What is a Macrobiotic Diet

The key concept of macrobiotics is the need to balance yin and yang energies. The concept is that health is a balance and harmony between complimentary energies, not combat among opposing ones. It is the balance between our inner and outer environment, between mental and physical activity, between cooked and raw food, between salt and oil, and between countless other interrelated factors. Yin and yang, the universal forces of expansion and contraction, create all phenomena. The term macrobiotic comes from two Greek words, macro, meaning long or great, and biotic, meaning life.

On the extreme yang end of the food spectrum are meat, poultry, eggs, hard dairy foods, and refined salt that are too contracted for regular consumption. On the extreme yin end, soft dairy foods, tropical fruits and vegetables, honey and sugar, coffee and other stimulants, and alcohol are too expansive for ordinary use. Between these two extremes is a central category of foods that are more balanced and appropriate for daily human consumption. These include whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, seeds and nuts, and locally grown fruits.

Although I do not follow a macrobiotic diet strictly, I always come back to it when I am off balance or need to get rid of some extra weight. The diet gives me lots of energy and I do not feel so full after I eat. Because there is no dairy, sugar or meat, there is more balance. For example, when you allow yourself to have that dessert more often, the sugar craving takes over and you want sugar every day. A blander diet also stops that overeating problem many of us have. I recommend you start by finding a cooking class. Because it is a lifestyle, the macrobiotic diet has many facets. In almost every major city there are restaurants that strictly serve macrobiotic, and most offer cooking classes.