In 1993 I began my journey into Macrobiotics to heal from Chronic Fatigue Sydnrome that was a byproduct of Dengue Fever that I contracted in India. It was a slow, steady re-direction towards health with ups and downs along the way. I committed to this as my way of healing and I had trust that one day I would get there. I believed in the power of food to change the body/mind and stayed with that.
In a recent cooking class, I was given the feedback that the word Macrobiotics had remained a mystery in their minds for some time wondering if it had something to do with a science laboratory and what did that have to do with cooking anyway? One student had stayed away from pursuing her interest in this style of preparing wholesome food thinking it was somehow related to large bugs. I kid you not. Well, I felt it was time to set the record straight. The word Macrobiotics translates from the Greek word macro meaning big or great and biotic meaning life. So what you get is great life or the big picture of life. Now what does this have to do with cooking? Quite a lot when one considers the preparation and eating of food to be an integral part of what makes up ones day to day moods, energy levels and general health.
I have always loved this principle that everything is connected and all things are part of the whole. The Chinese have refered to this ancient concept as Tao. Through this principle of unity, one can use food as a way of bringing wholeness and balance back into the body. I know you've heard it before and I'll say it again: you are what you eat. In other words, what went into the body yesterday helped build the bones and blood of today. Therefore if one has been eating a diet of refined and processed food for a long time, the chances of an imbalance in the body is highly likely. Return to a diet of whole and natural foods and the body/mind begins to resonate with this vibration of wholeness and return to balance.
Reflections on recent article in the New York Times about Study on Low Fat Diet not influencing health.
In light of the recent New York Times article stating that there was no significant statistics regarding increased protection from cancer and heart disease after following 49,000 women for 8 years, I have felt compelled to offer my feedback. As one of my astute and intelligent students pointed out to me recently, this was a very extensive and thorough study and results should be taken seriously, I re-read the report and still I have strong feelings that I wanted to share.
If I were a novice to the health food industry and what to eat to achieve better health and vitality, I would be as dizzy as can be. Gluten-free diet, zone diet, raw food vs. cooked food, no carbohydrates, high protein, a-potato-a-day to counteract sugar cravings...need I say more? Fortunately, I came across macrobiotics many years ago and discovered first-hand the healing power of wholefoods as I passed through a 7-year recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Oh, how sweet it is - naughty, seductive, enticing sugar. It promises so much - a quick energy boost and a smile on our face - but alas, it just doesn't deliver the goods. The fleeting rush followed by the blood sugar plummeting leaves us more fatigued than before and irritable as well. Not only does refined sugar enter the bloodstream rapidly causing a shock to the stomach and pancreas; it creates an acidic condition which robs the body's natural mineral stores as well as depleting much-needed calcium causing weakness in bones and teeth.
In my years of teaching macrobiotic/wholefoods cooking, I would have to say that the most frequently heard question is "What can I eat for breakfast? What do you eat for breakfast?" It's an interesting question, and it makes me wonder what people are eating prior to their transition towards more wholesome foods.
Spring has arrived - a time to start introducing more raw foods, more salads and light freshness into our diets - moving away from the longer-cooked, warming stews and soups of winter. So what are some good lunch choices if one is pursuing a wholefoods diet
Lately I have been pondering the incredible dynamics set up in the "food/diet/healthy eating" world that when one is eating the good food, the right food, the healthy food then one is a good person. Likewise, the other side is there: when one makes food choices that go against one's belief system of what is good for them, then feelings of guilt, shame, disappointment arise. This then sets up a whole pattern of feeling negative towards the self and then a feeling of "why bother anyway" can arise. The downward spiral begins.
Last night was the 10th meeting of the first SAD to GLAD three month course.
SAD = Standard Australian Diet... GLAD = Great Life Australian Diet.
We kicked off our shoes, sat around the fireplace and let the baked beans with apple butter, miso and mustard cook themselves and shared whether we had reached our individual goals.