Monday, March 21, 2011

All About Macrobiotics

by Leslie Ashburn

Macrobiotics is a flexible and practical approach to living based on using the world’s healthiest foods and traditional lifestyle practices to achieve wholeness, balance, and harmony in all dimensions of our lives. Food is energy and helps us create and become who we are. Macrobiotics is not a set of rules. It’s about personal power and choices, recognizing that each individual has the ultimate ability to decide how to apply these dietary principles and becomes responsible for everything that is put into one’s mouth and body. Everyone is different and no one set of standards or rules will apply to an individual condition. It’s important to make connections between what we eat and how we feel. With reflection, we can begin to empower ourselves to live better and healthier lives.

Emphasis is placed on:

  • eating a wide variety of foods grown locally, organically, and in season
  • utilizing a wide variety of simple cooking techniques
  • centering one’s diet on plant-based, unprocessed, unrefined foods
  • avoiding chemicals, pesticides, and other non-traditional methods of preparation

There are many benefits to a whole foods diet.

We develop strong mental, physical, and emotional health.
  • Studies show that a diet centered on plant-based foods improves blood sugar control, weight loss, and cardiovascular health, reduces cancer risk, and minimizes food addictions, to name just a few diet and lifestyle related items.
  • Eating consciously is good for the environment, farmers, and local economy.
  • Reducing intake of animal food reduces our carbon footprint.
  • Eating locally is more sustainable; besides being fresher, it supports local farmers and the local economy.
  • Eating organically is good for maintaining healthy ecosystems and protects the Earth, farmers, their children, and the local community from dangerous chemicals.
  • Eating seasonally keeps us harmonized with nature like traditional societies have practiced for thousands of years.

We know ourselves better
  • Practicing macrobiotics is not about following a rigid set of rules. It’s about making conscious connections between diet and lifestyle, and then how we feel as a result, and deciding what type of life we’d like to lead. It’s about flexibly adapting day to day to help us live our best possible life.

Basics for the kitchen
  • A person enjoying macrobiotic principles fills his or her kitchen with a wide variety of whole grains, beans and bean products, land and sea vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and natural condiments such as good quality oils, sea salt, shoyu, miso, brown rice vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, and natural sweeteners like brown rice syrup, amasake, and barley malt.
  • Cooking utensils typically include a variety of items such as stainless steel and earthen ware pots, a grater, pressure cooker, knife, steamer basket, mesh strainer, and bamboo mats.
  • Cooking techniques may include raw, steaming, blanching, boiling, sautéing, deep frying, pan frying, pressing, pickling, pressure cooking and baking
To learn hands-on techniques in preparing delicious macrobiotic foods, consider signing up for Chef Leslie's popular cooking series. Starts April 10th!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment