Diet also brings together the physical and spiritual aspects of oneself. These are two things that people are commonly unaware of. Since the 1920's, this diet has gained popularity as an aid in hopes that it will slow down, stop, or help cure cancer or other diseases. It should be noted that there is no current medical data to conclusively support these claims. But, you should know that the Macrobiotic Diet has been around for a long time and that it quite interesting. It dates as far back to the writings of Hippocrates - about 300 B.C. or so. The Macrobiotic Diet focuses on two specific food categories to bring the body into "harmony" (balance). This is the spiritual aspect that is based from Chinese philosophy. You see, the two food categories are based on their taste, effect on the body, and properties. First is the "Yin". This represents the outward force, is cold, sweet, and passive. Then there is the opposite. The "Yang". This represents the inward force, is hot, salty, and is aggressive. So now knowing this, we can take foods and categorize them. Note that the Yin foods are emphasized to bring the body to it's natural order of harmony.  Even though they are considered as Yin, those foods considered for the Macrobiotic Diet are not extreme, but yet moderate. These foods are mainly whole grains and fresh vegetables. To be more specific, the following breakdown depicts the Macrobiotic Diet.
  • Whole Grains - these are believed to bring the most harmony (balance). These whole grain choices are: brown rice, barley, oats, corn, rye, whole wheat, and buckwheat. These foods will consist of 50% - 60% of the diet. Though, for those with Celiac's Disease and/or whom are allergic to these foods - STOP RIGHT HERE. This diet would not be for you. These foods would aggravate your condition.
  • Fresh Vegetables - organic and locally grown. The vegetable choices are: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnips, onion, akorn/butter squash, and  pumpkin. These foods will consist of  25% - 30% of the diet. They can be eaten raw, lightly steamed, or sauteed. 
  • Beans and Sea Vegetables - organic and locally grown. The bean choices are: chickpeas, adzuki beans, lentils, and tofu. The sea vegetable choices are: wakame, hijiki, kombu, and noki. I tell ya, the sea veggies maybe rich in vitamins/minerals, but I have never heard of them. These foods will consist of 5% - 10% of the diet.
  •  Soups and Broths - organic and locally grown. These choices would have: miso (soy bean paste), vegetables, and beans. These foods will consist of 5% - 10% of the diet.
Finally, we could sum up the DO's and DON'Ts as: no processed foods, no animal foods (including eggs and dairy), no microwave cooking, chew your food thoroughly, pressure cook your rice (no frying), eat only when you are hungry, no soda, no caffeinated beverages, no smoking, no alcohol, drink purified water, or drink decaffeinated teas.

Marobiotic Diet Definition Link
Macrobiotic Recipes Link
Macrobiotic Cookbook Link

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