They say a body knows what it needs. Maybe it doesn’t? Maybe we are responding to the wrong cues. For Michio Kushi the Macrobiotic theory suggests that sickness and unhappiness are nature’s way of urging us to adopt a proper diet and way of life and that these troubles are unnecessary when we live in harmony with our environment, as mentioned in his book The Macrobiotic Way. Maybe what is missing in our lives is an intuitive understanding of the orderliness of nature?
“The principle of yin and yang is the philosophical foundation of macrobiotics. The way to practice this universal principle in daily life was taught by Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and other great teachers throughout history. To understand this principle and then to live its basic laws is the greatest way to perfect health and long life.” (Michio Kushi)
In macrobiotics, there is a division between Yin and Yang foods and all physical and mental imbalances are explained to be caused by excessive yang or excessive yin, or a combination of excessive yin and yang in food choice, attitude, and lifestyle.
My psychotherapist in Berlin suggested I try out the macrobiotic diet, so I did. When I looked in the charts found in books like the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, I noticed that I was eating many excessive yang and excessive yin foods on a regular basis. After I stopped eating these foods, and also made sure I was eating the more moderate yin and yang foods in a balance, my mood swings never escalated the way they sometimes used to. The important part at the beginning is to understand the system, that when you choose to eat excessive yin and/or excessive yang foods, you might experience an imbalance in your moods. And also, if you experience a bigger mood swing, think about your food choices over the past weeks and see if there might be a connection to what you ate.
I’d like to challenge everyone to try to only eat foods that belong to the moderate yin & yang foods and also keep the yin & yang in a balance for 8 weeks and see what happens to your moods during this time. Let me know how it goes!
These are some books I can recommend – you might be able to access through your library if you don’t want to buy them:
Encyclopedia of Food and Culture by Roberta Bloom (2003): There is a chapter on Macrobiotic Food with many charts on what foods belong to excessive yin and excessive yang and which foods are moderate yin & yang. (This book is expensive on Amazon, I can access this book online with my library account at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, maybe you can do the same with your library?)
The Macrobiotic Way by Michio Kushi (Fonder of the Kushi Institute, the world’s foremost macrobiotic educational center)
The Book of Macrobiotics — The Universal Way of Health and Happiness by Michio Kushi: Is a passport to a world of infinite understanding and adventure for people who seek a clear, comprehensive approach to the problem of living in a world of endless change with macrobiotic approaches to cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative disorders have evolved and expanded, as have basic home care and lifestyle recommendations.
The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics. A Philosophy for Achieving a Radiant Mind and Fabulous Body Jessica Porter: “A modern girl’s guide to the secrets of eating for health, beauty, and peace of mind.” This is a fun in-your-face book to read.
Macrobiotics for Dummies: If you enjoy this series…there is also a book for you on Macrobiotics with many great tips.
Das Makrobiotische Gesundheitsbuch by Steve Acuff (in German): This is my favorite book on macrobiotics, only I believe it doesn’t exist in English…yet.