Macrobiotics and health

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I had a great comment from Marston on my last post on macrobiotics. I completely agree that it’s tough to explain macrobiotics to people, although I find that talking about whole grains usually triggers something since that’s so high profile in food marketing these days. Usually I describe it as whole grains, no processed flours or sugars, very little animal protein, no dairy or eggs and lots of fresh vegetables.

I also found his comment about requiring less diabetes medication to be interesting as well. I have two Type II diabetics in my family, and one controls it completely through diet, the other eats whatever he wants and has to take medication, so diet can have a definite effect. Eating whole grains gives you a more consistent blood sugar level throughout the day, which is probably a key factor. I know that it has a huge impact on energy levels for me: where I used to require coffee to get through the afternoon slump, if I eat whole oats for breakfast, I have a consistent energy level all day. Also, the macrobiotic bias against nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant) helped another family member with great relief from her osteoarthritis symptoms, although she hasn’t stuck to the rest of the macrobiotic diet.

I kept a journal for a while after I started on macrobiotics but stopped back in the spring; I’ve just started doing it again to track what I eat and when I eat it against things like energy level, motivation (I work from home, so need a lot of that some days) and general well-being. Yesterday for lunch, for example, I had cold spicy soba noodles with a sauce of soy sauce, vinegars (red wine and rice), garlic, tahini and a bit of hot sauce, plus a green salad; for dinner, I had wheatberry salad. Today I’ve had whole oats for breakfast and will finish off the wheatberry salad for lunch, then will probably prepare a bit of fish and salad or a vegetable curry for dinner. I tend to use more spices than is advised in most macrobiotic references, but I love spicy food so have to indulge once in a while.

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