Macrobiotics is a lifestyle and diet regime, based on Taoist teachings of yin and yang. It is an approach to life that a person says that they should be more connected with nature and noting her energy that is all around us. Its name comes from two Greek words, and it Makros - long or large and bios - life. As their basic food macrobiotic accepts cereals, local vegetables and other local products. Macrobiotics is incompatible with overeating and recommends that before ingesting food thoroughly and properly chewed.
History of Macrobiotics
The founder of Macrobiotics is considered George Ohsawa (Japan). Macrobiotics is a modern system. Its founder was based of the traditional Japanese lifestyle, oriental medicine, Taoist philosophy and also put in their own elements. The primary objective is not macrobiotic diet, but its main purpose and conviction is to open the path to spiritual uplift.
In year 1965 issued Ohsawa basic book "Zen - macrobiotics." Ohsawa proposed ten degrees (normal practice for only seven) macrobiotic diet from a very strict one-sided diet consisting only of corn, to the freer, more varied diets. He believed that the missing ingredient one gets the transmutation of authorized food ingredients. Among his followers are unfamiliar Michio Kushi with his "cosmic medicine", and Tomio Kikuchi, who Ohsawovo learning somewhat modified.
Macrobiotic quickly spread first in Oriental countries and by the end of the 20th century expanded to the United States and Europe in connection with the spreading of postmodernism, increased interest in spirituality and oriental culture overall. Macrobiotics penetration into the lives of ordinary Americans and Europeans were also accompanied and supported by intensive propaganda, publishing literature and setting up special centers.
Even in the Czech Republic in 1992 was held international macrobiotic Congress. At present, however, macrobiotics somewhat on the wane, and is among the less important in today existing alternative diets.
Macrobiotic - principles
Macrobiotics is essentially governed by two main groups - yin and yang. All foods can be assigned to one or the other of these groups. Strength jin is centrifugal force (releasing), centripetal force, on the contrary yang (astringent). An imbalance in these two forces can then cause disease.
- Among the food groups jin include sugar, honey or coffee, tea, chocolate, carob, fruit alcohol, milk, yogurt, cream, oil, and fruit juices.
- The jang food group contains foods based on animal origins such as red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, cheese and salt.
Macrobiotic principles say that if we eat too much yin, then we risk enervation of organism. This situation in turn leads to inflammation or digestive problems. If we eat too much food groups yang causes us knotting and hardening of the tissues, leading to knotting the arterial wall and cardiovascular problems resulting infarct.
The basic steps that must be followed if you start with a macrobiotic
Do any changes gradually, abrupt transitions and strong actions wouldn't bettered your health, rather the opposite and try to adhere to the following procedures and recommendations.
- Eat food from your area (better yet from your area in which you live and reside), and also those foods that are appropriate for the season.
- Eliminate any canned food, exotic fruit and frozen foods.
- Avoid foods that are chemically treated, refined or otherwise processed (e.g. semi finished products).
- The basis of a healthy diet is grains, legumes and vegetables. Add the vegetables at every meal, preferably cooked, as a salad or as fermentation.
- Gradually add legumes to your diet - soak overnight and then an hour to cook a piece of kombu seaweed and with some herbs. Gradually add to your diet some cereals.
- Eliminate from your diet all simple sugars, white flour, milk and dairy products, eggs, meat and meat products.
- Learn how to use the principles of yin and yang in food choice and thus avoid all extremes in diet.
- Learn how to deal with salt and salty specifics.
- Learn how to work with the acidity and alkalinity of foods.
- Plan your diet.
- Do not overeat, do not eat at night and chew food thoroughly. It is recommended to chew each mouthful at least 50 times. Only then replenish necessary digestive enzymes that are elsewhere in the digestive tract do not occur.
- Do not compare it with anyone else - we're all here for ourselves and each of us is unique. What is true for one person may not apply for another.
- Practice, breathe and meditate.
- Above all, keep the love and praise yourselves for every achievement.
Compared to the standard diet is in macrobiotic diet is a stronger representation of cereals (in the form of cooked grains) and legumes, much less fat, animal food ingredients and refined foods.
