Some are calling it the “pursuit of hippieness” but we just call it right. The macrobiotic diet was the original diet of the 1960’s flower children but it’s foundations actually go back way further than that. The macrobiotic diet maintains itself along the Asian yin-yang philosophy of finding your balance for health and vitality.
This type of diet is about coming full circle in your healthier, more holistic approach to simply being by synchronizing mental focus with your food choices —with weight loss or body maintenance becoming a natural byproduct of the overall long-term lifestyle.
Macrobiotic dieters are encouraged to:
- Eat regularly
- Chew Their Food Extremely Well
- Support Local Farming and Agriculture by Buying Locally Grown Produce (or growing it themselves)
- Stay Active
- Listen to Their Body
- Maintain a High-Spirited, Positive Mental Outlook
The macrobiotic is a mostly vegetarian, low-fat diet with a balance of different macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats). It mainly consists of brown rice, beans, sea vegetables and soups. So if you like all those things, you’re in luck!
Foods to Avoid include packaged and processed, refined sugar and sweeteners, dairy, chocolate or cocoa products, meat, eggs, coffee, tropical fruits, strong or hot spices, processed vegetarian proteins like soy isolate and synthetic protein powders, and nightshade vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.
You may be wondering, how come? While nightshades are not a problem for everyone, many do experience irregular digestive symptoms when consuming these foods such as allergies and leaky gut. Removing these veggies across the board is one common critique of the macrobiotic diet since many feel this isn’t necessary for most otherwise healthy people. That’s why its important that you listen to your body and respond to it accordingly.
Although giving up on things that serve our cravings like chocolate or coffee may be hard at first, the macrobiotic diet paves the way for a long-term lifestyle and therefore, it’s philosophy encourages that you ease your way into eliminating these foods from your diet at your own pace.
Why do it all?
- The Macrobiotic Diet is High in Essential Nutrients and Shown to Help Reduce Inflammation and Help Prevent Cancer: 2015 study by the School of Public Health the University of Memphis showed positive findings on the anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential of macrobiotic diet. They also found that the macrobiotic diet often met or exceeded RDA recommendations, with the exception of vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium.
- Can Help Support a Healthy Weight and Relationship to Eating: by encouraging its followers to chew their food thoroughly, a type of mindfulness goes into each bite which is in turn slowed down and savored. The diners awareness to the physical sensation of eating food makes way for an effective process known as biofeedback. This approach can help manage quantity consumption and increase enjoyment while also helping you avoid emotional eating out of boredom or negative feelings.
- Low in Sugar, Gluten and Packaged Foods: The macrobiotic diet is low in sugar, empty calories and artificial ingredients, making it a whole food and nutrient-dense based diet. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially those extracted from sea plants and vegetables and can also be potentially beneficial for those with food allergies since it eliminates common allergens that can cause indigestion.