Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Macrobiotic diets?

Monique, What can you tell me about macrobiotic diets? What makes a diet macrobiotic? Thanks, Mary Lynn

Answer: A macrobiotic diet is more than just a way of eating. It is a conscious way of living in harmony with the natural order of the universe (the Eastern yin - yang theory of balance to achieve optimum health). It is a philosophy of life's connectedness with everything in this world, from the spiritual to the physical.

This ancient principle states that you can maintain health and well-being by balancing the opposing forces of yin and yang, which run throughout everything in the universe. Foods are described as being either yin (feminine, passive) or yang (masculine, aggressive). They are eaten in a way to create a diet that is balanced - neither too yin nor too yang. This balance is achieved by following certain rules for choosing and preparing food. The climate, season, your age, gender, activity level, and health status all have an influence on dietary choices.

Whole grains make up about 50 percent of the daily caloric intake; vegetables make up 25 to 30 percent; sea vegetables, soy and other legumes about 5 to 15 percent, and the rest soup. Some macrobiotic followers eat fish, but not all. Whole grains are believed to be the ideal food because they're considered neutral, neither yin nor yang. Foods that are too yin (fruits, sugar and processed foods) or too yang (meat, cheese and eggs) are completely avoided. Nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant) are also totally avoided because they are thought to weaken the immune system. However, this may be based on superstition about the deadly nightshade family. Macrobiotic proponents also advocate only buying and eating seasonal, locally grown, organic produce. Supporters of the macrobiotic regiment believe this way of eating and living can prevent illness and cure various diseases.

Read more about Macrobiotic Diets at

Also, check out these books ...

Macrobiotics For Dummies
by Verne Varona

Modern-Day Macrobiotics: Transform Your Diet and Feed Your Mind, Body and Spirit
by Simon Brown

Eat Me Now!: Healthy Macrobiotic Cooking for Students and Busy People
by Melanie Brown Waxman

The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics: A Philosophy for Achieving a Radiant Mind and a Fabulous Body
by Jessica Porter

The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health: A Complete Guide to Naturally Preventing and Relieving More Than 200 Chronic Conditions and Disorders
by Michio Kushi and Alex Jack

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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.

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