Typical foods macrobiotic diet
Ideal macrobiotic diet is based on foods that are not extremely yin or yang, but located somewhere on the border between the two groups. More than half of the daily food intake should consist of whole grains and cereals. Another part should contain local raw vegetables and other part legumes, seaweed and local fruit.
- The entire cereal grain - grain cereals are eaten whole. They are prepared in a pressure cooker cooking or baking in a ceramic pot. The main grains are wheat, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats and rye.
- Vegetables - preferably fresh and homemade. Most recommended are seasonal vegetables growing in the season and in the climates. During the winter it is advisable to consume, for example, pumpkin, cabbage and root vegetables. Fresh leafy vegetables are among the most nutritious foods. It is recommended to consume it mainly with a fish, because it helps the digestion of fish meat. A Root vegetable are harder to digest than leafy vegetable, but improves the quality of digestion, positively promotes circulation of the digestive system. Not very suitable vegetables are spinach, rhubarb, asparagus, chard and tomatoes because they contain large amounts of oxalate.
- Seaweed - are an important part of the macrobiotic diet. Seaweed is very nutritious.
- Legumes - contain high quality plant proteins, which are for the body much healthier than animal protein in meat.
- Soybean - contains easily digestible protein. The raw soy is inedible, so soy used in a modified state. The most widely used soy products include tofu, tempeh, miso and tamari or soy sauce Shoji.
- Supplementary foods - salt (exclusively sea salt, without additives), ginger, miso (supports intestinal flora), tamari (residual juice manufacturing misa), Shoji (soy sauce, for daily use is better than tamari), rice vinegar, onion , umeboshi plums (helps with digestion and maintain healthy intestinal flora). Use only natural sweeteners - barley malt, amasake (rice milk), apple syrup, rice syrup. Use only unrefined oils oil cold pressed oils- e.g. dark sesame oil or corn oil cold pressed. For the occasional use are also suitable olive oil, peanut oil (groundnut), soybean oil and sunflower oil. It is also suitable adequate consumption of fish and shellfish – they are recommended to be consumed together with an increased amount of vegetables that facilitates the digestion of meat. Among the recommended species include flounder, cod, herring and trout. Out of season you can eat dried fruit.
If you decide to switch to a macrobiotic diet, start with limit saturated fats, refined starches and sugars. Do diet shift more cereals, legumes, vegetables and seaweed. Every day, try to eat several kinds of grains and vegetables (vegetables mostly raw), legumes and seaweed. Basic kitchen equipment is a pressure cooker, wooden utensils, stainless steel utensils, stainless steel or ceramic knives, large stainless steel colander, ceramic bowls on baking in the oven. Wash food just before preparation and use them with peel, which contained the most valuable substances. Soak legumes before cooking for several hours (preferably overnight). Vegetables can be cooked by boiling, but it is preferable to prepare steamed. For the seasoning of vegetables we can use a small amount of soy sauce and a pinch of salt.
Food preparation in macrobiotics
Washing and cooking in macrobiotics is a very important part of cooking.
- Wash vegetable thoroughly with brush with natural bristles and to avoid removing of highest quality nutrition in the top skin. Vegetables are prepared by boiling in water, steam, a rapid frying in a small amount of fat. For steaming is used in stainless steel steamer.
- Seaweeds are rinsed in cold water three or four times. We can also let soak for a few minutes, because we will facilitate slicing.
- Rinse grains and legumes in situ in a pot with water and than replace water. Repeat this 2 or 3 times. Cook cereals in a pressure cooker without stirring. You can leave it after cooking in a pot still for five minutes' it will get cooked. Legumes are boiled longer than cereals. Before cooking pour the water from soaking and pour the clean water. Simmer slowly and check whether it is lack of water.
Opinions on macrobiotics
Macrobiotics has many supporters and promoters who consider it almost miraculous method that can prevent some diseases and their outbreaks, or it can overcome physical problems, help with infertility and likewise. People living by the principles of macrobiotics agree that they feel healthier and more vital. However, there are also those people who adheres macrobiotic regime too strictly, and later they began to discover health problems. These difficulties can be caused mainly by the fact that if someone accepts only cereals, fruits and vegetables, then have a lack of quality protein. Many experts also inclined to think that the macrobiotic diet can result in high levels of salt in the body.