Macrobiotics; Weird, Radical and a Great Education!
What comes to mind when you think of Macrobiotics? Do you think that it’s a quack diet for cancer patients, or a radical and irresponsible way of eating? When you hear the word does it make you cringe and think of brown rice, seaweed and other weird foods?
Yin and Yang
When I began my study of food and health, it all started through Macrobiotics. My limited knowledge of Macrobiotics was that it was a strange diet for people with cancer, or a very rigid diet that some people raise their families with. After doing research and experimentation, what I found was that Macrobiotics was so much more than people eating brown rice, seaweed and tofu. So what is it, anyway? Macrobiotics is a way of looking at life and the universe. It is about action, and natural consequence. It has to do with balance as it relates to the energies of Yin and Yang; Yin being expansion, and Yang being contraction. Yin and Yang are not just categories of foods, but also of activities, feelings, climates and environments as well. So here, in a nutshell, is how it works.
You have a spectrum of forces, Yang being on one end and Yin on the other. Yang is, as explained before, a contractive energy; therefore, foods or activities that are Yang will produce an “inward” type of result. Some examples of Yang elements are: salt, meat, heat, concentration, weight lifting or very intense work. The opposite being Yin, or expansion, with these examples: water, sugar, fruit, alcohol, yoga, dance, spaciness.
The universe is full of the spectrum of these energies. As humans we are continuously seeking balance, whether or not we are aware of it. If we overdo something, our body or mind has to compensate – a push and pull. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So for example, if you have a very stressful job, you will naturally want to let off steam at the end of the day. You might drink alcohol, or do yoga, or take a bath or other Yin activities. You must balance these things or you may become mentally or emotionally overloaded, get into a car accident, or something else that stops you in your tracks and slows you down. I know this sounds a little new-agey, but if you think about it, it’s true. When do you get sick? Usually, when you need a break from life. If you do not take a break on your own, the laws of nature (Yin and Yang) step in and take over.
The Food We Eat
Here’s how to use this information in regard to food: If eating extremely, heavy meat or sugar (both on opposite ends of the spectrum) you will constantly be battling cravings of either one. If eating more in the middle of the Yin/Yang spectrum with more balanced foods such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, grains(unprocessed) and some fruits, you will crave less, keep your weight in check and feel more even and balanced in general. This technique can be used when you are sick or upset and need a feeling of calm and peace. Go to the center of the spectrum of Yin and Yang to get back to your own center. Of course, you should also take into account your climate, seasonal changes, body composition and lifestyle when eating for balance.
As you can see, Macrobiotics is so much more than specific foods to eat. It is a way of thinking about the world in relation to you, and how you balance life. People have used it as a healing diet, as well as a strict and radical plan for eating as a way of life. It is all of these things, and a great education that can keep you in control of your life and health! For more specific information about how Macrobiotics could help you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.