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“Food is the chief of all things, the universal medicine. . . . Food transmutes directly into body, mind, and spirit . . . creates our day-to-day health and happiness.”
—from The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health
Even in medical schools, alternative medicine is blossoming. Two thirds of them now offer courses in complementary healing practices, including nutrition. At the heart of this revolution is macrobiotics, a simple, elegant, and delicious way of eating whose health benefits are being confirmed at an impressive rate by researchers around the world.
Macrobiotics is based on the laws of yin and yang—the complementary energies that flow throughout the universe and quicken every cell of our bodies and every morsel of the food we eat. Michio Kushi and Alex Jack, distinguished educators of the macrobiotic way, believe that almost every human ailment from the common cold to cancer can be helped, and often cured, by balancing the flow of energy (the ki) inside us. The most effective way to do this is to eat the right foods, according to our individual day-to-day needs. Now in this marvelous guide, they give us the basics of macrobiotic eating and living, and explain how to use this powerful source of healing to become healthier and happier, to prevent or relieve more than two hundred ailments, conditions, or disorders—both physical and psychological.
This encyclopedic compendium of macrobiotic fundamentals, remedies, menus, and recipes takes into account the newest thinking and evolving practices within the macrobiotic community. The authors integrate all the information into a remarkable A to Z guide to macrobiotic healing—from AIDS, allergies, and arthritis, to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. They also clearly explain what we need to know to start eating a true macrobiotic diet that will provide us with a complete balance of energy and nutrients.
Living as we all do in environmental and climactic circumstances that are largely outside our personal control, it is vital that we follow a healthy lifestyle, including a flexible diet that we can adjust to meet our own individual needs. The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health gives us precisely the tools and the understanding we need to achieve this goal. Use it to build a strong, active body and a cheerful, resourceful mind.
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Michio Kushi is a leader in the international macrobiotic community. The author of many books, Kushi received the Award of Excellence from the United Nations Writers Society. In recognition of his role in launching the modern health and diet revolution, the Smithsonian Institution opened a permanent Kushi Family Collection on Macrobiotics and Alternative Health Care in 1999. Kushi lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Alex Jack is an author, teacher, and dietary counselor. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Cancer Prevention Diet, Imagine a World Without Monarch Butterflies, and The Mozart Effect. President of Amberwaves, a network devoted to preserving whole grains from the threat of genetic engineering, he lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and family and can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Macrobiotic Way of Eating
As the 21st century begins, the world faces an unprecedented health and environmental crisis. New diseases and epidemics have emerged, family and social conflicts have increased, and ecological threats have multiplied and spread, imperiling humanity’s biological and spiritual evolution, as well as the future of other life on this planet. At the heart of this escalating crisis is the integrity of the world’s food supply. Genetic engineering, cloning, food irradiation, microwave cooking, and other new technologies are radically changing the way humans have eaten, fed their families, and managed their health for thousands of years, violating millions of years of natural order.
Personal and planetary health are inseparable. World hunger and poverty cannot be divorced from eating beef, chicken, and other animal foods that require up to ten times more grain to produce than growing grain directly for human consumption. SARS, AIDS, mad cow disease, and other new epidemics are connected with a widespread decline in natural immune function as a result of the modern way of eating and overmedicalization. Violence and war are intimately related to liver, kidney, and pancreatic imbalances that give rise to anger, fear, and greed on a personal, family, or societal level.
The macrobiotic way of eating is very broad and comprehensive. It has been observed by millions of human beings for thousands of years, contributing to health, happiness, and peace for endless generations and our species overall biological and spiritual evolution. For the most part, it is based on whole cereal grains (the traditional staff of life), vegetables from land and sea, beans, and other fresh foods, with a minimum of animal products. With the advent of the modern era about 400 years ago, this way of eating steadily declined around the world, as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy became the center of the diet; white flour and white rice displaced whole-wheat flour and brown rice; and canned and frozen foods, highly processed foods, and foods grown with or containing chemicals largely replaced fresh, local produce grown organically and consumed in season.
Today the modern supermarket and natural foods store contain a cornucopia of foods from all over the world. Bananas, mangoes, and other tropical foods are eaten by people living in the Arctic, while dwellers in the rain forest have access to hamburgers, french fries, and soft drinks. Watermelon, strawberries, and other perishable fruits are consumed in winter, and steak, fried chicken, and other heavy animal foods are consumed in summer. The typical family today rarely eats home-cooked food together, and electric or microwave ovens are found in the vast majority of households. The end result has been a wave of epidemic and degenerative disease, including heart disease, cancer, AIDS, new multiple-drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, and other afflictions. The advent of cloning and genetic modification of foods and medicines; the rise in organ transplants and implants, especially from animals to humans; the spread of artificial electromagnetic fields from computers, cell phones, and other technology; and the destruction of the environment, including desertification, the thinning of the ozone layer, and the onset of global warming, have contributed to a further decrease in natural immunity to disease. The biological degeneration of human beings, reflected in a sharp rise in infertility and the use of new artificial birth technologies, as well as the spread of infectious, degenerative, and immune-deficiency diseases, threatens the continued existence of our species. The modern evolutionary crisis encompasses all of the nearly 200 conditions and disorders dealt with in this book.
The world is now splitting into two directions. The first is respecting nature, traditional wisdom, and natural order. The second is oriented toward artificial intervention into natural processes. Our natural evolution on this planet will end if the second way prevails. The present situation is similar to that described in the story of Noah and the great flood. Unless we awaken to the spreading chaos around us, the earth will be engulfed by a biological catastrophe of its own making.
Our species and the planet as a whole are in urgent need of healing. For many years, the macrobiotic community has warned that the outer environment is a reflection of the inner environment and that the key to the health and environmental crisis is a return to a more natural way of life centered on a natural way of eating. Personal and planetary health are indivisible. When one person is nourished, the whole planet benefits. When the earth prospers, each person is energized and refreshed. Modern macrobiotics is devoted to creating a world of universal health, happiness, and peace in harmony with natural order for endless generations.
Despite the lack of a leading philosophy and its practical application to every dimension of the crisis, modern society is beginning to take positive steps to redress the balance. First, the health revolution, as noted in the introduction, is now spreading. This includes organic farming, the environmental movement, and the macrobiotic community. Modern science and medicine has rediscovered the central importance of whole grains, as reflected in the Food Guide Pyramid and other dietary and nutritional guidelines. Second, communications networks are elevating consciousness. Through the Internet, information on health and diet is easily exchanged, and there is the potential to reach every home or community directly through this new technology. Third, new alternative approaches to health and well-being have emerged that emphasize a balanced diet, healing with energy and vibration, and living a natural way of life.
The Macrobiotic Diet
The macrobiotic way of eating has been practiced widely throughout history. Each culture and civilization has applied principles of balance to the proper selection and preparation of food and developed a unique cuisine in harmony with its natural environment. The macrobiotic approach is based not only on meeting optimal nutritional needs but also on a deep understanding of the earth’s relation to the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies; the evolution of life on the planet; ancestral tradition and heritage; ever-changing environmental and climatic conditions; humidity, pressure, and other atmospheric influences; local availability, affordability, and other economic factors; natural storability and other practical considerations; and the effects of different foods and beverages on our mind, body, and spirit.
The macrobiotic way of eating is not a set diet that applies rigidly to everyone, but a flexible dietary approach that differs according to climate, environment, condition of health, sex, age, activity level, and personal need. Macrobiotics is the collective wisdom and universal heritage of humanity. It is not the manifestation, property, or exclusive possession of a single era, culture, society, nation, religion, school, family, or individual. The goal of macrobiotics is freedom—the ability to create and realize our dream in life as part of our endless spiritual journal in the infinite universe. Standard macrobiotic dietary practice provides almost limitless variety and choice to prepare healthful, delicious food suited to our unique requirements, needs, and goals. No food is prohibited in the macrobiotic way of eating, and no food will heal all diseases. The standard macrobiotic diet is based on a comprehensive approach that takes into account the overall balance of energy and nutrients of food and looks at multiple causes and effects. Table 1 summarizes the major approaches to healing.
In comparison with the modern way of eating, the standard macrobiotic way of eating has the following general nutritional characteristics:
· More complex carbohydrates, fewer simple sugars
· More vegetable-quality protein, less animal-quality protein
· Less overall fat consumption, more polyunsaturated fat, and less saturated fat
· A balance of various naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and less supplementation
· Use of more organically grown, natural food and more traditional food processing techniques and less chemically grown, artificially produced, or chemically processed foods
· Consumption of food primarily in whole form as much as possible and less refined, partial, or processed food
· Greater consumption of food that is high in natural fiber and less food that has been devitalized by overprocessing
The following guidelines represent a standard average for persons in usual good health. Those with one of the conditions described in this book may need to limit some types of foods, especially fish and seafood, fruit, juices, seeds and nuts, snacks, and desserts, as well as the amount of salt, oil, or other seasoning used in cooking, until their health improves. Please refer to the specific conditions and disorders in Part II for dietary advice and Part III for one of three comprehensive healing diets that can be indivi- dually tailored to your condition and needs. Part III also includes a comprehensive list of the major foods used in the modern macrobiotic diet in a temperate climate as well as a list of foods that are generally avoided or minimized.
DAILY FOOD FOR THOSE IN GOOD HEALTH
The principal food is cooked whole cereal grains, comprising from 40 to 60 percent of the daily food intake (average 50 percent by weight). Whole grains include brown rice, whole wheat berries, barley, millet, and rye, as well as corn, buckwheat, and other cereal grasses cooked in a variety of styles. Short-grain or medium-grain brown rice is the staple today in most macrobiotic homes around the world, generally pressure-cooked or occasionally boiled, and is eaten at least once a day. It ma...
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Book Description Ballantine Books, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110345439872
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