Macrobiotic Diet Plan: Everything you Need to Get Started

Fitness is something most of us swear by. With the outburst of nutritionists, dieticians, health magazines, weight loss stories and of course the hour glass figured actors and models, we might not have imbibed the lifestyle changes but tips to lead a healthy life to come handy to us.

While most of us always are in a dilemma of where to begin from, what to eat and what to avoid, they should remember that the important thing is not only to change the way you eat but also the way to live.

A healthy body is the result of a lifestyle change rather than only a diet change. On this principle, is designed the Macrobiotic Diet Plan.

This diet first surfaced during the end of 18th century. It was designed by a Japanese Doctor, Sagen Ishizuka. Based on the theory of Oriental Diet, he designed a nutrition and a medicine based diet comprising of a whole, unrefined food based mostly on a plant diet.

By adopting this diet and the macrobiotic principles you will experience a healthier and happier way of living. Including certain foods and excluding certain food from your diet will result in the overall physical and spiritual well-being.

 

Principles of Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotic diet doesn’t only focus on the right kind of food and nutrition, but also emphasises on the overall spiritual development of the mind and body. Following are some of the principles a macrobiotic diet states:

  • Principle of Change: Everything will change
  • Principle of Cycles: Every beginning will have an end
  • The principle of Non-Identity: Everything is unique. No two things are identical.
  • The principle of Front and Back: For every front, there is a back.

In the macrobiotic diet, it is believed that our bodies need yin and yang substance to stay healthy. This can be achieved by eating whole, seasonal and local foods. The idea is to strike a balance between the yin and yang substances of the food.

Too much of either of it might disturb the inner balance of the body. Yin is believed to attract disease and yang cures diseases. A perfect food should have a balance of yin and yang. Too much yin energy in the body results in diseases and yang cures diseases but it works with the yin energy and is interrelated to it.

The macrobiotic diet has certain principles for the way you should approach your life and food. To begin with, you should be thankful for your meals and enjoy every meal you take. The kind of foods you eat must be seasonal and locally grown.

You should focus both on quantity and quality of food and avoid any kind of extremes when it comes to diet.

Make sure you chew your food thoroughly and instead of making drastic changes, reduce your food portions gradually as per your body’s needs.

Apart from eating, macrobiotic diet followers are also taught to be generous to everyone, be responsible for your actions and admit faults. You should be friendly to others and respect all living creatures.

You should be mindful of the ecology around you and practice economy of life. Practice the art of living and do some self-reflection, and finally, laugh and have a sense of humour.

Macrobiotic diet food list

The word macrobiotic comes from macro and bios. Macro means big or large and bios is life. Macrobiotic can thus be understood best as a way to make your life great.

macrobiotic diet pyramid food listA macrobiotic diet just is not about your weight loss or disease elimination. It is a lifestyle change to achieve physical and spiritual balance in your life.

It promises a happier, healthier and more holistic lifestyle which ensures better food choices and mindfulness. Macrobiotic dieters listen to their bodies and achieve a more positive outlook towards life.

There is no diet plan as such designed for what to eat and when but there are foods you should include and foods you should eliminate from your diet. Now let us look at the list of foods which are permitted in the macrobiotic diet.

  • Grains:

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Whole grains and not refined or polished should be a large part of your diet. Around 50-60% of your diet should comprise of whole grains like whole wheat, barley, brown rice etc.

  • Vegetables:

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Locally grown and seasonal vegetables should comprise of about 30% of your meals. Make sure you consume green and leafy vegetables both in cooked and raw forms.

Certain vegetables (like onion, garlic and red meat) have an imbalance in their yin and yang properties and should be consumed occasionally or not at all.

  • Beans:

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Beans such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas etc should be about 10% of your meal. Try to have them daily, but if you feel gas problem in your stomach, cut its intake to 3 times a week.

  • Soups:

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Soups are a very important part of the macrobiotic diet and should be consumed daily. Vegetable soup, corn soup, tomato soup are some of the popularly consumed by people around the world.

  • Fermented foods:

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Fermented foods provide probiotics which are important for your health. Curd, pickles and other fermented foods should be included in your diet.

  • Oil:

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Natural Oils like corn, mustard, olive and sesame oil are good for your health. You can use them while cooking, irrespective of shallow or deep frying.

  • Fish:

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White meat fish is allowed in the macrobiotic diet. Be careful of the fish you choose and do not consume it for more than 2-3 times a week.

  • Whole Foods:

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Unprocessed foods should be consumed and refined foods should be avoided in a macrobiotic diet. Here’s a handy list of healthy unprocessed food for macrobiotic diet:

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Raw milk
  3. Grains and Pulses
  4. Nuts
  5. Herbal Tea/Green tea

Basically, everything naturally available. Avoid canned foods and ready to eat packaged foods. They contain preservatives and don’t deserve your attention. They will also cost you higher than what you can make it yourself using the organic ingredients.

