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Macrobiotics: Diet and Lifestyle for Long-term Health


A frequent misunderstanding about macrobiotics is that itis a diet sick people use - cancer patients especially - inorder to heal. While it is true that a macrobioticapproach has helped a great many people get well,macrobiotics is much more than a mere diet, and it is foreveryone. Whether you're recovering from illness or simplyinterested in having greater vitality, macrobiotics is awholistic, natural system for good health and long life.

"Let food by thy medicine, and medicine thy food," is asaying from the ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates, whoalso coined the term "macrobiotics." In Greek, "makro"means long or large, and "bio" means life. A macrobioticapproach to good health begins with food and cooking,extending to include lifestyle and exercise. Daily walks,a grateful state of mind, and meditation for centeringoneself are among the practices of the system. Its purposeis to create a state of health that supports rather thanprevents a full and vibrant life.

Since Hippocrates coined the term, we know that theprinciples of macrobiotics have been around a long time.They're the same concepts that you'll find in any modernday nutrition or fitness class: high fiber, low fat, plentyof vegetables and grains, limited meat. Going beyond thesebasics, macrobiotics also includes healing foods such assea vegetables and ginger root.

To bring balance to one's physical and emotional conditionthrough utilizing food is the macrobiotic focus. Foodsthat have nutritional and energetic balance - yin and yang -are used: legumes, beans, whole grains, and vegetablesdominate. Red meat, dairy, refined sugar, and coffee areexamples of foods without balance and they are eliminated.For flavor, variety, and seasonal virtue, some oils, nuts,and fruits are used in small amounts. The variety addsinterest and also increases the nutrient range. The endresult is food both wholesome and delicious.

It is critically important that the food tastes goodbecause food is sensual, and if it doesn't appeal to oursenses, we won't eat it in the long run. It might take abit of time to develop the taste for macrobiotic cuisinebecause it is light and elegant in its simplicity. Here isan example of typically combined macrobiotic ingredientsfor an easy and tasty meal.

*Nutty Rice with Vegetables*

Cook 2 cups short or long grain brown rice in sea-saltedwater (2 and 1/2 cups water with 2 pinches sea salt). Coverthe pot tightly for 30-40 minutes on very low heat.

Parboil these vegetables separately for two minutes orless: 1/4 cup diced carrot, and 1/4 cup diced red onion,and 2 cups florets of broccoli. Allow to cool.

In a dry frying pan toast 1/2 cup walnuts over medium heatfor five minutes. Puree the toasted walnuts with oneteaspoon barley miso dissolved in some water.

Mix together the vegetables, rice, and puree. Then add thegrated peel of a lemon. Serve this dish warm or cool,rather than hot or cold. Enjoy!

Grace M. Navarro's articles on topics related to diet are published in Alta Diet News the leading resource on-line for information about diets. Visit the complete archive of articles here: http://www.altadiet.com/


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