The theory states that all factors in our lives influence our health. Practiced by scholars, philosophers, physicians for centuries, the Macrobiotic approach combines elements of ancient Eastern medicine with western practices to create a healthful and wholesome way of life.
Macrobiotic principles include:
- Increase variety of foods
- Eat regularly and in small portions
- Chew food well, at least 50 times, for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients
- Eat only when hungry, stop when you're satisfied but not full
- Increase physical activity, exercising daily
- Use natural, non-toxic cosmetics and cleaning products
- Avoid long hot showers which deplete the body of minerals
- Eat in a relaxed manner, sitting with good posture and expressing gratitude
- Wear as much cotton clothing as possible
- Avoid excessive jewelry, synthetic or woolen clothing
- Spend time outside 30 minutes a day
- Sleep by midnight and avoid eating 2-3 hours before sleeping
- Drink liquids moderately
- Keep your home clean and if you can, have a green plant to enrich oxygen in the air
- Open the window, even in cold weather
- Avoid electric cooking devices (microwaves, ovens). Try to use a gas stove
- Use cast iron or stainless steel pots rather than aluminum or Teflon-coated
- Minimize use of TV, laptop and tablets. When using, protect your body from harmful electromagnetic fields with a protective shield
- Spend time in direct sunlight
- Have a positive outlook in life
- Sing, dance, laugh, smile
However, small changes make a huge impact.
How you can incorporate macrobiotic elements into your life
- Try to walk outside, even if it's around your house.
- Brush your teeth after dinner so you aren't tempted to eat late at night.
- Carry bottles of water around with you as a physical reminder that they need to be done by the day's end.
- Turn off the TV while eating dinner, even if you're by yourself.
- Taste your food to avoid over-eating it. In Mindful Eating: How Thinking About Your Food Will Change Your Life), I discuss how savoring your meals is a key component in health.
- And even if it means getting off Eat Feel Fresh, put down the laptop once in a while. I myself struggle with internet-addiction but sometimes we need to unplug to in order to restore. Your email will still be there when you come back.
Which Macrobiotic principles do you follow, and which do you struggle with most?