I recently wrote an article about organic food and how it is better for you and the environment; however, after conversing with a friend I found out that her diet consists of something a little more extreme. She and her husband eat a macrobiotic diet. WebMD Expert, Kathleen M. Zelman, explains it is a way of life consisting of a natural, organic, plant-based type of diet. It originated in Japan and it combines Zen Buddhism with Western-Style vegetarian diets and is “all about a spiritualism that transcends lifestyle, attitude, and diet practices.” The word “macrobiotic” is actually a Greek word that means “long life” or “great life” that was coined by Hippocrates, the father of western medicine (Zelman, 2011 & Kushi, n.d.). It is believed, although not scientifically proven, that this diet may protect against cancer and other type of chronic diseases.
However, living a macrobiotic lifestyle includes a very strict diet. One which excludes things such as “fatty meats, most dairy products, sugar, coffee, caffeinated teas, stimulating beverages, alcohol, chocolate, refined flour, very hot spices, chemicals and preservatives, poultry, potatoes, and zucchini” (Zelman, 2011). The point of the diet is to include yin and yang equally in order to have a Zen-like balance. Yin are cold, sweet, and passive foods and yang are hot, salty, and aggressive.
The Kushi Institute Center for Natural Healing, located in Massachusetts, notes on their website that “[by] using macrobiotic principles to address and adjust environmental, dietary and lifestyle influences, thousands of individuals have been able to prolong their lives by recovering from a wide range of illnesses including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many others.” The diet includes eating more whole grains, beans and fresh vegetables that are native to the person’s environment while possessing an active lifestyle and a positive outlook on life.
Those who are interested in learning more about how to live a macrobiotic lifestyle can contact the Macrobiotic Foundation of Central Florida (407) 672-2356 where their initiative is to have at least one activity per month such as guest speakers, cooking classes, picnics or buffets.
The website also provides a list of restaurants that serve vegetarian food that can be considered macrobiotic based on how the food is cooked, whether or not it is organic, and if it has been chemically processed. Some of these restaurants include:
- The Garden Café
810 W Colonial Drive
- The California Grill
Disney’s Contemporary Resort, 15th Floor
4600 N. World Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL
- Momo ‘s Japanese Restaurant
110 S. Semoran Blvd.
Winter Park, FL
- Sushi Hatsu Japanese Restaurant
24 E. Washington Street
- Seasons 52
7700 Sand Lake Road
You can also find a list of Cafés and Deli’s such as the California Café Bar and Grill, Power House Café, and Whole Food Market, so be sure to check it out if you want to reap the benefits of living a macrobiotic lifestyle.