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Natural Healing Through Macrobiotics
Michio Kushi
Japan Publications 1978
ISBN 0-87040-457-1

The Macrobiotic Way
Michio Kushi
Avery 1985
ISBN 0-89529-222-X (pbk.)
ISBN 0-89529-239-9 (cloth)




This is an absolutely HUGE subject, so I will offer some personal insights from someone who found their own way with LOTS of help. I began thinking about what I eat when I had severe physical pain symptoms with no apparent cause. (This was in the early 1980s, so I guess I was ahead of my time.) After deciding not to ingest anti-inflammatants, I went to an acupuncturist that a friend had recommended (thanks, Barb!). One of the components of the treatments was a Macrobiotic diet.

Macrobiotics is a very intense way to eat (and live) in the United States of America. You must learn where to find your foods, which can be very limited and/or expensive, and you generally must learn to cook for yourself, which is when I learned this very skill. The diet is very contrary to the way in which we generally eat here, and that can be difficult with the family and friends with whom you share food. It is an excellent healing diet, and was used in this context in my treatment. Once my body had recovered sufficiently, more accessible foods were introduced gradually, and I was able to feel how each food reacted to a healthy system. Sugar was definitely off the list, although Romolo's Chocolates are my current exception to this. Other things seemed to matter less, but I still have a very clean approach to my eating. 

What I learned from all of this, and twenty-some years of eating clean and healthy, are some simple approaches to keeping a cleaner lifestyle in the USA. First, drink lots of filtered or spring water, room temperature or slightly cooled. (See the section on the Importance of Water.) Be prepared to carry water with you in this form. The next thing is really very simple in its essence. Try to only eat food. To do this, begin to read the labels of the "foods" that you eat, and try to eliminate things which are obviously manufactured in a large brick building in Newark, New Jersey with high security and bio-hazard procedures. This may eventually take some research, as sugar has about ten different names, and so does salt. Sometimes a little salt isn't all bad, if you can figure out it's there. Just building an awareness of what you are putting into your body is a great start. 

From there, gravitate towards fresh, whole foods. Processing inevitably leeches some of the life out of what you eat, and the longer the shelf-life, the more work your liver and kidneys are going to have to do to process the product. Food additives make more work for the body. This usually means you have to learn how to cook if you don't know how, so there's another basic project. Know a good cook? Everybody needs their garage painted...(I married my good cook!)

A viewpoint which has helped me discipline myself with regards to food is to think of it as medicinal - not medicine itself, although it can function in this capacity, but as an aid to good health and good energy. I try not to eat bad medicine. This also goes for cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine (though I love a good cup of tea), and pharmaceuticals. The last means I avoid accepting a dependence on prescription medicines. My basic assumption, which is supported by the healers who assist me, is that the body is meant to be healthy, and the key to healing is to remove the obstacles to the body's immune system so it can do its job. Most pharmaceutical medicines mask symptoms, which does not address the underlying imbalance. 

The bottom line is that you are what you eat, and if you eat fresh, whole foods, then you'll be fresh and whole, and if you eat garbage, well, guess how you're going to feel - like yesterday's trash. Give your body what it needs and it will do the same for you, and accept that this will be a long learning process, with great rewards.

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Healing Ourselves
Naboru Muramoto
Avon Books 1973
ISBN 0-380-00900-5

Body Wisdom
Jennifer Harper
Thorsons 1997
ISBN 0 7225 3368 3

Author can be contacted at (include SAE:)
PO Box 150 
GU23 6XS

Chinese Way to Healing
Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, L.Ac. with Kalia Doner
Perigee 1996
ISBN 0-399-52232-8



Here's a healthy meal that's easy to fix - MISO SOUP.
Miso is a fermented soybean paste rich in protein, amino acids and enzymes.
In a pot of filtered or spring water, add any of the following:
   rice or any other grain which can cook for a while
   kale or any other dark leafy green vegetable cut fairly small
   seaweed of your favorite kind, chopped or broken into small pieces 
   tofu or tempeh
   sesame seeds
or other seeds
   a touch of sea salt
Simmer for an hour or so. When ready, place a spoonful of miso In a bowl, and add hot soup to dissolve miso. 
Many like to add chopped scallions as a garnish.
Don't boil or cook miso - always add after soup broth is cooked.
This recipe can be varied by adding vegetables and changing amounts to suit taste.


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