Are you seeking balance in your life? Do you feel out of sync, struggling with low energy, decreased sex drive, and fending off one illness after another? A solution may be the macrobiotic diet. More of a lifestyle change than a diet the macrobiotic way of eating encourages people to go back to their roots and eat foods common of their ancestors and their local climate. Individuals that follow this style of eating report increased immunity, lowered risk for heart disease, cancers, and an increase in energy and overall happiness and wellness.
The Basics of the Macrobiotic Diet
This way of eating has been around for centuries, but it was during the 1960s during the peace, love, and happiness movement that the diet gained popularity and became recognized by the mainstream. Praised for its restorative qualities, the macrobiotic diet principles are based on the following:
- Plant-based diet consisting of certain ratios of whole grain (40 – 60%), vegetable (20 – 30%), and legume (5 – 10%) for daily consumption
- Eating foods that are locally grown
- Adaptive cooking based on the season
- Wasting nothing of the food, eating skins and all other parts of the food
Shopping at a Farmers’ Market for Macrobiotic Foods
One of the easiest ways to incorporate the macrobiotic diet into your lifestyle is to take advantage of local farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets are a mecca for individuals interested in living a whole food lifestyle and embarking on a macrobiotic journey. However, you have to be cautious when shopping at a farmers’ market because not every item under the canopies is fit for a macrobiotic diet. Stick with markets that advertise the following:
Certified organic markets: These markets require their vendors to adhere to strict growing policies. Not only are farmers expected to sell the items they grow (not sell other farmers items), but they are also expected to grow all produce, vegetables, and grains chemical-free, using only natural pesticides and other natural methods to sow their food.
Locally grown produce: In order to eat a true macrobiotic diet, a person needs to eat foods that are locally grown and native to the climate of the person. For example, if you live in the Midwest and purchase bananas from the market this is not buying produce that is native to your climate. Instead, a Midwesterner should purchase apples that are grown in an orchard no farther than 100 miles away. To a person eating a macrobiotic diet, this is what it means to eat locally.
Living the Macrobiotic Lifestyle
Individuals interested in eating in this manner need to be prepared for a major lifestyle change. It can take time to adjust to whole food eating, but the benefits such as reduced cholesterol, increased immunity, weight loss, and natural detox are well worth the effort for many people. Remember to speak with your physician to ensure that all your nutritional needs are met when starting a new diet and that any underlying medical conditions will not be affected by a macrobiotic diet.