I’ve been trying to strike a balance between the *raw till 4* lifestyle and a macrobiotic lifestyle. The latter being much more easily done with what I can buy locally.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my raw till 4 journey since June 1st of this year. I’ve made some changes to it to fit my needs, like adding a bit more healthy plant based fats and [lots more] greens.
BUT…every day that I’m sipping on my 5 banana mid-day smoothie, I hear this little voice screaming in my head…BANANAS DON’T GROW IN VERMONT!!!! I can’t help but think that I could be eating better to suit the environment. I justified my banana based meals by saying, “I lost all my baby weight; I feel great; I have tons of energy; My digestion is impeccable; I have created a happy, healthy, exclusively breastfed baby; etc…”
When it comes down to it, I have always been very in tune with eating locally and eating with the seasons. YES the bananas [and other tropical type fruits] make me feel great but they just don’t hold much weight if I’m trying to eat responsibly.
I’m not going to totally ditch the bananas, I’m just going to lessen the amount that I’m buying.
The principles of macrobiotics fit well with what I believe in.
- whole grains being the majority of your food 40-60%
- locally grown vegetables 20-30%
- beans & sea vegetables 5-10%
Of course, these are just guidelines to base your meals on. I know seeing the “%” can look a bit too technical for something that should come as organic as food.
Where is the fruit, you ask?
Locally grown fruit, as well as my beloved bananas will fall into the vegetable category. I’m not an advocate of trying to fit a regimented diet into your lifestyle; rather creating a lifestyle that may take bits and pieces from other diets and make it work for you. Even with the raw till 4 diet, I was putting my own spin on it so that I felt as well as possible. I’ll do the same with this macrobiotic idea.
Macrobiotics suggest you leave out some foods:
- spicy foods
- artificial colored, chemically altered, sprayed, preserved foods
- anything mass produced [canned, frozen, etc…]
- meat, animal fat, poultry, dairy, eggs, CHOCOLATE [oh god no!], vanilla, refined sugars, molasses and honey
Lately, I’ve felt myself wanting to change [subconsciously] with the change of the seasons. The autumnal equinox just passed and my body must be craving more earthy and local foods. Funny how if we listen to what our bodies are asking for, we usually feel better. Not to say that my body doesn’t call for a hunk of dark chocolate every night, but that’s another story…
Some other basics of macrobiotics I find worth mentioning:
- green plants and fresh air in the house!
- daily exercise
- no eating 2-3 hours before going to sleep
- no alcohol
- time outdoors every day
- exfoliating hands and feet [or your whole body if you have the time!] every night to increase circulation and eliminating toxins
- cooking in earthenware, cast iron or stainless steel
- wearing cotton clothing and underwear as much as possible
- no stimulants
The principles of macrobiotics definitely align with my beliefs in Buddhism, which is a plus. Food is more than just what’s on your table; it encompasses your whole life and being. Having a positive attitude about food helps immensely.
Here is a macro bowl that I love to eat, any time of year.
Brown rice, kale, salad greens, broccoli, cucumber, avocado and kimchi.
Drizzled a peanut\tamari\brown rice syrup dressing over the top.
My macro bowls generally consist of:
- 25% whole grain
- 25% vegetable
- 30% leafy greens
- 15% beans
- 5% seaweed
This is a pretty good guideline.
Brown rice is definitely my favorite choice for a macro bowl just because I love the way it combines so well with practically every flavor profile.
The only amendments I’ve been making to these proportions is adding some healthy fat (avocado or walnuts) and not always having beans. Soy product like tofu or tempeh fall under the beans category. I also really like that umeboshi vinegar, miso and mirin are recommended for flavorings. I use all of them regularly.