First remember that we’re all “doing” macrobiotics.
Just by existing we’re all governed by the laws of macrobiotics and therefore are “doing” macrobiotics. The question is not how do we “do” macrobiotics, but rather how do we “do” macrobiotics carefully, and with intent. Again, there are simple answers and very complicated ones. We will stick to the simple ones.
What do I eat?
The first answer is what don’t I eat. Since Macrobiotics is about getting as close to nature as possible, and processed foods are as far from natural as possible, then those foods have to be the first to go. Next, If we eliminate extreme Yin and Extreme Yang foods, we have gone most of the way towards macrobiotics. That means eliminating meat (red meat, chicken, eggs etc.) cheese, coffee, chips, crackers and other hard baked food. On the yin side, eliminate drugs and alcohol, sweets and soft dairy like yoghurt and soft cheese.
What’s left is all the seasonally available vegetables, whole grains, sea vegetables, plant proteins, condiments and your health.
How do I cook?
This is my favorite part of macrobiotics because it involves variety. And for me variety equals creativity. Variety is one of the main keys towards health in macrobiotics. So when you are planning a meal try to use a variety of:
Vegetable types (root, ground, leafy, sea, etc.)
Boiled rice with some wheat berries (enameled cast iron)
Steamed kale with toasted seeds (bamboo steamer)
Braised tempeh (stainless skillet)
Stir fry vegetables sprinkled with raw scallions (Steel wok)
Miso soup with wakami and other vegetables (ceramic pot)
Now that’s variety. You get the picture.
How do I eat?
That seems like an obvious question but it’s not really. With the idea of getting the most of our food, both nutritionally and energetically) just gobbling it down while watching T.V. isn’t the answer. Take your time and chew your food well. Make meal time a relaxing and mindful time. Try to eat your meals at regular times, and don’t eat less than three hours before going to sleep. Your body is doing a host of important things while you sleep, and digesting shouldn’t be one of them.
But what about the seasonal eating I’ve heard so much about?
According to macrobiotcs, seasonal eating is very important. Throughout the year changes are happening all the times, and for more about that….
Macrobiotics incorporates the idea of five transformations from traditional Chinese medicine. Like most things that are ancient, the theory of five transformations gets complicated quickly. So for beginning purposes we will concentrate on five seasons. Although we have four seasons in the west there is good and compelling reasons to consider five seasons. In most places in the west there is a separate and distinct “late summer” that is neither summer, nor fall. And that late summer is the fifth season.