Introducing Macrobiotics: Avoiding The “Diet” Trap
(Note: This newly edited post was originally a Facebook note that I wrote on May 14, 2011 and then was published on the site MacrobioticWorld.com here: http://macrobioticworld.com/blog/10-healthy-living/60-macrobiotics-avoiding-the-diet-trap )
Some introduce macrobiotics as a way of life and diet with specific food choices and by doing so fall into the trap of having to compare one diet versus another. They end up criticizing fast food, raw food, high protein diets, vegetarianism, veganism and compare it with macrobiotics. They may lament the fact that veganism, for example, seems to be more popular than “macrobiotics” and wonder why this is so.
I don’t do that. I avoid falling into that comparison trap by introducing macrobiotics in a different way.
I explain, as I did recently to a group of high school students, that macrobiotics is about understanding your relationship to food – to ALL food – whether it is eating organically grown brown rice or a fast food hamburger with fries and also looks at how all foods affect you. It also isn’t just about food but is about observing and trying to understanding your relationship with and how ALL things in life effect you from the forces of nature (the weather, the seasons, the climate and where you live, etc.) to your relationship with people – family, friends, society at large – to your dreams and ambitions and to everything else in this grand universe.
The choice of what to eat is individual. If people wish to eat pizza and hamburgers then that is their own choice. If they wish to eat high quality organic foods, then that is their choice as well. It only depends on what you want to do with your life and what difficulties or challenges you wish to face and whether or not you are willing to take full responsibility for the consequences of your choices.
In this way I do not impose my own personal value judgements and morals upon others nor do I criticize them for their values or morals. I completely respect their freedom to choose their own life and path.
As a macrobiotic teacher it is only my role to help guide those interested to observe and better understand their choices, to introduce new options and possibilities and to explore and examine the consequences of their choices. In this way my aim is not to offer solutions to problems but encourage others to find solutions on their own and in doing so find greater freedom to enjoy life fully and completely.
This way of introducing macrobiotics is intended to dispel the misunderstanding that it is a rigid and narrow diet as it has come to be known as. I believe that the source of this misunderstanding lies less upon on misinterpretations of an unknowing and blameless public but more on various macrobiotic proponents unable to accurately convey the dynamic nature of what macrobiotics is truly about. Having been born into and raised in the middle of the macrobiotic movement it comes natural to me to want to correct this misunderstanding whenever the opportunity presents itself.
For a more comprehensive description of what is “macrobiotics” go here: http://phiyakushi.wordpress.com/what-is-macrobiotics/