Macrobiotics embraces the traditional wisdom and intuitive common sense of East and West, its principles inspire and guide us toward a more ecological and sustainable life, of freedom, justice and responsibility, that encourage us to live harmoniously with good relationships and the best possible health for our mind, body, spirit and environment.
The word macrobiotics stands fo the great life or the big view of life and implies an unconditional appreciation and gratitude for all life whatever our circumstances. It is not a diet, religion or a fixed dogma but the art of living to our full human potential, trusting in our selves and the process of the universe we belong to.
It provides a practical, down-to-earth way to see the wholeness and connection of everything in life, from the tiniest cell in our body, to the farthest star in the cosmos, the constant interplay of contraction and expansion and universal principle of complementary opposites.
To know our origin inspires us to respect and trust nature. Its’ seasons, cycles and unending rhythms working between the sun, moon and stars. To use our observation and unique ability to think things over or reflect is part of the big view.
Macrobiotics can be described as a path, a way of life, a philosophy, or an approach to life. Either way we recognize the vital importance of wholesome nourishment through quality natural food and cooking; unpolluted air, clean flowing water and flourishing trees.
It has helped people take a healthy authentic path in life and it follows that organic, natural agriculture and land management is the most abundant, economical and healthy way to grow food throughout the world.
Look up ‘diet’ in a dictionary and see: the food and drink that a person or animal regularly consumes 13th century from Old French diete, from Latin diaeta, from Greek diaita mode of living, from diaitan ~to direct ones own life .
This is important because over the last decade it has become clear that our natural resilience has been seriously undermined by the consumption of industrialized processed food. Monoculture and the use of chemicals, hormones and pesticides are further contributing factors. To eat well and take exercise will strengthen our resilience and assist our direction.
Inspired by this ‘big view,’ there have been many pioneers in Macrobiotics over the past 50 years:
- In the Wholefood business through small shops and the cultivation and distribution of organic food in different countries, employing many people
- Through teaching home cooking and natural remedies for all the family
- Organic gourmet cuisine for restaurants
- The use of natural fabrics like cotton, silk, linen
- Making futons.
- With the introduction of Shiatsu and Acupuncture, yoga exercises and self-diagnosis techniques such as Do-In, palm healing, sound vibration and meditation.
- The introduction of health in the home, hotels and business through the art and practice of Feng Shui and an understanding of personal life cycles with Nine Star Ki.
- Through all these distinct practices runs the common thread of the elegant, ancient and at the same time very modern, Five Elements System.
Without doubt it can be said that Macrobiotics has been a subtle yet dynamic inspiration for over 40 years in England, the USA and across the world (see links & centres). People from many cultures have committed their lives to creating the natural foods movement, natural agriculture, natural fabrics and futons. Founding Schools of Shiatsu, Feng Shui, Natural Cooking, Healing: and consciously working toward a vision of helping to create a Peaceful World.
We thank them for their contribution and inspiration, so that now more people have the opportunity to use these down-to-earth principles as part of their ethical choice and a common sense guide to living. We trust that you may discover some of this view of life, complete with with its’ challenges and mysteries.
The Food We Eat
The food we eat is the most powerful form of nourishment we take into our body, every day from the moment of our conception to death. Food makes our blood and so it provides one of the building blocks for our physical body, our mind, mood and emotions. Food affects how we feel, think, develop and respond to everything around us. Not only is the food itself important, but also how it is grown and harvested, transported, stored, contained, wrapped, cooked and eaten is also vital. How we dispose of the waste, create compost and care for the land; this whole amazing cycle is the basis of all economies and life on Earth throughout the world.
Using fresh ingredients that are organically grown where possible. An array of seasonal vegetables and fruits, whole grains and pasta’s, dried beans, lentils, seaweeds, nuts, seeds and pickles. Some fish, occasional free-range eggs if desired, and organic or wild meat on special occasions such as a family celebration we can prepare and cook a vast selection of dishes using unrefined, unprocessed foods (and which come with little or no packaging).
With practice in cooking we develop an intuitive awareness of our needs and those of the family. For example; what type of food and cooking is best in the weeks before an exam, during pregnancy, in old age, to boost the immune system, to relax after a hard working week or long- haul flight, to keep warm and strong on a long winter walk. We consider the changing seasons, the essential qualities of different foods and a wide variety of cooking styles to sustain our lives instead of straining them!
It is best to avoid coloured fizzy drinks or cola, refined sugar, dairy food, commercial bread and biscuits with hydrogenated oils and highly refined flour products like pastries and most meat and poultry. The detrimental effect of additives, artificial sweeteners, e numbers and highly processed foods are now well known.