Foods to eat and avoid in a macrobiotic diet:

For quick references, here are the foods allowed in a macrobiotic diet:

  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Radish
  • carrot
  • tofu
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • Almonds
  • walnuts
  • oats
  • barley
  • brown rice
  • millets

Following foods are strictly prohibited in a macrobiotic diet plan:

  • dairy products
  • meat product
  • Alcohol
  • drugs
  • syrups
  • refined oils
  • Coffee
  • Honey
  • Chocolate
  • poultry products
  • Eggs
  • Processed food
  • Spicy food
  • Refined sugar (Sugar is a slow poison)
  • Fruit juice
  • Caffeine
  • Soda

Macrobiotic Diet Recipes

Listed below are some quick and easy to make macrobiotic recipes. Below is a small list of what to eat on Macrobiotic diet along with a free Macrobiotic diet recipe eBook.

  • Veggie Breakfast Salad:

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For this, you need avocado, tomato, carrot, bell peppers and baby spinach. You also need natural yeast, turmeric powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Mash the avocados and mix rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Serve on a lettuce leaf and enjoy with some crackers/biscuits.

  • Butter beans spread with Tomato sauce

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  1. Blend cooked beans, salt, pepper and garlic in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Saute some onions in olive oil.
  3. Add chopped tomato, salt and pepper to it.
  4. Saute it for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the blended paste in a bowl and top it with this mixture.

You can have this mixture with any bread or even rice.

  • Carrot Ginger Soup with Tofu

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  1. Boil onion and carrot in a soup pot until they are soft.
  2. Add salt, pepper and ginger to it.
  3. Blend the mixture, add lemon and olive oil to it.
  4. Serve with tofu cubes.
  • Mushroom Pilau in Brown Rice

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Saute mushrooms and onions in a pan. Add pre-soaked brown rice and stir. Add water and bring it to a boil. Cook on low flame until the rice is cooked. Add some herbs for taste.

  • Green Pear smoothie

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Take 1 sliced pear, 1 cup vegan or soy milk and honey. Add everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy your green pear smoothie.

We have made some more sample Macrobiotic diet recipes for you and compiled it in an eBook. Grab yourself a free copy from below and try them out!

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Macrobiotic diet benefits

  1. Makes your heart healthy: Certain studies have found that macrobiotic diet helps in lowering blood pressure levels and reduces the risks of heart diseases. Anti- oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of macrobiotic diet help in promoting a healthy heart.
  2. Anti-inflammation benefits: Foods allowed in this diet have anti- inflammatory properties which helps in curing pains and also helps in aiding weight loss.
  3. Anti-oxidation: Macrobiotic diet contains food which contains anti-oxidants that help in getting rid of free radicals from the body.
  4. Aids Weight loss: This diet focuses on mindful eating and thus promotes weight loss and helps to maintain a proper weight. The anti-inflammatory properties of macrobiotic foods further help in maintaining a healthy weight.
  5. Supplies essential nutrients: Studies have shown that a macrobiotic diet compared to other forms of diet has low fat intake and high fibre intake. It also supplies all essential nutrients to the body.
  6. Potential cure for cancer: Although many factors contribute to the prevention of cancer and it might vary from person to person, certain studies have shown that macrobiotic diet due to its antioxidants might help in the prevention of cancer. A 2011 report published in the Journal of Nutrition stated, “On the basis of available evidence and its similarity to dietary recommendations for chronic disease prevention, the macrobiotic diet probably carries a reduced cancer risk.” Women on macrobiotic diet have lower oestrogen levels which lower the risk of breast cancer.

Check it out: The Secret Okinawa Diet to Live Longer

Macrobiotic Diet FAQs 

Q: Does macrobiotic diet work on strict principles of ‘all or nothing’?

The macrobiotic diet is more of a philosophy than of an all or nothing strict regime. It is a flexible diet which defines the kind and frequency of foods you should consume.

Q: Will body’s calcium needs be fulfilled without dairy products in Macrobiotic diet?

Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach have ample amounts of calcium to fulfil your calcium needs.

Q: Without animal protein in Macrobiotic diet, how will body get its protein supply?

Grains, beans and legumes as permitted in the macrobiotic diet are great sources of protein.

Q: Is eating outside an option with Macrobiotic diet?

Yes, you can eat out at restaurants and at your friend’s place. The idea is to keep a tab on the kind of food you eat, eat in moderation and eat what is permitted in the diet.

Q: Does the diet allow preferences or restrictions?

The diet is mainly vegetarian but allows fish. It does not prohibit gluten too. However, you can modify it to a gluten-free version.

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Over to You

There has been no scientific evidence or studies strong enough to back the fact that macrobiotic diet eliminates cancer or prevents it but there are several cited health benefits of this diet.

It is useful for people with Type-2 diabetes. Since the diet focuses on mindful eating, it certainly changes the way you eat and respect food.

It cannot be seen just as a diet but as a lifestyle for a better and healthy living. Eliminating processed foods, sugars and eating whole foods and vegetables have known benefits to human health. You should give the macrobiotic diet a try for the healthy and mindful eating it promotes.

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