Whatever Happened to the Macrobiotic Diet?
By Paul Fassa
First of all, I don’t believe in one diet for everyone. So this report on the macrobiotic diet is not meant to proselytize what everyone or anyone should be eating instead of whatever. Actually, individual food types can be determined by blood analysis, or a manual created by Dr. William Kelley and modified slightly by the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez for their cancer curing protocols.
Even better maybe, the 5,000 year old healing art from India, Ayurveda, has used dietary typing based on body types and psychological profiling similar somewhat to the Kelly-Gonzalez approach, but successful for over five millennium.
No one diet fits all no matter who discovers, creates, or writes about it with whatever philosophical logic is used to make it seem it’s what everyone should be eating.
But obviously it is important to consume plant foods that are not tainted with pesticides or herbicides and dairy or meats that are not from factory farm animals. Those are critical staples that apply to everyone
The Japanese Macrobiotic diet has a long solid history of health giving success with its focus on whole organic brown rice. The fact that there are some real accounts of cancer victims healing themselves with the Macrobiotic diet alone is not well known, even among alternative cures cancer people.
Widget not in any sidebars
The Macrobiotic diet was introduced to America in the 1960s by George Ohsawa’s book You Are All Sanpaku, translated to English by William Duffy. Some may know George as Sakurazawa Nyoiti.
The term sanpaku means three whites, and it is applied to the white area of one’s eyes showing on three sides of the colored iris. This indicates the sanpaku person has low energy and vitality and his/her nutrition is out of balance.
The balance is associated with the Chinese properties of yin and yang. All foods are categorized as yin, yang, or neutral or balanced. In the 1960s, it was not uncommon to go on an all brown rice diet with the prescribed fermented soy sauce for a week or two in order to break through a spell of bad health, mental confusion, or just as a cleansing fast.
There is much more to macrobiotics than just brown rice, although it is a staple. The diet focuses mostly on rice and legumes with some vegetables and sea veggies (seaweeds), very little fruit, and no animal meat. But some macrobiotic dieters allow for a little fish. All soy (tofu and soy sauce) has to be non-GMO and fermented, this is very important.
Some raw food is considered okay, but light cooking, usually steaming or stir frying with unprocessed non trans fat oils are the preferred method of preparing macrobiotic foods. Although there are a few dissidents within macrobiotic circles, the macrobiotic diet mostly shuns supplements.
After its introductory impact in the USA circa 1960s-1970s, the health conscious public’s interest in macrobiotics waned. The notion of curing serious disease by diet alone was not understood well then, and as a method of getting healthier and staying healthy it was considered too strict and severe of a change from the standard American diet (SAD) by most.
A feature of macrobiotics that should be applied to all eating is chewing longer. It helps digest better and let’s you become more aware of when you’ve had enough to eat. They are big on conscious eating.
Personally, my wife Charlene and I undertook a 10 day cleansing fast of brown rice and organic brown rice crackers only that ended on Christmas day 2015. Macrobiotic experts consider brown rice, their staple, as a food with a perfect balance of yin and yang. Boring, but beneficial.
Charlene’s health benefits manifest more physically while I was having mental issues as my Herxheimer event (healing crisis), which did resolve leaving me with a bit more in the moment focus. Overall we both felt more energetic after the fast and continue to chew our food better.
The 10 day brown rice fast is recommended for intense tuneups or detoxes, and can be used at different intervals according to one’s needs. The book we used to obtain details for the cleansing diet is Health and Macrobiotics #7 Diet, by Francoise Riviere.
Macrobiotic dieting has survived over recent decades through the efforts of Michio and Gabriel Kushi’s books and their involvements with establishing training centers in the USA and EU for macrobiotic principles, food selection, and cooking.
Many of those who have adopted the macrobiotic diet as a life style did so after being stricken with life threatening diseases such as cancer or debilitating chronic issues such as Type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s disease. They were serendipitously led to macrobiotics, adhered to the diet strictly, and recovered quickly and painlessly.
It’s easy to see how those who recovered from those severe situations would continue on the macrobiotic diet as a way of life and encourage others to do so. They’ve developed an international community with macrobiotic dietary approaches.
The main USA Kushi Institute Macrobiotic center in Massachusetts offers a seven day retreat that will get you on the way if you’re interested. Their site contains more cancer and other disease successes also. The Kushi Institute of Europe is available for those across the pond, and their site also includes recovery testimonies from serious diseases.
Cancer and other chronic disease recovery testimonies from both Kushi sites linked in the sources section below are quite dramatic and stable – diet alone can cure a lot of our ills.
Sources for more information: