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Easy Macrobiotics with Mama Tomiko

I meet a lot of people interested in macrobiotics, who begin reading about it and immediately encounter a maze of what they can't eat and can't do. After my years of experience, I have come to believe that instead of immediately trying to achieve 100% of the macrobiotic ideal and running out of motivation along the way, it is better to start with what you can handle easily and gradually approaching an ideal diet from there.

Mama Tomiko

It really isn't surprising that many people see macrobiotics as something difficult after reading a book about the subject.
"Don't do this, don't eat that, 'Yin' this and 'Yang' that…"
It's as if you are being asked to re-invent yourself overnight. Unfortunately this barrier is too tall to climb for some people curious about macrobiotics.

I think it's great if you want to start out by trying to be perfect, but rather than increasing your overall stress, there is a lot to be said for starting out by nailing down the basics. As you become more comfortable, you can continue to grow into the macrobiotic lifestyle. If you want something more difficult, there is no shortage of books on what else you can try.:-D

I am often asked where to start when it comes to macrobiotics and here are some of the basics that I usually share.

The first concept I talk about is "Shindofuji" which means a peerless body from the earth, or put in easier terms, "local production for local consumption." The most natural thing for your body is to eat the products of the land around you when they are in peak season. Just look for the foods that are grown in the nearby area and heaped up on display at your local grocery store. That is probably the food that is in season.
The food that is in season naturally has the most energy to give you. Always keep in mind that you get your energy from the food you eat. For example, scientifically speaking, the vitamins and nutrition of spinach has been measured to be up to 6 times as high when consumed in season.
"Ichibutsu Zentai" or Whole Foods
Put simply, this macrobiotic concept is to eat the whole food, not just its parts or derivatives.
For a vegetable, it means to eat everything, including the skin and roots. Food sources are balanced from the top to the bottom of the vegetable. In order to have a balanced body, it is important not to leave these elements out.
This includes the added benefit of reducing waste and contributes to both a healthier body and a healthier planet.
If you can keep the concepts of "Shindofuji" and "Ichibutsu Zentai" in mind, and eat locally grown whole foods in season, you won't have to worry too much about difficult things like maintaining the Yin and Yang balance.
Eat Detoxifying Foods
I can't emphasize enough how important this is.
I really favor red beans and whole grain rice for their detoxifying benefits.
Both foods really become tender and delicious in a pressure cooker.
If you can, it is best to eat the beans without sweetening them.
Detoxification involves helping your body to excrete the poisons that build up in your system. There are some people who may suffer symptoms of this process such as rashes or dry skin. If you are worried, I recommend you consult with an experienced macrobiotics practitioner.
If your body is overly inundated with poisonous compounds you may be shocked at the results or symptoms of this process. We wouldn't want you to quit from the shock, so if you are having problems I recommend you start more gradually.
In any case, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to witness the power that food holds over us.Don't you think it is better ti eat fine quality foods for everyday life.
Chew 100 Times Per Mouthful
Chewing your food 100 times per mouthful, until the food is truly softened, dramatically reduces the burden on your digestive system. Some people might understandably think, "There is no way I can chew 100 times," and if you are one of those people, you might start at 20-30 times per mouthful.
Eat Moderately
Eating too much at one time can place a great burden on your body. In particular, the modern person consumes too much animal protein.
One of the basic guidelines of macrobiotics is to make whole grain rice half of your food intake. I couldn't agree more.
I also want you to understand, that your body needs some time with an empty stomach. When your stomach is empty, your body burns the excess fat and cholesterol in your body. This fat and cholesterol often stores poisonous heavy metals and chemicals. Time with an empty stomach is an important part of detoxifying your system.
My rule of thumb is to make sure you don't eat for three hours before you sleep. If you find yourself itching to consume something, try coffee, tea, or perhaps green tea without milk or sugar.
For People Who Love to Snack
Instead of cutting off your snack supply cold turkey, it is probably best to work on cutting down how much and how often you are eating snacks.
For those who cook, an important thing you can do is replace processed white sugar with unprocessed beet sugar, which has more vitamins, or if that is impossible, try cutting down the amount of sugar you use in half. The key is to start with the things you are confident you can do successfully.
It's also best to eat snacks during the morning, or by 3 pm at the latest.
As your body changes, you will feel your body's call for refined white sugar begin to wane.
Frozen Foods
I think you should make the best of frozen foods.
Many people assume that macrobiotics equals whole grained rice and organic vegetables. Still, rather than limiting yourself to shriveled organic vegetables, its better to take advantage of vegetables that were frozen and vacuum packed immediately after harvest. After all, frozen foods are a bit of "human wisdom" too.
Must-have Ingredients
Gathering the following ingredients will enable you enjoy both a macrobiotic diet and the best of traditional Japanese cuisine. You can find them at a Japanese foods store or Asian market near you.
  • Miso paste
    A kind of seasoning. The basic ingredients of miso paste are soybeans. Miso paste is made by mixing and fermenting rice, wheat, malted soybeans, salt, and soybeans.
  • Cooking Sake (Rice Wine)
    Japanese sake used for cooking is generally called cooking sake.
  • Salt (Unprocessed salt is best)
  • Sugar
    Please try not to choose processed sugar, but to choose sugar made from polysaccharide grain.
  • Mirin(Sweet sake for seasoning)
    A kind of alcoholic drink used for Japanese cooking. Sweet in flavor and yellowish.
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
    Dried shiitake mushrooms which have good keeping quality. In macrobiotic cooking, dried shiitake mushroom or konbu is used to make soup stock.
  • Wakame or Seaweed
    Dried wakame or raw wakame is chosen depending on the usage.
  • Konbu or Kelp
    In macrobiotic cooking, konbu, as with shiitake mushroom, is used to make soup stock. Konbu is used for various ways. For example, it is used for boiled foods.